Free No Deposit Online Casinos
Free no deposit online casino bonuses look pretty good, doesn’t it?
That’s why so many businesses like to include the word in their publicity – in extremely large letters.
But if free looks pretty good to you, you should also bear in mind what it looks like to the other party in the transaction – the business. To businesses free looks bad. Free is giving away money in a system – modern commercial capitalism – where the aim is to maximise profits.
And that is why free is so seldom exactly what it appears to be.
There are rules of course. But the truth in many a “Free” offer lies not in the headline but in the small print, in the terms and conditions, and behind the link and the asterisk.
Do free no-deposit casinos really exist?
Yes. They do. But there are always catches, and by understanding the totality of a free offer you will learn to make the most out of it, and to use it safely and for your benefit.
In this guide, we’ll explore what free no-deposit casino offers are, how to assess them, and how to use them safely.
Let’s get started.
What’s in it for them? The truth about “free” no deposit casino offers
We don’t want to create an audience of paranoid, conspiracy-minded cynics, but we do want our readers to get a true picture of the industry.
We want our readers to be informed players. And informed consumers need to understand that the free offer is designed not to benefit the consumer, but to benefit the site. That doesn’t mean there’s no benefit for consumers. But you must keep in mind who designed the offer. The offer is designed by the casino site, and so it serves their interests.
So how do free offers work to make money for casino sites?
They work in the same way that free offers work for everyone else.
The first and most obvious things that a free offer does is it gets customers through the door, or in eth case of an online casino site it gets people to sign up, to open accounts, and sometimes to deposit money.
This is a completely legitimate way to conduct business. In a crowded market it’s a great idea to – if you believe in your product – show off what you have to offer. And, if a customer has to hand over €10 to even look at your site that’s an obvious barrier to entry for them. So a free offer gives you the chance to let people have a look at what you can do.
Free looks good. There are whole sites dedicated to the best online casino offers, and whole sections of them dedicated to free no-deposit offers. So in a crowded market, it’s a great way to look good.
Now, we’ll look a little below the skin to see what a free offer promises to a casino site.
By attracting attention and bringing people to the site and getting them to sign up to a free no deposit offer a casino site gains the contact details and perhaps the payment information (which often has to be handed over even in free deals) of many many potential new customers.
That’s a huge bonus in any terms.
And then you have all those new players, who are going to play your games, and perhaps win money on them, and then they are going to want to withdraw that money, and that’s where the terms and conditions really kick in!
Common Restrictions on free no deposit casino offers
If you hand people free money, allow them to play games of chance that give the opportunity to win quite large amounts of money, and then allow them to simply leave your site with that money, then you will almost certainly lose money.
And we don’t think that any free no-deposit offer loses money.
And so with this in mind, we can start looking at the restrictions that are placed on these offers that guarantee that they will make money.
Wagering Restrictions on free no deposit casino offers
Wagering restrictions, we think it’s fair to say, are among the least popular things in the entire casino industry.
If you were to explain to anyone outside of the casino industry about wagering requirements and how they relate to headline offers, they would probably think you were insane.
Yet here we are, describing them again!
Wagering requirements, which are also called “play through” sometimes, are an amount of money (usually described relative to the amount of your deposit or bonus, or deposit and bonus combined) that must be deposited at a site and played with before a player can redeem any money associated with a bonus.
Now, that doesn’t sound so unreasonable, until you start to look at the figures involved. These are always multiples, and they can be very high. For example, it’s not uncommon to see figures of 35-times deposit or 25-times deposit on deposit bonuses.
Now, with a no deposit free bonus you don’t have your own deposit to factor into this sum, but wagering requirements are still a factor in most no deposit casino offers.
Let’s take a very simple example: a €10 no-deposit bonus with a 35-times wagering requirement. You are gifted €10, but in order to access any money that you win with that €10, you will have to deposit €350 of your own money.
Already you can see that even a no deposit bonus can work in the favour of a site by committing a player to the site for the relatively long term.
Further to this wagering requirement, you are very likely to find a number of restrictions attached to the €350.
There are likely to be weightings on games. This means that many games do not contribute the full amount that you spend on the game towards your wagering requirements. Most sites have a long list of games that do not contribute their full value to the wagering requirements, with games offering values like 10% of their value, or 50% or 90%. We don’t know the reasoning behind this, but we suspect that it reflects the profitability of games, and the amount of money they return to players.
Typically, blackjack is very poorly rated for example. And blackjack is a popular game in which player skill plays a role, and which has a good return to players.
So, let’s say you would like to enjoy a free no deposit bonus. And you like blackjack. You play with your €10, you get a bit lucky and win €15, but in order to claim that €15 you have to deposit and play with €350 of your own money, and if you want to play blackjack – usually rated at 10% – you have to play with €3,500 of your own money.
These are big commitments.
There are usually further restrictions too. Some of them are quite nebulous, and include terms like “Fair play” or “taking advantage”. These terms tend to limit the way bonuses are used and rule out ways of playing that many ordinary game players might consider simple good sense. For example, just making small bets. Or betting only on low-odds roulette games for example.
There is also very likely to be a top limit on the amount of money you can win from your bonus money – €100 is a common figure.
There also is likely to be a limit on the size of bet that you can make paying off your wagering requirement. This might be €5. So, your €3,500 worth of bets becomes 700 game turns. Again, this is tying you to the site for a good period of time.
Not too long though, because a bonus will often have to be played within a certain period. This could be days, and almost never longer than a month.
The same is likely to apply to your wagering requirement, which will have to be paid off within a short length of time.
There is also likely to be further small print.
So you see that a welcome bonus, even if it doesn’t require a deposit from the player is designed to deliver a player to a site.
And there is something in the psychology, not just of gamblers, but of everyone, that means we tend to dislike giving up what we have had more than we mind missing out on a possible future chance. So, even if you only win €15 you’re unlikely to make a completely rational decision about whether or not it’s worth your while to stick around and spend that €3,500 playing blackjack that you’ll have to spend in order to cash it out.
And, the figures around gambling are pretty clear. We know this because sites have to publish a figure called the RTP. This is the theoretical return to player, and this is the amount that is likely to be returned to players by games if players behave in the right way. And this figure is never over 100%. All games have a housed edge that means they will almost always – despite being random – deliver a profit. So, just by tying you to the site for a small time, a site should make a profit from you.
That’s why free no deposit offers are so often for small amounts of money.
Free spins no deposit offers
Another way to give players something for nothing is via free spins.
Everything we’ve said about no deposit bonus funds applies to free spins offers.
The only difference is that you are likely to have less choice about what you do with your bonus. Free spins are offered on popular games. Common examples in the current market are Starburst and the Book of Dead series of games.
Free spins offers come with similar restrictions to the offers we talked about in the first half, including those awful wagering restrictions. Spins will be limited to low amounts, and there will be a relatively low total – maybe as many as 50 – and the wagering requirements will apply to the winnings you make from your wagering.
Another way that free spins can tie you in for a while, is by offering spins in a series of offers, each that must be played in a short time.
Genuine Free No Deposit Offers
There are no deposit offers that come with better terms than those we have covered so far. They are genuinely free offers with no wagering requirements. And these are very rare indeed! If you see one, you might as well sign up for it, to be honest, and we don’t often say that about welcome offers.
There will be restrictions still. Almost certainly a top limit on the amount of money you can win in total, for example.
And the offers we’ve seen that match this description have been limited by time or by subscribers, so you must be within the first couple of thousand people to grab the offer, or you must sign up for the offer within a quite short time limit.
It should go without saying, that even with these offers you need to make sure that you read the small print on these offers and understand exactly what the terms of the offer are.
Playing casino games for free once you’ve signed up
Most casino sites offer not just welcome offers, but some sort of ongoing programme of promotions, and a certain number of these will appear to be no-deposit in nature.
Among these are:
Ongoing free spins offers, often themed around a holiday or other seasonal marker, or sometimes around a new game release.
Tournament play. Tournament play can offer something like free play, in that sometimes games can be played for a flat entry fee rather than for an individual wager on each spin.
Loyalty scheme free spins. Loyalty schemes usually offer a rising series of bonuses and free offers, and these may well include free spins and even no deposit offers (though of course, you will have to have deposited a lot of your own money to get to that stage).
Other free games
There is another way to play casino games for free, and that is to play them not for money at all!
It is usually possible to play games on demo mode on most casino sites. And there are a lot of review sites and the like that also offer free versions of games. Game manufacturers usually allow you to play games for free, as long as you prove your age and that you can legally play the games where you live.
This is a great idea. You won’t win anything, but you won’t lose anything either, and not losing is a great way to gamble safely.
We’ll look now at safety in more detail.
Safe casino sites for free no deposit casino games
Over and over again we warn players that something that looks too good to be true might well be too good to be true. And a free, no-deposit offer might well fit this pattern.
So when you’re looking for good offers you should have safety on your mind in three ways: you should be sure you’re playing at a safe site, you should be sure that you’re using your best cyber safety rules, and you should be sure you’re not gambling in a dangerous way.
The truth is that the people who are most often targeted by scammers and other crooks are those who are least able to afford to lose money, and that’s because they’re desperate for money in some way.
So, offers that look too good to be true or that promise no-frills offers are worth checking out doubly carefully.
Finding safe sites
The best way to find sites that are safe is to find legal, licensed sites. Licensing is your first defence in getting safe sites, so make sure you know what the law is where you are and to only play at sites that you are legally entitled to play at.
And go further than that. Scammers usually put a good front on, but it’s unusual that they go to the effort of building a complete site with all the bells and whistles. The better quality a site is the less likely you are to suffer at the hands of scams or bad security.
Keeping yourself safe
You also need to do a bit of work yourself. Please do have a good idea of how to use online banking services safely. How to make good passwords and keep them safe – or how to use one of the password apps safely – and how to keep your details safe.
You also need to consider your gambling behaviour and make sure that you are making decisions for the right reasons. The right reasons for making decisions around gambling, for example, are never that you need money.
You should gamble for fun only, and try to make decisions about the sites you sign up with without bearing in mind how much you think you’re going to win.
Sadly, as we’ve already pointed out, the mathematics of the casino business are pretty much set in stone. So while you are guaranteed – at licensed, legitimate sites – a fair game, with a set of random events, you are also most likely to suffer small losses.
So have a good understanding of safe gambling. Make sure you know how to set limits on your spending and on the time you spend on online gambling sites. Use all the tools that sites and associated organisations offer to keep a lid on your behaviour or monitor yourself and spot possible future problems.
Cashing in a free no deposit bonus
Let’s have a look at how the process of getting a no deposit bonus works in practice.
First of all, you need to find a site. You can try Google, but you are likely to get an awful lot of results, and some of them from very poor quality sites.
However, hopefully, you’ll find a legitimate site like ours that will give you a decent list of no deposit casino bonuses.
Then, read the details of each offer, and weigh up which ones you like.
Remember, you need to keep your personal safety in mind here, you’re signing up at good quality sites that you’re going to want to play at for a while, not just at sites where you can cash in an offer and get away with whatever you can win. As we’ve shown you, it’s very unlikely that you’ll be able to get away with very much.
Once you’ve made your decision, click through to the site. And then have a look around. Make sure that the site is fully legit. Make sure it’s a great site. Look for games you enjoy playing, and plenty of them.
Then you can click through to the sign-up page.
If you have a choice, make sure you select the offer that applies to you and make sure that you accept the offer if you want to.
(It is sometimes worthwhile signing up to a site that you like and turning down their welcome offer. You might decide that a site is a good quality, that you want to play there, but you don’t want to go to the bother of committing yourself to a short-term high spend on the site. No deposit bonuses might be worth accepting in any case, because you can just splurge the money and disregard the winnings, but psychologically we find that hard to do.)
Prove your ID in the way the site asks. You may not have to do this until it is time to withdraw funds, but you should always be prepared to do it.
And then enjoy your offer safely!
Ideally, you will use the offer to look around the site and check out games, rather than as a way of winning big money. The mechanics of gaming offers make it very unlikely that you will come out on the winning end of any casino offer, and knowing that when you go in makes it less likely that you’ll be upset and angry in the long run.