Switch to United States?

It looks like you are currently located in United States but browsing the GB site.

Switch to United States »
Ad Disclosure

First deposit casino bonus UK

By Lauri Ronkainen. Updated:

Bojoko helps you choose first deposit UK casino bonus deals. The first deposit bonuses for new players vary greatly from one casino to the next. Whereas some sites only let you grab a few free spins, others match your first deposit in bonus money up to hundreds of pounds.

On this page, you'll find the best first deposit casino bonuses listed on Bojoko and learn what makes one bonus better than the other.

List of the best first deposit bonuses

When it's your money on the table, you want to get the most bang for your buck. However, going through online casinos one by one to find the top deals is a pain.

Bojoko solves this problem for you. We've built a selection tool that helps you find exactly the kind of deposit bonus you're looking for. Use the quick filters to find the:

  • Highest bonus percentages
  • Biggest bonus sums
  • Lowest wagering requirements

First deposit bonuses UK

Bojoko helps you find first deposit casino bonuses

We are here to help you understand what first deposit bonuses are, how to use them and where to get them. Our goal is to teach you to become a better player, who can easily navigate the world of online casinos.

On Bojoko, casino operators list detailed info about their bonuses. You can find out what you are getting, what are the terms and how you can use the bonus. Simply put, here's all the information you need about online casino deposit bonuses.

In addition, you can read reviews made by genuine users and experienced casino testers. As a registered member, you too can rate and review casinos. You can read more about the testing process and the criteria on how they are rated on our casino reviews page.

Not a member yet? Join Bojoko for free!

 

Find first deposit bonuses

First deposit casino bonus explained

Casino welcome bonuses

A first deposit bonus is a bonus you get when you make your first deposit at a casino. It can be either bonus money, free spins, or a combination of both.

A good first deposit bonus gives you a real incentive to play at a certain casino. If you don't win anything with the money you've deposited, you can try again with the bonus funds.

How do deposit match bonuses work?

After you sign up, most online casinos offer to match your first deposit as bonus funds. The actual bonus sum is based on:

At the UK-licensed online casinos, your bonus balance is separate from your real money funds (deposit and winnings).

If you win while playing with real money, you can forfeit your bonus and withdraw your winnings.

However, if your real money runs out, the bonus acts as a safety net.

EXAMPLE: You take a 200% welcome bonus up to £100:

  1. You deposit £50. They go to your real money balance
  2. You get £100 in bonus funds (£50 x 200%). They go to your bonus balance
  3. You can withdraw your remaining deposit and real money winnings at any time. However, this cancels the bonus
  4. If you lose your deposit, you start to play with bonus money
  5. Complete the wagering requirements of the bonus
  6. The remaining bonus balance becomes real money and you can withdraw it

Read more about the wagering requirements and other terms in the Deposit bonus terms and conditions section.

How to find the best deposit bonus casinos

Find a great deposit bonus casino from our list

1. Find a great deposit bonus casino from our list

We have gathered a long list of casinos with great deposit bonuses here on Bojoko. You can use ready-made filters to find the best casino for you, or even add your own to fine-tune it.

Read the reviews from our experts and other users

2. Read the reviews from our experts and other users

After choosing the best deposit bonus casino for you, you can read what our experts and other users have said about it. Their first-hand experience can help you see what it's like to play there.

Go to the casino

3. Go to the casino

Every review page has a green ‘PLAY HERE' button that will take you straight to the casino. If we have a special deposit bonus available, that button is the way to get it.

Register an account and claim your bonus

4. Register an account and claim your bonus

When you get to the casino, you need to register an account. Just fill out the required information and verify your email if asked. Then you can do your first deposit and claim the bonus that comes with it.

Find deposit bonuses

What affects your deposit match bonus?

Deposit bonus offers vary a lot from one casino to the next. They might have the same basic idea, but there are some key differences. Knowing what to look for and what is best for you is important. A big flashy number might look enticing, but actually be completely pointless.

The three big questions about bonuses are:

Knowing how to answer these questions will make choosing a bonus child's play. Below, you can find what they actually mean.

Welcome packages

When you sign up to a casino and make your first deposit, you have the option to accept a bonus. Some casinos have only one new player bonus; others let you choose between different options. Many also offer a no deposit bonus upon sign-up.

The best value online casino bonuses can usually be found in the new player bonus package. These welcome bonuses are usually broken down into a few subsequent deposits. They all feature different bonus sums and percentages. Some also come with free spins.

On Bojoko, the casino listings feature a breakdown of the welcome bonus packages. You can easily check out what the casino has in store for you after your initial deposit.

EXAMPLE: A typical new player welcome bonus package may include:

  • Sign-up: 10 free spins
  • 1st deposit: 100% up to £100 + 40 spins
  • 2nd deposit: 50% up to £300
  • 3rd deposit: 25% up to £300 + 50 spins
  • 4th deposit: 25% up to £300

This may sound appealing, but you need to pay attention to the bonus percentages. If you're taking full advantage of any casino's welcome package, you're going to deposit much more than you're getting back in bonuses.

Although the example package amounts to a total of £1,000 + 100 free spins, you'd have to deposit £3,100 to get the maximum bonus. How? It all boils down to bonus percentages, which we cover below.

Bonus sums

Casino bonuses feature the maximum bonus sum. On Bojoko, we list bonuses in the format bonus percentage/bonus sum, e.g. 100%/£100. The casino will match your deposit with bonus money up to this sum.

Beyond that sum, you won't get any extra benefit from making a bigger single deposit. If your deposit sum goes over the maximum bonus limit, it may be better to split the deposit. You may get some extra goodies for the portion that would have otherwise been left unmatched.

You'll see the maximum bonus sum in the casino listings and our selection tool.

bonus percentages

The bonus percentage determines how much bonus money you get compared to your deposit. The bigger the bonus percentage, the less money you have to deposit to get the same amount of bonus.

Most online casinos offer 100% deposit match bonuses. However, the bonus percentage can go up to several hundreds.

Here's how different bonus percentages work in practice, with the example deposit of £10:

  • 100%: Deposit £10, get £10 in bonus. Play with £20 in total
  • 200%: Deposit £10, get £20 in bonus. Play with £30 in total
  • 300%: Deposit £10, get £30 in bonus. Play with £40 in total
  • 400%: Deposit £10, get £40 in bonus. Play with £50 in total
  • 500%: Deposit £10, get £50 in bonus. Play with £60 in total

Many sites use the total balance in their ads. For example, you may see "deposit £20, play with £60". This may sound more appealing to the player. At the same, it blurs the line between your real money balance and the bonus funds.

As we explained in the section above, the bonus funds are separate from your real money balance. You get to use the bonus funds only after your real money balance is gone. You're not playing with £60 at once; you first play with £20 of real money and then with £40 of bonus. With real money, you can do as you please. However, the bonus funds may be subject to wagering requirements.

We have created quick filters for different bonus percentages. Return to our bonus list and discover welcome bonuses of 200% or more.

reload bonuses

With the first deposit bonuses, the bonus percentages are usually measured in hundreds. After that, most casinos get a little stingy. You've created an account, verified your info and registered a deposit method… you're not going anywhere, right?

Subsequent bonuses are known as "reload bonuses" in the casino lingo. The bonus percentages for later deposits are usually in the 25% to 50% region. With a 25% deposit, the casino only gives you £1 for every £4 deposited.

To be honest, this isn't a great deal, especially compared to the massive first deposit bonuses. However, if you change casinos more often than socks, sooner or later you'll run out of great places to play.

With that in mind, consider what you want to get out of bonuses. Bonuses are supposed to be an extra incentive to try out a casino and to reward active players. They're supposed to be a spice, not the main ingredient of the casino experience. If you expect to gain an advantage over the casino by using bonuses, you're in for a nasty surprise.

High roller bonuses

A high roller is a person who likes to deposit big and play with huge bets. Standard casino bonuses may seem too low for them. Luckily, some sites feature bigger casino bonuses for them.

We have listed the highest welcome bonuses available for UK players. You can see them by clicking the Highroller bonuses quick filter on our casino bonus list. It shows only casino bonuses worth at least £400.

Top first deposit bonuses, picked by casino testers

Below, you'll find first deposit bonuses recommended by our casino testers:

Deposit bonus terms and conditions

Most bonuses come with strings attached, and deposit bonuses are no exception. Casino reviews on Bojoko always list the Significant terms for each bonus. When you select deposit bonuses, pay attention to:

These are the most important terms that you need to be aware of. There are a lot of lesser restrictions that are good to know, but are less likely to matter. We have listed and explained all of the important bonus terms and conditions on our bonus page.

Why do casinos offer deposit bonuses?

Offering players extra money and other goodies may seem counterintuitive due to the UK government taxing bonuses. Ultimately, handing them out is quite expensive.

However, the competition in the online casino industry is fierce. Deposit bonuses have become the norm and players expect to get some extra incentive to play at casinos. For many players, the deposit bonus is what makes or breaks the deal.

From the casinos' point of view, deposit bonuses achieve three things:

  1. A generous bonus helps them stand out from the competition
  2. The player needs to make a deposit to claim the bonus
  3. A one-time depositor may become a loyal customer, leading to later deposits

Casinos need to tread a fine line. On one hand, offering massive bonuses risks being over-indulgent and easy to exploit. On the other, handing out tiny perks makes the casino look stingy.

In most casinos, you can get the biggest bonuses with the highest match percentages upon your first deposit. The idea is to get you through the door. After that, it's the CRM (customer relationship management) team's job to make you a loyal customer. They do this by offering further bonuses tailored to your taste.

On our Best bonuses page, you can read Lindar Media's Acquisition Operations Manager James Booth's interview on bonuses.

How to measure the value of a deposit bonus?

When choosing bonuses, there are two main goals:

  1. Get the biggest bonus with the smallest deposit
  2. Complete the wagering and withdraw a big portion of the bonus

Often, these are mutually exclusive. As the bonus sum and the bonus percentage grow, so do the wagering requirements. These in turn hurt your chances of withdrawing.

This is what you need to know to calculate the expected value of a bonus:

Here's how you calculate what you will have left after completing the wagering. It's a bit tricky, so let's break it down into five steps:

  1. Bonus sum = Your deposit x the bonus percentage
  2. Total sum to be wagered = Your bonus sum x wagering requirements
  3. Expected loss = Total sum to be wagered x (1 - RTP)
  4. Expected value = Expected reward - expected loss
  5. "Return on investment" = Expected value ÷ original deposit

EXAMPLE: You get a 100% bonus up to £100. The wagering requirement is 30x (B) and the highest RTP allowed is 97%:

  1. Bonus sum = 100% x £100 = £100
  2. Total sum to be wagered = £100 x 30 = £3,000
  3. Expected loss = £3,000 x (1 - 0.97) = £90
  4. Expected value = £100 - £90 = £10
  5. "Return on investment" = £10 ÷ £100 = 0.1 = 10%

Why is the "return on investment" in quotes? You can calculate how much value you get compared to the money you put down. However, you shouldn't consider money spent on gambling an investment. Besides, the bonus money only becomes relevant after you've lost your original deposit. A consolation prize would be a more accurate term.

Remember, these calculations only give you averages. The RTP (return to player) of a casino game is based on the results of thousands of rounds. Your results within a single gaming session will vary.

Are deposit bonuses worth taking?

That depends on what you're after.

If you just want to prolong your play, every bonus benefits you, and some more than others. Since you're only focusing on the entertainment value, you could just go for the biggest pile of bonus money, the highest bonus percentage and a huge heap of free spins. Are you going to withdraw any winnings? Not likely. Are you going to have a good time trying? Sure!

Bonuses aren't exactly designed to give players a monetary advantage over the casinos. If you want to improve your chances of withdrawing some winnings, you have to choose your bonuses carefully. For that, your best options are no wagering and low wagering bonuses. The bonus sums may not be huge, though.

Bonuses that give you a fair chance to win are also easy to abuse. From the casinos' point of view, this has become a multi-million-pound problem in the UK alone. Casinos try to protect themselves by creating T&Cs that limit your chances of winning from bonuses.

Fortunately, the UK Gambling Commission has banned many of the unfair bonus practices. Unlike in the old days, you can always withdraw your remaining real money balance, including winnings.

This is called a "Forfeitable bonus". We explain it in more detail in the FAQ section below.

First deposit bonus and responsible gaming

Gambling is risky and deposit bonuses are a way to make those risks sound smaller. When a player is given more money to play with, they actually end up often taking bigger risks and play more loosely.

Make no mistake, casinos don't offer deposit bonuses for new players out of the goodness of their heart. They are simply there to entice you to come and play.

As a player, you should learn the rules and mechanics of bonuses, so you can play responsibly. Bonuses can be a fun addition, but you should always stay in control. In the end, gambling is entertainment and not a solution to any kind of financial problem.

Deposit bonus FAQ

Many casinos feature deposit bonuses that sound appealing. To make sure the bonus is right for you, check out the following details:

  • Maximum bonus sum
  • Bonus percentage
  • Minimum qualifying deposit
  • Wagering requirements

Use our bonus selection tool to filter and sort casinos based on these factors. In our casino reviews, you'll also see the Significant terms and conditions. Read them carefully to avoid nasty surprises, such as bonus caps.

Casinos exclude some banking methods from bonuses. Casinos usually ask you to make your first top-up with one of the following:

  • Debit card (Visa & Mastercard)
  • Wire transfer
  • PayPal

Although debit cards and wire transfers are practically always available, you may need to hunt for PayPal. Here we have gathered All casinos accepting PayPal.

You can read more about the Excluded banking methods in the T&C section.

In the old days, UK casinos could get away with great-sounding bonuses that weren't good for the player.

The old bonus rules bundled your real money balance and bonus money together. The wagering requirements were usually impossible to meet. If you took a non-forfeitable bonus, playing and winning with real money became irrelevant.

Starting 31st October 2018, all UK casino bonuses have to be forfeitable bonuses. You can forfeit your casino bonus and withdraw your real money deposit and winnings any time you want.

Related: How to measure the value of a deposit bonus.

A sticky bonus is the exact opposite of the forfeitable bonus. In a sticky bonus, the wagering requirement is usually low and the bonus percentage high. So far so good. However, the initial bonus sum is deducted from your balance when you withdraw our winnings. The sticky bonus itself can never be withdrawn.

A sticky bonus isn't usually a good deal for the player. In recent years, sticky bonuses have disappeared from UK-licensed casinos.

From the casinos' point of view, some banking methods are more beneficial than others. Understandably, casinos try to channel the players to use these methods.

The most common way is to remove handling fees. However, casinos also offer additional bonuses for people using the preferred banking methods. The bonus percentages aren't big, but they're sometimes added on top of your standard deposit bonus.

Banking method bonuses aren't as common as they were a couple of years ago. Also the set of payment methods available in online casinos have become more similar.

 

Find the best first deposit bonuses

 

Lauri Ronkainen

Article by:

Lauri Ronkainen

Lauri is the Head of Content at Bojoko. He has worked in online gambling since 2016, reviewing hundreds of online casinos, bonuses and games. Lauri has a masters degree in history from the University of Tampere. He is a live casino aficionado who has also created his very own roulette strategy.

Say "OK" to the cookies. Learn more in our privacy policy.