Ever since the first internet-based i.e. online casinos emerged in the mid-1990s, they’ve been enticing new players to sign up by offering them generous welcome bonuses as a way to boost their deposited funds.
Although these percentage-based deposit bonuses are still popular around the world, there’s a relatively new bonus on the block – the no deposit bonus. No deposit bonuses are attractive because they’re 100% free i.e. they don’t need a deposit to unlock.
All they require you to do is register i.e. sign up for a new online casino account which takes a minute or two at the most.
As soon as your new online casino account has been opened you can now login to the casino with your newly set up username and password and claim a no deposit bonus to use to experience many of the casino’s finest games – for real money – absolutely free, with absolutely no catch or strings attached.
But before we reveal our top 5 insider tips when using no deposit bonuses (which we do further down this article), here are some basics about no deposit bonuses which are important to know, especially if you’re new to them and online casinos as a whole.
Different Types of No Deposit Bonuses
There are two main types of no deposit bonuses you’ll find on offer at most top online casinos – either no deposit cash / credit or no deposit free spins bonuses. While each has its own pros and cons, neither will ever cost you as much as a cent to redeem.
The bigger does not mean better, look at the fine print
In fact, that’s how these bonuses came about. A few forward-thinking online casino owners realised that many new players were hesitant to ‘dip their toe’ in the real money online gambling water if it meant making an initial deposit, no matter how small. Enter the no money down, no deposit required, no obligation, 100% free no deposit bonus.
Plus, with a little luck you even stand a chance to cash out some real money winnings from most no deposit offers. That’s, of course, if you’re fortunate to win enough in the first place and you fulfil the bonus terms and conditions (T&Cs), but more on that later.
First, here’s a brief explanation of both types of no deposit bonuses:
No Deposit Cash Bonuses
These involve a fixed or specified sum of free bonus cash /credits you can use to play a selection of real money virtual casino games. These typically include slots, selected table games, Keno and scratch cards, however they can differ depending on the bonus and the respective casino.
The best thing about these bonuses is they give you the opportunity to sample a variety of games so you can decide whether you like a casino and its games enough to make a deposit and continue playing once your bonus has been used up. While not all players stay on many do which is why this bonus is such an effective marketing tool.
The biggest disadvantage of no deposit cash bonuses is that being free, they are much smaller than regular welcome or deposit bonuses, as is the amount of no deposit cash bonus winnings a casino will let you withdraw, which is listed in the bonus T&Cs.
In short, you’ll never get rich cashing out your winnings from these bonuses but you will have a lot of fun playing real money games without ever having to reach for your wallet.
No Deposit Free Spins Bonuses
These involve a set or fixed number of free spins you can use to play one or more real money slots, depending on the casino and the offer. While you may think these bonuses are solely for fans of slots, the reality is they’re popular with all casino fans being free.
The most appealing aspect of these bonuses is that most online casinos that offer them bundle them with their latest releases or most popular and feature-laden slots. Either way you can rest assured those on offer always have engaging themes, are entertaining and are packed with high-paying features.
The amount of free spins you’ll be awarded fluctuate based on the offer and the casino, but ranges between 10 and 100. Before you can cash out your free spins winnings you must rack up enough to continue playing with once your free spins have ended.
The disadvantage of these bonuses, like their no deposit cash counterparts, is that the amount of free spins winnings you can cash out is always capped which, like everything else to do with the bonus, you’ll find listed under the respective bonus’s T&Cs.
Top 5 No Deposit Bonus Tips
Now that you know a little something about no deposit bonuses and why they’re so popular around the world, here are out top 5 no deposit tips you can use to maximise and improve your overall bonus claiming and playing experience:
- Only choose a trustworthy source for your no deposit bonus offers.
- Only redeem no deposit bonuses at reputable and trustworthy online casinos i.e. sites that are licensed and regulated in at least one online gambling jurisdiction.
- Only select no deposit bonuses with the most lenient i.e. easiest to fulfil wagering requirements (see below).
- Only pick no deposit cash bonuses worth the most, or free spins bonuses with the most free spins so as to maximize your playing time and chances of winning.
- Only unlock no deposit bonuses with the biggest maximum withdrawal limits so that if you do end up winning you have something worth boasting about.
Importance No deposit Bonus T&Cs
These are the rules and regulations that accompany every no deposit casino bonus.
That’s why it’s always in your best interests to read them before you claim one. That way you’ll know about all the ‘dos and don’ts,’ which is important because online casinos are extremely strict when it comes to their bonus T&Cs.
Failure to do so on your part could cost you your bonus, any winnings you’ve accrued with it and, in some cases, your casino membership. Here are the most common no deposit bonus T&Cs you should be aware of:
New player – This is the golden rule of new deposit bonuses which is that you must be new to the casino i.e. a first time player to be eligible to claim the bonus. (You must also be of legal gambling age which is 18 or older in most countries, 21 or older in others).
Eligible games – This is a list of games you can play using bonus money. Or, to put it another way, you may not use no deposit bonus credits to play any casino games that do not appear on this list.
Wagering requirement – this is the minimum specified amount of times (expressed as 20x, 30x, 35x etc.) you must wager your no deposit free credits / free spins winnings before you can withdraw them.
Maximum withdrawal limit – This is the maximum amount of no deposit bonus winnings you’re allowed to withdrawal regardless of how much you win in total. You’ll automatically forfeit anything over and above this limit.