Free Online Slots

Free online slots are the best way to learn how to play slots or enjoy the games without risking real money. Free slots online are available in almost every state and are the same or similar to real money slots.

Where to play slots for free

You have a lot of options when it comes to playing slots online for free. If you are in a state that has legalized online casinos, almost every slot game has a demo mode. North Carolina online casinos aren’t legal yet.

You can play in demo mode for free.

States that have legal online casinos:

  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Michigan
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • West Virginia

If you are in a state that has not yet legalized online casinos, you can still play slots online for free in every state except:

  • Idaho
  • Nevada
  • Washington

All the other states have free-to-play online sweepstakes or social casinos.

What is a sweepstakes or social casino?

Sweepstakes and social casinos are online sites with casino-style games, including slots that do not use real money. Instead of real money, you play with casino coins, usually called ‘Gold Coins.’ Since these coins are not real money, playing with them is legal in most states.

The sweepstakes and social casinos work similarly to real money online casinos. The games include slots, table games, and other casino games. The games are the same or similar to those you find in land-based casinos and real-money online casinos.

Most sweepstakes and social casinos offer two types of coins—Gold Coins and a second type often referred to as ‘Sweeps Coins.’ You acquire Gold Coins by buying them and through rewards such as signing up and logging in daily. You acquire Sweeps Coins as as add-ons to Gold Coin purchases, winning them, or requesting them by mailing in a request card sent to the casino.

Once you’ve played through your Sweeps Coins, the winnings can be redeemed for prizes, including cash prizes.

Differences between sweepstakes casinos and real money online casinos

Most sweepstakes casinos do their best to look and work the same or similar to real money online casinos, but there are differences:

  • Sweepstakes casinos are legal in most states.
  • You do not bet real money on sweepstakes casinos. You often use casino coins called Gold Coins or Sweeps Coins.
  • Winnings are paid in casino coins, Gold Coins, or Sweeps Coins, not real money.
  • Sweeps Coins can be redeemed for cash prizes or gift cards.
  • Live dealer games are typically not available on sweepstakes sites.
  • Many sweepstakes casinos do not have mobile apps. You can play on a mobile device through a browser.
  • Because sweepstakes casinos can be played for free, signing up is faster and easier and does not require banking information.

How to sign up for a sweepstakes casino

  1. Choose a sweepstakes casino to play.
  2. Choose a sign-up method, usually via Facebook, Google, or email.
  3. You must enter your name, email address, and password depending on the sign-up method.
  4. Agree to the terms and click ‘Play Now.’

It’s that easy.

What happens when you win at a sweepstakes casino?

When you win a sweepstakes slot or other game, you win the game and casino coins, but you don’t win real money. If you play with the casino’s Gold Coins, you win more Gold Coins, and at a certain point, you can win sweepstakes coins.

If you play with the casino’s Sweeps Coins, you only win more Sweeps Coins, not real money. However, once you’ve played through all of the coins, you can redeem them for prizes, including gift cards or cash.

Each sweepstakes casino has different redemption policies for its Sweeps Coins. Make sure you read the terms and conditions before you play.

The difference between Gold Coins and Sweeps Coins

Gold Coins

You purchase or are awarded Gold Coins. They are valueless “currency” with no redemption value. They give you a number to bet with and the thrill of winning. They are purely for enjoyment and entertainment.

Sweeps Coins

Sweeps Coins can not be purchased: You receive them as free add-ons when you purchase Gold Coins, in giveaways and bonuses, or upon request via mail. Once you’ve played through your awarded Sweeps Coins, you can redeem the Sweeps Coins you’ve won for gift cards or cash prizes.

Sweepstakes casino payout

Return to player

The Return To Player (RTP) is an important concept to understand about the payout of slots and other games. RTP provides players with an idea about the average payout rate of a given slot game.

For example, if a slot has an RTP of 96%, it means that for every 100 coins (Gold Coins or Sweeps Coins) bet, the game will return 96 coins. Game developers calculate the RTP over the long term, so winning more or losing more than 96% while playing at any given time is possible.

While you probably won’t ever see the exact amount of RTP while you are playing a particular slot, given the thousands of people playing and the millions of spins over time, the return will be the stated percent. It is not a guarantee on each spin; it’s a mathematical model to keep players informed.

You will find the RTP for each slot in the paytable or rules section of the game.

Variance or volatility

Casino games have a variance or volatility rating. This mathematical equation gives you information about how a slot pays out.

Variance is a measure of risk. It indicates how often you can expect to win and how much the slot pays when you win. There are three levels of variance:

  • Low variance in which the game has smaller payouts more often.
  • High variance in which the game has larger payouts less often.
  • Medium variance, which is in between the low and high variance payout.

Most slot manufacturers do not provide information on the level of variance, so it’s not easy to find. However, the pay table gives you a rough idea of the variance. Look at the difference between the payout of different winning combinations. The larger the gap between payout amounts, the higher the variance.

For example, if three symbols of a kind have a low payout and 4-of-a-kind have a much larger payout, such as 10X more, then it is a high-variance slot. Also, Look at the maximum bet allowed. Typically, high variance slots have small maximum bets. 

You can use the RTP and the variance level to find games that are best for your playing style.

What is your playing style?

Knowing the RTP and variance gives you an idea of what to expect from a slot game. Once you have that information, you can decide which slots best fit your gaming style.

Players typically fall into one of several player types:

  • Casual gamers
  • High Rollers
  • Medium style players
  • Jackpot chasers

Casual gamers

Most players are casual gamers, playing occasionally and on a small budget. For these players, a low-variance game with an average RTP—about 96%—fits well. The payouts will be smaller with low variance, but you get them more often, which keeps the game going longer on a smaller budget.

High Rollers

If you have a big bankroll to stay in the game longer or just like the thrill of the big win after a longer dry spell (sweepstakes casinos are free after all), then high variance slots will deliver. You won’t win often, but when you do, it’s worth the wait. You’ll need patience in these highest-variance games.

Medium style players

This gaming style balances the casual gamer and the high roller. The RTP will be in the lower-to-mid 90s. Payouts are moderate, coming along at moderate intervals. You might see some big wins, but not very often.

Jackpot chasers

If you are looking for really big wins, progressive slots are for you.  This is a high-variance, high-risk type of slot. These games have very low RTP, as low as 90%, and highest variance. These high-risk games seldom pay or hit big, but the jackpot can be enormous when they do.

Since sweepstakes casinos are free to play, try each style to determine which you like best.


Are sweepstakes casinos and the demo mode on real-money casinos really free to play?

Yes, they are free. While you can pay to receive more Gold Coins on sweepstakes casinos, you don’t have to.

Are the games the same in sweepstakes casinos as in real-money casinos?

Yes, the games are the same. They have the same graphics, rules, features, payout, RTP, and variance you find in a casino or online real-money casinos. The only difference is they do not use real money.

Do sweepstakes casinos work on mobile devices?

Yes, sweepstakes slots work on mobile devices. However, most do not have apps. You can connect through the browser on your iOS or Android device.

Is it possible to play for real money online? 

Yes, you can play real money casino games online if you are in Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, or West Virginia. If you are not in one of those states or Idaho, Nevada, or Washington State, you can play sweepstakes casinos, and if you play with Sweeps Coins, you can win cash prizes.

Where can I find a slot’s RTP?

The RTP is in the game’s paytable or rules section of most slots.

Where can I find a slot’s variance or volatility?

You can get an idea of the variance from the paytable by looking at the difference between the payout of different winning combinations. The larger the difference between payout amounts of different combinations, the higher the variance. Also, look at the maximum bet allowed. High variance slots tend to have smaller maximum bets.

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