How to Play Sweepstakes

By Alice Soule on
Increasingly popular with players right across the US, sweepstakes casinos offer an exciting way to play slots and casino games online for free. If you’re a newcomer to online sweepstakes casinos or simply want to learn more about how to play sweepstakes games, you’ve come to the right place. On this page, we cover all the essential information you need to know to start playing free sweepstakes casino games - from understanding the basics to maximizing your chances of winning. Keep reading to learn more.
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Sweepstakes Casinos Explained

What are Sweepstakes Casinos?

Sweepstakes casinos put a unique and exciting spin on online gambling. While they share some similarities with traditional online casinos, such as offering a great variety of slots and table games like roulette and blackjack, and sometimes even boasting a mobile app for Apple and Android, their approach to gameplay sets them apart. 

Unlike regular online casinos that require you to deposit real money to play, sweepstakes casinos use two virtual currencies instead: Gold Coins and Sweeps Coins. This makes them completely legal for most American players. Indeed, sweepstakes sites are available in most US states, except Washington. However, not all sweepstakes sites cover all locations, and cash redemptions are off the menu if you’re in Idaho. 

The best part about sweepstakes casinos is that they’re also a bit different from true social casinos. Both types offer players the chance to enjoy free-to-play slots and games with Gold Coins or a similarly named virtual currency. However, it’s only Sweeps Coins that can be converted into cash. While each sweeps casino operator is slightly different, the basic idea remains the same: play for free and stand a chance to win real prizes!

Sweeps Coins

Sweeps Coins are your passport to winning real prizes at sweepstakes casinos. They can be exchanged for cash, so they’re as good as real money when it comes to the excitement they bring. However, you can’t buy these coins, making snagging free Sweeps all part of the fun. You can score free SC through various means, including winning Sweepstakes Coins through assorted promotions or by earning them as a bonus on a Gold Coins purchase. 

Gold Coins

Gold Coins are used exclusively to play for fun, with no option to cash them in, nor any chance to win a prize, except more Gold Coins. Like Sweeps Coins, you can earn Gold Coins through various promotions. However, you can also buy them in bundles from the sweepstakes casino. Many of these Gold Coin bundles include some free Sweeps Coins as a bonus, and it’s those Sweeps Coins that you can use to potentially win cash prizes. 

What You Can Win at a Sweepstakes Casino

Unlike traditional online casinos where you can win real money directly from gameplay, sweeps casinos operate differently. Here, winnings come in the form of coins. These can be either Sweeps Coins or Gold Coins, depending on your strategy. The exciting part is that when you play with Sweeps Coins, you’re not just racking up virtual coins, but also opportunities to redeem for cash. While you can’t win the cash directly during gameplay, the Sweeps Coins you accumulate can be exchanged for cash, and sometimes gift cards too. 


Tips on Choosing the Best Sweepstakes Casino

Selecting the best sweepstakes casino is crucial for a fun experience. Here are some key factors to consider when you’re looking for your perfect fit:

  • Check out the Welcome Bonus – The welcome bonus at a sweepstakes casino is your first taste of the site’s generosity. It often includes free Sweeps Coins to get your gaming journey started in style, giving you a shot of winning real money right from the off. Remember to check out this opening offer to ensure it meets your expectations. 
  • Bonuses and Promotions – Beyond the initial welcome offer, it pays to consider what ongoing bonuses and promotions are available. Regular promotions such as daily login bonuses and online contests can enhance your experience. Look for casinos with appealing on-going offers.
  • Games Selection – A diverse game selection is essential for hours of entertainment. Ensure the sweepstakes casino you’re considering offers your favorite games, whether it’s slots, table games, or scratch cards. A varied lineup ensures you won’t run out of options when you want to have fun. 
  • Read Reviews – Take advantage of our sweepstakes casino reviews to get a better understanding of what you can expect from a particular site. We review the best sweeps sites, going into detail about games, payment options, user-friendliness, and more besides. You can use our reviews to find a casino with the features you want.
  • Understand the Odds Available – Different sweepstakes online casinos may offer varying odds on their games. One game may have a higher chance of winning, while another may have a lower RTP but a larger grand prize. Taking time to understand the odds can help you decide which games to play for the best chance of winning.

Game Selection Available

At sweepstakes casinos, you’ll discover a fantastic selection of games to choose from, much like their traditional online casino counterparts. Many of these titles, such as Starburst and Gonzo’s Quest, will be familiar to casino fans, and you’ll also find some hot picks created by well-known online casino game studios like Pragmatic Play and Evoplay. Here’s a glimpse into the different types of games you can play at top sweepstakes casinos. 

  • Slots – Slots are the heart and soul of sweepstakes casinos, offering a wide array of themes, graphics, and features. You can enjoy classic 3-reel slots or immerse yourself in modern video slots. Popular games like Pragmatic Play’s Big Bass Amazon Xtreme are often featured, promising hours of spinning fun. 
  • Table Games – Many sweepstakes casinos don’t stop at slots. They also put the classic charm of table games on the menu. Blackjack, a timeless favorite known for its strategic gameplay, and roulette, the iconic game of chance with its red and black wheel, are both popular choices.
  • Keno – Keno offers a unique blend of lottery-style excitement and casino gameplay. To play, you select your numbers, place your bets, and await the draw. It’s a simple yet engaging game with the potential for big wins, making it a popular choice among sweeps site players. 
  • Poker – Poker fans can also find their fix at sweepstakes casinos. Whether you’re into Texas Hold’em, Omaha, or other poker variations, you’ll often have the chance to test your skills. While player v player poker gaming options are less common, some sites boost their poker game selection with video poker games like Jacks or Better.
How to Play

How to Play at a Sweepstakes Casino

It’s a simple process to sign up and play at a sweepstakes casino. Follow these steps and you’ll be playing free online slots and games in no time:

  • Read our Reviews – Read through the reviews of the best US sweepstakes casinos on our sweepstakes casino page. When you’ve found your favorite, click on the ‘Claim Bonus’ button to head to the site.
  • Sign Up – You’ll be taken straight to the casino’s registration page where you’ll need to fill in some basic info to get started. This may include your name, email, and date of birth. Some sites also ask you to verify your phone number to unlock your free Sweeps.  
  • Receive Coins – Once you’re registered, your free coins will be added to your account. At most sites, the sign-up bonus includes both free Gold Coins and free Sweeps Coins. Both types can usually be used to enjoy the games of your choice. 
  • Choose a Game – To choose a game, simply look through the lists available and select play. Many sweepstake casinos provide links to pre-sorted collections of games, such as new games, jackpot games, and table games, making it easy to jump straight in. 
  • Gold Coins or Sweeps? – When you play at a sweeps site, you can choose between playing for fun and playing for real. To make your selection, simply toggle between GC and SC, either on the info page for individual games or at the top of the screen.
  • Earn Free Coins – With sweeps casinos, the fun doesn’t stop with the welcome bonuses. There are loads of ways to earn free coins, including daily login bonuses, prize draws, social media giveaways, referral bonuses, and even through mail-in requests.  
  • Buy Gold Coins – If you want to boost your coin stash further, select the ‘Buy Coins’ button, usually found at the top of the screen. Select your bundle and payment method of choice, and once the transaction is complete, the coins will be in your account. 
Prize Redemptions

How to Redeem Coins for Cash Prizes

Keen to turn your virtual coins into cash? As long as you’re 18 or over, and can provide some formal ID to prove it, you’ll be eligible to enjoy prize redemptions. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you cash in your Sweeps: 

  • Minimum Coin Requirement – First up, you’ll need to ensure that you’ve racked up enough Sweeps Coins in your account to qualify for prize redemption. Most sweepstakes sites set this threshold to 100 Sweeps, which are usually worth $100. However, this can vary, so it’s smart to check each casino’s specific requirements.
  • Visit the Cashier Page – Head to the cashier page, where you’ll usually find the option to redeem Sweeps Coins for cash prizes. Alternatively, some sites provide a link in the main menu. Either way, you will be asked for ID at this point. This is to deter fraudulent activity, confirm you’re over 18, and is usually only required on your first redemption.
  • Select Payment Method – Once your identity is verified, you can select your preferred payment method for receiving your cash. Sweepstakes casinos often offer various payout options, such as ACH (Automated Clearing House), PayPal, and even cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Doge.  
  • Confirm and Redeem – Give your redemption request the onceover to ensure all looks good, then go ahead and confirm your selection. The casino will process your request and you’ll receive your cash through your chosen payment method. It’s worth noting that payout times vary, with anything from instant payouts to 12-day waits entirely normal. 


Are sweepstakes casinos safe to play at?

Yes, sweepstakes casinos are generally safe to play at. However, to avoid scams, you should choose reputable sites, prioritizing those that use secure encryption methods and offer payment options you trust. You can also use free services like RoboForm to keep your login details safe.  Remember to follow responsible gambling practices, just as you would at regular online casinos. 

Can I buy additional coins?

You can’t buy Sweepstakes Coins, but you can buy Gold Coin bundles, which usually come bundled with some free Sweeps. These bundles come in various sizes, ranging in price from a few bucks to a few hundred dollars. The great news is that you can often take advantage of a special offer when you buy Gold Coins for the first time, boosting the number of coins you get. 

What are the most popular games at sweepstakes casinos?

Slots usually take center stage at sweeps sites, boasting a wide range of themes, features, and often, the chance to win a jackpot prize. In addition to slots, you’ll find classic table games like blackjack and roulette on most sites, and some also provide options like poker, keno, and instant win games. Live dealer games are rarer but do make occasional appearances. 

What’s the entry process for social media giveaways at sweeps sites?

This can vary. The entry form will usually be quite simple, though it may require you to complete a simple task, like signing up for notifications or tagging friends. The entry periods for most contests last for a week. However, some sites invite players to enter sweepstakes contests twice weekly, others less often. Winning sweepstake entries usually get free GC and free SC.

The people behind this page's online gambling content experts helped write, edit and check the content on this page:

Alice is an Editor for and has several years experience of writing for the gambling and gaming industry. She has a particular interest in legislation and the promotion of safer gambling measures.