Free Spins Explained: What They Are and How They Work

May 14, 2020 | Reading time: 8 Minutes
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What are free spins? You surely came across them in the past, and their name seems to imply what they consist of: free game rounds in slots. But how do they work? And, most importantly, are they truly free?

It is said that NetEnt was the initial inventor of free spins by introducing them in its online slot games. In the following article we will talk about main types of free spins bonuses, their variants, and what they mean. 
 

Free Spins by Deposit Type

In the following section we will discuss the free spin bonuses you can get according to the type of deposit you have to make:
 

No Deposit Free Spins Bonuses

Usually you will have to deposit money in order to get a bonus, free spins included. However, when it comes to no deposit free spins, you don’t have to make a deposit in order to get them.  This is a welcome bonus the online casinos award their new players with.

You won’t need to spend any money in order to get this kind of bonus. The only requirement is creating an account at the online casino that offers this perk and remember to read its terms and conditions carefully.

Note that no deposit free spins can also be parts of a welcome pack or bonus you can redeem at any online casino providing these deals.
 

No Wagering Free Spins Bonuses

As you may already know if you’ve perused our Guides so far, many bonuses come with wagering requirements. For example, if your free spins bonus has a 10x playthrough, it means that you have to gamble the bonus ten times before withdrawing any winnings you made.

With no wagering free spins  you don’t have to gamble the bonus a specific number of times before being able to cash out the winnings. For more information on wagering, you can read our guide on what wagering means.
 

Free Spins No Deposit No Wagering - “Honest Spins”

No deposit and no wagering free spins are a combination of the two types of offers presented above. This kind of bonus does not need any money deposited before and also doesn’t have any wagering requirements. This means that it is a completely free bonus users and especially new players can get and try in order to gamble at their favorite online casino slots.
 

Deposit Free Spins Casino Bonus Offers

Deposit free spins are the kind of bonus you can get after making a deposit at a certain casino that is offering this kind of prize. These also come in two types:

  • Casino Deposit Free Spins - These deposit free spins are added to your casino account where you can use them however you want and even trade them for free games on scratch cards, for example.
     
  • Game Deposit Free Spins - This kind of first deposit bonus will restrict you to which games you can use it in. For example, you can get deposit free spins that can only be played in a certain slot.


The most popular of these bonuses is the first deposit bonus that many casinos offer to their players or that you can get from various promotions.


Free Spins that You Can Redeem Yourself

These are the kind of free spins you can get or redeem in various way as we will discuss below:


Welcome Pack Free Spins & Welcome Bonus Free Spins

Welcome pack free spins can be a kind of limited edition no deposit bonus or just a simple award from the casino that you can get while creating your account or just redeeming a welcome offer yourself. This can be done on the online casino’s website if the website provides this kind of deal.


VIP Program & Referral Free Spins

Another type of free spins that you can get at no cost (depending on the online casino’s rules) are the ones that the casino rewards you once you take part in a loyalty program. Even if you gamble for the loyalty points, some of them will be given to you for free, and this is very beneficial.

You usually earn points in casino loyalty programs by playing or signing up for subscriptions, either via events or contests.

When it comes to referral free spins, you need to know that this kind of bonus applies to users that invite their friends to play in a certain casino through a unique referral link.


Why Are Free Spins the Most Popular Casino Bonus?

Free spins are used in online casino slots, and slots are the games preferred by many players due to the fact that they are so entertaining and easy to understand. Once you get the hang of the slots RTP and paylines you are good to start spinning for real money. Therefore, since slots are usually the most played type of casino game, free spins promotions are the bonuses you will come across most of the time.
what are free spins

Are Free Spins Actually Free?

The answer is yes and no. Usually, free spins come with a preset wagering requirement, as we mentioned above. This means that you will have to spend some money in order to get the cash out. However, no deposit and no wagering free spins are completely free, as you get them without making a deposit and without having to gamble them over and over again. These are great for new players who want to try out slots in an online casino.


In-Game Free Spins Versus Free Spins Bonuses

In the sections above we talked about bonus free spins, which are given by the online casino itself or in different promotions via a code. However, there are also the in-game free spins, which trigger in a slot with a special scatter combination during gameplay.

Usually, in most online slots, hitting three or more Free Spins Scatters will give you from 5 to even 30 free spins. In order to find out how this varies from game to game, just pick an online slot and read its paytable carefully.
free spins explained


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT FREE SPINS
 

How do you claim a Free Spins Bonus?

Claiming a free spins bonus is easy. Once you find it, redeem it via a code or via the online casino’s customer support. Keep in mind to take a look at the wagering requirements and to read the online casino’s terms and conditions.
 

What are the restrictions and requirements for free spins?

Free spins also come with rules you must follow in order to benefit from your winnings, and these limitations can come as:

  • Wagering - the times you have to wager your free spins bonus;
     
  • Max cash out - the online casino’s cash out limit;
     
  • Games allowed - free spins bonuses work only for a number of games and you should check this fact carefully before redeeming a bonus;

 

Can you win real money with free spins?

Yes, you can win real money via free spins. No wagering free spins are more lucrative than the usual ones, as you can cash out the money without having to gamble the winnings.
 

Can you play free spins bonuses on mobile devices?

Yes, you can play free spins bonuses on mobile devices in a mobile casino by following the exact steps you would have on a desktop. Most online casinos’ interfaces work flawlessly on tablets and smartphones.
 

What are the most important things to consider when claiming a free spins bonus code?

The most important thing to consider when claiming your free spins bonus is reading the wagering requirements and the terms and conditions, so that you know the exact steps you have to take in order to benefit from your winnings.


Are free spins bonuses awarded only to new players?

No, free spins are not only for new players, as seasoned players can also claim free spins bonuses. Free spins are a great way of getting used to a slot’s particularities and payouts if you are a novice, but it doesn’t mean that experienced gamblers can’t take advantage of free spins.


What are the games that provide the most in-game free spins?

Here we have listed top 5 slots that offer the most frequent free spins rounds during their gameplay:
 

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