Author: Elsie Day

What is the wager requirement? Why online casinos impose a wager requirement? 

If you have received any bonus from an online casino you should now be familiar with the wager requirement they impose. If you don’t know what it is, you should read this article because this is an important issue.

Almost all sa online casinos offer bonuses to new players and to existing ones. The reason is to atract new players and to keep them loyal to the casino. These bonuses are an excellent leverage to your initial money, allowing you to play with 2 or 3 times the chips you purchase.

Even if you are not familiar with online casino gambling, you should have seen, by now, online casinos offering you 100% match bonuses and no deposit free chips to try them out. They want you to play at their casinos because they think they offer a good service and gambling experience and because there is a lot of competition amongst online casinos. These bonuses offers are quite tipical, and you should not be affraid of using the free money they give you. Although, there are some issues that you should care about in order to avoid problems when you win and want to withdraw your money. The most important thing you should look at is the wager requirement.

What is the wager requirement? Why this imposition? 

Of course online casinos can not give you free money without imposing certain rules. They offer you free money in order to enhance your experience at the online casino and to catch your attention. They want you to play and not to receive the free chips and run away with their money. If there is no requirement, you could deposit $100, receive $100 free, and withdraw $200. That’s very nice for you!!! Not for the casino, of course. That’s why they impose a wager requirement.

The wager requirement is a certain number of times you must bet a certain amount of money. Online casinos usually require you to wager X times your initial purchase plus the bonus offer. For example, if you made a purchase of $100 and they gave you $100 free, you should place an amount of bets of X times $200. If X is 10, you should place a total amount of bets equal to 10 x $200 = $2000. Before you can cash in your winning you must place $2000 in bets.

You should look with care at the casino terms and conditions. All online casinos must have a page with terms and conditions where they explain all the casino rules and policies, and where an explanation of the bonuses terms and conditions must be. If you can’t find the terms and conditions at the casino page, contact them, asking for the rules before using the bonus. We are also here to help. You can use our contact form to ask us for help regarding this kind of issues. We will be more than happy to help you.

Almost all online casinos impose a wager requirement but the ‘X’ I spoke above varies drastically between casinos. That’s why you should look at the terms and conditions page. Some casinos will impose you to wager 5 times the deposit plus bonuses and others will impose you to wager 40 times the same value. 40 times is too much, and 5 times is a very generous offer.

I hope I have clarified you about the wager requirement. Please note that the wager requirement is not the only requirement online casinos have regarding bonus use. Sometimes they impose you other requirements like a maximum withdrawal, minimum withdrawal, non-cashable bonus, and other requirements.

If you are new to casino gambling, do not start playing without first checking our guide. Learn what you should do before start risking your money.

1. Learn the game rules. If you are not familiar with online casinos and with the games available, learn all the game rules, before start playing. You can also download, for free, casino software and start using it just to play for fun. Almost all online casinos have a free “play for fun” option. In this way you can learn all the rules, try all the games and choose your favorite ones, and get an idea of how the software works.

2. Choose a casino. After you decide to open an account at an online casino, and play for real, its time to choose a casino.

3. Give it a try. You can start to choose a casino with a no deposit required bonus. There are a lot of no deposit required casinos around. They offer you free money that can help you decide if you like the casino and to get more experience about real playing.

4. Find more about the casino. Check the casino website carefully. Read all the information about the casino available.

4.1. Casino general information. Check the “About Us” section. It can give you information about casino ownership, licensing, software, and more important issues.

4.2. Payout rates. Check the payout rates and who reviews these payouts.

4.3. Bonus/promotions. Read with special attention the bonus and promotions page. I say with special attention because it is a good idea not only to evaluate the bonus and promotions by their appealing but also by the restrictions the casino may impose you. ALWAYS check the terms and conditions. All the casinos impose restrictions on the use of the bonus they give you. It is obvious that this is a necessary requirement for them, otherwise it would be possible to you to profit without risking your money. Generally, they impose you to wager your bonus a certain number of times before withdrawing it. There are some casinos that impose you a minimum withdrawal amount and there are also casinos that impose a maximum withdrawal, or that state that the bonus is not cashable. It is also common to find a rule that state that certain games are not eligible to the fulfillment of your wager requirements. Games like Roulette, and Sic Bo are almost always excluded, because it is possible to wager with a minimum risk exposure on these games. Check all these rules before choosing a casino and claiming your bonus.

4.4. Banking information. Read the section with banking information. It is important to know what deposit/withdrawal methods are available. Determine which option(s) are the best for you. There are some payment methods that are instantaneous and other that can take long time and delay your playing start and/or your withdrawal time.

4.5. Customer support. Check also the support section. You may not need to call support now, but you may need later. All casinos give email support and have phone support too. You may want to check if the casino gives a fast response to your queries by sending them an email, or trying to phone them.

5. Learn your rules. It is not always important that you understand the game rules but also that you state rules for yourself and your money. Decide how much you are willing to spend before start playing. DO NOT RISK MORE THAN YOU CAN, and if you loose your money do not decide to spend a little more just to recover your losses. That’s a very good start to amplify them. If you’re winning a reasonable amount, it is time to withdraw your winnings.

6. Do not abuse casino promotions and rules. Casinos give you free money in order to catch your attention and to make you loyal to them. You are free to open an account with various different casinos and receive your bonuses. But, do not try to open an account more than one time at a casino in order to receive the welcome bonus twice. Also, do not try to withdraw your winnings without fulfilling the terms and conditions requirements. You will end up with your winnings confiscated by the casino. They also have a common shared database of player’s abuse, and you can end up being not allowed to play at more than one casino.

7. Play and have fun. Well, there is no much more to say. Just sit comfortably, and start playing…and Good Luck!

So you are sitting at a $3/$6 Hold’em table, and the cards are dealt. You decide that with your hand, it is worth $3 to see the flop. You call. The next two players fold, the following player raises. Now you decide that it isn’t really worth $6 to see the flop, and you wish you had never placed a bet in the first place.

That is difference table position makes. Had you already known someone was going to raise, you would’ve saved three dollars that hand by simply folding. Knowing what your opponents are going to do makes a difference.

A full Hold’em table is broken into three pieces. The first three players are said to be in Early Position. They must act before most of their opponents. Because they are acting first, players in early position should avoid playing marginal hands. After all, there are up to nine more hands at the table to contend with. Instead, players in early position should limit themselves to playing only premium hands.

The next set of players at the table are said to be in Middle Position. They have seen some of their opponents act, so they have an idea of what they are up against. If no one has raised, players in middle position do not need to limit themselves to only the premium starting hands. Another advantage of middle position is that there are fewer players who have not acted, and so the chances that someone will raise you are lower.

The last set of players are said to be in Late Position. They have the advantage of having seen most of their opponents already act. The very last player to act has the most advantage that table position can offer. They have seen everyone act, and should they decide to call a bet there is no chance of someone raising them. Players in late position can play a wider range of starting hands because they already know how many opponents they will be facing.

The general guide is to play very tightly in Early Position sticking to only the best starting hands. In Middle Position, stick to playing good starting hands, but they need not be the very best. In Late Position players can afford to play much more loosely.

Of course there are different betting strategies that can be used depending on your table postion and the actions of your opponents, but the first thing to understand is that where you are seated in relation to the dealer makes a difference. You can improve your game right away by simply paying attention to your table position.

The first thing a Holdem player should learn is which cards are worth playing, and which should be folded. Many beginning players stay in a hand with cards that have little or no future, and it ends up showing in there chip count.

The first thing a Holdem player should learn is which cards are worth playing, and which should be folded. Many beginning players stay in a hand with cards that have little or no future, and it ends up showing in there chip count.

Remember that no two cards alone can be unbeatable, and once the flop falls things that once looked good may no longer be worth pursuing. Still, to give yourself the best chance to succeed, play only the premium hands.

The best starting hands are:

  • Large Pairs – Aces, Kings, Queens, Jacks. Even pairs of tens and nines and eights are high quality starting hands. Play them.
  • Aces with suited High Cards – When you get an Ace with a K,Q,J, or even a ten, many good things can happen. You already have high card. If a flush comes, you’ll have the best possible one because of your ace. High straights, and even a straight flush is possible with these cards. Play them.
  • Suited Faces Cards and Tens – While it’s nicer to have an ace in the hole, suited face cards are playable hands. They hold a lot of potential including high pair with a strong kicker, straights, and flushes.
  • Aces with unsuited High Cards – Aces with an unsuited partner can still give you top pair with a high kicker, or a high straight. Because other players may also have an ace, the strength of the second card in your hand is important. If two players tie, that second card, or ‘kicker’ will decide the winner. This is why A-10 is a playable hand, and A-6 is not. (A-10 can also turn into a high straight). So while aces are highly sought after, do not feel the need to play every hand in which you are dealt an ace.
  • King with Face Card – A King with a Queen, or with a Jack is a playable hand. But, it is not as strong as you may think. Still, two face cards rank high enough that seeing the flop is often a good idea.

These are the strongest starting hands in a Texas Holdem game. Other hands are playable depending on the circumstances at the table, but beginners may want to stick to playing only these premium hands until they understand the game more fully. Playing these hands will not guarantee that you will be a winner. Poker doesn’t work that way. Even pairs of Aces get beaten. But, if you want to win a pot, finding any of the cards listed on the chart in your hand is a good place to start.

Good Hold’em players can ‘Read the Board’, and they know what hands might be lurking out there at the table ready to show themselves and take the pot. They also know what hands can not be possible, and so they know not to worry defending against them. How can you tell what hands are possible, and what ones are not? Here are some simple guidelines to get you started.

  • Pairs on the Board – if there are a pair of cards on the board, someone may have a Four-of-a-Kind. If there are no pairs on the board, no one can have a Four-of-a-Kind. Pairs on the board also make a Full House possible. Both of these hands are very strong, so when the board pairs pay attention. Someone may be holding a monstor hand.
  • Three of a Suit – is what is necessary for a flush. Sometimes when the suited community cards are not particularly impressive, say 2-7-9 of clubs, it becomes easy to overlook the potential flush in your opponents hands.
  • Sequence Cards – the cards that make a straight possible. If the cards on the board only have two ‘holes’ in a string of five consecutive cards, someone may be holding those cards and just may have that straight. So, when cards like 9-J-Q show themselves on the board, beware that an opponent may be holding the ‘missing’ 10-K in their hand.

Of course you know what cards are in your hand, and that can help you deduce what cards your opponents may have.

Reading the Board
– The board shows K-K-9-2-6
– You have: A-K in your hand
Is there a pair on the board?
– Yes. Both a Four-of-a-Kind and a Full House are possibleAre there three suited cards on the board?
– No. A Flush is not possible.

Are there three Sequence Cards on the board?
– No. A straight is not possible.

Can you use your cards to rule out possible hands?
– Yes. Since you have one of the K, no one can have Four-of-a-Kind this hand.

Conclusion
– Because of the pair on the board, Full Houses are possible.
Your opponent would need to have K and either a 9,6, or 2 in their hand
to complete the Full House. Or, they may have 2-2, 9-9, or 6-6 and complete the full house in that manner.

We show on this article that with a very simple strategy it is possible to minimize the house edge and maximize your winning chances when playing Red Dog Poker.

Red Dog Poker is a very simple game to play. There are no special learning needs to play this game and a very simple strategy can be developed to maximize your winnings. If you don’t know the game rules, you can check my other article here on SharpGambler to learn all the important features of the game.

At Red Dog Poker, the only important decision you will have to make on each round is weather to raise your bet or not. After you make your initial bet, the dealer will draw to cards and you will have to make the decision to raise or not your bet. That’s the only decision we can study to maximize your winning chances. What we want is to test if there is any rule that we can follow that would give better results than a simple naive strategy. Let’s see…

In order to raise a bet we must have an expected payout greater than 1, or 100%, otherwise, by raising, we are maximizing the expected losses. We must look at the expected payoffs, that are summarized bellow.

Spread Odds Win Probability Game Probability Expected Payout (naive strategy) Expected Payout (optimal strategy)
pair tie 0.9600 0.0588 0.9600 0.9600
triple 11 to 1 0.0400 0.4800 0.4800
consecutive tie 1.0000 0.1448 1.0000 1.0000
1 5 to 1 0.0800 0.1327 0.4800 0.4800
2 4 to 1 0.1600 0.1207 0.8000 0.8000
3 2 to 1 0.2400 0.1086 0.7200 0.7200
4 1 to 1 0.3200 0.0965 0.6400 0.6400
5 2 to 1 0.4000 0.0845 0.8000 0.8000
6 3 to 1 0.4800 0.0724 0.9600 0.9600
7 4 to 1 0.5600 0.0603 1.1200 1.2400
8 5 to 1 0.6400 0.0483 1.2800 1.5600
9 6 to 1 0.7200 0.0362 1.4400 1.8800
10 7 to 1 0.8000 0.0241 1.6000 2.2000
11 8 to 1 0.8800 0.0121 1.7600 2.5200
Average Overall Payout: 90.81% 96.84%
House Edge: 9.19% 3.16%

The first column of the table shows all the different Red Dog Poker game variations. The second column shows the odds – the payout for the different game variations. Win probability is the probability you have of winning a game. For example, if the first two cards dealt are Ace and Queen, the spread is 1, and the probability you have of winning the game is 0.08 (8%). Game probability is the probability of game happening. For example, a game with a spread of 6 has a probability of 0.0724 (7.24%) of happening.

The last two columns are the most important ones for our analysis of Red Dog Poker strategy. The first one refers to the expected payout when you just click-and-go, when you never raise your bet. The second column is the expected payout for an optimal Red Dog strategy. Let’s look at a spread 6 game. The expected payout is 0.96. This means that given a spread of 6, for each dollar you bet you are expected to receive 0.96. You are loosing 0.04 dollar, on average, for each dollar you play. What this means to you? It means that you will not want to raise your bet when you have a spread of 6. Why? Because you are expected to loose money, on average, on that spread. If you’re expected to loose money, you want to minimize the loss. The only thing you can do to minimize it is not raising your bet. You will raise only for the games in which the expected payout is greater than 1.Looking at the table it is easily seen that it is optimal to raise the bet only when the spread is 7 or more.

Let’s look now at the last two rows of the table. The average payout of Red Dog Poker is 90.81%, and the house edge is 9.19%, when you use a naïve strategy of click-and-go-and-never-raise. But, if you use an optimal strategy of raising when the spread is 7 or more, the average payout is 96.84% and the house edge decreases to 3.16%.

As you can see, you can improve your overall results at Red Dog Poker by optimizing your strategy of play. The optimal strategy is very simple: raise only on spreads of 7 or more. The analysis presented here is for a Red Dog Poker game using only one card deck, but the overall result in terms of strategy of play is the same if you add more decks. The big difference is on the house edge. As you increase the number of decks, the house edge decreases and would be 2.75% with 8 card decks, but will not decrease significantly after that.

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