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Understanding No-Deposit Bonuses Offered by Online Casinos

For those of you who have been wondering if no-deposit bonuses are worth your time, here’s your answer.

It is hard to resist a good promotion, and online casinos know that. Over the years, they have perfected the art of irresistible deals, constantly coming up with innovative ways to persuade potential players to sign up for an account.

A particularly attractive deal among many is the no-deposit bonus. If it sounds like the casino is giving you a bonus without you having to pay anything, that’s exactly what it is.

Many may argue that online casinos only offer no-deposit bonuses because the terms tied to them make it very unlikely for players to gain free money from the bonus. While it is true that players need to fulfil a few stipulations before they can walk away with some real cash, it is not impossible.

However, are no-deposit bonuses worth your time? We’ll explore this question in this article.


Types of no-deposit bonus

Unlike deposit match bonuses, there’s no need for real cash deposits on the part of the players when they choose to claim a no-deposit bonus. This is especially appealing to players who have a low bankroll or are uncertain about their commitment to the online casino.

There are primarily two types of no-deposit bonuses that online casinos offer:

  • Bonus fund – The casino deposits into your bonus account a certain amount of fund to play with, and whatever winnings or balance you have in your account after that is yours to keep – as long as you have fulfilled the wagering requirement and other terms.
  • Free spins – Instead of bonus cash, you are allowed to make free spins on a fixed or maximum wager amount in selected slot games. Any winnings gained from your free spins will be put in your bonus account, which, upon meeting the wagering requirement of the bonus, can be cashed out.

Things to consider before opting in

Many people like the sound of no-deposit bonuses because they are a free chance to get some real cash. However, players often fail to consider the various restrictions that may decrease the likelihood of them cashing out anything at the end of the deal.

For this reason, it is important to always read the terms and conditions before you opt in to any sort of bonus or promotion. While every casino has its unique set of bonus terms, there are generally a few common things to keep in mind to help you decide if a bonus is of value to you.


Wagering requirements

No-deposit bonuses require players to have wagered a certain amount before they are qualified to cash out their bonus winnings. This wagering requirement is also known as playthrough or rollover requirement.

As an example, a $20 no-deposit bonus with a 30x playthrough requirement means the player would need to have made $600 in total wagers in order to withdraw any winnings. A quick look at a few casinos reveal the playthrough requirements for no-deposit bonuses to be typically between 30x and 60x.

If you use up your bonus fund or free spins before you meet the wagering requirement, it means you end up with nothing from the no-deposit bonus. However, if you fulfil the playthrough requirement and still have funds left in your account, you can keep what you won.

Minimum and maximum withdrawal amounts

Even if you have balance in your account after fulfilling the wagering requirement, the amount you have won will need to meet the minimum withdrawal requirement to be cashed out. Failing which, you will have to deposit your own money and place more wagers to reach it – and hopefully, not lose more money than you win in the process.

On the other hand, if you are lucky enough to strike a big win when playing under your no-deposit bonus, you can only cash out the maximum amount, while the remainder is forfeited.

Online casinos typically require your winnings or account balance to be a minimum of $20-$25 in order to make a withdrawal. On the opposite end of the scale, a maximum withdrawal limit of $50 is common among many casinos, though you will get the rare ones that would generously give you up to $150 or even $170.

Game restrictions

No-deposit bonuses are commonly only applicable to slots (and most casinos are smart enough not to include progressive jackpot games), and sometimes keno, as these games have a higher house edge.

Even if the casino allows games with lower house edge such as blackjack to contribute to the wagering requirement, only a percentage of the wager would count towards it.

Making a deposit

Some casinos stipulate that players must make a deposit before they can withdraw any winnings garnered through the no-deposit bonus.

Eligibility for other promotions

Many casinos do not allow new players to take advantage of multiple welcome bonuses. Therefore, when you say yes to a no-deposit bonus, you are essentially saying no to other bonuses such as a deposit match bonus, which often has better probability of players making a profit from the deal than the no-deposit counterpart.

Are these casino bonuses worthwhile?

The conditions that accompany no-deposit bonuses may sound like a huge downer to you, and you may ask, “What’s the point of playing with no-deposit bonuses then?”


Like it or not, casinos are businesses and no business exists to freely give money away. The terms and conditions exist to protect online casinos – after all, a casino would be making huge losses if many players were to win and cash out big wins without having to deposit a single dollar.

Though the terms make it more difficult for players to walk away from the deal with much value, it is not impossible, and some players have certainly profited from the experience. These are the lucky ones who successfully met the playthrough requirement without having to make any deposit and still had a good amount of winnings at the end.

Ultimately, no-deposit bonuses give you the potential to win some real money without having to risk any of your own upfront. Even if you are left with nothing after fulfilling the wagering requirements, you have risked nothing but gained some free thrills. So no harm trying your luck, right? That’s what you are here for anyway.

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