Free Bingo Guide

Free bingo is music to our ears but is it really free? In our free bingo guide, we discuss the ways in which it could be too good to be true. There’s lots of free bingo out there and it comes in all shapes and forms. The concept of winning real cash prizes without spending a single penny sounds amazing but unfortunately, it’s never as simple as that. Free bingo games with real cash prizes that are open to all registered players are rare to come by these days. You are more likely to come across one of the other variations we examine below:

Different Types of Free Bingo

As we’ve already mentioned there are many variations of free bingo and it falls into two main categories – games where you can win real money and others where you can’t. We know what one we like the sound of best!

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Games not involving real money

Bingo just for fun – never any prizes

Some free games are just for fun and there are never any prizes to be won. This is usually the kind of bingo you find on Facebook and mobile phone apps. These aren’t real money games but you might still need to spend money on game currency or power ups which is a bit of a rip off since you don’t get anything out of it other than entertainment.

Bingo with free cards – few prizes but no cash

There are other free games where you can’t win any real cash but there are other types of prizes up for grabs including the odd tangible prize which is usually promotional items such as keyrings, pens and mugs – you know the type of thing. Most of the time it’s in-game currency you can win from these games which is as near to a cash prize as it gets. You won’t be able to cash out any of your winnings but it might qualify you for free entries into a prize draw.

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Real money games

No deposit bonus real money bingo

As you can tell we’re all about the real money games – who wouldn’t want to get their hands on free cash? No deposit real money bingo is our favourite kind of free bingo because you can get your hands on some serious cash before you even spend a penny on the site. However, it’s usually only new players who can benefit from it unless a bingo site is feeling super generous and gives away a no deposit bonus just for the heck of it.

You don’t get any free cards but you do get a free bonus with no strings attached that you can spend on any game you like – even the big money games. Well, in most cases anyway. Sometimes you can only spend your bonus in certain rooms so you need to check the small print. Not only that, if you’re lucky enough to win you need to meet the wagering requirements before you can cash out which sometimes can feel like impossible. Plus, you can’t make a withdrawal until you make a deposit so you need to put money into your account eventually.

What’s more, your no deposit bonus doesn’t last forever so if you’re down on your luck you might see your free bingo coming to an abrupt end whereas free bingo rooms can be open around the clock.

Free bingo cards

Some online bingo sites give away free bingo cards for a specific game as part of their welcome package or some other promotion. A lot of the time you need to be in the bingo room when the game is happening or the cards won’t pay out so make sure you check the small print. The free cards are usually all for the same game so if you don’t win that’s the end of it unless it’s a community jackpot game where you get a share of the cash whether you win or lose.

Free bingo but with bingo bonus prizes instead of cash

It’s pretty common for free games to have bingo bonuses up for grabs rather than cash prizes. This is really popular with players because it means they can keep playing after they run out of funds. It also works out well for the bingo sites as it encourages players to play in both the free games and the pay in games. This ensures that the rooms stay busy and lively which ultimately attracts new players.

Free bingo as part of a promotion

Free bingo can be part of a promotion where you need to complete a number of different tasks to gain entry to the free room. These tasks normally involve things like making deposits and wagering cash on bingo or slots so again you have to dish out money before you can enjoy the freebie. Bingocams and Bright Bingo sometimes have promotions like this which usually run for a month or even longer. Virtue Fusion bingo sites also sometimes have free bingo rooms that you can only get access to if you’ve spent a certain amount the previous day.

Free bingo for funded players only

Many sites restrict access to free bingo rooms to funded players only. Depending on how the site defines a ‘funded player’ this can be someone who has deposited within a certain number of days or someone who has cash in their account. This is popular at sites on the Dragonfish Network such as Sweet Shop Bingo and Deep Sea Bingo. Whoever said you don’t get something for nothing was certainly right in this case because these bingo sites are using free bingo as an incentive to get players to make a deposit.

Free bingo for new players only

Lots of online bingo sites have free bingo rooms dedicated to new players so you can brush up on your bingo skills. All you have to do is register then usually you get access to the room for the first few days or sometimes even the first week. This is popular at Virtue Fusion bingo sites such as Bgo Bingo where new players get four hours of free bingo every day for the first seven days and each game has a £25 bingo bonus up for grabs. The Dragonfish network also has free bingo for new players but you only get access to it for the first 72 hours and the prize fund is just £1 in each game.

Watch out for bingo sites who advertise things like £5,000 free bingo because they’re talking about the total prize fund across all the games rather than the card value. It’s totally misleading because you won’t win anywhere near that amount unless you play in the bingo room for the maximum hours which wouldn’t be possible if you have any sort of normal life.

Free bingo but with extra cards and prizes for depositing players

This kind of free bingo keeps everyone happy because everyone can join in, but depositing players get extra cards and prizes. A great example of this is the 50 ball bingo room on the Live Bingo Network where each player gets 10 free cards each but you can buy extra cards for 1p each. There’s also the Superbooks games at Virtue Fusion sites where your free bingo cards can be upgraded to pay cards which give you a chance to win a much bigger prize. But, there’s always a large number of free cards in play so the odds of winning with a pay card isn’t very high.

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Free Bingo Pros and Cons

No pre-buy facility

One of the downfalls of free bingo is that there’s never a pre-buy facility in place. This means you need to make sure you’re in the room a few minutes before the game starts so you can claim your free cards which might not be possible especially if the game plays out at anti-social hours.

Nasty surprises lurking in the small print

You also need to check the terms and conditions because it’s pretty likely that there’s some sort of withdrawal restrictions because understandably bingo sites don’t want to pay out large sums of money to players who have never spent a penny on their site.

As well as that some online bingo sites have policies such as not letting non-funded players enter certain bingo rooms or buy tickets to the big jackpot games. There are other sites who cap the amount non-funded players can win. For example, when you make a first deposit at the Live Bingo Network your winnings are converted into a casino bonus equal to the value of the deposit up to a maximum of £50. The winnings from subsequent no deposit bonuses at £100 and the winnings from deposit bonuses are capped at £500.

These restrictions don’t just affect non-funded players. If you’re buying cards but non-funded players are allowed to take part and win, the prize pot you’ve been funding could end up in the hands of the bingo site rather than yours.

Some bingo sites even put restrictions on who can win progressive jackpots so you might lose out in the big bucks. For example, at Bingocams only players who have made a deposit within the last three months are eligible which doesn’t seem unreasonable.

If you’re lucky enough to win real cash you usually have to jump through hoops to get your hands on it as most sites have withdrawal restrictions and these are on top of any wagering requirements. For instance, you might not be allowed to make a withdrawal until you make a minimum deposit which is usually £30 but this can vary.

Big prizes for VIPs only

While there might be cash to be won in the open access free bingo rooms it’s usually only small amounts. The rooms giving away larger jackpot prizes tend to be exclusively for VIPs so you need to spend a shed load on the site before you can get access.

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The Best Places to Play Free Bingo

Virtue Fusion

If you’re after a bargain then you might want to check out sites on the Virtue Fusion network. The network itself runs lots of penny games with pretty decent prizes to be won due to the extremely large number of players taking part in the games. It’s down to the individual bingo sites if they decide to run free games but most of them do. Some of the free bingo rooms are for new players only but don’t worry there are other free rooms that are open to everyone. The prizes are usually just bingo bonuses but you often win larger prizes via Superbooks.

Gamesys

Free bingo at Gamesys bingo sites are often part of a special promotion but you can only participate in them if you’ve spent £2 in real cash on the site within the last seven days.

Microgaming

Microgaming is a bit tight when it comes to free bingo. They used to run some free games for recent depositors, but they seem to have put a stop to it.

Dragonfish Network

The main Dragonfish Network got rid of most of its free bingo but there’s still some available.  There are currently four free bingo rooms but they’re only open to players who have made a deposit within the last seven days. Don’t get too excited though because there’s not as much free bingo as it sounds. One of the rooms only has one game a week, another room has just one game a day and the other two are open at different times of the day so there’s only ever one room at a time running free bingo games.

Live Bingo Network & Best Bingo Network

There’s plenty of free bingo on offer on the Live Bingo Network and Best Bingo Network. The free games are all 50 ball and players get 10 free cards for every game but you need to in the room at the time. If you want to boost your chances of winning there’s also extra cards on sale at the bargain price of just 1p each. The prizes are bingo bonuses which come with an 8x wagering requirement and they’re only valid for 30 days so you need to use them before you lost them. Sadly, entry to the room is restricted to players who have made at least one deposit.

The sites also give away other free bingo cards but they’re pretty useless because they’re only valid for 24 hours and you can only use them if your account is empty of both cash and bonus.  If you’re lucky enough to win your winnings are paid out as a bingo bonus and they’re capped at £100.

Cozy Games

Game Village is different from all other sites on the Cozy Games platform because it’s a standalone site on their very own Lucky Duck Network which has an exclusive Chip Van free bingo room. Again, the games are all 50 ball and they only run a few days a month and you need to be a ‘homeowner’ to participate in them. This is basically people who have made three initial deposits then a regular deposit every 30 days.

15 Network

The 15 Network has a 90 ball bingo room which is open four hours a day. There’s £1 worth of bonus money up for grabs in each game but you can only take part if you’ve made a deposit within the last seven days. As well as that there’s also a VIP free bingo room which is open from 10 pm until midnight each night.

Others

Bingocams has lots of free bingo games on the go. There’s one in particular which has substantial prizes to be won and they increase as you climb up the VIP ladder. Sadly, not everyone can take advantage of this freebie as the free games are only open to players who have made a deposit of at least £10 in the last 14 days. There’s another free bingo room that’s only open two hours a day but it’s easier to get access to this room as it’s open to anyone who has deposited at least £10 in the last 30 days.

Bright Bingo hosts a free bingo game every single night for players who have deposited in the last 24 hours.

Health Bingo has a 90 ball free bingo room which is open for five hours a day. There’s a whopping £200 in prizes to be won every day but only players who have deposited in the last 14 days can gain entry.

Mainstage Bingo doesn’t have any free bingo as such but they do give out massive bonuses so there are still plenty of freebies to enjoy.

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So, is it Really Free?

So, is it really free? That’s the big question. The UK government introduced a new point of consumption (POC) tax a few years ago and since then free bingo isn’t as easy to find as it once was but there’s still quite a few games you can play for free and win for real. Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Well, in most cases it probably is.

We’ve looked at all the different variations of free bingo and it’s fair to say that none of them is free as such. The cost of the prizes comes out of the bingo site’s profits so ultimately it’s paid for by the players. Free games might not cost you a penny but in one way or other, they still get money from you.

Bingo sites tend to use free bingo to encourage players to make a deposit on the site. So, even if a game is free the chances are you still need to put cash in your account because most of the time they’re only open to funded players. Some free bingo games are even VIP only which is usually where you find the bigger cash prizes but you need to be a big spender to get access to them – which is a lot more than just the minimum deposit amount.

Some bingo games are more ‘free’ than others but in the end, they are all subject to wagering requirements and withdrawal policies which mean spending money on the site.

Believe it or not, there are plenty of prizes to be won in free bingo. However, the payouts aren’t as high as a paying game unless you’re playing an exclusive VIP game but these little prizes can add up if you continue playing for a while. A lot of the time the prize isn’t even cash, it’s usually loyalty points, free cards or a bingo bonus.

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Benefits of Fee Bingo

Despite all this, there are many benefits of playing free bingo so it’s still worthwhile. For instance, it’s a great way for new players to gain an understanding of the game before entering the real money bingo rooms. The low-risk element means they have nothing to lose – so why the heck not? Even seasoned players might want to brush up on their bingo skills now and again. For example, a player might have a new strategy they want to test out before they return to the real money games.

You can also use free bingo to test out new bingo sites or apps. It’s better to get a feel for the place and see what the other players are like before committing any cash to a site.

Another reason for dabbling in free bingo is that it gives players a chance to get used to the speed. Bingo tends to be a fast-paced game, but it’s easy to lose track of what’s happening if you don’t pay attention which could result in you falling behind or losing.

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Conclusion

No matter how you look at it, free bingo is never entirely free. Don’t get us wrong free bingo is great especially if you’ve run out of money or you’re a new player trying to get a grasp of the game but don’t let them pull the wool over your eyes.