Online casinos have to give new players quite a bit in order to compete and attract business. Unlike land-based casinos, they cannot offer players free dinner or live entertainment. However, online casinos often give players free money to play with just for signing up or being a loyal member. These are called no deposit bonuses. Players can enjoy hundreds of dollars worth of sign-up no deposit bonuses alone through various casinos, but it's important that they understand how they work before taking them.
Before claiming (or playing, if automatically credited) a bonus, players should always read the terms and conditions on the casino website. These will outline the rules for players in playing with this promotion. The terms and conditions can be very specific, and failure to abide by them will almost certainly result in the free chip and any winnings from it being null and void. This guide should help simplify these rules, but always ask casino support if additional clarification is needed.
As with all promotions, no deposit bonuses will always carry a playthrough requirement. In the cashier window, there will typically be a list of games that players may wager on. If it is not listed there, it will definitely be found in the terms and conditions for that promotion. Players are typically restricted to slots only, but some casinos do allow gamblers to play the free chip on other games. Unlike match bonuses, these restrictions almost always apply even after playthrough requirements are met.
Many casinos, such as High Noon Casino, offer players a no deposit bonus once they sign up. These may either be automatically credited or voluntarily claimed in the cashier window. High Noon Casino's $60 no deposit bonus is the most common type of no deposit bonus. The free money is considered nothing more than free play chips. Players may use them to earn real money, but cannot withdraw them. Upon withdrawing, his or her $60 in free chips is subtracted from the real money balance. This kind of bonus is typically called “phantom” or “sticky”.
In addition to being phantom bonuses, most no deposit bonuses also have a maximum cashout. This places a cap on the amount players can withdraw from this chip. For instance, if a player claims High Noon Casino's $60 no deposit bonus, the maximum amount they may withdraw is $600. If a player withdraws an amount higher than this, his or her balance will be reduced to $600. This maximum cashout restriction applies even after playthrough requirements are met. Players who reach this threshold and want to keep playing must withdraw the balance first before they will be able to win more.
Some online casinos also give players no deposit bonuses just for being loyal patrons. The terms for these promotions are typically not any different from the other no deposit bonus terms. Sometimes, casinos will credit players' accounts with these bonuses automatically, so we recommend checking all accounts every once in a while to see if there's any free chips waiting. Contact support if you feel the terms for a particular loyalty no deposit bonus are unclear.
While most no deposit bonuses are normal phantom bonuses, some are multi-stage promotions. This means that players get a certain amount of free chips to play with in the first stage. Players typically have to wager this through within a certain time frame. Then, these chips can then be added to a player's first deposit as a match promotion in the second stage. Before making the deposit to claim the bonus, players should definitely read the terms and conditions to make sure they are reasonable. A maximum cashout of 1x and a playthrough of 50x is not reasonable.
Online casinos are fantastic at giving their players free money to play with. Much like brick-and-mortar casino comp programs, no deposit bonuses give players an additional reward for playing at an online casino and entice players to stay playing there. However, in order to take advantage of these offers, gamblers need to be aware of the terms and conditions surrounding the bonus. If these terms are difficult to understand, be sure to contact support before playing on a no deposit bonus.
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