Latest Casino Offers
The goal of any casino bonus is to allow you to try out an online casino, see if you like it and if you do you may carry on playing. With so many online casinos available however it helps to narrow the field down first into the casinos that are most likely to suit you, whether that be the sign up bonus type or amount, software available, rewards for existing customers or even if the casino is stand alone or has other features such as a sportsbook attached.
In this section we discuss only decent UK licensed casinos with information about the casino bonus (including full terms and wagering requirements), the brand, the software and games, platforms available (desktop, mobile, download), regular promotions, loyalty schemes and more. We know players have different requirements from a casino site, therefore on this page you will find a varied list of casino sites all with different things to offer.
Offers here are for New Customers, terms, conditions and eligibility criteria apply, 18+.
Top 10 Online Casino Bonuses
|Casino||Bonus (T&Cs Apply)||Details||Claim|
|Wager £10 Get £70||
T&Cs apply 18+
|New Customers only. Deposit and wager £10 within 7 days of opening new account. £70 bonus = 1x £10 Free Sports Bet, 2x £20 + 2x £10 Casino Bonuses for selected games with up to 60x wagering applicable. 3 day expiry. Credit and Debit cards only. Geographical Restrictions and T&Cs Apply, see below. Please Gamble Responsibly.|
|Up to £100 New Player Bonus||
T&Cs apply 18+
|New Casino customers only. Deposit min. £10. Applies to first deposit to Casino only. Max. bonus £100. 15x wagering (game weighting applies) on deposit and bonus to make the bonus balance withdrawable. Time limits and T&Cs apply.|
|£400 Bonus Offer + 100 Spins||
|New eligible UK players only. Select Casino offer on sign-up and deposit. 4 deposits of £10, £20, £50, £100 matched with a bonus cash offer of same value (14 day expiry). 35x real money cash wagering (within 30 days) on eligible games before bonus cash is credited. Spins credited upon deposits; under £50 =10 Spins, £50 or over =25 Spins; on Book of Dead only (3 day expiry, winnings paid in cash). Play Responsibly. 18+ begambleaware.org. Click for full T&C’s.|
|Bet £10 Get £50||
T&Cs apply 18+
|18+. New Customers Only. Deposit & Stake Min £10 on qualifying games. 40x wagering requirement (bonus only) on selected games. Bonus valid 30 days, certain deposit types excluded. Bets covering >70% of roulette table excluded. T&C's apply.|
|Deposit £10 Get £50||
T&Cs apply 18+
|18+. New Players only. Min £10 buy-in to get £50 bonus. 24 x (Bonus) wagering reqs apply. Bonus valid for 30 days (bonus and winnings removed). Certain deposit methods only. Bets covering 67% or more of Roulette table don't count to wagering. T&Cs Apply.|
|10 Spins & £100 Bonus||
|18+, first deposit only, T&Cs apply. Casino bonus: min. £10, max. £100. Bonus/free spins winnings wagering requirement: x35. Max. bonus bet: £5, can vary. Free sports bet: Minimum deposit and stake £20 (min odds 2.0). Credited after all qualifying bets settled.|
|£15-£888 & £100 Bonus||
T&Cs apply 18+
|£15-£888 freeplay no deposit needed. Claim within 48 hours of receiving email, bonus valid 2 weeks with maximum winnings equal to free play amount. Main deposit bonus 100% up to £100, valid for 90 days, maximum winnings £500. All bonuses 30x wagering requires, some games count less than 100%.|
|150% Bonus up to £150||
T&Cs apply 18+
|New accounts only. Min. £10 deposit, debit/credit card and PayPal only. 50x wagering, game contributions vary, max. stake applies, 7 day expiry. Full terms apply. 18+. BeGambleAware.org.|
|Stake £10 Get 70 Free Spins||
T&Cs apply 18+
|New customers only. 18+. Promo code CASINO70. £10 min transfer and stake on Slots at Betfred Casino within 7 days of registration. Minimum 5 game rounds. Game restrictions apply. Max 70 Free Spins. 20 Free Spins on Bonus Train Bandits credited instantly followed by 50 Free Spins on selected titles within 48 hours. Free Spins and must be accepted within 3 days. 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS validation may be required. Full T&Cs apply.|
|£40 Bonus + 20 Spins||
T&Cs apply 18+
|New customers only. Min deposit and spend £20 = £40 bonus. 35 x wagering reqs apply. 20 Free Spins on ‘Banks of Gold’, ‘Rainbow Chameleon’ & ‘Well Well Well’. Spin value £0.10. 10 x wagering on free spins. Bonus & Free Spins valid for 7 days. T&Cs apply.|
Best Online Casinos For UK Customers
If you are the kind of person that dislikes the new range of modern casino sites full of flashing promos, stupid narratives and ridiculous characters, then BetVictor casino is the home for you. Purely professional, BetVictor run one of the most stylish casino sites available online, yet they still provide over 700 games from leading software companies. Entirely focuses on the games and the customer experience, there are no distractions here, just good titles, honest bonuses and seamless gameplay.
There are more reasons to try them out other than their reputation for class. BetVictor will give you £70 split into four different bonuses if you join, opt in, deposit and bet £10 or more within one week on any games other than those in the 'excluded games' list or the table game Bacarrat.
This consists of £20 for slots (all except 'excluded games', 35x rollover), £10 live casino (all except Bacarrat) and £20 table game bonuses (all except Bacarrat and live casino, 60x rollover) and a £10 instant win bonus (any instant win games, 35x rollover). These bonuses are all valid for 3 days, if wagering is not met in this time the bonus balance will be void. You can only get the offer if you deposit using bank cards.
The final £10 bonus comes in the form of a £10 football #PriceItUP bet for the sportsbook. This is also valid 3 days and can be used as one bet, or a series of smaller bets, on football #PriceItUp markets, cash winnings but stake not returned, you cannot cash out these bets.
New Casino customers only. Deposit min. £10. Applies to first deposit to Casino only. Max. bonus £100. 15x wagering (game weighting applies) on deposit and bonus to make the bonus balance withdrawable. Time limits and T&Cs apply.
The worlds favourite online betting and gaming site, Bet365 are the safest bet for any online casino players. You may not get the biggest initial bonus from Bet365 but you will get looked after as an existing customer more than anywhere else, in our opinion.
Personally Bet365 are my go to casino site. They are honest, reliable and genuinely look after their customers with the fairest terms, good value offers and open language. They have a vast catalogue of good games along with every other product and feature a player could ever need, including a world leading sportsbook and a lauded bingo platform.
Bet365 host a large array of games from a suite of different software providers between the Casino, Games and Vegas sections. The main casino is powered by Playtech and is available as both a download and instant play.
Known for not trying to catch customers out Bet365 offer unlimited withdrawals, including on weekends, with 24/7 customer service and a good variety of banking options with highly competitive limits. The casino on mobile is also superb and for me the benchmark that other casinos set themselves by.
Playing casino with Grosvenor is like choosing to buy a Heinz baked beans in a shop over another brand. We buy Heinz because they know what their customers want, they have been around for decades and they make a quality product that never fails to let you down. Grosvensor equally are Britain's biggest casino brand, established in they currently operate over 55 land based casinos in the UK with nearly 2 million annual visitors and they also have one of the largest and best stocked online casinos available.
They are particularly known one of the best and longest running loyalty player points schemes around. This is a genuinely good program with very good rewards, and you can claim points online and in their real-world casinos, which not many brands can say. The online site features games form the top providers such as NetEnt, Microgaming, IGT, Novoamtic and tons more, for balance and choice they are top notch. The site is also incredibly sleek and supremely easy to use.
In keeping with the quality vibe Grosvenor provide one of the easiest to understand and use welcome offers around that is applicable to a whole range of punters, not just high rollers. Claim a £20 bonus the first time you deposit £20+. This bonus will be credited within 3 days of the deposit and comes with a low wagering requirement compare to other introductory offers of 5x the bonus in 30 days, i.e. wager £100 withing the time period and anything left of the bonus and winnings is yours to keep in cash. There are no particular game restrictions you just can't use even money bets, such as red / black on roulette to contribute to the rollover.
New UK players only. Select “Casino bonus offer” on sign-up and deposits. Deposits of £10, £20, £50, £100 matched with a bonus offer of same value (14-day expiry). Total of four (4) Deposit bonuses + bonus spins offers available. 35x real money cash wagering of bonus offer amount must be met (30 days from deposit) before bonus is credited in cash. Spins credited upon deposits: under £50 - 10 Spins; £50 or over - 25 Spins. Spins on Book of Dead only, 3-day expiry, winnings paid in cash. Eligibility requirements apply. Play Responsibly. Full T&C's Apply www.begambleaware.org
The absolute best mobile casino in existence, in fact the best around for adjusting perfectly to any screen size. It isn't just me saying that, they have won countless awards to prove it.
With a diverse mix of over 1000 games form top providers such as NetEnt and Microgaming, this is a favourite for slots players. However with over 60 table game available this is also a site that pretty much suits any player whatever their fancy. The live casino is especially revered with over 100 titles, of which around 50% are exclusive in house games.
To try out LeoVegas they will give you up to £400 in bonus offers and up to 100 spins over your first four deposits.
Looking for an all round gaming and betting colossus? Then there are few that could compete with Ladbrokes. From Britain's oldest bookmaker to a modern powerhouse, Ladbrokes have maintained themselves at the pinnacle for decades. They therefore must be doing something right to keep their millions of customers happy on a daily basis.
One way you can see the immense resources behind the Ladbrokes brand is through their sign up offer. They will match your first £10 deposit and stake with a a massive £50 bonus, that is a 500% match. This isn't a tiered offer, i.e. you don't need to make several deposits, this is available on your first deposit.
The bonus play through requirement is 40x the bonus amount within 30 days, making this very good for terms compared to other operators. As with most bonuses game contributions vary with most slots counting 100%, other games less. Following the first bonus second and third deposit offers are available, see Ladbrokes for full terms.
18+. New Customers Only. Deposit & Stake Min £10 on qualifying games. 40x wagering requirement (bonus only) on selected games. Bonus valid 30 days, certain deposit types excluded. Bets covering >70% of roulette table excluded. T&C's apply.
Beyond the bonus there are a hell of a lot of reasons to play at Ladbrokes. They have a vast games catalogue, incredibly high value points and VIP scheme along with a glut of other products and features. Read our full review for more details.
Coral have one of the biggest introductory offers around, giving you 500% in free bonus funds for just at £10 initial deposit. This makes Coral the perfect casino for all types of player due to the low initial outlay needed to try them out.
The incredibly generous bonus also comes with the best wagering terms and conditions that you can find anywhere. To withdraw the bonus and any bonus winnings you need just rollover the bonus amount 24x, this is significantly lower than most comparable sign up offers. Slots count 100%, other games can count less, see Coral for full terms.
You certainly will not struggle to spend your deposit and bonus as there are around 1000 games available here from up to a dozen software providers. Regular promotions are some of the best around and the comp points scheme is coveted and pays out in real cash. Coral also have advantages that other casinos can't provide, such as the ability to deposit and withdraw from your online account in their shops using cash or card.
Mr Green have got something for everyone with their sign up offer. You can advantage of a 100% first deposit bonus up to £100 with a further 200 extra spins. To get the 100% bonus you need to deposit a minimum £20 (giving £20 in bonus funds), if you deposit any amount the up to £100 you will get a matched bonus up to £100. The bonus has no time limit with a 35x wagering requirement.
100 extra spins (for a selected slot game) are awarded on your first £20+ deposit and wager, followed by 20 spins per day (for various games) for the next 5 days. Each lot of spins are valid for 7 days and also have a 35x rollover requirement on winnings. There is no maximum winnings cap on the spins.
Only video slots, keno and bingo count towards bonus wagering requirements although a game might be specifically excluded. Check the Mr Green full terms for details.
Royal Panda are very much a new breed of casino site. Dispensing with many of the clunky features that shackle older websites the independent online casino has created a product that is not only great to look at but fantastic to use. They are also exceptionally fair with their terms with an honest loyalty program and excellent rewards that doesn't just give back to high rollers.
To start with their welcome offer is exceptional value. Get 10 free spins for Starburst just for registering, no deposit needed, any winnings are added to your bonus balance. Then on your first funding of your account they will match the amount from £10 up to £100 as a bonus.
The bonus has a very low rollover of just 35x with all slots 100% and table games 10% (see full review for more game contributions). You also get a very long time in which to use your bonus of 90 days. Skrill/Neteller & PaySafe depositors cannot claim the offer
The games catalogue is quality, especially for slot lovers. Their real selling point however are their existing customer reload and loyalty promotions. Truly awesome and genuinely rewarding.
The Prospect Hall bonus is useful as it gives you a bonus on your first three deposits, starting at just £10. This means you could just claim on your first bonus, you could claim two bonuses, or all three, it is up to you. This allows you to take anywhere from £10 to £300 in introductory bonus funds, along with 100 free spins.
Bonus one is a 100% match up to £100 along with 50 free spins (for Starburst or similar). The bonus has a 50x deposit and bonus amount rollover (most slots 100%, table games 5%) within 30 days with a maximum winnings in cash limit of ten times the bonus amount. The free spins are valid 7 days and come with a 50x wagering requirement on any winnings.
Should you choose to take a second bonus get 50% up to £100 and then if you want the third bonus this is identical to the first, 100% up to £100 and another 50 spins free.
This introductory offer is fairly middle of the road but then this should not be the reason you choose Prospect Hall. This is one of the best designed casino sites in the business, established by previous games developers they have created a site that looks fantastic but is exceptionally functional. Also being game makers they even have their own exclusive games. Read more in our full review
888 is to casino gaming what McDonald's is to fast food: there are lots of others out there that do it similar but in most cases the original is the best. 888 have been in the world of online casino for decades, they even have their own software and games (Dragonfish) alongside a vast range of games from other providers and products that eclipse pretty much all competitors. If you are only looking for one site to play with then there are few that can provide as much depth than you can find at the 888 casino.
When you join 888 you will be offered the chance to spin the wheel. Where the wheel lands defines the size of the no deposit bonus you can claim. All new customers are guaranteed to win at least £15, but lucky players could get £20, £50, £88 or even £888. The bonus as a 30x rollover with a long lead time of 90 days. You can win a maximum equivalent to the no deposit bonus amount you receive.
If you then make a first deposit you can also get a 100% match up to £100 (£20 minimum). This also comes with a 30x rollover in 90 days, slots counting 100%, roulette 20%, blackjack 10% and craps 5%. There is a maximum winnings limit of £500 from the bonus.
Energy Casino have a fantastic casino for those looking for a change of scenery form the standard big sites, with a vibrancy and stylised theme that is refreshing .
As an initial incentive to join Energy will give you a 100% up to £150 bonus on your first deposit. The minimum is £10. This bonus has a longer validity time of 30 days and a play through requirement of 25x bonus + deposited amount (very competitive). It can be used on pretty much all slots at 100% weighting, table games, video poker and some specialist games do not count however (see Energy terms for a full list).
Why continue playing in this casino after the introductory bonus? This is a very modern casino site with an awesome loyalty points program and some honest cash back rewards that give actual value to normal players. The site looks great and is structured perfectly for navigation. The site provides games from a range of software including NetEnt, Microgaming and Novomatic and are quickly becoming a player favourite. Read more about Energy Casino in our full review.
There is no need to introduce William Hill, you would quite literally have to live on another planet to not have heard of them. In fact if you did live on another planet and visited Earth you would think William Hill offer some sort of service critical to humanity, the brand is that widely know.
What you won't get with this casino therefore is the personal touch, but the flip side to this is they have every product and feature that a casino player could want. This is a massive brand with 1000's of games, 10's of software providers and more resources than most casinos listed here put together. Regular promos, comp points and reloads are exceptional value and can add up over time for regualr players.
The welcome offer is hardly the best around, but then Hill's know what they have is expansive and players will join for many reasons other than a bonus. Saying that it is not worth turning your nose up to, get 100% bonus matched to your first deposit from £10 up to £300. This carries a 40x (deposit+bonus amount) rollover in 7 days (some games count different amounts to the wagering, see WH full terms for more). In addition to this you can also claim a 150% up to £200 bonus the first time you use the playtech powered download casino.
18+ www.begambleaware.org. New Customers Only. Minimum deposit £10. 35x wagering requirement apply. Bonus will expire 30 days after opt-in. Further T&C's Apply
Unibet have been around since the very earliest days of online betting and over the following decades have established themselves as not only one of the biggest gambling brands around, but also as one of the most honest and open.
The company are based in Malta but have roots in the UK and are one of the very best at understanding what British players want. They offer in the region of 600 games from a variety of providers, including Relax Gaming, with Unibet being one of the very first to back the much loved developer. They also have games from at least 8 other top end providers.
The Unibet welcome offer is also inclusive, requiring just a £10 deposit to claim a £40 bonus. The wagering on the bonus is 35x, a lot less than most others, with 30 days to do it in. Table games only count 10% but most slots and live games count 100% (with some exceptions, see their terms.).
You can't be an online casino gamer if you haven't tried 32Red. The brand are one of the oldest and most trusted online and have winning a staggering amount of awards from both players and within the industry, including casino of the decade (kind of says it all).
The Microgaming focused casino has all a typical player needs with a very nice balance. As you would expect from a decades old site it works seamlessly on any device you choose. There is an honesty about this brand that has persevered, where others have grown and become corporate, 32Red have maintained a player perspective. This is reflected in their welcome offer.
New customers can claim a very decent 150% bonus up to £150 (deposit £100 to claim full amount, £10 minimum deposit would give £15 free). This bonus has a very reasonable 50x rollover and 7 day time limit. Game weighting applies, offer valid with first deposits by debit card, credit card or PayPal only, max stake applies, see 32Red for a full copy of the offer terms.
ComeOn have been around since 2008 and have made a name for themselves as one of the best betting brands in the world for rewarding existing customer loyalty. What you don't get with this site is millions of small flash-in-the-pan offers, instead you get rewarded fairly based on how much you play. Points earned can then be exchanged in the ComeOn shop at a very fair rate. This applies to all products too, including sports betting.
The premier software provider is Microgaming, where the host most of the active catalogue, you can also find games from at least 5 other providers making a total of around 750 titles.
The whole ethos of the company is consistent success, they play the long game and never overstretch themselves. As a player this means the site is carefully thought out and evolves naturally, making for a great all around package.
The welcome offer provides both a matched deposit bonus, minimum £10 up to £25, this is valid 30 days with a 35x wagering requirement on the deposit and bonus before you can withdraw (most slots 100%, no table, card or roulette games count). No deposit is required for the 20 free spins (starburst only), these are valid 7 days from issue, winnings must be wagered 30x to withdraw, max withdrawable winnings from spins is £100. Skrill, Moneybookers, Neteller and Paysafe e-wallets are excluded from this offer.
The main welcome bonus from Betway is a 100% match on your first deposit up to £250 (deposit £250 to claim in full). For those that want to, but you don't have to, you can also claim 25% up to £250 on your second deposit (deposit £1000 to claim fully) and 50% up to £500 on your third deposit (deposit £2000 for max bonus). Each of these bonuses must be claimed within 7 days of joining, the minimum deposit for each is £20. It is up to you how many you claim.
Each bonus comes with a 50x play-through requirement although there is no time limit on this. As with most bonuses slots will contribute 100%, table games 8% and some other games nothing, see the Betway site for full details. There is no maximum winnings limit.
Betway's introductory offer is very flexible allowing you to claim anywhere from a £20 100% bonus right up to £1000. Powered mainly by Microgaming with games from NetEnt and others, this is a very good looking casino site. In fact my personal favourite. There is a class about this brand that makes you think you are a VIP. Betway also have a fantastic rewards points system known as Plus Points, this is by far one of the best of its type and lets you earn points on everything, even bets on their exceptional sportbook.
Befred are one of the oldest brands in the business, operating since 1967. They therefore understand very well how to run an online casino and ultimately what customers want from a top games site.
Primarily running playtech games, they have one of the longest running partnerships with the development company. They also offer titles from the likes of Ash Gaming, IGT, Wager Works and others, with around 250 games in the casino section. Betfred also have separate 'games', 'live casino' and 'vegas' sections with further 600 or so titles to play.
Of course being an industry giant this is a complete cross-product brand with one of the biggest and best sportbooks, for football and racing especially (they are the home of totepool), along with lotto and bingo (virtue fusion network).
When you join and stake £10 on casino games within 7 days of joining (across 5 or more game rounds on titles withing the slot tab) you can get 70 free spins credited within 48 hours. These are available to use on selected games and must be accepted within 3 days and then used within 7 days, any winnings are cash. Each free spin will cover all lines within a game and carry a value of 1p/line.
Even if you had never visited an online gaming site before you would recognise Gala from their suite of bingo halls dotted around the country. The brand was launched in 1991 and became one of the first ever online bingo sites in the early 2000's. Loved by players with some of the highest retention in the industry they launched their casino in 2008.
Gala is now part of the incredibly big and powerful Ladbrokes/Coral group (owned by GVC holdings) and this is evident when you look at the quality of the site, features, payment options and customer support. The casino is primarily Playtech powered and even still offer a download casino in addition to instant-play, if that is what you prefer.
One of their strongest points is their Gala Rewards, with 5 tiers designed to reward players across a wide range of stakes. Each level comes with incremental rewards, but unlike other schemes you don't feel as obliged to play more if you don't want to.
The welcome offer gives you a £40 bonus when you join, deposit and wager £20+ within 7 days. The £40 bonus is then valid 7 days with a 35x wagering requirement (game weighting varies). 20 free spins are awarded for select slot games, worth £0.20 each, valid 7 days. 10x wagering of winnings.
Without Betfair online betting and gaming wouldn't be what it is today. They set up as the first sports betting exchange in 2000 and have never looked back, becoming the biggest online-only betting site in the process.
These days the brand is part of a larger group with Paddy Power and the resources they have is truly incredible. The primary casino software is playtech, with whom they have had a partnership going back many years. They also have other games sections, such as Vegas, live roulette, Macau, bingo, poker, etc., which between them offer 1000's of titles. That is to say nothing of their unbeatable sportsbook and exchange; that in combination makes this a unique brand that few others could compete with.
When you join the casino there are various offers available to be claimed depending on the type of games or section you want to get a promotion for. Therefore rather than talk about one promotion here you would be better to visit the site below and choose your own welcome offer to suit you.
777 are part of the 888 group. Under the bonnet everything is the same, including the ability to play games from their own proprietary software, Dragonfish, and earn rewards in their fantastic comp point program. The similarities pretty much end there however. Whereas 888 is very high on graphics and colours 777 is very much the opposite. Here you are presented with a very serene 1950's Las Vegas style that is very welcoming for players. This is also a casino-only site, therefore not distracting sports, bingo, etc. Perfect for people who just want to play games.
On sign up you can claim 77 spins without needing to deposit. These are worth 25p each and are valid for a good amount of time, 14 days. Winnings need to be rolled over 30x in 90 days (see 777 for game contributions, slots 100%, roulette 20%, etc) and you can win a maximum of £20 from the spins and a withdrawable maximum of £500 from the rollover.
Make a first deposit and you can also claim a matched bonus from £20 up to £200. This comes with the same wagering terms as the spins, you can win up to a maximum of £500.
Casinos don't come much more famous than Genting. The massive Malaysian leisure and gambling company have been going since the 1960's and are now a multi-billion corporation with resorts, cruise ships and a vast range of investments. Despite the size of this company they specialise in hospitality and have decades of experience in delivering waht custoemrs want. Combined with the vast resources of this brand you really cannot go far wrong playing casino here.
Powered mainly by Playtech along with games from other providers, including their own exclusive live casino package, Genting have a balanced selection of around 300 titles. As an welcome incetnive the casino will give new customers a very generous 100% bonus on first deposits from £20 (giving a £20 bonus) up to £300 (giving a £300 bonus). The bonus needs to be claimed within 15 days and then wagered 50x in 30 days (some games count less than 100%, see Genting for full terms).
The bonus has a maximum individual bet of £5 per round.
HighRoller is a great casino site for those that want to get away form the norm. This brand is different to every other online casino, with a vibrancy and style that means you certainly couldn't get it confused with any other brand. The heavily loyalty based company have huge incentives for existing customers along with one of the best balanced game catalogues out there, >750 games from eight leading providers.
For new customers there is a fairly simple introductory bonus, although remember here it is more about the longer term rewards than big welcome offers. Simply make a first deposit of £20 or more and for this get a £1 wager free bet on Dream Catcher on your first day, all winnings from this are real cash. Also get 50 bonus spins. These are awarded at ten a day over 5 days. Each set are valid for 24 hours each for a specific slot game. Winnings from spins are given in bonus cash and will need to be rolled over 35x in 30 days to withdraw.
Beginners Guide To Online Casinos
If you’re normally more of a sports punter who fancies a few spins of the roulette wheel but not sure where to start, then we’ve got the basics to help get you started.
How are Casino Odds Different to Sports Odds?
Casinos work differently to sports in how the odds and house edge works. In a sportsbook odds are generated primarily by trained odds traders who price up a market in which the aim is to incorporate a house edge (commission the bookie takes on any given market) while also balancing the book (taking an equal proportion of bets on each outcome so the bookie always wins).
Casinos are a little easier to run from this perspective as games and slots have a fixed structure with in built margins. This means there is generally less uncertainty compared with sports and so many online casinos can afford to run a lower edge.
Some games like roulette have a very high payout rate, European roulette has an edge of just 2.7% (or 1 in 37) and this is solely down to the 37th number (zero) on the roulette board. As zero doesn’t have a colour (it’s not red or black), it’s not odd or even and doesn’t fit into any of the columns or thirds it means when the ball does land on zero (which it will on average 2.7% of the time) the casino wins (as most bets will go down except those directly placed on zero).
With some games having such low margins playing in an online casino on the face of it can seem better value for money compared to say a sportsbook. Be careful though whilst this is the case on a spin by spin or hand by hand basis there is also a tendency in casino to place more bets in a short period of time. This means even though the commission the house takes is lower, overall if you play enough hands/spins the casino chances of winning increases. As a general rule it is better to play more money over less hands/spins to take advantage of the low house edge but without giving the casino the opportunity to win any money back.
One of the biggest benefits of playing online casino are the huge sign up bonuses, regular offers and loyalty schemes associated with them that you simply can’t get at land based operations. Why? Well online casinos have so many less overheads: they don’t need to run a physical casino and this means less staff, facilities, buildings to maintain and run, physical money to handle and bank, maintenance, etc. This is why players in the online world get far higher rewards for playing.
This does not however mean that every bonus and loyalty scheme are equally valuable and some offers have stringent terms that makes withdrawing your money very difficult. Here we list some of the major things to look for in a casino bonus.
This doesn’t just mean how much money is the bonus worth it’s also about what percentage the bonus is of your initial deposit. A £500 matched bonus will give you more bonus funds than a deposit £20 get £100 bonus.
The first option however requires you to deposit £500 to get £500 (100%) whereas the second option requires just a £20 deposit to get £100 (500% bonus). Which is better? Well that depends what you want, more overall funds or a higher percentage.
In the old days you could get a bonus for nothing, you could spank it on one game and if you won simply take your cash. Those days have long gone and now all bonuses come with wagering requirements, or rollovers. This means you have to play through the value of your bonus several times over to convert the bonus from promo cash to withdrawable real cash.
Casinos don’t do this to stop you from winning, they do it so you use the bonus for the purposes that they intend you to use it for. A bonus is designed to give you some free funds so that you can test out a casinos games and features before deciding whether you want to carry on playing or not. Rollovers ensure that players must play multiple hands/spins before they can walk away. This is good for the casino and good for players wanting to find the right casino. It is only really bad for bonus hunters, people who want free money and then move on. Bonus hunters ruin the game for everyone as it’s their antics that have steadily caused the industry to tighten bonus terms.
Wagering requirements are usually around 30x the bonus for decent operators. Look carefully at the terms as some list the rollover as ‘deposit and bonus’. Here are two examples of a 100% matched £100 bonus with a 30x rollover, the first is a 30x bonus rollover, this means you need to play through £1500 of bonus funds (30 x 50) and subsequent winnings to withdraw. In the second example its 30x deposit and bonus, now you need to play through £3000 (60 x 50), double the amount.
A bonus will generally have a period of validly, you need to meet the bonus wagering requirements within this time to withdraw the bonus winnings. Failure to do so and you will lose all of your bonus winnings even if you’ve completed 99% if the task.
It’s also important to check what games are or are not applicable to the bonus rollover terms. Not all games will contribute 100% to the rollover requirements. Some games, especially traditional table games with a low house edge such as roulette and blackjack, will often contribute less (say 20%) or may not contribute at all. If you want to play roulette and nothing else it makes no sense to take a bonus for which roulette is not applicable. Game restrictions should be clearly displayed in the bonus terms when you sign up.
Many bonuses are also not eligible for progressive jackpots, this doesn’t mean you can play the game with bonus funds but it may mean if you did hit the big prize you might not get paid out.
Some operators restrict bonuses for customers who deposit by some payment methods. This is more common in sports than casino but still something to be aware.
Skrill and Neteller deposits for example as the most common to be ineligible for casino bonuses. This is due to fraudulent account sign ups in the past and the fact that you can get one of these accounts (with low limits) with little verification.
Payout & Withdrawal Limits
On occasion bonuses are restricted to a maximum payout or maximum withdrawal, say you take a £100 bonus you may not be allowed to win more than £5000 for example. Again something to think about, there are enough operators out there with no limits so in general it’s worth avoiding those that do, in case you do have a big win.
No Deposit Bonuses
No deposit bonuses are not as common but are fun to play with when you do find them, beware however they come with additional restrictions.
These bonuses give you free money in effect and by doing this the casino will want you to use it to try out the site as much as possible. If you like the site then you can generally go on to make deposit and take a regular bonus on top of this. Therefore, no deposit bonuses come with high wagering requirements and also tend to come with withdrawal limits. Then again they are giving you free funds so what do you expect.
Software and Games
The vast majority of online casinos don’t make their own games, instead they run various software programmes that come with their own game titles. You may be familiar with some of them such as Playtech, Microgaming, NetEnt, IGT, Play’n GO and others. There are around 20 major software providers for the various online games you will see, some specialise in just a few bespoke games whereas others host 100’s even 1000’s of titles.
Most online casinos now run games from a variety of software providers. They usually have a main software in the casino section with other software running in “games”, “slots”, “vegas” and other similar named off shoots of the main casino.
If you want to play specific casino slots or games it helps to know what software provides the title, you can find this out by simply searching for the game name and software in google. In our reviews above we list all of the major software run by each online casino if you want to check if they have your favourites.
If you’ve found an online casino running the software with the games you want to play why would you bother signing up with another casino? Well there are lots of reasons:
- Introductory Bonus – All casinos have attractive sign up offers, it makes sense to take a few of these to get the most value from your play. Make sure the bonus applies to the games you want to play first though.
- Regular Offers – Many operators will run promotions such as play £20 on a specific game, get £10 free, therefore it makes huge sense to play with a casino like this.
- Loyalty – The best online casinos award loyalty points that can be exchanged for things like reload bonuses, free spins and even real cash. You may as well get rewarded for playing your favourite games
- Coverage – Just because an online casino runs a specific software doesn’t mean they have to host all the games on that network.
- Choice – The more software’s and games on offer the more choice you have as a player, it often makes sense to play with operators with multiple software packages running.
- Platform – Do they have the games and software available on mobile, desktop or by download? See the next section for more on this.
Platforms – Instant Play, Mobile and Download
Before playing online casino think about how you would like to play games most of the time. The most common option is instant play, this is where you play the game live within your browser, usually as a pop out window. These systems are usually powered by Flash or Html5 and offer the quickest way to play casino. On the other hand running these resource heavy plugins can cause your machine to slow and even crash on occasion and can be more unpredictable on slower or intermittent internet connections.
Many people therefore prefer to download an application from the casino and play through the bespoke program. This has the advantage in that the software is running directly on your machine not through browser plugins, this makes it less liable to crashing and errors. To run a download application, you do of course still need an active internet connection (otherwise how does the casino know when to credit or debit your account) but as you need to download less data as you are playing you can generally get away with slower and patchier internet connections this way. If downloading beware that you will be restricted usually to the games from one software type (e.g Playtech) and not all games that are available through instant play are available in the download application. This is common with progressive jackpot and multiplayer games.
The third option is the mobile application. Playing casino on mobile and tablet has exploded in popularity since the arrival of the smart phone and in the near future will surely take over as the primary way to play online casino. Most casinos now have mobile apps; in fact some are now mobile only or mobile specialists such as LeoVegas.
A mobile app is a kind a kind of quasi version of instant play and download, in that you need to download the app but they games within the app are instant play. Mobile games tend to be more fun, especially those designed primarily for mobile, in exactly the same way that it is often more fun to play games on your mobile or tablet than on your desktop computer.
If you want to play a specific game or software type on mobile then check not only that the online casino you want to gamble with has a mobile app but also that the game is mobile compatible first.
Live casino is a little bit different to normal virtual online casino. Here there is a real dealer and real game being played but instead of sitting at the table directly the live action is streamed to you.
Many people prefer live casinos as they feel more real, you can even chat to the dealer as you would in a land based casino. Place your bets on the virtual game board within the time limit (there is a time limit because the game is real so will not wait for you to be ready) and watch as the dealer deals a hand, spins the wheel or whatever.
Live casino has a couple of drawbacks. Firstly, it is restricted to games that have a dealer (blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat and poker) and you can’t play slots or virtual games in a live casino. Secondly the sign up incentives, regular promotions and loyalty tend to be less compared to a virtual online casino.
Having live casino as an option is a great addition however, I like to play table games in the live casino and switch back to the main casino for slots, jackpots and special table games. Many of the big players in the industry run a live casino in parallel with other casino products these days and you can often get a small bonus for playing for the first time.
Players like to play progressive jackpots because of the colossal prizes that can be won. Most progressive jackpot games have both an individual and multi-player element where smaller prizes are won on an individual basis within the game whilst at the same time a proportion of your stake goes into a pool that grows over time until one lucky winner takes the whole lot. By linking multiple small games (or machines) together the jackpot grows far quicker than it would in an isolated game.
If you want an easy way to understand what a progressive jackpot is think of a lottery, such as the National Lottery or Euro Millions. Here people buy tickets, smaller prizes are paid out at fixed rates (£25 for 3 numbers for example) irrespective of the number of tickets in the game. The top prizes however are not fixed and are defined by the number of tickets bought, the more tickets in the system means the jackpot prize is higher, if no one wins the prize rolls over and the jackpot becomes progressively bigger each week.
A progressive jackpot casino game is no different in principle. Each player can win small fixed prizes for various reel combination but the main jackpot prize is defined by the size of the pool. Each time you play a game a small amount of your bet goes into the progressive pool. The winner, if they are really lucky, will win the jackpot when it is very high, these jackpots can get into the multiple millions. Each time the jackpot is won the pool resets (although not to zero as no one would play, the operator usually starts the pool off with an injection cash). As jackpots get higher and higher the activity in that games increases as people are more tempted by the prize. Many players switch between progressive jackpot games to the ones that have the highest prizes at the time, this way when they do win they really win big.
It is always worth reading the terms carefully for a progressive jackpot game as just because you play doesn’t necessarily mean you qualify. Games tend to have a minimum stake to be eligible for concurrent entry to the progressive jackpot. If you play under this limit and hit the jackpot you would be paid out the fixed prize from the individual game rather than the big pooled prize.
Jackpots fall under two main categories. The most common is the contribution, where a proportion of your stake goes into the jackpot pool. Less common are pooled bets where all the bets go into one pool until someone wins the lot. The contribution games tend to take longer to reach the peak prize but pay out more little prizes along the way. Pooled jackpots grow quicker and tend to pay out faster but you get less in the way of little wins.
Video poker is a very popular progressive jackpot game. You get paid out at normal fixed odds for all the typical hands (pairs, three of a kind, full house, flush, etc) but if you hit a royal flush (odds of around 32000/1) then you will not only get the fixed odds payout but you also win the progressive jackpot which could be millions.
Casinos can afford to run these games by re-injecting a proportion of the house edge of the game back into the jackpot pool. Let’s say for example that a casino has a house edge of 5% on a game, they may decide to take 4% as profit and put 1% into the progressive pool.
Jackpots regularly get into the tens of millions for the biggest progressive games and you can read tons of stories online of big jackpot wins for normal players. Mega Moolah, for example, is a progressive jackpot game from Microgaming (you need to play with a casino with microgaming software to play) it has an average payout of around £4,500,000 with a highest win in the region of £13,000,000.
Remember the jackpots are software driven and so if you are playing a microgaming jackpot game then you are playing with players from multiple different online casinos that run microgaming.
What are Random Number Generators and How Do They work?
Casinos are effectively entirely automated, apart from the dealer, even when playing in a real casino or with a live dealer through an online live casino the games are still fixed in structure and so the odds of you winning online or in person compared to a virtual game should be identical. The dealer, as a human being prone to error, does have some influence however so real world games are in theory more variable than virtual games.
Outcomes for virtual games in online casinos, and in virtual games available in land based casinos, are dictated by Random Number Generators (RNG’s). RNG’s are not random by the definition of the word but are random in terms that the outcome cannot be predicted without insider knowledge.
Random numbers are generated based on mathematical algorithms (which are kept secret by the casinos and game providers). These algorithms use a series of ‘seed numbers’ (again kept a secret) and perform various mathematical functions on these numbers for each game/spin/hand by multiplication, division, addition and subtraction. Each time a new number is generated the RNG wipes the previous results and starts again. Without knowing the algorithm and seed numbers it is impossible to predict any outcome.
From a player’s perspective all the numbers generated in an online casino are ‘random’ in that no one can predict the outcome without hacking the system. They are not random by definition because ultimately the results are based on mathematical operations (which in themselves are not random) and algorithms (of which there is a theoretical limit).
Casinos and game operators RNG systems are tested by independent bodies to ensure RNG’s work correctly producing results with the correct probabilities. For example, an RNG used in a virtual roulette game is tested to ensure that the numbers are output in such a way that on average the house edge remains at 2.7%.
Taking a more complex example such as a four-reel slot with 15 different symbols. Here each symbol in the game is assigned a score (relative to the value of that symbol), the RNG then comes up with a value for each of the 15 symbols on each reel. The RNG then “randomly” outputs a symbol on each reel based on its algorithm, depending on the symbol result of all four reels the player is then paid out according to a chart. Over a very high number of spins the RNG should always return results that exactly match the probability of this occurring on a physical slot machine with the same parameters.
Can You Cheat a Random Number Generator?
Can you cheat a RNG? Well from a players perspective not really, not unless you’ve got serious insider knowledge. You would need to know not just the algorithm (which may change regularly) but also the seed numbers (which again may change regularly) and you would probably need a degree in computing to work it all out. It’s also illegal so there’s a non-starter right there.
The only guy I know of who managed anything close was Las Vegas resident Ronald Harris who actually worked as a computer programmer for the Nevada Gaming Board. His day job was to actually find errors and flaws in the software used to run virtual casino games. The lure of easy cash obviously proved too great as he decided to use this knowledge to cheat the system by taking the source code allowing him to access and modify some slot machines fooling them into paying out large prizes. He got away with this for years but then he got even more greedy. He moved onto cheating the game Keno and was discovered at Bally’s casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Harris got away with this because of insider knowledge but what he did was illegal. It was also in the mid 1990’s when the technology was in its infancy, doing something similar these days would be almost impossible even for someone of his position. The way the software and security works now not even the people who create these things can hack the results (well so they say).
Cheating can occur the other way around where the casino rigs the RNG produce unfavourable results. There are a couple of examples of online casino software providers trying this in the early days when the market was far less regulated. A high profile case back in 2008 suggested a virtual game of craps run by BLR Technologies and hosted by the casino Wizard Of Odds, was rigged to produce a win rate on pass/don’t pass bets of around 25% instead of the expected 49%. The owner of the online casino did his own testing and confirmed the result. It turned out the game had been rigged.
The chances of this happening in a licenced online casino, especially in the UK, are astonishingly small. Not only are all games tested by 3rd party bodies to ensure their accuracy, the casinos and software operators themselves are required to have a gambling licence. This licence ensures, by law, that all games and slots are conducted in an open, honest and fair environment with clear terms and regular scrutiny. In many ways the world on online casino is far less open to fixing than real world casinos.
Of course if you decided to gamble with an unlicensed casino (all of our listed casinos are fully licenced) then it is possible that all sorts of unscrupulous activities could be occurring under the bonnet. Be safe and only play with licenced operators.
Withdrawals, Pending Payments and Flushing
Unlike with sports payout limits don’t really apply in online casino as such. Payout limits are really set by the maximum payout form the game you are playing, if this is a progressive jackpot then it could be in the millions of pounds. Instead you are more likely to see withdrawal limits, these may be set at say £50,000 a month with some smaller operators. This is something to consider, there is no point in winning a £1,000,000 if it takes you over three years to withdraw the funds.
Some casino sites also have automatic pending periods for withdrawals. This is separate to the usually administrative processing time and is a system by which the casino puts your withdrawal on hold for a period of time (3 days, 4 days, even a week). They do this in the hope that you will change your mind, reverse the withdrawal and carry on playing. This is quite sneaky and you should look at the T&C’s to see if casinos have pending periods.
If a casino site does have a pending period, then they may also have a feature known as manual flushing. This allows you to bypass the pending period and flush the funds straight out back into your account.
Only Play With Licenced Online Casinos
This may be last in the list but in many ways it is by far the most important consideration of all. To operate in the United Kingdom all online casinos, no matter where they are based in the real world, are required to possess a UK Gambling Commission Licence. To obtain a licence an operator must meet strict legislation that includes things like having open terms and conditions, not using misleading language, preventing crime and fraud, protecting minors and vulnerable people and promoting responsible gambling. All of this is in place to protect you as a player and with so many great licenced casinos you would be stupid to go gamble with an unlicensed casino.
The Gambling Commission was set up as an independent body to enforce the Gambling Act 2005 and 2014. This means they can revoke licences and take legal action against any unscrupulous operators. It also forces casinos advertise responsibly and to handle complaints appropriately by using intermediaries such as IBAS. The gambling commission are not there however to check every website that accepts UK customers and there are plenty that do so illegally. If you decide to gamble with an unlicensed casino then you are in effect throwing out all of your legal protections. If that operator decides to not pay you out, cheat the games or even worse commit fraud using you payment details then there is little that UK law can do. This is especially true as most unlicenced casinos are based in off shore havens where they cannot be touched.
Gambling licence information should be displayed at the bottom of the casino site home page, if it is not then this should be a giant warning sign not to play with them. If you are unsure if an operator is licenced then visit the commission website and search for the website name, if it doesn’t appear again don’t play. Many sites can appear under a single licence, you may not even recognise the name of the licenced body but so long as the site you are playing with appears under that licence then you are covered.