Home Entertainment Casino free spin bonuses – the devil is in the detail

Casino free spin bonuses – the devil is in the detail

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Casino players love something for nothing, and as long as it keeps them playing, casinos are usually happy to oblige. In casino hotspots of the US like Las Vegas and Atlantic City, they take the form of comps – free drinks that flow regularly as long as you tip the bar tender and keep gambling. When it comes to online casinos, we are still waiting for the technology to send a vodka martini to a smartphone. Until that day comes around, US online casinos will keep tempting us with bonus offers instead. The most common variety is free spins.

Free spin bonus offers look straightforward enough. A casino might say something like Sign up today and receive 50 free spins. What could be simpler? We’ll look at that example in a little more detail, because depending on the conditions attached, it could mean a whole lot of different things.

What’s the catch?

Let’s take a step back and look at that offer again. A “spin” is a single wager on a slot game. The casino is offering 50 such wagers and we won’t have to pay for them. That’s what we know for sure. Now here’s what we don’t know:

  • Which slot game? Most online casinos have hundreds of slot games. Your free spin bonus can usually be applied to a specific game. At best, you might be offered a choice of three or four titles.
  • What’s it worth? Usually, the free spin will be of the minimum value, typically $0.10 – so in our example, the 50 free spins will be worth $5.00.
  • What can I win? This is the biggest question of all. Free spins are usually subject to a wagering requirement, meaning you cannot withdraw your winnings as cash unless you play through the value of the spins a set number of times. 30x is a common condition – so in this case, you would need to churn through $150 in wagers before you can cash out. There might also be a maximum cap on your winnings.
  • What about other conditions? There could be other conditions attached. A common one is a time limit, often quite short, within which the free spins can be used.
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Deposit bonuses and no deposit bonuses

There is a common belief that deposit and no deposit refer to cash bonuses only. However, they can also refer to free spins. US casinos typically make free spin offers like the one in our example to new players on a no deposit basis. The advantage of a no deposit online casino bonus is that you can access the bonus without having to part with so much of a cent of your own money.

However, casinos sometimes offer more free spins when you make a deposit. So we could amend our example to Sign up today and receive 50 free spins plus 100 more when you deposit $10. Typically, but not always, bonuses that are contingent on a deposit have more generous terms attached, so are sometimes the best deal. The important thing to remember is that every bonus has its own rules, so read them with care.

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