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Roulette is a hugely popular casino game that has been around since the 17th century. It is often associated with the rich and the likes of James Bond in Hollywood movies. In 2021, Roulette is a game that is played online by millions of gamblers.

Roulette can be glamorous and expensive, but it needn’t be. The roulette game itself is relatively simple, and mechanically it’s the closest of the classic traditional table games to a slot machine. Betting on the game is a fascinating and much-studied art, and with online casino roulette, this game is now more accessible than it’s ever been in its centuries-long history.

All good online casinos offer a choice of roulette tables. You should be able to play European (sometimes called French) or American roulette at most casinos. There will probably be a choice between simulations that you bet on, or live streaming games – not all “live” games are live, they might be recorded video, so if you want to play in real-time make sure you know that that’s what you’re playing.

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A simple game

Roulette is a simple game, but it’s got a lot of depth to it, and a lot of variations and jargon to contend with. Make sure that you understand the game before you sit down and start playing. Check out some free games if you get the chance and use guides like ours to find your way around the betting table.

Because of its age, Roulette has a lot of mystique. Unfortunately hidden among that mystique is a lot of scamming that will rob you of your cash as surely as a bent wheel will. There is no system on earth that can beat the wheel. The best a system can do is to help you to foster your funds more sensibly and play for longer – playing for longer means you might win a big prize, but no system can guarantee that if anyone tells you that they can do that run a million miles.

How to play

For the online player, roulette is a very simple proposition.

One sits at a table and clicks and waits and then hopefully logs out with a big win on the way to a bank account.

The real-world game is also simple, and it works like this:

A big wheel spins. A ball is dropped into the wheel. The ball is caught in one of the numbered slots – numbered up to 36, and alternating between red and black colours – and winning bets, which hit the right number, the right colour, or one of a number of groups of numbers, are paid out according to their odds.

The zero is key to roulette. It is the zero that gives the house its “edge” and allows it to make a profit from the game.

Zeroes are key to the two main variants of roulette. European roulette has one zero. American roulette has two – one is a double zero. These slots never pay out.

The chance rules

Bets are placed using chips on a green baize table. The bets are divided into “inside bets” and “outside bets”. This could well be the origin of the phrase, “an outside bet”, but the truth is the words simply refer to the placing of the box for the bet on the table, and outside bets in roulette are more likely to win than the longer-odds inside bets.

It is always down to the player how they want to play the game. It comes down to their preferred way of betting. There is no proven strategy that works, and all of these systems that promise great things will never work 100% of the time. Even if you throw your money down on the table randomly, this will probably be as effective as a sequential betting pattern.

Roulette is a game where chance rules. You cannot predict where the ball will land, and no one has ever been able to do this every time. If you want to get involved in playing the game to make a living, you will soon be at a loss. Players can win many times, but it is truly down to how much luck is in their favour at any given time. It truly is that simple.

Roulette is a high-risk/high-return game, which can seriously eat into your balance if you are playing for a long period of time. Luck is everything in the game, which is consistent with the fact that sometimes you win big, and sometimes you lose big. There is no real way of changing this fact, so players should be very careful when considering pumping massive amounts of money into the game off the back of these “guaranteed to win” strategies.

The Rules  – Odds & Payouts

That pretty much covers the rules of roulette – as we’ve said, it’s a very simple game.

Most of the etiquette of the game has grown out of its lively life in real-life casinos. Bets should be placed either before the ball is flipped onto the wheel, or perhaps in the few seconds after that happens.

There’s a whole load of behavioural norms around how one places bets on the physical table, which fortunately for impatient online players don’t apply in cyberspace.

So, let’s hit pay dirt!

Roulette odds – that is the odds of an event happening in the game – and roulette pay-outs are not the same. It’s in that difference that the casino makes its profit.

These figures are standard, but that’s not to say they couldn’t be altered, so we’ll repeat that you ought to check the rules and regulations the print big and small at the particular site and particular table you’re playing at.

You didn’t come here to get a maths lecture we’re sure, so we’ll present these figures as simple as possible.

Here goes for most of the common roulette betting combos:

  • A single number should pay out 35 times your stake. It has a 2.7% chance of happening on a European table and a 2.6% probability on an American table.
  • Two number combinations should pay out 17 times your stake. There is a 5.4% chance of this happening on a European table, and a 5.3% chance on an American table.
  • Hitting a three-number combo should reward you 11 times your stake. It is an 8.1% chance on a European table and a 7.9% probability on an American table.
  • Four number combinations should pay out at eight times your stake. It is a 10.8% chance on a European table and a 10.5% chance on an American table.
  • Five number combos should pay out six times your stake. They are 13.5% probability on European tables and a 13.2% chance on an American table.
  • Six number combinations reward players with five times their stake. There’s a 16.2% chance of hitting this on a European table, and a 15.8% chance of this happening per spin on an American table.
  • Selecting the column (there are three) in which the ball will land will pay out at 2 to 1. There is a 32.4% chance of this happening on a European table, and a 31.6% chance on American tables.
  • Selecting the dozen in which the ball will land pays out twice your stake. It is a 32.4% chance on European tables and a 31.6% chance on American tables.
  • Picking whether the number will be odd or even will give you winnings of the same amount as your stake, and it is a 48.6% chance on a European wheel and a 47.4% chance on an American table.
  • Selecting red or black correctly will pay out evens. It is a 48.6% on European tables, and a 47.4% chance on American tables.
  • Low or high betting (1 to 18, 19 to 36) also pays out evens. It is a 48.6% chance on European tables and a 47.4% chance on American tables.

So you can see the house edge coming into play most clearly in the simpler bets. An odd or even bet without zeroes would be a 50/50 chance, but here it drops 1.4% in favour of the house on European tables, and that extra zero on American tables gives the house an “edge” of 2.6% over the odds the player is allowed to bet on.

The outside bets on the table are the more likely ones: dozens, (1 to 12, 13 to 24, 25 to 36); low or high (1 to 18; 19 to 36); red or black (numbers are coloured alternately, from red on one), which is essentially the same bet as picking odd or even.

You can bet on three columns of numbers, they are:

  • 1, 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22, 25, 28, 31, and 34;
  • 2, 5, 8, 11, 14, 17, 20, 23, 26, 29, 32, and 35; and
  • 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, 27, 30, 33, and 36.

The centre of a classic Roulette table of bets contains the numbers, you can bet on combinations of numbers with a single chip bet.

  • Two number bets – called splits – are simply numbers that are adjacent on the table. Three number bets are often called streets, and they run concurrently in threes. Betting the corners gives you sets of fours, non-consecutively (eg, 1, 2, 4, 5; 31, 32, 34 and 35). Sets of six numbers are picked by selecting two rows of three numbers.
  • American roulette has a unique bet: the basket, or five numbers which take in both zeroes (0, and 00) plus the first street (1, 2, and 3). It’s a six to one payout with a probability of 13.16%.
  • European or French roulette has a set of bets of its own too. These bets are improvised by the player so they’re less easy to play in online settings.
  • Neighbours of zero take in 17 numbers (22, 18, 29, 7, 28, 12, 35, 3, 26, 32, 15, 19, 4, 21, 2, 25), which can be covered by nine chips on the betting table.
  • Jeu 0 (play zero) is a mini version of that bet, taking in 12, 25, 3, 26, 32, and 15. This bet is an 18.9% chance, and depending on which number is hit you could win up to 26 times your stake. At a probability of 45.9%, this bet could return you 24 times your stake.
  • Tiers de cylinder (thirds of the wheel) is the opposite side of the wheel to neighbours of zero – 33, 16, 24, 5, 10, 23, 8, 30, 11, 36, 13, and 27. You should get a 17 to 1 payout on a bet that is a 32.4% probability.
  • Zero Game is a smaller version of the Neighbours of Zero, covering only 7 numbers close to the green zero slot.
  • The Orphans (les orphelins), takes in those unhappy numbers left out (9, 31, 14, 20, 1, 17, 34, and 6). It’s a 21.6% chance, paying out 35 times your stake or 17 times depending on which numbers hit.
  • For a probability of between 8.1% and 10.8%, so you can bet on matching final numbers – for example, 2, 12, 22, and 32. Picking groups of five numbers, neighbours, comes up as a 13.5% chance.

Bets on European Roulette:

Inside Bets:

Inside bets have higher odds and include:

Straight Up Bet – This one is the most straightforward bet to place. All you need to do is bet on any of the numbers on the table between 0 and 1-36. The odds for this bet are highest, at 35-1 for getting it right.

Split Bet – Players bet on two numbers. For the purpose of illustration, let’s say 17 & 20. Put down your chip on the line separating both numbers, and you have placed the bet The odds of landing a split bet are 17-1.

Streets – A player will bet on three numbers, which is done by placing a chip on the line of those three numbers. So if you wanted to bet on 16, 17, & 18, you will win at odds of 11-1.

Corner Bet – Simply place your chip on the cross-section of 4 numbers that make up a square. You will get odds of 8-1 for a winning bet of this up.

Line Bet– Players can place their chip on the outside borders of the six numbers of their choice. The odds of this type of bet is 5-1.

Outside Bets:

These are bets which typically have smaller payouts. They are:

Red or Black Bet – The most popular outside bet by a country mile. Players choose between red or black and for even money.

Column Bet – This is a bet on one of three columns at the bottom of the table. Odds for this type of bet are 2-1.

Dozens Bet – A bet on the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd dozen. The payout is against odds of 2-1.

Odd or Even Bet – There are 36 numbers on the table, zeros don’t count, so choose if the next number will be either even or odd to win at odds of 2-1.

High or Low Bet – Choose between 1 to 18 or the 19 to 36. The payout for this bet is even money.

En Prison & La Partage

“La Partage” and “En Prison,” are two unique bets which may or may not be open, depending on the casino which you are playing at.

They work like this:

La Partage – La Partage comes into play on a bet where 0 wins. Should the player have La Partage then half of their even-money bets come back to them. This is a great bet as it pretty much performs like insurance if 0 lands. As outside bets will all lose if 0 wins, this is a great way to get something back. It also brings down the house edge to 1.35% when it has been activated.

En Prison – En Prison is a rule that comes into play – like La Partage – on even money bets when 0 wins. The dealer places a marker over the previous even money bet when zero wins. If the players win on their next spin they get their stake back. It is undeniable that this bet is the favourite of many of the more cautious players.

The house edge is a very important aspect to consider when playing any type of casino game. It can be the difference between making serious money and losing enough to end your night.

As you can see, all players really need to do is place their chips on the numbers, colours, or series of bets they favour. Then, you watch the wheel spin around and hope for the best. Placing bets is easy. There are a small number of bets which are not the most obvious you can place on a roulette wheel. too, which we covered above.

European Roulette

Roulette is a European game originally, and the European table is the oldest style.

For most players, the detail that stands out is that European roulette has just one zero so offers a better deal to players.

There are, however, some other slight differences. The numbers on the wheel are in a slightly different order to American roulette. You can spot this quickly, by checking to see which number is to the right of the single zero – on a European table it will be 32.

Here is the layout of the full European reel, going to the right: 0, 32, 15, 19, 4, 21, 2, 25, 17, 34, 6, 27, 13, 36, 11, 30, 8, 23, 10, 5, 24, 16, 33, 1, 20, 14, 31, 9, 22, 18 29, 7, 28, 12, 35, 3, 26.

American Roulette

The house edge in Europe wasn’t enough for the Americans, who added a double zero to the mix.

This makes the number order: 0, 28, 9, 26, 30, 11, 7, 20, 32, 17, 5, 22, 34, 15, 3, 24, 36, 13, 1, 00, 27, 10, 25, 29, 12, 8, 19, 31, 18, 6, 21, 33, 16, 4, 23, 35, 14, and 2.

French Roulette

French roulette is the oldest variant of the game. And it’s the least common on the internet. That’s a shame because it does have a couple of variants on the other types of the game that are really rather nice.

The game has the single zero of the European variant. And it follows the same number sequence. What is different is the La Partage (also En Prison) rule.

When you learn that this rule works in favour of the player rather than the house you’ll perhaps see why this version isn’t so widely available – it’s your duty as a good consumer to go to sites that offer French roulette and give them your business until this changes: Francais pour tout!

The La Partage rule is a refund on losing bets. Don’t get too excited: it applies only to even money bets (so odds and evens, reds and blacks, etc) and only when the ball lands in zero. If that happens you get half your stake bet. It slightly reduces the house edge and it’s a good deal for customers, so support it when you can, and grab the game when you find it.

The Game History

If you believe the myths roulette is a gift from the devil! This silly story (all stories involving the devil are silly) comes about because if you add up the numbers from one to 36 you get a total of 666! Yoiks!

Have no fear though, simply file this as a useful trivia fact with which to impress your friends down the pub, and dive in and enjoy a game with a rich and entirely rational history.

A French game

As the name suggests, the game is French and was born there in the 18th century. It might have roots in the experiments of the legendary mathematician and philosopher, Blaise Pascal, who was always on the hunt for a perpetual motion machine.

The French probably brought the game to life by mixing a simple spinning wheel game with an Italian betting game called Biribi.

Chairman Mao is said to have once said, “it’s too early to tell” when asked what the effects of the French revolution were. I wonder if he was a roulette fan because the modern game was forged in the fires of revolutionary Paris, though – unless you want to make some up yourself, please do, everyone loves a good conspiracy theory these days – there aren’t any political implications to its set up.

Accounts of its early days – in the novel La Roulette for example – suggest that we’re bad-mouthing the Americans by blaming them for the double-zero, though. The 1796 fiction includes an account of the game with two slots for the bank.

By the time that was published, the game had already been banned in French Canada!

The better deal of the single-zero game was certainly a French invention though. Well, Franco-German, as the Blanc brothers invented it in Bad Homburg to bring in a trade to their casino.

American roulette was different

From the early days in the US, the Americans had to do things differently. Early wheels had 28 numbers, two zeroes and a patriotic American Eagle – which paid the casino. Thankfully, that particular nationalistic nonsense soon died a death.

The Blancs stayed in the gambling business as Europe got roulette fever through the 19th century, and when the game was banned in Germany, they took their wheel to Monte Carlo and started a gambling revolution that went around the world.

And so was born one of the great schisms of history, as double-zero games spread around America (accompanied by rampant outlawism and fixing), the single zero roulette game spread across Europe and took on the name of the continent.

Though now everyone has a choice of which to play thanks to the internet, surely the market – are you listening American casino operators, this is capitalism! – will kill off the American wheel soon.

Roulette Systems & Roulette Strategy

The mystique of the game has inspired myths like the devilish, and fictional, origin story we mentioned above. It’s also given rise to a number of strategies for playing.

We’re sorry to be boring, but we’re going to repeat our warning here: Betting strategies are just a way of fostering your resources. They cannot and will not increase your chances of winning.

This is particularly true if you’re playing at a machine table rather than a filmed, live streaming game. There is no way around the algorithm. This really is a game of luck.

For live roulette games, there is a massively tiny, extremely outside, almost infinitesimal chance that you could spot some physical tick in the croupier when he or she throws the ball into the wheel, and pick up some sort of pattern of their relative position to the numbers on the wheel that makes some numbers a tiny bit more likely to be hit from a particular position.

If you have the patience to watch the thousands of spins – noting each result against the position of the croupier and the speed of the table and so on… – needed to even think about starting to work that out then good luck to you. It’s possible a super-computer might get somewhere, but any perceived patterns are most likely to be just that – perceptions.

The best system is a safe system

So, the best system to use is one that is safe for you, the player. Don’t stake more than you can afford to lose and don’t play when you’re in a bad mood.

Systems do exist that have followers, but they are just as subject to luck as a player without a system. There is a chance they will make a session last longer, because most of them are about saving money, but they will not make winning any more likely, and they will not make it any more likely that your wins will be big.

Some of the most popular systems

Of these systems, the most popular are, the Martingale. This system, which we’ll explore in-depth, is a bet doubling strategy. There are variants that call for even higher multiple increases.

The Labouchere is another strategy that’s actually quite complicated to administer. We won’t go into details here, but you need a piece of paper – or an app, maybe – to run this system successfully.

The D’Alembert is so dumb that it’s been called the perfect illustration of the Gambler’s Fallacy. That’s really all you need to know about this one.

The Fibonacci is basically a way of showing off that you know what a Fibonacci sequence is. Well done! Now you know what it is, you’re probably wise enough to know that using it as a basis for setting bets then you’ll still end up with exactly the same chances of winning as if you don’t.

Paroli – also “parley” – increases bets when you win. This is exactly as stupid as doubling your bets when you lose. That is to say, it is very stupid indeed.

Martingale Roulette

The Martingale is the most popular of all these systems. And like all of them. It doesn’t work.

The idea is this: if you double your bet every time you lose when you win you will always win slightly more than you have already lost.

This is true.

And that’s where the usefulness of this system ends. While the mathematics works, and might – if played sensibly with very small stakes over a long session – allow you to enjoy a long session, it is no guarantee even of that minor achievement.

Martingale experiments

Some very clever people have run experiments on using the Martingale system over long periods of time. And they found that the result of using this system was almost always exactly the same as a player using the same amount of money for each bet. And the result was almost exactly what you would expect the house edge to deliver.

Martingale roulette can be dangerous

Another problem with Martingale play is that it can be dangerous. We’re always reminding players to bet within their financial limits, but here’s a system that asks you to double your bet every time you lose. Losing isn’t that uncommon in gambling, as even a kid who’s just played a few rounds of the coin toss will tell you.

So imagine you start a Martingale with a nice sensible £5 bet. And imagine that you lose five bets on the trot – £5, £10, £20, £40, £80, and you’re down a cool £155 just like that, and honour bound to stick another £160 on your next spin.

Like most gambling systems, the Martingale works in a way, but it will only work if you have the infinitely deep pockets to ride the system to its conclusion, or you do the smart thing and quit while you’re ahead.

The best roulette system in the book is to simply play for fun and to play safely.

We also have a system we’d like to bring to your attention, it’s called the Never Give Any Money to Anyone Who Claims to Have a Gambling System system, and you can buy it from us for £1 million!

So is there an Online Roulette Strategy?

There is not one proven strategy for winning in roulette. It is tempting to believe that there could be, but if there is one, casinos would be soon out of business. These charlatans trying to sell you tips would also surely be too busy cleaning every single casino out there. This is gambling, and in gambling, there is no guarantee of success.

Anyone who has a cheat will soon find that most casinos are quick to notice anything that takes away their advantage from making money on you. The “house always wins” is a phrase that exists for a reason, and we’re sure you can guess why.

UK roulette players can find numerous ways to improve the chances of winning. Keep in mind that this is a luck-based game so chance will determine how the game goes. Luck is more important for building chips and is directly responsible if you lose them as well. Unless you are a clairvoyant that has a handle on predicting the future, Lady Luck is your best chance of winning.

There is no way to prove what number is going to come next in an Online Roulette game session. Since you cannot predict anything, it is down to the player to guess where the ball might land.

Regardless of these principles, there are strategies that some use in the hope that they can bend the rules to their favour, or simply involve maths. For example, progressive betting systems

Common Roulette Systems

The Martingale System just might be the most famous among players from the UK. Those hoping to win big are often pulled in by this strategy, which basically involves a player increasing their bet size following each loss. If things go great, fantastic. However, if they don’t, you could easily lose a very sizeable amount of cash very quickly.

The Paroli system, which also goes by the name Reverse Martingale, recommends that players double a bet following every win. This type of system is favoured by players who might have lost a lot of money on the Martingale. There is just as much chance that you could win or lose in any of these systems. Roulette is a game where the house edge cannot be changed, regardless of what you do. It is important to recognise this before you get reeled in by the big promises of rewards and mounting riches.

There are many other strategies that have been used over the years. These are usually strategies that have been developed on basic mathematical equations and sequences. Whether these invite players to progressively increase and decrease their bet size or play according to a set pattern of bets, they will all fail at some point. Some may never work for you at all, as it is all down to chance. There is no getting away from this fact, sorry!

UK Online Roulette Tips & Tricks

If that all seems pretty negative, don’t be put off. Roulette is a fun game and one that really repays getting stuck into. What it isn’t is a means of earning a living – unless you have a lot of time and a lot of money to start with.

So use the only tips and tricks that are actually known to work – respecting the fact that the game is random and there is no system that will beat it. Accepting that playing a gambling game comes with the risk of losing every bit of money you play on it and a very small chance of winning a very large amount of money.

Gambling is best regarded as entertainment. Entertainment costs. The fact that you have an outside chance of winning loads of cash is an added extra that you don’t get with any other form of entertainment, so embrace that but don’t let it rob you of your common sense.

Play free online roulette for fun

You’ll have gathered that there’s a lot to get your head around in roulette.

That’s why we love free games, and highly recommend that you play them as often as you can if you want to get your head properly around this deeply satisfying game.

Claim a UK casino roulette bonus

Roulette is offered at almost every casino site. It’s a massively popular game. This is good news for players, who can stroll around the sites and pick the ones they really like.

A big part of making that choice is likely to be a good roulette bonus. That might be expressed as free spins or free turns. Or it might be offered to you as a sum of money called Bonus Funds.

Both are good news, and you should consider cashing in wherever you see them offered.

Make sure you know what the restrictions on the cash are though. You will be expected – almost always – to put in a substantial multiple of the bonus funds in your own money before you can start collecting at most sites.

Perhaps the best way to look at UK casino roulette bonuses is as a good way to explore a site and see if you like it without having to risk your own money. If a site is good enough to pay money for then its owners won’t mind you checking it out for free.

Consider roulette bonuses as a test drive and you won’t go wrong.

Play real money roulette

You should play real money roulette in the same way that you would play any other cash gambling game. Cautiously, and within your limits.

Always make sure the site you’re playing at is licensed. Always check the licence.

Really, the only thing to remember is to keep your wits about you: be sure you know the rules of the table, and the game (read guides like ours!), use review sites to check out the site you’re on is bona fide.

Keep cool and enjoy yourself!

Find the best roulette casino sites

We’ve covered a lot of the ways you can find a good roulette casino site already.

A good roulette site will be licensed. A good roulette casino site will have reviews at decent review sites, and comments from real gamblers in forums. It will offer a good bonus – but beware of anything that looks too good to be true – that invites you to come in and have a look around.

The best roulette casino sites will look high quality, be well designed to work well and to be easy to navigate.

And not lastly, the best roulette online casinos will have a good selection of roulette games, with live games, as-live games, and simulations. And most good sites will let you try out games for free where possible.

We love roulette. You should too.

Claim No Deposit Roulette Bonuses

Money for nothing and spins for free…

There’s never been a better time to take advantage of free no deposit roulette bonuses with the hyper-competitiveness of online casinos in the attractive UK market driving them to give away free no deposit offers in a frantic rush to attract new players.

No deposit roulette bonuses work in just the same way as any other free no deposit bonus, such as those no purchase necessary bonus offers given away by UK bingo and poker sites.

Simply sign up to create a casino account with your email address and then the free money is deposited into your new account, no questions asked.  Sometimes you will need to enter a bonus code to claim it, all the landing pages we list below provide the codes where necessary.  Rarely, you will be asked to contact customer support so they can manually put the free money into your account before you start playing roulette (or other casino games if you prefer).

WTF?  Seriously free money? What’s the catch?

The catch on the vast majority of no deposit necessary free bonuses is that they impose a limit on how much of your winnings you can withdraw, which is fair enough considering they’re just giving money to you for nothing. Exact limits are detailed in the terms & conditions – it’s very important to read these terms and conditions before you start playing in order to avoid disappointment. You won’t want to find you’ve won £28,000 on roulette only to be told there’s a £200 win limit when using the free money.

A variation on the no deposit bonus theme is to give you a large free balance, say £1000, and give you an hour to try to win as much as possible.  Obviously, they don’t let you cash out the £1000 but they do let you cash out any winnings you make up to a certain limit, usually around 50-75% of the original balance. So as an example, say you start off with the £1000, play some roulette and lucky on the red or black and end up with £2000 at the end of the free hour or free spins, they will allow you to cash out £500 or £750 absolutely free.

Basically, the casinos just want to get as many players through the virtual doors if possible, and at the moment this means giving away free money – something you will never find at a brick and mortar casino. It’s a booming industry and your email address is important to them to keep you informed and tempted by their forthcoming promotions.

No Deposit Bonuses are a sign of a good casino

It’s a win-win situation, you get to try out the casino software where you aren’t required to deposit your own money, see if you like the feel, the atmosphere, the hospitality and the free money, and they get a potential new customer, even if your only intent is to take the money and run – it’s up to them to make the experience so good that you’ll want to stay and become a regular at their roulette tables.

You won’t find online casinos that offer no deposit bonuses for free if they are rubbish. The ones that do offer free money with no purchase and no credit card necessary are confident you will love their casino experience and are willing to bet money on it.

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