The Common Pitfalls of No Deposit Bonuses and Free Spins
As great as no deposit bonuses and free spins bonuses are – and they are great because they’re 100% free to claim and use – they’re not without their pitfalls. In fact, we get a lot of emails from no deposit online casino fans that are frustrated with no deposit + free spins bonus offers because they feel they ‘aren’t delivering what is promised.’
The reality is that by reading the terms and conditions of any bonus before you claim it you can avoid many of these pitfalls (or misconceptions) or at least learn to deal with them. Bonus T&Cs are essentially the rules and regulations that govern a bonus. Their purpose is to protect you, the player, and the casino offering them.
In this article we’ll address the most common pitfalls associated not only with free spins and no deposit bonuses, but online casino bonuses in general. Knowing what these are and how exactly to avoid / combat them, should help you to get the most out of every bonus you claim and give yourself the best chance of cashing out.
Here are those most common pitfalls encountered by players when claiming and using no deposit cash or free spins bonuses:
Mistaking them for free cash and trying to cash them out
Arguably the biggest misconception about no deposit bonuses is that they’re just like real cash which you can cash out. This is just not true. Bonus cash is just that – bonus cash which you have to play / use the way the online casino intends (as clearly laid out in its bonus terms and conditions) if you aim to cash out real money winnings.
Casinos, online or otherwise, are not charities and as such will never award you money for nothing. Whether they offer you free spins to use on one or more of their top online slots, or a sum of bonus cash to play slots, keno, scratch cards or any other casino games, your ‘free cash’ play will always have to be used to play those games (which are also listed in the bonus T&Cs) – without exception.
Ignoring their wagering requirements or not knowing they exist
If you don’t fulfil a bonus wagering requirement completely, you’ll never be able to withdrawal any winnings you may have painstakingly racked up from it.
It’s important to understand that every online bonus – without fail – comes with its own wagering requirements. This is the specified number of times a virtual casino requires you to playthrough (wager) your no deposit bonus or free spins winnings before it will permit you to cash them out.
You’ll find wagering requirements in the bonus T&Cs if not also listed with the bonus on the casino’s homepage, bonus or exclusive offer page. In the example of a $40 no deposit bonus with a 20x wagering requirement, you would need to make at least $800 ($40 x 20) in bets before you could make a withdrawal.
Trying to cash out during play after you’ve racked up big winnings
This is linked to the pitfall above where even if you’ve accrued some sizeable winnings with bonus money and you want to cash out, you’ll be denied if you attempt to.
This is because regardless of how much you win, unless you’ve met the wagering requirements in full, any and all tries to make a withdrawal will be unsuccessful and you’ll more than likely be left frustrated, disappointed and short-changed.
Not understanding there’s a limit to how much winnings you can cashout
This is a big pitfall that’s left many players unhappy. That said, every no deposit bonus under the sun comes with a limit in terms of how much winnings you can cashout. Known as a maximum withdrawal limit, this value is listed in the bonus terms and conditions and is designed to protect casinos from going bankrupt.
Think about it, without some kind of bonus winnings limit in place, it wouldn’t be very long before most online casinos were totally ‘cleaned out’ by players using their own 100% free bonuses, or any other bonus deals for that matter. Hence the maximum winnings withdrawal limit that is always implemented.
So even if you’re lucky enough to turn a modest no deposit bonus or a few free spins into thousands, come cash out time (and subject to you meeting the bonus wagering requirement), you’ll only ever be able to withdraw winnings up to the specified casino limit which is typically not more than a hundred dollars.
Believing you can keep and cash out whatever you win from free spins
Many online casino players – particularly new ones are under the assumption that you get to keep whatever you win from no deposit free spins and even free spins that require a deposit. This is 100% false.
With free spins bonuses whatever you win is automatically converted into bonus cash and subject to the casino’s regular bonus T&Cs and accompanying wagering requirements. Only once you have met those wagering requirements will you be entitled and permitted to make a withdrawal.
Add to that not all free spins bonuses are made equal. As detailed in their terms and conditions, some let you withdraw your winnings without having to make a first deposit while others require you to make a minimum initial deposit in order to unlock winnings. So always check the T&Cs.
Using no deposit bonuses to play non-eligible games
Just because an online / mobile casino awards you a free spins, no deposit or any other type of bonus doesn’t mean you can use it to play any games you want. Virtual casinos are very selective in the games they allow bonus play on.
This is more noticeable with free spins bonuses because they’re always coupled with one or more of a casino’s best or most popular slot games. These games are usually listed alongside the respective free spins bonus. This means you can only use your bonus free spins to play those games.
It’s slightly harder to discern what games you can use a no deposit cash bonus to play because very few of these bonuses highlight permissible games in the offer themselves. To find out what games are eligible with the bonus, you must read the bonus T&Cs which will have them listed there.
It’s very important to understand that if you use bonus money to play even one non-eligible game (as per the T&Cs), a casino is well within its rights to cancel your bonus, remove all winnings you’ve accrued with that bonus and in very rare cases even kick you off the site i.e. ban you for life.
Trying to claim the same casino bonus more than once
There is probably no faster way to get yourself banned from an online casino than trying to claim a new player no deposit or any other bonus more than once. Casinos give away bonuses to first time players to entice them to become long and loyal players but their rules are strict – only one bonus per player and no exceptions.
Despite this being mentioned in any set of bonus T&Cs, some players are always surprised when they attempt to claim the same bonus more than once and are promptly banned from the casino for life. Casinos use a variety of high-tech software and systems to determine a player’s location and other information key in helping to prevent duplicate sign up attempts.
Allowing your no deposit free spins or bonus to expire
They say nothing lasts forever and this includes no deposit and free spins bonuses, in fact all types of casino bonuses. To avoid having your bonus pulled out from under you, first check its terms and conditions to confirm its time limits / restrictions.
At most casinos you’ll be given between from 7 to 30 days in which to use your bonus from the date you redeem or unlock it. This is a hard and fast rule that’s non-negotiable so even if you haven’t used up all your bonus cash or free spins, when the bonus offer expires so will any winnings you have accrued.