One of the best ways to zero in on an online casino is to check the bonuses on offer. A good bonus to have is the free play bonus: this allows you to try out before you buy in to the casino by depositing real money funds. There are different kinds of free play bonuses, and some casinos offer more than one kind of free play bonus for their Canadian players.
What is a Free Play Bonus?
The free play bonus is free money that a casino offers you to play its games in real money mode. Some casinos offer this bonus even before you deposit funds into your casino account. With this bonus you can try out the casino games on offer and get comfortable with playing in real money mode, all for free. Even better, by fulfilling the terms and conditions attached to this bonus, you get to keep at least a portion of your winnings from this bonus.
There are three major types of free play bonuses:
Each of these free play bonuses comes with its own set of terms and conditions. Regardless of which bonus you get, you must fulfill these terms to be able to use the bonus effectively and cash out a portion of your winnings (or all of it, if the casino permits).
No Deposit Bonus
The no deposit bonus is a great bonus that is available to new players. It is available even before you deposit funds into your casino account; all you have to do is register with the casino. It is usually in the form of a small cash bonus and can be anywhere between C$5 and C$50.
To use this bonus, sign up with the casino by providing the required information. The bonus is now ready to use. You learn about the availability of this bonus for use one of the following ways:
- A pop-up appears on your screen informing you about the bonus
- You get an e-mail from the casino’s support team stating that the bonus is now yours to use
- You contact customer support to access the bonus
Free Spins Bonus
The free spins bonus is a popular free play bonus among players. As the name suggests, it works only on slots. When you sign up at an online casino you get a certain number of spins on a particular game or series of games for free.
While this bonus is available in no deposit mode – you get a few spins for free on a particular game when you sign up at an online casino – it is also available after you have deposited funds into your account. For instance, a casino may offer a welcome bonus of 100% up to C$200 and 50 free spins on a series of slots.
Free Play with Time Limit Bonus
The free play with time limit bonus gives you free money that you have to spend within a stipulated time period. Once you register with the casino you get a significant amount of money that you can use to play your favorite games within the time limit provided. You have to use up the funds available within the time limit provided; anything left after the time limit expires is not available for use. The amount available varies between C$500 and C$3000 – some casinos offer as high as C$5000.
Depending on which online casino you are playing at, you can keep a portion of the winnings accrued through the free play with time limit bonus. There are a couple of things about the free play with time limit bonus you should know. Some casinos allow you to reset the time for the bonus to the beginning, so you get the entire time period again. The following example illustrates this point clearly.
A casino offers a free play with time limit bonus of C$500 to spend in 60 minutes. You can reset the time to 60 minutes even though you have used up, say, 40 minutes. This allows you to use the bonus for another 60 minutes. However, when you reset the time period to 60 minutes, you lose any winnings earned during the time for which you used the bonus.
At a number of casinos, the time limit for this bonus is 60 minutes; that is why these casinos are referred to as One-Hour-Free casinos.
Strategy is important because you need to figure out the different bets you can place to be able to use up the bonus amount within the hour. Using up the amount is important as any leftover money is rendered unusable after the 60-minute time period expires. Also, you must have more money than the original amount provided at the end of time limit; only then can you claim winnings. The winnings are credited into your account after a standard verification process within usually 30 minutes.
The one hour free play bonus is a fantastic bonus option. There is just one small hiccup: you are not allowed to claim all your winnings. The casino determines how much of your winnings you can withdraw; this is called the maximum capped amount and is usually up to C$100. So even if you win C$5000, the amount that gets credited to your account is only C$100.
Terms and Conditions for the One Hour Free Play Bonus
There are terms and conditions for all online casino bonuses, including the one hour free play bonus. Go through the terms and conditions carefully; only then will you be able to use it well and know what to expect in terms of withdrawal of winnings.
There are specific terms and conditions to follow when you use the one hour free play bonus to play slots. You cannot simply place a wager, spin the wheel once, and claim winnings. There is a minimum number of times you have to hit the spin button to be able to claim winnings. This applies to card and other games as well. Other conditions include account registration, minimum deposit to access winnings, maximum capped amount, and more.
We will discuss the terms and conditions for the different free play bonuses in a separate section later.
Bonus Codes for the One Hour Free Play Bonus
While most one-hour-free casinos give players direct access to the free play bonus provided they have registered an account, some require a bonus code. In case there is a bonus code needed, the player has to register an account with the casino and then enter the bonus code in the given section. In such cases the player makes the first bet and only then is the free play for one hour is activated.
After going through the different free play bonus it is clear these offer huge advantages to the player. We discuss the advantages next.
Free Play Bonus Advantages
There are quite a few advantages to using free play bonuses. We list the major ones below for you:
- Zero risk: This is a zero risk bonus as you do not spend your money; you spend money that the casino offers you.
- Bankroll Boost: Want to increase the size of your bankroll without spending additionally from your pocket? The free play bonus is the way to go, because that is what it does: it increases your bankroll in 2 ways:
- The free play bonus itself is a boost to your bankroll.
- The portion of winnings you are allowed to keep enhances your bankroll further.
- Real Play Experience: The free play bonus allows you to experience the thrill of playing for real money without spending a penny from your pocket. Want to be moderate with your bets and play with this bonus as much as you can? You can do that by betting wisely. Want to experience how it feels to be a high roller? You can experience that as well, by betting a large amount: it is the casino’s money you are spending, after all!
- Game Testing: With the free play bonus you can test how your favorite casino game plays at the casino. If you like the feel of the game you can continue playing for real money. And if you don’t like it you can always move to another game.
Next we take a look at the terms and conditions that free play bonuses come with.
Terms and Conditions Attached to Free Play Bonuses
All bonuses that online casinos offer come with their own terms and conditions. This applies to the free play bonuses as well. There are different terms and conditions attached to this bonus that you need to fulfill. These include:
- Account registration: Players have to register an account with the casino to access the free play bonus.
- Game eligibility: The free play bonus may work only for certain games. Make sure you use it to play only the eligible games. Failure to do so is bad news for the player.
- Wagering requirements: Most free play bonuses have their own wagering requirements that you have to fulfill. What this means is you have to wager the bonus amount a specific number of times to be able to use the bonus effectively. The wagering contribution varies for different games: slots contribute a high percentage, while table and card games like roulette and blackjack respectively contribute low. This means you will have to bet more on the latter and less on the former.
- Minimum deposit: Most casinos require players to deposit a minimum amount into their account to be able to withdraw a portion of their winnings.
- Maximum capped amount: Since the bonus is free, the casino protects its interests by allowing players to withdraw only a portion of the amount won, also referred to as the maximum capped amount.