7 Biggest Mistakes Gamblers Make With No Deposit Bonuses

Casino Gambling Floor, Bonus Icon
No deposit bonuses are among the most popular offers in online casino gambling. These deals are attractive because they don’t require a deposit.

Instead, you just register for an account and claim your offer. Afterward, you have an opportunity to earn free money.

Casinos and free money usually aren’t synonymous terms. But no deposit bonuses make for the possibility of winning for free. Unfortunately, many gamblers mess up these deals. They violate the terms and conditions and either fail to earn any money or even get banned from the casino.

Failing to collect on a good deal is bad enough. Matters only get worse when you’re banned on top of things. Obviously, you don’t want either of these scenarios to happen. That said, you should avoid the following seven no deposit bonus mistakes.

1 – Failing to Understand How No Deposit Bonuses Work

The most common mistake regarding these offers is simply not understanding how they work. Here are some misconceptions that novice gamblers have about these deals:

  • The funds are immediately available for play
  • The funds can be cashed out immediately
  • No deposit bonuses work like deposit bonuses

Starting with the first point, casinos don’t just put the no deposit funds into your account right away.

You must first visit your account area and claim the bonus. Only then can you truly begin using the offer.

Second, the funds can’t be withdrawn until terms and conditions have been satisfied. Otherwise, you and every other player could just cash out the bonus without playing.

Lastly, a no deposit offer only allows you to generate winnings that can later be withdrawn. You can’t, however, cash out the bonus itself like with a deposit bonus.

2 – Not Reading the Terms and Conditions

You may feel compelled to skip reading the terms and conditions behind bonuses. After all, terms and conditions pages are long and boring.

But you’re very likely to screw up your no deposit deal by ignoring them. It only takes one violation to lose out.

Pointing to Laptop Computer Screen

The terms and conditions discuss all of the rules regarding a no deposit bonus, from the rollover (a.k.a. wagering requirements) to when you must claim the offer. Here are common terms behind these deals:

  • You must successfully register for an account to qualify.
  • The bonus must be claimed before it’s active.
  • You can only withdraw winnings from the offer.
  • Playthrough (e.g. 40x the bonus) must be met before cashing out winnings.
  • Wagering requirements must be satisfied within a specific timeframe.
  • Certain games are restricted from meeting playthrough.
  • Some games may qualify for playthrough, but at a reduced amount (e.g. 20%).

You can use the above terms and conditions as a guideline. However, you should definitely read the specific terms at any new casino that you join.

3 – Cashing out Too Early

Again, you don’t have to make a deposit to claim one of these bonuses. You merely have to complete registration.

Of course, you can deposit at a later time.

When doing so, you may feel entitled to withdraw money at any time. But don’t!

Cashing out before meeting wagering requirements causes you to lose out on no deposit winnings.

Here’s an example:

  • You qualify for a $10 no deposit bonus.
  • Wagering requirements are 45x the bonus.
  • 45 x 10 = $450 must be wagered.
  • You win $15 with the bonus.
  • You cash out after only having bet $250.
  • The $15 in winnings are now nullified.

Always keep an eye on your account section to see how close you are to earning bonus funds. You don’t, however, just want to assume that you can withdraw at any time.

4 – Playing Restricted Games

One of the key points that you want to look for in the terms and conditions is restricted games. Some table games, as well as slot machine games, may be entirely excluded from qualifying for playthrough.

Others may contribute to playthrough, but they only offer a certain percentage. For example, blackjack variations might only contribute 20% toward satisfying wagering requirements.

Laptop on Table Displaying Slot Machine Game

Generally speaking, casinos put these restrictions on games with high return to player (RTP). They may, for instance, reduce the playthrough contributions for a slot with 98% RTP.

You definitely need to know when these restrictions are in place. Otherwise, you could play a certain game and later find out that you’re not fully meeting wagering requirements.

5 – Placing Too Large of Bets

Many gamblers have tried to earn their no deposit funds as quickly as possible through big bets. They think they’re gaming the system when, in reality, they’re just blowing their chances.

Casinos are completely aware of players who try reducing volatility on bonuses with huge wagers. They put limits on max bets as a result.

For example, a gaming site may only allow players to bet up to $100 when a bonus is active. Assuming you were to go over this limit, then you’d forfeit your no deposit opportunity.

Even if a casino doesn’t instate limits, you don’t necessarily benefit from huge wagers. You might just blow your entire bonus in one fell swoop instead.

6 – Going for Two Bonuses at Once

Another big mistake that players make involves trying to earn two bonuses at once. Here’s how this scenario commonly plays out:

  • You register for an account and receive a $20 no deposit bonus.
  • You see a 100% match bonus worth up to $1,000.
  • You place a $100 deposit and claim the second offer.
  • However, you’ve yet to meet wagering requirements on the no deposit deal.
  • You’re now in violation of the casino’s terms.

The penalties for engaging in the above scenario can differ depending upon the casino. One may disqualify you from the second offer, while another could nullify both deals.

Woman Holding Cell Phone and Using Computer

Sometimes, you may get away with going after two bonuses simultaneously. But the casino can still take the funds out of your account later if they discover the terms and conditions violation.

Long story short, you don’t want to claim multiple bonuses at the same time. The risks outweigh the potential rewards.

7 – Going for the Same Offer Multiple Times

No deposit bonuses are meant to be onetime deals. Casinos don’t offer these bonuses to give you multiple chances to earn free money.

The majority of gaming sites take care of this problem automatically. Their software is set to prevent you from claiming a no deposit offer two or more times.

However, glitches can happen that allow you to get a no deposit bonus on multiple occasions. When this happens, your bonus funds will assuredly be confiscated. You’ll also be deemed a bonus abuser and banned from the casino.

If you have any notion of registering multiple accounts and getting more no deposit bonuses, then you should drop this thought. Casinos almost always find multi-accounters and ban them.


The stipulations surrounding no deposit bonuses are sometimes thought of as unfair. However, casinos aren’t evil for expecting players to follow their rules.

They feature terms and conditions pages for a reason. Gaming sites need to be profitable in order to remain open. They can’t accomplish this goal by allowing players to take advantage of them through bonus deals.

I’m not saying you can’t still make money from a no deposit offer. But you have no chance of doing so if you make any aforementioned mistakes.

Most misconceptions can be cleared up just by reading the terms and conditions. Any reputable casino will clearly list what is and isn’t allowed regarding their no deposit bonuses.

Reading terms and conditions definitely isn’t fun. However, you only have yourself to blame if you violate a term by not understanding the bonus rules.

Of course, some of the lower-tier casinos may not have clear terms and conditions. You should avoid playing at any gaming site that features undecipherable terms. Such casinos may rip you off, even after you’ve legitimately earned a bonus.

Beyond these circumstances, the onus is on you to figure out the rules behind a no deposit bonus. You should carefully go through the terms and conditions and make sure that you understand everything before using a no deposit bonus.