Best Free Spins
Free spins bonuses are probably the most exciting kind of offer for players, as they usually don’t require a deposit and involve getting stuck into a pokie game completely free of charge. As pokies games are based on chance, this means that players could end up landing a big win purely based off a free spins bonus. Usually all a player will have to do is sign up for an account on a casino site and they will be able to claim their free spins. While you should always read the terms and conditions, along with the wagering requirements, for all bonuses, there’s no doubt that landing some free rounds on pokies is something to get excited about. As the Casino Professor, I have conducted thorough experiments to discover which casinos offer the best free spins bonuses and compiled reviews of these promotions for you. For further information on free spins, read on to learn everything you need to know.
What are Free Spins?
Whether you’re a brand new casino player looking to learn as much as possible about the world of casino gambling or a gaming veteran wanting to brush up on some missing information, we’ve got the necessary facts for you. Simply put, a free spins bonus is an offer that allows a player to spin the reels of an online pokies machine without betting the money they have in their account balance. In most cases, you won’t even need to make a deposit to be eligible for this offer, as all you’ll need to do is sign up for an account. It’s easy to sign up for most online casino sites, as there will be a button clearly indicating where to get started on the homepage and then it’s just a case of filling in a registration form with some basic information.
The good thing about free spins is that pokies games will usually come with many bonus features that can be triggered while spinning the reels, such as bonus games, increased wins or even more free spins! It’s an offer which can unlock even more freebies and land you some huge wins, so it’s definitely worth looking into this kind of offer whenever you see it on a casino site.
Types of Free Spin Bonus
Welcome bonus – A welcome bonus is designed to entice a new player into signing up for a casino site and getting started with some gameplay. As pokies are a simple game to play, offering free spins is a surefire way to get new customers involved with the games library straight away.
Match bonus – A match bonus involves matching the amount a customer deposits with an identical amount of virtual money in their casino wallet. While free spins are often offered without a deposit, sometimes you can receive a welcome package which involves both free spins and a match bonus.
No deposit bonus – This is the most popular kind of bonus which involves free spins. It can be called a welcome bonus in some instances, as a lot of starter promotions don’t require a new player to make a deposit. Before they part with any of their own money, they will be offered free spins on a particular pokie game to get them used to the site.
Refer a friend bonus – Sometimes perks such as free spins can be offered in return for referring a friend to the site. In some cases, the friend may only have to sign up for an account, and in others, they may need to make a deposit in order to unlock bonuses such as free spins.
Welcome package – These often include a combination of some of the above bonuses, and combine to make an attractive introductory promotion for a player considering a particular site for their gameplay. For example, a welcome package could be a no deposit bonus with free spins, or a match bonus with free spins included.
Reload bonus – This kind of bonus is offered to existing players as a way to reward them for their loyalty and continued gameplay, and is a good way to promote new pokies games and spread the word about new titles. Free spins can be offered as a goodwill gesture, to high rollers, or in return for making a deposit of a certain amount or at a particular time.
VIP program reward – There are many perks involved in a VIP program, and one of them can be free spins. While low rollers and regular players can enjoy free spins, this doesn’t mean the high rollers can’t benefit from them too, as they will be playing pokies with higher wagers and enjoy bonuses relative to the amount of cash they are parting with.
Advantages of Free Spins
No deposit required – Most free spins bonuses won’t require the customer to make a deposit, and this can be a relief for those who aren’t yet convinced a particular casino site is for them. By using a no deposit free spins bonus, a prospective customer can decide if they want to stick with a site without using their own bankroll in the process.
Boost to gameplay – Playing pokies can end up costly if you get into the game, and this is why it’s important to manage your bankroll and gamble responsibly. Those who want to save some money can enjoy a boost to their gameplay with a free spins bonus, which means they have a chance at unlocking bonus features within the game with no need to spend money to do so.
Try out a game for free – Some sites will offer games in demo or play mode, which can be fun for those who want to learn how to play a game or get used to the style of gameplay offered by a certain online casino site, but the downfall with this mode of play is that any winning spins won’t be credited to your casino wallet. With a free spins, bonus, however, any winnings will be stored on your account, and you won’t have parted with your own money in order to achieve them.
No need to keep playing – Once you have used up your free spins bonus on the specified pokie game, you can either make a deposit and keep playing games, whether it’s the same pokies game, different titles or another genre, such as blackjack, roulette, baccarat or sic bo, or you can try out another casino site. There is no obligation to make a deposit with most free spins bonuses, which is what makes them so exciting to try out.
Disadvantages of Free Spins
Creating an account – While new customers won’t need to make a deposit to be eligible for a free spins bonus in most cases, they will need to create an account in order to get started. With some casino sites, this process can take some time, especially as identification documents could need to be submitted to the operator to verify your identity. Even if this step isn’t required straight away, filling out the registration form can take time, and you may need to enter personal and banking information to complete the process.
Limited time only – When you sign up for a new casino account and gain a free spins bonus as a result, there will often be an expiry date on such an offer to ensure a player does actually engage with the site. If you’re planning on going away or won’t be online for a while, it wouldn’t be wise to sign up for such a bonus, as you should make sure you can use up all of your offer within the specified timeframe.
Wagering requirements – Free spins can be exciting for new players to claim as a bonus, but they are often subject to wagering requirements. So if you land a big win with one of your free spins, you may need to wager a certain amount of money before being able to withdraw these winnings to your bank account. This can put some players off continuing to play, as they won’t want to spend the money required to meet these conditions.
Terms and conditions – While free spins bonuses can be presented in an incredibly attractive way on casino sites, this does mean that players often don’t check the small print and will miss out on the terms and conditions attached to them. Some players will post reviews saying they were scammed by a casino site, when in actual fact they simply got swept up in the excitement of their free spins and didn’t check what they would need to do in return.
What makes a good Free Spins offer?
Available on a range of games – Some free spins bonuses will only be available on a particular pokie, which can be annoying if you had your eye on a different title and know you’ll have to part with cash in order to play it. While this is done in order to promote certain games and you can still land big wins on the specified pokie with free spins, some bonuses will allow a wider range of pokies games to be eligible and these can be more appealing to players.
Generous time limit – The time limits available for free spins bonuses can vary hugely from casino to casino, with some only allowing a few hours or days to use them up while others could offer a month or more. If you don’t want to feel pressured into using a bonus immediately after signing up, then look for one which offers a generous expiry date.
Large amount of free spins – It may seem obvious, but the actual amount of free spins you gain with the bonus is an important factor to consider. If the freebie will be over before you’ve even become used to the game, it won’t feel very satisfying. A large amount of free spins will allow you to really get stuck in and feel more amenable to becoming a loyal player on the casino site.
Low wagering requirements – Players won’t want to wager and play through huge amounts of their bankroll in order to unlock the winnings from their free spins, and many will simply not bother to continue playing on the site if they feel the requirements are unreasonable. Before accepting an offer, make sure you also agree to the wagering requirements.
Not complicated to activate – Just as pokies games are easy to play, people will want their free spins to be easy to activate. If it takes many complex steps to get free spins added to your account, customers will simply get bored and find another site to claim a bonus at. Therefore, many casino sites will ensure free spins are automatically added to a player’s account upon signing up.
How to play Pokies
Pokies games appeal to many people because they are incredibly easy to play. This allows players to focus on the graphics and stories, along with jackpots, should they be available to win, instead of complicated strategies. Pokies machines work in the same way online as their physical counterparts. The symbols are arranged on vertical spinners called reels. These will spin and stop after a certain time period to reveal a random series of these symbols, which get arranged on the payline. To land a win, a player needs to win certain combinations and patterns of symbols.
Each pokie game will usually have an average of between ten and 12 symbols. There won’t just be standard symbols, as there will also be special ones such as the wild, bonus and scatter. Then there are paylines. These are lines which connect combinations, and the number of paylines vary hugely from pokie to pokie. When you place a bet on paylines, you can adjust the amount you’re wagering along with the number of paylines you activate. Many people recommend bet max; that is, betting on all of the paylines to avoid disappointment if a winning combination lands on one that you didn’t activate.
Some pokies games have progressive jackpots, whereby a small amount of each bet goes towards the jackpot, and this number keeps growing until one lucky player wins the total. Other bonuses include mini games within the main game, which are a good way to increase your winnings. Finally, you will often see a percentage referred to as the RTP on a pokies game, and this number is the amount of money which will be returned to the player over a long time period.
Starburst – This well-known pokies game has five reels and three rows. You can either spin the reels manually or preset up to 1000 spins on autoplay. The layout is colourful and designed like a true arcade game, with bejewelled reels which are pleasing to the eye.
Gonzo’s Quest – This is a 3D pokie from NetEnt which is a household name amongst gaming enthusiasts. Players follow the journey of fictional character Gonzo, a conqueror and explorer from the Spanish Empire who is in search of gold and riches.
Mega Moolah – People refer to this jackpot pokie game as the Millionaire Maker, and there’s good reason why. It has been churning out instant millionaires since 2006, and has broken the world record for the largest jackpot payout via an online pokie machine game.
Game of Thrones 243 – Fans of the wildly popular TV show will love the pokies edition, which lets players know that winter is coming, with armies on their way and many deceptions, frauds and traps being activated. You can play this game for free first to try it out.
Cleopatra – IGT created this vibrant Egyptian themed pokie, where players can visit the home of this legendary figure and be in with a chance of winning some massive rewards. There is a practice mode available to try it out first, and scatters can award varying amounts of free spins.
Beach Life – Enjoy the summer feeling with Beach Life, which is a colourful video pokie offering wilds, scatters and a bonus game. There is also a chance of winning a huge jackpot, and a free play option so you can give it a try before parting with your bankroll.
Arabian Nights – NetEnt developed this mystical game, which comes full of brilliant hidden rewards. This pokie has 10 paylines and is available in a demo player. It also has a progressive jackpot along with several special features to enhance gameplay.
Thunderstruck 2 – The Norse theme comes to life with this historical pokie, developed by Microgaming. You can play in demo mode or for real money, and there are plenty of free spins available to win. Wilds and multipliers also add to the excitement.
Tomb Raider – If you want an action packed pokie then go for Tomb Raider, which is full of stunts, explosions and the classic Lara Croft. Tumbling reels make this game unique and full of fun, plus you can either play in demo mode or for real money.
Lucky Leprechaun – A video pokie with an Irish twist has been developed by Microgaming, and it’s full of bonus features along with free spins. Enjoy wilds, a second screen bonus round and more. There are five reels and 20 fixed paylines to enjoy.
Bonus features in Pokies Games
Scatter symbols – This feature is a hugely popular part of a pokies game. Scatter symbols are the highest paying symbol in the game, and the graphics representing them often refer to the overall theme. Historically, three reel pokies at land based casinos had the red cherries as scatter symbols. Scatter symbols don’t need to be part of a specific payline – wherever they appear on the reels, they will unlock bonus games and trigger free spins.
Multipliers – As the name suggests, multipliers have the ability of multiplying your winnings. They aren’t found in all pokies games, but they are fairly common. You can double, triple or quadruple your wins, and some multipliers can go up to as much as 1000x. Some multipliers are only available in bonus rounds or during Free Spins, and others will be exclusive to the base game.
Progressive jackpots – To add additional excitement to a pokies game, players can get involved in a progressive jackpot, where each bet is added to a total amount to be won by one lucky player. The win is either randomly triggered or activated after reaching a certain figure. In some pokies games, players will need to bet max in order to be eligible for the progressive jackpot, so all paylines will need to be activated whenever they spin the reels to be in on the fun.
Bonus rounds – This special feature can be activated at any point during a pokies game, and will increase your winnings for that round. They are designed to land the player with the bulk of their money, and it’s a target for most players to get into a bonus round. They can come in various forms, and are typically themed around the subject of the pokies game itself.
Wild symbols – To understand the function wild symbols play in pokies games, think of them as the joker in a deck of cards. They can act as a substitute for any other symbol on the reels – apart from the scatter and bonus symbols. Wild symbols can therefore help players to complete a winning combination, making them incredibly useful when they appear. Some pokies feature wilds which have no value, while in other games, they are the highest paying symbol on the reels.
Tumbling reels – Also referred to as cascading reels, rolling reels, avalanche pokies or falling symbols, these involve the symbols on a winning line getting removed once the win has been registered, allowing the symbols from above to fall into the spaces left behind. This means that you have the chance of winning another line, and as some tumbling reels can tumble for a while, you can end up winning some big prizes as a result.
Stacked wilds – Those playing video pokies will enjoy the appearance of stacked wilds, as they can land players huge wins. They look as if several symbols are piled on top of each other, and typically cover part of or the entire reel. If you hit a stacked wild, you can complete multiple winning combinations or several paylines at once. This means that stacked wilds have a higher potential for wins than ordinary wilds due to the simple fact that they take up more of the reel.