Casino Rewards: Cashback vs. Free Play


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One of the great things about playing casino games is that you can pick up some free comps. The best known rewards are those found in land-based casinos such as free drinks, meals, hotel stays and luxury services. However, there are also other forms of comps offered by both land-based and online casinos. And two of the most popular benefits are free play and cashback. You can read about these two comps below and decide which one interests you more.


The idea of cashback isn't exclusive to casino gaming. After all, credit card companies and other businesses offer cashback to customers in order to promote loyalty. Online and land-based casinos like to offer cashback on losses because it makes players feel better about losing money.

For example, a gaming establishment might advertise 20% cashback on Wednesday losses. So if you were to lose $50 during the night, you'd receive $10 back. Now this may not sound like a huge difference; however, it can pay big dividends in the long-term and actually give you an opportunity to make profits. To illustrate this point, let's say that you play four straight Wednesdays and have the following results:

1st Wednesday - $20 in winnings
2nd Wednesday - $30 in losses
3rd Wednesday - $35 in winnings
4th Wednesday - $40 in losses

Based on these results, you would lose $5 overall. But thanks to the cashback, you'd get $6 back for the second Wednesday and $8 back for the fourth Wednesday - making for an overall profit of $9. So as you can see, cashback can turn a losing month into a winning month.

Free Play

Another great bonus that casinos sometimes offer is free play. You commonly see this reward offered as a promotion to draw players into a casino. For instance, a gaming establishment might give out a free $10 blackjack bet to new players. If you win this wager, then you've now got $20; if you lose, it wasn't your money on the line.

In most cases, there are wagering requirements placed on free play to prevent people from cashing out their bet and running. Some casinos allow you to pick up more free play by continually making bets and racking up loyalty/VIP points.

What's Better?

When it comes to the long-term, cashback will deliver more benefits to players. However, free play is a great way to get introduced to a new casino without risking as much of your own money. So both of these comps can be great in their own right, and we highly encourage you to go after them when available.