How Free Spins Work in Online Slots

Online casinos, like the internet, have evolved rapidly since their debut in the 1990s. But other than the convenience of being able to play from home, they didn't always have much to offer the average player. However, as the market (and competition) began to grow, so too did the variety of bonuses and promotions – yay for us!

Today, many online casinos offer both their loyal and new customers a variety of bonuses and promotional offers to keep players engaged and excited – free spins being a favourite among online slot players. So what exactly are free spins, and are they really free? How do they work, and most importantly, how do you get your hands on them when you play slots online? We take a look at all you need to know about this type of bonus.

What are free spins?

Let’s start with the basics. A bet on a slot machine is called a “spin”. So with a free spin, you can place a bet/spin the reels free of charge, and stand as good a chance of winning as if you were placing a real bet with your own cash. Free spins are awesome, because they give you the opportunity to play slots online without spending money (or risking losing it), or having to make deposits, while giving you an opportunity to win real money.

This bonus offers regular players the chance to get a feel for new slot games they haven’t played yet and see if they’re to their liking. It also gives newbie slot players some time to get into the swing of things without putting their hard-earned cash on the line because they don’t know what they’re doing yet. And of course, you’ll find you get offered extra spins (and thus, luck) on your all-time best online slot machines. For these reasons, this is a super-popular bonus that you’ll surely come to love and appreciate, if you don’t already!

How do free spins work?

So, just how do free spins work? First things first – make sure you’re playing slots at a safe, reputable online casino like Spin and Win, where your money is safe, and the terms and conditions are clear and reliable.

Free spins are usually available as a sign-up bonus to new players, which you may be able to use on any online slot of your choosing, or only on a select few, depending on the casino. They usually come with wagering requirements, as well as certain terms and conditions, which differ from casino to casino, but are essential to understand. Hint: look for “no-deposit” free spins – rare, but gold. We’ll discuss more on that a little later. You could also strike it lucky and come across some free spins in-game, which are totally free and usually trigger a bonus round in the slot game, which offers much excitement and the chance for high payouts. (What’s not to like?)

Wagering requirements

Standard casino free spins

Standard casino free spins have wagering requirements (a set amount of money the casino site wants you to bet with) on all winnings. So if you’ve been given 10 free spins and they happen to have been fruitful, the winnings will be subject to the wagering requirements the casino has set, and that you agreed to when signing up. This might mean you have to place a certain minimum wager before you can access those winnings, for example.

No-wagering free spins

As you may have gathered from the name, these free spins produce the opportunity for winnings that can be claimed without any wagering requirements attached. This means you can claim your cash – if you get lucky – straight after having played your free spins.

Bonus terms and conditions

Disclaimer: read the terms and conditions!

These are easy to skate over or ignore in the excitement of what seems to be an irresistible deal; but be sure to read the terms and conditions thoroughly. When understanding what the cost of your free spins are, so to speak, you’ll want to look for some key terms such as “deposit requirements”, “bonus limitations”, and “win restrictions”.

Wagering requirements vary depending on the casino (vastly, we might add), and can range from 35x to 60x your winnings. You may want to avoid casinos with very high wagering requirements, especially if you’re not 100% certain of their reputation. Also be sure to check the casino site’s review page before making any cash deposits.

You may also come across the term “win restrictions”, which limit the amount of money that can be claimed from any free-spins win. Most commonly, players can only win a max of 10x the value of the original bonus.

It’s also good to know that most online casinos will only allow you to claim your winnings after you’ve made your deposit, and once your identification has been verified. Why? Because welcome bonuses are only valid once, and casinos need a way to track potential chancers and fraudsters who are looking to claim free spins multiple times without investing much (or anything) in return.

How to earn free spins

As discussed, free spins are available either as part of a casino’s welcome bonus or promotional offers, as well as in-game whenever certain symbols align on the reels and trigger a bonus round (in fact, this is one of the most common bonuses you’ll find in slot games). Depending on your luck, you may win up to 15 free spins on your favourite online slot. Be sure to check the paytables so that you know exactly how they are triggered during gameplay, and be ready to cross your fingers when they come. Good luck!

Free Spins games

Now that you know what they are and how they work, we bet you’re ready to play some epic online casino slots that have plenty of spins to be won and enjoyed. Take a look at some of our favourite free spins slots here:

Wheel of Fortune Megaways

88 Fortunes

Siberian Storm

Gonzos Quest

Chicago Gold

Spin the reels with Spin and Win

Has all this coverage of complimentary spins got you ready to spin the reels for a chance to win? Us too! Get 100 free spins when you sign up with your favourite “free-spins” casino, Spin and Win. Join us for some amazing promotional offers, and all the best online slots.

Lisa Stolmings / 23 March 2021