Most casino bonuses require some form of commitment, but a no-deposit bonus is an exception to the rule; it’s a risk-free, obligation-free chance to experience an online casino with real chips on the line.
Not All Casinos Offer Them
Not every online casino offers the opportunity to play using real chips but without real risk. Online Casinos Elite has compiled a list of the best casino brands that do. That list is available here on this page and, in addition to the bonus amount and details, includes a link to our full review of the casino.
No-Deposit Casino Bonuses
Most casino bonuses only apply when you’ve met certain conditions. For instance, online casinos generally provide welcome bonuses as a percentage of the new client’s initial deposit. A no-deposit bonus, on the other hand, is a fixed amount awarded upon account creation. Rules vary from one casino to the next, but typically, the new player can use those chips at whichever games and in whatever wager formats he or she prefers.
Perks without Obligation
No-deposit bonuses did not, as is commonly believed, originate with the Internet gambling boom. In fact, no-obligation perks are fairly common in Las Vegas and Atlantic City and have long been used as a way to get people through the doors. Whether online, on land or on a riverboat, the casino industry is highly competitive, and risk-free perks are a great way for a casino to distinguish itself and entice potential clients to give it a shot.
History of the No-Deposit Bonus
The risk-free bonuses that are currently available online are a natural evolution of the free chips handed out as promotions by traditional casinos. These bonuses date back to the earliest online casinos that emerged in the 1990s, but recently, there has been a trend toward large initial amounts, longer play periods and the ability to keep significant portions of any winnings yielded from the no-deposit play.
No Deposit vs. Free Play
Many online casinos offer their games in a free-to-play or arcade mode. This is similar to no-deposit play in some ways, but the ways that it differs are significant. Firstly, not all games have arcade modes, and no-deposit play lets you participate in any game or wager format without restriction. Secondly, no-deposit play can be seen as an investment. If the player chooses to remain at the casino, then those no-deposit chips have a real effect on his or her starting bankroll.
How the Bonuses Work
Although the specifics of no-commitment bonuses vary between online casinos, there are some consistent elements. The new player only need register an account and does not have to deposit any money. The casino then awards the chips, and there is a set period during which those chips can be used. The period is often as short as 60 minutes but can be 48 hours and even longer in some cases. At the end of the time limit, the bankroll is reduced by the initial chip amount, and any remaining amount is considered winnings.
Winnings & Requirements
It’s important to note that not all winnings are available to the player at the conclusion of no-deposit play. Most casinos have a limit on the winnings that the player can take home, such as $100. There are usually other stipulations before winnings can be accessed. Usually, the player must make a real deposit, typically $25 to $50. In addition, some casinos treat the winnings like bonus money, which means that there is a wagering requirement to be met before the money is cleared for withdrawal.
Benefits of No-Deposit Bonuses
The biggest advantage of a no-obligation bonus is that there really are no strings attached. If the new player does not like the casino, then he or she can simply walk away from the bonus. With a traditional bonus, walking away usually means leaving money on the table. The other benefit is that the player has the opportunity for real winnings, so it’s never just wasted time. Finally, the player gets to experience the games in real mode rather than in an arcade mode, which is often subtly different.
How to Choose and Use No-Deposit Bonuses
Commitment-free bonuses are an excellent opportunity to go outside of your comfort zone. Take advantage of as many bonuses as you have time for, and initially, gravitate toward the online casinos and games that you wouldn’t normally play. The only way to discover that you like something is to give it a chance, and this is an opportunity to take that chance without risk.
If you’re shopping for a home casino, then you’ll approach the bonuses somewhat differently. You know your likes and dislikes, so choose bonuses that best apply to the games you enjoy playing. Pay particular attention to the rules regarding winnings and wagering requirements. If you decide that you like the casino, then you want to be in a position to claim all the winnings that are available to you.