The promotions make it look so easy. Play for free! No deposit needed! On the face of it, offers like these seem to take all the risk out of gambling. If you win, that’s great, it’s money in your pocket. And if you don’t? Well, you’ve not lost anything as you didn’t have to stake any of your own money in the first place.
Deep down, we all know it can’t be quite as simple as that. A casino is a business, and no business can give away money without taking any in. It all comes down to the small print. Free promos like these have all sorts of strings attached, and you can’t just pocket your winnings and walk away. However, if you play smart and follow these tips, it is still possible to beat the house at its own game and come out a winner.
Consult the experts
In reading this guide, you’ve taken a first step down this road. But there are specialists in the casino sector who know all the tricks and can help you negotiate the minefield of small print. For example, NoDepositWorld has tips to help you win real money at today’s online casinos and provides a detailed analysis of the bonus offers.
In particular, they look at wagering requirements, which stipulate how many times you must re-invest your winnings before you cash out, and also at time limitations. It’s not always the case that the biggest cash offer represents the best deal.
Which slot game?
Some casinos stipulate that their free spins or bonus money can only be used on a specific game. If that’s the case, then there’s no decision to make here. However, it’s always better to give yourself a little choice if possible, so look out for offers that extend to multiple slots, and even to other casino games – but more on those in a moment.
Choosing the right slot can look like a complicated task when there are so many to choose from, but there are a couple of technical things to look out for. The first is the Return to Player (RTP). This is the payback percentage, and the higher the number, the better the payout. An RTP of 95% percent means for every 100 coins wagered, the game pays out 95 on average. An RTP of 98% means it’s 98 coins paid out for every 100 deposited.
The second thing to check is volatility. High volatility games pay out less often but in higher amounts. Low volatility means frequent small payouts. When you are playing with free money and spins, you need to remember that wagering requirement. Meeting it is all about churn and making winning last, so look for low volatility games.
Some casinos provide information on RTP and volatility below the game. However, if the information is not immediately available, it only takes a quick Google search to find the game on a review site and check out the technical specifications. It’s easy when you know what you are looking for!
Alternatives to slots
Sometimes, a casino will allow you to wager bonus money on other casino games. They usually exclude games like blackjack and roulette, but video poker is often included as an alternative to slots.
Of course, it’s a matter of personal choice, but if that option is there, you should seriously consider it. Slots are really down to chance, but with video poker, playing with the optimum strategy will bring the house edge right down towards zero. Or to put it another way, it will boost the RTP up towards 100.
Aside from that, video poker is a lot of fun, and if you are new to poker games, it provides the perfect schooling that will let you advance to playing other games like three card poker and Texas Holdem.
There are numerous variations of video poker. The basic rules are the same for all, but some have added aspects like wild cards or special combinations that bring extra rewards. If you are a beginner, start with Jacks or Better, which is the basic game on which all the others are based. You can always broaden your horizons with a game like Joker Poker or Deuces Wild once you’ve got into the swing of it!
Speculate to accumulate?
Just by following the above tips, you’ll significantly improve the chances of winning something for nothing. But remember what we said at the outset. Casinos would go out of business if they made a habit of giving money away, so even with the smartest strategy, those free spins and coins are most likely to evaporate before you can cash them out.
Perhaps the best tip of all is to treat them as what they are – “in game” currency that you can spend on more spins of the reels or hands of poker, but that are unlikely to ever be cashed out in the real world. They give you a golden opportunity to get to know the different games and develop a strategy.
That in itself is hugely beneficial. It means that when the time comes and you decide to wager some money out of your own pocket, you will know exactly what to do with it in order to have the best chance of beating the house and walking away with some real world winnings. Good luck!