There are two reasons that free online slots are hugely popular. First, these are entertaining games. Gone are the days of lining up bars and 7’s. With these slots, you’ll find interactive bonus games and colorful themes. Secondly, you can win real money by playing free casino slots — without having to risk any of your own cash.
This page covers free online slots that are legally available in most states. (Don’t miss our guide to online slot tournaments, many with free entry.) While offshore casino sites are unregulated and risky, there are solid regulated alternatives available. These include sweepstakes casinos and (in a small number of states) regulated online casino apps.
You’ll find details of both legal options on this page. First, a look at the different ways to get free cash to take a shot at winning money playing free slot games.
Play free Bally, IGT, Aristocrat and Konami slots online
Take advantage of free spin bonus offers
Online casinos offer bonuses that let prospective players check out their slots and table games. You can take advantage of these to start off your slots/gambling bankroll with no money down. Free bonuses are smaller than those offered with a deposit. You might need to take advantage of more than one before you hit big. After the different types of bonus are covered, the all-important terms and conditions to look out for are discussed.
Free slots bonus offers to look out for:
- Free no deposit casinos: These range between $10 at the lower end and around $30 at the higher end. You’ll be given a bonus simply for registering — as long as you meet the location and age requirements. These bonuses come with wagering/play requirements before your profits can be withdrawn.
- Free spins bonuses: These offers differ from cash bonuses in that you are given a set number of slot spins instead of money. They often specify which game or games you can play. The usual range is 10 to 20 spins, though some offers go much higher. Again, you’ll need to wager your winnings a specified number of times before withdrawing.
- Contests/promotions: Many casinos run promotions on social media — for example giving you drawing entries in return for sharing or interacting. You can win bonuses and free spins this way in the hope of running them up with a lucky streak on a slot. Promotions are sometimes seasonal and also come around when new slot games are released.
If you are a regular real money casino player, you can add loyalty rewards to the list of how to get free slot play.
Understanding how free slot games work with casino bonuses
When you compare slot bonuses, the devil is often in the details. All casinos will have terms and conditions to protect them from abuse or fraud. As long as you are aware of the rules, you won’t accidentally invalidate your free spins or cash bonus — for example by letting it expire.
Here are the free slots bonus terms to look out for:
- Expiration date: Free play bonuses are often short-term. Some need to be used within seven days of registering, while others will be available for 30 days.
- Wagering/play-through requirements: Bonuses will specify the number of times you need to wager the money you win before it can be withdrawn. The best casinos ask for 1x to 5x your bonus amount — while some go as high as 50x.
- Capped winnings: A common term is to cap the total winnings you can withdraw via a no-deposit bonus. Some casinos might restrict you to $100 maximum wins, while others will leave this uncapped.
- Designated games: Some bonuses allow you to play on any slot you want at the online casino, while others specify. Take care of terms stating that your bonus can be voided if you play the wrong game or slot.
- Deposit to withdraw: Some casinos contain clauses in their free bonuses that state you need to deposit before any winnings can be withdrawn. If you are not prepared to do this, then these bonuses are best avoided.
- Jackpot wins: Some free slot bonuses allow you to win progressive jackpots, while others do not. If you want to take a shot at a life-changing progressive, always check the terms first.
You should get in the habit of scanning the terms and conditions for any casino bonuses you accept. Not all casinos have bad/predatory terms — and by making yourself familiar with the Ts and Cs, you can learn to tell apart the good bonuses and the tricky ones.
Free slots play at sweepstakes casinos
Sweepstakes casinos are a popular way of enjoying free slot machines and taking advantage of no-deposit bonuses from almost every state. These casinos work using sweepstakes games laws, which are under state jurisdiction. From the perspective of the player, the games act in the same way as any slot. You can win big jackpots — and get a choice of playing for fun (gold coins) or using “Sweeps Cash,” which can be redeemed for dollars and withdrawn.
They stay legal by giving you sweepstakes entries for free. You don’t have to pay to play. Instead you get free “Sweeps Cash” when you buy the (entertainment only) gold coins. There are other ways to get free Sweeps Cash:
- Sign up: Chumba Casino gives you $2 worth of Sweeps Coins simply for registering.
- Send a letter: Posting your account information to a registered address also gets you free Sweeps Cash.
- Social media contests: Share posts, enter drawings contests and look out for special codes to claim free play.
- Buy gold coins: This gets you Sweeps Cash in direct proportion to the amount spent on gold coins. You can buy them with your credit card.
Examples of free online slots at sweepstakes casinos:
These sites are growing in popularity, though the games are not as well-known as the casino slots from big names like IGT, Bally and Aristocrat. What you’ll find is many titles are just as colorful and enjoyable as their big-name counterparts. Many of them are close copies of famous slots, without ever quite infringing on copyrighted graphics or words.
Here are some examples:
- Kitty Glamour
- Stampede Fury
- Long Zhi Bao Lang
- King of the Gods
- Triple Double Golden Stars
Best types of slots for free play bonuses
Some casinos will give you a choice of the game or games to play with your free slot bonuses. Which one you choose will depend on whether you want to gamble (and shoot for a big win) or whether you want to lock in the bonus cash. Key to this decision is the volatility of the game you choose. Some slots give big wins infrequently; others have smaller and more regular payouts.
If you don’t have the time to read individual slot reviews, then here are some rules of thumb you can follow:
- Big jackpots: Slots with huge jackpots tend to have higher variance. The long-term returns might be similar to non-jackpot games, though these do include those rare mega wins. Remember to check the terms of your free slot bonus to make sure that jackpot wins are allowed.
- Minimum bet levels: If you find a slot with a $1+ minimum bet level, you’ll have fewer spins to hit a win than with lower minimum bets. If you are determined to lock in a bonus, then more spins at lower stakes will give you a bigger chance of some winning spins.
- Check the return to player percentage: All slots have a percentage of bets that they return to players. These have a wide range. The best games return around 97%, while the worst are closer to 90%. You will often find this number in the information screen (the same place that the pay table and bonus game rules are shown).
Variations in online slot games
There are new slot games being added to the thousands already online all the time. You can get familiar with these games by playing them in demo mode before you use your bonus cash. Slots were once divided into three-reel games, which mimicked the old mechanical machines, and video slots with five reels.
These days, this distinction only scratches the surface of the differences. Three-reel (or “traditional”) slots now include multiple win-lines, wild and scatter symbols and bonus games such as wheel spins or picks bonuses.
It is the video slots where the pace of innovation is always increasing. The original games had five reels, and between nine and 30 win-lines. These days slots work with “all-ways” winning systems, up to 100 win-lines and novel reel configurations. When you add the bonus games, the variety explodes. Here are some of the innovative gameplay elements you’ll find:
- Wild symbols: Expanding wilds, sticky wilds, multiplier wilds and even “walking wilds” can be found. These symbols substitute for regular ones, giving you more shots of hitting winning combinations.
- Free spin bonuses: Line up special bonus symbols, and you’ll be awarded free spins. In early slots these came with multipliers and retriggers. These days free spin bonuses are much more interesting. You’ll get expanding reels, games with lower paying symbols removed, more wilds (including completely wild reels) and even sub-games for extra prizes.
- Picks style bonuses: Simple picks games like choosing from five treasure chests or gems have been replaced by ever more complex and entertaining games. Some include stunning graphics and feel more like interactive adventures than simple games of chance.
- Hold and spin bonuses: Slot studio Aristocrat came up with the idea of hold and spin, where regular symbols get replaced with money (or jackpot) awards. You get three spins to fill the screen with these, with those three spins resetting when you get a new one. Almost all rival slot makers have come up with a variation on this theme. Ever more complex versions are being created all the time.
- Wheel spin bonuses: While this concept started with the earliest mechanical slots, it is also used in even the most complex online slot games. Some wheels award cash prizes, jackpots or win multipliers. Others include access to bonus games, or access to wheels with even bigger prizes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are online slots legal?
Regulation for online casinos is rolling out on a state-by-state basis. At the time of writing you can enjoy full online casinos in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Other states have started with sports betting only.
Outside of these states, you can legally play online slots (and get free slot play bonuses) at sweepstakes casinos. The games are different, though you’ll find enjoyable slots — many of which have progressive jackpots at these casinos.
Are online slots fair?
There is no reason to to rig an online slot against an individual player. All games have a published “RTP” (return to player) percentage. This includes a house edge of 3% or more. In terms of the randomness of outcomes — you’ll get a legitimate shot at winning the big prizes. Regulated online casinos are audited by independent specialists to ensure that their “RNG” (random number generation) software is fair.
Can I win a progressive jackpot using free slot bonuses?
This will depend on the individual casino and its bonus terms. Some will explicitly exclude jackpots from free play. Others will make a big effort to include this in their marketing. It is not just jackpots you need to check for. Some free slot offers cap your winnings — or require a huge amount of “play-through” on anything you win.
Can I play free slots without registering a casino account?
Yes. You can enjoy the online slots in demo mode at many online casinos. Your chip stack will reset as soon as you switch slots — so you can’t keep a total of chips won.
Will I find classic live casino slots online for free?
Many popular titles have been adapted for online use. These include titles from studios like IGT, WMS and Bally. Which ones you will find depends on which games each casino has licensed. You’ll find them available for free play bonuses or in demo mode.
How can I withdraw winnings from free slot bonuses?
If you are lucky enough to win and have completed the play-though requirements, you’ll be able to withdraw your winnings. Each casino will have its own list of accepted withdrawal methods. At sweepstakes casinos, this will be via bank transfer. Regulated casinos in PA/NJ and elsewhere offer a mix of transfers, electronic wallets or paper check withdrawals.