Casino 101: Understanding How Free Spins Work

When you visit any good online casino and play slot games, you’ll likely encounter the concept of a ‘free spin’.

This is a feature of slots that has been around for a long time now, but which can also be potentially confusing if you are not a seasoned casino-goer.

To avoid uncertainty, here’s a breakdown of what free spins are, how they work and how you can use them to your advantage.

The basics

Simply put, a free spin is something you can earn when playing a slot machine, whether online or at a land-based venue, which allows you to spin the reels again without needing to pay for the privilege.

The idea is that free spins are an incentive to keep you playing the game, without needing it to actually pay out.

The good news is that you always have the same chance of hitting the jackpot when using a free spin as you do when spinning the reels using credit you’ve added out of your own account via a secure payment platform. As such, there’s no downside to leveraging free spins when you are handed them by the slot in question.

The bonus factor

Another point to make about free spins is that they are not only offered in-game, but can be included as an incentive for new customers when they sign up to a given online casino site.

If you grab the best new free spins offers, you could be entitled to 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 or even more spins without needing to put any of your own money on the line.

Free spin bonuses are usually limited to a specific selection of slot games, rather than being transferable to any game a casino site hosts. This is worth bearing in mind, because obviously you don’t want to go in assuming that you are entitled to use your free spins wherever you like, as you’ll end up disappointed.

The element of odds

In order to appreciate how to play slots, you need to get to grips with the odds. Odds are important across all forms of gambling, and it’s a good idea to recognize how they relate to slot machines in particular, whether or not you are using free spins.

As mentioned, your odds of winning won’t change regardless of how you get the reels spinning. Odds are determined by the number of reels, and the number of icons they feature. Your chances can be further altered if the game has multiple paylines and other features involved.

If this all sounds complicated, try to play low volatility slots. These are games which have smaller jackpots, but a higher probability of paying out.

Ways to earn free spins

Aside from receiving free spins when you sign up to a casino site, you’ll also be able to accumulate them in games that support this feature. This is usually done in the course of normal play by matching the right combination of symbols. Certain icons will trigger a set number of free spins, and you can check the rules of individual slot games to see what conditions have to be met.

In addition, you could find that the slot you play has a built-in mini game which rewards you with free spins if you successfully complete it in between spins. Again, this is not a universal feature, but one to look out for.

Final thoughts

Free spins are a quick and easy way for casino sites to appeal to players and give them a bonus that doesn’t cost them any cash, so they are mutually beneficial in this sense.

Just make sure to play with a reputable site and to gamble responsibly, rather than paying more and more money in the hope of earning free spins.