Free Spins Guide
Free Spins? Did someone say Free Spins?
Yes, you’ve seen banners, ads, and casino sites plastered with Free Spins offers but what exactly are Free Spins?
In this Free Spins guide, we will walk you through everything you need to know about Free Spins, such as how they work, how to claim them, the ever-crucial fine print (T&Cs) and most importantly, what is really ‘free’ and what isn’t.
What are Free Spins?
Free Spins are a promotional tool used by casinos as an incentive to play. They are essentially a type of bonus that must be used on slots. Sometimes Free Spins are awarded for all slots, slots from a particular game developer, or a specific game. There is no standard, and this varies from casino to casino and even individual offers.
A classic example of a Free Spins offer is ‘100 Free Spins’ with a €20 deposit and a max bet of $5 (you will find these details in the promo terms). What this means is that you will receive 100 rounds (spins) on a slot. I could, for example, play with a bet value of $1, i.e., 100 spins x $1 = $100. However, because this offer has a max bet of $5, you could opt to play 20 spins x $5 = $100.
Free Spins Terms and Conditions
It is an indisputable fact that Casinos are in business to make money. While all the marketing hype and messages are designed to lure you in and make the casino seem like they are so generous in giving Free Spins, the bottom line is they do it for their ultimate benefit. The terms & conditions are there to protect the casino from bonus abuse or other fraudulent behaviour by some players.
With that in mind, every online casino has its general terms and conditions, and then they have promo-specific terms and conditions. These T&Cs are designed to favour the casino. Yes, the house never loses.
Let’s explore some of the terms you will likely come across:
Promo code – Many casinos require you to use a promo or bonus code when depositing to activate the Free Spins offer. Make sure to check the promo terms before depositing or you may not be able to activate the offer retrospectively. If no promo code is required or not mentioned, it may be assigned automatically when you deposit. If you are in doubt, connect with the casino support to confirm this.
Game Restrictions – As mentioned briefly, the Free Spins might be for a range of games, a specific slot game or provider, and possibly even all available slots. It is essential to check the game restrictions, or you won’t get to enjoy the Free Spins.
Validity Period – Time is of the essence… Almost all casino bonuses have a validity period. This often applies to how long you have to activate the offer, and then the amount of time you have to play the spins. If you don’t achieve the requirements within the specified period, you may forfeit the bonus and any winnings.
Maximum Winnings – Congratulations! You claimed the Free Spins bonus and won big! Don’t get too excited yet because there is always a maximum winnings amount. Unfortunately, you will probably only be able to keep about €100 worth of winnings, and even then, there might still be hoops to jump through before you have cash in your pocket.
Wagering Requirements – Also referred to as ‘play through’ or ‘turnover.’ This refers to the amount of play that must be achieved before you can withdraw the money. For instance, you claim a €100 Bonus with 35X wagering. What this means is you will need to play and place bets totalling €100 x 35 = €3,500 before you can withdraw.
Wagering requirements are standard across the online casino industry, however, the specifics vary from casino to casino. When looking at the promo terms, check to see how ‘turnover’ is calculated. In some cases, the wagering requirement is only on the bonus portion, in other cases, it may be on any winnings generated from the Free Spins Bonus. There are also some casinos where the deposit and bonus amount must be wagered a set number of times before cashing out. It is important to check the T&Cs for every promo.
Another significant point about Wagering Requirements is to check what games are eligible to contribute to the playthrough as there might only be specific games or a possibly only a portion of the wagering counts.
Welcome Bonus / Welcome Package
Receiving a welcome bonus is also somewhat standard with online casinos. When a new player signs up, they are entitled to claim a bonus with their first deposit. A welcome package is essentially the same thing, but it consists of multiple bonuses and offers that can be claimed with the first few deposits.
Free Spins are often offered as a welcome bonus or as part of a package. In many instances, these Free Spins are for a specific slot and value per spin. The welcome spins may also have a time limit where you need to use them within x number of days from sign up, and you need to then complete the wagering requirements within the stipulated time limit.
With most online casinos nowadays, you will have what is known as a real money balance and a bonus money balance. The bonus money is non-withdrawable, so it can only be used for playing.
The winnings from Free Spins are typically allocated to the bonus balance. As you achieve the wagering requirements, the bonus funds are converted to real money and allocated to your withdrawable balance.
When you have had your fun, hopefully, won some money and met all of the promo requirements and verified your account, you can withdraw your winnings and enjoy them!