No deposit bonuses are great. They provide players a risk-free way to experience different online casinos and the games they offer. What’s even more exciting, and the reason behind the enduring popularity of this type of bonus, is that you can win real money with no deposit bonuses without putting your own funds at jeopardy.
Whilst no deposit bonuses are undoubtedly very popular with the ever-growing online casino industry, not every player properly understands how they work. This has given rise to a few widely-held misconceptions. In this article, we debunk the top three of these myths surrounding no deposit bonuses.
- You Stand a Good Chance of Winning with a No Deposit Bonus
A lot of people think a no deposit bonus is almost like a free meal ticket. Whilst it is certainly true that you don’t risk your own money when using them, they very rarely actually result in profits for the player. It simply wouldn’t make business sense for a casino to be giving away lots of cash to players that don’t even make a deposit.
To reduce the likelihood that they’ll need to pay out, online casinos use what are known as wagering requirements. Basically, anything that you win from a no deposit bonus needs betting a set amount of times. The wagering requirement will be detailed by the promotion’s terms and conditions.
Always read the terms and conditions before you opt in to a promotion. When reading the document, look for a number followed by an “X”. The number, which will be different for different casinos, determines the number of times you need to bet your winnings and/or the bonus amount. For example, if a bonus only demanded winnings were wagered 40 times as part of the requirements, and you won £10 whilst playing with the bonus funds, you would need to bet a total of £400 before you could withdraw any of the promotional cash.
The lower the wagering requirement is, the more likely you will be to return a profit. Higher wagering requirements mean less chance of profiting. For example, if the hypothetical promotion we mentioned above only had 20x wagering requirements, you’d stand a better chance of winning. With the £10 you won originally, you’d only need to bet £200, which is substantially less than the £400 from the original example. A casino’s wagering requirements will make or break its bonus’s true value to a player. Therefore, always check them before you start playing!
- Any Game is Appropriate to Complete Wagering
You probably already know that different games provide different chances of players turning a profit. However, you might not know that the more lucrative games are often limited in their wagering contributions.
Blackjack, when played with perfect strategy, has a very low house edge. Given its high return-to-player rating, it would make a great game to complete wagering requirements for no deposit bonuses. However, casinos almost always limit blackjack’s contributions to wagering. Sometimes it will contribute some paltry amount (between one and five percent perhaps). Other times, it will be excluded entirely.
If a game only contributes one percent towards wagering, playing it as part of a no deposit bonus effectively multiplies the total wagering requirement by 100. Take our previous example again. Whereas the wagering requirement on our £10 win for the original 40x wagering requirements resulted in £400 worth of wagering needing to be completed, if the player decided to use blackjack (capped at one percent contributions at this hypothetical casino), they would need to bet £40,000. Their chances of doing so and still being in profit are very slim!
It’s not just blackjack that is limited in its contributions. Games like roulette, video poker, and very high value slots will also often contribute less than 100 percent. The casino usually determines a game’s contribution by its RTP rating. It’ll only allow the completion of wagering on a small handful of games. These are usually slots of around 95 percent or less.
We don’t recommend using games that do not contribute 100 percent to wagering with any bonus. We particularly discourage players from playing any completely excluded games with promotional funds. The problem is that you might lose and this reduces your total bankroll but has no impact on the remaining wagering requirement. This would even further reduce your chances of returning a profit from the promotion.
- Whatever You Win, You Keep with a No Deposit Bonus
Finally, we have perhaps the least acknowledged aspect of a promotion’s terms and conditions – a cash out limit. Some people think that if they manage to complete their wagering requirement on eligible games, all the money in their bankroll when they bet that last £1 of playthrough demands will convert to real money and they can withdraw it. This, unfortunately, isn’t the case.
To limit any significant losses a casino might incur by running a no deposit bonus, it’s common that they will enforce a cash-out limit. Essentially, the bonus will only allow players to win a set amount from the promotion. The terms and conditions will mention the total winnings possible. With no deposit bonuses, the figure is usually pretty low. The casino doesn’t want to be paying out any serious jackpots when it stands no chance of profiting from the player claiming the bonus.
The inclusion of a cash out limit on a no deposit bonus is important because it can actually impact the kind of games you choose to play to maximise your chances of winning. For example, if the maximum you can win from a promotion is £10, it makes absolutely no sense to play a progressive jackpot game. A percentage of each bet you make on such a game goes directly to the jackpot. If you can’t possibly win the jackpot, why fund the prize pool?
Instead, you’d be far better choosing a low volatility game with as high an RTP rating as possible (that still contributes 100 percent). On low volatility slots, you tend to win little prizes more often. With a high volatility slot, dry spells without winning are much more common. The longer you go without winning, the more likely you are to bust out all your bonus funds before you manage to complete wagering.
Read the Terms, Understand the Terms!
So, there you have three of the most common myths about playing no deposit bonuses at online casinos. Armed with the above knowledge, you should find judging different no deposit bonuses easier in the future. Basically, you’re looking for promotions that offer low wagering requirements, many high RTP rated games contributing 100 percent to wagering, and a high cash-out limit.
Since all these nuances of different bonuses are explicitly mentioned in the terms and conditions of a promotion, it’s very important to read them before you opt in. Proper understanding of what’s actually on offer will help you to avoid nasty surprises down the line and will result in a more enjoyable experience using these entirely risk-free propositions!