Wagering Requirements / Play Through
Of course it’s natural to want the biggest bonus, but is the biggest bonus always the best? Very often not, but it depends on your situation.
Most sites are willing to give bonuses, especially to new members, but naturally they also want you to stick around and keep using their site after you receive the bonus. That’s why most bonuses have a ‘playthrough requirement’ or ‘wagering requirement’ which you must satisfy before you can cash out the bonus. This is also known as ‘clearing’ the bonus. Usually you’ll have the bonus in your account immediately after fulfilling the initial requirements (eg. making a 1st deposit), but you can’t actually withdraw the bonus cash until you’ve met the playthrough requirement. The requirements are different for each site so players must read the conditions to find the exact rules.
Here’s an example : let’s say you join a site with a 100% matching bonus up to £100, and a 10x playthrough requirement. You deposit £100 and your account balance will immediately show the 100% bonus so you’ll have a total of £200 to play. In this 10x playthrough example, you must play through £1000 before cashing out the bonus. That doesn’t mean you need to deposit £1000, only that you need to ‘play through’ that amount. So in this example your initial £200 balance may be enough to meet the £1000 play through requirement, IF you are very lucky and win a lot. On the other hand, if luck is not on your side and your balance reaches zero then the bonus is gone and playthrough is cancelled (except at some sites where you can deposit again and continue the bonus playthrough).
Since the wager requirement is based on the size of the bonus you receive, that means the bigger the bonus the more you’ll need to ‘play through’ before clearing the bonus. Some bonus offers may require a 20x, 30x or even 50x ‘play through’, especially for larger bonuses. Often there will also be a limit on the length of time you have to reach the required wagering requirements and clear your bonus. Also some specific types of games may contribute more or less to the playthrough requirements. Playing roulette and blackjack often counts less towards the playthrough requirements, for example the value of your roulette/blackjack games may only contribute 50% of the actual value of the games, or in many cases these games may contribute nothing towards the playthrough. Generally slot machines contribute 100% towards the requirements. You should always check the full conditions in the site’s bonus rules.
It may not be realistically possible for you to reach the required wagering conditions within your budget and within the time that you have available to play. Of course this is very dependent on your own situation so if you wish to claim a bonus you will first need to check the conditions carefully to decide if it seems reasonable for your time and budget.
Here is our recommendation : Join sites based on the enjoyment value, not just for the bonus. Then you will be more likely to meet the playthrough requirements since you enjoy playing there and so will play on the site more often. If you haven’t met the bonus requirements by the end of the allowed time period then at least you’ve enjoyed yourself.
One more tip : A smaller bonus will often be easier to clear due to the lower requirements. So if you’re not a high roller then don’t worry about big bonuses, it’s better to try for a small bonus and actually receive it, than try for a big bonus and not meet the requirements.