No deposit casino bonuses
As a way of attracting new players and allowing you to sample its games, an online casino might offer a no deposit bonus. This amounts to free chips awarded upon registration, before a real money deposit.
'No deposit' bonuses tend to be small and come with fiendish terms and conditions, but they are the closest you will ever get to 'free money' at a casino. This page will display the latest and greatest no deposit bonuses, before explaining jargon such as wagering requirements and game weightings.
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How no deposit casino bonuses work
Imagine this – you see a fancy new casino open up in town. As you walk through the door to take a closer look an employee accosts you and offers you a free £5 if you sign up as a member. No deposit casino bonuses work in much the same way.
Such bonuses are employed as an incentive to get you to register your details. Once you have completed your registration and verified your email address, you will find a small deposit for you to play with in your casino bonus account.
Going back to our real world example, if – once you had received your £5 – you simply walked out of the casino with the intention of spending it at Starbucks, it's likely you wouldn't get very far before a meaty hand descended upon your shoulder, and you were asked to kindly return to the casino to spend the £5, or to give it back.
It works in the same way at online casinos. Your 'free' money will typically appear in your account at the casino as 'bonus money'. This is money that cannot be cashed out. Some casinos will never let you cash your bonus out (a so-called 'sticky' bonus), while others will only let you cash it out once you have jumped through some hoops.
Types of no deposit casino bonuses
Sticky bonuses are so called as they 'stick' in your bonus account. No matter what you do, you cannot withdraw them or convert them into 'non-sticky' cash. The cash will remain in your account until it expires, at which point it disappears.
You can spend your sticky bonus at the casino, and you could potentially generate some winnings when you use it. Depending on the specific casino's policy, your winnings may become money you can cash out immediately, or it may become bonus money that you can convert to real money by meeting wagering requirements.
Non-sticky no deposit casino bonuses also count as 'bonus money'. It becomes real cash once you meet your wagering requirements.
No deposit casino bonuses wagering requirements
To convert bonus cash into real cash, you usually have to meet what are known as wagering or play-through requirements. This means you have to wager your bonus cash a specific number of times before it becomes real money you can withdraw.
A typical wagering requirement is 35x the bonus amount. If you receive a £10 bonus with such requirements, this means you have to place wagers using the bonus money to a minimum of (35 x £10 =) £350. You could therefore try 350 £1 spins on an online slots game. Any money you have left over once you have completed your 350 spins becomes real money. Of course, as you are starting with £10, there's a decent enough chance that you'll exhaust the bonus before you've met your requirements. There's also a chance that you'll double or even treble your bonus. You'll have some fun spending your 'free money' anyhow.
No deposit casino bonuses game weightings
Many no deposit bonuses are tied into one particular type of casino game – usually online slots or scratch cards. This is because such games are highly volatile (meaning long losing streaks, as well as long winning streaks are possible) and there is a zero skill element.
It usually better to try and meet your wagering requirements by using less volatile games that do require a small amount of skill, such as blackjack or video poker … or at least it would be if it wasn't for what are known as 'game weightings' or 'game contributions'.
Online slots tend to count fully towards wagering requirements, whereas table games count much less. Roulette, blackjack, baccarat, video poker … they all usually contribute less than 25 percent towards wagering requirements. This means that if you were to 'grind out' your bonus on a game with a 25 percent contribution, you would need to wager four times as much as you would if you just played online slots. In the example above, the £350 requirement would suddenly become £1,400.
Having said that, table games are more effective at grinding out bonuses (hence the lower game contributions) as they are much less 'streaky' than online slots.
No deposit casino bonuses conclusion
You may ask yourself what is the point of no deposit casino bonuses if it's so hard to make any money from them? The answer is that they at least allow you try out an online casino's games without risking any of your own cash. They also do give you a small chance of earning cash for free.
Before you sign up for any online casino based on the no deposit casino bonus that it offers, always make sure you check the site's T&Cs so you understand fully what is expected of you. Even better, read the reviews here at RightCasino.com. We evaluate every casino bonus that is offered, allowing you to work out which ones give you the best chance of having fun and maybe even winning money.
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