A no deposit bonus (or free chip) is a type of an online casino promotion where a player is given a certain amount of free chips to wager with. The term is flexible in meaning. The vast majority of no deposit bonuses are available upon sign-up only and are completely free. However, some no deposit bonuses are awarded for a player's loyalty (and therefore not technically free), while others are part of multi-stage promotions that will, at some point, require a deposit.
Most no deposit bonus offers come in the form of bonus cash. However, there is a distinction between no deposit bonus cash and regular cash that a player has in his or her balance. Casinos that give out cash no deposit bonuses almost always apply strict terms to the use of the money, which are explained in later sections of this article. The way by which these terms are posted varies from casino to casino. No deposit bonuses often have their own section in the general terms and conditions, but some casinos will post individual rules for each bonus.
No deposit bonuses may be redeemed in varying ways. No deposit bonus codes are the most common way, allowing players to enter in a promotional code either in the cashier or upon registration that will credit their account. Other online casinos may require the player to contact support, whereas some put the free chip in player accounts automatically.
The second most popular form of a no deposit bonus is free spins. Free spins are almost always available only on a certain slot or set of slots (most commonly video slots). When a casino offers a free spins no deposit bonus, they will set a compulsory bet that you may play. Free spins are typically less valuable than standard cash no deposit bonuses. For instance, a casino that offers 25 free spins at a fixed 0.20 bet is technically offering a 5.00 no deposit bonus. Because winnings almost always are then subject to more wageirng requirements, the odds of making a cashout are significantly less than those of a regular free chip.
The final and rarest form of a free chip is the multi-stage promotion. In these, a casino will give a player a certain amount of play cash (often a very high amount) and give them a certain timeframe to meet the playthrough requirement. If the player does, the funds are frozen and must be unlocked by a deposit. These are no deposit bonuses in name only and typically have high wagering requirements and low maximum cashout ceilings attached to them.
Like all bonuses, a free chip is subject to playthrough requirements dictated by the casino. No deposit bonuses, however, will have a much higher playthrough requirement than match bonuses in most cases, especially when no previous deposit is required. This is because they are at a much higher risk of being used fraudulently, a growing problem that online casinos face daily.
The second term often applied to a no deposit bonus is a maximum cashout limit or ceiling. Because most online casinos require you to wager on slots only, this significantly reduces the value of no deposit bonus codes. The size of the maximum cashout limit for a no deposit bonus varies from casino to casino. No deposit bonuses may have maximum cashout limits ranging from no limit to as small as 1x. In the case of very large bonuses, it may even be a fraction of the bonus amount.
The reason that most online casinos give out no deposit bonuses is for the purpose of marketing. They are seen, in most cases, as an advertising cost to the casino. No deposit bonuses have risen in size over the years as casinos have competed with one another. However, the terms have also gotten much stricter. In fact, the cash amount of a free chip has very little to do with its overall value in most cases. A $50 no deposit bonus with a 99x playthrough requirement and $100 maximum cashout ceiling, for instance, has an average withdrawable value of about only $1. On the other hand, a $10 no deposit bonus with a 30x playthrough and no maximum cashout holds a much better value of around $9.