Demo Accounts

A free day trading demo account is a fantastic way to gain experience with zero risk. Here, we list the best forex, cfd and spread betting demo accounts. From ‘no registration’ practise accounts, to MT4 simulators that allow you to test strategies, we have reviews for them all. Test out brands and see if day trading could work for you – without risking capital.

Best Demo Accounts 2022

  1. OANDA offers 70 forex pairs with two competitive pricing models and a substantial welcome deposit bonus

    OANDA Corporation is regulated by the CFTC/NFA. OANDA is a member Firm of the NFA (Member ID: 0325821). CFDs are not available to residents in the United States.

    Instruments
    Forex
    Regulator
    CFTC, NFA
    Platforms
    MT4
    Min. Deposit
    $0
    Min. Trade
    $0
    Leverage
    1:30 EU, 1:200 Global
  2. Forex.com boast a global reputation. Regulated in the UK, EU, US and Canada they offer a huge range of markets, not just forex, and offer tight spreads on a cutting edge platform.

    Instruments
    CFD, Forex, Stocks, Crypto, Futures, Options, Commodities
    Regulator
    CySEC, IIROC, NFA, CFTC, FCA, CIMA
    Platforms
    MT4
    Min. Deposit
    $100
    Min. Trade
    $1
    Leverage
    1:200
  3. NinjaTrader offer investors futures and forex trading. Use auto-trade algorithmic strategies and configure your own platform while trading with the lowest costs.

    Instruments
    Forex, Stocks, Crypto, Futures, Options, Commodities
    Regulator
    NFA, CFTC
    Platforms
    Own
    Min. Deposit
    $50
    Min. Trade
    Varies by asset
    Leverage
    -
  4. The leading US trading Exchange. Nadex offer genuine exchange trading to global clients on Binary Options. Fully regulated by the CFTC.

    Instruments
    Binary Options, Knock Outs™, Call Spreads
    Regulator
    CFTC
    Platforms
    Own
    Min. Deposit
    $250
    Min. Trade
    $1
    Leverage
    -
  5. Quotex offers a proprietary web platform that has digital options and trading signals.

    Instruments
    Digital Options
    Regulator
    -
    Platforms
    Own
    Min. Deposit
    $10
    Min. Trade
    $1
    Leverage
    -
  6. IG-US offer spread betting, CFD and Forex trading across a range of markets. They are FCA regulated, boast a great trading app and have over 47 year track record of excellence.

    Forex trading involves risk. Losses can exceed deposits

    Instruments
    Forex, ETFs, CFDs, indices, shares, commodities, cryptocurrencies, options, futures, spread betting
    Regulator
    FCA, ASIC, MAS, FSCA, JFSA, FMA, CFTC, NFA, BMA, DFSA, FINMA, BaFin
    Platforms
    MT4
    Min. Deposit
    £250
    Min. Trade
    0.1 lots
    Leverage
    1:30
  7. Pocket Option is a global binary options broker with a sleek proprietary trading platform and competitive range of assets.

    Instruments
    Stocks, Crypto, Commodities
    Regulator
    IFMRRC
    Platforms
    MT5
    Min. Deposit
    $50
    Min. Trade
    $1
    Leverage
    -
  8. Moomoo is an app-based stock broker that specialises in US, Hong Kong and Chinese shares.

    Instruments
    Stocks, ETFs
    Regulator
    SEC, FINCEN, MAS
    Platforms
    Own
    Min. Deposit
    $0
    Min. Trade
    No minimum
    Leverage
    -
  9. Trading in the Uphold environment offers a one-stop-shop for all your crypto requirements.

    Instruments
    Cryptos, Precious Metals, US Stocks, Environmental Assets
    Regulator
    FCA, FinCEN
    Platforms
    Own
    Min. Deposit
    $0
    Min. Trade
    $1
    Leverage
    -
  10. M1 Finance offers customizable and automated trading services for US investors.

    Instruments
    Stocks, ETFs, OTC stocks
    Regulator
    FINRA, SEC
    Platforms
    Own
    Min. Deposit
    $100 ($500 for IRA)
    Min. Trade
    $1
    Leverage
    -
  11. Kraken is a top-rated cryptocurrency trading exchange offering the largest tokens and altcoins by market cap.

    Instruments
    Cryptos
    Regulator
    FCA, FinCEN, FINTRAC, AUSTRAC, FSA
    Platforms
    AlgoTrader
    Min. Deposit
    $10
    Min. Trade
    Varies upon the crypto traded
    Leverage
    -
  12. World Forex offers commission-free trading with a $1 minimum deposit and 1:1000 leverage. Digital contracts are also available, offering beginners a straightforward way to speculate on popular financial markets.

    Instruments
    Forex, CFD Stocks, Metals, Energies, Cryptos, Digital Contracts
    Regulator
    SVGFSA
    Platforms
    MT4, MT5
    Min. Deposit
    $1
    Min. Trade
    0.01 Lots
    Leverage
    1:1000
  13. AAAFx offers CFD trading in forex, commodities, indices and cryptocurrencies.

    Instruments
    Forex, CFDs, indices, cryptocurrencies, commodities and stocks
    Regulator
    HCMC (Greece), FSCA (South Africa)
    Platforms
    MT4, MT5
    Min. Deposit
    $10
    Min. Trade
    0.01 lots
    Leverage
    1:30 EU, 1:500 Global
  14. Nexo is a crypto platform with a range of blockchain-based solutions, including trading, lending, borrowing, and payment cards.

    Instruments
    Cryptos
    Regulator
    ASIC, FCEN
    Platforms
    Own
    Min. Deposit
    $10
    Min. Trade
    $30
    Leverage
    -
  15. Zacks Trade is a US based brokerage, built for the active trader. Trade stocks, ETFs, bonds, mutual funds and more on a proprietary trading platform.

    Instruments
    Stocks, Crypto, Options
    Regulator
    FINRA
    Platforms
    Own
    Min. Deposit
    $2500
    Min. Trade
    $3
    Leverage
    -
  16. IB Boast a huge market share of global trading. With a minimum deposit of $10,000 however, they remain an option for larger traders only.

    Instruments
    CFD, Forex, Stocks, Crypto, Futures, Options, Commodities
    Regulator
    SEC, FCA, IIROC, SFC
    Platforms
    AlgoTrader, OmniTrader
    Min. Deposit
    $10000
    Min. Trade
    $100
    Leverage
    1:50
  17. One of the largest discount brokers in the US, with a fixed trading commission and access to a large array of trading products and securities.

    Instruments
    Forex, Stocks, Crypto, Futures, Options, Commodities
    Regulator
    SEC, FINRA, CFTC
    Platforms
    Own
    Min. Deposit
    $0
    Min. Trade
    None
    Leverage
    -
  18. eToro is a multi-asset platform which offers both investing in stocks and cryptoassets. Crypto Trading is offered via eToro USA LLC; Investments are subject to market risk, including the possible loss of principal. Cryptoasset investing is highly volatile and unregulated in the UK and some EU countries. No consumer protection. Tax on profits may apply.79% of retail CFD accounts lose money.

    79% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

    Instruments
    Crypto
    Regulator
    FCA, CySEC, ASIC, FSA
    Platforms
    Own
    Min. Deposit
    $10
    Min. Trade
    $10
    Leverage
    None
  19. InstaForex is a CFD broker providing access to forex, stocks, cryptocurrencies, commodities, energies, indices, and more. With competitive fees and a huge range of available assets, the brand offers safe and reliable trading.

    Instruments
    Forex, shares, indices, metals, oil and gas, futures, cryptos, binary options
    Regulator
    BVI FSC
    Platforms
    MT4, MT5
    Min. Deposit
    $/€1
    Min. Trade
    0.01 Lots
    Leverage
    1:1000
  20. Webull offers a popular online stock trading app with low fees and generous bonuses.

    Instruments
    Stocks, ETFs, options, cryptos, forex, ADRs, fractional shares, OTCs
    Regulator
    SEC, FINRA
    Platforms
    Own
    Min. Deposit
    $0
    Min. Trade
    $5
    Leverage
    -

What is a Demo Account?

A demo account is a kind of trading simulator, or practice account, that allows you to practice day trading with a wide range of financial instruments, from stocks, futures, and options to CFDs and cryptocurrency.

How do they work?

Demo accounts are funded with simulated money, allowing you to gain trading experience without risking real capital.

This allows you to craft strategies and build confidence while getting familiar with market conditions.

In addition, it’s an effective way to test drive a potential broker and software.

Capabilities

The best demo accounts allow you to simulate real trading with the only difference being that you use pretend money.

This way you get the full experience of the markets and the trading platform, without the pressure of risking your actual funds.

  • Exploration – Testing different financial markets allows you to get a feel for how they behave while finding the right product for you. Trading penny stocks will be different to commodities, for example.
  • Gain experience – Before you risk real capital, you can practice opening and closing positions, plus applying stops and limits. In addition, you can view margin requirements, as well as track profit and loss.
  • Charting – Learn how to interpret and utilise charts, from testing technical indicators to identifying patterns.
  • Past performance – You can analyse past performance to correct mistakes and hone your strategy before you put real capital on the line.
  • Trading tools – Learn how to interpret and utilise information from news feeds and market data.
  • Watch-lists – Demo accounts also allow you to identify and monitor markets of interest.

Benefits

Whether it’s a forex demo account in the UK and Australia or CFD and spread betting elsewhere, all will offer a number of benefits:

Familiarity

  • Risk – Because demo accounts are funded with simulated money, mistakes won’t cost you any of your hard-earned capital. In addition, they also allow you to practice day trading while you are still saving for that initial account deposit.
  • Price action – The best way to understand price action is to experience it. Stock trading demo accounts, for example, will give you practice reacting to volatile markets and capitalising on price fluctuations.
  • Broker & platform – Finally, online trading with demo accounts is an effective way to test a potential broker and platform. For example, you can check their software has all the charts and tools you need. In addition, do they offer any useful extras, such as trading contests? So, check the overall quality of the broker’s services before you commit real capital.

Strategy

  • Calibration – Demo brokerage accounts are the ideal place to fine-tune your strategy. You can make mistakes and adjustments until your plan is consistent, without losing real capital. Because overtrading, cutting profits short and direction bias are all common mistakes that can prove costly if you don’t make them in practice accounts first.
  • Forward testing – Once you have a market and strategy in mind, you can either backtest or forward test your trading plan. While backtesting can prove useful, it lacks the emotional element. Forward testing enables you to put your plan to trade stocks, for example, into action while battling trading pressures in real-time.
  • Drawdowns – Regardless of how effective your strategy is, there will be days where the market feels against you. However, investing in a demo account allows you to practice sticking to your plan and perhaps adjusting your position size until things turn around.

Overall, signing up for a demo account in binary or stock options, for example, could give you the ideal risk-free platform to develop an effective strategy.

Drawbacks

Before you start looking at demo accounts for trading, these practice accounts do come with certain limitations:

Physical Discrepancies

  • Execution – Demo accounts often provide better execution than live trading. This is because demo accounts usually fill a market order at the price shown on the screen. However, in a live market, there is slippage. This can result in orders not being filled at the expected price. So, meeting previous profit calculations may prove challenging.
  • Increased capital – Normally, demo software allows you to choose how much capital you would like to trade with. As a result, many individuals opt for far more than they will have when they live trade. Greater capital allows for smaller losses to be more easily recouped. You may also find yourself unable to afford the expensive instruments you explored when using demo accounts.
  • Spreads – Online forex brokers, for example, often look to impress potential traders with tight spreads in demo accounts. However, in fast-moving markets, in particular, the spread quoted may be far wider.
  • Deposits – Although using virtual money, there are some brokers who will require an initial deposit to use their demo accounts. So, this is something to check before you sign up.
  • Leverage – Many traders enjoy the increased leverage some brokers ofter in demo accounts. Whilst this can result in substantial virtual profits, in live-trading it can also lead to significant losses.
  • Deal rejection – In demo accounts, trades almost always go through as requested, regardless of certain factors. However, when live trading, price changes between your trade submission and execution can result in rejection. So, be prepared for re-quotes when you upgrade to live trading.
  • Trading tools – Free charts and packages you get when your trading gold in your demo account may well come at an additional cost when you live trade.
  • Market movements – Your demo account server may not take into account interest and dividend adjustments, or out-of-hours price movements.

Psychological Discrepancies

  • Emotions – Demo accounts will not expose you to the fear, hope and greed that you may experience when you live trade. The fear of losing your capital can result in costly mistakes. Whilst greed can lead to holding onto a winning position for too long. Unfortunately, you cannot practice controlling these emotions with demo accounts.
  • Complacency – Managing risk properly with a practice account is often overlooked. Traders often take more risks than they would if real funds were on the line. This can result in bad habits when you transition to live trading.
  • Overtrading – The excitement of trading can cause many with demo accounts to overtrade. After all, why not take that risk when it isn’t real money on the line? This can develop into a habit of overtrading. However, when you move to live trading, you will then need to learn quantity doesn’t always trump quality.

To conclude, a comparison of a demo account vs a real live-trading offering will highlight a number of potential pitfalls to take into account.

Yet that does not necessarily mean you shouldn’t use demo accounts. It simply means you need to be aware of the risks, so you can prepare for the differences when you do start trading with real capital.

Moving From Demo To Real Money

You open a demo account as your first step towards becoming a trader. You want to be successful and make real money. So why stop at the demo stage?

It is a common feeling. That fear of losing real money and the lack of belief that you might actually be a profitable day trader.

The same fears held us back to, but until you take that leap, you will never know. Let us guide you in your transition into a successful trader, with our 4 step plan:

Demo To Real Action Plan

1. Assign Some Capital To Trading
2. Open A Real Money Account
3. Calculate A Trade Size
4. Start Trading!

You already know how to place trades as you have tried it on the demo account. So let us build on each point with some detail;

Assign Some Capital

You need to set aside some capital. How much is up to you but £250 to £500 is a reasonable minimum, any less limits the number of trades you can make.

Trading is high risk, so you need to be prepared to lose some or all of this money. If the minimum deposit at a broker is less than you have, you dont need to pay it all in – just set it aside.

Open A Real Money Account

You do not have to use the same firm as your demo account, but this will be the easiest transition. Visit the broker page if you want to try someone new for the real account.

Calculate A Trade Size

How much will you risk on each trade? 1% to 2% is a good conservative number.

If you make 50 to 100 trades, you will be well placed to know if you have what it takes to be profitable trader.

Any less and you will not know if the results were just good or bad luck. 100 trades starts to separate winners from “unprofitable” traders.

Start Trading!

Congratulations, you are a trader! Now, are you a winning one?…

Opening a Demo Account

Most demo accounts are easy to open, whether it’s for cryptocurrency or binary options of 60 seconds. The majority of the time, you will simply have to head over to the broker’s website and fill in a straightforward form.

You will usually be asked for:

  • Email address
  • Username
  • Password
  • Location

Often you require no more details than this. Your account login details will then be emailed to you and instructions on next steps will be given.

You can even find some forex demo accounts that require no registration at all.

Reviews

Whether you are looking for the best demo account for share trading on the stock market, commodity trading, futures, forex or binary options, some of the top options have been collated below.

This will allow you to find the right software and offering to compliment your trading style whilst give you exposure to your preferred markets.

MetaTrader 4 Demo Account

The most popular trading platform is MetaTrader 4 (MT4). However, you can also get MetaTrader 5 (MT5) demo accounts. These industry-standard platforms are now available at most retailers.

Once you have finished your MetaTrader download, you will be able to analyse markets using a range of technical indicators, without risking any capital.

This allows you to practice analysing price action, chart figures, support and resistance lines, currency correlations, and more.

In addition, demo accounts on MT4 can be opened on a desktop platform, plus in mobile applications.

Both will also allow you to test automated strategies, calling on historical data to optimise your settings.

Once you have your MetaTrader account password, you can practice all of the above until your demo account expires. However, you will find plenty of brokers offering MT4 demo accounts that don’t expire.

This means you can benefit from live quotes from all markets, as well as a virtual portfolio, allowing you to practice under real market conditions, for as long as you want.

You also benefit from diversity. So, you can choose between MT4 demo accounts in gold trading and FX, just to name a couple.

In fact, because MT4 demo accounts have no time limit, you can try your luck in as many markets as you like, until you find the right product for your trading style. MT4 demo accounts are also available in plenty of countries, from the USA to the UK.

Overall, once you have your MT4 password, you are free to test your strategies for as long as you wish, as most MetaTrader demo accounts are unlimited.

They provide the ideal risk-free way to identify where your strengths lay and which areas of your trading plan require attention.

Best Broker Demo Accounts

IC Markets

One of the best forex demo accounts is provided by IC Markets. Their forex account is easy to use. It comes with a range of sophisticated charting and trading tools, whilst its website promises a wealth of support and an active user community.

Another major benefit comes in the form of accessibility. You can open a forex demo account from the USA, UK, Canada, Malaysia, Indonesia, and a whole host of other countries.

In terms of technical capabilities, IC Markets support a range of platforms.

So, you can select their forex account and get an MT4 download. Alternatively, you can practice on MT5 or cTrader. Also, you can choose between a forex web platform or mobile trading, on both Android and iOS.

IC Markets forex demo account also has no time limit or expiration. So, you don’t have to put real capital on the line until you feel confident.

Overall, if you’re looking for free demo accounts for forex trading, that can be used for an unlimited time, IC Markets is a strong contender. They consistently score highly in reviews of forex demo accounts.

Plus500

For demo accounts using CFDs only, Plus500 is worth considering.

Reviews highlight traders are impressed with the great flexibility, high-quality software, plus competitive spreads when you upgrade to real-time trading.

Another key selling point of Plus500 demo accounts is that they do not expire, meaning you can practice indefinitely.

On top of that, you can backtest strategies and get familiar with the nuances of the forex market, all with zero risks.

In addition, head over to the app store and you can get a demo account on your iOS or Android device. This will allow you to practice on the way to work or at a time convenient for you.

Simply head over to their website and select ‘Demo Mode’ in the ‘Select Account Mode’ window.

Then follow the on-screen instructions to get set up. Also, you can switch from Real Money mode to Demo by hitting ‘Switch to Demo Mode’. Not to mention, you can reset Plus500 demo accounts if you want a fresh start.

So, if you’re looking for a full demo account without needing a deposit, Plus500 is a worthwhile choice.

Etoro

If you’re looking for crypto, CFD, or forex demo accounts, Etoro is worth exploring.

In fact, once you have registered on their website, a trading account with both real and demo modes is automatically opened.

After you’ve logged in, you simply need to select ‘Practice Trading Login’ on the main screen and enter your Etoro login credentials that you registered with.

Etoro is a sensible choice for those looking for a free forex demo account download without a time limit. In addition, demo accounts on Etoro can also be reset.

On top of that, you can get their forex demo account in-app form, where you can play around with up to €10,000 in virtual funds.

Also, app reviews have been quick to highlight the sleek and easy-to-navigate interface.

A demo account in Etoro will also allow you to practice your skills in trading competitions. Furthermore, it’s an ideal choice for those looking for demo accounts without a deposit required.

Summing Up

There are plenty of options out there. An MT4 demo account that does not expire could well prepare you for any number of potential markets.

However, remember a forex demo account vs live real-time trading will throw up certain challenges.

So, be wary of those that claim ‘demo account trading is a must in my view’. Instead, consider your needs and look for demo accounts that can replicate real-time trading as accurately as possible, including spreads and trade tools.

Day Trading Screen - Demo Accounts

NSE Demo Trading Accounts

There are now plenty of options for individuals looking for demo accounts for the NSE (National Stock Exchange of India). In fact, demo accounts for stock/share trading in India are on the rise.

Both individuals and retailers are swiftly realising demo accounts can prove useful in the often volatile marketplace.

However, it is worth considering whether a minimum deposit is required.

You should also check whether advanced trading tools will come with an additional charge when you upgrade to a live account.

Finally, how long do you have access to their practice offering? Is it unlimited or will you have to look elsewhere after a short while if you’re not ready to upgrade?

It’s also worth noting you can find demo accounts for commodity trading in India. On top of that, there are binary options demo accounts, without needing a deposit.

Furthermore, a number of brokers offer futures demo accounts for an unlimited period. So, it’s worthwhile shopping around before you sign up.

Final Word

You do not have to risk your own capital straightaway. You can find plenty of free day trading demo accounts, for binary options and cryptocurrency to forex and stocks.

The location should also not deter you. For example, you can find demo accounts for stock trading in Singapore as easily as you can in South Africa.

Overall, demo accounts offer a multitude of benefits, from honing a strategy to getting familiar with prospective markets.

However, there are certain limitations, from tackling different emotions to seeing the need for an effective risk management strategy.

But regardless of whether you think using demo accounts is very helpful or not, they remain an effective way to test a potential broker and platform.