Free spins offers are one of the biggest draws of the online casino industry. The idea is to make you, as a potential new player, think that you get something for nothing, tempting you in to try the casino in the hope that you will ultimately stay and play with real money. It is no different from a free sample at the supermarket designed to give you a taste of a product in the hope that you will want more.

Of course, there is much more to these offers than you first think. Like other casino bonuses, the real game is to obtain the most out of your free spins, getting what you want from them, without giving the casino what they want. To achieve this, you need to understand the psychology behind these offers.

Check the Details Carefully

The first step in making the most of the free spins offers available is to read the small print so that you understand the rules. That will help you to see what the casino is after and understand how to sidestep their strategies. Keep in mind that casinos are not in the business of giving away money for free, and they wouldn’t last long if they were, so if an offer seems too generous, then there will almost always be a catch somewhere in the rules.

Limits on Winnings

The most eye-catching free spins offers at online and mobile casinos are the ones that give you hundreds of free spins. However, that doesn’t mean that you can win hundreds of dollars. Check the small print, and you will find that the maximum winnings from the offer limited in one of two ways. Either it will be a small cash amount or a slightly larger amount that you will need to reinvest several times. That’s called wagering, and you may have to bet your winnings as many as 30 or 40 times before you can withdraw them, giving the casino ample opportunity to claw back any gains you made.

Limits on Machines

You will often find that you can only use free spins on selected slots, and these are rarely the multimillion-dollar rolling jackpots that headline the site. That’s okay if you only want to play any slot for free, but it can be frustrating if you want to play something different from the designated games. It’s all part of the strategy, with the casino hoping you will end up using real money to play the slots that aren’t part of the offer. So, before you take up a deal, make sure it includes slots you like playing.

Limits on Time

The final strategy to be aware of is the way in which your free spins release. Some casinos will only give you 24 or 48 hours in which to use your spins to get you playing while you are still a “hot prospect.” Others will only release your free spins a few at a time, over a period of days, in the hope that you will build a habit by coming back over and over. Make sure you know when you can get your free spins and don’t take the offer until you are ready to use them because any that go unused you will usually have to forfeit.

Are free spins a waste of time?

With so many tricks hidden in the small print, you may wonder whether free spins are worth taking at all, and for most people, they probably aren’t. If you don’t know what you are doing, you will play right into the casino’s hands, gaining nothing from the offer and potentially losing some of your cash along the way. However, if you stay on your toes and take the time to understand the offer before you start, you can do well. Playing lots of different offers for small wins might seem pointless, but those wins will soon mount up, and they are, after all, free cash.

You can also use free spins to help you choose the right online casino and learn how their slots work. That can give you a distinct advantage when it comes to playing for real. Make your mistakes using their money, and you are more likely to profit when you use yours. Practice makes perfect, and the more complex a slot, the longer it will take to learn, so those 500 free spins could prove invaluable in the long run.

At the end of the day, free spins are only one of the many casino marketing tools aimed at getting as many new players as possible. That said, most casinos don’t mind if a few savvy players like you take advantage because most players won’t. It’s rare you get a chance to beat a casino at their game in this way, so make sure you make the most of it.