Are Free Spins & Bonus Spins the same thing?
We explore this question is some depth in our article about Bingo Sites with Slot Free Spin offers. Head over there if you want the long answer. The short answer?
These days, free spins are genuinely free. Usually, when you make a deposit at a new casino, you’ll receive free spins that are tied to the deposit value. Often, this is something like 1 free spin for every £1 deposited, after a minimum of £10. Therefore, if you deposit £20, you’ll get 20 free spins to play with. These free spins will have a certain value, perhaps between 10p & 50p. But always check the significant terms for the exact value.
Anything you win from these free spins will go to your real money balance. Therefore, they won’t be subject to wagering requirements. You can withdraw it all, as long as you reach the minimum cash-out threshold of the site in question.
Another thing to bear in mind is that these free spins will often have a max win value. This is could be something like £1, £2.50, or even more. Just be sure to check the terms and conditions.
Bonus spins are a more old-fashioned concept that has been around on online slots sites since time immemorial. In fact, before the Gambling Commission tightened up language in advertising, sites used to call bonus spins, free spins. Confusing, right?
Now they HAVE to be called bonus spins or some other euphemistic terms like extra spins. Like free spins, each bonus spin will have a value attached. However, any winnings that you get will be added to your bonus balance, rather than your cash balance. Therefore, your winnings will be subject to wagering requirements before you can cash them out. Depending on the deal, these could be anywhere from 5x to 100x! Thankfully, this upper threshold has become increasingly rare. However, on a no deposit bonus spins offer where all you have to do is register, you may still see wagering requirements that high.
Why choose Free Spins over a Deposit Bonus?
When it comes to free spins, the lack of wagering requirements is a huge plus. It is very rare for a deposit bonus to have no wagering requirements. Some do; or sites like mfortune have just a 1x wagering requirement attached. But again we stress; this is rare.
Even bonus spins sometimes have their advantages to a match deposit bonus. Some sites may require you to play through your cash balance from your deposit first. Only then, can you start to use your bonus. And then, you’ll probably have to play through endless wagering requirements afterwards. However, with bonus spins you can still use them right away. And then you can get to the wagering requirements part later.
However, as you’ll see from the vast majority of our listed offers, slot sites frequently offer a combination of the two. Therefore, you may never have to make that difficult Sophie’s choice. Enjoy your match bonus and your extra spins on the side. Like a plate of chips with a fine steak.
If there is one downside to choosing spins, it’s that they have a much shorter shelf life. Sometimes, you’ll need to play your bonus spins within 24 hours of making a deposit. With a deposit bonus, you usually have at least a week, and sometimes more to activate your bonus. So if you’re going for free spins, make your that you’re ready to play when you sign up. Often, they just literally disappear the next day if you forget to use. Gone without a trace.
In our experience, it’s the same for loyalty or VIP reward spins. If you don’t use them the day that they’re granted, then you could miss out entirely.
Which are the best slots for Free Spins offers?
It doesn’t take a long perusal of our listings before it becomes clear that some slots are very popular with free spins offers. Titles like NetEnt’s Starburst and EyeCon’s Fluffy Favourites appear again and again. Whoever provides the software platform for a slots site will determine which slots are eligible for which promotions.
Sometimes, you’ll just get one slot. Other times, you’ll have the option of 5-10. You may get to choose between any slot created by a certain company – you’ll find this especially with NetEnt. However, rarely will you able to use your bonus spins on any slot you like. Although it is possible! Keep a beady eye out for these.
This month, we put together a ranking of the best, most common slots by their RTP (Return to Player). Take a look at this list; if you find a high RTP slot is eligible with a free spins offer then choose it! It’s good to be savvy when selecting which slots you want to play. Even just a couple % difference in RTP gives you a better chance of seeing a return on your bets. Gambling is still gambling; there are no guarantees. And sometimes people just want to play the slots they love. But if you feel neutral about the game itself, absolutely go for the one with the higher RTP.
Is there such a thing as a free lunch?
In the past, there really wasn’t on online slot sites. However, times have changed and now some sites have developed a conscience. Take PlayOJO or bgo; anything you win from these “fair spins” is genuinely yours. It will never be a life-changing sum of money, but it is yours.
Use free/bonus spins as an opportunity to explore. You may find your next favourite slot… and it costs nothing.