I Played Free Slots Online for an Hour (Here’s What I Learned)

Laptop Displaying Selection of Online Slots

I was very surprised when my editor challenged me to spend 1 hour playing free slots online and write about what I learned.

I fancy myself a blackjack connoisseur, a card shark. Of course, these are grand delusions of my own mind.

I certainly have never claimed to be an online slots pro. Well, maybe after a few drinks.

In any regard, I have certainly watched the boom of online slots from the sidelines. It was time for me to take off my comfortable warm-up suit and get in the game.

There are two reasons that free online slots are hugely popular. First, these are extremely entertaining games. Gone are the days of lining up bars and 7’s. Today these slots are full of pop and excitement, you’ll find interactive bonus games and colorful themes.

Secondly, you can actually win real money by playing free online casino slots, without having to risk any of your own cash. This is a dream for most slots players. Just imagine, you are able to enjoy spin after spins upon spin without risking any of your own funds.

Today, I’ll go over free online slots that are legally available in most states. While offshore casino sites are unregulated and risky, there are solid regulated alternatives available.

These include sweepstakes casinos and, in a smaller group of states, regulated online casino apps.

First, let’s take a look at the different ways to get free cash to take a shot at winning money playing free slot games.

All About the Bonuses

Online casinos offer bonuses that let prospective players check out their slots and casino table games.

You can take advantage of these to start off your slots 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 bonuses are covered, I will discuss the all-important terms and conditions to look out for.

Free Slots Bonus Offers to Look out For:
  • No-deposit bonuses: 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 These bonuses come with wagering/play requirements before your profits can be withdrawn.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 player at online casinos, you can add loyalty rewards to the list of how to get free slot play.

Understand the Games Terms

While I was deciding where to spend my hour mindlessly tapping away on my mouse pad, I found myself in the discussion pages.

Oh boy, do real money online slots players have their hot opinions on how and when they should receive their bonuses.

Personally, I was pleased to see such passion from these veteran online slots players. I have intense tendencies. So, people showing such fervor was my first true sign that maybe I was on to something good.

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When you compare slot bonuses, the devil is always in the details. All casinos will have terms and conditions to protect them from player 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 Online Slots at Regulated Casinos

There are currently two states with regulated and legal online casinos. New Jersey has offered licensed casinos since 2013, with Pennsylvania joining more recently. With many more states passing regulations, this list should be growing exponentially very soon.

Pennsylvania and New Jersey online casinos can only be used from within state lines. Geolocation technology ensures that you are physically inside the state before you can play.

There are a lot of brands competing for your play in both states. So, when your state finally opens up to regulated gambling, you will have a multitude of choices.

Free Online Slots 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 game 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.

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Brands include Chumba Casino and LuckyLand Slots. Each has a selection of colorful and entertaining slot games, in addition to a handful of table games and keno titles.

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 exciting and addictive as their big-name counterparts. Many of them are close copies of famous slots, without ever quite crossing that line of copyright infringement.

Here are some examples:

  • Kitty Glamour
  • Stampede Fury
  • Long Zhi Bao Lang
  • King of the Gods
  • Triple Double Golden Stars


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.

Having not been exactly thrilled with the gauntlet thrown by my editor, I was able to thoroughly enjoy my hour (or two) playing for free online. By doing a little bit of research and trying a few different sites, I felt comfortable settling in and helping Dorothy and Toto traverse the Yellow Brick Road, spin by spin.