Online casino bonus tips - how to beat wagering requirements

One of the best parts about joining an online casino is receiving a generous welcome package. However, all too often, players fail to unlock the full potential of these promotions. That’s why we’ve put together this guide on how to beat wagering requirements when claiming your online casino bonus in the US.

Before we begin, it’s important to note that all online casinos offer welcome bonuses, but not all are created equally. So, if you want to learn how to beat wagering requirements, you’ll need to know where to find the best online casino bonuses in the USA, and we know just where to send you.

What Are Wagering Requirements?

Every good online casino bonus in the USA comes with terms and conditions, one of which is almost always wagering requirements. This term refers to the number of times you are required to wager (bet) your bonus before you are allowed to withdraw your cashier prizes.

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While there are some online casino bonuses in the USA that require you to complete the wagering requirement in order to withdraw both your bonus and cash deposits, most only require you to meet the playthrough on the bonus amount, which we feel is far more reasonable.

The good news is that our team has been busy comparing the , and we can report back that the majority of online casinos operating in NJ, PA, MI, WV, and DE require you to only complete wagering requirements on your bonus credits.

You’ll notice that we have not mentioned any online casino bonuses in NY as the state does not yet allow for playthrough on alternate risk transfers, otherwise known as bonus funds. However, since the regulatory body, the New York State Gaming Commission, is still relatively new, we expect to see alternative risk transfer options added to the online casino menu soon enough.

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How Do I Meet the Playthrough Requirements?

Once you have claimed an online casino bonus at any of our recommended sites, like BetMGM Casino or Caesars Online Casino, you’ll need to start playing real money games to meet those all-important wagering requirements.

We suggest using our handy wagering requirement calculator below to determine how much you’ll need to bet to unlock your bonus funds.

  1. Divide the bonus amount by the playthrough requirement. For example: $300 / 20x = $15
  2. The figure you arrive at represents the percentage of the bonus amount that you need to wager in order to release $1. For example: $1 for every 15 cents wagered = $1 for every 16c. If the playthrough requirement is 30x, then the rate would be $1 for every 20c wagered.
  3. Now, multiply the amount of the wager by the wagering requirement conversion rate. For example: A $50 wager at a playthrough rate of 20c equals a $1 wager towards releasing your bonus ($50 x 0.20 = $1).

Our top online casino bonus tip here is to make sure you understand whether the wagering requires are based on a percentage or a flat rate. For example, a $100 bonus with a 40x flat playthrough would mean you need to place $4,000 worth of real money bets to fulfill the requirement, while a 40x percentage playthrough would mean you need to place $100 worth of bets 40 times, totaling $4,000 once again.

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However, it is important to point out that not all games will contribute equally towards playthrough requirements. In many cases, table games, video poker, and other low-house edge titles will contribute a small percentage towards the playthrough, whereas slot games typically carry a weighting of 100%. You can find out each game’s contribution towards wagering requirements within the terms and conditions of the online casino bonus offers at each site, or you can check our detailed reviews.

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Beat Deposit Amount Limitations

Another common condition placed on online casino bonuses in the USA is a limit on the amount you can deposit to claim the full promotion. Let’s look at an example to help illustrate this point.

  • Bonus: 100% Up To $1,025
  • How to Trigger It: Claim the bonus when you register a new account and make your first deposit of $10 or more.
  • Wagering Requirements: 15x on the sum of your deposit and bonus amount.
  • Other Terms: Some titles contribute 100% while others contribute 20%, 10%, and 5%.
  • Expiration: The bonus is valid for 7 days from the date of issue, while the wagering requirements must be met within 14 days.
  • What can I use it on?: All games at the casino are included in this promotion.
  • RTP: The casino may withhold up to 10% of your cashed-out winnings as a tax on the titles’ RTPs. For example, if you won $100 and the aggregate RTP of the titles you played is 97%, the casino would withhold $3 and pay you $97. However, if the titles you played had an aggregate RTP of 99%, you would receive the full $100.
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Let’s assume you deposit $500 into your online casino account to claim the full $1,025 bonus. This means you have $1,525 in your account and must wager 15x$1,525, which totals $22,875.

As mentioned, this bonus expires seven days after it has been issued, so you’ll need to work towards completing the $22,875 worth of wagers within that time frame to avoid losing the bonus funds. Any wagers you place will roll over into the next seven days should you hit the expiry date. For example, if you have only completed $10,000 worth of wagers before the expiry date, you will have 24 hours added to your account, giving you a total of 8 days to complete the $22,875 wagering requirement.

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Now, this might seem crazy, but hear us out. Since this welcome package requires you to complete such a high wagering requirement in such a short space of time, we suggest depositing less to trigger the bonus. Consider depositing just $200 to start with – this will give you $200 in real money funds and the same amount in bonus credits.

You can then work to complete the 15x$300 wagering requirement, which equates to $4,500. Since this online casino doesn’t place limits on deposit amounts, you can use any payment method (banking fees apply), and there is no cap on how much you can withdrawal at any time, this makes meeting the playthrough here far easier than attempting to work through the full $22,500 requirement.

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Beat Time Constraints

Time is of the essence when claiming online casino bonuses in the USA, especially since most come with fairly short expiry dates. We’ve found that the average playthrough period sits around the one-week mark, although there are some that stretch this to two weeks, while others cut things pretty fine by offering bonuses that expire in just 24, 48, or 72 hours.

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That said, our top online casino bonus tip for beating time constraints is to choose offers that have longer expiry periods, like the ones listed below:

Why? Well, the main benefit is that you’ll have plenty of time to work through the playthrough without feeling rushed or under pressure to continually feed real money into the system in order to keep the bonus alive. This gives you the freedom to pick your preferred games, stick to your budget, and fully enjoy what is undoubtedly one of the best parts of joining any online casino – claiming that lucrative welcome package.

However, while we don’t recommend jumping on a deal with a tight turnaround time, our tips for beating wagering requirements do suggest that you can unlock these types of bonuses. We suggest setting yourself a daily target of what you hope to achieve with your real money deposits. While you’ll need to jump in and feed more funds into your account from time to time to keep the bonus alive, this targeted approach should be more than possible, even on a tight turnaround timetable.

Beat Game Restrictions

Game restrictions are another condition commonly applied to online casino bonuses in the US, particularly when it comes to table games, video poker, and other titles with a lower house edge. However, just because a game contributes a smaller percentage toward releasing your bonus, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t play it.

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Remember, the goal when claiming an online casino bonus is to unlock as much extra cash as possible. While it is true that you’ll need to place larger volumes of wagers on the titles with lower contribution percentages, you’ll still earn credit toward unlocking your bonus when playing these games. What’s more, you could very well win big and boost your cash balance in the process.

That said, our top online casino bonus tip when facing strict game restrictions is to focus on the games that contribute 100%. Not only will this help spread enjoyment across the entire gaming library, but it could also speed up the process of working toward unlocking that bonus.

Another option is to switch between titles that contribute a smaller percentage toward releasing your bonus and those that contribute 100%. For instance, you could spend 30 minutes playing slot spins, which all contributions, then head over to the live dealer platform to try your hand at blackjack or roulette for 30 minutes. This should help you quickly build up credit while keeping things fresh and exciting along the way.

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Beat Multilateral Bonus Offers

Multilateral bonus offers provide credits against specific games or software providers. While this type of deal can seem restrictive, particularly if there are dozens of titles you can’t play while working toward unlocking the offer, our experts say this is one of the easiest online casino bonus tips to beat.

That’s because slot machines and the vast majority of virtual table games are included within these deals, while live dealer tables aren’t contributing entities at most sites. This means you can focus on the hundreds, if not thousands, of slot spins and virtual table game options while enjoying this type of bonus.

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Furthermore, if the online casino hosts tournaments as part of these promotions, you could win far more than the initial bonus amount by placing the highest number of bets or scoring the highest wins across a predetermined selection of games.

Beat Credits per Game Restrictions

Some online casino bonuses in the US place a restriction on the number of credits you can wager on individual games. For example, you may only be able to place $5 max bets when playing virtual blackjack, $10 max bets on virtual Megaways® slots, and $100 max bets on all live dealer games.

Although this can seem frustrating at first, particularly if you usually place higher stakes bets, this is one of the easiest online casino bonus tips to beat. In fact, we say embrace it!

Not only does placing lower stakes bets spread your bankroll further, meaning you can place more wagers and work toward unlocking that bonus faster, but it can also change your playing strategy and help you get more from the experience as a whole.

For instance, when playing blackjack, industry-standard strategy dictates surrendering your hand less than 0.5% of the time. However, when placing min bets, this is a great time to surrender as it doesn’t cost you much, and making the right decision at this stage could help you reduce losses and prolong your playing session.

While it is true that surrendering a hand will prevent you from unlocking bonus credits at the same rate as hitting hard or standing pat, it could stop you from wasting credits and losing real money, which is key to successfully claiming and unlocking online casino bonuses in the USA.

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When it comes to slots and Megaways® titles, our online casino bonus tip is to use cheat sheet or play with a strategy that focuses on smaller bets. While many slot strategies encourage players to stake the minimum in hopes of active paylines, a lower bet strategy, which sees you select a wager that is a small percentage of the game’s jackpot, can be a better option when working toward unlocking a bonus. This is because it keeps you engaged for longer, allowing you to work through wagering requirements naturally rather than trying to force winning bets.

Finally, the maximum bet credit for live dealer games is our expert’s favorite credits per game restriction, purely because most of these promotions class a round as one credit, regardless of the outcome. This means you could win big and dramatically speed up the process of unlocking the offer.

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Beat Stake-Through Bonuses

Stake-through online casino bonus offers require all your real money deposits to be included in the calculation of wagering requirements. Although this can seem negative, our experts say it is one of the easiest types to beat as it encourages natural play.

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When you make a real money deposit at an online casino in the US, you’ll no doubt have a certain game or games in mind that you wish to play. Rather than forcing you to play through your deposit multiple times before you can cash out, stake-through bonuses allow you to work toward releasing your bonus credits while doing exactly what you want to do – play your favorite real money and bonus games.

Furthermore, these offers generally enable you to lock in some big wins while working toward unlocking the full bonus amount.

Beat Unrealistic Wagering Requirements

In some instances, you may come across an online casino bonus that appears attractive until you see the wagering requirements. For example, an operator might offer a 100% match deposit bonus up to $500 with a 60x playthrough attached.

Given that the average slot spin Contributes 100% Towards Playthrough Requirements, you may think that it would take just 60 x500 = 30,000 spins to unlock the bonus. However, you’d forget that this requirement applies to both your real money deposit and the bonus funds combined. This means you’d need to work through 30,000 x$500 = $15,000,00 in real money wagers to unlock this offer.

Put simply; this is unrealistic and virtually impossible to beat unless you plan on playing non-stop for the next 500 years. As such, our experts advise setting more realistic goals and selecting a welcome package that carries fair wagering requirements.

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At most of the , you’ll find that the wagering requirements sit somewhere between 10x and 20x, which means you can reasonably beat these offers and walk away with a healthy return on investment.

Beat Online Casino Bonus Scams

It is rare to come across an outright scam when joining an online casino in the US and claiming its welcome package, but it is worth pointing out that not all operators are made equal, and some promotions aren’t all they seem.

To ensure that you beat any online casino bonus scams, we suggest reading the T&Cs in full. Make sure you know what you’re agreeing to and remember that if something seems off, it probably is.

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Common signs that an online casino bonus in the USA could be a scam include:

  1. Unachievable Expiry Dates – While it is important for an operator to set an expiry date on its welcome packages, it is unlikely that a reputable gaming site would set this at less than 48 hours. Anything that requires you to complete the playthrough over a weekend will effectively give you just a few hours to meet the requirement before the promo code expires.
  2. High Playthrough Requirements for Free Bonuses – It is not uncommon for an online casino to provide a free $10 bonus with a 60x playthrough attached. However, this is unreasonable and essentially turns the free bonus into a paid offer, as the wagering requirement equates to 600x the equivalent real money deposit.
  3. No Mention of Game Weightings – Every reputable online casino in the US will outline the game contribution percentages within the terms and conditions of its welcome package. If an operator fails to mention this information, it could be trying to hide something. For example, slot games may carry a 100% weighting towards releasing your bonus, while table games could range from 10% to 5%. Video poker and other low house edge games are often the least valuable, although these too may contribute anything from 10% to 5%. Table games may only contribute 5% towards wagering requirements.
  4. Strict Time Restrictions on Max Bet Limits – While it is normal for an online casino to place time restrictions on max bet limits, it is unusual for these to drop significantly. For example, some sites apply max bet limits of $2 during wagering requirements but lift this to $500 once the requirement has been fulfilled. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it can make working through the requirement far tougher, so having the max bet limit matched to the playthrough requirement can be helpful.

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Beat Online Casino Bonus Agreements

Online casino bonus agreements are legally binding contracts, much like taking a new job or purchasing a home. As such, it is important that you read the terms and conditions carefully before signing on the dotted line, otherwise you may find yourself struggling to beat the agreement and unlocking your bonus.

If an online casino welcome package seems too good to be true, it probably is. While it is tempting to claim the largest offer available, particularly if it attaches a huge top-up bonus, it could prove difficult to unlock this amount, leaving you out of pocket.

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To beat online casino bonus agreements, we suggest considering your budget and choosing the offer that best fits your style, strategy, and bankroll. There are tons of awesome online casino bonuses in the USA, including first, second, and third deposit matches, reload bonuses, cashback offers, and more. By comparing these deals in our expert reviews and selecting the one that feels right for you, you’ll stand a much greater chance of beating the agreement and enhancing your bankroll.

Here are three more online casino bonus tips to help you beat the small print:

  1. Read the Entirety of the T&Cs – It is easy to skim through the terms and conditions of an online casino bonus in the USA, particularly if it looks attractive, but this could prove costly down the line. Always take the time to read everything, including any notes at the bottom of the page that detail amendments, additions, and exclusions, as well as any capitalized and bold text within the main body. These are often key areas that the operator wants you to be aware of.
  2. Understand the Language – Some operators use clever language in their terms and conditions to convey a particular message. For instance, “21+ | Play Responsibly” is a statement you’ll see across most websites. It isn’t a term or condition, yet it is something you need to adhere to if you wish to play legally and responsibly. Other examples to look out for include “At the sole discretion of the casino” and similar phrases, as this gives the platform ultimate control over interpreting and applying the rules.
  3. Remember the Small Print Applies to Everyone – Many people think that if they don’t win, the terms and conditions don’t apply to them, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. The small print applies to everyone, whether they win or lose, so it is important to understand the details in advance to avoid any unpleasant surprises down the line.
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There is one final online casino bonus tip to help you beat the agreement, and that’s to check the exit clauses. Most platforms will state that you can leave at any time, but it is worth checking to see what happens to your account balance and any pending bonuses when you do. For example, will you forfeit your bonus if you leave, or will you be given a number of days to complete the playthrough before the offer is removed?