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Playthrough Requirements Explained

David Burgundy | 03 Jan 2018

Playthrough Requirements ExplainedOne of the biggest advantages of playing online or mobile casino games is of course the bonuses that come along with the package. Just about every reputable and reliable online and mobile casino will offer some sort of casino bonus or another. However, before signing up with an online casino and jumping at the biggest bonus you can find, it is important to look at the playthrough requirements.

Reading the Fine Print

Playthrough requirements are also known as wagering requirements, and are essentially the “terms and conditions” attached to the bonus. Every casino bonus, big or small, comes with playthrough requirement, even if they are not advertised. The requirements actually determine how profitable the bonus can be, and should be scrutinised with a fine-tooth comb. In most cases, the larger the bonus, the stricter the playthrough requirements will be. If you look at it from the casino’s point of view, they are giving you free cash. The only way they are going to do that is if they know they will ultimately benefit too - no one can afford to give away free money for nothing!

What is a Playthrough Requirement?

Simply put, a playthrough requirement is how much you have to wager before you can cash out your bonus and any subsequent casino winnings. Many a player has made the mistake of signing up, playing a few rounds on the slots, winning a couple of hundred dollars and then tried to cash out. Not having met the minimum requirements, they are denied their withdrawal and end up frustrated, sometimes closing their casino account altogether.

Just about every type of bonus you’ll find online will have playthrough requirements attached to it. With Welcome Bonuses often offering players a cash match amount of up to as much as 500%, these bonuses are usually the largest, but they may also have the strictest playthrough requirements. It’s also important to remember that not all games will count towards playthrough requirements, so before claiming a bonus it is important to ascertain whether or not it will be applied to the games you enjoy. This is because games like Blackjack and Poker allow players to use skill to influence the outcome so these may be excluded in order to balance the playing field.

Understanding the Math

It pays to know what you are getting into before you sign up. When looking for a potential casino and Welcome bonus, you should be looking at how the bonus relates to the wagering requirements. Playthrough requirements are fairly easy to understand. They are usually displayed as a number with a multiplication sign next to them. For example, you might see a bonus of 100% cash match with a 10x wagering requirement. This means that you have to wager 10 times your bonus amount before you can cash out.

The Bigger the Bonus, the More you Need to Wager

Let’s look at a simple example. On the one hand, you have a 100% cash match bonus with a 5% wagering requirement. On the other you have a 200% cash match with a 10% wagering requirement. Which one is better? Let’s say you deposit $50. In the first example, your account will be credited with $100. Before you can cash out, you need to wager 5x$50 ($50 is your bonus) or $250 on slots or any other game at the casino. In the second example, your account will be credited with $150 but now, you have to wager 10x$100 (your bonus is $100) or $1000 before you can even think about withdrawing any of your winnings.

Having a larger cash match bonus is great, but is also means that you have a much larger playthrough requirement to work through. In some cases, the playthrough requirements are linked to both your deposit amount and the bonus amount. These types of bonuses should be avoided as they essentially double the amount you need to wager before you can cash out.

Playthrough requirements ensure that bonuses do not get abused and that they create a win-win situation for both the player and the casino. The casino gains a player and the player stands an increased chance of winning big once all the terms and conditions have been met.