Wagering Requirements – What Are They And How To Beat Them?

Ziv Chen

Updated by Ziv Chen


Last Updated 14th Mar 2024, 07:22 AM

Wagering Requirements – What Are They And How To Beat Them?

Gamblers love casino bonuses. What's not to like about free money to spend on slot games, with the chance of winning even more money? But many casino players consider wagering requirements to be the villain to the heroic online casino bonus story. Nearly all casino sites provide lucrative promotions and bonuses, but you cannot get your hands on that bonus cash immediately in most cases.

First, you must complete the casino wagering requirements. Understanding wagering requirements can help you find the best casino bonuses and inject a lot more power into your bankroll.

In this guide, our casino experts at Casinos.com cover everything you need to know about wagering requirements, ways to beat them, as well as our team's top picks of the best casino sites with the most lucrative bonuses.

What are Wagering Requirements at Online Casinos?

Wagering requirements are directly attached to promotions and bonuses you find when you visit an online casino. You'll usually see offers such as Free Spins, Welcome Bonuses, and other deals at the top casino sites. That all sounds amazing, right? Well, while those bonuses are definitely lovely perks, most of them have another aspect you need to consider, which is wagering requirements.

Most casino bonuses have wagering requirements. Which, as their name suggests, are the number of times you are required to wager bonus money and bonus winnings before you can redeem them as cash and withdraw them from the casino.

While you are probably wondering how wagering requirements work, it is important to understand that requirements differ between types of bonuses. For standard bonus money, you will need to wager the bonus amount a given amount of times. While for a Free Spins bonus, the wagering requirement will apply to the potential winnings generated.

Can You Avoid Wagering Requirements?

If you are playing at a casino that offers bonuses, you probably won't be able to avoid wagering requirements altogether. More accurately, you cannot avoid them if the specific bonus offer you want to redeem has a requirement attached to it. But you can be wise and lessen the impact of wagering requirements in several ways:

Consider Both Wagering Requirements and Bonus Sums

  • When shopping for bonuses, don't be tempted by the largest bonus amounts. Check the wagering requirements and other bonus terms. Always read the fine print. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Choose a Casino with No Wagering Requirements

  • Some casinos go the extra mile and offer real-cash bonuses that don't have a wagering requirement. In most cases, these bonuses will not be as lucrative as promotions with a wagering requirement attached. But they are still worth looking for.

Look for Special Bonuses with No Wagering Requirements

  • Some online casinos reward players with special bonuses that don't have wagering requirements attached. For example, cash-back offers that are usually offered in loyalty programs, free merchandise, tickets for events and more.

Renounce Your Bonus

  • Some players, especially high-rollers, prefer to have only hard cash in their casino balance and not be bothered by wagering requirements. Most online casinos allow you to renounce your bonus and not work towards redeeming it. We do not recommend doing this because it's always worth trying to claim casino bonuses. Firstly, it allows you to play and test games without spending any of your own money. And in many cases, you will be able to complete wagering requirements and redeem some extra cash.

Check Game Contribution

  • In most casinos, different types of games will weigh differently towards completing wagering requirements. For example, if slot games contribute 100% and table games 20%, then the entire amount will count for every Dollar you bet on slots. But only 20 cent will be counted towards wagering for every Dollar you bet at the roulette table. So before playing your favourite game, check the bonus Terms and Conditions carefully.

Calculating Wagering Requirements

When choosing a casino bonus, it is wise to know what the wagering requirements entail. Luckily, calculating the wagering requirement is easy enough and can be done by following a simple formula:

bonus amount x wagering requirement = total amount to be wagered

You can apply this simple formula to any wagering requirement to see precisely how much you'll need to bet. Let's use an example to highlight how the calculation translates to figures.

Say you are claiming an online casino welcome bonus that awards a 100% match on your first deposit. This means if you deposit $100, for example, the casino will credit your account with an additional $100 of bonus money. If the wagering requirement for this bonus is 20x, you can make the baseline calculation:

  • $100 x 20 = $2,000

That means you have to wager a total of $2,000 to meet the wagering requirement before you can redeem the $100 bonus money as cash. Sure, this seems like a high number that is unattainable, but in reality, meeting the requirements is not impossible.

Some casinos will apply their wagering requirements to both the bonus amount and the deposit you made to receive it. The formula for calculating these requirements is as follows:

(bonus amount + deposit amount) x wagering requirement = total amount to be wagered

Using the bonus terms as above, in this case, the deposit amount will be added to the calculation as follows:

  • ($100 + $100) x 20 = $4000

Sometimes you won't want to do the math yourself, so it's worth checking out a wagering requirements calculators that are available online.

Free Spins and Wagering Requirements

Many casino bonuses are awarded in money sums. These include deposit matches, no deposit bonus, or cash-back promotions. Still, one of the most popular online casino bonuses is the Free Spins offer. As the name suggests, this promotion gives you a number of free spins on a specific online slot. Casino sites usually use this bonus as a way to promote a new or popular slot game.

Although every free spin has a monetary bet amount (usually the minimum stake available on the slot), these are minimal sums. Therefore, wagering requirements on Free Spins are different. In this case, the wagering requirements apply to potential winnings generated by the spins, instead of the cost of the spins themselves. Still, calculating the requirements for Free Spins is just as easy. It is done by simply multiplying your winning amount by the wagering requirement:

potential winning amount x wagering requirement = total amount to be wagered.

For example, if you win $15 playing the online slot with your free spins, you will multiply this by the wagering requirement. If the wagering requirement is 30x, for example, the total bet will look like this:

  • $15 x 30 = $450.

How To Beat Wagering Requirements

If the casino you choose has bonuses with wagering requirements, you will need to fulfil those stipulations to get the bonus funds. However, it doesn't mean you cannot use tactics to make meeting those wagering requirements easier. Here are a few examples where knowledge can help you curb wagering requirements:

Read the Terms and Conditions

One good piece of advice for all casino gamblers is to get into a routine of reading the small print. By checking the terms and conditions, you can get all relevant information about the various rules the casino attaches to a bonus. Often you will see other stipulations beyond the wagering requirements, such as time limits and deposit payment methods

Select the Best Casinos

Shopping around for the best online casino sites is one way to find the best bonuses with the most manageable wagering requirements. Simply put, a bonus with a 20x wagering requirement is better than a bonus with the same amount with a 40x multiplier. Some research and comparison between casinos can help you find those bonus gems.

Or you can simply check out our list of the top online casinos, which gives you quick access to the leading casinos sites with the best bonuses available. Our team always reads the fine print and considers it when reviewing and recommending casino bonuses. In addition to our careful selection of bonuses, all the casinos featured on Casinos.com are fully licensed and regulated, while our team of experts look for sites with the best selection of games, customer support, and designs.

Pick Games Carefully

As important as finding the right casino is, choosing the right games is also vital. Online casino bonuses will often award different contribution percentages towards the wagering requirements for different games. This is where reading the fine print becomes useful again, giving you information on which games provide the best contribution percentages.

Furthermore, the terms and conditions of a bonus will also tell you which game qualifies. It's worth remembering not all games at an online casino will contribute towards the wagering requirements. Of course, you want to choose games that give you bang for your buck and help you reach the wager stipulations more easily.

While there are exceptions and changes from one casino to another, a good rule of thumb is that online slots contribute 100% of each bet you make to the requirements. Table and card games are lower, usually around 50% or less.

Know Your Slots

So, online slots are the games you should be playing to reach the wagering requirement? Yes, but you'll need to make some considerations when choosing which slots to play. Some will help you reach the requirements more quickly than others.

That's because not all online slots are the same. They come with different variances and Return to Player (RTP) you should pay close attention to these two details. Although the payouts are smaller with low variance slots, they pay out winnings more frequently. In contrast, high variance slots will offer larger payouts but less frequently. Consider these factors and choose which slots you want to play to help reach your wager requirement more rapidly.

If you manage a few tasty wins and beef up your bankroll, ease off the high variance slots and switch to some lower variance games. With a higher RTP, low variance slots won't give you big wins, but you should pick up smaller prizes more often. That bankroll you have grown will last longer and help you keep playing without needing to deposit more funds. For more information on slot variance and volatility, read our full guild.

Wagering Requirements Time Limits, Play-Through Rates and Game Weighting

If you're heading to an online casino looking to redeem that attention-grabbing bonus, there are some things you need to consider besides the wagering requirement:

Time Limits

Casino sites almost always put a time limit on a bonus. This is the length of time you have to complete the wagering requirements and redeem the bonus funds. If you think about it, this makes sense on the casino's part. If players had an indefinite amount of time, it would have been easier for them to find ways to complete the wagering requirements.

You can check out the time limit on the small print for the bonus, but typical timeframes are between 10 days, 30 days, or 90 days. Although, you'll see time limits for just about any number of days, depending on what the casino decides.

Play-through Rates and Game Weighting

Play-through rates, or game weighting, is the percentage the online casino takes for each bet you make depending on the game you play. Some games contribute a greater percentage of your bets towards the wagering requirement. It means you should choose games carefully if you are dedicated to redeeming your bonus.

Slots are by far the best bet if you are focused on completing the wagering requirements. Other casino classics like blackjack, roulette, and poker are less generous.

As always, check the terms and conditions for any bonus you choose to find out the play through rates. Some games will be omitted entirely, meaning they will contribute 0% towards the wagering requirement. The small print will tell which games you should avoid if you want to redeem your bonus.

Wagering Requirements and Bonus Abuse

Bonus abuse may seem like an archaic term drafted from the early days of online casinos when clear rules were less established. Indeed, during the early days of casino websites, some players would abuse bonuses and take advantage of casinos. This resulted in some significant losses to site operators.

This abuse led online casinos to create strict rules such as wagering requirements and play-through rates to stop players from gaining free money by abusing bonuses. It has become much harder in the modern online casino realm to game the system, even if it was never really illegal or fraudulent.

Still, while most gamblers practice ethics by sticking to casino etiquette, some try to break the rules. This is done by creating multiple accounts, cancelling transactions after bonuses were claimed and money was spent, and systematically going through multiple casinos hunting for bonuses.

It is never recommended to try and scam a casino. Beyond the obvious wrongdoing, if caught abusers will not be paid their winnings, they will be banned from the casino, and nowadays when casinos are regulated, fraudsters can even face prosecution.

Best Casinos with No Wagering Requirements

They say that there's no free lunch, but casinos bonuses sure come close. Casino bonuses give you free money to play your favourite games. However, there are some strings attached in the form of wagering requirements. The good news is there are some casinos and bonuses that don't have these requirements. Finding those sites is not always easy, which is why our expert reviewers make it simple by recommending the best no wager casino site. Even if these bonuses are hard to find, they literally give you free money, so it's worth the effort for sure!

Meet The Author

25 Years
Ziv Chen
Ziv Chen
Writer Writer

Ziv Chen has been working in the online gambling industry for over two decades in senior marketing and business development roles. Ziv writes about a wide range of topics including slot and table games, casino and sportsbook reviews, American sports news, betting odds and game predictions. Leading a life full of conflict, Ziv constantly struggles between his two greatest loves: American football and US soccer.

Read Full Bio

Test Your Luck
Not Your Spam Filter

Sign up to receive emails and promotions from Casinos.com

Casinos.com Email Signup Coins