One advantage of online slots is that you can play games for free.
The obvious benefit of this is that you can try different slots before depositing at an online casino. Another perk to playing free slots includes conserving your bankroll while figuring out what games you like.
Given these two advantages, it would seem that free online slots are a great thing. But there are actually a few downsides that you should consider before playing free slots, which you can see below.
Ever since people began playing slot machines in the late 1800s, one of the key motivators has been that you can win money on any given spin.
Of course, you have to risk money to take your chance at winning real money payouts. But most players don't mind risking change or even dollars to take this chance.
Free slots also give you the opportunity to win; only in this case you're winning free credits. And the sad part is that these free credits don't amount to anything other than a score of sorts.
You might find it entertaining for a while to watch your credits increase as you play. But after playing so long, you're unlikely to care much about how your credits are shaping up.
Another factor to think about is how you may regret it if you win a big payout while playing free slots.
Here's an example:
You adjust the settings to bet $0.50 per pay line. After only five minutes of playing, you line up five wild symbols on a pay line and win 10,000 credits.
At $0.50 per pay line, this means that you'd collect $5,000 for the win. Only...you don't actually get anything because you are playing free slots.
You might convince yourself that the random number generator wouldn't have awarded you this pay out if you were playing real money slots. But whether this is true or not, there's no doubt that you would deeply regret not playing for real money in this situation.
Most online casinos offer you a welcome bonus for depositing at their casino, which is a nice way to earn extra money on your slots play.
Here's an example:
An online casino offers a 200% match on your first deposit worth up to $1,000. If you deposit $500 under this offer, you're set to collect a $1,000 bonus, which will require that you meet the bonus' wagering requirements.
These bonus deals always favor the casino in the long run when you consider that online slots give the house anywhere from a 4% to 6% edge. But if you find real money slots to be exciting anyways, you might as well collect the welcome bonus on the side.
The rewards that you miss out on don't end here, though, because casinos also offer promotions to real money players. Here are some of the promotions that you'll miss out on:
Aside from these promotions, one more thing that you'll miss out on when playing free slots is the loyalty program. Casinos offer these programs to give you incentive to move up tiers and collect better rewards.
But the key here is that you must play real money slots to take advantage of these rewards. Free slots, on the other hand, won't give you any rewards.
Whether it is console video games or Zynga social games, we have plenty of options when it comes to gaming. So what makes slots stand out?
Many would say that the thrills you get from having your money on the line distinguish slots from other forms of gaming. All the wins and near misses are magnified when real funds are on the line.
As alluded to earlier about how you can't win real money, free slots just don't offer these same thrills. While it's nice to see a 3,000 credit win flash on the screen, this is worth just as much as a 1 credit win in free slots.
If you're the type of player who likes something to be at risk when you play slots, then free games will be a waste of your time.
Going further, free slots can even dull your senses to online gaming in general. If you spend hours spinning the reels for free, you might just get tired of the activity altogether.
PPlaying for real money – even if it's only part of the time – is a good way to prevent yourself from becoming bored with slots and keep the excitement involved.
Under the right circumstances, free slots are an excellent way to work on your bankroll management for real money play. If you start a free session with 1,000 credits, you can work on using the right betting options to make this amount last while still keeping the game fun for yourself.
In theory, this is the ideal way to practice before risking your own money. But in reality, many players mindlessly bet whatever they feel like because there are no consequences to losing.
You may even find yourself playing more pay lines than you normally would just to unlock certain features. Obviously this is the opposite of what you want when trying to practice good slots bankroll management.
RReal money slots, on the other hand, force you to be more conscious about your bankroll because you have real funds on the line.
As I mentioned in the introduction, there are some positive aspects to playing free slots. You can try games without spending money, and you can test out online casinos without making a deposit.
But before you pour hours into free slots, remember the downsides that I discussed above.
The biggest drawback is that there are fewer thrills involved in free slots because you aren't playing for anything of value. And many would say that the thrill of winning or losing money is a big reason why they play slots in the first place.
Another downside is that you can't play for any bonuses, promotions or loyalty rewards through free slots. For some players, being able to earn these rewards is a big motivation to playing slots in the first place.
If you're using free slots to practice for real money games, you'll also find that free games don't always simulate good bankroll management. In fact, the habits you develop while playing free slots can make you worse at managing your bankroll.
What I've discussed here isn't meant to deter you from ever trying free slots because you may get enjoyment out of these games. But if any of the topics that I covered above sound like major deterrents, then you should consider playing real money slots right away.