When playing at online casinos, you will notice that they often offer bonuses to players. These bonuses can come in the form of free spins or extra bonus money. You might even have the option of combining the two and get the best of both worlds. If you are betting on odds, it can be risk-free play or bonus cash. There are online casinos that provide a combination of these. However, something always associated with bonuses is a wagering requirement. Of course, you might come across wagering-free bonuses, but the most rewarding bonuses have some form of wagering requirement. In this article, you will learn all about wagering requirements.
Try these recommended casinos with the best wagering requirements
What does wager mean?
Let’s start by explaining wagering requirements. Casinos will offer extra money to play for most commonly in the form of bonuses or free spins to attract you to their sites. Sometimes they will offer both, and these tempting offers will influence your decision when choosing an online casino provider.
Wagering requirements are directly associated with the bonuses (extra money) or rewards offered by a casino. It is essential to understand the wagering requirement so you know how you can convert your bonus into real money and withdraw it from your gaming account. The wagering requirement is always a number and stands for how many times you must wager the bonus money or any winnings that have arisen from the offer before there is real money that you can withdraw.
Why do casinos have wagering requirements? Simple. If they offered a cash bonus without any requirements, you could just claim the money and withdraw their cash. Wagering requirements protect the casinos from losses, especially when they offer large bonuses.
How do wagering requirements work in practice?
Figuring out how wagering requirements work can look complicated, but it is quite simple once you get the hang of it. Let’s say you receive a bonus offer of $100 on your deposit of $100. The money you accepted is paid out to you as bonus money – not real money – until you meet the wagering requirements.
Now let’s say that your wagering requirement is 35 times. You must play for a total of $3,500 ($100 x 35) before the bonus money becomes real money that you can withdraw from your gaming account. Some casinos also place the wagering requirement against your deposit + bonus. In this case, you would have to wager the bonus 70 times – $100 x 35 for the bonus, and $100 x 35 for your deposit, making the wagering requirement $7,000 before you can withdraw any real money.
How do wagering requirements work on free spins?
Free spins wagering requirements usually work the same way as a regular cash bonus. The bonus is the total profit of your spins. Let’s say you make a deposit of $100 at a casino and get 100 free spins to play at Gonzo’s Quest. These free spins have a wagering requirement of 30x your winnings. If you win $250, you will have $350 in your account (your $100 plus $250 winnings). To convert the winnings ($250) to real money, you must turn over $7,500 ($250 winnings x 30 wagering requirement).
Nowadays, however, it is increasingly more common to receive free spins without wagering requirements at online casinos. No wagering requirements mean you do not have to turn over the winning profits. Usually, the only requirement is to turn over your deposit ($100) once before you can withdraw the winnings. You may need to wager your deposit before you get the free spins, or you may get the free spins at the start. Either way, you must wager your deposit before you can withdraw any winnings.
Keep up to date with the current wagering requirements
Make sure you have read the rules and conditions for the offers you receive and clearly understand how the wagering requirements work. Sometimes there may be a low wagering requirement tied to a short time frame for completion. Other offers may provide a long time to meet the wagering requirement, but the requirement is very high.
Keep an eye out for offers that place time limits on bonuses. An example might be welcome spins that are valid for 72 hours from the time they are credited. You can only lose access to the bonus spins if you have not started playing them.
Different wagering requirements for different games
If you play sports betting, there is often a requirement for the lowest odds to bet on when it comes to wagering requirements, which are also generally lower than for casinos. For casinos, the wagering requirements are higher and different games contribute different percentages to your wagering requirements.
In general, the slot machines available in a casino always contribute 100% to the wagering requirement. The percentage for video poker may be slightly reduced. Roulette, blackjack and other table games or live games may have a minimal percentage contribution or none at all.
The amount you play for matters
When redeeming a reward, there is usually a maximum bet allowed for each game. If you only place bets up to the maximum amount, the wagering requirement terms remain as stated in the instructions. However, if you play for a higher bet, your wagering requirement remains the same, but only part of your bet will count towards the wagering. If you play for $10 on a spin, but the maximum is $2 per spin, only $2 is counted against the wagering requirement.
Time limits and wagering requirements
A wagering requirement always has a time limit. For example, you may accept a bonus with a wagering requirement that is 35 times. After you accept, the casino will apply a time limit to complete the requirement. If you have not started playing, the time limit stated by the casino stands. If you participate in casino tournaments, make sure you check the wagering requirement if there are any.
When it comes to wagering requirements, the best bet is to choose the lowest possible wager on the highest possible bonus to give a greater chance of winning. It is also great to select bonuses that do not have wagering requirements if offered. As a rule, though, there is always a wagering requirement together with a time limit. Check both of these so you can choose the bonus that best suits your way of playing.
Beware of unfair wagering requirements
If a bonus sounds too good to be true, that’s most likely the case. When a bonus comes with unfair wagering requirements it can be almost impossible to turn over the bonus money to real money, and the risk of losing your deposit is imminent.
We strive to only recommend fair bonuses here at CasinoGuide and we believe that the casinos we promote agree on that point for their welcome bonuses. The casinos may however send out extra promotions via email if you have signed up for email marketing on their website (this can be turned on/off in the profile settings). These bonuses are tailored for their customers, and we can’t possibly make sure that all email promotions have a fair wagering requirement.
This leads us to another very important section. Do not fall into traps by missing out on reading these terms and conditions.
Always read the wagering terms and conditions
This cannot be emphasized enough. Always read the terms for the specific bonus at the casino you are playing at. Let’s go through some examples of what might happen if you aren’t paying attention to the terms when grabbing a new bonus:
- A casino is offering you a huge reload bonus. You sign up and start playing. Later you find one small paragraph in the terms of the bonus that mentions that the bonus can only be used at a select few slot machines. You have been playing for hours but the amount you’ve wagered amounts to nothing, and you have to start at 0.
- You found a no deposit bonus and started wagering $5 per spin on Gonzo’s Quest, only to later realize that the maximum bet allowed was $0.2 per spin. The casino used their rights as stated in the terms and conditions and nullified your bonus.
- You received an email to get 100 free spins on your next deposit. You happily log in and deposit $10 using your MasterCard. A few minutes passes and you still haven’t received your free spins, you contact the customer support only to realize that the payment method you used didn’t qualify you for the promotion and you can no longer receive the spins. These kinds of mistakes can possibly be overturned if you ask the support to kindly reactivate the free spins for you to make a deposit with an eligible payment method.
These few examples highlight what might happen if you don’t bother reading the terms and conditions for the promotion you are signing up for. The casinos always reserve the rights to cancel or reset your bonus if you are not following the terms closely, so for your own sake please make sure that you are.