Playing Online Casino Slots for Free
Online slots have evolved into an entertainment channel all of their own. While enjoying these games for real money comes with the potential for a big win – many people also enjoy them for free. In fact, if you have not checked out the latest slot titles with big movie or TV tie-ins and video bonus rounds, then you might well have missed out in major changes in this area.
Another reason people play online slots for free is to win money via the promotional offers from online casinos. These take two main formats – free spins and free cash to use in the games. As you will find out below, the casinos do attach terms and conditions to these offer s which you’ll need to be aware of. Regular real money slots players will often be awarded bonuses or promotions involving free online slots play too. This is one of the many ways that the better online casinos reward loyal players.
I have divided this page into sections covering the different aspects of free slots play online. First up below playing free slots and playing real money slots is compared. Next the different bonus offers (and those terms) are covered. After that you’ll find an overview of the kinds of slots to play for free online.
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Free Slots v Real Money Slots
The actual games that you can play for free and for real money are the same. When comparing these different types of slot play, it is the overall experience which is different.
The most obvious advantage of free play is that you do not lose any of your money. Slots generally have ‘RTP’ (return to player) or payback percentages of between 95% and 98%. This means over time the casinos will take 2c for every dollar you bet. Of course, the reverse of this is that without risking some money you will not have the potential to hit those big wins. Regardless of your long term win / loss ratio, these do add that element of excitement to play which you just will not recreate when playing for free.
A smaller advantage of playing for real money is that you avoid those pop-up messages and reminders that a bonus is available that often come alongside free-play slots.
Free Play Offers
The most common form of free play is a number of free spins. This is often tied to a specific slot, and will be at a lower stake. For example a casino might give you 20 free spins at 50c on one of their big name slots in exchange for registration or as an extra on top of a matched welcome bonus.
20 spins will go very quickly, and more importantly you need to check the terms and conditions of the bonus for the following things. First, there is often a cap on winnings – for example this might be maxed out at $10 or $25. Anything you win above that will not be translated into real cash. Second, there is almost always a wager-through requirement. You’ll need to play through any winnings 20 times or more before you get to withdraw it. Terms will also specify one bonus per household, this will be checked at the time of withdrawing any winnings.
Free cash offers work in the same way, except here you have more freedom over which slot(s) to choose – you can even play casino table games instead at some casinos. Once again there is often a cap and almost always a play-through requirement for any winnings. Some casinos, for example 888 Casino, do allow you a shot at their jackpots with the free cash bonus – other casinos will exclude these.
The players who get the most out of free slot bonuses are those who play for real money. Casinos often have promotions for new games, or will add free spins as an extra incentive for reloads into your account.
Types of Free Online Slot
While there are 3 reel traditional slots that you can play for free – most players head straight for the latest video slots instead. These have 5 reels and a lot of functionality including in-reel behavior, bonus rounds and often amazing animations and graphics too.
Some of the most popular slots (whether for free or for real money) are tied into movies or TV shows. Examples include the Marvel Slots range from PlayTech – which are released alongside the big budget movies. There are also slots with musical themes, for example the Elvis games from IGT.
If big jackpots are your goal, then some of the online prize pools get to life-changing sizes. The biggest jackpot won online was more than €17 million (on the NetEnt Game Mega Fortune). There are several jackpots which go into 7 figures, including Mega Moolah from MicroGaming and the MegaJackpot which covers several IGT titles including the popular Cleopatra.
You will also find mobile slots which can be played for free. I recommend the ‘ToGo’ range from the US friendly BetSoft. These are amazing 3D slots, which look like animated movies when you get to the bonus rounds. Examples include Greedy Goblins and Good Girl – Bad Girl. You can find these games at the US-friendly Bovada Casino.