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What Are Bonus Wagering Requirements?

All online casino bonuses - including no deposit bonuses - have wagering requirements, which is the number of times players are required to play through or wager the bonus amount before they can 'bank' any winnings they have accrued to their real casino account. Wagering requirements are typically expressed as 15x, 30x, 45x etc, and fluctuate depending on the particular no deposit bonus terms and conditions, and the online casino offering it.

Consider an example of an online casino that offers new players a $100 No Deposit Bonus with a 15x wagering requirement as highlighted in its terms and conditions. This means a player that claims the bonus has to play through the $100 no less than 15 times, which means making at least $1,500 in bets (15 x $100) before they can cash out any winnings. Players that don't meet the minimum bonus wagering requirements can't keep any winnings.

The great thing about the wagering requirements of no deposit casino bonuses is that they only apply to the bonus amount, and not to the bonus + the deposit amount as is the case with regular welcome or deposit bonuses. Once players have met the play-through requirements as laid out in the Ts&Cs, their winnings are automatically banked or credited to their casino accounts. However, to unlock said bonus winnings, they must first make a deposit.

What is Online Casino Game Eligibility?

Very often no deposit bonus terms and conditions will dictate the eligibility of various online casino games in relation to their meeting the bonus wagering requirements. In other words, the bonus terms and conditions indicate exactly how the various casino games contribute as a percentage to fulfilling the play-through requirement. For instance, some games have a 100% eligibility, like slots, while others have lesser, such as video poker at 10%.

Using the example above, as per the bonus Ts&Cs, a player is allowed play nothing but Slots, American Roulette or Parlour Games to reach 100% of their $1,500 wagering requirement. However, playing games like Video Poker, Craps, Baccarat, Blackjack and all other Roulette games, may only contribute 10% of the total wagering requirement, or $150. Whereas, Sic Bo, Casino War or Table Poker may only contribute 50% of the requirement.

This means that players can play any games they choose as long as collectively they fulfil 100% of the play-through requirement. For this reason game choice is very important when using no deposit casino bonuses for players eager to accrue and bank winnings. If banking winnings is unimportant, however, players are welcome to play any games they choose until their bonus runs out. Either way, it's a good idea to be aware of game eligibility.

What is Bonus Maximum Winnings?

To cover themselves in the event Lady Luck strikes and a players wins a mammoth payout or jackpot playing with bonus cash, online casinos always limit the maximum winnings that can be won. Highlighted in the no deposit bonus terms and conditions, this is typically around the $100 mark. In the context of playing with free real casino cash, this is a generous amount and is set in stone, regardless of if a player wins a $10,000 progressive jackpot.

In the event that a player wins well over $100 and has fulfilled the bonus wagering requirements and has met the game eligibility requirements, only a maximum of $100 will be transferred to their casino account and the balance will be forfeited. Apart from trying not to bankrupt themselves from dishing out free bonus cash, another reason casinos keep their bonus maximum winnings relatively low is to dissuade 'bonus hunters' from claiming them.

A bonus hunter is the term coined by online casinos to describe an online gambler whose only purpose is to frequent as many online casinos as they can solely to claim, play and cash out their bonus winnings. The entire point of casino bonus offers is to attract newly depositing players and retain existing players, and as such, casinos frown on players who have no intention of becoming players, other than to claim as many free bonuses as they can.

What are the Bonus Withdrawal Rules?

Once players have played their no deposit bonus, fulfilled the requirements and banked winnings as per the terms and conditions, they are just one step away from being able to unlock and either use those winnings as regular playing funds or cash them out as per the respective bonus withdrawal rules. Players can do this is by making a nominal initial deposit, the minimum of which is usually always specified in the no deposit terms and conditions.
It should be mentioned that online casinos are generally very strict about their bonus terms and conditions and always uphold them. This is why online casino fans are always encouraged to first read the Ts&Cs before claiming a bonus, because if they fail to meet the wagering requirements or any other rules specified, the casino can reserve the right to cancel the bonus, hold back winnings and even in the case of bonus abuse, ban a player entirely.

The majority of online casinos pride themselves on offering exciting and generous bonus offers, just as long as players don't abuse or misuse them. That is what the bonus terms and conditions are for - to tell players precisely how they work and what they can and can't do. As long as players abide by the casino bonus rules, they can use them to try out real money games for free, as well as even bank some winnings to add to their future deposits.

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John Holmes Written by John Holmes