When you first enter the world of online bingo, especially after joining a few sites, offers of various kinds will bombard you on a pretty regular basis.
Sifting through them and figuring out what they mean can be confusing at first! However, there are two broad categories that are quite important; deposit bonuses and no deposit bingo bonuses.
No deposit bonuses come up on fewer bingo sites by far, so they’re pretty valuable and worth considering whenever they appear. They allow you to try out a site for free, even having a shot at winning some cash, without making any deposit – no risk to you at all!
This is obviously very handy compared to a standard deposit bonus which does require you to spend some money. Keep an eye out for no deposit bonuses!
To make sense of a no deposit offer, it’s worth first understanding welcome bonuses.
Most online bingo sites have welcome bonuses, which are simply a promotion that applies to new joiners, usually triggered by their first deposit. So, the player deposits cash and gets a bonus as a welcome to the site.
However, a no deposit bonus does not require any deposit (as the name suggests). In simple terms, you get bonus cash without having to spend any money of your own.
These are still welcome bonuses, by and large, so they happen once you first make an account and register at a bingo site. Shortly after registering (you may also need to submit card details, but not to actually deposit money) your account is credited with the bonus.
The actual bonus varies – some sites will give credit, others will give the bonus as free spins or tickets. A credit bonus will be termed as ‘£5 free to play with, no deposit needed’. Free spins may say ‘get 30 free spins, no deposit needed’.
The same applies with tickets, where the bonus is in the form of pre-bought bingo tickets. Free spins or tickets will just be waiting to be used when you visit the appropriate game or bingo room. Credit can usually be spent however you prefer.
Typically, the answer is yes, because there’s really nothing to lose. With no deposit needed, you can play through the free cash and if you don’t get a win, you still haven’t spent any money. Why not give it a go?
The downside or cost is only that you need to register with the site, so you may want to consider whether you’re likely to return to the site in future and if you want to end up on their mailing list. You should also check the Ts and Cs.
When you arrive at a site, you can double check how the no deposit bonus works, usually from information on the home page or in the promotions section.
It’s worth checking the terms and conditions, because bonuses typically have a wagering requirement. This might be as much as 40x or it may depend on which game you play.
So, you could get £10 free but need to play through £40 before anything you win is withdrawable. There may also be a cap on the maximum you can win from the free credit.
This is normal and prevents milking casinos for cash, but it can surprise some players who think they’ve had a win from a freebie but can’t withdraw it.
This is a slight downside to this kind of bonus, but again it costs you nothing to try to get a big win and meet the requirements.
How free spins work does vary slightly depending on whether they were awarded from a game or from a promotion, but the core idea is the same – when you spin the reels, instead of credit being deducted from your balance, a free spin is taken instead.
Usually, the slot game will make this very clear by showing that the next spin is a free one, typically with a counter.
If you got free spins from a promotion, they should be immediately ready to go when you visit the slot that the spins apply to (promotions typically give spins for one specific game, or a small selection, so make sure to visit the right game).
Once you arrive, the display of the slot should make it clear that you’re using free spins. To be safe, double check by looking at the stake and making sure your balance doesn’t go down after the first spin.
Free spins are awarded at a certain stake size, so you may not be able to adjust this. When you get free spins through a bonus round, they typically count as the stake size you were using at the time.
There may also be additional benefits, such as on Lucky Lady’s Charm Deluxe which awards a 3x multiplier on each free spin. Many can retrigger too, so you can keep getting more free spins.
They can even take place in an entirely different game mode, with different symbols, values and the potential to hit the jackpot.
The Game of Thrones slot by Microgaming even lets you choose four free spin packs, such as 8 spins with a 5x multiplier or 10 spins and a 4x multiplier.
The main alternative to no deposit offers is simply deposit offers! This is the standard welcome bonus and involves you depositing some cash to a bingo site, then getting a reward based on how much you put in.
For example, the standard offer is 100%, a 1 for 1 match. Deposit £10, get £10 bonus money! A 200% bonus would give you £20 from a £10 deposit and so on. Often, the most you can claim is capped at around £200, sometimes more or less.
These bonuses allow you to start with far more money on your balance, giving you much freer rein to try out various games. They may also come with some free spins on top.
Starting with £40 in your balance after a £10 deposit obviously gives you more leeway to try the site out. However, the wagering requirements will still apply and are typically higher with this kind of bonus, simply because the amounts involved are higher.
Most players find a no deposit offer preferable, because of no money being risked- plus these sites tend to offer both, so you can still claim a regular welcome bonus after trying out the freebie.
Right here on OnlineBingo.co.uk, you can find no deposit offers here. For example, Costa Bingo is known for a free £5 offer without a deposit, so this is a great way to get into online bingo or just maximise your chances.
The same £5 offer can be found over at 32Red bingo, which is attached to a big casino site and packs a lot of games, as well as exclusive Saturday Night Takeaway events and games.
For something a little unusual, Bingocams is also known for periodical no deposit bonuses, a site where you can boost winnings by celebrating on camera!
Check out all the offers listed on site and don’t forget that you can read reviews too. Good luck grabbing some no deposit offers!
Bret Allen is an experienced journalist and freelance copywriter who specialises in the gambling sector and has written for various publications as well as one of the largest online gaming companies in the UK – Gamesys. Bret has a particular interest in slot games and knows his RTPs from his RNGs.
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