What are those wagering requirements to satisfy in order to get or unlock a bonus? We will teach you how to deal with them

Bonus wagering requirements

If you're new to the world of online gaming, you might be confused by the term you will often see attached to welcome bonuses and other promotions called "Wagering Requirements" or playthrough.

If so, don't worry, you're not alone! All of us had to find out what this term meant when we started playing online, and although it is a little technical in nature, by the end of this post you will fully understand what they are and how they affect your management of casino bonuses. So, let's dive right in. Welcome to the "peculiar" world of wagering requirements.

What are Wagering Requirements?

If you are in any way familiar with casinos, you will already know that they tend to be very rich. They didn't get to be this way by dishing out cash to everyone who signs up and letting them walk away from the table with it!

You might wonder how casinos can afford to give you 100€/£ or more just for signing up, and still make money. Wagering requirements are the answer. You see, you can't just take the money and run, and you have to bet the bonus cash value a set number of times before you can withdraw it.

Here's an example:

Operator "X" is offering you a 100% up to 100€/£ welcome bonus, subject to x20 (20 times) playthrough on the deposit and the bonus amount. What this means is that if you maximize the bonus by taking the full 100€/£, you will have to bet your 100€ deposit plus the bonus (a total of 200€) x20 before you can withdraw it.

Yes, that's correct, you will have to stake 4000€/£ before you can withdraw the 100€ coming from the welcome package and, depending on the terms and conditions, any winnings you gain while playing with the bonus money.

What's the point of these limitations?

We knew you were thinking that, and so were we when we first encountered these terms, but if you sit back and think about it, this isn't as bad a deal as it might first seem. You see, at the end of the day, this is free cash to play with. You can essentially enjoy two spins for the price of one, or two hands of blackjack, or baccarat, or whatever you wish to play.

Now, we know there are no realistic big chances of really being able to withdraw the bonus cash, and that's by design, but it's still free cash to play with and enjoy. Add to the fact that you might be able to hit a big "one-shot" win, and all of a sudden meeting the 4000€/£ limitation before you can withdraw it really doesn't seem like such a big deal.

Think about it this way: this is just what the casino has to do to attract new players, but to avoid going bankrupt giving away large sums of money.

What makes for a good deal?

The average wagering requirements would be something along the lines of x30 across the industry. If you see an offer with a x50 (or over) requirement, it's probably best to avoid it, and if you see a deal with a x20 requirement, it's a good idea to take it right away.

One other thing to pay attention to is game weighting. This means that not all games are equal when it comes to calculate the "total bets" made by a player. For example, slots usually count 100% towards wagering, while table games like blackjack count 10%. In plain English, that means that 1€ bet on slots counts 1€ towards total betting volume, whereas 1€ bet on blackjack is only worth 0.10€ (at some casinos, table and card games won't count at all). Always check the terms and conditions of the deal in question.

For example, Bet365 offers a welcome package of 100% up to 100€ in some countries, and the wagering requirements are only x20. These are much lower than the industry average and are well worth considering. Bet365 is also a killer website and offers the best of everything you will find elsewhere.


Wagering requirements aren't the devil in disguise and once you understand them, you will see that they are just the casino's way of protecting themselves from financial advantage takers.

You're being offered free cash to play your favourite games with, and you can still win huge jackpots playing slots off the back of it. If you avoid the exploitative deals and take the good ones, these limitations don't have to be all that bad.

You won't be getting free chips at land based casinos anytime soon, that's for sure! Take a close look at the T&Cs, and where you see a "x35" or lower, it could be in your interest to take the deal.

Last update: 30-09-2019