If you’re an online casino enthusiast, you’ve probably come across free spins offers at some point. But do you really understand what they are and how they work?
In this article, we’ll take a detailed look at free spins offers, and help you understand the terms and conditions attached to them.
By the end of this article, you’ll be equipped with all the knowledge you need to make the most of these offers.
What Are Free Spins Offers?
Free spins offers are promotions run by online casinos that allow players to play slot games for free.
Typically, like 32red bonuses, they can come in the form of a set number of free spins, which can be used to play a specific slot game or a selection of slot games.
They are used by online casinos as a way of attracting new players as well as retaining existing ones.
How Do Free Spins Offers Work?
They can come in various forms, but they all work in the same basic way. When you sign up for an offer, you’ll be given a set number of free spins.
These spins can then be used to play the specified slot game or games.
Any winnings you make from these will be credited to your account and can usually be withdrawn once you’ve met the terms and conditions of the offer.
No Deposit vs Deposit Free Spins
Generally, there are two types of spin offers. The first is when the casino offers you the chance to spin for free without depositing cash.
The other requires a payment from you, albeit one you can use to play any game you choose. So it would look something like this: ‘Deposit £10 and get 100 free spins”.
You could argue that free spins without a deposit are the real ‘free spins’, and ‘free spins’ which require payment are something different altogether.
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Although no deposit free spins are provided without any ‘obligation’ to pay, they are still liable to certain terms and conditions.
Most notably, there are typically wagering requirements, which stop you from withdrawing any winnings generated from the free spins until you have staked the cash amount a number of times over.
Wagering requirements exist as insurance policies that casinos use to reduce their exposure to risk. But their very existence ensures that ‘free spins’ don’t behave like normal spins that you pay for yourself.
Terms and Conditions of Free Spins Offers
As with any promotion, these offers have terms and conditions attached. These are designed to ensure that players don’t abuse the offer and to protect the online casino from any potential losses.
All online casinos will outline the requirements in the terms and conditions. The best ones will include wagering requirements on banners and adverts and explain the player’s obligations very clearly, should they exist.
Some of the most common terms and conditions you’ll encounter when claiming a free spins offer include:
This is the number of times you’ll need to wager the value of your winnings before you can withdraw them.
Wagering requirements can be of significant size. Most probably fall somewhere between x25 and x40, but some can be higher. Even if we use x25 as an example, you can see how much harder wagering requirements make it if you win.
If a player won £10 using some free spins, they would need to wager through £250 (£10 x 25) of bets before they can withdraw the winnings.
That seriously reduces the chances and somewhat dilutes the potency of the ‘free spins’ as a tool to win some cash.
They often come with time limits attached. This means that you’ll need to use your freebies within a certain timeframe, or you’ll lose them.
They also may only be valid for certain slot games. Make sure you check the terms and conditions of the offer to see which games you can play.
Maximum And Minimum Win Limits
Look out for minimum stake levels and maximum win ceilings. Whereas you have complete flexibility when you use spins paid for from your own cash, it’s different with freebies.
You’re often limited to the minimum bet level and coin value on the game. Given that some online slots will allow a range of stake levels between, say, 20p and £200, this again changes the way you can play, as well as how much you can win.
The same is true of maximum win ceilings. Their restrictions ensure that free spins are different from standard spins. This means that you can only win up to a certain amount from your free spins, regardless of how much you actually win.
Are Free Spins Really Free?
Whether any of these considerations are enough to warrant a name change is open to judgment. Some online casinos have already reacted to the Gambling Commission recommendations by introducing new names like ‘fair spins’ and ‘extra spins’. Others may well follow suit.
Although most players understand the restrictions applied to these types of bonuses, these changes could ensure clarity for beginners, which is hardly a bad thing. It would take some getting used to for everyone else, though.
For now, the term ‘free spins’ remains at most online casinos so the best advice is to shop around. As competition increases, some online casinos have already dropped wagering requirements from their offers.
Others have introduced higher-value free spins as they reassess the way they advertise the opportunities to their audience base.
Most importantly, you should view free spins as an opportunity to try out new games for fun. They’re great for that – especially if you have a nice-sized bundle that’s eligible for use on many different games.
Of course, free spins also represent a great way of trialling a new casino without committing too much of your own cash (or any of your own money should you use no-deposit free spins).
Use them primarily for those reasons while making sure you gamble responsibly and you won’t go far wrong. You should never expect to score a big win using a bonus, whether conceivable or not.
And don’t forget to always read the terms and conditions carefully before claiming any bonus offer, and make sure you understand what’s required of you!