1 hour free-play promotions and bonuses explained
Money for nothing and your chips for free?
1 hour free-play promotions are currently very popular at two of our Microgaming casinos - Ruby Fortune and Captain Cook's - as they give casino beginners a great way to try out new games with no risk.
Currently on offer are:
Ruby Fortune - £750 casino credits and an hour to win up to £100
Captain Cook's - $500 play chips and 1 hour to win up to $200
750 credits and an hour of free play
If you take up one of these 1 hour free play bonuses, your chosen casino will give you a set number of play money chips (either 500 or 750 - see above) for you to place bets with.
You then have an hour to place at least 100 bets. You can place these bets on as many games as you like, or just one (see our 1 hour free play strategy below)
Once the hour's up or you've placed your 100 bets, if you've managed to win more than you started with, you can transfer your winnings (up to 100 at Ruby Fortune, 200 at Captain Cook's) to your real money account.
If you don't have a real money account, you'll have to open one in order to play with the money you've just won! Opening an account varies at each individual casino, but you'll generally have to deposit around £50 to open a real account and claim your winnings).
Unlocking your free play bonus
So far, so good! From this point on, think of your free play winnings in the same way as any other bonus. In other words, whatever you've won is subject to wagering requirements ie you have to bet them (play them through) a fixed number of times before you can cash them in.
Normally, this amount is equal to 30 times the winnings. So, for example, if you'd won £40, you'd need to place £1200 worth of bets to unlock your winnings.
Bear in mind, you don't have to win £1200 or lose £1200, just bet it. This can take you a while, but they'll give you as long as you want - months, if need be.
Different games, different wagering requirements
Like any bonus, the casinos make different games count differently towards the total. The reason is that in the early days of casino bonuses, players would bet on both red and black on Roulette at the same time, just until the bonus had been wagered and they could cash it out.
To stop this kind of behaviour, the casinos make games with even money bets like Roulette, Baccarat or Sic Bo count less towards the wagering requirement. To give the example of Ruby Fortune, Roulette and Sic Bo only count 50%, so the wagering on those games is 60x.
We explain this clearly on our explanation of wagering requirements.
The wagering requirement for each game at each casino is given in detail here:
Ruby Fortune 1 hour free play bonus details
Captain Cook's 1 hour free play bonus details
1 hour free strategy - which games?
It may sound easy to place 100 bets and win £100 - and if you know what you're doing, it's not too hard. But the casinos make things slightly harder by not offering all their games in the free-play promotion casino and changing the games slightly, for example by limiting the maximum bet size on some games - sometimes to as small as £1.
The mistake most beginners make with these 1 hour free play bonuses is trying to cram in play on lots of different games. The mini version of the casino isn't quite as quick as the full version, so there can be a delay every time you switch games - all of which takes up some of your 1 hour of free play!
Our recommended free hour strategy is to play Bonus Pai Gow Poker with a decent-sized bet on the bonus. With up to £750 to play with, you can easily place 100 bets and stand every chance of hitting one of the big bonus payouts.
We'd keep away from Slots as Slots strategy would tell you that you may need longer than an hour to see any profits.
Which casino has the best 1 hour free bonus?
You can take up both of our featured 1 hour free promotions if you like! But we'd suggest starting with the Ruby Fortune bonus first as this gives you more credits to work on your strategy. Once you're familiar with how these bonuses work, take up the offer from Captain Cook's.
In total, you could get yourself £200 - not bad for two hours' work!
Coose your casino and have a go - you've really got nothing to lose!