Online casino bonuses virtually always come with wagering requirements, and understanding them will make it easier to find profitable offers.
Here’s the deal…
The fundamental premise of a casino bonus is that the player is getting extra money for playing games they would be playing anyway. However, a key part of this premise is the “for playing games” part, and there are situations where many people would try to claim a bonus offer without actually placing a bet. This would make the promotions a major source of loss for the casino sites themselves, and they wouldn’t be able to run them at all as a result.
That’s not all…
Wagering requirements (also known as play-through requirements) protect the sites from this type of abuse, and they protect all other players since these requirements allow casinos to run the promotions in the first place. By forcing players to actually play the games a set amount before they’re allowed to cash out, it avoids these abusive situations.
A Basic Example of Casino Wagering Requirements
Here’s the deal…
Wagering requirements are typically a multiple of the bonus, the deposit or both. For example, you might see a deal at an online gambling site, that has a 20x wagering requirement on both the deposit and the bonus for a 100 percent match. Players who deposit $40 would get a bonus of $40, and the wagering requirement would be 20 * $80, which comes to $1,600. Alternatively, depositing $100 with the same deal would yield a bonus also worth $100, and the resulting play-through requirement would be 20 * $200 for a total of $4,000.
That’s not all…
Complications With Game Restrictions
Some games have different levels of play-through requirements, and that can make things seem a bit complicated. Other games might be restricted completely from play before a wagering requirement is completed. For example, consider a 150 percent match bonus on a deposit of $50 (for a $75 bonus) with a 20x base wagering requirement on the bonus and deposit for slots, but other requirements for additional games:
For slots, the requirement is 20x, so it’s 20 * $125 or $2,500.
Suppose the requirement for casino war is 50x. That would be 50 * $125, which comes to $6,250.
If the requirement was 120x for blackjack, then that comes to 120 * $125, and that’s $15,000.
Games like Blackjack, Roulette, and Baccarat may be restricted in contributing towards wagering requirements full stop because of the even bets available in these games with low house edge that can easily be manipulated by players in order to easily meet wagering requirements.
On most online casinos the wagering requirement will be consistent throughout all games, and to compensate, you will normally see “contributions towards wagering requirements” expressed as a percentage (%) for each game listed.
As you can see, the complications virtually disappear as long as you go step-by-step and look at each game individually instead of trying to do it all at one time. Trying to take on too many numbers at once can cause you to make simple mathematical mistakes.
Profitability of Bonuses
A cool trick you can do with wagering requirements like these is to figure out how much you’ll lose on average, based on the house edge of the game you’re playing. For example, suppose we have a 100 percent match on a $100 deposit with a 20x play-through requirement for a slot that has a 2 percent house edge.
Our wagering requirement is 20 * $200, which is $4,000 total. If we take 2 percent of that amount, we see that we’ll lose $80 on average from clearing these requirements. Since we’re losing $80 on average to claim a $100 bonus, we’re making an average profit of $20.