What Are Free Play Bonuses?
Also called "one hour free bonuses" these promotions allow you to play with a free starting balance, for a limited amount of time (typically an hour) and keep a portion of what you win as bonus credits.
What You Will Find On This Page
- Learn about free play bonuses, how to claim them and how to use them.
- Find the best casinos that offer free play bonuses, targeted to your location.
- Understand the rules that govern these offer and the pitfalls you should avoid.
These three casinos (or probably less if you are from the United Kingdom) offer the best free play bonuses, This is based on the fairness of their rules and the value of the bonus. If you feel like you are ready to take the plunge, may we recommend you pick one of these else read on.
About One Hour Free Bonuses
In simple terms, a free play offer will credit you with a starting balance in your bonus account of anything up to £2500. You will then be allowed to play with these credits for anything up to an hour. At the end of the hour, if you have managed to increase the starting balance, you will receive some of your winnings as normal bonus credits.
It is important to note that the amount you may receive is typically limited, and usually not much more than £100. This is bonus money and not cash. Many players think they can cash this out but unfortunately you have to play this money like any other bonus at the casino.
These deals are available mostly only at Microgaming casinos. The catch being that the majority of these casinos are not UK licensed or has not gained approval to offer these bonuses to UK consumers. Players from other countries have many options to choose from, and the list of casinos below is targeted to your location.
Top One Hour Free Bonuses
As mentioned, most free play bonus are not available to UK casino players, as the current licensing does not allow Microgaming to offer players this bonus. There are some exceptions from time to time and they will appear in the list below.
If you are located in other countries you will have a variety of one-hour free bonuses to choose from.
Claiming a Free Play Bonus
The first step towards claiming a free play bonus is to sign up and open an account with an online casino. That is all that you have to do: there is no need to even deposit funds into your account. Once you have opened an account the free play bonus is ready for you to use.
This bonus does not even require a bonus code at most casinos as it does not involve a deposit. Once the bonus is ready you are notified by the casino about it. This happens either through a pop-up message appearing on the screen of your computer or through an e-mail notification from the casino's support team. The notification tells you about the availability of the bonus and also various details like the amount available, the time period it is valid for, and so on.
Important Rules and the Terms and Conditions Governing a Free Play Bonus
All bonuses that online casinos offer come with their own terms and conditions. These are listed in the terms and conditions section of the casino's website. Some casinos have a separate tab for the terms and conditions related to the bonuses on offer. It is important to go through the terms and conditions attached to the bonuses, and this applies to the free play bonus too.
There are usually multiple terms and conditions as well as rules governing the use of the free play bonus. Here we list for you the top 5 rules.
The wagering requirement is a vital condition that online casinos put in place for use of their bonuses. You are required to wager the bonus amount winnings a specified number of times to be able to redeem any of it. Whether the free play bonus is subject to wagering requirements is for the casino to decide but this condition is usually in place to regulate the use of winnings from this bonus. Different games contribute different percentages to wagering requirements; therefore choose the games that you want to play wisely.
This condition lists out the games that are eligible for play using the free play bonus. Most of the games are usually eligible for play using this bonus. The only exceptions, if any, are from the player's perspective; games that do not contribute towards wagering requirements would be good games to stay away from. Sometimes though, the casino may list out games that this bonus does not cover.
Maximum Win Amount
There is usually a cap on the maximum amount out of the total winnings from a free play bonus that the player can redeem once all the terms and conditions are fulfilled. Casinos usually do not allow for redeeming of all the winnings from a free play bonus. Any amount that remains over and above the maximum win amount stated is removed from the player's account balance.
Minimum Deposit Amount
Many casinos require players to make a minimum deposit to be able to redeem the maximum capped amount. Only when they make this minimum deposit is the amount won available to them. Some casinos also have stipulations on the number of bets players have to place during the promotion to avoid the promotion and winnings from it being considered null and void.
Wager Types Allowed
There are certain wager types that casinos do not allow to be counted when it comes to the issue of wagering requirements. For instance, doubling up on any game or placing low margin bets is not permitted. Players have to go through this condition carefully and understand it fully to avoid losing out on the bonus and its winnings. Casinos may also place a cap on the size of the wager during the time the free play bonus and wagering requirements are active.
Understanding the Free Play Bonus with an Example
We take the example of Casino Action, powered by Microgaming, to understand the concept of the free play bonus and the rules governing it thoroughly. Remember, this bonus is not available in the UK; instead you will get a cool match bonus package to use I you like the look of this casino.
Casino Action offers a superb free play bonus of $1250 and 60 minutes to use it in. You can use this bonus to play any of the slots available, as also the blackjack, roulette, and video poker games on offer. The terms and conditions governing this bonus are listed out in the Terms and Conditions section of the casino's website. The following are the 5 major rules:
- Wagering Requirements: The casino has in place a 30x wagering requirement on the bonus amounts credited to a player's account (i.e. any money you win within the hour will be subject to a wagering requirement. You are basically winning a bonus.). The wagering requirement contributions vary for the different games available at the casino, with slots and parlor games topping the list with 100%. Contributions from other games include:
- Table Poker, Casino War and Sic Bo: 50%
- All Blackjack games except Classic Blackjack, Craps and Baccarat: 10%
- All Video Poker games except All Aces Video Poker, Caribbean Draw Poker, Texas Hold'em Bonus Poker Gold, Triple Action Hold'em Bonus Poker Gold, Classic Blackjack and all Roulette games: 2%
- All Aces Video Poker: 0%
- Eligible Games: As above. Do not play any other games.
- Maximum Win Amount: The maximum win amount out of the total amount you win that can be credited to your casino account for this bonus is $100. Anything above this amount is removed from your casino account balance.
- Minimum Deposit Amount: You have to make a minimum deposit of $20 to be able to transfer the capped winning amount into your real money account.
- Wager Types Allowed: Doubling up does not count towards wagering requirements during the time the free play bonus is active. Also no wagers on All Aces Video Poker will count towards the wagering requirements.