Casino Playthrough Requirements: What They Are and Why it Pays to Understand Them

  • Ever wonder why wagering requirements exist?
  • Learn more about the reasoning behind these multiples that come attached to welcome bonuses

The promise of a hefty bonus is an enticing incentive to join any online casino. This “free” money allows you to shoot for greater cash still and to enjoy extended time playing your favourite slots.

You’ll have noticed though that in the smallprint for these welcome bonuses, there’s invariably a playthrough requirement attached, also known as a wagering requirement.

Playthrough requirements confusion
At first glance wagering requirements and playthrough conditions can be confusing, but take your time, do your reading and you’ll be cruising

By gaining an insight into playthrough requirements and how they vary from casino to casino, you can get a feel for what constitutes a fair wagering requirement – and conversely what makes for an unfair one.

It’s all in the fine print

Playthrough or wager requirements are those sneaky rules that are lurking in the casino’s terms and conditions. A number will be displayed following an ‘x’ which gives the number of times that you have to stake the deposit sum before the initial bonus can be withdrawn. For example if the casino’s bonus is £100 and the playthrough is 25x deposit, this means that you must bet £100 x 25 which means £2,500 must be wagered before bonus cash can be withdrawn.

Even though this sounds like a money trap, these requirements are designed to comply with anti-money laundering legislation. If casinos didn’t enforce wagering requirements it would be easy for criminals to wash cash through them, so believe it or not, this acts as a way of keeping your winnings safe and enabling casinos to remain in operation.

Know your times table

Getting acquainted with an online casino’s small print is always advisable before signing up, with particular attention paid to their rules governing playthrough requirements.

It is enshrined in law that all casinos must display their terms and conditions before offering bonus incentives or free spins. A full explanation of their terms should be available on their promotion page or on a dedicated subpage on the site.

Playthrough requirements gift
Try not to be seduced by the first large bonus you see – bigger isn’t always better and it’s worth thinking what works for you

Try not to be seduced by the lure of a large bonus when joining a casino, for £500 of bonus cash that comes with an inordinately high wagering requirement – say 60x or higher – is not going to be as lucrative as it sounds.

Look out for no deposit bonuses in particular. Yes, you are essentially getting free cash to bet with, but your winnings will be capped and there will probably be a higher playthrough requirement than with bonus cash that comes from a deposit match bonus.

What’s a fair wager?

The average playthrough requirement generally ranges between 20-30x, although this will vary between games. Slots might have a lower playthrough than blackjack or roulette. Alternatively, the terms and conditions may exclude table games altogether.

One strategy that can help you make your bonus cash go further is to focus on games that give you an advantage. Unless the claimed bonus is exclusively for video slots, it’s worth trying other games that are included within the promotional deal.

playthrough requirements
While it’s true that different games come with different requirements, there’s a bonus that’s just right for your way of playing

Games such as blackjack or video poker typically have a lower house edge than slots. All casinos differ, but studying the wagering requirement and house edge or RTP of the games you’re eyeing will allow you to make your money go further. By being mindful of these requirements and playing with a strategy, there is no reason why the bonus cash that was initially a gift can’t stay as one.

READ MORE: Fine out more about bonuses and how to maximise your money with our comprehensive bonuses guide.

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