No deposit bonuses are some of the most popular in the online casino sector. You can sign up, play, and win without making a real money wager. It’s the perfect excuse to play a few games without dipping into your bankroll, and in this guide, we’ll tell you all about no deposit bonuses and show you where to find them.
What are No Deposit Casinos?
No deposit casinos are simply online casinos that offer no deposit bonuses. Unlike matched deposit bonuses, which literally “match” your deposit to a specific percentage, you don’t need to deposit any funds with a no deposit bonus.
These bonuses give you either free spins or bonus credits. The former are typically fixed to specific slot machines; the latter can be used to play a wide range of table games.
What Do I Need to Join a No Deposit Casino?
Joining a no deposit casino and collecting your credits isn’t as easy as entering your name, address, and email.
You’ll need to be verified before you can collect one of these bonuses. Verification usually happens instantly, but that only applies if the site can complete a soft credit check with the details that you have provided.
If not, you’ll need to submit proof of ID and address. Fortunately, this process is usually fast and seamless, so it should only take a couple of minutes to complete.
That’s not all, though.
You will also need to add a debit card. No money will be taken from your account and you still don’t need to make a deposit. You’re just verifying your details so that the casino can tick some regulatory boxes.
What are No Deposit Casinos Bonus Terms?
As with other casino promotions, no deposit bonuses come with a number of terms and conditions. The most important of these are placed front and centre, but for the others, you’ll need to dig through the Ts & Cs link.
Here are the key terms to look out for on every no deposit casino bonus:
Casinos aren’t in the business of giving away free money. They don’t want you to collect the no deposit bonus and then make a withdrawal. They also don’t want you to simply wager it all on a game of Baccarat or Roulette.
To counteract this, they include something known as wagering requirements.
Often displayed as a multiple (such as 50x), this term denotes how many times the bonus must be wagered before the winnings can be withdrawn.
If, for instance, a casino has a 25x wagering requirement, then you must wager £250 on a £10 bonus. If you have been given a bundle of free spins instead, the wagering requirement will apply to the winnings, as opposed to the value of the spins.
From the casino’s perspective, there are two benefits to a wagering requirement.
The first is that you play into the house edge.
Imagine that you’re betting on the roll of a dice. You win every time it hits 1 or 2, but you lose on 3, 4, and 5, while 6 is a tie. You could win big on the first roll and may even remain in profit after 5 or 10 rolls. But the more rolls that you take, the higher the chance of the score being levelled out and eventually going against you.
That doesn’t mean that all players will lose all of their money. By definition, someone will win. What matters for the casino is that the majority don’t.
The second benefit of a wagering requirement is that it forces you to play more games and experience more of the casino. That way, you’re more likely to stick around for the long haul.
There are time limits for all bonuses, and these govern many aspects of play.
There’s a limit on the length of time that a bonus remains active. There’s also a limit on when you need to collect it and when you need to use it. Finally, there is a time limit on the wagering requirement,
Win Limits and Cash out Limits
Casinos don’t want you using a free £10 bonus and then winning a six-figure sum. Even with a wagering requirement, you’re still going to walk away with a massive payout.
To prevent this, most casinos will simply prohibit you from playing games with progressive jackpots and other big payouts while your bonus is active. Others place win limits and cash out limits.
A win limit restricts how much you can win. A cash out limit lets you win big and use the funds to clear the wagering requirement, but it takes them away when you withdraw.
Why Aren’t No Deposit Casinos As Common As They Used to Be?
It’s not as easy for UK casinos to offer no deposit bonuses as it used to it.
The UK Gambling Commission has tightened its restrictions in recent years and these have made life difficult for operators and players.
Regulators require casinos to know exactly who their players are, even if they are not making a deposit. If you have ever tried to play a slot machine in demo mode, you will have seen these strict rules for yourself. In most countries around the world, these games can be played freely and they are available on review sites and operator sites.
In the UK, you need to complete an age verification check before the game will even load.
The regulator wants to make 100% sure that everyone who plays casino games—whether there is real money at stake or not—is over the age of 18, linked to an address in the UK, and not involved in any kind of money laundering.
The result is that players need to complete multiple checks before they can collect their no deposit bonus, and most are reluctant to do that.
At best, it’s a hassle. At worst, it seems like a scam.
After all, the basic premise is “you can collect some bonus credits/spins without making a deposit”. But the catch is that you need to confirm your identity (which can involve sending a picture of your passport or driver’s license) and add a bank account.
If you’re new to the industry and don’t know how things work, it can feel like one of those 419 “Nigerian Prince” scams where someone promises to send you millions, but one if you hand over a few grand first.
Initially, no deposit bonuses entice all players, but only a few of them remain when they realise what’s required to collect that offer.
There are other reasons as well, of course.
Firstly, no deposit bonuses are more likely to attract low stake players. These casual gamblers sign in and deposit maybe once or twice a week and rarely spend more than £20 at a time. They are cautious, careful, and not the sort of player that casinos profit from.
On the flip side, a bigger spender who typically deposits £1,000+ at a time is very lucrative for a casino, but they’re also not interested in £10 no deposit bonuses.
Secondly, the lack of a deposit means the casino has nothing to gain if the player collects their funds, spends every last penny, and then leaves.
The casino’s margins are big enough to cover these losses and keep going, and even if just 10% of players become regulars it’s still a worthwhile promotion. But it’s probably not as effective as a matched deposit offer or cashback offer when it comes to player retention.
What are the Best No Deposit Casinos?
No deposit casinos aren’t as common as they used to be, but you can still find them if you know where to look. We have reviewed many of these casinos and you can find links to them below.
Just click, sign up, and play. Alternatively, you can read our reviews on each of these casinos to learn more about them.
FAQs about No Deposit Casino Bonuses
There is nothing inherently scammy about a no deposit casino. It can seem a little too good to be true, but as noted above, there are many factors that tilt things in the casino’s favour. There are scam operators out there, but they’re easily found and dismissed. Just look for sites that are regulated by the UK Gambling Commission.
Contrary to what some players seem to believe, it’s not so the casino can somehow trick or exploit you. It’s not even so they can add your details to the newsletter list and spam you. It’s all down to the regulator. Simply put, casinos are required to verify the details of all players, regardless of whether they have deposited or not.
It depends on the site, but as these bonuses cost more for the casino and carry a greater risk, the offers tend to be smaller. Most no deposit bonuses are around £5 to £20, and it’s rare to find anything higher. You may also be offered bundles of spins with a similar collective value.
They are more commonly offered to new players than active ones, but if you’re loyal enough and make a lot of bets, the casino may give you a no deposit bonus. In such cases, the wagering requirements are often much lower.