There are plenty of ways to wager online, from casinos to poker, bingo to betting sites, and more recently even ‘loot box’ microtransactions which can end up costing a fortune. It’s all well and good playing online for real money, as long as you keep your risk levels low by sticking to your limits. It’s even more fun to keep your money in your pocket and play these games for free!
It might seem like an impossibility – how can a real money game be played for free? To make it work, you have to be disciplined and search out deals and bonuses that can lead to free bets. Let’s take a look.
No Deposit Bonus Offers
This is the classic offer that players can use to play at online casinos, bingo and poker rooms online. Most sites offer a no deposit bonus. This is given to players when they sign up to the site, but without the need to deposit any money. It usually comes in the form of free bets or spins, game tickets or free play dollars.
The other major bonus offered by gaming sites is the deposit bonus, which usually matches the player’s deposit by a certain percentage. For example, if a site offers a 200% match bonus and the player’s first deposit is $50, then the bonus will be $100 extra.
Deposit bonuses require you to bet with your own money and usually come with wagering requirements so that you can’t immediately withdraw the bonus. No deposit bonuses are therefore the truly ‘free’ bonus option, though there may also be requirements before you can cash out.
Special Casino Bonuses
Online casino games and slots are also available on social gaming apps, where you can play for tokens rather than real money. If you do want to play for real money, then the best way to play for free is to look out for special casino bonuses. Along with the initial no deposit bonus offered by the site, they are the best way to find free spins and other free bets.
For the next few months, you can take advantage of the SkyVegas Prize Machine offer, available for all players who are signed up with the site. Account holders who opt in getting one free spin of the prize wheel per day. Not every spin wins, but players can win between 3 – 10 free spins (worth 10p each), scratchcards, casino and bingo cash prizes, free sports bets, and even £100 cash.
There’s also the Mega Prize Machine available for players who wager £10 on the day. This wheel has even bigger prizes, but for players who are looking to keep their money firmly in their pockets the free Prize Machine is the way to go.
It’s completely possible to play poker for free online using a browser game or social gaming app, but again you will be playing for tokens not for real money. Playing poker for real money usually requires that you wager at least a small stake for entry to the game.
Freerolls are an exception. They allow players to play in poker tournaments that have cash prizes. Entry to these games is completely free. For the sites, it’s a way to help casual play-money players to become fully fledged paying customers. However, if you stick to the freerolls then you can play for free, and still have the chance of walking away with a few dollars’ prize money.
Freerolls don’t often offer the biggest of prizes, but you can’t expect much from a game you didn’t pay to play. If you do win the cash prize, then you can use the money to buy in to a tournament with a higher prize pool, still technically ‘freerolling’ with your winnings.
Just a word on microtransactions. They are different to casino gaming, but at the same time they are arguably a type of betting in themselves, especially when it comes to ‘loot boxes’, where players pay a set fee for random items. Take the story of four siblings who spent around £550 trying to get the Lionel Messi card for their FIFA Ultimate Team.
The ‘Free-To-Play’ model of gaming has proved to be anything but free; at least, it turns out costly if you start falling into cycles of microtransactions. The best way around this is to avoid this model of game altogether. If not, avoid making payments and enjoy the game anyway. If you can’t enjoy it without paying every five minutes, then don’t play it!