Nothing will make you feel more welcome and eager to commit to a new online casino that a player-friendly and carefully marketed welcome offer – especially if rewarded on sign-up, with no deposit required. Unfortunately, this is yet to become a norm and a majority of operators are still sticking to the conventional welcome offer bundles, unlocked by the first deposit.
Before we go on to explaining how you can rollover the Bonus Cash and turn it into a withdrawable profit, here is a summary of all the points this article will cover:
Once you are fully acquainted with all the pros and cons of the no-deposit bonus, it is easy to find a suitable casino and claim the offer.
Where to Start - How to Spot the Right Online Casino and Claim the No-Deposit Bonus
Let us cover the basics first – how to evaluate the platform and decide if the casino is worth your time. Although the no-deposit bonuses are risk-free as you are not investing your own money (to claim it, all you need to do is set up and authenticate your account, without transferring any funds to the casino) you will still want to deal with a trustworthy operator and make sure that your time at the casino is well spent. This will require some additional research which will pay off in the long run, no matter how tedious it may seem (especially when all you want to do is gamble).
But some things should not be put on the line, which is precisely why you need to take extra care when entrusting an online casino operator with your sensitive data.
Assuming that the casino does offer the no-deposit bonus, the following things should be taken into consideration before proceeding to the registration page:
Even though holding a valid gaming licence seems like a given, you would be surprised to learn how many casinos are currently practicing without. As a consequence, this makes them unfit to offer any type of incentive. With no regulator to monitor their operations, there are absolutely no guarantees that the casino will honour its terms of the agreement and release the funds when all conditions of the no-deposit bonus are met.
With a regulatory body breathing down the operator’s neck, you can rely on legal protection and objective ruling in case of any disputes between you and the casino.
Another advantage of the licence (the details are usually displayed at the bottom of the casino’s home page) is that it can be an excellent source of information about the operator’s advertisement practices. If there is anything you need to know about false advertisement and misleading bonus terms, it will be recorded on the licence and available to the general public.
The UK Gambling Commission and Malta Gaming Authority are known as the strictest regulators in the gambling industry, with rigorous legal requirements that must be met before an operator gets the seal of approval.
Misunderstood bonus terms are the most frequent causes of grievances, and reputable, player-oriented casinos will always keep the number of complaints in check. In other words, if the level of complaints is on the rise and the casino’s complaints department remains silent, there is no sign-up bonus (no matter how generous) that can compromise for the lack of support and quality service.
It is, of course, important to differentiate between the genuine complaints and the ones that could have been avoided had the players paid more attention to the terms surrounding the no-deposit offer.
Fast processing time, a decent selection of payment methods, and the overall hassle-free withdrawal procedure are qualities that most players are not willing to give up, and anything less than that is unacceptable.
It should be mentioned that a fair amount of complaints is often linked with failed withdrawals, and if you notice that this is a common issue with the operator you are considering, you should probably stay clear.
On the other hand, the no-deposit Free Spins and bonuses are ideal for testing the casinos and their withdrawal procedures without spending a penny of your own money, but we will get back to that.
Contrary to what one may assume, the no-deposit bonuses are just as diverse as the ones granted on your first deposit. The most common types of the no-deposit welcome offers include the no-deposit Free Spins, Bonus Cash, live casino chips, free sports bets, and vouchers.
The no-deposit Free Spins are the complimentary spinning sessions awarded to the new members on sign-up. Unlike the funded Free Spins, the no-deposit version is usually not bundled up with the Bonus Cash. To claim the offer, you will only need to complete the registration process, opt-in for the bonus, and use the promotional code (if required).
The bets in the no-deposit Free Spins are fixed, and usually lower than the ones in funded spins. In most cases, the number of the no-deposit bonus rounds will rarely exceed 10 or 20, while the depositors will often be able to claim hundreds or even thousands of freebies on their first deposits. These are, of course, only approximate figures, and not all casinos are equally generous.
In some cases, the number of Free Spins (both the no-deposit and funded) can be randomly determined by spinning a wheel of fortune.
The promotional Free Spins have a fixed monetary value (which is typically lower on the no-deposit Free Spins) and you do not normally get to choose the slot. The online casino operator (in collaboration with the software supplier) will select the eligible slots, determine the timeframe during which the spins can be claimed and used, and define the wagering requirements that have to be met before withdrawing your winnings.
Bonus Cash or “free money” is just as popular as the no-deposit Free Spins, following the same pattern – to claim it, you must create an account, complete the verification process (usually by clicking on the link sent to your email address or via an SMS), and proceed to the promotion page where you can redeem the offer.
The amount of money is not what one might call impressive, but it is theoretically enough to generate winnings and meet the wagering requirements – if handled wisely. Sometimes, Bonus Cash can only be claimed by the specific type of players (for example those who download the mobile casino app), so make sure that you are eligible for the no-deposit Bonus Cash offer by skimming through the casino’s Bonus Terms & Conditions.
A lot of casinos often feature multiple the no-deposit welcome bonuses, and the great news is that they are not mutually exclusive with the first deposit bonus. You will, of course, be limited to selecting just one out of all available the no-deposit offers, which is great if you are mainly interested in one gaming category.
For those who prefer live casino games, the no-deposit casino chips are a heaven-sent, especially if the only other option is a Free Spins session of Bonus Cash with wagering requirements that cannot be met on live tables.
Live casino chips can be pretty versatile as they can be used for gambling on roulette, blackjack, or poker tables unless stated otherwise in the Bonus Terms & Conditions.
Another popular incentive, the Free Bet is the sports betting ticket with a fixed value and pre-determined odds. Not all sports events may be on the menu, but you will definitely have more options than with the no-deposit Free Spins, where one slot is pretty much all you get.
This is probably the least popular type of incentive, but you might come across a couple of casinos that offer Amazon or Free-Play vouchers worth up to $50 (rarely more than that).
Since the no-deposit bonuses are technically free (we say technically because of the playthrough or rollover terms), they are never as generous as the bonuses granted to the depositors. The following points are where the two bonuses part ways:
- The payouts
- The bet limits
- The selection of games
- The wagering requirements
- Timeframes and expiration dates
The payouts that can be generated from the Bonus Cash or Free Spins are capped, but the maximum amount is significantly lower when it comes to the no-deposit deals. The only time that the limit may not apply is when the casino approves Free Spins on progressive slots, but this is truly a rare occasion.
With the no-deposit bonuses, the maximum payout will hardly ever go over $100 - $500, while the funded bonuses can generate up to $1,000. Hypothetically, the players can win more than that by playing with Bonus Cash, but they will not be able to withdraw it (the casino will only approve the amount that’s within the predetermined limits).
The bet limits also help with keeping the winnings in check; since the value of the no-deposit Free Spins ranges from $0.20 - $5.00, the payouts are moderate as well.
You should also bear in mind that not all games will be at your disposal; certain slots and games are excluded from the offer altogether and will not contribute to meeting the wagering requirements if played with Bonus Cash.
The selection of games is even more modest with the no-deposit Free Spins, and the players will rarely have access to more than one slot.
Wagering or playthrough requirements refer to the total amount that must be wagered before you are able to withdraw the winnings. For example, if the casino has the x20 bonus wagering requirement, it means that this is how many times you will need to wager the bonus amount before cashing out your winnings.
Assuming that the no-deposit bonus of $20 is coming at the x20 wagering requirement rate, you will need to wager $400 before requesting a withdrawal.
As stated, the wagering requirements rates on the no-deposit spins are much higher when measured against the funded bonuses. Having in mind that the casino operators must protect their interests, this is understandable.
It should, however, be underlined that not all wagering requirements are reasonable, and certain casino operators tend to exaggerate, requesting their members to roll over the bonus amount over x60. This can hardly be pulled off, especially since you will not have all the time in the world to meet the threshold. The time frame for hitting the mark (before the bonus funds are removed from your account) is usually between 1 – 4 weeks and the higher the wagering requirements, the more difficult completing them on time will be.
The wagering requirements are not always a part of the deal, and some casinos provide bonuses without imposing any additional conditions. Consequentially, the payouts are lower and the wager-free policy is usually applied to the bonuses awarded on the first deposit.
As mentioned, meeting the threshold and generating a profit is possible on the no-deposit Bonus Cash and Free Spins, but that you can already guess that this can be quite a stretch. Still, even a small profit can be invested wisely, not to mention that there are a lot of other advantages that the no-deposit real money bonuses can bring.
Before you start converting your bonus into actual bets, make sure to do the following:
Check the contribution rate for each of the gaming categories – this is essential, as not all games have equal contribution percentage towards meeting the wagering requirements. In fact, some do not contribute at all, which means that you will be wasting valuable time. Slots are always the safest choice as they contribute 100% - we are, of course excluding live casino and sports betting the no-deposit bonuses since they have a different list of contributing games. It is important to remember that certain slots/software developers are exempt, and you should always check the Bonus Terms & Conditions for the full list of valid games. Live tables, RNG casino games, and video poker will either come at a reduced contribution rate or not contribute at all.
Rely on strategy and odds – if you are claiming the no-deposit bonus which can be redeemed on strategy games and sports bets, always go for the ones where strategy can improve your payout rate and reduce the house edge. Blackjack is a perfect example since a proper strategy can eliminate a house edge. Roulette, being a game of chance is less suitable, but you can always use common sense and bet on Red/Black, Low/High, or Odd/Even. The payouts may be modest, but the objective is accumulating smaller winnings over a longer gameplay period.
Go for the high hit frequency slots with high RTP percentage – make the most out of your Bonus Cash and any subsequent winnings by investing them in slots that have a high hit frequency. The information about the slot’s volatility (how often it generates payouts) and the RTP rate can often be found under the paytable. The RTP rate (short for the return to the player percentage) refers to the percentage of a bet unit that will be returned over a longer gameplay session. Your objective is to find a low – medium volatility slot with an RTP that’s preferably over 96%.
Games with high volatility will produce more substantial payouts, but you are running a risk of drying out your budget.
With sports bets, be sure to check the odds and avoid betting on underdogs – favourites are safer, and a lot of online bookies even provide tips, which will help you select the likely winner.
This is entirely up to you – try to figure out where your strength lies and find a casino that offers the no-deposit bonuses which are in line with your interests. There is absolutely no point of claiming the no-deposit bonus that’s targeting live casino players if you are not familiar with the rules of the games, or if you are much more comfortable playing slots.
It definitely could be! If nothing else, it can at least serve as a testing ground for evaluating the casino, the quality of the customer support, and even their withdrawal policies. Do not fret if you haven’t met the wagering requirements – you should still be able to withdraw (at the expense of the remaining Bonus Cash) and see how the operator handles the payouts, how long the pending times are, or how responsive the customer support is. The best part is that you are not risking your money since your bets were funded by the casino this whole time, and you can simply close your account at even the slightest hint of trouble.