The casino bonus is often the most talked about feature of any online casino. In fact, many players \u2013 especially new inexperienced ones, will always look at the size of welcome bonus that an online casino is willing to offer, before they even look at the games on offer or other features. \r\n\r\nWhile it is true that the casino bonus is a key feature, it should always be assessed very carefully, especially with regards to built-in terms and conditions, and should be weighed up with all the other casino features as whole.\r\n\r\nFor those casino gamers that are interested in taking up casino bonus offers, this guide will help you to understand what sort of bonus offers you can expect to find at top online casinos, how different bonuses work, and what you should be looking for before taking up any bonus offer. So what are the main types of casino bonuses?\r\n\r\nThere are two main types of bonuses, deposit offers and the rarer no deposit bonuses. With the first one the casino gives you an extra bonus on top of your deposit amount that you can play with. When a casino offers a no deposit bonus, it is usually a certain number of free spins on a specific slot and you can claim it after simply registering to the casino.\r\n\r\nTypes of Casino Offers\r\n\r\nCasino bonus offers are a bit like a Swiss army knife, almost every online casino will feature a bunch of different ones, and each has a specific function. The type and size of each bonus offer is based on what that particular online casino wants to do in terms of marketing. It is important to understand that the bonus offer is a marketing tool, designed to either attract new players, or to keep existing ones from jumping ship.\r\nNot every online casino will feature the same set of bonus offers. Some casinos will place more emphasis on their welcome bonus offers, keeping their follow up bonuses relatively small or light, while others will feature a smaller welcome bonus but offset that with a range of ongoing offers and specials.\r\nWhile it is up to each individual online casino to decide the nature of their bonus offers, the most common types include the following:\r\n\r\nDeposit Bonuses\r\n\r\nThis is arguably the most common of all online casino bonus types, and virtually every casino will have one of these on offer. As the name of this bonus implies, you are required to make a cash deposit first in order to unlock the offer. Every casino will set a minimum deposit amount which will usually be either \u00a310 or \u00a320 or something in that region. For most players, this is an acceptable bargain because the deposit bonus is structured in such a way that their deposit will be either doubled, as in the 100% deposit match, or increased by a given percentage such as 25%, 50%, 70% or any percentage the casino prefers.\r\n\r\nWelcome Packages\r\n\r\nThese are specifically designed for new players signing up for the first time and are intended to both attract new players, and give them a good start at the casino. After all, no online casino wants you to fail at the start and move on to another casino. Welcome packages are so called because they usually consist of more than one item. For instance, the most common type of welcome bonus package will consist of a cash match on your deposit (like the deposit bonus previously discussed), as well as a portion of free spins. The free spins are added to sweeten the deal, making the overall welcome package seem a lot more valuable to new players. \r\n\r\nCasino Bonus Code\r\n\r\nYou\u2019ll find that more and more online casinos are beginning to adopt the casino bonus code system for their bonuses. There are a number of reasons for this. For one, it allows online casinos to come up with elaborate bonus offers or special bonus offers that are designed around a specific event, such as Christmas, New Year, the Olympics and so on. In order to differentiate these bonus offers from their other offers, they will apply a special code for example \u2013 NEWYEAR250. In this fabricated example, the bonus code implies that there is a special New Year\u2019s bonus worth \u00a3250. You can then use this specific bonus code to take advantage of the offer by following the instructions or T\u2019s & C\u2019s attached to the offer.\r\n\r\nThe other example of casino bonus codes comes in the form of off-site bonus offers. In other words, certain affiliates of an online casino or a group of online casinos may run the same bonus offer. The way that they distinguish this offer from what the casino is offers on site, is by adding a special bonus code to that particular offer. That way, when a new player (or existing one, depending on the offer) picks up the bonus code, they can use it right away on their account within a few simple clicks. \r\n\r\nCasino Bonuses with Free Spins\r\n\r\nWe mentioned welcome bonuses a little earlier, and how some online casinos will sweeten the deal by adding a portion of free spins on top of the cash deposit offer. Casino bonuses with free spins are becoming more and more popular, so you will see these begin to pop up at more and more online casinos in the UK. Now, not all online casino will be terribly generous with their free spins portion, some will only add a handful, say 10 or 20 free spins. However, other online casinos offer huge amounts of free spins with their cash bonuses, as much 100 or even up 250 free spins when you make your cash deposit with them. In most instances, the free spins portion will be reserved for certain slots only. A popular one is Starburst from NetEnt, but there are many others as well. Of course, not all online casinos do this, and others will allow you to spend your free spins on any slot you fancy. Just bear in mind that all free spins will come with their own wagering requirements that may be over and above the wagering requirements on the cash portion of the bonus offer. \r\n\r\nNo Deposit Free Spins Offers\r\n\r\nNo deposit free spins offers work in much the same way as no deposit bonus offers where you get a small amount of free cash without needing to actually first make a deposit with the casino. The way that no deposit free spins offers or no deposit cash offers work is simple. All that you are required to do is register your details with the casino and, once your account has been set up, your free spins will be allocated to your new account. Now, in most cases anything that you make from your free spins is yours to keep but there\u2019s a catch. Usually, the casino won\u2019t give you the money as withdrawable cash, but will either add the value to your account as a bonus, loyalty points or even more free spins. Another thing to keep in mind, just like any other bonus type, the no deposit free spins bonus is subject to wagering requirements and other related T\u2019s & C\u2019s.\r\n\r\nCharacteristics of Bonuses\r\n\r\nAll casino bonuses, regardless of type, will come with certain characteristics including wagering requirements. Also called playthrough requirements, this means that you have to wager (bet) your bonus amount (and sometimes your deposit amount) a certain number of times. The number of times will vary from one casino to another but usually ranges from 20x to 50x. Most casinos will also restrict which games you can play in order to meet your wagering requirements. Every casino will publish these restrictions in their terms and conditions page but you will find that most casinos will allow 100% contribution on slots. \r\n\r\nConclusion\r\n\r\nThe best casino bonus is the one that best suits your needs and offers you the best deal in terms of wagering requirements and other fine print. Ultimately it is up to you to decide which bonus offer is best. Some prefer taking the full welcome package, while others that may not enjoy slots look for bonuses that don\u2019t include free spins but rather up the cash amount.