There is one thing nearly all online casino players can agree on:
Picking up the best casino bonuses make all the difference in the world when choosing where to gamble online. With so many online casinos out there, most of them offering similar games and outlays, it gets down to who offers more straight up value for your cash.
Modern day casinos understand they need to offer more to their customers than just a place where they can play. They know they need to do something to make their patrons feel appreciated, and what better way to do it than throwing some cash at them?
Now, here’s the catch:
Not all casino bonuses have been created equal, and some of them may sound great „on the paper,“ while in reality they offer very little or no value whatsoever. To an inexperienced player, this isn’t something you can easily figure out because you may not be certain what to look for. That’s why we are here!
Not all bonuses are good bonuses
This lengthy article will give you all the information you require to find the absolutely best casino bonuses in 2017. It will explain what you need to be on the lookout for when you see an amazing offer and how to weed out „bad“ bonuses. After all, given so many options, why would you play anywhere where you don’t get the maximum for your deposit and loyalty?
We’ll also give you the list of the top casino bonuses out there straight up. If you don’t have the time or nerve to go through hundreds of online casino pages hunting for the best bonuses, you can safely register with any of the casinos listed here and rest assured you are getting some real bang for your buck.
The notion that free money can never be bad doesn’t really work with online casinos, because it isn’t really free money. It comes with certain requirements and commitments on your part, and if these are too high, too complex, or too demanding, you won’t be getting your money’s worth.
|Casino||Free Money||Bonus Amount||Free Spins||Wagering|
|Videoslots||€10||100% up to €200||No||20x|
|Mr Green Casino||No||100% up to £100||100||35x|
|Leo Vegas Casino||No||Up to €1,600 in bonuses||Up to 100||35x|
|Casumo Casino||No||Up to €1,200 in bonuses||Up to 200||25x (D + B)|
|OVO Casino||€8||100% up to €1,000 (parachute)||No||40x|
|Freaky Vegas||No||Up to €800||500 (25 spins no deposit)||30x (D + B)|
|Casino(dot)com||No||100% up to €400 (parachute)||200 (20 spins no deposit)||40x|
Play Money to Get Money: Wagering Requirements
If you’ve ever claimed a single casino bonus in 2017 (or any other year, for that matter), you are probably familiar with the term „wagering requirements,“ often also referred to as „playthrough.“ There is no too much mystery behind this notion. Wagering requirements are the amount of money you need to put in play before you can release your bonus money from captivity.
For example, you get a $200 bonus with 40x wagering requirements on the bonus amount only – you’ll need to place wagers in the amount $8,000 for that $200 (and any winnings) to become your property and for you to be able to cash it out.
All bonuses, deposit and no deposit alike, come with certain wagering requirements, as this is the only way for the casinos to protect themselves from being taken advantage of. Fair enough, we wouldn’t expect someone to just give a few hundred and let us do whatever we want with it; it wouldn’t be very business savvy.
But, where do you draw a line?
How can a player tell what wagering requirements are fair to both the casino and the customer, and which ones are there to ensure you’ll almost never get any value from your bonus? Is there a magical number or some kind of a formula you can use?
Understanding philosophy behind online casino bonuses
You probably know why casinos issue bonuses to their players – that part isn’t hard to understand, as this is marketing 101. But, you may be wondering how do they come up with their offers?
Casinos are huge business raking in a lot of money every day. They do it by knowing the math behind their games and counting on people not making the best, most prudent decisions most of the time. From the boom the casino industry has experienced over the years, it is safe to say they are pretty good at their jobs. But, is there a magic formula that casinos use when coming up with their bonus offers?
Here’s the real truth:
Casinos don’t want to give away any money. This shouldn’t really come as a surprise to anyone out there; after all, what business wants to give away money they don’t absolutely have to give? That said, giving stuff away is a part of the business model, so they do have to entice their patrons with some gifts, and for online casinos, cash bonuses and free spins are the best way to do it.
When coming up with the number you’ll be offered, casinos will take into account numerous variables, making sure they don’t give you more than they should. The way they calculate things, in a nutshell is this
There is more to the process, of course, and some casinos will actually give you bonuses with reasonably good expectations. Those casino made it to our top bonuses list. But, in a nutshell. If you get a $100 bonus and need to play it on the machine with an average return of 95%, you’ll be losing 5% of your bet on average with every spin.
So, if you played $1 a spin and running on the statistical average, which is the only thing casinos care about, as they see enough spins to reach that average, you’d be losing $0.05 every spin. At that rate, you’d be out of your money in about 2,000 spins, having wagered $2,000 (or 20x).
So, wagering requirements stipulated by a casino will usually be around the mark where you can just about meet them and break even, say around 30-35x. Mind you, the above example isn’t really representative because most slots, luckily, have an RTP (Return To Player) above 95% – you can find machines with 96.5%-97%.
Realistic Wagering Requirements: Stay Away from Too Good to Be True Offers
Perhaps you feel a bit disappointed at this point. Perhaps you never thought about casino bonuses in this way, and now you realize that they aren’t actually throwing money at you.
But, you shouldn’t be.
This practice is perfectly reasonable and acceptable. As much as I’d like it as a player, it would be unrealistic to expect casinos to just give away money (apart from some special occasions). However, bonuses with realistic wagering requirements are still great because they boost your bankroll and give you more chance to play and potentially win big. After all, that’s why we all (or most of us) play – to hit that big payday, not eke out a $20 profit after depositing $500.
So, from everything we’ve described, realistic wagering requirements for the best casino bonuses are somewhere in the 30x region. Anything below that should usually be awesome. Anything in the 40x plus region should be avoided, as a rule of the thumb.
Of course, there are exceptions here, if the casino gives you a large percentage – something like 200%+ on your deposit, as this is a huge boost and it is only natural it comes with steeper wagering requirements. For your thread-of-the-mill 100% match bonuses, however, you should never be required to wager more than 35x.
Sticky Bonus or Sticky Fingers?
When someone gives you something, you expect it’s yours to keep. However, that’s not the case with so-called “sticky” bonuses, usually described as “issued for playing purposes only.”
What does this mean?
Basically, a casino will give you bonus money to play with, slap you with wagering requirements, often preventing you from cashing out, but once you do meet the wagering and request a withdrawal, the original bonus amount will be deducted from your bottom line.
For example, you deposit $200 and receive a generous 150% match. Now, you have $500 in total to play with, which is pretty awesome. But, they also stipulate the total amount needs to be wagered 40x. So, you get cracking and after hours of playing, you finally reach the requirements, and you have $650 in your account. Not too bad.
You go to the cashier, request a withdrawal, and you see that you only get $350. Perplexed, you reach out to the support, explaining to them you’ve met all your wagering requirements and don’t understand what the problem is. And then they tell you: it was a “play only” bonus!
Now, I’m not going to say “sticky” bonuses are scams, as some reputable casinos offer them as well, and they state it quite clearly in their bonus terms and conditions. However, unless they come with very low wagering requirements (up to 10x or so), these bonuses should be avoided.
As we’ve already explained, meeting bonus requirements is hard enough when they are realistic and you get to keep the money. If they take the bonus amount away, there is hardly any value to be had, so why would you want to play in such circumstances.
There are plenty of bonuses in 2017 that aren’t “sticky” and let you cash out whatever you happen to have at the time you meet the wagering requirements, so why waste time with these offers that clearly aren’t advantageous to you?
Game Restrictions: Why Can’t I Play What I Want?
If you’ve ever carefully read online casino bonus terms and conditions, you’ve probably noticed there are quite a few restrictions as to what you can play and how much different games contribute to the wagering requirements. You can’t just sit down and play red or black on roulette until your bonus has been cleared.
Why is this?
Well, if you’ve been paying attention to what’s been said so far in this article, you can probably come up with an answer on your own. Casinos need you to play the games that fall into their mathematical formula so to ensure you aren’t taking advantage of the bonus or don’t get too much value. It is a harsh reality, but reality nonetheless.
It would be very easy to wager 30x or 40x times your bonus on roulette or blackjack, but very often casinos will put in a clause that these bets don’t count towards wagering, or only count at a fraction of a total bet (usually up to 10%). The same goes for video poker machines.
Usually, slots are the only game you can play and count with the fact that 100% of your bets will count towards the bonus. However, there are exceptions even here. Oftentimes, casinos will exclude you from playing particular slots with your bonus money. The reason is simple: those excluded slots have an RTP (Return To Player) that is too high: 97%+ usually, sometimes reaching as high as 98% or even more.
Naturally, casinos don’t want you to play these games because, on average, you’ll make more money than they expect you to make, meaning you’ll earn more playing with your bonus. Rather than making wagering requirements higher for everyone, online casinos will exclude these games from the eligible list. That’s why you need to check out terms and conditions when hunting for the best online casino bonuses in 2017.
These change often and it would be impossible to keep track of them all, all the time. Usually, there will only be a few slots that you can’t play, Bloodsuckers being one name that nearly always pops out. This isn’t to say that there aren’t casinos that will let you play Bloodsuckers as well, but when it comes to finding top bonuses, always adhere to “better safe than sorry” policy. Playing on an ineligible slot can make your bonus void, which is the last thing you want to happen. The worst part is, you probably won’t even find out about it before you try to cash out, thinking everything is in perfect order.
Stay smart and take those few minutes out of your day to get yourself acquainted with exact bonus rules and terms. It will save you a lot of headache down the road and it will ensure you never lose out on your well-deserved winnings based on a technicality.
Restrictive Betting Limits: Why Are They There?
When you get a casino bonus, the fine print will usually stipulate a certain maximum wager you’re allowed. Usually, this is between 5% and 10% of the total bonus amount, so if you get a bonus of $100, you won’t be allowed to bet more than $5 or $10 on a single slot spin or hand of blackjack.
You may be wondering why this rule is in place, and here’s your answer:
Casinos don’t really care how much you bet, but they don’t want players to take the bonus money and try to hit huge with it. The reason is, if enough people did it, someone could hit a huge win, and that goes outside of their calculation. Of course, you can still bet big if you’d like, but you have to do it on your own money, not using the bonus funds.
Quick Guide to Recognizing the Best Casino Bonuses in 2017
We’ve covered many important points you’d need to consider when choosing the best casino bonuses in 2017. However, we fully understand that not everyone has the time to read through it all, and for some people, especially new to online gambling, it can still be somewhat confusing despite all the efforts to explain it in detail.
So, for all of you who are low on time, and to give a summary of sorts, before moving on to the main part and listing all the leading online casino bonuses out there, this is a quick breakdown of everything that’s been said. You can use it as your guide for analyzing any online casino bonus out there and figuring out if it is worth your time and money.
Obviously, this is the first thing to look at, although we haven’t mentioned it that much before. The reason is, it kind of goes without saying. This is the exact amount you’ll get when you deposit or register with an online casino, so you’ll know how much extra money you’ll be squeezing out of the deal.
Now, you need to be aware that many of the great online casino bonuses aren’t that huge in terms of sheer cash. You’ll get a few extra hundred, but it is hard for casinos to give you huge amounts and still offer reasonable wagering requirements.
No matter how big of a bonus you can get at an online casino, it is practically worthless if it comes with unrealistic, impossible to meet wagering requirements (playthrough). If you want to know more about this, scroll back to the Wagering Requirements section to get a better idea.
In a nutshell, you want to stick to those bonuses offering 30x-35x playthrough, because they give you a reasonable chance of actually keeping some of the bonus funds. Anything reaching into the 40x area will usually be unattainable in the long run, even if you occasionally do get lucky and strike gold. If you’re someone who plays regularly at online casinos, you need to have bigger picture in mind and think about the long run, just like casinos do.
Avoid “sticky” bonuses
When a casino offers you a so-called “sticky” bonus, which is intended for “play only,” you need to understand what it really means. These are the bonuses you can use to play with and keep your winnings after reaching the wagering requirements, but the bonus amount itself is removed at a withdrawal.
Unless they offer really low playthrough, these sticky bonuses are best avoided altogether. If they can block your cashout, you should probably refuse them and just play with your funds, if you are really intent on playing at a particular casino that only offers this option.
Game & betting limitations
Bonuses are there to make you feel welcome, but casinos aren’t particularly happy about giving up money. This means that all bonuses come with restrictions, and these aren’t just wagering requirements.
First of all, not all the games contribute the same to the wagering requirements. Slots will usually count at 100%, but roulette, blackjack, and video poker might only contribute a few percentages of the total bet. The reason is these games have much higher Return to Player, so it would make bonuses unprofitable for the casinos if they allowed players to meet playthrough requirements playing these games.
Likewise, even the best casino bonuses will come with betting limits. These limits are usually set as a percentage of the total bonus, preventing you from placing wagers that are too big in relation to the bonus amount. If you get a $200 bonus, you’ll usually be allowed to bet only up to $10 or $20 per spin. Of course, this is still huge, and it is hard to imagine anyone would want to place bigger single bets, but casinos need to protect themselves from all sorts of scenarios.
The Best Casino Bonuses in 2017 REVEALED
Now that we are (finally) done with technicalities, it is time to move on to the really interesting part.
What are the top bonuses in 2017?
We’ve compiled a detailed list with a number of trustworthy casinos that offer generous and player-friendly bonuses, together with great game selection and good software. With all of these casinos, you can rest assured your playing needs will be catered to fully and you’ll get the most for your money.
One of the leading online casinos for all slots fans out there, Videoslots.com offers some of the best casino bonuses and promotions you’ll find anywhere. When it comes to their welcome package, it consists of the following:
- 100% deposit bonus up to €200
- Extra €10 completely free
- Wagering requirements of just 20x the deposit
In line with everything outlined in this article, Videoslots.com welcome bonus is one of the best options for bonuses in 2017. As we’ve explained the amount may not be huge, but that’s not the main point when finding the best casino bonuses. These 20x playthrough requirements are among the friendliest you’ll find in the industry.
Additionally, you won’t even need to meet the playthrough for the entire amount to get some cash out of the deal. Videoslots.com welcome bonus is released in 10% increments, so every increment you do release is yours to keep.
When it comes to game contributions, the casino is very clear and concise. Most slots contribute 100%, while those with RTP of over 96.1% contribute 97.5%. Conversely, slots with RTPs of 95% and lower contribute 125%, which is a really fair and honest approach that customers can certainly appreciate.
Other games contribute 10%, and if you need to find out details about any particular slot all the necessary information is displayed clearly on the Videoslots.com site, including the RTP.
A winner of numerous industry awards, Mr Green Casino has redefined online gambling, especially when it comes to growingly popular mobile gaming. Their excellent software, rich game selection, and exquisite customer support are reasons enough to join Mr Green, but the casino doesn’t stop there. There is also a very nice welcome bonus awaiting all new players.
Here’s what you get for signing up with Mr Green:
- 100% bonus up to £100
- 100 free spins
- 35x wagering on the bonus amount and free spins winnings
Mr Green wagering requirements fall into the reasonable bracket as described in this article, so this casino has fully deserved its rightful place on the list of the top bonuses in 2017. It is worth noting that the welcome bonus is just the beginning and Mr Green has a very rich rewards’ program for all of their players.
Combining the power of their welcome bonus with a truly excellent gaming experience, Mr Green Casino is definitely a gaming site well worth your time and money, as they’ll make you feel at home every step of the way. If you ever have any doubts or concerns, don’t be shy to reach out to their always friendly customer support and see your problems disappear.
Holding the title of one of the leading online casinos around for some years now, Leo Vegas remains on the list of the best 2017 casinos and bonuses for players to enjoy. This online casino offers several hundred top quality slots, wide selection of table games, a Live Dealer casino, and, of course, a generous welcome bonus.
Here are the details of the Leo Vegas welcome bonus in 2017:
- 1st deposit: 100% up to €50 & 25 free spins OR 200% up to €200 & 25 free spins when you deposit more than €50
- 2nd and 3rd deposit: 50% up to €500 and 25 free spins
- 4th deposit: 50% up to €400 & 25 free spins
In total, that’s €1,600 of free money you can get at Leo Vegas without any problems. All you need to do is deposit enough to qualify for all these offers.
However, what’s the wagering like here?
Well, once again, it is very reasonable, standing at 35x, which is quite attainable. This 35x applies to all four of the first deposit bonuses.
However, one important thing to know about LeoVegas Bonus is that you’ll first play with your own money. Only if you lose, you’ll dip into the bonus funds. This means that you can play with your own money, without touching a bonus, and only if you get unlucky, you can resort to the bonus chest. This is often referred to as a “parachute bonus.”
Casumo Casino has been around since 2013, and they offer a different gaming experience, where players are invited to get more involved in building the skills of their own character – a little Casumo following you on your path to big winnings.
Casumo Casino rewards system is truly innovative and entertaining, as you get heaps of free spins along the way for various achievements, and there is always a new promo awaiting. As for their welcome bonus in 2017, it consists of the following:
- 1st deposit: 200% bonus up to €50 + 200 free spins over the first ten days
- 2nd deposit: 50% bonus up to €150
- 3rd deposit: 50% up to €200
- 4th & 5th deposit: 25% bonus up to €400 on both deposits
In total, that’s €1,200 in bonus money, plus 200 free spins to give you a boost, making Casumo welcome package one of the clear choices for the list of the best casino bonuses in 2017.
Wagering requirements on Casumo are 25x (deposit + bonus amount), which isn’t too steep, especially given the fact players get a 200% bonus on their first deposit. Additionally, the bonus is released gradually, so if you hit big, you’ll still be able to cash out a decent chunk of your profit, even though you’ll have to relinquish the bonus. While it may not be the most profitable option, it is a nice one to have nonetheless. Winnings are distributed so that 50% of every win goes to your cash balance, and 50% goes to your real money balance. However, it is same with the wagering, as only 50% of the wagers count towards the bonus.
Talking about game contributions, Casumo makes things pretty straightforward. Most slots will contribute 100% to the wagering, with a few exceptions. These are Bloodsuckers, Uncharted Seas, Dead or Alive, Kings of Chicago, Jack Hammer 2, and Simsalabim. These games aren’t counted towards wagering. Other than slots, video poker counts at 30%, while Casino Hold’em, TXS Hold’em Poker, and Oasis Poker contribute at 10%. Other games, like roulette, blackjack, and baccarat aren’t counted.
OVO Casino represents an excellent choice for all players coming from the land based casinos, especially for those hailing from Europe. Namely, Ovo offers a great selection of slots, including many of the classic Novomatic titles like Lady Luck, Book of Ra, Dolphin’s Pearl, Mystic Secrets, and much more.
When it comes to their welcome bonus, OVO has certainly earned its place in the list of the recommended bonuses in 2017, because they have an offer you simply can’t refuse:
- €8 no deposit bonus
- 100% bonus up to €1,000
- 40x wagering requirements
Looking at it, it may seem the casino doesn’t offer anything that spectacular, apart from a small no deposit bonus which will let you test their games. In fact, 40x wagering is higher than any of the casinos listed here.
So, what makes OVO Casino welcome bonus worthy of being here?
This bonus comes with no strings attached. Once you deposit money, you’ll get the 100% match up to €1,000 and the money will be placed in your bonus account. You are then free to play with your real money anything you like, in any way you like. If you happen to win, no matter how big your win is, you can go straight to your cashier and withdraw funds.
If you lose, however, and your balance drops below €0.20, the bonus will kick in. You’ll get those extra funds to try and save the day, and only at this point does the wagering kicks in. The only slight drawback of the OVO bonus is that you can only cash out 1x your deposit.
On the other hand, there is also the bright side. Say you deposit €200 and get a €200 match. You end up losing your initial roll and the bonus kicks in. Now, you play with it and manage to meet the wagering, but only have €30 in your account.
You’re probably hoping to hear what we’re about to write.
That’s right! You’ll still get to cash out the full amount, i.e. the bonus will be converted at €200, available to you for withdrawal at any time. So, as far as bonuses go, this one is definitely among the best casino bonuses you can get in 2017.
Boasting a motto “new online casino with a difference,” Freaky Vegas is a place where players get to enjoy a great selection of games, visually appealing software, and a great welcome package to get them started, totaling €/$800 in free cash and as many as 500 free spins. Games that can be found in the Freaky Vegas library include titles by NetEnt, Egt, Yggdrasil, and more.
As for their welcome bonus, here’s what you get:
- 25 free spins, no deposit required
- 1st deposit: 100% up to $/€200 & 100 free spins
- 2nd deposit: 50% up to $/€200 & 100 free spins
- 3rd deposit: 25% up to $/€200 and 140 free spins
- 4th deposit: 25% bonus up to $/€200 & 160 free spins
Wagering requirements for the bonus and any free spins winnings are 30x, meaning Freaky Vegas gets a place in our best casino bonuses list for 2017. This isn’t all, either, as all players get special birthday surprises, there are weekly promotions to enjoy, and a VIP club to reward your loyalty.
The maximum bet you’re allowed to make while a bonus is active is €5, which is plenty and shouldn’t be an issue for most players. When it comes to game contributions, all slots contribute 100%, while all other games, like blackjack, roulette, video poker, etc., are restricted as long as you have an active bonus.
This means that Freaky Vegas bonus may not be the right pick for those looking to boost their table games experience, but it will certainly be a great choice for all slots fans out there.
To wrap up our list of the leading online casino bonuses for 2017, we’ll end with one of the oldest and best known gaming operators – Casino.com. This online casino has seen it all over the years, and they know how to treat their customers in every possible aspect. This includes game selection, software, customer support, and, of course, bonuses.
When it comes to Casino.com welcome bonus, here what they have in store for all new players in 2017:
- 20 free spins (no deposit)
- 100% up to $/€400
- 180 free spins
- 40x wagering requirements
Once again, you’ve probably notice somewhat higher wagering requirements. However, Casino.com bonus is also only activated if/when you lose your deposit, so it is basically a parachute to be used only when things don’t go your way. If you do happen to win big right off the bat, the bonus will not be there to make any problems, as you can simply cancel it and go about your day.
If you do activate the bonus funds, you’ll need to meet the wagering before you can cash out. In that case, you need to know how the bets are counted towards playthrough:
- Slots & scratch cards: 100%
- Pai Gow, Casino Hold’em & Roulette: 25%
- Blackjack, baccarat, craps, and Stravaganza: 20%
- Video poker: 20%
As you can see, Casino.com will not restrict you from playing table games even with your bonus funds. Of course, contribution levels are reduced accordingly, for the reasons discussed earlier in this article.
Let 2017 Be the Year of the Best Casino Bonuses
After reading this lengthy post, you should have a pretty good idea about good (and bad) bonuses available out there. Hopefully, you’ll use the advice contained in here to make good choices and only play with the casinos that deserve your business.
As we’ve stated repeatedly, there are so many great bonuses to choose from in 2017 that you shouldn’t settle for anything less. You are a casino customer and you have every right to only demand the best from the gaming site. If you notice they are reluctant to give it to you, there is absolutely nothing stopping your from moving along and finding someone who will.
Casinos listed here are definitely among your top choices when it comes to the best casino bonuses in 2017. However, other casinos reviewed on our site should also offer you some really nice playing conditions, so feel free to check those as well once you are done with the list!