Different Types of Bonus Explained for Poker Rooms, Sportsbooks & Casinos

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different kind of bonusThere are many different ways to reap rewards from your sportsbook, poker room and casino site. Sometimes there are so many that opting into the right bonus can be confusing, so we’ve put together a list of all the most common types of bonus and what they entail.

Here a summary of this article. Follow the links to find the best bonuses out there for some of the types of bonus:

Common Poker Bonuses

No Deposit Bonus

Free £s with no deposit needed to receive it.  Winnings usually cannot be withdrawn without a deposit being made. These offers are very rare but can be found.

Deposit Bonus

The amount deposited is matched or a % of it is added.  The player then needs to play poker to earn this bonus. We've found a poker room that has something for everyone- check out Betminded's favourite poker deposit bonus here.

Reload Bonus

Existing players are rewarded a % of their deposit. The player then needs to play poker to earn this bonus.

Reward / Loyalty / VIP Schemes

Rewards are given to players based on how much poker they play at the poker room.  These chips often come under the guise of ‘Player Points’ or another site specific term. Rewards can be anything from extra deposit bonuses to seats at online or live tournaments.


Rake is a small percentage of the pot taken by the site/casino as a way to make money.  Rakeback is a percentage of that which is paid back to players once a month, once a week or sometimes on demand.

Refer A Friend Bonus

Players can recommend the poker room to their friends, and if these friends sign up and play the player will receive a reward.

Common Sportsbook Bonuses

Free Bets

Your first bet at the sportsbook is matched up to a maximum amount with a free bet, usually between £10 and £50. Sometimes there are complex rules attached to this like certain odds and markets allowed for your first bet. If these aren’t followed the free bet is not awarded.
When collecting the winnings the free bet stake is not included. On some sites, the first deposit must match or be greater than the free bet amount. On a few sites you’ll find a promotion called a “Risk-Free Bet”: this means that if your bet loses you receive a refund of the stake.

Reload Bonus

Loyal customers are rewarded a % of their deposit in bonus money for betting with when they place enough bets each month/week at the site.

Special Deals

Some sites give you the chance to have your stake refunded, the Paddy Power Promo Code for instance allow you to do it rather than lose a bet. The site presents certain potential situations for matches, in the event of which any losing bets are refunded, for example if at half time the score is the same as the score you backed as the result of the game.

Common Casino Bonuses

Welcome / Sign up / First Deposit Bonus

In the case of Sky promo codes a % of it is added to the player’s account. The cash balance and bonus balance are almost always kept separate.
Some sites limit the use of these bonuses to certain games (slots only, blackjack only &c). Some sites have withdrawal conditions, such as playing the bonus amount a certain number of times (playthrough), and often each game is allocated a contribution percentage to this playthrough.
For example, slot games contribute 100% while Blackjack contributes 50%. These percentages differ for each site. There may be a maximum stake with which to bet until the playthrough requirement has been met.
The bonus balance may only be used if there is no cash balance remaining. Players may not be able to withdraw any cash balance until the bonus balance has been met.

No Deposit Bonus

These bonuses are rare among casino sites. Betting requirements are more complicated and stricter than with deposit bonuses.

Reward / Loyalty / VIP Schemes

Free chips are allocated to players based on the number of wagers they place or their cumulative stake.  These chips often come under the guise of ‘Loyalty Points’ or another site specific term.

Banking Bonus

Rewarded to those who use alternative payments to credit or debit card, as online casinos sometimes face difficulties in processing these. Most often the methods that qualify for a banking bonus are services like Moneybookers or Neteller.
Most often the reward is an additional deposit bonus of between 10% and 50%, and there are weekly or monthly caps to the amount rewarded.  Often there are similar complex rules to the deposit bonuses.

High Roller Bonus

Reward for players committing a higher amount to their first deposit.  They are usually an additional bonus to the deposit bonus of between 10% and 50% of the deposited amount. Please visit this page for a detailed list of current promotions, codes and bonus.

Reload / Monthly / Weekly Bonus

Existing players are rewarded with bonus chips when they continue to play at the casino.  Some sites have withdrawal conditions; such as playing the bonus amount a certain number of times (playthrough).
Some sites discount certain games from contributing to the playthrough.

Free Time Bonus

Casino credit is awarded to the player for a certain amount of time.  At expiry any amount over what was originally awarded is considered winnings.  The player must then make a deposit and meet certain betting requirements in order to collect these winnings.

Starting Balance Bonus

Similar to the Free Time Bonus with no time limit given.

Refer a Friend

A set amount of bonus rewarded to those who get a friend to sign up, deposit and play.  Usually there is a minimum deposit and play requirement for the friend.

Feature Promotions

These vary greatly from site to site but are always for a set time period detailed in the T & Cs.  The same promotions tend to appear at regular intervals.

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