The thrill of online casino gambling is unlike any other, especially if you know your way around. If you’re new to online gambling, though, many things may be confusing to you. Choosing a great online casino to call your own, picking the right games, honing your gambling skills, and most importantly, learning the terminology, will take some time.
This brings us to one particularly confusing term: Some call it the playthrough or rollover requirement, but it’s most often referred to as the wagering requirement.
In this extensive guide, we’ll answer the following questions: What does wagering mean? What are rollover or playthrough requirements? How do they work? How do they affect your casino bonuses and overall gameplay? What is a 20x wager? How does bonus wagering work, and how do casinos always win by using them? How can you beat online requirements? And what is a no-wagering casino?
Once you know all the answers, it’s time to prove that practice makes perfect. Just remember the dos and don’ts of these activities: Staying in control is your best bet – pun intended – to avoid financial problems.
What Is a Wager?
To understand its requirements, we must first figure out what a wager is. The terms are related, but different in meaning.
Understanding what makes a wager is, as they say, as easy as pie: A wager is the same as a bet – the stake you make on the outcome of an event. A wager at the casino is the amount of money you stake on each game you play, each spin of reels, sports match, or hand of cards. A wager can also mean the amount of money you bet overall, or in a specific session.
What Is a Wagering Requirement?
Now that we’ve established what a wager is, we can move on to what wagering or rollover requirements are.
When you win one of the multiple casino bonuses, you get bonus money to play with. However, a common misconception among players is that those funds are real. In fact, it is just usable in-game, until you meet the wagering requirement. A wagering requirement is the number of times you would need to bet bonus money – and win it back – to convert it to real cash you can withdraw.
Here’s an example of wagering requirements being applied:
Suppose your casino offers you this:
“Get a 100% deposit match up to £2,000 on your first deposit. Minimum deposit £20. 20x wagering requirement applies.”
What this means is that the casino will give double your deposit with bonus funds, up to £2,000. The minimum amount you can add is £20, but say you deposit about £100: You’ll be getting an extra £100 as bonus money. Now there is a wagering requirement of 20x, which simply means that you must bet or stake the exact bonus amount twenty times, or stake 20 times as much over one or several bets, to win the money back before you can withdraw it.
In other words, the wagering requirement here requires you to bet (£100 x 20) = £2,000. Calculating wagering requirements is a simple mathematical task, and once you complete it, you’ll know just how much you need to spend to turn bonuses into real money.
Some casinos apply the wagering requirement to both the deposit and bonus money. In the example above, your deposit and bonus would amount to £200. Multiplying that by the wagering requirement would equal £4,000. That’s why it is essential to make sure of the terms and conditions set by the casino to see if they cover bonuses alone or both bonuses and deposits.
Your casino may use different names for the wagering requirement. The “obligation,” “rollover,” and “playthrough” meaning is absolutely the same. Regardless of what they are called, another thing to note is that they are all written in the same format: “20x”, “40x.”
Why Do Casino Bonuses Have Requirements?
It’s simple: Casinos make money from people’s gambling activities, and it’s about business for them, not charity. Giving out free money isn’t exactly a great business model, but these bonuses make signing up more attractive to prospective players. More players mean more money.
The bonuses are meant to serve as incentives, but thanks to how wagering requirements work, players can’t just sign up, collect the bonus, and leave. Instead, they have to participate in the games from the casino’s selection, and that’s how the house maintains its advantage.
However, not all games will be eligible for fulfilling the casino’s requirements. You’ll have to play on a specific set, chosen by the gambling venue, and the money you bet won’t always contribute its full value. This way, the casino makes sure you end up spending much more than the bonus amount you’re trying to win back.
Wagering Requirement Terms
Besides the wagering requirement amount or where it applies, other terms and conditions may affect how a bonus is wagered.
Everything expires, bonuses included. If you don’t use up a wagering bonus by a specific date, it will be rendered null and void.
Max Bet While Wagering
This one stings a bit. It’s a restriction that prevents you from making big bets to meet the wagering requirement. There is usually a restriction on the maximum bet you can make with a bonus, typically around the £5 price tag. Slow and steady.
Deposits or Bonus First
This condition requires you to either start playing with your bonus funds first or the money you deposited. It all depends on the casino you’re gambling with. In some cases, if the casino requires you to play with your deposit first, you’ll have to get back your bonus winnings, too, before you can withdraw money.
Game Weighting / Exempt Slots
As mentioned, in online casino wagering, some games carry more weight in wagering than others. For instance, a slot contributing 50% to your wagering requirement means betting £1 would only contribute £0.50. Since most requirements are very high, this is fairly discouraging. In the same vein, some slots do not contribute at all. The list of eligible games is usually included in the bonus terms and conditions, however, so you won’t be caught unawares.
These are just the standard terms. You should expect that each casino will have unique conditions that best suit them. If there are any terms you don’t understand, you can always ask the casino’s customer support to help you meet any wagering requirements.
Is Meeting a Wagering Requirement Difficult?
The answer to this depends on the bonus in question. Some are easier to cash in than others, and the lower the wagering requirement, the better your chances, since it directly reflects the number of times you need to wager before you can withdraw winnings.
This changes if the requirement covers both the bonus and deposit amount. In this case, even a 20x wagering requirement would be a high mountain to climb, harder than it would be to meet a 30x requirement covering bonuses only.
You don’t always have to convert bonuses for winnings, though. You could use them to test games safely, and sidestep any conditions altogether.
How to Beat Wagering Requirements
Beating these requirements requires betting bonus funds until they reach a pre-set amount. All the eligible bets are added together, and if the total matches the limit, you have successfully met the wagering requirement. The bonus money can now be withdrawn from your account as real cash.
You should, however, remember that casino sites place a maximum bet limit to prevent you from making a huge lump bet so you can reach the requirement quicker. Instead, you can only make smaller bets, usually at £5 max at a time.
Wagering usually works the same in casino games or sports betting, but you should always go over the terms with each casino to be sure.
What Are Wagering Requirements: Weighting
Every game has a unique contribution to the wagering requirement. A slot could contribute 75%, 50% or anything between 0% and 100%.
These contributions translate as:
- £1 bet on a 75% slot = only £0.75 gets contributed to the wagering requirement.
- £1 bet on a 50% slot = only £0.50 gets contributed to the wagering requirement.
Contributions are decided by the casino and the exclusion of some games based on their return-to-player percentage or RTP. The RTP indicates the expectations on winnings to be paid back. If £100 is bet on a game with an RTP of 98%, the return would be £98. This calculation won’t reflect as much on a single game attempt as on a series of bets.
With a wagering calculator and RTP calculator, it is possible to understand slots and give yourself an edge. However, most casinos will devalue a wager on games with high RTP.
Bonus Requirement Example
Casinos may have different requirements, but these are the most common.
This requirement means that you must bet your bonus, or bonus and deposit, 20 times before withdrawing is possible.
For Bonus Only
If you deposit £50, you’ll get £50 as your bonus. The wagering requirement will be your bonus multiplied by 20. This should total £1,000 (£50 x 20).
Bonus + Deposit
Using a wagering requirements calculator, if you deposit £50 and get £50 as your bonus, your wagering requirement would be the bonus + the money deposited multiplied by 20. This would give us £2,000 ((£50 + £50) x 20).
You can apply the same calculation, with the multiplier adjusted, to any other wagering requirements.
Free Spins Requirements
Free spins work differently: You multiply your winnings from free spins by the wagering requirement to see how much you need to bet to withdraw the money.
How do you beat wagering requirements?
You must use your bonus to place as many bets as possible until you have reached the amount set by the requirement. Only then can you have the bonus withdrawn as real money.
What does a 10x wagering requirement mean?
A 10x wagering requirement means you must play with your bonus or bonus + deposit ten times before you can make withdrawals.
What is the wager amount?
The wager amount is referred to as the money you use to place a bet.
What other terms are important?
Besides figuring out the answer to “What does wagering mean?” there are terms and conditions you should get acquainted with. The fine print is where all the hidden caveats and conditions are, so make sure to read every one of them before putting down any money.