First Deposit Bonuses at UK Online Casinos ⚡

When planning to join a new online casino, it is always a good idea to look out for casino welcome bonuses that can help to boost your early bets or offer bonus funds to enjoy. Along with convenience, bonuses contribute to the popularity of online casinos over brick-and-mortar ones. Just like online casinos, welcome bonuses come in all shapes and sizes, but the most common type of welcome bonus offered by online casinos is a first deposit bonus.

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🔥 How Does a First Deposit Bonus Work?

A first deposit bonus is a type of deposit bonus that is promoted as a welcome offer. It usually involves the casino awarding bonus funds to players for making their first deposit. This offer could take the form of a bonus bet or free spins, but most commonly, it is funds reflected in your bonus balance. A first deposit bonus casino tends to pledge that they will match your first deposit with bonus funds up to a certain amount. This type of deposit bonus tends to come with wagering requirements.

These dictate how many times the deposit bonus funds need to be used on the sportsbook or on table and slot games on the casino website. If your first deposit bonus is £50 matched, so you have £50 of bonus funds, but the wagering requirements are 5x, then you need to use the £50 bonus funds five times to make £250 worth of bets.

There is usually a time limit on this and a maximum bet limit, meaning you can only use a specified amount at a time. Ensure you read all terms and conditions of any first deposit bonus you intend to take part in. They are different to free bets in the way that free bets are a fixed betting size bonus, whereas bonus funds can be used in varying amounts. Depending on the restrictions, deposit bonus funds can be split up, so you could use £5 on one bet and £10 on another.

First deposit bonus works

🌟 The Reason Casinos Offer First Deposit Bonuses

Why would a first deposit bonus UK casino give away bonus funds straight to a player’s account? A deposit bonus is a form of promotion and does exactly that, it promotes the casino to potential new customers. The world of online casinos is a hugely crowded field. The UK Gambling Commission has issued over 3,641 gambling licences to at least 2,600 operators, and there are known to be at least 175 online casinos available to UK customers. Anything an online casino can do to stand out will help them in this competitive field. When you come across an advert for a casino on other websites, if it is emblazoned with attractive figures like: “£100 DEPOSIT BONUS,” then the advert is much more likely to catch your eye. This is certainly the case compared to a simple logo.

A casino deposit bonus can also work as an enticement if a customer is struggling to decide between two potential new online casinos, they are more likely to be drawn to the one offering deposit match bonuses. If they both offer casino deposit bonuses, then players are likely to pick the most valuable one. Although working that out can be a little tricky, more on that later.

A good quality deposit bonus could turn a casual player into a casino regular. This is where the value of a deposit bonus comes into play. If a player sees a good return from claiming and using their deposit bonus, then they are more likely to return to enjoy playing again. A first deposit bonus that results in the customer losing money is less likely to keep them hooked. Find out how this is possible later in; the measuring the value of a deposit bonus section.

A deposit bonus can also encourage immediate action. How many times have you made an account for something you planned to use later but never did? A first deposit bonus casino wants active users, and by offering a first deposit bonus, they expect to see an increase in people signing up in order to start playing.

There is also a wariness when it comes to gambling online or otherwise. Offering a deposit bonus may put some potential players at ease and encourage them to try something they wouldn’t have otherwise.

So although it may come across as a crazy idea, there are plenty of good reasons that an online casino will offer a first deposit bonus.

😍 Variations of Deposit Bonuses

Deposit casino bonuses aren’t exclusively found in a first deposit bonus form. There are many ways a casino may offer a deposit bonus, and we are going to take a look at some here.

💎 First Deposit Match Bonus

A first deposit bonus is when the casino pledges to match your first deposit with corresponding deposit bonus funds. There is usually an upper and lower limit on how much match deposit bonuses are worth. A deposit bonus in the UK tends to be limited compared to the same deposit bonus from the same casino in another country because of the comparatively stricter gambling laws in the United Kingdom. These deposit casino bonuses are normally the banner deposit bonuses used to encourage people to sign up and start playing. They place them front and centre on the website homepage, so anyone potentially interested is immediately aware of this offer. There is usually a percentage mentioned in the advertisement too.

Most Common Deposit Match Amounts
50% 300%
100% 400%
200% 500%

If a deposit bonus promotion advertises that it will match your deposit 200% up to £100, then if players deposit £50, they will receive £100 in bonus funds. If they choose to make the amount of their first deposit £40, then they will only receive £80 worth of bonus funds, and that is the end of that promotion. If they choose to make a first deposit of £70, the bonus funds they receive will be £100 because of the upper limit.

⚜️ Deposit Match Bonus

This type of deposit bonus has been included because these normally follow on from a first deposit bonus. Sometimes a first deposit bonus casino will also offer further deposit bonuses beyond the first deposit match. They are identical in how they work, the only difference is that they apply to deposits made after the first one. So after claiming and enjoying your first deposit bonus, check out the terms of the following deposit bonuses. Sometimes the commitment is lower, and so they dwindle as you move through them as they offer a lower percentage or have a lower upper limit. However, you can also find deposit bonuses which increase as you move through them. They all tend to end with the most valuable deposit bonus on offer for those customers who do work through them all.

🎰 First Deposit Match Plus Free Spins

A match made in heaven. The best first deposit bonuses also come with free spins. These bonus spins are usually unlocked at the same time that you claim the deposit bonus. They tend to be restricted to one particular game, or they are also sometimes available to use on any game from a particular provider. This could be due to a relationship between the first deposit bonus casino and a games provider.

💡 Measuring the Value of a Deposit Bonus

Here is our handy guide for working the best first deposit casino bonus. This calculation can be applied to any deposit bonus. This provides you with the tools to sift through the thousands of deposit bonuses to ensure you get the best value for your money. It takes into consideration the deposit bonus amount, wagering requirements and the RTP of the games you could potentially play. Follow this step-by-step guide to work out the value of a deposit bonus:

  1. First, we need to calculate the total deposit bonus sum, which is this: Your deposit x the deposit bonus percentage.
  2. Now the total sum which needs to be wagered: Deposit bonus sum x wagering requirements.
  3. For our next step, we first need to work out the expected loss, which is done by using the average RTP of the game or games you intend to play expressed as a decimal: Total amount needed to be wagered x (1 – RTP decimal).
  4. Total expected value = deposit bonus sum – expected loss.
  5. Now, to work out the total expected return on your deposit, you must do the next: Expected value ÷ your deposit.
  6. This will give you a fraction to work out the percentage value; multiply the figure by 100.

Now you have the calculation needed to find out what is the best first deposit bonus casino. Let’s apply it with some invented parameters. Assume you get a 100% deposit bonus on £100 with a 40x wagering requirement and an RTP of 96.5%.

  1. Deposit bonus sum = 100% x £100 = £100
  2. Total sum which needs to be wagered: £100 x 40 = £4,000
  3. For the next sum our expected loss = £4,000 x (1 – 0.965) = £4,000 x 0.035 = £140
  4. Total expected value = £100 – £140 = -£40
  5. -£40 ÷ £100 = -0.4
  6. -0.4 x 100 = -40%

From this sum, we have worked out that this theoretical deposit bonus is more likely to lose you money than anything else.

Now, if we tweak the set-up, let’s see how the value changes. A 100% deposit bonus on £100 with a 30x wagering requirement and an RTP of 97%. Here the wagering requirements have dropped by 10%, and the RTP has increased by 0.05%.

  1. 100% x £100 = £100
  2. £100 x 30 = £3,000
  3. £3,000 x (1 – 0.97) = £3,000 x 0.03 = £90
  4. £100 – £90 = £10
  5. £10 ÷ £100 = 0.1
  6. 0.1 x 100 = 10%

As you can see, although these two deposit bonuses may appear identical on the surface, due to the different terms and conditions, one is much more valuable than the other, 50% more valuable, to be precise. Now arm yourself with this method and only take advantage of the deposit bonuses you consider valuable to you and your budget.

These calculations are only based on averages; therefore, it is not watertight and should instead be used as a guide. For example, a game’s RTP is calculated through thousands of rounds of the game in question, you may experience a vastly different RTP in your rounds compared to the average. This could be higher or lower.

💳 Banking Methods and First Deposit Bonuses

There is no definitive answer here because this varies from one deposit bonus casino to the next. This is something you will have to check out before you commit. The details might be found in the casino’s general bonus terms and conditions, or you might find the information in the terms and conditions specific to the deposit bonus you are about to enjoy.

  • Neteller/Skrill: If a deposit bonus casino has opted to exclude some payment methods, it is most likely those that involve a third-party wallet because the casino has to pay fees on these. This includes services like Neteller and Skrill.
  • Debit card: The most common payment method in the UK is by using a debit card, although casinos are not allowed to offer credit card options, so players are not encouraged to use money that isn’t theirs.
  • Apple Pay/Google Pay are becoming much more popular ways to bank with online casinos.
  • Players can also use direct bank deposits. These payment methods are usually eligible to use for claiming a first deposit bonus.

In the UK, casinos are obliged to offer a wide range of safe and verified payment methods, so players should still have plenty of options if these are not eligible for deposit bonuses.

👉 How to Claim a First Deposit Bonus

Claim a first deposit bonus

Claiming a first deposit bonus is a simple process. It will vary depending on which deposit bonus casino you opt for. Always ensure that you check whether a code is required to redeem the deposit bonus or whether you need to have declared yourself open for promotions in your casino account.

Here is a general guide for claiming a first deposit bonus:

  1. Register with the best deposit bonus casino of your choice.
  2. Go to the banking section and select a deposit.
  3. Select your payment method (make sure it is eligible for a deposit bonus).
  4. Enter the information required for the payment method chosen. This could be your card number, bank emails or even a fingerprint to approve Apple/Google Pay.
  5. Complete the transaction.
  6. You should see your deposit bonus funds immediately reflected in your bonus balance.

Now that this is complete, you can start enjoying the website with a deposit bonus to boost your budget. It is recommended that you start working towards wagering requirements straight away as there is often a time limit.

🧾 Typical Terms and Conditions of First Deposit Bonuses

Before claiming any bonus, players must check this section to be aware of various factors which can affect the process.

  • Wagering requirements: Having to meet large wagering requirements can seriously devalue your deposit bonus. Luckily, we have armed you with our formula for calculating the true value of deposit casino bonuses.
  • Max bet limit: Although you may find yourself with £100 worth of bonus funds, you may encounter that only £0.25 can be staked at a time. This stops players from going all-in with their deposit bonus on one colour on roulette.
  • Winning cap: A winning cap is a limit on the amount you can win when using your deposit bonus. The best deposit bonus casino will have no limit on the amount you can win with the first deposit bonus funds.
  • Maximum withdrawal limit: Casinos tend to have upper and lower limits on how much you can withdraw. These tend to be similar to the amounts allowed for deposits, but in some shameless cases, the casino makes the withdrawal limit lower than the deposit limit. Make sure you’ll be able to withdraw any winnings you make from your deposit bonus.
  • Time-related limit: These time limits come in various ways, the most common being that the deposit bonus funds are only available for a certain period of time. There is also sometimes a limit on how long you have to complete the wagering requirements. If you don’t meet them in the allotted time window, you will lose the deposit bonus funds and any winnings made from them.
  • Payment method verification: This requires you to verify any payment method you register. Casinos are also obliged to meet KYC regulations which means you have to prove who you are before you can enjoy a deposit bonus.
  • Void after withdrawal: This is a policy that is ubiquitous among deposit casino bonuses. Deposit bonus funds tend to be withdrawn if the money used to redeem them is withdrawn before wagering requirements are met.

✔️ Advantages and Disadvantages of First Deposit Bonuses

Promotions and offers like this are definitely a bonus, but there are always some drawbacks when it comes to casino offers. First deposit bonuses are likely to be the first promotion you take advantage of, and they can really test if you’re ready for the complicated world of casino bonus terms and conditions.

👍 Pros

  • It is not accurate to say that it reduces the risk, but it does give you some secondary funds you can use without also using your own money. But bear in mind you have spent your own real money to activate the deposit bonus.
  • Players can use a first deposit bonus to explore a casino that is completely new to them.
  • That can also apply to games. Use a deposit bonus to learn more about a new game and perhaps develop a strategy or some tactics for when you play with your own money.
  • A first deposit bonus is often accompanied by free spins meaning players can explore a wide variety of games such as slot and table games.
  • Minimum deposits to claim a deposit bonus do not normally exceed £10 to £50.

❌ Cons

  • We have made it very clear throughout that large wagering requirements can seriously devalue your first deposit bonus.
  • A limited maximum bet size means that your bets with first deposit bonus funds have a lower upper limit than the game itself.
  • Customers need to be aware of potential fine print and footfalls which lead to a deposit bonus not worth redeeming.

⚡ Minimum Deposit Amounts for First Deposit Bonuses

A deposit bonus UK tends to have a minimum deposit of at least £10. The first deposit bonus might be offered by a casino that allows first deposits as low as £1 but to qualify for the deposit bonus, the minimum usually starts at £10, but they can go as high as £50 or £100. You know you’ve found the best deposit bonus when there is no minimum deposit amount and players with all types of budgets can join in.

Deposit bonus worth

✨ Is a First Deposit Bonus Worth It?

If you refer to our section on measuring the value of a first deposit bonus, you will see that it depends on one deposit bonus to the next; some casinos allow you to start playing with as low as £1, £3, £5, or £10. It might be the case that some deposit bonuses are not worth it at all. Deposit bonuses that seem like a dream are often complicated by wagering requirements, and so players should keep an eye out for no wagering or low wagering deposit bonuses. Reducing the number of wagering requirements adds more prospective value to your deposit bonuses.


🎁 Should I Choose the Biggest First Deposit Bonus Available?

No, but it also depends on your definition of biggest. A bonus that appears large on the surface may have high wagering requirements that devalue the overall bonus. Use our handy calculation tips above to work out the actual value of a bonus.

💡 Can I Reuse My First Deposit Bonus?

No, a first deposit bonus is exactly that; a reward for your first deposit. Any subsequent deposits you make would no longer be the first deposit. Some casinos do offer bonus funds for subsequent deposits, but these would not be a first deposit bonus.

💸 Can I Withdraw Winnings Made With Bonus Money?

Yes, although this is not the full answer. Most casino deposit bonuses come with wagering requirements. It is most likely the case that the fund will not be available as cash you can withdraw until you meet the specified wagering requirements.

🎲 Can I Play Any Game With My First Deposit Bonus?