Slots are easily the most popular games in online gambling. Many internet casinos feature hundreds of slots across a broad range of categories, including 3 reel, 5 reel, progressive, and 3D. Given these games’ popularity, it’s only natural to get excited about promotion involving slots. This is especially true when the promos feature free spins.
Online casinos commonly offer free slots spins as a way to draw players and promote their latest games. Free spins give you an opportunity to play real money games without spending your own funds. These deals sound like a good way to make money when considering that you’re not risking anything. But are free spins really as great as they seem? Find out as I cover the basics of these offers along with the pros and cons of using free spins.
What Are Free Spins?
A free spin allows you to play real money online slots without spending anything. You’re essentially playing on the casino’s dime, and have a chance to win money. Gaming sites typically award anywhere from 10 to 100 free spins depending upon the promotion. The casino will also stipulate a value for each spin, such as $0.10 or $0.25.
You use free spins to generate winnings, which can later be cashed out upon satisfying terms and conditions. For example, you might receive 50 spins and generate $10 in winnings. This $10 payout officially becomes yours upon meeting all T&Cs. Some free spin deals are limited to a single game, while others are eligible for all slots at a casino. The latter scenario is better, because you have more games to choose from.
Types of Free Spin Deals
All free spins essentially work the same in that they’re used to play real money slots and earn money.
But the type of deals that you’ll find vary based on the requirements needed to get them. You can see the main categories of free spin offers below.
No Deposit Free Spins
Many online casino bonuses require a deposit to qualify. But no deposit free spins are different and that you receive them without depositing.
The only requirement is that you register for an account. Many casino account registrations require your name, home address, email, phone number, username, password, and bonus code (if applicable).
You also have to agree to the site’s terms and conditions and verify your account through your email address. Once you’ve satisfied all of the account requirements, you’ll receive the stated number of free spins. No deposit free spins are attractive to low stakes players who are trying to build a bankroll. There also great because you risk absolutely nothing to obtain them.
Keep in mind, though, that online casinos commonly restrict players to a handful of no deposit free spin deals. After this point, the player must deposit in order to claim future offers. This rule annoys players who like taking advantage of free deals. But the only reason why internet casinos offer no deposit free spins is because they’re trying to recruit paying customers.
Deposit Free Spins
A deposit bonus requires you to make a deposit to qualify. These offers can include cash, free spins, or a combination of both (discussed next). A deposit free spin deal means that you receive a set number of real money spins upon depositing. For example, a casino might award you 50 free spins for depositing $20 or more.
The concept is the same as with no deposit spins, where you generate winnings that can later be withdrawn or played with. But key differences in deposit free spins include that they’re normally worth more and feature lower wagering requirements (covered later).
Deposit Bonus + Free Spins
Some deposit bonuses offer cash and free spins. These deals are attractive, because you get an opportunity to earn a cash bonus along with winnings from the spins.
Here’s an example of a deposit + free spins deal:
- A casino offers a 100% match bonus up to $150 + 100 free spins.
- The free spins are awarded 20 at a time for five consecutive days.
- You deposit the site’s $20 minimum.
- You’re eligible to earn a matching $20 cash bonus.
- You also receive 20 spins over the next five days.
Super (Mega) Spins
Some online casinos offer special free spin deals involving Super or Mega Spins. A Super Spin is worth more than the average free spin. Earlier I gave an example of free spins being worth between $0.10 and $0.25. A Mega Spin, on the other hand, is usually worth $1. This means that your spins are valued anywhere from 4x to 10x higher than regular free spins. Super Spins are popular since they give you a chance to win even more money than standard deals.
How Do You Get Free Spins?
You can find free spin offers on casino websites and through their affiliates. Internet casinos commonly offer spins as part of a reload deposit bonus or a deposit + free spins bonus. Affiliates that promote such casinos are also given permission to offer free spin promotions. In some cases, they’re authorized to feature even better deals, such as 100 no deposit free spins.
Some casinos let affiliates offer stronger deals in order to help in their recruitment efforts. An affiliate is more likely to promote a casino if they can offer exclusive deals. You can take advantage of these promotions as either a new or existing player. Of course, only new players are eligible for no deposit free spins or welcome deposit + free spins bonuses.
You may need to enter a bonus code during the deposit or registration process (no deposit). If a code is required, you can find them either listed in a casino’s promotions section or at an affiliate site. One more step involves visiting your account and claiming the free spins. Casinos usually give you 3-7 days to claim these spins before the offer expires.
How to Cash Out Winnings from Free Spins – Meeting Terms & Conditions
Online casinos aren’t typically known for their generosity. Free spins are no different in that the house isn’t handing you real money spins with no strings attached. Instead, you need to satisfy several terms and conditions before the generated winnings belong to you. The most-notable T&C is meeting wagering requirements (a.k.a. playthrough or rollover).
Playthrough refers to how much you must wager in order to actually earn free spin winnings. Wagering requirements are expressed as a multiple of the bonus (winnings in this case). Common rollover on these winnings ranges anywhere from 20x to 60x.
Here’s an example on meeting wagering requirements:
- A casino gives you 50 free spins.
- Playthrough is 30x the winnings.
- You earn $10 with the spins.
- 30 x 10 = $300 must be wagered.
Casinos impose a maximum cashout amount to ensure that they don’t get burned with these offers. Standard withdrawal limits on free spins normally range from $50 to $200. When you reach the winnings limit, anything earned after this will be considered surplus and disappearing upon withdrawing.
You may also be required to deposit before claiming profits from no deposit free spins. This practice helps prevent bonus abuse and also gets you to submit your banking info for future deposits.
Casinos impose betting limits to ensure that you don’t just use the highest wager size to quickly accumulate winnings. Gaming sites want you to enjoy their slots, rather than only trying to win free money. Also note that you’ll need to use your free spins within the stated timeframe. Most casino require you to use the spins within seven days or less.
Free Spins Compared to a No Deposit Bonus
No deposit bonuses break down into two general categories: those involving cash and those offering free spins. Cash-based no deposit offers are the most common. These see you receive a monetary value, which is used to generate winnings.
Here’s an example:
- A casino is offering a $10 no deposit bonus.
- You register for an account and receive the $10 bonus.
- You use the funds to generate winnings.
- Playthrough is 35x.
- 35 x 10 = $350 must be wagered to cash out winnings
- You win $4 overall after meeting wagering requirements.
You can see from this example that monetary no deposit bonuses are slightly different from free spins. Namely, you receive a cash value and must meet playthrough on this amount before withdrawing winnings.
Some casinos also require a minimum cashout, such as $20. In the example above, you’d have to continue gambling with the $4 until either reaching the minimum withdrawal to cash out. The main similarity between cash-based and free spin no deposit bonuses is that you use the bonus to accumulate winnings in both cases.
Free Spins Compared to a Deposit Bonus
A deposit bonus is expressed as a match percentage of your deposit amount. Once you make a deposit, you’ll be eligible for a bonus worth the match percentage.
Here’s an example:
- A casino is offering a 200% match bonus up to $200.
- You deposit $100.
- 100 x 2.0 = $200 potential bonus
Much like free spins, you need to meet wagering requirements before cashing out a deposit bonus. The main difference, though, is that you know exactly how much bonus cash you stand to earn. In the example above, you’re eligible for $200 after depositing
Contrast this to free spins, where the bonus money is based upon how much you earn with the spins. You might generate anywhere from $0 to $200 with these offers. One more difference is that deposit bonuses aren’t restricted to slots. Instead, you can play slots, table games, video poker, and scratchcards to meet wagering requirements.
Free Spins Compared to Free Slots
The large majority of online casinos allow you to play their games for free. Doing so allows you to get a feel for their games and decide if you’d like to deposit there. Considering how popular slots are, most players spend the majority of their time in the slots section. What’s nice is that there’s no limit on how long or how many games you can play.
In contrast, free spins see you enter real money mode to play them. And you can only play for real money until your funds run out. Of course, you can always switch back to play money mode at this point and continue spinning as long as you’d like.
One more major difference is that free spins actually give you an opportunity to win money. Free slots, on the other hand, only allow you to earn play money credits that are essentially worthless.
Pros of Free Spins
You Have a Chance to Win Free Money
The main reason why players love free spins is that these deals offer an opportunity to win real money. You can then parlay these winnings into even more money with some luck.
Of course, the average player only wins a small amount from their spins — if anything. The spins aren’t normally worth much, and you have to meet playthrough before withdrawing anything. Nevertheless, it’s nice to spin the reels for free and have a chance to earn real money.
You Get to Try New Slots with Real Money Funds
It’s always exciting to try the latest internet slots. It’s also fun to play your favorite games, regardless of if they’re old or new.
Of course, you’ll get more thrills out of trying new slots and old favorites when doing so with free spins. As covered before, you can always enjoy slots in play money mode. But only free spins give you an opportunity to earn real money while playing without risking your own funds.
You Can Get a Legitimate Freebie
Free spin deals are one of the few chances where you can actually get something for free from an internet casino.
Again, your chances of meeting playthrough and walking away with significant winnings are low. Furthermore, sites put limits on how much you can withdraw. Regardless, many players appreciate the opportunity to win a few dollars or more through free spins.
Cons of Free Spins
Free Spins Aren’t Technically “Free”
I’ve mentioned repeatedly how casinos aren’t in the business of giving things away. Free spins are no different, because casinos stand to benefit in multiple ways. First off, they get you to register for an account and provide your email. Gaming sites can then use this info to send you future promotional offers.
Free spin deals also involve making a deposit, whether it be to claim winnings from a no deposit offer simply because the deal requires doing so. Once you make this deposit, you’re more likely to continue playing for real money and become a long-term customer.
Some Free Spins Are Restricted to a Specific Game
Online casinos commonly trot out free spin promotions to get you to try the latest games. The idea is to familiarize you with the slot in hopes that you’ll play for real money in the future. Assuming you’re in the mood to try a new game and take advantage of free spins at the same time, then you’ll definitely enjoy these offers.
Other times, though, you might play the designated slot for a while and want to use your free spins on other games. Unfortunately, this isn’t possible when the promotion restricts you to a specific slot.
You Need to Thoroughly Read the Terms and Conditions
Free spins come with a number of terms and conditions attached. You must understand and satisfy these T&Cs if you want any hope of withdrawing winnings.
Most casinos are straightforward with their terms and offer clear language. This helps you understand exactly what must be done to claim your free spins and any potential earnings. But a small majority of gaming sites have ambiguous T&Cs that are confusing. Rogue casinos may even use these unclear terms to prevent you from collecting wins.
You Don’t Have a Great Chance of Winning Money
Don’t go into free spins expecting to earn lots of money. Odds are that you’ll lose your winnings while trying to meet rollover. I’m not saying that you should have a bleak outlook on free spins. But don’t get your hopes up and expect huge profits.
Even if you do get lucky and win a progressive jackpot or large regular payout, casinos place limits on how much you can earn from these offers. Once you reach the win limit, surplus earnings disappear upon cashing out.
Should You Pursue Free Spins?
Weighing the pros and cons of free spins, I definitely recommend taking advantage of these deals if you love slots. These offers allow you to enjoy internet slots without the pressure of having money on the line. Instead, you’re using the casino’s funds to rack up potential winnings.
Even if you don’t win anything, it’s not going to affect your bank account. All you’re doing his playing slots with the outside chance of winning something. Another reason why you should pursue free spins is that they provide one of the few chances to receive a freebie from casinos. Deposit offers call on you to wager your own money in hopes of releasing the deposit bonus. Free spins, in contrast, merely see you play for free while generating a variable amount of money that can later be cashed out.
Of course, there are downsides too, beginning with the fact that casinos don’t all offer free spins out of the goodness of their hearts. Gaming sites instead want to get your personal details and banking info online so that you’re more likely to play for real money.
One more drawback is that you have to thoroughly examine the terms and conditions and meet them before winning anything. If you’d rather not put forth this effort, then you may be happier making a simple deposit and playing for real money right away. But while free spins aren’t perfect, they’re still worth the effort for slots players who’d like to earn free cash on the side of their play.
Again, I recommend pursuing free spins if you’re into slots. You’re going to play slots anyways, so why not give yourself a chance to win for free?The easiest way to find these deals is by visiting your favorite casino’s promotions page and seeing what’s on tap. Casinos commonly offer spins through deposit bonuses.
Some gaming sites list no deposit free spin deals on their homepage. These offers are great for low rollers who want a chance at winning money before depositing. Remember, though, that no deposit spins are usually subject to tougher terms and conditions, especially regarding higher playthrough. Regardless, you’re not risking any money to take advantage of them.
I personally like deposit + free spin bonuses, because you get the best of both worlds. You’ll be able to earn a designated cash amount through the match deposit bonus along with winnings from the free spins. No matter your bonus preferences, it’s worth seeking these deals out. You’ll find free spin offers available through both affiliates and the online casinos themselves.