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Last Updated: August 29, 2017
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Guide to No-Deposit Bonuses
No-Deposit Bonuses exist as an enticement to get would-be players to sign-up for online casinos, and at their face, they offer free value to the player. Players do not have to make a deposit in order to play such a bonus, (but may have to make a deposit to be allowed to cash out) so these bonuses give a player an opportunity to sign up for a casino and play with the potential for winning money with absolutely no risk to them.
When it comes to expected value, many online casinos offer Deposit Match Bonuses (and other types of bonuses) with a much greater expected profit than that of No-Deposits. For that reason, I would tend to often avoid No Deposit Bonuses (if you have any bankroll to speak of) as you will often not be able to take advantage of Deposit Bonuses if you have already taken a NDB as you will not be considered a new player.
To be blunt, these should really only be played by players with an extremely low bankroll OR if the NDB does not prevent you from taking a Deposit Welcome Bonus in the future. In some cases, Deposit Bonuses have a negative expected value, however, I still would not personally take a NDB at those casinos because they might eventually roll out a Deposit Bonus that is positive and I would not want to waste the sign up.
At the same time, online casinos do not tend to like giving money away, so many of these promotions have very little expected value. Furthermore, even if you do win, most of these types of bonus have a maximum amount that can be won and cashed out as a result of the No-Deposit Bonus. For the purposes of this article, we are going to take a look at some general terms that often apply to No-Deposit Bonuses as well as some specific bonuses offered by various casinos.
General Terms & Conditions
There are a wide variety of Terms & Conditions (hereafter referred to as T&C) that may apply to No-Deposit Bonuses. If you wish to take advantage of a particular bonus, then I strongly recommend that you read the terms and conditions associated with that casino as the terms listed below do not necessarily apply to every casino.
1.) Maximum Win/Withdrawal
The vast majority of these bonuses have a maximum amount that can be won/withdrawn as a result of playing the bonus. In many cases, this amount is extremely low, sometimes even $50 or less. In addition to the fact that the expected value of many Deposit Bonuses can often yield a better expected profit than that, No-Deposit Bonuses are also very unlikely to yield winnings equal to the cash out amount. In fact, many bonuses are structured such that you expect not to win anything, as you will soon find out.
2.) No Other Welcome Bonuses
In many online casinos, if you take a NDB, you will no longer be able to take advantage of any other new player bonuses as they will not construe you as a new player. When a Deposit Bonus is positive, you are effectively trading an expected profit for an expected result of not winning anything. I’d rather have the expected profit.
3.) Must Deposit to Withdraw
This is an important one to look out for. When it comes to several online casinos (though not all) you must deposit in order to withdraw any winnings that come by way of a NDB. That’s somewhat understandable because it makes sense that the casino would not want you to sign up, win a few bucks with no personal risk and never come back. However, some casinos will allow you to cash out winnings from your NDB without making a deposit.
Other NDB-specific T&C vary too much to be listed here. The three listed are the most common terms specific to NDB’s, so we will go with those. For more specific conditions, please refer to the bonus terms of your casino of choice.
Expected Value of Some NDB’s
For this section, we are going to take a look at some NDB’s that are current as of the time of this writing and determine the expected value of them. Technically, they all have a non-zero expected profit because the player is risking nothing to have the possibility of winning something. However, each of these bonuses comes with playthrough requirements that will often yield an expected result of zero...precisely what you started with.
We will first look at some NDB’s which are available directly through this site via this page.
If you wish to play any of these, simply click on, "No Deposit," and then, "Visit Casino," for the casino corresponding to your choice. I will also note whether or not the casino is endorsed by the Wizard of Odds, if a casino is Wizard of Odds APPROVED and you experience any problems with them that you can not resolve, then the Wizard will mediate on your behalf (if you signed up through our link) to try to achieve a mutually satisfactory resolution. The only thing that we ask is that you first try to resolve any disputes yourself prior to invoking the guarantee.
1.) Superior Casino---WoO Approved: NO
Superior Casino is currently offering a $20 NDB with a playthrough requirement of 20x and a maximum cashout amount of $50. As well as bonus terms, general T&Cs apply. If you cash out, any winnings over the $50 will automatically be removed from the account.
There are a couple of terms that do not apply to every casino that apply to this one, so we will take a look at those:
- You must win at least the amount of the Deposit + Bonus to be able to withdraw anything. The Deposit is $0 and the Bonus is $20, so you will need to have a total of $20 (or more) after the playthrough requirements have been met in order to cash out. If you have between $0.01-$19.99, then you will need to continue playing until your balance exceeds $20.
- This bonus may only be played on Slots. There is a list of the games that are not allowed to be played, but it can be summarized as, "Everything but slots." Video Keno may be allowed, if they have it, but the house edge is generally worse on online casino Video Keno than it is for slots.
- You must complete the wagering requirements OR have a balance of $0 for this bonus to be considered over. What that means is that if your balance is $0.01, or more, not only will you not be able to take a bonus of any other kind if you have not completed the playthrough (can only play one bonus at a time) but also that any additional deposits you may make shall have the playthrough requirements from the previous bonus attached to them. In short, make sure you either complete the $400 playthrough, or have a balance of $0.
- You must complete the wagering requirements BOTH within one week of signing up AND by the end of the month. Of course, if you’re betting any meaningful amount per spin, you should be able to complete it within a day pretty easily.
- You must make a deposit of $25 in order to withdraw any winnings from this bonus, but the $25 deposit may be withdrawn along with that. That is to prevent bonus abuse as well as to confirm your credit card or other payment method.
The slots are powered by Rival and Betsoft, while we have no specific information on Betsoft, we know that the Rival machine, "Rock On," has an RTP of 98%. Given total bets of $400, the player expects to lose $8 of the $20 Bonus. Unfortunately, Superior does not seem to host that game.
You can find a full listing of Rival powered slots and returns here:
Superior does have the second-best returning Rival slot, "Dog Pound Bonus," with an RTP of 95.37%. Given the house edge of 4.63%, the player expects to lose $18.52 and finish with $1.48 after completing the playthrough requirements. That is not enough to cash out as the player must have at least $20 to do that, so the player effectively expects to finish with nothing because the player must continue to play a negative expectation game to reach the minimum withdrawal amount.
If I were to even think about playing this, the first thing that I would want to do is see if I could take the other Welcome Bonuses after taking the NDB. Either way, the player has the potential to profit $20-$50 (though is not expected to do so) and risks nothing, so there’s that.
2.) Cafe Casino---Wizard of Odds Approved: YES
Cafe Casino is offering a NDB of $10 by using the code Cafe10 with the cashier. This code is for new players only who have never made a wager with real money at Cafe Casino.
The maximum amount that a player may win and withdraw is $125 with anything over that amount forfeited. I will definitely give Cafe Casino credit for having such a high withdrawal limit on a NDB, that’s pretty unusual. Here are some T&Cs for this:
- Maximum withdrawal of $125.
- 60x Playthrough requirement on slots.
- Must play within ninety days of redeeming the bonus.
We do not allow the mixing of No-Deposit bonuses (e.g. Free Chips, Free Spins, Cashback/Insurance Bonuses etcetera) and deposits. If a deposit is made while a No Deposit Bonus is active, the wagering requirements and maximum allowed cash-out of the No Deposit bonus will still apply. The deposit amount will be credited to your balance, however the deposit amount is not considered to be in active play and any subsequent winnings are subject to the wagering requirements and maximum allowed cash-out of the No Deposit bonus until your balance is equal to or less than the deposit amount plus any existing balance available prior to the bonuses redemption.
Maybe you understand what that means, because I don’t. My advice would be just to not deposit at all until you have completed the NDB wagering requirements or your balance is $0.
It seems that any game may be played with this bonus, so here is the effective playthrough requirements for all types of games on this bonus:
- Slots: $600
- Table Games: $3,000
- Video Poker & Blackjack: $6,000
- Single/Double Deck Blackjack, Baccarat, Roulette: $12,000
- The minimum withdrawal for this casino is $20, so effectively, you must finish the playthrough requirements with that much or more.
It appears that this casino does have, "Rock On," a slot machine with an RTP of 98%. That means you are expected to lose $12 on the $600 playthrough requirements and finish with nothing. They have 99.78% Aces and Eights Video Poker, but that has an expected loss of $13.20 on your playthrough and will take forever. If you’re just trying to bang out a quick buck, stick to the slots as they are your best expectation, too, on, "Rock On."
Either way, you are expected to win nothing. I will give them props for a maximum withdrawal of $125 on an NDB, though.
3.) iNetBet---Wizard of Odds APPROVED: YES
iNetBet has a No-Deposit Bonus of $10 with a playthrough requirement of 15x on slots. Here are some of the other terms that apply to this one:
We recommend you sign up through this site as you will have the Wizard of Odds APPROVED guarantee.
- Wagering Requirements are 15x, slots only.
- Maximum cash out from the bonus is 5x the amount of the bonus, which is $50.
- Players must make a verification deposit prior to withdrawing.
- Bets must NOT exceed 25% the amount of the free play chip given, which means that you may not bet more than $2.50 on any individual spin.
That pretty much covers it in terms of the terms, so let’s look at expectation.
The player will effectively have to make a low $150 in total bets to have completed the Wagering Requirements. iNetBet slots are powered by RealTime Gaming, which affords operators to choose between one of three return settings which are also not known. I would suggest assuming an RTP of about 95% and House Edge of 5%, fairly standard. The player would then expect to lose $7.50 which is insufficient to complete the wagering requirements. The player would have to play negative expectation games to continue and is expected to lose everything.
Finally, the minimum withdrawal for credit cards is $25, so if using a credit card, you can win $25-$50. The minimum deposit is $10.
4.) Casino Extreme---Wizard of Odds Approved: YES
Casino Extreme is offering a pretty extreme No-Deposit Bonus, at least, in terms of how much play a player can get out of it. The bonus is $50 and comes with a Wagering Requirement of 30x, so let’s take a look at some T&C’s:
- The maximum cashout as a result of this bonus is $100 and any other winnings will be removed from the account. There is a verification deposit required to cash out any winnings.
- The verification deposit must be made within seven days of accepting the Bonus, so you’re going to want to make sure that you play it through and get your verification deposit it in that amount of time lest your winnings be forfeited.*
- I understand why they would want you to play the bonus during a seven day period, but not why they would want you to make your verification deposit within seven days. In my opinion, that just makes players more likely to get it done and cash out. It also encourages cashing out as quickly as possible.
- The coupon code for this bonus is EXTREME50 and should be redeemed with the cashier. You must have an entirely new account and have never accepted an NDB or deposited before.
- The casino is very specific that only NON-PROGRESSIVE slot games are allowed. I personally like this term because Progressives are player-banked, so for a player to hit one on a NDB (and have any additional winnings over the maximum withdrawal removed from his account) basically gives the casino a free out on not paying the Progressive and the player contribution is effectively nullified. In other words, for a player with a Max Withdrawal limit to hit a Progressive is a complete waste.
*Withdrawals are not permitted for less than $20 on this bonus. Thus, you must win between $20-$100.
The player must wager $1,500 to complete the playthrough requirements. We do not know the RTP so will assume 95%, which means the player expects to lose $75 on the playthrough and fail to complete the wagering requirements.
The nice thing about this bonus is the size of it being $50. With a bonus such as that, even though the player is not expected to complete the wagering requirements, he/she will at least get to play for a little bit. I also like the fact that the withdrawal can be made on a win of $20, which means that the player only has to have an ACTUAL return of 40% of the value of the free chip to be able to withdraw winnings. That’s extremely generous, in my view.
5.) Casino Brango---Wizard of Odds Approved: NO
Does anyone know what a Brango is? I certainly don’t, but what I do know is their ratings are awesome scoring an average of 4.2 out of 5 User Scores across our family of sites. That really stood out to me, despite the fact that it is not WoO Approved.
They are currently offering a NDB of $30 using BRANGO30 at the cashier with a Wagering Requirement of 30x on Slots, for total wagering of $900. Slot games appear to be the only games allowed as the list of games that are not permitted seems to include everything else they have. With that, let’s take a look at some T&C’s:
This is limited to Non-Progressive slots, to be specific, which I really like. As before, allowing it to be played on Progressive Slots with a maximum withdrawal kind of screws the players who contributed to the Progressive out of their contribution. Besides that, the winnings derived therefrom cannot possibly benefit the NDB player.
- The maximum cashout limit is $100.
- Players must make a verification deposit prior to cashing out.
- The minimum withdrawal appears to be $20, so you can potentially win $20-$100.
These games are powered by NuWorks, which the Wizard of Odds finds to have pretty dated slots. The returns are not known, so we will assume a House Edge of 5%. The player would then expect to lose $45 and not be successful in completing the playthrough requirements.
I do like a couple of things about this for the No/Low Bankroll player. The first one is that $30 gives the ability for the player to play a little bit. The second thing that I like is that the player can theoretically withdraw less than the amount of the free chip, so in other words, the player does not have to have a 100%+ ACTUAL return to cash something.
6.) Desert Nights---Wizard of Odds APPROVED: YES
Desert Nights is a Wizard of Odds APPROVED casino offering a $10 NDB as of the time of this writing. Its full name is actually Desert Nights Rival Casino, so for those of you who are online gaming enthusiasts, you have probably already guessed it is powered by Rival software.
The maximum cashout is a relatively generous $170, but the playthrough requirements are 50x. Still, given that only results in $500 playthrough, it’s not terribly unlikely that you will finish this one with something. Let’s look at some other T&C’s:
- There is no coupon code, you will simply need to click the, "Claim Now," icon for this bonus.
- This bonus may only be played on slots, keno and scratch cards. The best Keno game returns 96.48%, and is the Ten-Spot Vegas Nights Keno. That’s actually a pretty excellent return by Video Keno standards, but the pays for 4/10, 5/10 and 6/10 are 1-For-1, 2-For-1 and 4-1, respectively, so that’s going to also be pretty high variance. It’s okay, variance is your friend when playing with free money. The return of scratch cards is unknown, but generally worse than slots. They appear to have, "Rock On," which returns 98%.
- It appears that the minimum which may be withdrawn is $25 and the maximum is $170. It would normally be $50 on a no-deposit bonus but is upped to $170 for this exclusive bonus.
- Finally, this is interesting in that the player does not seem to have to make a deposit in order to withdraw winnings, Desert Nights just wants a copy of a utility bill.
There is a game with a House Edge of 2%, the playthrough is $500, the expected loss is $10. The NDB is $10. The player is expected to finish with exactly nothing.
In terms of NDB’s, I like this one because I consider the maximum amount that can be withdrawn of $170 as exceptionally generous, and I also like that the player does not necessarily have to make a deposit in order to withdraw those funds. As you can see just by what we have looked at so far, most casinos require a deposit to be made.
7.) Lucky Club Casino---Wizard of Odds APPROVED: YES
This promotion is a NDB of $22 at this WoO APPROVED casino. The bonus code for this is LCWELCOME4, and Lucky Club Casino is another one powered by NuWorks.
This bonus is a misnomer. It is the fourth part of a bonus package with total bonuses of $2,222. However, the first three parts require a deposit, so effectively, this is NOT a No-Deposit Bonus for new players. It is in the sense that you do not need to make an ADDITIONAL deposit, but you would have had to have made a deposit in the first place.
For those reasons, we will not look at any other terms.
Let’s go ahead and round this thing out with ten total NDB’s, so for that, we are going to hop on over to our parent site, LatestCasinoBonuses.com and take a look at two bonuses via their links as well as one from our CasinoListings site.
8.) Lincoln Casino
This bonus is a NDB of $25 using Bonus Code LC25FREE and it comes with a 40x Wagering Requirement on slots which means that $1,000 in total wagers would need to be made in order to complete the requirements.
- The bonus may only be used for slots.
- The Maximum amount that can be withdrawn upon completing this Bonus is $150, $150 is also the minimum amount that Lincoln Casino allows you to withdraw via most withdrawal methods.
- You would want to verify this with Live Support and have a transcript sent to your E-Mail, but it seems like you can withdraw that $150 without ever making a deposit. However, if you fall short of $150, it seems you could make a deposit to bring you up to $150 followed by withdrawal, but again, I would specifically ask customer service that question before doing it.
Lincoln Casino is powered by WGS Technology, the slot returns are not made public, so we will assume 95%. The player expects to lose $50 on $1,000 playthrough and fail to complete the bonus.
This is a pretty good bonus if the player can cash out $150 without ever making a deposit, or may finish the playthrough and then make a deposit to bring the balance up to $150 and THEN make the withdrawal of $150. Again, check with Live Chat and make sure to get a transcript of what they say so that you have that backing you up, if needed.
Aside from that, I have analyzed promotions at Lincoln in the past, and at one time, they did have a very positive Deposit Bonus which had a much better expected profit than this. I don’t know if that is still the case, but it is probably worth investigating before taking a NDB.
9.) Jackpot Wheel Casino
I sort of picked one at random here just for fun, and to show how easy it is to look into these. Jackpot Wheel has a NDB of $35 with a 40x playthrough on slots which would be $1,400 coin-in on slots to complete the requirements. Let’s look at some Terms:
- The maximum amount that can be won on this bonus and cashed out is $100.
- The verification deposit needed to cash out this bonus is $20.
$100 is also the minimum withdrawal amount at this casino, so you would need to deposit enough to bring your total balance to $100 if you do win on this bonus….OR MAYBE NOT:
Player's that have never deposited at the casino, may only make a withdrawal on any bonus, free spins or loyalty points, once a real money deposit has been made by the player. The deposit made, will not be combined with the withdrawal amount, but rather placed in the player's account once the withdrawal has been paid out. The player will then have access to the deposit amount as a cash balance subject to all normal casino terms and conditions.
These are the kind of garbage terms you have to look out for. What this means is that the minimum amount you can win on the NDB and withdraw is $100, the maximum is $100, the ONLY amount is $100. Because your deposit will not be added to your funds, there is no way for you to make a deposit and add it to any amount less than $100.
Ultimately, you will either win $100 or nothing. Regarding playthrough, the slots are powered by Saucify and the returns are not known. Assuming a 5% hold, the player expects to lose $70 and fail to complete the playthrough.
My advice on this one, unless there is a good Deposit Bonus (and there’s not, the Terms state the first three Deposit Bonuses MUST be played on Slots) is to simply take the No Deposit Bonus and try to win $100 or more so you can withdraw $100 from it. You will have to deposit $20 to do that, which you are expected to lose, but that would still put you $80 ahead.
I would take their NDB, try to win $100, and never play there again if I failed. Their Terms are ridiculous for both Deposit and No Deposit Bonuses.
If you win, then you will have a balance of $20 after receiving the $100. I would bet the entire balance on something like the Pass Line at Craps and continue to bet my entire balance, or enough to get up to $100. For example, if you bet all $20 and win, then you would bet $40 and a win would put you up to $80, at that point, I would bet $20 to try to make it $100. If you lost on that, you would have $60, so then you would bet $40 to try to make it $100. If you fail, you would simply start at $20 and try it all over again. I would recommend withdrawing once you hit $100 and then never playing at this casino again unless you are offered another NDB, which you would then proceed to do the same way.
Let’s pick a random one from CasinoListings for our tenth.
10.) WinADay Casino
This bonus is a $35 NDB using code FREE35CSNL with a 20x Wagering Requirement on slots resulting in a playthrough of $700.
- The maximum cashout is $100 on this bonus.
- There really isn’t much else on their site in terms of requirements that would pertain to the NDB, and it seems that it could be cashed out without making a deposit. I would suggest contacting Live Chat and getting a transcript to be sure.
WinADay is powered by Slotland proprietary software that can only be found at Slotland and WinADay.
I would assume a hold of at least 5% which would result in an expected loss of $35 on the $700 playthrough, which means you are expected to lose everything on the NDB. If there is a minimum withdrawal specific to the promotion, the site doesn’t say, but LCB reports a minimum general withdrawal of $25, so I would assume it is the same.
This is not a bad little bonus with the potential to win $25-$100 in a day, but the Deposit Bonuses might be better since you are not expected to finish with anything on this, so I would look into those before taking this NDB.
List of Ten Conclusion
There are hundreds of online casinos out there and many of them offer NDB’s. As you can see just from the ten that we have selected for this page, the T&C’s can vary pretty drastically from one casino to another in terms of Minimum/Maximum withdrawals as well as whether or not you need to make a deposit to withdraw any winnings.
You will also notice that the amounts of the NDB’s and playthrough requirements also vary pretty considerably. Either way, this should give you an idea of how you can determine what you should finish with on these things.
Finally, as you will have surely noticed, the majority of NDB’s are slots only. There are a few NDB’s that allow you to play Keno or Pull Tabs while we have only seen one that allows for the playing of Table Games. Naturally, anything other than Slots/Keno/Tabs comes with much greater wagering requirements as other games only contribute a percentage to the playthrough.
No Deposit Bonuses in Disguise
There are a few different online casino offers that still qualify as, "Free," but are really NDB’s in disguise. We will not be analyzing any of those for the purposes of this article, but we will briefly highlight what they are:
1.) Free Spins Bonuses:
A Free Spins bonus is simply one in which a player will be allowed to take spins of a particular slot machine, or choice of machines, prior to making a deposit. Each spin will be for a fixed amount, often anywhere from $0.10-$1.00 and any winnings from the Free Spins will then be applied to the player’s bonus account.
After the funds have been transferred to a player’s Bonus account, they will then be subject to playthrough requirements as any No-Deposit Bonus would. They basically operate the same way. The expected value of the NDB (itself) is essentially whatever the expected return on the Free Spins is. Considering the playthrough, the expected return of the overall play is generally nothing.
Common Terms and Conditions:
When it comes to Free Spins bonuses, players will often not qualify to cash anything out from them if they have taken multiple bonuses in a row without making a deposit. That is not true of all casinos, but for those where it is true, that makes it basically pointless to play the bonus if you are not able to withdraw any winnings anyway.
As with NDB’s, Free Spin bonuses (and the playthrough therefrom) usually have a maximum amount that can be withdrawn once the full bonus is completed. Further, you will often need to make a deposit to withdraw winnings unless you have already deposited with that casino before, but sometimes even then.
2.) Free Play Bonuses:
These are similar to Free Spins bonuses, except that you will start with a particular, "Free Spins," balance and will be given a finite amount of time to make spins with a maximum amount (sometimes a fixed amount) allowed to be bet.
The way it works is that any amount won in excess of the amount you started with will then be transferred into your bonus account where that amount then becomes treated as a NDB with associated playthrough requirements. Generally speaking, you are expected to not even finish the timeframe of play with anything over the Free Spin amount, but even if you do, the wagering requirements are such that the expected profit is generally nothing as you will lose as much (or more) before completing the wagering requirements.
As before, if you do complete both phases with a win, you will often have to deposit to cashout. Sometimes you do not have to if you have played at that casino before.
3.) Slot Tournaments:
While some slot tournaments are designed such that an amount gets added to a player’s cash balance, that usually applies to players who have deposited. Some casinos will have slot tournaments that are open to everyone, but essentially award any winnings from the tournament as a NDB. As before, these come with playthrough requirements and the player is expected to lose the entire amount. Players will generally need to make a deposit to withdraw any winnings, especially if they have not deposited before.
No-Deposit Bonuses can be a positive for players who have little to no bankroll and are just trying to make a few easy bucks or get a little bit of scratch built up to play with. However, it should be known that no casino is in the habit of just giving money away for free, otherwise, players would have taken all of their money already and they would have all shut down.
For that reason, most NDB’s have playthrough requirements that are such that the player does not expect to finish with any of the NDB funds left. Even if the player does, due to minimum withdrawal requirements, the player often then has to continue to play until meeting the minimum withdrawal or losing all of the bonus funds. The player is more likely to lose all of the bonus funds.
When it comes to the expected value of NDB’s, it’s tough to say they have a zero expected value (even though the player is not expected to finish with enough to cash out) because the player does not have to risk any money upfront in order to try and the player can theoretically win something. Technically, the expected value is infinite because there is only upside.
Of course, the expected value is often better on a deposit bonus. In fact, many deposit Welcome Bonuses can no longer be taken if a player has taken an NDB, so my advice is to always thoroughly read the T&C’s as well as verifying with Live Chat that you can still take a certain deposit welcome bonus even after you have taken an NDB.
There are other types of bonuses that are essentially NDB’s in disguise, which may include Free Spins, Free Play and Free Tournaments. Any winnings from those usually effectively turn into an NDB and have a very little profit expectation. The playthrough requirements are such that the player expects to either lose all funds or not finish with enough to cash out.
It’s a shot at free money, it costs nothing to do, but it isn’t worth a lot at all. I would only recommend doing these if you have very, very little or nothing in terms of bankroll. When you have built up a little bit of a bankroll, try to find a strong deposit bonus.
Written by: Brandon James