What’s the difference between free bingo and free money?

Welcome to OhMyBingo’s handy guide to the different freebies you might see around your favourite sites!

We’ll show you which you have to deposit to claim, and which are free, what you’ll get if you claim it, and why some people prefer to play without bonuses. We’re here to make things clear and easy to understand so you can make an informed choice about which bonuses are worth your time and money.

Free Money

What is Free Money?

Free money is sometimes called “free bonus” or “no deposit bonus”. This is given as non-withdrawable funds which you can use to play on the site. It might be specifically for either bingo or slots games only, or you might be able to choose between the two.

It is often considered the best bingo site freebie, because you can play it without having to deposit at all, and if you win, that’s even better!

Why is Free Money good?

Well, firstly and most importantly, you get to play for free! “No deposit bonus” is called this because you don’t have to put any of your own money into the site in order to claim it. Once you have it, you can choose which bingo room or slot game you’d like to play it in, which is something you can’t usually do with free tickets or spins.

What are the drawbacks of Free Money?

Anything you win from your free bonus money will have wagering requirements attached. This isn’t the end of the world, but just bear in mind, you may have to play through your winnings a few times before you can withdraw. Free bonus money also often has an expiry date so make sure you check that when you claim it. We’d hate for your bonus money to disappear!

Where can I find Free Money?

It’s rare to find free bonus money available regularly on a site. Where you are likely to see it, is as an incentive to sign up to a site. We’ve compiled a list of all the best sites where you can play for free with no deposit here.

Free Bingo

What is Free Bingo?

Lots of sites have special rooms dedicated to free bingo, which is when you don’t have to use money to “buy” tickets to a bingo game. Once you have access to a free bingo room, you can select how many tickets you want to “buy” for free in the upcoming game.

Why is Free Bingo good?

If you’ve got access to a free bingo room, why not buy some tickets for free? You’re not losing anything by doing so, and if you win, that’s a nice little treat for you!

There is usually quite a low limit on the number of tickets you can buy for a free bingo game (often around 6), because think about it- they’re free! If the limit was 100, every player would just “buy” the maximum number, and the game would be exactly the same.

Because everyone can only have the same number of tickets, this means that all the players have the same chance of winning. Nice, if you’re bored of seeing the same winners every day!

What are the drawbacks of Free Bingo?

Although the tickets in the room are free, you might have to deposit to get access to a free bingo room. Many are for funded players only, and sometimes there is even a time limit on this, like “This room is only open to players who have deposited in the last 7 days”.

However, there are sites which have free bingo rooms that don’t require a deposit to access. Sometimes they run regularly, and sometimes you get access for a limited time after you sign up to the site.

Unfortunately, due to the nature of free bingo rooms, they are often very busy. At least you know that with the maximum number of tickets, you have the same chance of winning as everybody else.

Speaking of winning, the chances are that anything you win in a free bingo room will be as bingo bonus, which has wagering requirements attached. Take note, though- if you can find a free bingo room on a cash-only site, this won’t be the case!

Where can I find Free Bingo?

You might be offered limited-time access to a “Newbie Room” with free bingo when you first sign up to a site. Lots of sites include this as part of their welcome offer. Some sites will offer a special free bingo room just for VIP members of their reward scheme, so if you’re creeping up the loyalty levels, keep an eye out for that.

Many bingo sites will have a free bingo room that just runs regularly, often with an entry requirement (like depositing recently) attached.

Find a list of sites offering rooms with free bingo here.

Deposit Bonuses

What is a Deposit Bonus?

These are the ones where you’ll make a deposit and get something extra added on. It might be automatic, or you might need to enter a code to claim it. You’ll sometimes see them called a bonus match.

A deposit bonus offer might be presented to you as a percentage, perhaps up to a certain amount, for example, 100% up to £50. This means that whatever you deposit, you’ll be given the same amount in bonus money, up to the maximum which in this case was £50.

A deposit bonus might also be a fixed amount (deposit £10 and get £5 bingo bonus), or it might be presented to you as the total amount you’ll end up with. In this case, the offer will be something like, “Deposit £10, play with £30!”. This means you’d deposit your tenner, and be given £20 bonus, so in total, you’d have £30 to play with.

Why is a Deposit Bonus good?

If you’re planning to deposit anyway, claiming a deposit bonus means you’ll just get a little extra on top of your own money. You’ll be able to play longer before you deposit again, which is always nice. Plus, if you win and then meet your wagering requirement, your winnings will convert to cash that you can withdraw.

What are the drawbacks of a Deposit Bonus?

Two words - wagering requirements. If you’re not sure how these work, it is basically a restriction that is added to stop people just withdrawing their bonus money. When you claim a deposit bonus, a wagering requirement will be attached to the bonus that you will have to meet before you can withdraw any winnings from it.

Most players are aware that bonus comes with wagering but beware- if you claim a deposit bonus, some sites will add a wagering requirement to your actual cash deposit as well as the bonus, making it even higher. If you do withdraw your cash before completing your wagering requirements, your bonus will be lost (including any winnings that have not yet converted to cash).

Deposit bonuses also sometimes have an expiry time, so make sure you read the T&Cs before claiming!

Where can I find Deposit Bonuses?

Pretty much everywhere! Lots of sites will offer a deposit bonus as a Welcome Offer on your first deposit at their site, and they can get quite competitive! It’s definitely worth shopping around to see which sites are offering the best deals.

Promotions-heavy sites will also send out regular emails and SMS messages containing deposit offers as you continue to play with them. If you stop playing for a while, you might also start getting deposit offer emails trying to tempt you back.

Free Spins and Tickets

What are Free Spins and Tickets?

Free spins are given for a certain slot, or sometimes a choice of slots. You get to play a certain number of spins (sometimes called rounds) on that slot for free.

Free tickets are cards that you have been given for a specific bingo game or room. Once claimed, you may have to choose to “activate” them for the next available game, so check whether or not this is automatically done.

Free spins and tickets might be free with no deposit necessary, or they might be given as a deposit bonus when you put money in your account.

Why are Free Spins and Tickets good?

If you’ve got them for free with no deposit, amazing! You can have a play without dipping into your funds. If they’re given as a deposit bonus, you’re getting more for your money. Either way, you get some extra play, and you might even have a win!

What are the drawbacks of Free Spins and Tickets?

They are often fixed to a certain slot or bingo game, so you might not get much choice where you play them. If you don’t like the slot or bingo room being offered, you might decide it isn’t worth claiming them, which is entirely your call.

Like with all bonuses, any winnings from your free spins or tickets will probably be in bonus, with wagering attached. The exception to this is cash-only sites- any free spins or tickets winnings on a cash-only site will be in cash (obviously) that you can withdraw right away if you’d like (subject to minimum withdrawal limits on the site).

Where can I find Free Spins and Tickets?

Free spins with no deposit are often given as an incentive to sign up, particularly to casino sites. We’ve seen both spins and tickets offered as part of a first deposit Welcome Offer on sites, and lots of sites will offer them as part of ongoing or regular deposit bonus promotions.

Free spins and tickets are especially popular as part of promotions on cash-only sites. These sites do not offer bonus, so if they want to give players a little extra with their deposit, it will often be in the form of tickets or spins. Don’t forget, any winnings on these sites will be in cash!

To Sum Up…

There are tonnes of different kinds of bonus available across UK bingo and casino sites. Each kind of bonus has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it’s really up to you if they float your boat. Some players will eat up any bonus that comes their way (yay, freebies!), and others are more selective, only choosing the bonuses that suit their play. Many sites will offer more than one kind of bonus throughout your time there, and often they mix and match to keep their offers fresh.

You are never forced to take a bonus. If the bonus is given with a code, simply don’t enter it, or if the bonus is added automatically, you can ask support to remove it from your account. Take note though, this is only possible if you haven’t started playing the bonus. You can’t wear clothes then take them back to the shop!

So why do players take bonuses? They’re a great way to explore a new site for free or try a new game you aren’t sure if you’ll like. They can make your deposit go further, and tempt you to try something you might not normally be interested in. With wagering requirements and maximum win limits, it’s unlikely that you’ll make your fortune by farming bonus (plus you’ll annoy the sites if you’re taking the mickey), but as a little extra enjoyed responsibly they can spice up your play and give you a taste of something new.

Seen something that’s caught your eye? OhMyBingo has collected together the very best bonus and freebie offers in UK gaming, to save you the hard work. Take a look at our recommended no deposit bonus offers, sites with free bingo, and casino deals - a new favourite site might be around the corner!