Free Slots: Everything You Need to Know in 2024

Ziv Chen

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Ziv Chen

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Lee James Gwilliam

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Lee James Gwilliam

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Last Updated on 14th February 2024, 02:54 PM

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Do you want to experience the thrill of playing slot games without taking the risk of losing your own real money? In that case, free online slot games might be ideal for you. When you play free casino slots, you’ll get to experience all of the fun features and themes of the game, and you’ll even be able to trigger wins, even if they’re not real money. 

You can start playing free slots right here at Casinos.com or head over to the best online casinos, where you might also find free versions of top games. Read on to find out which games I rate as the best free slot games, plus everything you need to know about how these games work.

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What Are Free Slots?

Free slots are pretty easy to understand: they’re just free versions of all of your favorite slot games. When you play free slots, it’s just for fun rather than for real money, but you’ll have a chance to get to know the game before you decide to play for your own cash.

Free slots have all of the same special features and themes as their real money counterparts, and they’re all built by top slot game providers like NetEnt, Pragmatic Play, Games Global, and Play’n GO. You can explore a diverse range of themes to suit all players, so whether you like retro-themed slots with bars and fruit or more modern new slots where you can go on adventures or play alongside cool animal characters, there’s a free slot game out there for everyone. Other popular themes that you can expect to see when you play free slots include ancient Ancient Egypt, Greek mythology, Norse mythology, fantasy, horror, jewels & gems, candy, and tonnes more – the variety is almost endless.

When you’re playing free slots, you’ll be able to trigger a “win” of virtual money the same way you’d do if you were playing a real money slot. Usually, you’ll trigger a win when you land enough of the same symbols on adjacent reels from left to right on a certain payline. That’s not the case for all games, though, as some have different mechanisms, for example, cluster pays, where the symbols just need to touch each other anywhere on the grid.

Just like real money games, free slots come with special features. Many free slot games have wild symbols that can substitute for others on the reels, scatters that can open up free spins rounds, or a Gamble feature where you might be able to double or quadruple your win from a single spin. Other top features to look out for when you’re playing the best free slots include multipliers, cascading reels, hold & spin functions, and more – there’s no shortage of features to make gameplay extra interesting. 

Slot Games

The Difference Between Free Slots and Real Money Slots

There’s one key difference between playing free slots and playing real money slots: free slots don’t give you a chance to win real cash. 

This main difference is both a pro and a con for free slots. On the plus side, there’s no risk when you play free games, as you don’t need to deposit your own real money. All slots (both free games and real money games) use Random Number Generators (RNG) to drive the results of each spin. This means that the games are totally fair, and everyone has an equal chance of winning. Slot games also come with a built-in RTP and house edge, which tells you the average amount that should be paid out to players over time and the amount the casino keeps. Despite all of these measures, it’s still possible that you’ll play a slot game with real money and end up losing all of it. This can’t happen if you’re playing free slots. In the worst-case scenario, you lose your virtual credits, but you can always get more.

Aside from the fact that free slots can’t win you real cash, the overall gaming experience, including graphics, special features, and desktop and mobile gameplay, is largely the same between the two types of gaming. 

Can I Win Real Money While Playing Free Slots Online?

The simple answer to this question is no. If you’re playing free demo versions of the slot games or online progressive slots, you won’t have the chance to win real money, as you would if you were playing real money slots. 

When you’re playing free slots, the mechanism of the games will be the same as the real money versions, so there are chances to trigger wins. However, you’ll be winning virtual credits, which you can use to keep playing the game, rather than real money. Still, you’re sure to get a bit of a thrill when you land a big win. 

Even though you can’t win real money by playing free slots, all hope isn’t lost! There’s still one way that you can play slots for free and have a chance to win real money: by claiming free spins. If you check out our lists of the best casino bonuses online, you’ll be able to see which slots sites offer free spins either just for signing up or when you make your first deposit. Some online casinos even reward regular players with free spins promos. Free spins are usually restricted to one game or a few titles, and they may come with T&Cs like wagering requirements, but they’re still a good option if you want to play for free but have the chance to win some cash.

When you play free slots, it’s just for fun rather than for real money, but you’ll have a chance to get to know the game before you decide to play for your own cash.

Advantages of Playing Slots for Free

The main advantage of playing slots for free is that you can’t lose any real money! 

It might be the case that you simply want to enjoy the thrill of slot games or top mobile slots without any risk, or you might want to use free slots as a way to practice for when you decide to play for real. Although slots are random and don’t require any skills, it’s still a good idea to get to know the game before you spend any money on it. When you play free slots, you can see exactly how the game works, from ways to win to payouts to game graphics. You might also be lucky enough to land a special feature while you’re playing, which will give you a better idea of whether you enjoy the game overall. 

Playing slots for free really gives you the opportunity to try out slot games that you might not have considered if you were playing for your own real money and how to win on slots. For example, if you usually stick to more classic games, playing a free version of a high-stakes adventure game might just help you find your new favorite.

The final advantage of playing free slot games is that you can often do it without needing to commit to signing up at a specific online casino. For example, you can play slot demos here at Casinos.com, and if you find a game that you really like, you can go off and create an account at an online casino that has the particular game. 

My Top 10 Picks for Free Slot Games

It’s no exaggeration to say that there are thousands of slot games out there! Some online casinos boast selections of over 5,000 games, so the choice can be really overwhelming. If you’re not sure which free slots you should try first, I’ve put together a list of my top ten to help you out.

Gates of Olympus – Pragmatic Play

Step into Zeus’s temple when you play this 6x5 slot game, which comes with symbols like glittering gems and golden jewelry. In the Gates of Olympus slot, wins are triggered through cluster pays, and the Tumble feature removes winning symbols from the grid to create new combinations. Land four or more scatter symbols to bag 15 free spins!

Money Train 4 – Relax Gaming

This is the fourth in a series of popular Money Train slots, so why not try all of them? Money Train 4 has some special features like respins, extra reels, and cluster pays instead of paylines award wins. The game is themed around a major train heist, so it’s really one for fans of adventure. 

Sugar Rush – Pragmatic Play

Sugar Rush is one seriously sweet slot! Played on a 7x7 grid, you’ll be aiming to match colorful candies in clusters to trigger a win. There’s also a tumble feature to give you extra chances to win, plus when enough symbols explode on the same spot, you’ll get a multiplier. Land enough scatters, and you could get yourself up to 30 free spins.

Gold Blitz – Games Global

Gold Blitz is a retro–style slot where the symbols take the form of bells, dollar signs, and the numbers and letters from a deck of cards. There are 4,096 ways to win, and wild symbols can substitute for others, while scatters award free spins. Look out for the special collect symbol that mops up all the money symbols on the grid.

Blood & Shadow – Nolimit City

Blood & Shadow is a creepy slot game played on a 5x4 grid with spooky symbols like a wolf, a raven, and a trio of skulls. The game is packed with special features like multiple different free spins rounds, sticky wilds that help to create more winning combinations, and X-Split, which can increase the size of symbols on the grid.

Wolf Gold – Pragmatic Play

Wolf Gold is a hugely popular slot game that’s played with five reels and three rows, with 25 paylines. Stacked wilds give you more chances to win, while Money Respins give you a chance to win the Mega Jackpot. There's also a free spins round, which comes with giant symbols that can cover most of the grid.

Pirots 2 – ELK Studios

A sequel to the original Pirots slot, this highly volatile slot is set in prehistoric times, and the symbols include colorful amber nuggets, cool mushrooms, and quirky bird characters. The bird symbols collect the amber for higher payouts, and the feature symbols can award bigger wins, explode symbols on the grid, or transform symbols to help you land a win.

Wanted Dead or a Wild – Hacksaw Gaming

This 5-reel, 15–payline slot is set in the Wild West, and the symbols include bags of cash and bottles of whiskey. Wanted Dead or a Wild comes complete with three special bonus features that have multipliers of up to 100x, plus sticky wilds and more ways to increase your wins.

Dead or Alive II – NetEnt

If you can’t get enough of the Wild West, try out Dead or Alive II for a chance to win up to 10,000x your stake. Look out for symbols like guns, hats, and cowboy boots, and if you land enough of the scatter symbols, you can choose between three different free spins rounds with wilds, multipliers, and the chance to bag even more spins.

Viking Runecraft 100 – Play’n GO

A dramatic slot game set in an ancient world, Viking Runecraft 100 comes with special God Power features that will help create a win, and you could win up to 15,000x your bet amount. You might also get lucky enough to bag yourself up to 100 free spins, and they could come with multipliers of up to 100x, too!

Where to Play Slots Online for Free?

If you like the look of some of the top free slots that we’ve described, you might be wondering where you can try them out. The first place to look is right here on Casinos.com! In our slots section, you’ll find a whole host of the best slots to try for free, and the best thing is that you don’t need to sign up for an account like you would at an online casino – you can just start spinning the reels immediately.

If you’re already signed up at an online casino, you might want to try out the free slots so that you can decide if you want to play for your own real money. Whether or not you can try out slots for free totally depends on the online casino and on your region (in some places, you can’t play slot demos, or you might have to sign up and verify your account first). But we’re pleased to report that many online casinos do give you the chance to play top slots for free to test them out. 

Most casinos don’t have a “free slots” section in their lobby, but rather an additional option attached to each slot game, where you can choose whether you want to play for free or for real money. The free option might be labeled something like “demo play” or “play for fun.” Make 100% sure that you’re selecting the right option before you play.

When you play free slots at an online casino, you’ll usually be given a certain amount of virtual credits for the game, and then you can spin just like you would if you were playing for real money. The free versions of the games come with all the same gameplay mechanisms and special features as the real money versions.

Here are some of the best online casinos to play slots for free:

Slots 643
Mobile Slots 643
Total Slot Providers 7
Mobile Slot Providers 7
Must be 21+ and present in an eligible state. T&Cs apply. Gambling problem? Call 1-800 GAMBLER. Registration Required
Slots 1112
Mobile Slots 1112
Total Slot Providers 7
Mobile Slot Providers 7
Must be 21+ and present in an eligible state. T&Cs apply. Gambling problem? Call 1-800 GAMBLER. Bonus Money Has a 1x Playthrough After Entering Deposit Code.
Slots 1008
Mobile Slots 1008
Total Slot Providers 10
Mobile Slot Providers 13
Must be 21+ and present in an eligible state. T&Cs apply. Gambling problem? Call 1-800 GAMBLER.

Free Slots vs Free Spins Explained

Earlier in this article, I briefly touched on free spins as a way that you can play for free but have a chance to win real money. While free spins and free slots might sound quite similar at first, they’re actually totally separate concepts, with the main difference being that free slots are just for fun, and free spins give you chances to win real money.

So, what are free spins? They’re a special type of slot bonuses that an online casino can hand out to new players just for signing up or making a deposit or to existing players for meeting a requirement, for example, depositing a certain amount of money on a specified day. Free spins have a monetary value, so they might be worth around $0.10 per spin. Free spins promos also tend to come with wagering requirements. That means that whatever you win from the free spins has to be played for a certain amount of time before you can withdraw any money. To give an example, if you win $10 on free spins with 35x wagering, you have to play through $350 before you can withdraw any of the winnings that are left. Some online casinos are known for handing out free spins without any wagering requirements, and in that case, you’ll be able to withdraw any winnings as real cash immediately. 

If you’re only interested in playing for fun, learning your way around the slots, and getting a feel for how specific games work before you play for real money, then free slots are probably ideal for you. But if you want to try your luck and play for a real money win, free spins might be preferable, so check out our recommended online casinos to see where you might be able to bag yourself some. 

Pros and Cons of Playing Free Slots

Pros
Allows players to test game features and functionality before playing for real money.
No downloads are necessary, and there is no obligation to switch to real money play.
Take more risks and figure out if they’re worth repeating with real-money spins.
Cons
Some players find the risk of real money wagers the most exciting part of a game.
A run of luck on free slots does not imply similar results in real money slots.
Real money wins are not possible when playing demo slot games.

Other Casino Games to Try For Free

Slots aren't the only casino games you can try for free. A great number of online casinos featured on Casinos.com offer the option to play table games for free. Similar to slots, you would be playing just for fun in "demo" mode, but this would still enable you to get acquainted with the games and experience the thrill and gameplay of various table games without the need to wager real money.

Free-play mode is particularly useful when you want to try your hand at a new game. This way, you can familiarize yourself with the rules and strategies of the game before committing your bankroll. It also serves as a great way to explore new game variations and test out different betting strategies without any financial risk.

Some of the most popular table games to try for free include roulette, video poker, and blackjack. 

It's important to note that while playing for free can be entertaining, it does not offer the opportunity to win real money.

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Ziv Chen
Ziv Chen
Writer Writer

Ziv Chen has been working in the online gambling industry for over two decades in senior marketing and business development roles. Ziv writes about a wide range of topics including slot and table games, casino and sportsbook reviews, American sports news, betting odds and game predictions. Leading a life full of conflict, Ziv constantly struggles between his two greatest loves: American football and US soccer.

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