Free spin offers are everywhere these days, and they seem to get more elaborate and more generous all the time. And with the online casino market increasingly competitive, operators must work much harder to attract new players to try out their sites. That’s why it’s not unusual to find several hundred free spins on offer for new players. But are these offers always as good as they seem? Let’s look at the pros and cons of free spins.
Pro – It Costs You Nothing
Most free spins offers are just that — free. Some may come linked to a deposit match bonus or other promotion, but there are plenty of free spins offers out there that involve no investment whatsoever on your part and no commitment to do anything other than use your free spins and move on. That is, of course, the last thing they want you to do, but there is nothing to stop you from doing it.
Pro – You Can Win Real Money
While it is unlikely that your free spins will apply to the big money machines, especially those with rolling jackpots, you could still win cash on the free spin machines. It might not be the record-breaking $4 million that a German player won recently at PokerStars Casino or the multimillion jackpots available elsewhere, but your free spin has as much chance of winning as any other spin.
Caption: There may not be a pot of gold at the end of your free spins, but you can still win.
Pro – You Get to Sharpen Your Skills for Free
Like most games, slots machines take a few minutes to learn and years to master, so any practice you can get will improve your strategy and, therefore, increase your chances of winning. And lucky for you, there are lots of free spins offers to choose from that give you the chance to learn how to play slots without risking your funds to do so. Even if you are limited to one or two machines with your free spins, you’ll often find that the skills you learn are common themes in slots and that they help you play better and win more when you do start playing with your money.
Con – Winnings Caps
Check the small print, and you’ll usually find a cap on what you can win with your free spins — and it won’t be $4 million! There are two approaches to this, and the one you should choose is not the one you think. Some sites will offer what appears to be a generous winnings cap of £100 or more while others will cap the winnings much lower at a few pounds. Still, the lower caps are the ones you want, as these will usually pay out as cash winnings that you can withdraw straight away without having to play them again.
Con – Wagering
Bigger winnings will invariably require more playing time before you can withdraw them. That’s called a wagering requirement, and can be as many as 40 times. With each play, you risk losing your hard-won prize (and you get more and more used to playing on the site, which is what they want). Alternatively, some sites will insist that you earn the right to withdraw bonus winnings by accumulating player points with real money games. Always make sure you know the terms of play before you sign up to avoid the disappointment of winning but not being able to get at your prize.
Con – Play Restrictions
The final factor to check when signing up to free spins offers is when you’ll get your spins and where you can use them. Some sites will put a strict time limit on your free spins, so make sure you use them before they expire. Other offers will only give you your free spins a few at a time, each day, to encourage you to become a regular visitor. As discussed above, you will often find that the free spins that you do get are limited to only one or two machines, which might not be the ones you’d like to play.
It’s fair to say that free spins offers are rarely as good as they first appear. However, if you are aware of the pros and cons and choose your offers carefully, it can still be well worthwhile taking advantage of them. Whether you are playing for free practice or building a steady prize pot of smaller wins, you can gain a lot with free spins with nothing to lose.