In almost any online casino you have different game categories, these are typically slots, and table games, and some operators also offer gambling in the form of sports betting. Each of these activities has one thing in common, and that is they require players to wager money. All of these wagers are carefully calculated to help casinos be profitable businesses. And this is done through a so-called house edge. We will explore all casino wagers in greater detail, explain how they work and how they differ depending on the game.
Minimum Wagers, Wagering Requirements, and No Wagering Casinos
Let’s make a clear distinction between minimum wager and wagering requirements. The wagering requirement is a very common term in an online casino, and it pertains to users who claimed a bonus offer or promo code. The wagering requirement can deny someone access to their winnings if its terms and conditions aren’t met. So, if someone claimed a bonus with a 50x wagering requirement, that person must wager the amount of money that is 50 times the amount he got through the bonus before he becomes eligible to withdraw the funds. This is why no wagering casinos have become a real trend, as they offer bonuses that don’t come with such conditions. This is obviously a great deal, but it tends to be modest, for a reason.
In order to play any game at a casino, there is a limit to how much you must wager in order to participate. This is what is known as the minimum wager, and each game has a different threshold that depends on the house edge, and also the rules of the game. This minimum wager needs to be enough for a casino to make a profit, and for the prize pool that players share. This is why casinos have to have wagering requirements when handing out bonuses since they must ensure they have enough to payout players who win, and they cannot do this if they are handing out free money.
Slots are the most played games in any casino, both online and offline. They also have the lowest bar for entry, as they can consume from 10 to 50 cents per spin. Moreover, when a casino offers free spins, those spins are always countered as a minimum wager. Players also have an insight into how that money is handled, as developers usually display an RTP (return to player) rate for each game.
RTP can range from 94% to 97%, which means that out of the hypothetical 25 cents per spin, a casino only takes 3%-6% of that money and the rest is used as funds for players and jackpots. This is why casinos are never sad if someone wins big, they already got their cut, and player winnings do not really affect them.
Each of these slots has reels and paylines which determine how likely a player is to get something, and how their wager is multiplied depending on the combination. More paylines mean a higher chance of winning, but also a lower multiplier. Now there are bonus rounds and symbols that also act as multipliers for the wager, but if all of those things align you can score a jackpot. A jackpot can be a fixed amount that is 250 or 500 times the wager or it can be a progressive jackpot. A progressive jackpot actually increases as more people play a specific game, and continues to grow until someone eventually hits that jackpot.
Table games tend to have a lower house edge compared to slots, which is why the minimum bet is higher. Here is a short general overview of what you can expect to see as a minimum bet if playing these games:
- Roulette – $5
- Blackjack – $25
- Poker – Depends on the big bind
- Craps – $10
- Baccarat – $5/$25/$50 there are more variations here
Out of all of these games, poker is the only one that doesn’t have a house edge, as it is played between players. This is why there is no need to set a minimum bet, and it will be up to players to decide. In Roulette, the house edge depends on how many 0 are on the wheel (either one or two). In Blackjack, the dealer only reveals a single card or a casino might have a rule that they payout 5/3 instead of 2/1 when a player hits the blackjack. In baccarat, the house edge is just a little over 1%. When you consider those odds, it’s quite clear why minimum bets here are so different from slots.
Finally, sports betting doesn’t have fixed odds on any game, and as such, the house doesn’t have the edge in a traditional sense. Once again, it’s the players’ speculations that are pitted against one another. Basically, casinos use the money from the losing side, in order to payout those bettors who won. In the process, they keep 10% of losing bets.
Hopefully, this has provided a better understanding of how games work, and how the minimum wagering amount is calculated. Moreover, now you know which games to look at if you wish to come up with a better winning strategy. Of course, there are games like blackjack and poker where your own skill and ability play a major role, therefore you can increase your odds of winning, or decrease them if you play against the professionals.