Guide to Online Casino No-Deposit Bonuses
Many casino players like to try out the real money games at online casinos before committing to depositing their own cash. Casinos have responded by offering a range of no-deposit bonus offers. These range from free spins on leading slot games, though to small amounts of cash which can be used in any game or slot.
While these offers do have value, you need to choose the right one. Many casinos have clauses in their terms which limit the possible winnings from these bonuses. A common setup is that you will need to wager your winnings a certain number of times before you can make any withdrawal. While this gives the casino a chance to win back their money, there is also the chance that you will go on a good run and end up with a bigger bankroll yourself.
This page looks at casino no-deposit bonuses from several angles.
First of all below you will find some examples of how this type of bonus works, and some of the traps to look out for when deciding which no-deposit bonus to take. After that the pros and cons of no-deposit offers compares these with more traditional deposit bonuses – asking the question of whether they are truly worth the effort. Finally some of the other ways casinos reward players are covered.
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How Casino No Deposit Bonuses Work
Free spin offers are one of the most popular no-deposit bonuses. An example might be a casino offering you 20 real money spins on one of their latest slot games. These will usually be for the lowest bet for all the lines – somewhere between 25c and 50c. If the slot has a jackpot then you should check the terms to see if you are able to win this, some casinos allow jackpot wins with free play, while others do not.
Clauses to look out for: The most common clause is a cap on winnings. For example you may be restricted to $20 profit from your spins. Second, you will usually have to wager any winnings between 20 times and 50 times (depending on the casino) before this becomes withdrawable. You should also look out for terms which say you need to deposit and play after enjoying the free-play in order to withdraw. While some of these can be restrictive, you should remember that with an audience of millions of players, casinos need to ensure they remain solvent while offering players some no-deposit free play.
Free money offers are usually in the $5 to $10 range. The main advantage of these over the free spins is that you get to choose which games or slots to play on.
Clauses to look out for: Here you need to be careful not to play any games which are restricted under the terms of the offer. Common examples include roulette (especially the ‘outside’ bets) and sometimes blackjack (which has a low house edge). Sometimes you will be allowed to play these games, only to find that your winnings are voided when you ask to withdraw. Once again there will usually be a cap, and you will be asked to play through your winnings a number of times before they can be withdrawn. You should also keep in mind that for non-slots play, play through will usually be weighted – for example many table games only count as 25% of play through for each bet.
For both types of bonus, the limit of one per household will be strictly enforced.
While there are clauses, keep in mind that no-deposit bonuses are a great way of testing a new casino – allowing you to experience the excitement of real money play without risking any of your own bankroll.
Pros and Cons of Casino No-Deposit Bonus Offers
The advantage of these bonuses should not need much explaining. Free cash is appreciated in any format – even when there are some terms and conditions to be fulfilled before you can withdraw it.
It can pay to consider the opportunity cost of playing through small amounts, when you could be enjoying the (much larger) bonuses which come with a deposit. You will find that many casinos that offer a no-deposit bonus are also generous with their depositing customers. You’ll find extras such as free spins, promotions for specific games or even returns of a percentage of your winnings alongside that initial deposit match. What I like about deposit bonuses is that the play-through requirements are usually much easier – and there will not be a cap on the amount you can win in place either.
Loyalty Schemes and Other Casino Bonuses
Before you sign up for a no-deposit bonus, it can pay to check out how well each casino looks after their regular players. Upfront bonuses are usually quickly cleared, it is the loyalty point (comp) schemes and the player promotions which will have a far bigger effect on your bankroll over time. Look out for regular reloads, additional free spin or slot tournament entries, promos involving specific games and seasonal / sports event tie-in giveaways. I prefer casinos with a long list of promotions to those with bigger free-play bonuses, since these operators offer bigger value over time.
You may also find additional no-deposit offers which are designed to encourage you to play mobile casino games or try out the live dealer room. $5 extra for these games is very common – though once again you’ll need to play through this amount before it can be withdrawn.