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Updated: Nov 21 2020
New online casinos are coming to the market all the time. Some of them are very similar, yet others tend to differ in some ways. There are tons of sites around there telling you to join one or another casino, but what most of these casino sites never tell you is that your casino choice should be based on what you are personally actually interested in. And not only – most sites just promote different casino welcome bonuses and offers without actually telling whether these offers are actually any good. In all honesty – very minimum half of the casino welcome offers or so said “best free spins offers” should actually be avoided.
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Almost all casinos out there offer at least some kind of casino bonuses to its new or existing players. But should they actually be used? Let's look at different types of bonuses casinos are offering.
What kind of bonuses are casinos offering in 2020
Almost all casinos offer new players bonuses for signing up. However, you should stay away from, in not most, then at least half of these. Casinos try to offer new players as attractive-looking sign-up bonuses as possible. But that’s the thing – that’s all they often are, “attractive-looking”.
Most casinos offer new players some sort of sign up bonuses. They are there to attract new players to register in their online casino. However, if you’re totally new to the online casinos scene then you might not understand the bonus terms and requirements attached to the bonuses. And in all honesty, that’s what casinos are hoping for. They often offer you 100% or even 500% deposit bonuses and tons of free spins with your first deposit. For example.
Casino welcome bonuses aka casino sign up bonuses
But if you want to be smart about them, you shouldn’t care if it’s 50% or 500% bonus. What you should care is the wagering requirement and whether it actually makes sense to accept the bonus. Very often it’s better idea to join the casino and NOT accept the new player welcome bonus.
Read more about it all from our bonuses page. There we try to dig a big deeper into the topic.
What we mentioned above applies also to different casino promotions and regular deposit bonuses. While these are not meant for new players anymore, they are often there to attract gamblers. We’re not trying to imply that all casino promotions and/or deposit bonus offers are bad. Far from it. But there are so many offers out there that you should rather avoid. Which offers should be avoided and which casino offers are actually good? We cover that topic more thoroughly on the bonus page.
Casino campaigns and deposit bonuses
So what makes one casino bonus good and another bonus a really unattractive one for the experience player? It all comes down to the EV of the casino bonus. EV stands for Estimated Value. If you accepted the best casino offer, or at least that’s what the casino claimed, based on some simple calculations would you end up winning money or losing money with it?
Estimated Value of a casino bonus
Read more about casino bonus estimated value on our casino bonuses page.
Free spins are one of the main selling factors for many online casinos. Imagine seeing a casino offering you 100 or 300 free spins just for your first deposit. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? But again, there’s the same catch with free spins offers as there is with real money casino bonuses. And again you should be paying close attention to the free spins wagering requirements and everything related.
Free spins offers in online casinos
When do casinos offer you free spins and which free spins give you the biggest chance of winning?
The best kind of free spins are free spins that casinos give you just for signing up. With no need to make a deposit. There are not too many such offers around, but when you do see free spins just for signing up with a casino, they can be well worth it. And to be honest, in this instance it doesn’t even matter how big the wagering requirement is. If you manage to fill the wagering requirement and still have money left, great! If you don’t manage to win anything with the free spins, so what?
Free spins on sign up
"You didn’t put any money into it anyway and as such you didn’t lose a thing. Yet you managed to play a bit for free while at the same time giving yourself a small chance of winning some real money.
Most free spins offers, however, require you to make a deposit. And with these free spins with deposit you do need to start thinking about the wagering requirements and start doing the free spins Estimated Value calculations. Read more about the estimated value of free spins from our EV page.
Free spins with first deposit
Online casinos often create various campaigns or casino tournaments which offer winners free spins. There are too many possible types of different campaigns and offers to talk about here, but in general – what we consider good casino campaigns that offer free spins to winners are those where no wagering requirements are applied to your winnings. Otherwise you spend money to actually get to the top of the leaderboard or spend money to fulfill the campaign requirements only to find out that once you “win” you need to wager your winnings 40x. Doesn’t really make sense, does it?
Free spins from various casino campaigns
Some casinos offer you free spins as a weekly or monthly perk just for being their their loyal customer. Normally you don’t need to make a new deposit to get these free spins, but there can be a wagering requirement. This kind of offer can be considered good free spins offer as you don’t need to risk your own money here. Yet you have a chance to win some extra.
Regular free spins offers
Being a loyal player in an online casino may have its own perks. Depending on a casino, of course. Some casinos can sometimes send you an email or SMS saying that they have put 5, 10 or 25 free spins on your account. And often these free spins winnings don’t have any wagering requirement attached to them. This type of surprise free spins can be considered a loyalty bonus, which is always welcome.
Surprise free spins offers from casinos
We already spoke a bit about bonuses, but no deposit bonuses deserve their own spot here. That’s because that’s the best kind of bonus out there. Well, almost. The very best kind of bonus is actually the very hard to find no deposit no wager bonus. Everyone are looking for them, but only a handful of casinos offer them.
No deposit bonuses – are they any good?
Actually we already mentioned the no deposit bonuses before when talking about sign-up bonuses. No deposit bonuses are any kind of bonuses which offer you something for (almost) nothing. Free spins for just creating an account, free spins as a loyalty bonus, free spins as whatever.
Whenever you see a no deposit bonus, it’s usually worth accepting it.
What are the main games you can play in online casinos? While there there are many more options, such as RNG table games, bingo games, etc as well, we will stick to the main attractions of any online casino, at least for now. These are slots and live casino games.
Main games in casinos – from slots to live casino tables
Slots are the most popular games in online casinos. There are tens of thousands of them and they don’t require you to do any thinking while playing them. Although that’s not the whole truth. The whole truth is that you should always do your homework BEFORE playing them. All slots have their own RTP. RTP stands for Return to Player and it tells you how much money on average the slot pays back to the player. High slot RTPs start at 96%. This means that for every 100 euros wagered the slot pays the player back 96 euros. Doesn’t sound like a too good deal, right? But that’s casinos for you – all casino games have a house edge. And in case of 96% RTP the house edge is 4%.
While RTP is important, it doesn’t guarantee that your average payback is the same. And that’s the good and the bad of casino games. You can finish your session by winning huge sums of money or you can finish your session by losing all of your deposited money. RTP is calculated based on millions of spins and that’s just the average for the slot machine.
Keep in mind that the RTP for the same slot might not be the same in every casino. Read about flexible RTP game slot providers here.
Another thing you should care about when playing slots is the slot volatility or variance. If you have just a small bankroll for playing you should probably choose slots with low volatility. Low volatility slots give out wins more often, but the wins might be smaller. Playing High volatility slots, on the other hand, you might experience long dry runs with a few bigger wins. Then again, in the world of online gaming nothing is guaranteed.
All slot machine use a Random Number Generator (RNG). This means that slot payouts are totally random. Slot machines don’t have any cycles where they need to collect money to pay out again. Independent of what many people might think. Even randomness might seem cyclic sometimes. Think about flipping a coin ten times in a row. It can happen that it will land 8 times on one side. Is it a cycle or just randomness?
How do slots work?
You can read more about the secret lives of slot games soon.
Most online casinos these days also offer players the chance to play live casino games. Live casino games are land based casino games on your screen. They feature a live dealer, just as you’d have in any land based casino, and it looks very similar.
Live casino tables and live casino game shows
Live casino games offer usually higher RTP than any slot game. For example, in various live casino blackjack tables the RTP might be as high as 99%.
During the past couple of years live casino providers such as Evolution Gaming and also Playtech have come out with something new – live casino game shows. While the RTP for live casino game shows might be very similar to slot games, so lower than regular live casino games, many of them are really fun to play. Currently the most popular live casino game shows are probably Monopoly Live, Deal or No Deal and Crazy Time.
These days there are so many different ways of playing poker. There are video poker games – these are pretty much like slots, but where you actually need to think a bit as well. There are also live casino poker games where you play against the live dealer.
Poker – I mean the poker rooms
And then there are online poker rooms where you play poker against other players. The latter is the best way of playing poker as depending on which poker site and/or poker network you play in, you have dozens of different limits you can play, dozens or hundreds of different cash game tables as well as hundreds of poker tournaments to choose from every day.
In live casino poker and video poker casinos make money the same way as with slots – all games have their set RTP, Return to Player percentage. In case of player to player poker you play rake. Each and every hand you play in cash tables takes a small amount of the pot and sets it aside for rake. That goes to the casino. In case of poker tournaments a small portion of every buy-in goes to the casino. For example if the tournament buy-in is $11, the rake is often $1. So only $10 goes to the prize pool.
How does casino make money from player to player poker?
Casino winnings are taxed differently in every country. In some countries you need to declare taxes from all of your casino winnings, in other countries the casinos themselves are taxed with gambling tax and you don’t need to care about that. Read more about taxation of casino winnings in different countries from our casino guides page.
Are casino winnings taxable? Do you need to pay taxes from casino winnings?
Once you have signed up at a casino and you want to make your very first withdrawal, there are certain things you need to know about. Firstly, if you got bonus money from the casino when signing up, you can only withdraw money AFTER you have completed the wagering requirements for the bonus.
Casino withdrawals – what do you need to know about withdrawing your winnings?
Secondly, there’s something called KYC. KYC stands for Know Your Customer. This means that most casinos will be asking a copy of your passport, ID-card or anything else before you can make your first withdrawal. Sometimes they also require some other documents. In other casinos they might ask for the documents once you have already withdrawn around 2000 euros.
While the KYC process is usually painless and fast, you do need to know about it and be prepared for it.
Also, KYC might not be important in no account casinos or some casinos with Curacao license.
If you want to try games for free before actually putting any money into it, you can play them for free as well. You can normally play slots for free in any casino without the need to even register an account in them.
Can you play casino games for free?
However, you can’t try live casino games for free. But you can usually at least open them and see how the games look.
If you haven’t checked out too many online casinos yet, you might think that except for slots selection they are all sort of similar. However, that’s definitely not true. There are numerous ways we could categorize them, but for the sake of keeping it simple – there are just two main types of casinos.
Different types of online casinos
We call them classic because that’s the oldest type of online casino out there. When creating an account in the casino you need to share your name, country, address and many other details with them. And earlier or later you also need to go through the KYC process.
Classic online casinos
In many countries it is now also possible to play in no account casinos. What does no account casino mean? No account casino or pay & play casino is a solution created by payment provider Trustly. It means that you can start playing in a casino for money without actually registering an account there. You simply need to make your first deposit or log in for the first time through Trustly and your account will be automatically created for you.
No Account online casinos
Learn more about no account casinos and Trustly pay & play solution here.
No account casinos are not available in every country, but the number is growing fast. At this time Trustly payment solutions are available in 29 European countries and pay & play casinos are currently open in four of them.
Where can I find no account casinos?
So which is better, classic casino or pay and play casino? It really depends what you are looking for. Pay & play casinos give the chance to get your account created really quickly and you can start playing in no time. Pay & play casinos also normally don’t require KYC and withdrawals are often instant. From negative side – the only deposit and withdrawal option in no account casinos is your bank account.
Classic vs pay & play casinos – which are better?
Classic casinos on the other hand require you to fill in lots of data fields before your casino account is actually created. And sooner or later your are also required to go through the casino’s KYC process. Withdrawals can be instant but more often than not they take days. When it comes to plusses of classic casinos – these casinos offer players multitude of both deposit and withdrawal options.
We are tired of all the same old casino sites that just share the same generic casino offers and reviews without trying to help you understand if the offer is actually any good or not. Or if the casino might be worth trying. Well, in all honesty, most online casinos are trustworthy and good enough to try them out. Of course, keeping in mind that it obviously depends what you’re looking for exactly.
Cheers! Casinos brings you ONLY honest casino reviews
However, the casinos are definitely not nowhere near equal when it comes to casino deposit bonuses, campaigns, wagering requirements and all that. Very often the casino itself can be superb, yet it makes no sense whatsoever to even consider accepting their welcome offer. Simply because you’re too likely to lose it all plus some. Nobody can guarantee you wins with any casino bonuses, but some of them are almost guaranteed to lose you money. We’re here to help you make the right, or well, better, decisions.
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FAQ - things to remember
How high wagering requirement is still a good one?
It depends a lot of the exact offer, but generally we would say 20 to 30x might still be okay, sometimes up to 35x.
Are Cheers! Casinos casino reviews honest?
Yes - we try to tell you about everything, the good and the bad parts. Our goal is to be very honest and upfront about everything.