Written by: Edward Ackins | Fact checked by: Melisa Dobrev.
May 1, 2024 | Updated on: May 1, 2024

Wagering is betting an amount of money on the outcome of a sport, event, or gaming session and hoping the outcome will lean your way and if it does, you win, if it doesn’t, you lose.

This is the simplified version, but granted, wagering can become more complex. Before making a wager of any kind, understand the requirements and be fully conversant with the odds of the outcomes. This will prevent unnecessary losses and protect you from the trap of making more bets to cover up for lost bets.

Here, I look at types of bets mainly used in casino games, sports events, and horse races.

What is Wagering?

wagering in gambling

The official definition of wagering is “a form of betting where a bettor risks a set amount of funds on the outcomes of an event.” These can include betting games such as the spins of a slot machine or a game of cards. Bets can also be made for horse racing, and sports wagering is also popular.

Online gambling sites have become increasingly competitive, so they have developed methods to lure new players, including bonus offers and promotions. These are offered on gambling websites when you sign up for a new account or participate in an existing promotion.

Bonuses offered by gaming providers can include free bets, free spins when wagering on slots, cash bonuses, or even just free money upon sign-up. These all sound enticing and will prompt many players to make wagers on the sites.

For example, the casino may offer you a 100% bonus, so if you deposit $20, they will credit you an additional $20, and you will have $40 in your account.

You must meet the wager score indicated as a multiplier before withdrawing your original deposit or winnings.

I’ll discuss this further below.

What are Wagering Requirements & How Do They Work?

wagering requirements

Wagering requirements are specified amounts of real money bettors must bet to release any winnings or bonuses from any game. These games can include:

  • Slots
  • Table games
  • Live dealer games
  • Poker
  • Online bingo

They are also known as play-through requirements or rollover requirements. Playthrough is often used in the online gambling industry while wagering is common in sports betting. For online casinos, wagering requirements are expressed as multipliers that range from 1x to 50x, but these can differ depending on the site.

Requirements are aimed at protecting online casinos from players who claim the initial bonus without playing any games. They make sure you will play and possibly have a wagering loss.

So now that I’ve answered the question of ‘what is wagering in a casino’, let’s look at some examples of wagering requirements.

Types of Bonuses & Wagering Requirements

Welcome Bonus

Wagering requirements for welcome bonuses refer to the initial amount deposited as part of a promotion. To calculate your total bet based on the wagering requirement, multiply the bonus amount by the multiplier number.

multiply bonus formula

See the example below:
Deposit = $30
Wagering requirement = 20X
Formula = $30 x 20 = $600

Some casinos have a sticky bonus, which means your deposit is included as part of the bonus wagering requirements. The formula would look like this…

sticky bonus formula

As an example:
Deposit = $30
Wagering requirement = $20X
Formula = $30 + $30 x 20x = $1,200

These numbers vary greatly, so it is important to check what type of wager you must meet. Although these numbers might seem high, they are not impossible to meet. Additionally, you can use your bonus winnings to make more wagers, a practice known as bonus wagering.

Deposit Bonus

This is a type of bonus that applies to existing players and works the same way as a welcome bonus. They are usually offered as occasional promotions to give players an incentive to keep spending money in the establishment. They schedule these promotions for special occasions or holidays when the bonus could reach up to 100% of your initial deposit.

Free Spin Bonus

Free spins often accompany welcome bonuses or are designed to promote a specific game to existing players. Their wagering requirements are calculated differently from cash bonuses because they are offers that give you a specified number of spins from a specific slot machine.

Like most promotions, they often include a deadline. Because they do not offer cash bonuses, the multiplier will be based on your winnings.

This is how it works:

  • You receive 20 free spins
  • There are 30x multiplier wagering requirements
  • Each spin is set at $0.10
  • Calculating your bonus (20x$0.10 = $2).
  • You use this amount on free spins and win $10
  • You will have to meet the requirements by multiplying your winnings with the multiplier ($10x30x = $300)
  • You will have to bet $300 before cashing out your winnings.

max cashout in bonuses

NOTE: Most bonuses usually have a max cashout. This is the maximum amount of money you can withdraw after you meet the wagering requirements. Make sure you know what this figure is.

It is usually easier to meet a lower wagering requirement because you have to make fewer bets before extracting your winnings.

How to Beat Wagering Requirements

To have a successful betting experience, you need to meet and beat the wagering requirements so our experts have developed the below tips to help you play smartly.

  1. Understand the terms and conditions: This should be your starting point before taking advantage of any offers or climbing a bonus. Carefully read all the terms and conditions, including the fine print, if any.
    Do not overlook anything to avoid any unwanted surprises, and increase your chances of winning and avoiding disappointment.
    Ensure you check the below details:

    • Game contributions
    • Minimum & maximum deposit
    • Maximum payout
    • The time frame of the promotion
    • Eligible games
    • Wagering requirements

    In general, you will have to make a minimum deposit and choose a specified game within a limited time, although these requirements differ among casinos.

  2. Look for bonuses with low wagering requirements: The easier it is to meet the requirements, the more likely you are to bag your winnings. Take the time to compare the multiplier of various casinos to get the best deal.
    You can also look for games with a low wagering amount on the initial deposit instead of the bonus amount. This allows you to bet your own money and remove your winnings when you meet the deposit wagering requirements.
  3. Choose your casino wisely: When picking a casino, some factors you should consider include:
    • The wagering requirement multiplier. Some casinos have wagering requirements upwards of 50X, while some have 30X requirements, so choose the multiplier amount you are most comfortable with.
    • Make sure you choose a reputable casino that is fully licensed and offers customer support. Also, look at player reviews that will provide more insight into the casino’s reputation.
  4. Pick games that give you the best outcome, i.e., with a higher RTP: RTP or Return to Player is the expected average amount of money that players can expect to be returned over a period of time.
    Playing games with higher RTPs gives you a better chance of winning and meeting the play-through requirements.
  5. Look for games with a low house edge: House edge is the inverse of RTP and is the average percentage amount of your initial bet the casino expects to retain over time.
    Find games with low house edge, such as blackjack, baccarat, and video poker. The lower the house edge, the higher your chances of meeting the requirements.
  6. Learn to play the right way: Beating wagering requirements is a long-term process and needs lots of patience. You will also have to spend extended periods to meet all the requirements before withdrawing your winnings.
    Budgeting is also important because wagering is a long-term practice. You should plan your spending over time and remember that casinos are looking to profit at your expense.
  7. Find no/low wagering casinos: This fairly new type of casino bonus has no or very low wagering requirements and has no playthrough meaning you can withdraw your winnings without making a wager. The zero-wagering incentive attracts new players who the casino expects to become frequent clients. Read here for our explanation about no & low wagering Bitcoin casinos.
    bonus codes casinos

    Hint: If you are active in the cryptocurrency market, we advise you to choose crypto casinos that offer bonus codes as an incentive to begin playing.

  8. Check opting-out policies: If you do not want to deal with wagering requirements, you can opt out of the bonus. The best casinos will let you do this easily without much hassle or provide a way to contact customer service.
  9. Differentiate between free bets vs site credits: Free bets must be wagered all at once and cannot be divided. So, if you receive a $50 bonus, you cannot split it into two $25 bets.
    Credits, on the other hand, let you divide the bets into whichever amount you wish, meaning a $50 bonus can be split into five $10 bets.

Finishing Up

In this article, we’ve explored what is wagering in gambling and how it works. I explored this in the context of online betting, horseracing, and sports wagering. I have also looked at the different types of wagering requirements and

To help you fully understand wagering, you also need to know about wagering requirements, how to calculate them, and how to meet and beat the requirements.

These strategies give you a higher chance of winning, and I hope the information is helpful when gambling online and in person.

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, contact the Nation Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-GAMBLER

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be used as financial advice but is strictly for educational purposes only.

Edward Ackins
Hi, gamblers! I am Ed - bitcoin casinos review specialist. I have been working as a casino dealer for 4 years. Later I started to work with online casinos, and when bitcoin appeared on the market, I realized that this is the future. Today I am a manager with 5 successfully launched bitcoin casinos behind, and I know how it works perfectly from the inside. So if you need a recipe for winning you are in the right place.