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How Does Free Play Money Work at the Casino? The Ultimate Guide

Hey there! As a fellow gaming and casino enthusiast, I know you‘re always looking for ways to maximize your playtime and chances to win. So you probably have questions about how casinos give out and use "free play" money. Well, you‘ve come to the right place!

In this ultimate guide, I‘ll clearly explain how free play rewards work, strategies to use them profitably, and everything else you need to know to take advantage of this popular casino bonus. Let‘s dive in!

What Exactly is Free Play Money?

Simply put, free play refers to a casino giving you a set amount of bonus money to play their games for free. This bonus usually comes in the form of:

  • Free spins – A number of free turns given on specific slot games.
  • Free bets – A free wager you can place on table games like blackjack and roulette.
  • Free cash – A general bonus chip amount you can use on any games you want.

So free play is essentially "funny money" given out by casinos to attract and reward players. You can use the bonus funds to play real bets, but you can‘t cash it out directly like real money.

I‘ll explain more about withdrawing any winnings from it later. First, let‘s look at why casinos offer free play in the first place…

Why Do Casinos Give Out Free Play Money?

There are a few key reasons casinos offer so many free play rewards:

1. Customer Acquisition

Free spins, free bets, and free cash given out to new players helps casinos acquire more customers. The promise of free play for signing up provides an incentive to register and try out their platform.

2. Customer Retention

Free play bonuses are also used to retain existing players. Ongoing promotions with free slot spins or surprise free bets keep players engaged and rewards them for loyalty.

3. Encourage More Play

More playtime means more revenue for the casino. Free play incentives motivate players to play more to clear wagering requirements and chase bigger wins.

4. Low Cost Promotions

Compared to cash bonuses, free play is a lower cost promotion for casinos. Players have to fulfill wagering and other rules before withdrawing any money.

So in summary, you can count on ongoing free play offers because casinos ultimately benefit from running them. Now let‘s look at…

How You Actually Get Free Play Money

Casinos provide free play to players through a variety of methods:

  • Welcome Bonuses – The most popular method is to offer free spins or free cash to new players for signing up. These vary from $20 to $500+ at some casinos.
  • Registration Bonuses – Some casinos give you free play just for completing your account registration with steps like verification.
  • Promo Codes – Redeemable codes will be provided through ads, newsletters, and affiliate sites for free play.
  • Game Releases – When new slot titles are launched, related free spin promotions are run.
  • Seasonal Offers – Expect special free play deals on holidays like Christmas, Halloween, and major sporting events.
  • Loyalty Rewards – Casino loyalty programs provide tiered free play rewards based on your overall play activity.
  • VIP Schemes – High roller players get lavish free play invitations as part of VIP hosted programs.
  • Land-based Comps – Casino resorts provide free play vouchers to recognized in-person players.

Now that you know how to score free play, let‘s go over the finer details of how to actually use it…

How Do You Use Free Play Money at the Casino?

When credited, free play funds show up as a separate bonus balance in your account. Here‘s how you can utilize different types of free play:

Using Free Spins

  • Free spins are pre-loaded to the game they‘re meant for. Just launch the slot and start playing your free rounds!
  • Winnings from free spins often have wagering requirements before you can withdraw them.

Using Free Bets

  • Locate the game you want to use free bets on and place your wager as normal.
  • If you have $20 in free bets and bet $5, it will automatically deduct from bonus funds first.
  • Free bet amounts vary widely from $1 to $500 on sportsbooks and other games.

Using Free Cash

  • Free cash works like free bets but can be used on any game of your choice.
  • The free play balance always gets used up before your real cash balance.
  • Some casinos let you "split" free cash into smaller increments for flexibility.

Now let‘s get into the good stuff – withdrawing your winnings!

Withdrawing Your Winnings from Free Play

Here‘s the deal on cashing out your profits from any free play bonus:

  • You can‘t directly withdraw unused free play funds – this is prohibited at most casinos.
  • However, you can withdraw any winnings generated if you meet the wagering requirements.

These requirements dictate how much you must wager from the bonus funds first. Common requirements range from 10x to 50x your free play amount.

For example:

  • You get $20 in free play cash
  • The wagering requirement is 30x
  • So you must wager $20 * 30 = $600 from the bonus before withdrawing profits

This ensures you use the free play for its intended purpose – playing more games!

Maximize Your Winnings from Free Play with These Pro Tips

Let‘s get into my top strategies you can use to optimize value from any free play offer and withdraw the biggest wins possible:

1. Play Games with a High RTP

  • RTP stands for "return to player percentage".
  • It indicates the statistical long term payout to players on a game.
  • Games with a 96-97% RTP or higher are best to play with your limited free play.

2. Focus on Low and Medium Volatility

  • Volatility refers to how often and how much a game pays out.
  • Low volatility slots provide smaller but more frequent wins.
  • Medium volatility provides a good balance for free play breakthroughs.

3. Review Wagering Requirements Thoroughly

  • Pay attention to the specific wagering rules that apply to your free play bonus.
  • Some games contribute more than others to the playthrough requirements.
  • Clearing requirements faster lets you withdraw your money sooner.

4. Avoid Chasing Losses

  • It can be tempting to keep playing a bonus that‘s expiring in hopes of recovering losses.
  • But it‘s often better to just accept losses, walk away, and wait for the next free play deal.

5. Free Play Works Best for Slots

  • While some casinos allow using free play on table games, restrictions often apply.
  • Your best chance to withdraw real cash is to use most free play on online slots before it expires.

Now let‘s look at some key restrictions to be aware of…

What Games are Restricted from Free Play Use?

While most casinos are pretty flexible with free play use, there are certain game restrictions you need to pay attention to:

  • Progressive Jackpot Slots – Winning a progressive jackpot is often excluded from converting free play to real money.
  • Roulette – Due to the high RTP, some casinos restrict using free play on roulette variants.
  • Baccarat and Craps – Table games with low house edges are risky for casinos to allow with bonuses.
  • Poker – Clearing poker bonus wagering and withdrawing winnings may not be permitted.
  • Blackjack – Live dealer and RNG blackjack may also prohibit free play use due to card counting risks.
  • New Titles – Brand new game releases often have a grace period where free play use is restricted.

So make sure to double check which games you can use your free play on. Trying restricted games can void your ability to withdraw winnings.

Now you should have a solid understanding of how free play works. Let‘s wrap up with…

Is Free Play Ultimately Worth Using?

At the end of the day, is free play really worth taking advantage of as a savvy player? Here‘s a quick pros vs cons look:

Pros of Free Play

  • It‘s a zero-risk way to extend your gameplay bankroll.
  • Immediate chance to win real cash prizes.
  • Lets you "test drive" new casino games you‘re unsure of.
  • Bonus funds provide more opportunities to win big.

Cons of Free Play

  • You can‘t directly withdraw the raw bonus amount.
  • Wagering rules create withdrawal friction.
  • Some offers are small and not worth the effort.
  • Can contribute to problem gambling behavior.

Overall, my expert verdict is that selectively using free play is very advantageous if you follow good betting practices. The upsides clearly outweigh the negatives.

So get out there and start claiming those free spins, free bets, and free play cash. Just use my tips to optimize your wagering and withdrawals. And remember to always gamble responsibly – your enjoyment is what matters most!

Thanks for reading! Let me know if you have any other casino game questions.