10 Pro Tips On The Best Way To Meet Bonus Terms

Bonus terms are all that stand between you and real money winnings—we’re going to go over how to beat them. And we mean really beat them: no snake oil will be sold today! We’re going to go over what actually works, and the little things you can do to get a small, but meaningful edge.

What You’ll Learn On This Page

Bonus terms are easy to navigate once you know what they are. But it’s still common for new players to accidentally breach them. What follows is a series of tips that will help you avoid this event.

#1. Stick to the Approved Game List

The casino decides which games you can play with your bonus. Our advice is to stick to these games until you meet the other terms and withdraw your winnings. If you don’t, your bonus will be taken away from you.

Now, the types of games you can play will depend somewhat on the type of bonus you claim. For example, no deposit bonuses come with tighter game restrictions than deposit bonuses.

Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect:

  • Deposit Bonuses – If you make a deposit, you generally get a lot more freedom to decide the game you play. These bonuses are usually eligible to be used on most slots, and some table games.
  • No Deposit Bonus Credit – Bonus credit (or bonus cash) will usually let you play a handful of popular slot games.
  • No Deposit Free Spins – These tend to be tied to a single slot game. And casinos usually hand out these free spins on popular slots they know resonate with players.

#2. Check Out Game Specs

So – you’ve found a bonus you want to claim, and you’ve checked the eligible games. Your next task is to look into the game attributes.

Our advice is to focus on the game’s RTP and volatility. Together, these two attributes provide an insight into how the game plays in real time. Let’s go over how it works.

  • Volatility – A slot’s volatility tells you how much and how frequently it pays out. If a slot has high volatility, you win less frequently. The trade-off, though, is that when you win, you win a larger value. Low volatility is when wins are small and frequent.
  • RTP – RTP, on the other hand, stands for Return to Player. This attribute determines how much the slot theoretically returns to players over time. The key takeaway here is that the higher the RTP, the better your chances of winning.

Finding these attributes is easy. You’ll find the info in any of our game reviews, on the slot provider’s website, or in the game’s settings.

Top Tip

You can choose to play any slot you like. However, when playing with a no deposit bonus, our advice is to play on a slot with an RTP over 96%, and a volatility rating of either low or medium. These slots will give frequent, small wins, allowing you to meet the wagering requirements and potentially make a profit over the long term.

#3. Never Wager Above the Bet Limit

Most casino bonuses have a strict bet limit, usually set to $5 per spin. Make sure you record what it is and do not make any bet worth more than the bet limit.

If you make bets larger than the bet limit, the casino will cancel your withdrawal as it reviews your session history to confirm you wagered the bonus per the terms and conditions.

Here’s where players go wrong: they claim their free spins or bonus credit, and they use it all while staying under the bet limit. After all the bonus is gone, they take their bonus winnings and make a bet worth, say, $10. Do not do this.

The bet limit applies throughout the entirety of your bonus play. This means from the first time you use your bonus, until you cash out your winnings as real money. Therefore until you meet all the other bonus terms, do not breach the bet limit!

#4. Manage Your Bankroll Effectively

This is a trick that takes a while to figure out—a bit of planning goes a long way. It’s very tempting to go gun-ho and make the maximum bet with every spin or wager. Occasionally, you might get lucky, but it’s not an optimal approach.

You’ll find that scaling your bankroll with your budget is the best approach. This means making small bets when your budget is low, and going on the offensive when you have cash to spare. This balanced approach makes sure you can stretch your budget to meet the wagering requirements and increase your winnings when the risk is low.

Top Tip

How I Would Stretch My Bankroll To Wager A Bonus

A concrete example might help here. Say you claim a $10 no deposit bonus with wagering of 20x. With this bonus, you’d have to wager around $200.

My approach is this:

  • Low Budget – When my bankroll dwindles to under $5, I make bets around $0.10 per spin to stretch it out for as long as possible until a big win helps me recover.
  • Medium Budget – Once my budget reaches $20, I increase the bet limit to around 0.25. That’s 4 spins for every $1.
  • High Budget– At around $100, my budget is large enough to withstand larger bets (and larger losses). Here, anywhere between $1-$5 per spin is manageable, so long as I reigned it in if my luck ran out.

#5. Be Clear On The Wagering Requirements

This is a big one. You are expected to ‘wager’ the value of your bonus a number of times. We know, it sounds like a lot of jargon. Let’s break down what it means.

Imagine you claim a bonus worth $10 in bonus credit. You check the T&Cs and the wagering requirements state ‘20x’. What this means is that you have to wager the ‘value’ of your bonus ($10) twenty times ($10 x 20 = $200).

Before you could withdraw your winnings, you’d have to make bets that total $200 in value. Only then would you be able to withdraw your winnings as real cash.

Now, we’ve used fairly generous terms to explain the concept.

In most cases, you won’t get bonuses with wagering requirements of 20x—wagering requirements average at around 35x-45x, so if you’re looking for a new bonus, you can follow these rough benchmarks:

  • Great – Below 35x.
  • Average – 35-45x.
  • Challenging – Above 45x.
Top Tip

I always get asked about wagering requirements—what are they, how do they work, how can I beat them. And I understand why. They’re not only very important, but can be a bit difficult to get your head around. If you’re not 100% on the term, please take a look at our article on wagering requirements.

#6. Keep Track of Your Progress

The progress bar. This is a little-known tool we encourage you to use.

Whenever you claim a bonus or promotion, your casino will help you track your wagering progress so you know exactly how much more you need to play to convert your bonus to real money you can withdraw.

Most of the time you can find the progress bar in your account settings, under a specific tab named something like “Bonuses”, “Promotions”, or “Wagering Requirements”.

Once you’re on the right page, you’ll see a progress bar that records how much you’ve wagered, the total amount you need to wager, and it may even represent your progress as a percentage. Once you’ve met the requirements, the bar should read 100%—giving you the green-light to make a withdrawal.

As well as this, you need to stay aware of your bonus’ expiry dates. Yes, that’s plural. Not only do you need to activate your bonus within 24-48 hours, but you’ll have anywhere between 2-30 days to meet the wagering requirements (it can vary a lot, make sure you check it!).

#7. Choose Games Based On Contribution, Not Preference

This is where things get a bit more complicated. Game contribution refers to a rule where certain games contribute more to the wagering requirements than other games. Again, this is a lot of jargon – let’s break it down.

Imagine you claim a bonus worth $10. In the T&Cs, it says that Slots contribute 100%, whereas Table Games contribute 10%.

Essentially, this means that when you wager $10 on slots, the entire $10 goes towards the wagering requirements. Whereas when you wager $10 on table games, only $1 (10%) goes towards the wagering requirements.

Now, unless you’re a blackjack or poker pro, we suggest you play slots. Most of the time, the game contribution for table games is so low that – no matter how good you are – making up for the low contribution is nearly impossible.

And we can prove it. Check out the table below. It goes over the difference in how much you’d have to wager on slots versus table games with a typical no deposit bonus.

Bonus Value Wagering Req. Slots (100%) Table Games (5%)
$10 30x $300 $6000
$10 50x $500 $10,000

#8. If Possible, Use A Strategy

By strategy, we mean playing games in which you can affect your chances of winning to some degree by making ‘the right’ choices. And now, we’re talking about table games like Carribean stud poker and Blackjack. Slots are always based on luck, and you’re basically at the mercy of the game algorithms.

For example, you can follow general recommendations for when to call and raise bets in Carribean Stud Poker or when to stand, double down or split cards in a Blackjack session. However, be prepared to do a fair bit of reading and research before you can confidently employ these tactics during a game.

Top Tip

Be A Smart Gambler

Please don’t fall for the grifters online. Even when a little strategy is useful, luck plays a huge role in the outcome. Make sure you can afford what you’re gambling and never chase your losses—establish a budget, and stick to it. Learn more tips and tricks on how to gamble responsibly by checking out our feature article.

#9. Take Advantage of Loyalty Programs and Extra Promos

Both VIP and loyalty programs can be a goldmine for players looking to get an edge over a casino.

Casino loyalty programs reward you whenever you make a bet. Sometimes, they can also help you meet the wagering requirements of your bonus.

Here’s how:

  • As you play games, you earn points—these are called comp points.
  • You can trade comp points for a variety of rewards, such as bonus cash, free spins, and more.
  • This gives you more to play with, helping you meet the wagering requirements associated with any bonus.

We should say at this point that you need to make sure this is allowed at your casino, as it might not be.

Another similar trick used is to stack bonuses. While rare, you might find that you are eligible for a welcome bonus and a few promotions. By claiming them all, you can increase your bankroll and get extended playtime.

This, again, isn’t always allowed, so make sure you read the T&Cs—look for a sentence that says it can’t be used “in conjunction” with other bonuses.

#10. Choose Your Payment Method Wisely

Generally, e-wallets are great. Skrill, Neteller, and PayPal are quick and painless. But we recommend you avoid them when you claim a casino bonus. And the reason why might shock you.

Basically, e-wallets are usually excluded from bonus offers (deposit bonuses, especially). And therefore you will be blocked from using them when trying to claim a bonus.

The reasons for this revolve mostly around concerns with bonus abuse and fraud prevention. Since e-wallets make it easy to set up an account, players have been able to create multiple accounts and claim the same bonus multiple times—a clear breach of the terms.

Nonetheless, not all casinos have an issue with e-wallets, so we again direct you to the T&Cs of the bonus you want to claim. We just find it’s easier to avoid them.

Another thing to consider with the payment method you use is that you want to use the same method for deposits and withdrawals.

This helps you avoid potential delays for two reasons:

  • KYC Compliance – Casinos need to know who their customers are. Using the same method helps streamline this process as they can easily check that the same person who made the deposit is making the withdrawal.
  • AML Practices – Consistent use of a single payment method helps casinos track the flow of money and detect any suspicious activity.
Top Tip

Make The Withdrawal Process A Breeze

Most casinos do all they can to make depositing and withdrawing a safe and easy process. But it’s not always up to the casino; sometimes, what you do makes the difference. My tip is to learn about KYC processes —knowing a little about them will help you expedite the process.

Wrapping Up The Rules

If we were to summarise all our advice into three key takeaways you should follow, it would be this:

  • Read the T&Cs – In fact, understand them too! This is one of the most critical steps when playing with a casino bonus. Learn what they are, and take 5 minutes every time you go to claim a bonus so you understand what’s expected of you.
  • Play Slots – Your chances of winning on any game other than slots are slim. Remember: high RTP, low volatility—that’s your best bet.
  • Find Low Wagering Requirements – The wagering requirements are the obstacle you have to overcome. The lower they are, the better your chances.

About the Author

Hi, I'm Laura Simpson, the Chief Editor at NoDepositCasino.Guide - With hundreds of reviews and thousands of no deposit bonuses, NoDepositCasino.Guide is certainly your one-stop destination for free online gambling. Our bonuses are updated daily and we pride ourselves on providing the highest percentage of working bonus, worldwide.