Which is Better: Free Spins or Bonus Cash?

There are plenty of casino promotions that players can benefit from, and two of the most common are free spins and bonus cash. We've compared the pros and cons of both to help you decide which one you might prefer.

Free Spins and Better RTP

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Often coupled with deposit matching as a welcome offer to a new casino, one big advantage that playing slots has over other games is that the RTP (return to player) is significantly better than for other types of casino betting. It's not uncommon to find slots with an RTP of around 96-97%. One thing worth knowing is that sometimes progressive slots (which have eye-catching high jackpots) have a lower RTP. Individual players should be aware of that, so you can make an informed choice about whether you prefer a higher chance of a more modest win, or a lower chance of a huge win. Either way, slots have a much better rate of return for players than other options.

The Flexibility of Bonus Cash

Slots have a great RTP, but promotions associated with slots tend to be tied to one specific game. This makes them inflexible. By contrast, cash can be used on a wide variety of games. There might be a few you can't play, but the vast majority of what a casino has to offer should be eligible. This means you can try your hand at classic card games, as well as roulette and craps, and then play some slots too if you want to. If you prefer a smorgasbord of gambling rather than focusing on one game, the versatility of bonus money might suit you better than free spins.

Types of Cash Bonus

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There are a few different types of this promotion, with some features common and others differing. Typically, a sum of money worth around $30 or so is available to use in a flexible way. Other offers may provide a significantly larger sum but with an attached time limit (usually an hour or two). Once the time's up, the promo money vanishes but any profit remains the with the player - though even that may be subject to bonus terms and conditions.

There's a third form, which is deposit matching. What this means is that, up to a ceiling (often a few hundred dollars) and at a certain rate, the casino will match the deposit made by a player. This money can then be used for whatever the player wishes. Like all promotions, there are restrictions, however, (see below).

The Wagering Requirement

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The wagering requirement is a multiple of the bonus' value which must be wagered before any withdrawals can be made (a $25 sum might have a requirement of $1,000, for example). The advantage of slots in this regard is that other games might only contribute a percentage of bets made (so $2 on blackjack might mean $0.20 towards the requirement), whereas slots usually contribute 100%.

Whether you prioritize variety or the chances of a better return might determine which promotion you prefer. Both have their upsides and downsides.