Wagering requirements are part and parcel of most casino bonuses. While some casinos choose to offer players wager-free bonus cash or free spins, these are still in the minority so it is definitely worth a player’s time to fully understand how wagering requirements work and what they mean for game play.
In this tips article, we will go over the basics of what wagering requirements entail and offer tips to help you work through these requirements.
What are wagering requirements?
When you read about a bonus, whether that’s on a site like JohnSlots or on a casino site directly, you will often note the term ‘wagering requirements’ followed by a number, usually displayed like this: ‘x35’
This number is the wagering requirement for that bonus, telling you how many times you need to bet the bonus, and sometimes even the initial deposit, and the winnings from free spins before you can withdraw the money. If a player accepts a bonus – for example, a 100% up to £100 deposit bonus – they are also accepting that the bonus has wagering requirements.
Taking our previous example, the player must wager their £100 in bonus cash 35 times before the option of withdrawing winnings becomes available. Attempting to affect a withdrawal before that time will forfeit the bonus cash altogether. That’s £3,500 in total wagers.
Wagering requirements of x35 are considered average for most casinos but these are set at individual casinos’ discretion. Wagering requirements can be set at any amount between x5 and x50 or even higher.
Most casinos also have a time limit, which means wagering requirements must be met within a certain period of time before a bonus is nullified. This can be anything from 24 hours to few days.
Therefore, checking the bonus terms and conditions is crucial.
Only bonus vs both bonus and deposit
Wagering requirements can be applied to bonus cash (the reward of a deposit match) as well as free spins winnings.
Some casinos apply wagering requirements only for the bonus money whereas others require you to wager both the bonus and the initial deposit.
If you need to wager both bonus and the deposit, what would it mean exactly? Taking our previous example of 100% bonus up to £100, if you deposit the maximum of £100, you would need to wager £200 x 35 – £100 bonus cash and £100 of the deposit. If the wagering requirement is x35, that would mean that you need to wager a total of £7,000 before withdrawing any winnings.
Wagering requirements on free spins
That’s right, quite often you also need to wager the winnings of your free spins. The wagering requirements can be anything so the only way to find them out, is to always check the terms and conditions. Some casinos offer wager-free spins, which can be the sweetest offers out there.
What are game weightings?
Casinos will also set out how different games contribute to meeting wagering requirements. Game weightings determine how much of every wager on a particular game type will contribute towards meeting wagering requirements. Again, let’s use our previous example of a player having x35 wagering on £100 in bonus cash, which means £3,500 in bets.
Most casinos will assign 100% weighting to slot games. This means that £10 wagered on a slot game is £10 contributed towards the wagering requirements. After betting £10 on Starburst, for example, our player now has £3,490 to go before meeting his wagering requirements for that bonus.
Other game categories usually contribute less to wagering. Blackjack, for instance, is often weighted at 5%. This means that wagering £10 on blackjack games will only contribute £0.50p. After wagering £10 on a slot and £10 on blackjack games, our imaginary player will still need to wager £3,489.50 to meet the wagering requirements for that bonus.
Game weightings can be found in a casino’s bonus terms and conditions.
So, you’ve been playing casino games like crazy to complete the wagering, but it seems like you’re not making much progress? So have we. It’s fairly common to miss the fine print about game restrictions.
Each online casino usually has a list of restricted games that won’t contribute to wagering at all. That list can be found hidden somewhere in the seemingly never-ending list of terms and conditions, but you should take time to check it out before the wagering process. That way you can be sure that all of your gameplay will help you to complete the wagering requirements on time.
For example, slots such as 1429 Uncharted Seas, Blood Suckers, Castle Builder, Dead or Alive and The Wish Master are often listed as restricted games.
Maximum bet restrictions
While you are wagering the bonus, there are often further restrictions such as a maximum bet. It’s quite common to have £5 or £6 max bet restriction per game round or £0.50 per bet line while wagering the bonus. Failure to adhere to this rule may result in forfeiting the bonus and any winnings attained during the wagering.
Maximum win you can withdraw
Some casinos have set restrictions on how much you can actually withdraw winnings from free spins. You come across this restriction, especially when playing with no deposit free spins and bonuses. If the maximum limit is, for example, £100, then that’s all you can withdraw even if you won a lot more.
Why do I need to wager bonuses?
Wagering requirements and other restrictions are used to protect the bonuses casinos give away. They are also a way to comply with anti-money laundering regulations.
If you don’t want to worry about wagering requirements, only accept wager-free bonuses and free spins or play with your own money!
Top wagering requirement tips
Whether you’re new to the casino world or a seasoned veteran, it’s wise to practice some good habits when it comes to wagering requirements. Here are our top tips for meeting wagering requirements.
1. Read up before you commit
Wagering requirements are a fact of life for casino players in that most bonuses have them. However, not all bonuses are created equal. Before settling on a casino site, read about what kind of bonuses they offer and the wagering requirements associated with them.
Some casinos have higher wagering, others have game weightings that suit some players better than others – armed with enough knowledge, you can be sure you are making the right decision for you.
2. Do the math early
For many experienced players, working out wagering requirements is a matter of a quick mental calculation. For newer players, it can seem like a daunting challenge. Once you have settled on the casino you like, work out exactly how much you need to wager. Write it down, if that helps.
This way, you will be able to keep track of your progress in meeting wagering requirements without any trouble.
3. Beware the terms and conditions
The T&Cs are an important tool for players. Within this document, you will find information on wagering requirements, their time limits, game weightings and any other restrictions that are relevant to the player’s experience. Some players split their general terms and conditions from their bonus T&Cs, so check to ensure you have read all the related material.
4. Look for the wager-free casino bonuses
Wager-free casino bonuses are offers without any wagering requirements attached to them. If you don’t care too much for wagering requirements, these are the dream come true offers for you!
Some casinos always offer wager-free spins, so you might never have to worry about the wagering requirements again. Other casinos have even no deposit bonuses or free spins that are completely wager-free. The great news is that you get to withdraw your winnings any time you want without having to waste any of your time in completing the wagering nor fear to lose some of your winnings while you’re at it.
5. Wager on games that have 100% game weighting
Because all games don’t contribute to wagering evenly, the best way to meet the wagering requirements is to only wager on games that have 100% game weighting. Usually, slots contribute 100% but check the terms and conditions for the restricted games list.
Before you go, here are a few things to keep in mind about wagering requirements and casino bonuses in general.
- Casinos are free to set any level of wagering requirements. Never assume what a casino’s wagering requirements are – always read the fine print
- Game weightings can differ between casinos and some even impose additional restrictions. For example, slots might contribute 100% but a casino might choose to exclude jackpot slots entirely, meaning they do not contribute anything at all.
- Just because you cannot easily see the wagering requirements, do not assume that a bonus is wager-free. Look closely at the promotional material and read the terms and conditions carefully. If you are still not sure, contact the casino’s player support to confirm.
- No bonus is compulsory. Players are completely free to ignore bonuses and promotions, and are given the opportunity to opt out of receiving these offers. If you have accidentally opted in to a bonus, contact player support for assistance before you use any part of the bonus
- A bonus that includes a deposit match and free spins may have different wagering requirements for each component i.e. one for bonus cash and one for free spins winnings. Read the promotion carefully and consult the bonus terms and conditions to make sure you understand which is which.
- As a player, you have a right to know what kind of commitment you are entering into when accepting a casino bonus. If that information is not easily accessible, it could be a sign that the casino you are looking at is not the best place to play. Reputable casinos always want the player to understand what they are signing up to – dodgy casinos can deliberately make it difficult for players to find their T&Cs.
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