- What is no deposit bingo?
- Why are there so few no deposit bingo bonus offers?
- Other types of no deposit bingo offer
- Can you win real money with no deposit?
- Are there any no deposit offers with no card details required?
- Can no deposit bingo sites be trusted?
- Why no deposit bingo offers are making a comeback
- Why no deposit bingo can actually be bad for players
What is no deposit bingo?
Bingo sites with no deposit bingo allow you to start playing (and potentially winning) bingo without having to deposit any money. This can be very useful for those new to online bingo who may not be sure they will like it, or who are bored with their current bingo site and want to try somewhere else out without committing any funds.
Why there are so few no deposit bingo bonus offers
In the past, bingo sites often offered one or both of the following forms of no deposit bingo:
- No deposit bingo in their newbie free bingo room for up to 7 days after registration (usually to win bingo bonus rather than cash)
- A no deposit bonus of up to £20 that could be used in most bingo rooms
This was all doomed after August 2017 when the taxation of bonuses changed. Previously, operators only had to pay tax on bonuses if the player ended up winning anything but since then, tax has been due on the face value of the bonus whether the player won or lost. This applies to all bonuses, not just no deposit bonuses, but it was particularly expensive for operators to pay the tax on no deposit bonuses because only about 5% of the players who took up a no deposit bingo bonus ever went on to deposit and play with real money.
It should come as no surprise then, that the vast majority of bingo sites that offered a no deposit bonus to new players changed to a deposit based offer and by the end of 2018 no deposit offers had become as rare as hens’ teeth. And that’s not all – the few remaining free signup offers are mostly for free slot spins, not a bingo bonus. So while you can sign up and try the site out for free, that won’t include being able to try out any bingo rooms unless there’s a free bingo room that you can access without making a deposit – and guess what, in 2023 the vast majority of newbie rooms require a deposit (or require you to have made a real money wager on bingo which means making a deposit)!
Other types of no deposit bingo offer
While no deposit bingo bonuses are very much a thing of the past, other types of no deposit offer are still available:
No deposit free spins offers
Free slot spins as a welcome offer have been increasing in popularity over the last few years. As well as being more straightforward for operators, they have some advantages for players too:
- If there’s a wagering requirement attached it won’t be on the face value of the free spins but on the winnings (if any).
- Free spins are simple and easy to use and keep track of. Just open up the game and they’ll be ready to play.
- Free spins are normally used, when you open the game in question, before anything else in your account – unlike a bonus which typically won’t be used unless and until your account is empty of cash.
- They are fun to play.
No deposit free spins offers usually have some strings attached.
- There may be a cap on what you can win from the free spins.
- The winnings will almost certainly be paid as a slot bonus complete with wagering requirement rather than as cash.
- Free spins offers also have a fairly short expiry date; 24 hours is not unusual.
What a no deposit free spins offer at a bingo site DOESN’T normally allow you to do is try out the bingo. If the winnings are paid as a bonus, it will be a slot bonus and you won’t be able to use it to pay for bingo tickets.
Free bingo ticket offers
Free bingo ticket offers have been evolving and have come a long way from their origins. In the earliest free bingo ticket offers, the tickets were all for the same game and you had to go to the bingo room shortly before the game started for the tickets to play. This type of use them or use them offer wasn’t suitable if you couldn’t be online at the allotted time. These days, there’s two distinct types of free bingo ticket offer:
- Dragonfish: Free tickets at Dragonfish bingo sites are all for a specific room and are redeemed via vouchers which can be found in the gift box in the top right hand corner of the lobby. If it’s something like the Big 10K which only runs once a month, you’re going to have to use them all in the same bingo game as otherwise they’ll expire. If the room runs games daily or more frequently, you can redeem them a few at a time if you prefer.
- Virtue Fusion, Gamesys, Pragmatic Play & Entain: Free tickets have a maximum face value per ticket, and can be redeemed in games where the ticket price doesn’t exceed that value, in any bingo room that isn’t cash only. So you could redeem 10p free tickets in a 1p or 5p game if you wanted, but you wouldn’t be getting the best value. At Virtue Fusion free bingo tickets can be used to pre-buy; at the other sites you’ll need to be in the bingo room during the ticket purchase window shortly before the game starts.
Free bingo tickets have the same advantage as free spins in that they can be used while you have cash in your account. Usually, any winnings from free bingo tickets will be paid in cash with no limits on what you can win, but a few Dragonfish free ticket offers pay in bingo bonus.
Currently, free bingo tickets are typically used as part of deposit based welcome offers or given as rewards to existing players rather than used as part of a free sign-up offer. So far, only Heart Bingo has experimented with no deposit free bingo ticket offers for new players. It’s surely only a matter of time before others do it though!
Free bingo rooms
In a free bingo room, all of the tickets are free to all of the players and although you still have to claim them shortly before the game starts, you can play in as many games as your schedule and the room opening times allow rather than having a set number of tickets to redeem.
Free bingo rooms for new players, with small amounts of bingo bonus (or sometimes cash) to be won, have been a thing for years; they are typically open for a couple of hours a day and available for a fixed period after registration (anything from 24 hours to 10 days). These newbie free bingo rooms now usually require players to make a deposit and/or spend a specified sum on bingo tickets to gain entry, but occasionally no deposit is required.
Some of the bigger name bingo sites also run free bingo games for existing players. Unless there’s some sort of play, deposit or loyalty level requirement for entry (as there often is), these free bingo games tend to have extremely large numbers of players and the chance of ever actually winning anything is remote.
Nevertheless, free bingo rooms can really help new players get a feel for how the bingo software works and how friendly the community is.
Can you win real money with no deposit?
You’re actually in a better position for winning real money from a no deposit bingo offer in 2023 than you would have been back in their heyday as there’s been a bit of a crackdown on unfair terms and conditions since then. It’s not easy to win real money with a no deposit offer, though, as most of them pay out as a bonus with high wagering requirements and there may also be an absolute limit on what you can win without making a deposit (at Jumpman bingo sites, for instance, it’s £50).
Are there any no deposit offers with no card details required?
You’d need a time machine to find one of those! Since May 2019, it hasn’t been possible to play with a no deposit bonus, free spins, free bingo or any other kind of free sign-up offer – or even free demo versions of games – until after the bingo site has successfully verified your name, address and date of birth and in some cases this may involve sending them copies of your driving licence or other documents as well as mobile phone number and/or debit card verification. They are required to do this under the terms of their licence.
And also – you’re going to have to give them your card details in the end anyway to withdraw any winnings, aren’t you?
Can no deposit bingo sites be trusted?
As long as they have a UK Gambling Commission licence, bingo sites with a no deposit offer are just as trustworthy as bingo sites that do not have a no deposit offer. Our Trusted & Safe Bingo Sites page lists the sites that are rated highest for customer service and player funds protection.
Why no deposit bingo offers are making a comeback
The new 2019 account verification rules looked like they were going to kill off no deposit bingo completely and at Best New Bingo Sites we went from having dozens of listings for no deposit bingo offers to having hardly any. As we go into 2023, however, no deposit bingo is having a bit of a resurgence. Because of the commitment required from the player before claiming a no deposit bonus which typically involves verifying a mobile phone number and debit card as well as name, address and date of birth, there are far fewer, well, time wasters claiming them. Hardly anyone who has zero intention of ever actually making a deposit wants to part with all that information. The result is that no deposit offers, although still expensive for operators, are much more effective at attracting genuine real money players than they used to be. That explains why we are now seeing quite a few more of this type of offer and why newbie free bingo is still going strong.
Why no deposit bingo can actually be bad for players
The lack of no deposit bingo bonus offers, when they used to be so prevalent, may seem pretty disappointing. But when you think about it, there’s a problem with no deposit bingo bonuses – and indeed with bingo bonuses in general if operators give them out too freely.
The prizes in online bingo games are funded by ticket sales, and the more tickets that are sold the bigger the prize gets and the smaller chance each ticket has of winning. This is all very well and good when everyone’s playing with cash. But what if half or even more of the players in the room are playing with a free bonus or free tickets? The number of tickets in play will go up, but the prize money won’t go up as these players are not contributing any cash to the pool. If there’s only the occasional player using a bonus the effect won’t be noticeable, but if the network is awash with bonus as has happened at certain groups of sites in the past, anyone playing with cash will soon realise that they are winning less often and/or winning smaller amounts.
A no deposit slot bonus or no deposit free spins offer doesn’t have this drawback. The only case in which a player using slot bonus can have any effect on the experience for other players is that of a progressive jackpot slot where bonus play (if it’s even allowed) may not contribute to the jackpot – and even that would only affect the eventual jackpot winner (who’s unlikely to care as they’ll just be happy to have won the jackpot).
Free bingo rooms for newbies (or anyone else for that matter) don’t have this drawback either; as no-one pays for their tickets the playing field is level between players.
The conclusion? While a free sign-up bonus with no deposit required can be very tempting, a bingo site that offers no deposit free spins instead or doesn’t have a no deposit offer at all is likely to yield a better player experience in the long run.
It is possible but not easy to win withdrawable cash from a no deposit bonus. You’ll almost certainly have to fill a wagering requirement on your winnings and there may be a cap on what you can win. You will also have to undergo name, address and age verification and meet any other withdrawal restrictions the site has.
From May 2019 onwards bingo sites have been required by the terms of their licence to verify the name, address and date of birth of new players before allowing them to play any games at all, even free demo versions. Card details and mobile phone number verification help with this process.
Terms and conditions vary from site to site, but most no deposit offers consist of free spins on a specified slot game.