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dkJakob Röder
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13 June 2011 - 4:14pm

Allowed games - What does that mean exactly?

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Hello everybody Smile

I hope someone can help me whit this question.
I want to play roulette on online casinoes - and I do not fully understand the rules regarding allowed games. If I get a bonus and play a game that is not allowed - and actually win anything - does that mean, that I can't cash my bonus, or does it mean that I can't cash my winnings either?
I also would like to know this regarding wagering requirments.

auCL-Ed
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13 June 2011 - 11:13pm
#1

Hi Jakob, casinos disallow play on certain games when you claim a bonus because all games have a different house edge. They generally want to prevent players from playing games with a low house edge because playing such games makes it easier for the player to win with the bonus.

If you play a game that is not allowed it almost always means that you cannot cash your bonus or winnings. Not all bonuses can be cashed anyway - some are "non-cashable" (a.k.a. "sticky") which means you can use them to bet but you cannot withdraw the bonus, only the winnings.

Wagering requirements mean that you have to bet a cumulative amount before you can withdraw. For example, if you deposit €100 and receive a €100 bonus with 30xB wagering requirements, then you will have to wager 30 x 100 = €3000 in total before you can withdraw (every bet you make on a spin or hand adds up to this total). Some casinos allow all games to be played, but the rate at which they accumulate differs. We list this information on the casino review pages here - each bonus has a "More" link - when you click the wagering requirements and other information will slide down for you to check.

We have more information on cashable vs non-cashable bonuses and wagering requirements here.

On our roulette bonuses page for example, you can see which bonuses are cashable by looking for the mark in the "cash" column, and the wagering requirements for roulette are listed there too. Also make sure that you check which version of roulette is allowed - some casinos will allow American roulette (double 0 with double the house edge), but not European roulette.

The reason certain games are disallowed despite having a higher house edge is due to the ability for players to use betting strategies that minimise losses while playing with the bonus. For example in roulette you could bet equal amounts on red and black or odd/even, and most of the time (36/37) you will have a net result of 0 while the wagering requirements are being reduced. So for example, if you took a bonus that required $2000 in wagering, you could place $1000 on red and $1000 on black and complete the wagering requirements in one spin, with a 97.3% chance of not losing, then withdraw the bonus if it is cashable. Similar things can be done with Baccarat and Craps, which is why you rarely see them allowed on a bonus either. I must make it very clear: DO NOT TRY THAT while playing with a bonus or you will be banned from most casinos!

If you are ever uncertain about the allowed games or wagering requirements, make sure you contact the casino support and ask them before you start playing with your bonus money.

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dkJakob Röder
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22 June 2011 - 11:46am
#2

Hi Ed

Thank you very much for the information.
But what I want to know is much more specific: If I receive a bonus and play a game, that is not "allowed" or do not meet the wager requirements, will a casino then keep the bonus (and it will just be a kind of de facto sticky bonus) or will they also keep my winnings?
I ask because this is often my situation: I want to play at an online casino. I like a bonus to use to bet more. I keep playing until I loose my deposit and bonus - or until I win several times my deposit + bonus. If I then loose, it doesn't matter whether the casino would have kept the bonus - and if I win a lot, it doesn't matter that much - but it would matter if they kept the winnings! I'm not thinking of a cleaver way to kind of cheat the casinos and cashing a bonus "too easily". But often I don't want to read and remember a bunch of rules and restrictions just because I like to get a bonus to play with Smile
I understand your example about playing both red and black at the same time - I never thought of that - and no, I would definitely never try that lol - but in that case (and in similar cases in other games) I would also be absolutely guaranteed not to win anything - so in cases like that, it should be more than enough for a casino to keep the bonus.

And thanks for a very interesting site by the way Smile

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auCL-Ed
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23 June 2011 - 12:45am
#3

Most casinos will keep the winnings as well. This sort of thing is almost always written in their T&Cs.

A reputable casino may look at logs of your play and try to establish whether you gained an advantage from playing the restricted games, and if not they may still pay you. But you would be running a big risk and they would be unlikely to do it more than once.

I have said for a long time that casinos should be disabling games that you are not allowed to play while you have an active bonus. It would be simple to program the software so that you received a message that said something like "sorry you are not permitted to play this game until you have completed the wagering requirements for your bonus". It would prevent any mistakes from happening, especially for players who are new to online casinos and are not aware of all the rules and catches that come with bonuses.

Some casinos with proprietary software do this now - I think 3Dice and maybe Party Casino do it. But not the major software manufacturers, although to be fair, some like Microgaming will let you play any game you like while you have a bonus. What they will do instead is set the wagering requirements so high on games with a low house edge that it would take forever to complete the wagering on just that game (eg blackjack wagering $1 might only count as 2 cents to the wagering requirements).

With the roulette example - yes you would be guaranteed to not win anything, but also 97% chance of not losing either but wiping out the wagering requirements in the process. This would leave you with a cashable bonus ready to withdraw (in effect winning the bonus amount with only a tiny risk), or a sticky bonus with the wagering requirements completed which would allow you to withdraw the second you hit a big win. That is why the casinos forbid such tactics. "Bonus whoring" using blackjack or other low house edge game is another strategy that casinos don't like - i.e. the house edge is so low on blackjack that you can easily profit with a cashable bonus with low enough wagering requirements, not by trying to win big, but by trying to lose as little as possible until the wagering requirements are met and keeping the remaining part of the bonus.

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dkJakob Röder
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24 June 2011 - 5:54pm
#4

I absolutely agree that it would be a great service if you were automatically alerted if you were about to play a game that wasn't allowed. Maybe then you wouldn't have to study the T&Cs so hard.

Again thank you very much for the information Smile

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