Free Casino Bonuses Without Deposit – Are They Really Free?

Free Casino Bonuses

Online casinos are becoming more popular as time goes by, in part thanks to their exciting casino bonuses. Various types of casino promotions exist, from welcome offers to reload promotions. However, one of the most sought-after bonuses is the no deposit offer, otherwise called the casino bonus without deposit.  

Many players flock to casinos offering these promotions, as it’s “free” to use, and thus seems like the golden goose of online casino offers. However, is that really true? Read the expert take on this by one of the leading casino review and listing websites in Norway –

What are Casino Bonuses?

Casino bonuses are offers casinos make to players that allow them to boost their bankroll in some way. Deposit offers mean players receive bonus funds that are equal to a percentage of their deposit, such as 100%.

These offers will have specific terms you must complete before you can withdraw your winnings, such as wagering requirements, minimum deposits, bonus expiry, game restrictions, etc. However, no deposit bonuses are similar to deposit offers, but without requiring a deposit to activate. 

Often, this means they have more stringent requirements or require a specific action to claim, like registering at the casino. There are various types of no deposit offers, each with specific terms to govern how you can use them.

Types of No Deposit Casino Bonuses

Before we delve into the true topic of this article, you must have an understanding of the casino bonus types without deposit that you can encounter.

Extra free spins

A common form of a no deposit bonus is extra spins. These spins are generally given as an extra with the welcome bonus, though it can be argued that they’re not really free. With deposit welcome bonuses, players generally receive a 100% bonus on their deposit. Then, the casino will throw in some extra free spins, generally ranging from 10 to 100, depending on the operator.

However, another type is free spins players receive when a new game releases that the casino wants to promote. In this case, the players won’t have to deposit, and they’ll be able to get the spins for free, though it’ll only be eligible for use on that specific game.

No deposit bonuses

Some operators award players with no deposit bonuses, which are generally given as an award for signing up. Once you register, you can get bonus funds between £5 and £50 or free spins ranging from five to 20. Usually, these funds are automatically awarded but will have higher wagering requirements attached.

Another way to get bonus funds, or even free spins, without depositing is through refer-a-friend promotions. For a refer-a-friend promotion to come into effect, the person you referred must register and make their first deposit. However, you still gain the bonus without risking your bankroll.

No-wager free spins

These are arguably some of the best promotions. Operators can give no-wager free spins as a reward for signing up or completing some other action. 

Like standard free spins, they’ll have a specific value, but you won’t need to meet any wagering requirements when you’re trying to withdraw your winnings. This feature makes them extremely popular, though they’re also extremely rare.

Casino loyalty offers

The last way you can get no deposit offers is through a casino’s loyalty program. However, it’s not really accurate to state that these offers are free, as you do deposit to gain them. The difference comes in that you don’t make a specific deposit to claim a bonus. Instead, your accumulated deposits will award you points or count towards your VIP level.

When your VIP tier increases, you will often receive awards, like free spins, bonus funds, and special offers. However, sometimes you can get loyalty free spins or bonus funds as a reward for logging in at the casino or completing other actions they specify.

Standard No Deposit Bonus Terms

Now that we’ve looked at the various bonus types, you should know what terms are often attached to these offers. Understanding the terms will better help you know whether a bonus is truly free.

High wagering requirements

The first thing to look at is the attached wagering requirements. For casino bonuses without deposit requirements, the wagering requirements can be quite high. Standard wagering requirements range between 20x and 35x. However, with these offers, it’s not uncommon to see 40x to 60x rollover requirements.

Wagering requirements refer to how many times you must wager the bonus amount before you can withdraw your winnings. So if a £10 bonus has 35x wagering requirements, you must play with the bonus amount until you’ve wagered it up to £350. You can see where the problem comes in if bonus funds or free spins winnings have 50x or 60x wagering requirements.

Bonus expiry period

The bonus expiry period is the other side of the coin to the wagering requirements. How much time you have to complete the rollover directly affects your chances of completing it. Generally, operators give you around a week to complete the terms before the bonus becomes void. 

If the bonus becomes void without you being able to complete the playthrough, then any winnings won using the bonus funds also become void. Some casinos can give longer periods, with 30 to 90 days being the preferred expiry period. However, others can give you only three days, which makes it extremely difficult to complete the requirements.

Maximum winnings cap

Since the casinos run the risk of experiencing a loss with no deposit bonuses, since players don’t deposit, they often implement winning limits. These winning caps restrict how much you can win using the bonus, with any winnings above this amount becoming void.

The winnings cap for free spins generally ranges between £50 and £100. Bonus funds are usually limited at 5x to 10x the bonus amount, or £100 to £500, depending on the operator. So if you win £150, but the winnings cap is £100, then the £50 becomes void, and you only receive £100.

Game restrictions

Another restriction you’ll more often find with no deposit free spins is game eligibility. While it can also happen with bonus fund offers, it’s less likely. Free spins will usually have specific games they’re eligible for. It might be that you can only use them on one slot or a group of casino games. 

Often, you’ll find that jackpot games and high RTP slots, live casino, and table games aren’t eligible to play while the bonus is active. The wagering contributions can also vary between games, with bets on slots counting 100% towards completing your wagering requirement, while table and other games range between 25% and 0% contribution.

Are Casino Bonuses Without Deposit Really Free?

We’ve spoken about the different types of casino bonuses and terms, so now it’s time to look at whether these bonuses are truly free. You can find ones that are really free without you having to risk anything, like wager-free no deposit spins. 

However, it’s not common, as most will have some terms. We try to make it easier for you to know when a bonus might not be truly free by specifying which terms can make a no deposit bonus cost you something.

High wagering requirements

Bonuses with high wagering requirements often end up costing you something, even if they are no deposit offers. Sometimes, you must fund your casino account to be able to complete the rollover before the expiry period passes. In this case, the bonus isn’t really free, since you had to spend something to complete it.

Loyalty awards

Loyalty rewards might not require a specific deposit to claim the bonus, but you can often only earn points after making deposits and real money wagers. As such, you still have to spend some of your real money to claim the no deposit offer, meaning it’s not truly free.

Short expiry period

As with the high wagering requirements, a short expiry period can make it extremely difficult to complete the rollover. If you only have three days to wager a bonus 35x, then it can turn into you chasing your losses and having to fund your account to complete the playthrough.

Extra spins on welcome offers

Extra spins you get with a welcome bonus aren’t truly free, as they’re still linked to a deposit. With a 100% bonus attached to your deposit, the extra spins might be added separately (ie. they’re not directly affected by the deposit amount). Still, you can’t claim the free spins on their own without depositing, so it remains an offer that isn’t truly free.

Withdrawal requirements

The last term to consider is the casino’s general withdrawal policy. Some casinos state you can only make a withdrawal once you’ve made a deposit. This condition is often added to verify your payment method so we can understand why the policy is in place. However, it might mean you must make a deposit to claim your winnings on a welcome casino bonus requiring no deposit.

Pros and Cons of Casino Bonuses Without Deposit

Before you claim any no deposit casino bonus, you should consider the pros and cons of these offers.


  • You can win real money without depositing
  • Largely risk-free gambling
  • Both free spins and bonus funds are available
  • It helps familiarise you with the games and casino site


  • Often have stricter bonus terms
  • Gives limited bonus amounts/spins

Steps to Claim This Bonus

After thoroughly evaluating the bonus, you might be wondering how to claim it. Depending on the reason for the casino bonus without a deposit, like being a welcome bonus, refer-a-friend reward, or otherwise, the way you claim it can slightly differ. Still, we’ve prepared a step-by-step guide which should cover the basic points.

  1. Choose a reliable online casino
  2. Register an account with the casino
    • Receive free spins/bonus funds as a welcome offer
    • Complete the refer-a-friend promotion
    • Claim the no deposit bonus on the promotion page
  3. The operator will automatically award the no deposit bonus
  4. Play the eligible games to complete the wagering requirements
  5. Withdraw your winnings once you’ve fulfilled all bonus terms

Are Casino Bonuses Without Deposit Worthwhile?

Despite some no deposit offers not really being free, various ones are truly free. All you must know is how to find these bonuses. Always evaluate the offer and its attached bonus terms, as that’ll enable you to find completely free casino bonuses without a deposit and make it a worthwhile offer without any hidden surprises.

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