What are free spin bonuses and can I win real money from them?

In terms of return on investment, free spin bonuses can be among the best deals on the internet today. Not only can you win real money from them, you can often expect to make 1000 percent or higher on the amount of money you’re required to deposit!

You might be saying to yourself, “Hey, wait a second, I thought these were free spins that didn’t require a deposit!” While casino free spins and so-called no-deposit bonuses come in many different varieties, typically, you will be required to make some sort of small deposit. This is for two reasons. The first is that the casinos always want to be reassured that you have the means to deposit real money and are, at a minimum, willing to risk at least a small amount. The second is that many casinos are actually legally bound to verify their customers. The easiest way to do this is to initiate a transaction with an eWallet, such as Neteller or Skrill, in order to verify the customer is a real person. Most often, the required deposit amount on a completed free spin is tiny, in the range of $1-$20.

The plays themselves can vary tremendously. Usually, a free spin or no-deposit play will involve the ability to play a game or many games in the casino for an allotted time period or an allotted number of spins or hands. If the player wins, the credits won, up to the maximum amount allowed, will typically be transferred to the player’s account in the form of a bonus. The player will then need to make the minimum deposit. Thereafter, they will be required to complete the standard wagering requirements to be able to cash out the free spins casino bonus.

There are two main types of free spins bonuses. They are sticky bonuses and cashable bonuses. Let’s take a look at what these two terms mean and how those bonuses might play out in a real online casino.

Sticky free play bonuses

A sticky bonus is one that cannot be withdrawn, only played with. It may sound like this makes the bonus worthless or only useful for recreational gambling. In fact, that’s what the casinos would prefer that you believe. After all, they’re looking to attract people who like to gamble primarily for fun, not as a personal finance strategy.

But sticky bonuses, especially the kind generated from free spins, can be extremely valuable. This is due to the extremely high percentage multiples that the bonuses often are of the deposit amount. The way to take advantage of these bonuses is to bet extremely aggressively at first, then scale back to lock in the win or immediately cash out, if allowed. This reduces the average wagering requirement by a large amount. Let’s take a look at an example.

One well-known free spin promotion allows the player to win up to $100. The player is then required to deposit $20 in order for the bonus amount to be credited to his playable balance. The bonus and deposit are then subject to the terms and conditions, requiring that the bonus be wagered 40 times on slots before it can be cashed out. This is a lot to wager on a game with an estimated house edge of 5 percent.

But this bonus has a twist. The deposit and any winnings can be cashed out at any time. If we set a 4 times target, we can reduce the average wagering to just $182.50. We are trying to bet our whole balance until we either bust out or hit $480. So, approximately 75% of the time we bust out and lose $20. But 25% of the time we win $360. In doing so, we lose .05*182.50=$9.12. This means the bonus has a value of $66!

But consider what this actually means. Since we’re only wagering $20 of our own money on this play, but the play is worth $66, this means that our expected edge is 333 percent! Without getting into whole new discussion about optimal betting and bankroll management, what this essentially amounts to is a deal that is very nearly equivalent to a risk-free bet. So when they say a bonus like this is a no-deposit bonus, that’s not really correct. But it is almost risk free!

Cashable free spin bonuses

We just saw how incredibly lucrative free spin and no-deposit sticky bonuses can be. Needless to say, if you see a cashable free spin bonus that doesn’t have outrageous game restrictions, it could easily be even more insanely profitable than the example we just gave above.