A Complete Guide To ‘Free’ Spins Promotions

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 10 years or so, you’re probably already pretty familiar with slots. They’re the number one casino game played online by a country mile, enjoyed by fans across demographics as one of the easiest ways to win from your gambling. The idea is simple – you set your stake per spin, give it a whirl, and get paid out when you line-up matching symbols across a payline.

But what if you could spin for real money prizes as an extra bonus on top of your real money bet? That’s where extra spins come in. Essentially, extra spins are just like regular slots spins, but the casino is picking up the tab. In many cases you can find offers with upwards of 50, 100 or even 200 bonus spins – and anything you win, you can keep, subject to the usual terms and conditions.

For the casinos, they’re simply an excellent way to incentivise new players, either in place of or in addition to the generous welcome bonuses that have become the industry norm. But how do these promotional spins vary between different casinos?

Different Types Of ‘Free’ Spins Offers

Bonus spins come in a range of different shapes and sizes. Depending on the specifics of the offer, you will most likely be looking to find a bonus that falls into one of the following categories.

  • Deposit Extra Spins Bonus: The most common type of extra spins bonus, this requires you to make an initial deposit before you qualify for any bonus amount. Typically, you’ll find that you are offered a deposit match bonus, up to a certain threshold, for example 100% of your deposit up to £100, alongside an allocation of extra spins at no extra charge, often restricted to a selection of qualifying slots titles.
  • No-Deposit ‘Free’ Spins Bonus: Another pretty common extra spins bonus is the no-deposit bonus, and as the name implies, you don’t have to deposit to get your hands on these completely free spins. All that’s required is simply setting up an account with the casino offering the promotion, and these will be allocated to you according to the terms of the bonus. You will often need to deposit before you can withdraw any winnings from these ‘free’ spins, and other terms and conditions will always apply, but it’s pretty much the closest thing you’ll get to free money in your pocket when you’re looking for somewhere to play slots online.
  • Retention Spins Bonus: Not every extra spins bonus is offered to new players, and if you’re a loyal player at a certain casino, you should certainly keep your eyes peeled for retention bonuses. These are designed to encourage you to stick around (and in many cases, to avoid the temptation of appealing spins bonuses from other casinos). These bonuses are offered to existing players at set intervals or on special occasions, and you’ll usually get an email informing you of the bonus and how you can qualify for it.
  • In-Game Spins Bonus: Not to be confused with the extra spin bonuses offered by the casinos, some slots games also have ‘free’ spins features built into their gameplay. These are triggered in-game when you line up bonus symbols, or simply at random, and give you the chance to play through a set number of spins for free, while reaping the full benefits of anything you win.
  • No Deposit, No Wagering Spins: The online casino industry is always changing and that often means you get more ways to turn nothing into something. The latest innovation to take hold is no deposit, no wagering free spins. Also known as Real Spins, these bonuses do exactly what they say on the tin. Basically, to unlock these rewards, you don’t have to deposit a certain amount or wager “XX”. Traditionally, any ‘free’ spin wins could only be unlocked after you’d met the playthrough limit. With Real Spins, whatever you win becomes real cash and not bonus cash. Although the maximum stake will often be set at around £0.10 per spin, the money you win is restriction free and yours to keep!

These spins aren’t paid for by the casino – they are factored into the game itself as a bonus round, so they are slightly different. This means they don’t usually have anything like the same terms and conditions attached to them, and in many slots, they are actually integral to finding your way towards the biggest prizes available.

Free Spins Vs. Welcome Bonuses: Which One Is Best?

As a newbie, there are plenty of ways to get something for nothing, but the two most common are ‘free’ spins and deposit bonuses. In the first instance, you’ll receive a set number of ‘free’ spins when you sign-up or make a deposit. With a deposit bonus, you’ll get a certain amount of cash based on two things: a multiplier and the size of your deposit.

When you compare the two, ‘free’ spins are often better for low stakes players because the reward isn’t determined by the size of your deposit. In fact, you might not even have to make a deposit to receive some ‘free’ spins. In this respect, everyone is on a level playing field and all players can get max value from the offer. However, ‘free’ spins will incur some wagering conditions and, in some instances, these can be higher than standard bonus wagering conditions. Additionally, you will often find that your stake and winnings are capped when you use ‘free’ spins.

In contrast, deposit bonuses favour players with more to spend. Because each deposit is multiplied by a certain amount, larger transactions equate the larger bonuses. Naturally, this is a benefit for high rollers, but it can often leave casual players with little in the way of extra rewards. In practice, ‘free’ spins and deposit bonuses are both fantastic. However, when it comes to choosing which one is best, it will all depend on your circumstances. If you’ve got a small bankroll, look for ‘free’ spin offers. In contrast, if you have more to spend, choose the deposit deals with best multipliers and largest payout limits.

What To Look Out For In ‘Free’ Spins Terms And Conditions

While in-game free spins are in a class of their own, all other types of spins bonuses offered by casinos will attract their own distinct terms and conditions. These need to be met before you can withdraw any of the winnings from your spins bonuses, so it’s worth keeping an eye out for these terms before you sign up.

  1. Game Restrictions: Bonus spins aren’t completely unrestricted – you are often limited to specific games or specific styles of play. Be sure you know which slots are covered first before signing up for a promotional spins offer to avoid disappointment.
  2. Max Winnings: When casinos are funding promotional spins bonuses, they don’t want to be paying to put themselves out of business. That’s why there are often maximum winnings clauses in promotional spins bonus terms and conditions, which stipulate the maximum possible amount you can win from any ‘free’ spin.
  3. Wagering Requirements: Even once you’ve adhered to all these restrictions, you’ll also need to bear in mind wagering requirements. Before you can withdraw any of your winnings, it’s often necessary to meet a predetermined multiple of betting volume. So if your bonus is worth £100, you might have to meet a wagering requirement of 10x – that means playing through £1000, before you’re able to withdraw that money.
  4. Withdrawals: At the final step of the process, there will also be some restrictions on withdrawals, which may include verifying ID, maximum weekly withdrawal limits, and similar restrictions before you can get your hands on any of your winnings.

What We Do At Top 5

If this all seems a bit overwhelming or confusing, relax – we’re here to give you a helping hand. Our job is to bring you the best promotional spins offers available from the world’s leading online casinos, so you don’t have to suffer through all the legwork yourself.

We only recommend fair, secure casinos with bonus offers we would choose ourselves. If it’s included in our latest ranking, you can be certain it’s worth your while taking advantage. Plus, we’ve secured some sweet exclusives, like the 100% up to £100 + 200 extra spins from Betfair Casino, or the 100% up to £300 bonus from Royal Panda.

Check out our reviews for more in-depth ratings on all the casinos and bonuses we recommend, or grab your exclusive ‘free’ spins bonus offer from the table above to get started.