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free spins

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Free Spins

free spins

Free spins remain an eminently popular type of online casino bonus, loved by all types of players including beginners. You can understand why they have such appeal.

By providing you with the chance to spin some rounds on a real money game without troubling your own wallet, they present a genuine opportunity to pick up ‘something for nothing’. And how often do you get that in life?

The core purpose of free spins is undoubtedly beneficial to any player, but these bonuses are more complex than they first appear. This post will explore all those positives, but also assess the reasons why some players choose to ignore free spins altogether.

The Advantages of Casino Free Spins

I’ll start by saying this: I love free spins offers myself. I particularly recognise the value of no deposit free spins, which allow a player to try out a new casino before handing over any cash. We also need to recognise the different approaches to free spins bonuses seen at different casinos.

When I say approaches, I refer largely to the terms and conditions attached to the offers themselves. That discussion will formulate the basis of the ‘disadvantages’ section of this article. But perhaps ‘disadvantages’ is too negative a term. As long as you understand the limitations of some free spins opportunities, you can make the most of the opportunities they present.

Play for Free But For Real Money

The first of those advantages is fairly obvious. Gambling typically involves us risking our own cash in the hope of winning a larger amount. It’s been the same for centuries. Not so with free spins. These give you the chance to play games without emptying your own wallet. And you’re playing for real money too.

In that sense, free spins should be distinguished from ‘free play’ games. The latter allow you to effectively play games in ‘demo’ mode. That’s great for practice, and for getting a ‘feel’ for a game. But it’s frustrating if you win big. Free spins are used on real money games. In other words, you can win money using them!

Try Out New Online Casinos

Free spins also provide you with the perfect opportunity to try out new online casinos. Given the huge amount of choice in the industry today (evidence of a thriving marketplace of course), this can be a huge advantage. They are perfect for scouting missions.

No deposit free spins are particularly useful here because you receive them upon registration without crediting your account. However, there are usually bigger bundles on offer when you make your first deposit – and they will give you a more prolonged opportunity to test the site for a relatively small spend.

Try Out New Online Slots

Similarly, free spins also let you explore some new games that you’ve never played before. There is a caveat here, though. Most free spins offers are limited to one game, or a small group of games. Some games are regular fodder for these offers too. Avid players will be used to seeing free spins on NetEnt’s Starburst.

That said, there are more versatile free spins bonuses that give you the opportunity to try out different games. 21 Casino’s welcome bonus includes free spins on any NetEnt game – a great chance to try one of the more obscure titles in their catalogue. You should also look out for new game releases too. Online casinos will often attach free spins offers to them.

Win Some Money

This final point overlaps with the first one. You’re playing for real money with your free spins remember, and that means you can win some real money too. I’m going to discuss some of the factors that might restrict your chances in the next section, but make no mistake. People win money using free spins.

The Disadvantages of Casino Free Spins

It all sounds great so far. Why, then, do some of those seasoned players turn their nose up at these unprecedented opportunities to play for free? The answer to that question is rooted in the small print of many free spins offers. How much these factors bother you depends on the type of player you are.

As I said earlier in the post, the word ‘disadvantages’ may be a little unfair. The points I’m about to list aren’t disadvantages as such, but they are potential restrictions that can affect your chances of winning. That’s what puts more serious players off. They just want to play the odds without any complicating factors.

Minimum Bet Levels

Free spins potentially expose online casinos to heavy, unprofitable losses. You can’t blame some of them for reducing their risk. And one way they can do that is by pegging free spins at the lowest stake level.

This means you can only bet small amounts of each spin, so the risk of you swanning off with a massive windfall is greatly reduced. Remember how we mentioned Starburst earlier? Well, that game has a very low minimum stake level (0.10), which may just explain why it’s frequently used in free spins offers.

Wagering Requirements

The big one, and the element that’s most likely to confuse a beginner. Wagering requirements are additional means for online casinos to reduce their exposure to hefty losses. The requirements refer to the number of times you need to wager any winnings generated before you can withdraw them.

As an example, if you win £10 from 20 free spins but the spins are subject to x35 wagering requirements (a standard number), then you’d need to make £350 worth of bets before you can access whatever winnings remained. You can understand how that would reduce your chances.

Lack of Choice

As I’ve already touched upon, a lot of free spins offers are attached to an individual game. If you don’t like that online slot, then you’re unlikely to enjoy your session much. Let’s remember the Starburst rule too. The freebies are often provided on the low value games.

You don’t often get free spins on the high stakes, variable games that are likely to pay out the biggest wins. This is a problem for more serious players who are likely to gravitate towards that sort of game. They don’t like the way free spins offers restrict their choice.

The Advantages Win

So, I’ve shown that certain restrictions can put players off casino free spins offers. For my money, these cons in no way outweigh the pros, particularly as different online casinos approach them very differently. There are even signs that some are turning their back on restrictions altogether.

Yes, there are free spins offers with no wagering requirements now. There are also higher value free spins that can give you a better chance of a big windfall. You can even find free spins that can be used on a multitude of games. You should never expect to win, but it’s possible. And free spins offer so much more than the opportunity to profit.

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