Frequent any online casino and you’ll quickly discover a range of bonuses offered as rewards to players, ranging from prizes to gifts. Generally speaking however, the most notable bonuses relate to you signing up for the casino in the first place – a huge reward for new customers.
Thankfully however, it’s not just new customers that can benefit from bonuses – there are a handful of rewards for loyal players too. Perhaps the most common form is the "matching bonus" or "match bonus".
The general idea behind a match bonus at a casino is that the studio will – dollar for dollar – ‘match’ the amount that you deposit into an account. Typically this is offered as an incentive to new customers – but is often applied to returning customers too.
So imagine the website you are using has a 100 per cent match bonus on your first deposit. If you deposit $10 then this means you will play with a $20 bankroll; and if you deposit $100 you’ll play with a $200 bankroll. Subsequent matches might be at 50 per cent: so if you deposit a further $10 you’d get a $5 bonus and play with a $15 bankroll.
Effectively, a match bonus is free money – but of course, it’s relying on a serious commitment on your behalf. You have to dedicate your own money to the online casino first – and then you will receive a matching amount.
Understandably, most online casinos want to have some protection in place to prevent abuse. This means that most match bonuses will be accompanied by several caveats. As the system is largely meant to attract new players, there may be a cap on the amount that you can use for a match bonus: if you’re in a strong financial position, for example, it’s unlikely that you can dedicate one million dollars to the casino and expect it to match that amount. Generally, match bonuses are limited to hundreds of dollars – potentially even as low as $100. Be sure to check the individual terms and conditions of the site you’re using.
Another potential variation is the percentage of the match. In some cases the casino will offer a 100 per cent, or even 200 per cent, match on a first deposit. Generally, the percentage match bonus will be lower on further deposits. That’s because it’s generally impractical for a casino to continue to match bonuses – doubling your cash every time.
Furthermore, all casinos have bonus agreements. This means that you can't pay out your bonus amount at any time, but you need to play it a few times to 'free' the bonus. Some online casinos with high bonuses ask you to 'wager' the casino bonus a lot of times before it can be released.
If you’re interested in taking advantage of a match bonus then all you have to do is shop around. There are many online casinos offering match bonuses – and most of them are advertised on their home page.