Free Play and Free Spins Bonuses Explained

No deposit cash, free spins, match up offers, fixed bonuses, golden chips. If you enjoy playing at online casinos and especially if you have a penchant for a nice juicy bonus, then you probably recognise all the different types of casino promotions listed above. Of course, the diehards amongst you will be wondering about free play and why it hasn't featured on the list. That's because the term has two different meanings, which need to be clarified before moving on to the crux of this article, namely free play vs free spins.

The first meaning of free play is not bonus-related and basically means you can use practice money to try out the games. This is often known as playing for fun as opposed to playing for real. On the other hand, a free play offer comes under the umbrella of casino perks and promotions and allows you to bet with real cash. Before deciding which offer would come out on top in a free play vs free spins showdown, let's have a closer look at what each one entails.

What Is A Free Play Offer?

A free play bonus could best be described as a no deposit chip hyped up on caffeine. Similar to no deposit cash, you are given complimentary money to play with, but the difference is that the amount is usually much greater - anything up to £1000. The catch, however, is you only get a very limited time period - an hour or so - to use the credits. The large amount awarded means you can sample the casino's software and try out several different titles using your substantial bankroll. You must play fast and furiously though, keeping a good eye on the clock, because as soon as the allotted time is up you have to stop betting. This type of promotion used to be very popular, especially with gaming platforms which needed to be downloaded.

What Is A Free Spins Offer?

Nowadays free spins are definitely the darling of new player welcome deals offered by gaming sites. As soon as you register you are given a number of slot spins - from 10 up to a an outstanding 200, depending on the deal. The denomination of the spins is usually low, typically 10 or 20 pence and can only be used on a specific slot, or a selection of slots chosen by the site operator. The spins are often given in batches, either over a few days or when you make your next deposit. As an added boost, it's not unusual to find this type of award offered with a match up bonus as part of a welcome package. Complimentary spins are also given to existing players as a reward for their loyalty, as daily prizes or to try out a new slot title in top UK casinos.

Free Spins vs Free Play

So as you can see, even though both of these casino perks might not cost you anything there are several differences between them.

Time limit: free cash awards typically must be used within a very short time limit - 30 minutes to an hour or so. With free spins, you could have up to 7 or 14 days to play them.

Game choice: the free play option allows you to experience a variety of slots and table games of your own choosing, although some titles may be restricted. On the other hand, complimentary spins tie you in to games selected by the gaming operator.

Availability: promotions offering free spins are easily found on the internet or via promotional emails. Free play promos are not as common and can be more difficult to find.

Deposit obligations: the first 10 or so complimentary spins may be awarded without you needing to make a deposit, but the higher numbers are activated only after you fund your account. Free cash bonuses don't usually require an initial deposit.

Terms and Conditions

When it comes to free play vs free spins, they both have one thing in common - each offer comes with its own set of terms and conditions. Although you may not have to use any of your own money to enjoy a free cash session, you still may not get to keep everything you win. Your winnings may be capped at a fixed amount of £20 or £50, or any profit you make may not be withdrawable until you make a small deposit, or you can only use your winnings as part of a match bonus offer. As far as free spins go, they could require an initial deposit and often also carry playthrough requirements of up to x35, though nowadays some sites have no wagering requirements on complimentary spins.

So in the battle of free play vs free spins which deal wins? Essentially, it may come down to the type of player you are. If you're a fan of slots and like to relish every spin then you might prefer the spins deal. If you have a need for speed and enjoy playing a variety of games, albeit against the clock, then you may opt for the complimentary cash offer. Both options gave you the opportunity to win some real money, so that makes both deals great. Whichever one sounds better to you, make sure to read all the T&Cs involved to avoid disappointment and misunderstandings.