Wagering Requirements Explained: The Ultimate Guide
Thinking about claiming an online casino bonus but haven’t taken the plunge because you don’t understand how wagering requirements work? Don’t worry, we have you covered. Besides explaining why casinos have wagering requirements and how they work, this page covers everything from how to calculate wagering requirements to expert tips to help you beat them and withdraw your winnings.
What Are Wagering Requirements and How Do They Work?
First, you must understand that wager is another term for a real money bet placed at the online casino. This could be a single spin on a slot machine, playing a hand at the blackjack or baccarat tables, enjoying a round of keno, or placing a bet on any other casino game that takes your fancy.
When you accept online casino bonuses, the money you receive will be credited to your account as bonus money. You will often have two balances: a cash balance containing the funds you deposited, and a bonus balance containing the additional funds credited by the casino.
Every casino bonus is accompanied by terms and conditions which include the wagering requirement (also known as playthrough requirement) for that specific bonus offer. This is a multiplier that represents the number of times you must play through a bonus before you can withdraw any winnings.
This multiplier will vary between online casinos and the bonus offer you claim. The welcome bonus at one casino may have a wagering requirement of 35x, while the wagering requirement for a welcome bonus at another casino could be as high as 60x. Each wager/bet you place will edge you closer to satisfying the wagering requirement and being able to withdraw your winnings.
Once you satisfy the wagering requirement, the casino will convert your bonus funds to real money and allow you to withdraw. If you fail to meet the wagering requirements, you won’t be able to withdraw any bonus money and you will ultimately forfeit the bonus.
Calculating Your Wagering Requirements
We can’t stress enough how important it is to know exactly how much you will be asked to wager before signing up and claiming an online casino bonus.
Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a mathematician to calculate wagering requirements. Many online casinos have developed wagering calculators, making it easy for you to input a deposit amount and instantly find out how much you would be expected to wager to beat wagering requirements.
There’s no need to stress if the casino doesn’t offer a wagering calculator. Follow the simple formulas below to calculate wagering requirements for yourself.
How to Calculate Wagering on Deposit Bonuses
The formula you will use to calculate wagering on deposit bonuses will depend on whether the deposit amount is included in the calculation.
Let’s say you join a new online casino and claim a welcome bonus worth 100% up to R5,000. You deposit R5,000 and the bonus has a wagering requirement of 30x. You will use one of the following formulas:
Excluding deposit amount: R5,000 (bonus) x 30 (wagering) = R150,000
Including deposit amount: R5,000 (deposit) + R5,000 (bonus) x 30 (wagering) = R300,000
Quite a difference, right? Our example reinforces the importance of reading the terms and conditions of casino bonus offers and knowing how much you will be expected to wager before making a withdrawal.
How to Calculate Wagering on Free Spins
Things work a little differently when you claim free spins at online casinos. You will be expected to wager your winnings x number of times before you can request a withdrawal.
Let’s imagine you join an online casino and claim 20 free spins with a 20x wagering requirement. For the purposes of our example, let’s pretend you won R250 from those free spins. Your formula would be as follows:
Example: R250 (winnings) x 20 (wagering) = R5,000
This means you must play through R5,000 before you can request a withdrawal and cash your winnings.
How to Beat Wagering Requirements
To give yourself the best chance of beating wagering requirements, it’s imperative that you read the terms and conditions attached to the bonus offer. Many players skip this step and subsequently claim that they’ve been scammed when their bonus has been forfeited for breaking the terms of the offer. It’s easy to avoid this scenario, so please ensure you’re aware of what is expected for every bonus you take.
Below we will highlight some of the main terms and conditions to be aware of before you start playing with bonus money. These are the main rules and regulations you will encounter when you accept a bonus and face wagering requirements, but it’s important to note that the exact terms differ from casino to casino. Again, we cannot stress enough the importance of reading the small print.
Never Exceed the Max Bet
The terms and conditions of every online casino bonus offer includes a restriction on how much you can bet. The maximum bet may be set at R100 at one casino, while it may be R200 at another. It’s important to take this into consideration when claiming an online casino bonus, because the lower the max bet, the longer it will take you to play through the bonus.
It’s important that you never exceed the max bet. If the max bet is R100 and you mistakenly bet R200, contact the customer support team and explain that you’ve made a mistake. If it’s a one-off, the casino may give you the green light to continue without any implications. However, exceeding the max bet is a serious breach of the rules and often results in your bonus being forfeited.
If you enjoy the thrill of playing for large amounts of money, check out our list of high roller casinos and take advantage of a more suitable bonus offer.
Know the Time Limit
You can’t claim an online casino bonus today and expect to have all year to meet the wagering requirements. The small print clearly states how long you have to wager the bonus before it expires. The time limit is often 30-90 days, but this is another variable that changes from casino to casino.
Let’s say you accept a 100% up to R5,000 welcome bonus with wagering requirements of 20x. You deposit R5,000 and receive R5,000 in bonus money from the casino. If the time limit is 30 days, you must wager R200,000 within this timeframe. Otherwise, your bonus will be declared void.
Imagine how frustrated you would feel having wagered 95% of the bonus, only to run out of time. Never put yourself in this position. Only accept a casino bonus if you are certain that you will have enough time to play, and that time won’t affect your ability to beat wagering requirements.
Understand Game Weighting
Many online casino players are oblivious to the fact that some games may contribute more to wagering than others. In a nutshell, game weighting means the percentage of your bet that will count towards meeting a wagering requirement.
For example, slots almost always count 100% towards wagering requirements. This means that 100% of every spin will contribute towards wagering. Let’s say your total wager is R200,000 and you spin the reels for R100. The 100% contribution means that your total wager will now be R199,900.
However, the contribution from table games and card games is much lower. For instance, each bet you make playing blackjack may only contribute 10% towards wagering. Therefore, a R100 bet at the blackjack tables whilst having a total wager of R200,000 means your total wager would only be reduced to R199,990.
Basically, you’d need to play 10x more blackjack hands to clear the wager than playing slots. In other words, you will have more chance to beat wagering requirements by playing slots than any other game.
Again, game weighting differs from casino to casino. However, the bonus terms and conditions almost always include a list of game weightings. Check the percentages before playing any games, otherwise you could end up spending thousands on a game that only contributes a small percentage towards wagering.
Choose Your Games Carefully
It’s worth nothing that casino bonuses are often accompanied by a list of restricted slots. These are usually high RTP slots which would make it easier for you to complete wagering – you didn’t think the casino was going to make it easy for you to wager, did you? However, the good news is that most online casinos offer hundreds – if not thousands – of fun and exciting slots to ensure you’ll never be bored.
Most online casinos will block you from playing restricted games. They will either disable betting options or display a pop-up message alerting you to the fact that you’re accessing a restricted game. However, it’s still good practice to read the small print and be aware of which games are on the list.
We also recommend playing low-medium variance slots. Although it can be tempting to play high variance slots with eye-watering max wins, the reality is that you must be extremely lucky to win on these games. You could easily play 1,000 spins without triggering a bonus and only experience small base game hits. With low-medium variance slots, you’ll win less money more often and it’s much more likely that you will trigger numerous bonus features in 1,000 spins as opposed to more volatile games.
How to Avoid Wagering Requirements at Online Casinos
Online casinos offer bonuses as an incentive to attract new players and retain existing customers.
Players who fail to meet wagering requirements often feel disgruntled and complain that the terms were unfair or unrealistic after claiming the offer and failing to convert their bonus funds to cash. However, casinos don’t force anyone to accept casino bonuses – it’s easy to play casino games online for real money without being tied to wagering requirements.
There are several ways in which you can avoid wagering requirements: play at no wager casinos, claim a non-sticky bonus and win before reaching the bonus funds, or simply reject casino bonuses.
No Wager Casinos
Although they are limited in numbers, no wager casinos are a fantastic alternative if you want to claim a bonus without having to meet wagering requirements. No wager casinos usually entice new players with free spins. There won’t be any wagering requirements in the terms and conditions of such an offer, meaning your winnings are paid in cash. You can then use the funds to play other games or withdraw.
Claim Non-Sticky Bonuses
If an online casino offers a non-sticky bonus, you will have an opportunity to withdraw without meeting any wagering requirements. You are free to withdraw your initial deposit and any winnings without having to fulfil any wagering requirements, as long as you haven’t reached the bonus balance. Should you activate the bonus balance, you must meet the wagering requirements before making a withdrawal.
Reject Casino Bonuses
Of course, you can always reject casino bonuses. Depositing and playing real money casino games without claiming a bonus is often referred to as playing raw. There are several ways to reject an online casino bonus. You can avoid ticking the welcome bonus checkbox during the registration process, select no bonus if there’s a dropdown list, or simply leave the bonus code field blank when depositing.