No deposit bonuses are an exciting prospect for casino players. These deals offer the potential to earn free money without having to deposit.
Therefore, some gamblers jump headfirst into these offers without a second thought.
But this hastiness also can leave them prone to making certain mistakes. These blunders can cause one to miss out on earning money from their bonus.
That said, I’m going to discuss 11 common mistakes that people make with no deposit offers. But first, I’ll cover how you can find and qualify for these deals.
How to Get a No Deposit Bonus
The great thing about these offers is that they’re easy to obtain. The first step involves finding a no deposit bonus.
Luckily, it’s not difficult to find no deposit deals throughout the industry. You can spot these offers by reading online casino news, visiting casinos directly, and searching at affiliate sites.
Keep in mind that you must be a brand new member of a casino to qualify. Existing players who’ve already signed up at the site won’t be eligible for a no deposit bonus.
The next step is to register for an account at a casino that’s offering one of these deals. This involves entering a few personal details, such as your name, address, email, username, and password.
You may also have to enter a bonus code, which will be supplied by the casino itself or an affiliate that’s promoting the site. It’s very important that you enter this code when it’s required during the registration process in order to qualify for the bonus.
You’ll need to agree to the casino’s terms and conditions after you’ve registered for an account. The casino will also ask you to verify the account through your email.
Once you complete account registration, you’ll be eligible to claim the available no deposit bonus.
No Deposit Bonus Mistakes
1 – Failing to Read the Terms and Conditions
Many of the mistakes that I’ll cover can be avoided simply by reading and understanding no deposit bonus terms and conditions. T&Cs discuss the requirements that you must satisfy to earn money from your no deposit deal.
Online casinos feature terms and conditions at the bottom of their homepage. Simply scroll down to the bottom and select the T&Cs link to start learning about their no deposit offer.
Sometimes casinos have special bonus terms and conditions. You’ll normally find a link to this page via the general T&Cs.
Casinos will discuss their no deposit deals within the bonus or general terms. Key points that you want to consider include the wagering requirements (playthrough), claim timeframe, playthrough timeframe, eligible/restricted games, minimum withdrawals, and max withdrawals.
I’m going to cover all of these terms throughout this post. But the key is that you should thoroughly examine the terms and conditions in order to understand how a casino’s no deposit offer works.
2 – Believing That You Can Cash Out No Deposit Bonuses Immediately
Perhaps the biggest misunderstanding surrounding no deposit bonuses is that this is “free” money. Furthermore, some gamblers believe that they can claim the bonus and cash out it out if they feel like it.
The truth, though, is that you must meet the aforementioned terms and conditions in order to withdraw anything from the offer.
I’ve seen some gamblers claim that no deposit bonuses are false advertising. Their argument stems from how casinos claim players receive a “free bonus” without depositing.
It’s important to understand that internet casinos are just like any other business in that they want to recruit customers and make profits. They don’t, however, randomly give away free money.
This isn’t to say that you can’t earn anything from a no deposit bonus. But you’ll need to satisfy every term in order to withdraw money.
Casinos would be crushed if they allowed every player to cash out no deposit funds right away. That’s why they institute tough requirements in order to make everybody earn the cash.
Their goal is simply to encourage new signups with these promising offers. And they certainly don’t guarantee players anything through no deposit deals.
3 – Not Understanding Wagering Requirements
Playthrough is by far one of the most important terms to understand when going for a no deposit bonus. Wagering requirements refer to the multiple of a bonus that must be rolled over before you can cash out any money.
Casinos want you to earn money for free deposit bonuses by playing their games. You’ll be able to cash out whatever is left over from the original no deposit offer plus any winnings after meeting playthrough.
Here’s an example:
- You sign up at a casino and claim a $20 no deposit bonus.
- Playthrough is 30x the bonus.
- 20 x 30 = $600 must be wagered
- You meet the wagering requirements and have $3 left over.
- The $3 is theoretically yours to either cash out or continue playing with.
Note that many sites also require a minimum withdrawal, which is covered at a later point.
Here’s one more example:
- You claim a $10 no deposit bonus.
- Playthrough is 25x the offer.
- 10 x 25 = $250 must be wagered
- You meet the wagering requirements and have $40 ($30 winnings + $10 bonus).
The key thing to understand here is that you must meet wagering requirements before receiving anything from a no deposit deal. Otherwise, the funds still belong to the casino until you’ve met playthrough.
4 – Playing Games That Aren’t Eligible for the Bonus
Casinos commonly restrict their no deposit bonuses to specific games. For example, you may only be able to meet wagering requirements by playing slots, keno, and scratch cards.
The eligible games depend upon the casino. I’ve seen sites that allow you to earn a no deposit bonus through all of their games, while other deals are restricted to a single slot.
Everything is based upon the casino’s agenda when offering these deals. They may want to push players to try their latest slots or simply use a no deposit offer to draw more potential customers.
In any case, you have to play the designated games to earn winnings from your bonus. Playing games that are restricted from the offer is a sure way to lose out on potential winnings.
Casinos will discuss what games do and don’t qualify for their no deposit deals in their T&Cs. You may even find this explained on a casino’s promotions page, where a no deposit bonus might be listed.
The last thing you want to do is meet playthrough only to find out that you don’t qualify for your winnings after playing a restricted game. Make sure you thoroughly read the terms to ensure that you’re playing the right game(s).
5 – Not Realizing There’s a Minimum Withdrawal
Earlier I mentioned how many online casinos impose a minimum withdrawal limit. This practice ensures that casinos don’t waste their time and money (processing fees) with tiny cashouts.
The minimum withdrawal at each casino varies, but the common range is $10 to $25. No deposit bonuses typically fall under the minimum cashout amount.
The bad thing about this is that you may only have a few dollars left after meeting wagering requirements. You’ll then have to continue using your funds until winning enough to cash them out.
The most likely scenario is that you’ll lose the money while trying to meet the required amount. This makes it feel like you must meet two sets of wagering requirements.
Here’s an example on what happens when there’s a minimum cashout involved:
- You qualify for a $10 no deposit bonus.
- You have $4 left after meeting playthrough.
- The casino’s minimum cashout is $10 or more.
- You must continue wagering your $4 until you’ve won enough to cashout $10.
The $4 is technically your money by this point. But considering that you can’t withdrawal it yet, you have to continue playing until reaching $10.
Many players are fine with this because they don’t want to waste their time withdrawing $4 anyways. They’d rather turn this amount into a larger sum or lose trying.
But if your sole reason for chasing a no deposit deal is to withdraw free money, then be well aware that there are minimum cashouts involved.
6 – Not Realizing There’s a Maximum Withdrawal
Most online casinos place maximum withdrawal limits on no deposit winnings. The purpose of this is so that the casino doesn’t get burned through a free deal.
A maximum cashout allows you to win profits up to a certain point. But anything you earn beyond this point disappears when you make a withdrawal.
Here’s an example:
- You receive a $25 no deposit offer.
- You go on a hot streak and win $200 after meeting playthrough.
- The casino places a max cashout of $100 on the bonus.
- You withdraw all of your winnings, but only receive $100 of the amount.
Few players are happy when they realize that their potential winnings are capped to a specific point. But it’s important to consider things from a casino’s perspective.
Assume that a site is offering a $10 no deposit deal and one player gets really hot. They end up winning $20,000 by the time they meet wagering requirements.
The casino now loses $20,000 through a completely free deal that doesn’t require a deposit.
Again, internet casinos don’t give free money away without getting something in return. In this case, they want to recruit new customers who are likely to make a deposit and play for real money.
Allowing someone to take them for a huge sum through a no deposit bonus doesn’t fit into this agenda. That said, gaming sites protect themselves by capping the amount of money that can be withdrawn from these deals.
7 – Failing to Claim a No Deposit Bonus within the Designated Timeframe
One key term that you definitely don’t want to overlook is the claim timeframe. This term refers to the amount of time you have to claim a no deposit bonus from your account.
Once you’ve finished registering for an account, the casino will give you a certain amount of days to claim the bonus. This involves visiting your cashier area and claiming the offer.
Most casinos give you anywhere from 3-7 days to complete this simple task. The bonus disappears if you fail to claim it within the designated timeframe.
You essentially waste time completing account registration if you don’t claim the bonus. That’s why it’s important to know how long you have to get the offer after registering.
8 – Failing to Meet Wagering Requirements within the Required Timeframe
You only have a certain amount of time to meet playthrough after claiming your no deposit deal. The amount of time varies based on the casino, but you’re generally given anywhere from 3-14 days to meet wagering requirements.
Luckily, it doesn’t take very long to meet playthrough within the given timeframe. You can usually do so within 1-2 hours.
Here’s an example:
- You get a $20 no deposit bonus.
- Playthrough is 25x the bonus.
- 25 x 20 = $500 must be wagered
- You make $0.50 slots bets.
- You place 600 wagers in an hour.
- 600 x 0.5 = $300 in wagers per hour
- 500 / 300 = 1.67 hours to reach playthrough
Most players can find time to play slots for an hour and 40 minutes within a weeklong span. But the key is that you remain conscious of doing so to avoid losing your chance at free cash.
9 – Not Researching the Casino Offering the No Deposit Bonus
It’s not a prerequisite that you research an online casino just to go for their no deposit deal. But it’s certainly helpful if you do so in order to ensure that you’re dealing with a reputable site.
Numerous disputes have arisen between casinos and players over no deposit offers. Sometimes the disputes are simply a matter of players not reading T&Cs, then complaining when they don’t receive their winnings.
Other times, these players are dealing with a shady casino that uses loopholes and ambiguous terms to prevent them from withdrawing. You definitely don’t want to deal with sites like these, which is why it’s so important to know the casino in question.
Reviews are your friends when it comes to finding out about a gaming site. Consulting several non-biased reviews will give you a clear picture of the casino’s reputation.
A red flag should immediately be raised if the site has had multiple nasty bonus disputes. This is not the only indicator that you shouldn’t waste your time with their no deposit offer, but also that you should avoid the casino entirely.
Sometimes you can spot rogue casinos simply by reading their no deposit bonus terms and conditions. If you notice ambiguous terms that don’t clearly explain the requirements, then you might be dealing with an unsavory site.
The worst operations will use unclear T&Cs to prevent players from withdrawing bonus money at a later date.
10 – Not Understanding Your Odds of Winning
Some gamblers have unrealistic expectations about their chances of winning anything from a no deposit offer. They’re then disappointed upon losing their no deposit bonus without getting anything back.
Most players who go for no deposit bonuses will end up with nothing. This goes back to how casinos don’t just hand out free money.
Therefore, you might consider doing some calculations on your chances of earning funds from a no deposit deal. You want to consider wagering requirements as well as the house edge of your chosen game(s).
Here’s an example:
- You’re eligible for a $20 no deposit bonus.
- Playthrough is 30x the offer.
- 20 x 30 = $600 must be wagered
- You play an online slot with 95% payback (5% house edge).
- 600 x 0.5% = $30 in theoretical losses
- 30 -20 = $10 net loss
I’m not saying that you can’t get luck on your side and win money from this deal. But as the $10 net loss indicates, you’llusually lose your no deposit bonus when trying to meeting wagering requirements.
You can find better bonus deals with lower playthrough than the one in my example. But the above example represents a standard no deposit bonus deal, which doesn’t usually result in earning any free cash.
As long as you don’t get discouraged and continue going after these offers, then you’ll eventually win some money from a no deposit bonus. The key, though, is understanding that the odds are stacked against you winning anything from a single deal.
11 – Failing to Realize When a Deposit Is Required to Claim Winnings
Players get excited upon meeting playthrough and having money remaining from their bonus. But they’re quickly deflated when realizing that they must deposit to claim their winnings.
This scenario can cause players to claim that no deposit offers are scams. They especially get angry about the “no deposit” aspect, because it’s clear in these cases that a deposit is required.
It’s obviously better to go for deals where you don’t have to move funds onto a casino to claim your winnings. Remember, though, that the no deposit aspect only refers to the funds you receive after completing account registration.
The casino has a right to require a deposit as long as this condition is stated in their terms and conditions. Gamblers don’t have to agree with this practice, but it’s not like the casino is scamming them if the deposit requirement is listed in the T&Cs.
No deposit bonuses are fun to go for, especially when you’re trying to build a bankroll. But it’s important to realize that casinos don’t offer these deals as some sort of gaming charity.
Instead, you need to earn the bonus by meeting terms and conditions. Your first priority should be reading the T&Cs to ensure that you know the exact requirements.
You can consult customer support if the terms are ambiguous. If customer service is unhelpful and you’re dealing with ambiguous T&Cs, then it’s best to find another casino.
One key term is wagering requirements, which directly relate to how difficult it’ll be to collect no deposit winnings. Playthrough generally ranges from 20x to 50x the bonus, with the latter range making it much harder to earn money.
You also want to pay close attention to the timeframes on claiming the bonus and meeting wagering requirements. Casinos give you a reasonable amount of time to do both — you just need to know the exact timeframes.
It’s also important to be aware of minimum and maximum withdrawals regarding no deposit bonuses.
Gaming sites require you to meet their minimum cash out to obtain no deposit funds. Max withdrawals cap the amount of money that you can collect from these deals.
You want to avoid playing any game that’s restricted from a no deposit offer. Using restricted games to meet playthrough will void your bonus deal.
In summary, thoroughly read the terms and conditions behind any no deposit bonus offer that you’re interested in. Knowing the T&Cs gives you a better chance to collect no deposit winnings.