Find out our expert tips to help improve your chances of clearing a bonus’ wagering requirements. Also, see what games you should play to achieve your goal.
As most casino deposit bonuses come with wagering requirements, we decided to explore this topic to find out what can be done to improve a player’s chances of beating them.
With all casino games, you do need lady luck to be on your side; that is a fact! However, you can also take a strategic approach to clearing the wagering requirements. Potentially, it’s not as random as you first thought it to be.
You’ve probably heard the saying, ‘There’s no such thing as a free lunch’. That is how we would describe casino bonuses with wagering requirements (here's a complete explanation of the bonuses wagering requirements). Let’s take a typical sign-up offer: Get 100% up to €200 on your first deposit.
Put simply that means:
- if you deposit €20, you get €20 extra in casino bonus funds;
- if you deposit €200, you get €200 extra in casino bonus funds.
This offer comes with a wagering requirement of 35x the bonus amount. Therefore, for a €20 bonus, you need to bet 20€x35 = 700€. Once you have wagered 700€, the remaining winnings are then classed as real money, which you can withdraw if you want.
With the majority of these bonuses, players only clear the wagering using the bonus funds. A lot of casinos will stipulate that real money must be used first. So, you deposit €20 (real money) and get €20 in bonus cash. You play with your own money, but you’re not clearing the wagering requirement while doing so. However, once your money is gone, and you’re playing with the bonus funds, you are then clearing the wagering.
Certain online casinos now offer what is known as ‘mixed funds’ wagers. This means that half of your stake comes from your real money balance and the other half from the bonus funds. Winnings are divided accordingly, and you also chip away at the wagering requirement as soon as you start playing.
Choosing the right bonus
Not all casino bonuses are equal. Therefore, one of the top tips for clearing the wagering requirements on a welcome bonus is to pick the right offer to start with. To do this you need to make sure you read the main terms. Find out the following:
- what is the advertised wagering requirement?
- Is the wagering bonus amount only or deposit + bonus?
- How long do you have to clear the wagering?
- What game weighting contributions apply?
Many newcomers make the simple mistake of judging an offer by its maximum value. However, this isn’t the method to use in order to calculate the true value. For example:
- Casino A: 100% up to €300. Wagering requirement is 25 times the deposit + bonus amount.
- Casino B: 50% up to €100. Wagering requirement is 35 times the bonus amount.
At a glance, it looks as though the offer from casino A is the better one. There is more bonus money available, and the wagering is 25x. But, as we can see, the wagering requirement is 25x the deposit and bonus amount. Therefore, if you deposited €50, and got another €50; this total (€100) needs to be wagered 25 times = €2500).
However, if you deposited €100 into casino B, you get a €50 bonus. The wagering is €50 x 35 = €1750. This means that this offer is more player-friendly.
Game Weighting and Excluded Games
Another component to look at when assessing wagering requirements is the casino’s game weighting rules. These vary considerably between operators, and some offer better value than others. Effectively, game weighting is the percentage certain categories of games contribute to clearing the wagering.
This is a real-life example taken from the T&Cs of Betfair Casino’s 100% up to €100 welcome offer.
100% of games contribute to clearing the wagering
- Slots (Excluding double options)
- Scratchcard Games and Fixed Odds Games (Excluding Spin A Win/Lucky Wheel)
50% of games contribute to clearing the wagering
- Roulette (All Varieties excluding Zero Roulette and 3D)
- Card Games (All varieties excluding Red Dog, Casino Hold'em, Casino War & Wild Vikings) Sic Bo
- Blackjack (All varieties excluding Pontoon, Blackjack Surrender, Blackjack Switch, Zero Blackjack and Stravaganza)
5% of games contribute to clearing the wagering
- Video Poker (All varieties)
- Pontoon, Blackjack Switch, Red Dog, Spin A Win/Lucky Wheel, Casino War, Casino Hold'em, Wild Vikings and Stravaganza
0% of games contribute to clearing the wagering
- Games, Blackjack Surrender and all double options on slots and on Video Poker (All varieties), 3D Roulette and any other games not in the eligible games list
- Live Casino Games
What this tells us? If you play slots, each bet contributes 100% towards clearing the wagering whereas only 50% of the bet value contributes if you choose to play roulette. You will also encounter certain games that you can’t play, or if you do, they don’t count towards the wagering at all.
As a player, you must factor all of these variables together. Ideally, you want a bonus where the wagering requirement is not too high, and you want a strong selection of games offering 100% wagering contribution.
Tips for Clearing Wagering Requirements
It must be said that each player has his/her slots wagering strategy. We’ve highlighted some general tips that are widely accepted as good practice when trying to crack a bonus’ wagering requirement.
- Play games that contribute the most to the wagering. While many table games have a higher RTP, the game weighting rules make them rather ineffective. Therefore, video slots are the best option.
- Generally, low to medium variance games are more bonus-friendly than high volatility slots. Experienced players advise upping your stakes on a low variance game rather than switching to a slot which is very volatile.
- Apply the 100-spin minimum rule for your stakes (per game). For example, if you have a €100 bonus, stake your bets between €0.75 and €1.00 per spin. This can be adjusted to increase (or decrease) the size of your wagers as you progress.
- Walk away if you get a big win. A common mistake many bonus hunters make is they continue playing the same game after a big win. A better tactic is to take a break for a bit. You will usually have several days to complete the wagering, so don’t force it.
- Treat the bonus as though it’s real money. There is a temptation to be a little more reckless with bonus cash. This strategy rarely ends favourably for the player. Play as though the money is real, and wager as you would normally.
- Have fun. Of course, all players claim a bonus to try and win a few euros, but don’t let that detract from the entertainment and fun side of playing online casino games.
Top Slots for Wagering Requirements
Remember, there are no guarantees when gambling. There will be more occasions when you don’t clear the wagering requirement than when you do. Keep that in the forefront of your mind. That said, from our experience, and that of fellow players, these are a few suggested video slots that may help you beat the casino:
- Tomb Raider: Secret of the Sword - This Microgaming classic is the second in the series featuring Lara Croft. It has five reels and twenty-five paylines. With wild symbols, free spins, win multipliers, and a randomly-triggered Super Mode that offers five free spins, this is an action-packed game. Its RTP is 95.2%, and it offers plenty of frequent wins to help keep the balance topped up, which is the aim of the game.
- Starmania - Developed by NYX (NextGen), Starmania has ten paylines, and with a minimum bet of €0.10, it’s ideal for wagering if you only have a small bonus. The slot offers a free spins bonus game with extra stacked wilds. The medium variance provides enough winning spins to keep you in the game while waiting for a larger payout.
- Gemix This Play’n GO slot has a decent 96.75% RTP, and it’s many players’ favourite game for wagering. Gemix is a cluster pays game set on a 7-by-7 grid. With the chance of scoring multiple wins from a single spin, and a generous 1,000x your stake for a cluster of 15 or more symbols; there’s always a chance of winning when you try this slot.
- Bloodsuckers - A NetEnt classic with an impressive 98.0% RTP. This is another medium variance game. It has five reels and twenty-five paylines. The secret is to stay in the game long enough to hit the free spins bonus which comes with a x3 win multiplier.
Wagering requirements are the challenge you must overcome if you want to get your hands on some free casino cash. The tips that we’ve highlighted should demonstrate that there are some simple strategies that you can put into practice to improve your chances of winning.
One of the most important is to compare bonuses prior to deciding where you want to play. If you find the offers with the lowest total wagering amount, you instantly have better odds of coming away a winner.
Take a look at our bonuses page for all the latest offers and information on wagering terms.Last update: 30-04-2020