Free Spins Casino Bonuses UK
Free Spins look and sound great: free things normally do. However, in the world of capitalism, the first lesson is always: don’t take things at face value, and that applies to things that appear to be free perhaps more than anything. That isn’t to say that all online free spins casino offers are bad news, in no way is that the case, but we’d like you to understand what free spins UK offers mean to you and how you should assess whether or not to accept them.
That’s right: it can sometimes be the better, healthier, more sensible decision to turn down free spins.
Let’s have a look why.
In this article, we’ll have a look at:
- What the most important factors are in assessing offers,
- How you should consider all free offers,
- What do free spins offers most often look like,
- What are the implications of accepting free offers, and
- How to get the most out of your free spins.
Let’s get started!
Free Spins Casino Offers UK – Best Free Spins Bonuses
The most important factors in assessing Free Spins offers
We know that we’re something of an outlier in gambling sites because this is always our first question when it comes to anything to do with gambling:
Is it safe?
If you follow the news at all you will be aware of concerns over gambling. This is largely to do with gambling addiction, and the harms it can cause, both financially and to the health of players and their families and loved ones.
It’s not an easy subject to talk about while also promoting gambling sites, but it’s one we think we have a duty to discuss and it’s one we advise all of our readers to take seriously.
So, the first question you should ask of any free spins offer is is it safe?
That opens up two subsequent questions.
The first is one of internet safety. The online gambling industry is in some ways a lot safer than it used to be. Regulation and consumer information is much better than it once was. The vast majority of online gambling customers will never even encounter a scam.
However, deals and offers are the commonest way to tempt in people who may be vulnerable to such scams, and that includes almost anyone who is gambling in order to make money.
So, always follow some good safe gambling protocols. You’ll no doubt have your own internet security routines, but we suggest that, as a minimum, you:
- Check the URL of the site you’re on, and check that it is what it should be and it is an SSL secure connection.
- Check that the site you are about to use is a UK Gambling Commission-licensed site that has an up-to-date licence.
- Beware of going to gambling sites directly from links in emails.
- Never give your banking details to a gambling site unless you’re sure it’s legitimate.
- Always use the best password and personally online security with gambling sites (log out of sites you use, don’t play on shared computers, use a password generator or password safe).
You also need to consider whether it is safe for you to play.
Sites are much more secure than they were, and players are much more aware. It is also the case that players need to take a certain amount of responsibility for their personal behaviour around gambling.
There is no reason why you can’t enjoy playing gambling games for fun in a way that will never cause you any harm. However, there is a risk of addiction to gambling.
So before you sign up at a new site, or click to accept a load of free spins be sure that is safe for you to play.
What you should not:
- You should not gamble for money if you are distressed, intoxicated or otherwise making decisions in an impaired way.
- You should not gamble in order to win money. Play for fun. If you need money then please try to ask for help.
- You should not gamble to try to deal with difficult personal situations or emotions.
There is lots more to learn about safe gambling and we urge you to find out. We say players have to take a certain amount of this responsibility upon themselves, and that’s because it’s pretty clear that the industry will not do what it is not forced to do.
There are tools that you can use to help monitor or limit your gambling and to stop it from becoming a problem, and we advise you to use those tools. They include time limit features on sites, deposit limits on sites, and monitors on your play.
This may be a particular issue around offers. These offers, including Free Spins UK offers, are most often associated with attracting new players. Please don’t use signing up at a new site as a way of getting around self-imposed or machine-imposed restrictions on your play. If it’s not safe for you to play at one site for financial reasons, it’s not safe to play at any site.
So let’s have a look at how you should consider all offers.
What Do Free Spins UK Offers Mean for Casino Sites
To assess offers you need information. You need to know what an offer means for you, and you should also consider what the offer means for the casino site.
It is only with a realistic idea of why a casino site offers you something for nothing (as it appears) that you can assess whether or not you should accept it.
The purpose of all casino sites is to maximise their profits. It is not to supply casino services to the largest number of people, though this may coincide with their first purpose, it is to make the maximum amount of money possible.
That’s fine. That’s a legitimate and legal thing to do in the systems we live under at the moment. But you need to be aware of it.
Promotions are called promotions because they promote the use of a casino site. And a casino site wants you to use their site more because if you do they will make more profit. And profit is made from lost bets.
This is the fundamental truth at the heart of the casino industry that you need to remember all the time. Casinos are profitable businesses, just like shops, and football clubs, and restaurants, they make money, and they make money by selling things (in this case turns on gambling games) for more money than those things cost to supply to the customer: and that’s lost bets.
This doesn’t mean that every player will always lose. The figures referred to are those for the whole site.
And it doesn’t mean that games aren’t “fair” under their own terms. Games work genuinely randomly, and there is a genuine chance to win, but the sums are set up to deliver a profit.
Bear this in mind in all your casino play: casino games should be considered entertainment, and something that you pay for. There’s a chance you’ll make a profit on a single game, a single spin, or a single session, and there’s a chance that you’ll win life-changing sums of money, but the likelihood for the vast majority of players is that they will continue to lose relatively small amounts of money over their gambling career.
Free spins are designed to get you to spend more money at a site.
They do this in a number of ways.
First of all, they make you think kindly of a site. Someone who appears to give you something for free is trying to get into your good books.
They encourage you to spend more time at the site.
They encourage you to try out particular games. And they also come with a number of tools that also encourage you to spend, which we’ll look at now:
What do free spins offers most often look like?
A free spins online casino offer will most often be made to new players as they sign up at a site.
They are also a tool of marketing to established members. These offers are usually smaller in scope.
The headline offer will simply be a number of spins, usually on a single game, but sometimes on a range of games.
Let’s have a look at an example that is typical of this type of offer.
This is a 40 free spins offer on a range of games from two providers, who are related, Novomatic and Greentube. Great providers with great games.
As soon as you sign up for this offer you should start to check the small print. In this case, you must select one game on which to use your spins at the start of the offer, and then cannot change your mind. All of the free spins will be made on all of the pay lines on the games, so you can’t keep your bets and risks very low. You must start to use your free spins offer within three days of accepting it. And once you start using it you must use all of the spins within seven days.
Then there is the wagering requirement. This is an amount of money that you must spend at a site before you can unlock wins that you earn with your free spins. This figure also called playthrough, is common to almost all casino offers, including free spins offers. It is usually expressed as a multiple of the value of the bonus. So, a 20 free spins offer with spins each work £1 might have a 40-times wagering requirement on wins. This means that in order to take out any money that you win with those free spins you would have to deposit and play with £40 of your money.
It is the bitter pill that goes with the spoon full of honey. What this does is tie you to the site for a period. The psychological pull on you is to hang on to try to collect any winnings that you might have. And humans have a psychological blind spot around this – wanting to protect a potential £10, even if it means spending £40 to do so.
Watch the restrictions
There are very likely to be a large number of restrictions on how you can pay off your wagering requirement. This will almost certainly limit the games you are allowed to play, how much you are allowed to bet, and will give a weighting to some games so that only a small amount of the money you spend on them will count towards your wagering requirement.
While these restrictions are common to almost the whole industry, they take some getting used to and learning that they apply to what looks like a very generous headline offer is one of the big problems for the industry we think. It’s obviously a successful model but it’s one that leaves players feeling ripped off and that is at the heart of the problems with regulating safe gambling behaviours.
This is what you need to check:
- How much do I need to spend to unlock winnings?
- What games are available in the free spins casino offer?
- How quickly do I need to use up the free spins?
- How quickly do I need to complete the wagering requirement?
And you need to assess these measures against what is good for you.
Free spins UK bonuses are commonly a part of a welcome offer, but they will also be offered to players as regular bonuses, usually in increasing amounts the longer you spend at a casino site.
These offers may be linked to deposits – they almost always are – or they may be linked to a simple date and time. Free spins are often used by the industry to promote new games or to push a particular publisher or a new site.
Let’s take a fuller look at:
What are the implications of accepting free spins casino bonuses?
A free spins offer commits you to play at a site. It doesn’t necessarily commit you to anything more than that. The reality is that the vast majority of players who accept a free spins offer will go on to stay at a casino for some time at least.
You will need to sign up at a site in order to accept free spins. There’s no way you can verify your age without doing this, and it’s illegal to play most gambling games in the UK without verifying your age. Even if you don’t deposit it’s quite likely that you’ll be expected to supply payment details like a card number in order to complete this part of the process.
Once you’re a member and you’re being offered free spins as a regular thing, you should check again what the implications of each free spins bonus are. Wagering requirements often apply across the board on all offers on a casino site.
Assess each offer on its own merits, and be sure that you’re happy with the terms and conditions and that you understand what they mean.
How to get the most out of your free spins
The way to get the best out of your free spins is, to be honest with yourself and to prioritise your own safety above all else.
It’s a boring thing but we will keep repeating it. The best decisions around gambling are made in a way that completely leaves money out of the equation. Playing specifically in order to win money is the way to get in trouble. It might not be something that the industry particularly wants to admit, but in using its slogan, “When the fun stops, stop” it makes the most important point possible.
Play for fun. And fun only.
Getting the best out of free spins casino bonuses means knowing what they mean for you.
So, when you’re offered any offer then make sure you click through and read all the small print. Make sure you know what is expected of you and what commitment to a site you are making. If you think you’re going to pick up some free spins, play them, win a big prize and then log out never to return to a site again then you haven’t absorbed our key message here – promotions exist only because they benefit casino sites. In any case, the vast majority of free spins offers have a very low top limit on how much money you can win as a total.
Use your free spins carefully. Take your time with them. Use them to understand a game and learn more about it. It’s a great opportunity to try out a slot you haven’t played before without the pressure of losing money.
Think about how the free spins will interact with your deposit offer. If you’re depositing money at the same time as you collect a Free Spins offer then you need to factor the two together when you consider the welcome offer. It might be worth making a small first deposit in order to keep the wagering requirement down.
If you’re capable of doing the quite complicated mathematics involved in working out whether it’s worth staking the amount needed to clear a withdrawal limit in order to pick up the prize from your free spins and deposit combined then, by all means, do so. Better still, make a small deposit, pick up your free spins, and enjoy sites and games that offer you good quality experience for the long term.
Some of the Most Popular Free Spins Sites and Games
Free spins are meant to attract players. And that means popular games are often used. Games that commonly feature in free spins offers are very often games that are at the top of the game charts. That’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation we think – games that are offered as free spins are bound to get a lot of spins and become popular, and the more popular they get the more likely they are to appear attractive to players, and the more likely they are to appear plastered all over a Free Spins casino offer.
Three of the most noteworthy hits of recent years have been Gonzo’s Quest, Book of Dead, and Starburst. All of them are commonly offered in free spins offers.
To take a look at some of the most popular free spins UK offers in 2020, we found:
- Play Frank offering 50 free spins on an unlimited range of games with a 35-times wagering requirement.
- Mr Green offering 50 free spins with a 35-times wagering requirement with the spins available on Starburst.
- Videoslots offers 11 free spins on Starburst with no wagering requirement.
- Casino Land offering no free spins.
- And Fun casino offering 10 free spins on Punk Rocker with a 50-times wagering requirement.
Casino Free Spins: Are they right for you?
Those deals are what’s on offer from the top five casino sites in the UK at the moment. All of them come with a deposit offer linked too.
Should you take them?
Probably yes. Though you should follow our advice and make sure you know that it is safe for you to be playing, that you can afford the money you’re spending, that you are not avoiding any personal restrictions on your gambling time by signing up at a new site, and that you actually want to use a site that you’re accepting a Free Spins casino offer from.
Because in our view, welcome offers are among the worst reasons to actually pick a site. They are a nice bonus – literally – and they are a decent way to have a look around a site without making a big financial commitment. But, as we’ve established almost all welcome offers, including free spins offers, are in fact designed to make you make that big financial commitment.
If you do want to spend money with a site, make sure you make that commitment on your own terms and to sites that you will enjoy spending time at. So, tune out the welcome offer for the moment and make sure you’re also happy that the site is safe and secure, has a great selection of games that you want to play, and is worth your while to join up even if there is no welcome offer at all.