When picking an online gambling site, fun becomes an afterthought when we see the word “free” — and every gambling operator knows it.
Because many of us want to be closer to the promise of being winners, companies provide us the most appealing offers and bonuses to make us sign in to a new account as quickly as we can.
Free spins and bets, along with deposit bonuses and freerolls are the common promises that make us jump into the rabbit hole. Of course, nothing in the gambling industry comes for free. Being able to access a fair opportunity to test the waters and redeem winnings is what makes or breaks any deal with future and regular customers.
To prevent the possibility of getting locked out of your winnings, here is a guide to the differences between no deposits and non wagering bonuses, and what to expect when you read the terms and conditions so that you can maximize your chances of winning before taking the leap of faith.
Deposits Vs. Wagering — What is the Difference?
Deposits are self-explanatory. You just need to make the deposit with the minimum amount to unlock certain promotions the gambling site offers, such as free spins, bets or tickets for special events. In general, these bonuses double or even triple the value of the initial amount so that the new customer can enjoy more of the company’s services.
While first deposits are a one-chance bonus for new customers, certain companies also offer their regulars bonus deposits called “reloads.” This is a much watered-down bonus (really, a fraction of the deposit) that still entices gamblers that manage to leave their accounts in the zeroes, or want to balance their bankrolls to keep on top of their game.
Wagerings are a conditional amount players must spend to fully retrieve their bonus winnings. They are usually described in terms and conditions as the bonus amount received multiplied by an X number of times to fully clear any winnings received with it. For example:
New player’s account receives a $50 bonus but to clear the winnings they must bet 40 times that amount, meaning that they must wager $2000 before being able to withdraw their money.
In many cases, wagerings must be cleared in a certain amount of time, usually 15 days, so the risk for operators is greatly reduced.
Wagerings are essential for operators, since these conditions prevent players from profiting too much at the expense of the gambling company.
Any serious gambler should consider these facts when reviewing the terms and conditions and ponder their risk factor against the “profit bonus” of engaging with it.
Bonuses: Quick Overview
Bonuses and offers promise the same benefit: free access to try your luck and skill — but there is a catch. Many times there is a condition that, if you are not careful, could diminish your chances for profit.
The most common type of bonuses are:
- First deposit bonus match: New accounts get access to what is usually a 100% to 200% (up to 400% in some cases) bonus to get free money to spend on casinos or bets for sportsbooks. The catch with this offer is that you must always meet a certain amount of wagers in a given time to fully clear the bonus and be able to redeem the winning you may receive using them.
- Free Spins: These are most common for slot sites. These allow you to play slots for a certain number of turns and are generally low value (usually the minimum bet). Don’t feel surprised if a wagering requirement needs to be fulfilled in order to cash out any money you manage to win.
- Free bets: These are cash bonuses similar to deposit matches. Free bets are usually mid to low amounts (<$50) players can use but are restricted to certain games or slips.
- Freerolls: These are used in poker rooms and bingo halls. They are special entry tickets that allow players to enter an event at no cost to them. Their sole limitation is that it can only be used for that particular event and usually has an expiration date.
A Slight Change of Strategy
Operators are not blind to the fact that people are freebie junkies. Because not many are willing to risk too much to learn how a certain company provides its gambling services, operators provide other options to make you click “create new account.”
No Deposit Bonuses
No deposit bonuses are a great way to attract new customers and Gamstop users for any online gambling site. By simply creating an account self-excluded players in the UK are able to claim no deposit bonus not on Gamstop at literally no risk and have the opportunity to test their luck first-hand, and even win some big bucks.
By rule of thumb, these bonuses are very minimal risk for operators. They mostly consist of a combination of low value (usually less than $20) free spins and free bets for casinos and bookies, or freerolls for more skill-based games.
While some out-of-the-norm players have managed to make thousands with less than that amount, it is not unusual for them to have to meet certain wagering conditions to be able to walk away with their winnings.
No Wagering Bonuses
Wagering free bonuses are a trade-off that allow players to cash their winnings using bonuses under another set of conditions that’s different from reaching a monetary milestone.
With no wagering bonuses, free spins and bets might have winning cap limits. They might also be restricted to certain games, only be redeemable in a limited time frame, and in certain cases, a combination of them.
No wagering bonuses have been a source of debate and even anger for many gamblers. This has led to gambling commissions the size of the UKGC having to formulate and enforce on operators regulations regarding the transparency of the terms and conditions for these bonuses — something that not all of them comply with.
No Deposit Vs. No Wagering Bonuses: Showdown
There is no clear winner in this regard as both of them still tend to favor the house.
To make the best choice, you need to find which one will get you the most money with the least amount of risk.
If you want to beat the house at its own game, the key always lies in the terms and conditions.
- Number of X wagers must be lower than 40X: While 40X is the standard amount, there are casinos and bookies that offer even 20X or lower for players, thereby increasing your chances to retrieve your winnings. 50X and more are fairly common so you better do your research before losing your time and money.
- How free are those spins: Some slots and casinos will offer even 100 free spins on a daily basis and can become way too tempting not to try it. Check out which games have the best value. Considering how luck-based slots are, however, if they ask you to complete a wagering, it is much better to pass on the offer.
- Check the cashier restrictions: No deposits bonuses can be redeemed and even give you withdrawable winnings. However, certain banking options are only available after making your first deposit with the operator. Sometimes, the only way to redeem your winnings is to first make a minimum amount deposit.
Just like buying a car without a test ride, you can’t always be sure that you’re making a proper decision to invest your time and money into a betting site — no matter how massive its huge bonuses and “zero” wagers are.
Take your time and check all the terms and conditions and gamble responsibly with a clear mind. It’s the fine print you need to read before committing to a gambling site. Sometimes a couple of minutes work can save you hours of pain with an unresponsive customer support or expensive legal counseling.
Remember, in the gambling world, nothing comes for free.