Look at sign up offers from online casinos or sites that boast a casino with slot games and you’ll immediately notice how many of them promise you Free Spins for signing up. Normally the offer says something like “Deposit £10 and get 500 Free Spins!” or similar. If you’re not particularly au fait with online casinos, though, this can seem confusing.

What is a Free Spin, exactly? Are they actually worth anything? What requirements are there when it comes to exchanging your Free Spins for cash that you can withdraw into your bank account? All totally fair questions and things that you’ll be able to find out by reading the small print, as long as you know what you’re looking for in the first place.

What is a Free Spin?

The first thing to point out is that there is a difference between promotions that promise Free Spins and Free Spins that you can sometimes receive during gameplay. The latter is a reward built in to certain games that see players receive a Free Spin or two during the process of playing on a slot or video poker style game.

We’re more interested in the sort of Free Spin that an online casino or bookmaker with a casino attached to its sportsbook might offer you in exchange for joining the site and making a deposit into your new account. They’re handled totally differently, with the most important differential being that you’ll need to do something to get these Free Spins.

They are a way of online casinos making it look really attractive to you to join up with them, given that they promise you a given number of Free Spins once you’ve deposited some money into your account. A rule of thumb is that the more Free Spins you’re offered, the tougher it will be to actually withdraw any money that you win using them.

Let’s take a look at a specific offer in order to get a clearer idea of what we’re talking about. One casino looked at offers a £10 Bonus as well as 30 Free Spins if you deposit and then play with £10 of your own money.

One of the key things with this offer is that the 30 Free Spins are for a specific game, meaning that you’re restricted in what you can use your Free Spins on. There are other things to note, too. The Free Spins must be played on a maximum line bet with a 1p wager.

Some casinos will also put a maximum win in place, meaning that you’ll only be able to win up to a certain amount with your Free Spins. All things worth looking for in the small print so you know what you’re getting for your money.

How Much Are They Worth?

Getting Free Spins as part of a welcome offer or other sort of promotion is all well and good, but how much are they actually worth? This is at least a mildly complicated question to answer, given that they’re technically worth nothing until you’ve completed the wagering requirement to turn them into cash that you can withdraw to your bank account.

We’ll talk about wagering requirements in a minute, though. For now, let’s let at how much each Free Spin is worth in a theoretical sense. After all, if you were planning on depositing money into your account in order to play the game that you’ve been offered some Free Spins on then you’re saving money by not having to actually do that.

With that being the case, the way to calculate how much each Free Spin is worth is by looking at the rules and regulations that the casino have put in place for the offer. Using our above example, the offer is for a maximum line bet with a 1p wager. When it comes to online slots, the wager is placed on every line you play.

The number of lines played will dictate how much each bet is worth. In the game our above offer is for, the maximum number of lines is thirty. That means that each Free Spin is worth 1p times thirty lines, or 30p per Free Spin. Thirty Free Spins at 30p per spin means that the offer is worth a total of £9.

You can figure out each offer’s worth by using the simple calculation:

  • Number Of Lines
  • Multiplied By:
  • Bet Amount

So, five hundred lines at a bet amount of 2p per line equates to a bet value of £10.

Wagering Requirements

Whilst Free Spins might sound great and are obviously good fun for those of you that just like to watch the reels spin without worrying about actually winning any money. Yet there’s also something of a lie about the phrase, given that they usually require you to bet money in the first place and also have wagering requirements attached.

Different companies will have different wagering requirements attached to their offers, so this is another thing that you’ll have to look at the small print for. What’s worth remembering is that it’s the winnings that need to be rolled over, not the value of the bet.

To phrase that another way, if your Free Spins result in you winning £100 and the rollover requirement is that your winnings need to be rolled over five times, you’ll have to have bet the full £100 five times to the equivalent of £500 in bets before you’re able to withdraw any money.

‘Free Bets’ Time Are Limited

Whilst this is also literal, in the sense that you’ll normally have a period of, say, thirty days to use your Free Spins, what we’re actually referring to is the fact that the Advertising Standards Authority haven’t been impressed with the way that companies have made the offer of Free Spins when they’re not actually free.

The ASA asked the United Kingdom Gambling Commission to crack down on the phrase, but all it led to was companies changing the language that they use on the offers. Instead of being ‘free’, they’ve instead started offering punters ‘Extra Spins’ or even ‘Casino Spins’, allowing them to carry on offering the same thing by another name.

That being said, the major problem that the Advertising Standards Authority and the UKGC had with it was that customers felt ‘cheated’ or ‘disappointed’ that they didn’t get something for free as they believed that they would be doing. Removing the word ‘free’ will theoretically stop that from happening.

No Wagering Spins

A new phenomenon is for betting companies to offer customers No Wager Spins. In many ways these could be thought of as being ‘true’ Free Spins, in the sense that they are offered to punters without the need for any wagering requirements to be met before they take on cash value.

In other words, you use your No Wagering Spins and if the result in you winning then you can use the cash however you please without needing to rollover the winnings first. These offers are becoming more and more prevalent, so they offer the perfect opportunity to pick up some free winnings without having to do much.

As always, there will be some form of requirement to be met for this offer to be valid, so you might well need to deposit some money into your account first, for example. Generally speaking, though, it should be relatively simple for you to take advantage of this offer because it’s designed to entice you in in the hope that you’ll bet more money.