Bojoko helps you understand casino bonus wagering. Casinos love to give bonuses to players, but many deals sound too good to be true. How can casinos afford to hand out thousands of pounds to players as a welcome bonus? There must be a catch.
And there is, well, more like a fine print. That fine print is called a wagering requirement and it's the way casinos can get out of losing money with bonuses. These offers are not rigged, but you do need to know what the terms are and how they work.
Here, you can learn all about wagering requirements; what they are, how they work, what's good, what's bad, and most importantly, how to beat the casino in their own game.
Wagering requirements calculator
How much do I need to wager? What difference does a little change in the wagering do? These questions can be easily answered by our wagering calculator.
Now you can easily do all the wagering math yourself. Try it out and learn how to calculate wagering requirements on your own.
Use the slider to choose the amount you want to deposit
Write the deposit bonus percentage of the offer
Put in the wagering requirement of your bonus
Choose whether the wagering is only for the bonus, or both the bonus and deposit
Write the game contribution percentage. Slots usually have a 100% contribution
Press the Calucate Bonus button
You'll get bonus money:
Your starting balance:
You need to wager:
Bojoko wagering requirement calculator can help you better understand your bonus offer.
The calculator shows you how much you need to wager to complete the bonus wagering. You can compare what kind of a difference your game choises make. What happens when the 100% contribution of slots is changed to 10% of table games or 5% of video pokers.
Competition is fierce in the online casino business, so casinos need something to lure in new customers. Bonuses are a great way of doing that, but giving players free money is not good business. That is where wagering requirements come in.
Casino gambling is built so that the casino has a small edge over the player, and the longer you play, the likelier it is that the casino will win. Wagering requirements make it so that you need to keep playing at the casino for a certain amount of time until you can cash out, therefore increasing the odds of you losing.
Wagering requirement is a rule set by the casino that prevents the player from just taking the bonus money and running.
Wagering requirements come in all shapes and sizes, some are easy or non-existent, while others are practically impossible. Understanding how wagering works makes it easier for you to spot a good bonus deal and stay away from the bad ones.
Wagering requirements are listed as a multiplier of the bonus funds you get. This gives you a grand total that needs to be wagered, after which the bonus money is turned into cash. While the funds are still bonus money, you can't withdraw them.
All you need to do to fulfil the wager requirements is to play. Every spin of the slot machine and every bingo ticket you buy is a wager that counts towards the total.
It is important to note that some games have different wagering contributions, for example slots having 100% and table games only 10%
A good wagering requirement is small enough that you have a realistic chance of completing it, while a bad one is simply too big.
Wagering requirements explained in numbers
Looking at the numbers might be confusing at first, but things are actually pretty easy to understand. It is all about that one multiplier and how big the total wagering is going to be.
When you first look at how much you need to wager, the numbers always seem completely out of reach. This is normal, but what you might be missing is that the game is constantly returning something back to you. Even if it is less than your bet, and thus not a real win, you get something.
On average, a common slot gives the player back £95 for each £100 they wagered. This means that after going through your first £100 in wagers, you now have £95 left and the cycle begins again. It takes 15 average cycles to wager £1,000.
But, as we all know, slots don't work this way in the real world. Some players will hit big wins and the wagering is easy, while others don't and can't even get close to completing it.
The industry standard wagering is 35 times your given bonus
The casino has calculated the wagering to a point where a certain number of players will never complete it, and that they can afford to pay out to those who will.
Below, you can find the wagering requirement example for different wager requirements.
For all the following examples, we are looking at a match bonus that will double our deposit of £50. So, we have £50 of cash and £50 of bonus money in our casino account.
🟠 50x wagering requirement
50x wagering is on the higher end, and this becomes clear when you look at the numbers.
£50 x 50 = £2,500 wagering
This is very difficult and only very few players can complete it. Most likely we will run out of funds much earlier.
🟠 40x wagering requirement
40x is generally an accepted bonus, but is above the standard.
£50 x 40 = £2,000 wagering
With the same deposit, a cut of £500 was made from the wagering, which is a big difference. Not great yet, but a big improvement.
🟠 35x wagering requirement
35x is the industry standard in the UK.
£50 x 35 = £1,750 wagering
This is the average wagering; the point casinos have determined to be a balanced offer. It is doable, but still requires a lot of things to go right.
🟠 30x wagering requirement
Now we are getting to bonuses that are better for the player. 30x is already below average.
£50 x 30 = £1,500 wagering
Here, our deposit has cut another £500 from the initial wagering requirement. Also, going below the standard wagering evens the odds.
🟠 20x wagering requirement
20x is a great wagering requirement for a deposit bonus, which you can see from the wagering sum.
£50 x 20 = £1,000 wagering
Here, we have cut the wager requirement in less than half of the top end. That is a total of £1,500 you don't have to play before withdrawing.
How to beat wagering requirements?
Wagering requirements are a necessary evil in online gambling. As a player, you basically have to accept that they are there, but you have some tricks you might want to use to level the playing field.
But, let's start with the question: what happens if you don't meet wagering requirements? There are two options depending on the bonus type. The first and the most common ones is that you just spend all the bonus funds trying to wager them, which results in an empty wallet. That's that, your bonus is gone.
The second is a rarer case, where the bonus is paid after the wagering is done. These bonuses let you deposit more and keep wagering for a until the bonus expires. Then, you either stop depositing or play until you complete it.
When you play, choose a game that is best suited for the task
When you are playing just to fulfil a wagering requirement, you have an ace up your sleeve, and that is RTP value, or Return-To-Player. This number tells you how much the game gives back as wins in the long run.
Choose a game that has as high RTP as possible. That way you have the best odds to prolong your gambling session and complete the wagering. If you ask, how do you beat wagering requirements, this is the way to do it.
The casinos are aware of these tricks, which is why they often limit the games you can play while using bonus money. Some games are downright forbidden, while others may only fulfil the wagering by a small percentage. Always check the bonus terms for what games are accepted and how well.
There is also the Wargames trick. "The only way to win is not to play", meaning that the way to beat the casino is to take bonuses that don't require any wagering at all.
Best casinos to find good wagering requirements
Here on Bojoko, we have tested and reviewed a whole heap of UK casinos, and all have their wagering requirements listed. You can see which bonuses are worth your time and which can be downright skipped.
If you want to optimise your bonuses, you need to go for the ones that have either low wagering, or no wagering at all.
The UK casino market has always been packed with a lot of high-quality sites, which means that the competition is fierce. One indicator is the bonuses the casinos use to attract players.
You can go to our casino guide to read about the top UK casinos, or check the quick lists below.
No wagering casinos
No wagering bonuses are, like the name would imply, bonuses that require no wagering. Everything you win is paid out in cash, and these bonuses are often give as free spins, or bonus spins. These are generally considered to be the best bonus offers a casino can give.
This might sound too good to be true, but like with everything else, there are hoops to jump through. These bonuses are often small and have withdrawal limits. You might only get a couple of quids out of them, but without a wagering requirement, that money is yours to keep.
Low wagering casinos are a great option, as they strike a balance between bonus size and wagering. These deals have more bonus money available than wager-free bonuses and easier wagering than regular deals.
If you are looking for a good value, these bonuses are really worth a look.
Does wagering work the same way in bingo and sports betting?
In short, yes. If you need to wager your bonus a certain amount, the same numbers do apply for both bingo and sports betting. That being said, there are some smaller differences.
Bingo bonus in comparison has a small wagering requirements, often around 3x. This is due to the lower RTP value of the games. The casinos have calculated that they don't need to require the players to play for so long for a balanced offer.
In sports betting, the wagering requirements are even smaller, but they have additional terms. They may require that the bets you make have odds of at least a certain size or that you need to make multiple bets. Betting offers may even be completely wagering-free, but the bet you need to make must fit certain terms.
Bonus wagering and responsible gambling
Bonuses are a big part of the online casino industry and they serve a clear purpose, to bring new players in and keep them playing. As a player, you need to be aware of this and gamble accordingly.
Casinos create bonus offers in a way that they make them money in the long run. The casinos want you to stay on the casino, keep you playing and eventually deposit again. The longer you spend on a casino site, the likelier it is that you will lose.
When you look at bonuses and their wagering, you need to think and play responsibly. Only gamble with what you can afford to lose and never look at gambling as a way to make money. It is a form of entertainment and should always be seen as such.
Casino bonuses have a wagering requirement attached to make sure players actually use the bonus funds to play games.
The wagering requirement means that you have to play on the casino with your bonus money for a certain amount before it becomes cash and can be withdrawn.
The average wagering requirement in the UK is 35 times the given bonus amount. Some casinos have as low as 0x wagering, while others go as high as 200x. The smaller the wagering, the better it is for the player.
No. Wagering also plays a small role in your regular deposits.
Casinos require that you use your deposited funds before you withdraw them back out. This is done to prevent money laundering.
The standard wagering for deposits is 1x means that you have to play through your deposited amount once before you can withdraw. Some casinos have set this to 3x, and the worst ones go as high as 5x.
Wagering requirements vary and some types of bonuses have different size requirements. In general, the average wagering is 35x.
A good wagering requirement is smaller than this. Usually wagering of 20x or less is considered noticeably small.
There are casinos that offer wager-free bonuses, which come with a 0x wagering requirement.
As wagering requirements come in all shapes and sizes, this means that some casinos take the wrong approach and require too much from the player.
A bad wagering requirement is one that is notably bigger than the 35x average wagering for any given bonus. Usually you see wagering of 50x, which is considered a difficult requirement to fulfil.
Some casinos require you to wager both the amount of bonus and the deposit you used to get it. These are especially poor terms, and can usually double the amount you need to play through.
Bonus wagering was created to prevent bonus abuse. If you don't have any wagering requirements on bonus money, people might take advantage of your offer and just cost you money.
For example, if a casino ran a deal that gave you £10 if you deposited £10 without any wagering, then people would just make a deposit and immediately go and withdraw £20 without playing.
This would basically bankrupt your business, which is why casinos needed wagering requirements.
As for bonuses without wagering, which still do exist, they come with other terms. These are in place to prevent the casino from losing too much money.
Ville is an industry veteran, who has written thousands of gambling-related reviews and articles since 2009. He is an IT engineer with a passion for game and strategy optimisation, and to teach the world to play better.