Common Online Casino Terms and What They Mean

Online casino terms and phrases can be confusing to someone not used to hearing them. Find out what the most common ones mean here.

Online casinos use technical words and terms to describe the various products they offer. They do this in an attempt to make their wording the same across the industry. Knowing what these online casino terms mean not only helps you chat about gambling to your fellow punters but helps you understand how casinos and games work.

There are hundreds of online casino terms. There are so many that they would fill up this entire website, so we have hand-picked the most common online casino terms and explained them to you in layman’s terms.

Online Casino Terms: Matched Bonus and Reload Bonus

There tend to be two types of bonuses offered by online casinos: one for new customers and one for existing customers. New player bonus is self-explanatory, but what about the matched bonus? What does that mean?

A matched bonus means the casino matches your deposit amount in the form of a bonus. They are usually displayed as a percentage and a monetary amount. For example, 100% up to $500. This means your first deposit is matched 100% up to a maximum of $500.

A reload bonus is designed for existing customers. Anyone “reloading” their account with another deposit receives a bonus. Again, 50% up to $250 is an example of what you will see.

Check the online casino terms and conditions for any restrictions attached to any bonuses offered.

Online Casino Terms: Wagering and Playthrough Requirements

Wagering requirements are online casino terms attached to welcome and reload bonuses. They are in place to protect the casino. There was a time when “bonus whoring” was a thing. Players deposited at an online casino, claimed a bonus, played a minimal number of pokies or games, and withdrew their balances, never to be seen again. This cost casinos a lot of money.

Playthrough or wagering requirements force you to wager a predetermined amount of money before you can withdraw the bonus. Some online casinos do not allow you to withdraw any winnings obtained via the bonus until you meet these requirements.

They are typically displayed a 30x, 40x, etc. A 30x wagering requirement means you need to wager 30-times the bonus amount before you can withdraw it. Some venues ask you to wager both the deposit and bonus amount, so check the online casino terms and conditions.

These restrictions mean it is not always the best choice to go for the biggest bonus. A casino with 30x wagering requirements on a $1,000 bonus needs $30,000 worth of bets placing.

RTP, House Edge, and Variance

Casinos make their money by paying you less than the odds of an outcome happening. For example, betting $1 on a coin toss is a 50-50 proposition. The casino would make no money if it paid you $1 for a correct guess. Likewise, it would lose money if it paid you $1.25 for being right. Instead, it pays you $0.90 for guessing. That is the house edge.

Online casino terms and conditions state a game’s house edge, called Return to Player or RTP in terms of pokies, must be easily found. It is displayed as a percentage. Blackjack typically has a 0.5% house edge. The average online poker has a 96% RTP.

A game with a 0.5% house edge sees the casino win, on average, $5 from every $100 you wager. A poker machine with a 96% RTP sees the casino win, on average, $4 for every $100 you gamble (100-96 = 4). A lower house edge means fewer swings in your bankroll.

Variance, sometimes called volatility, are online casino terms used for pokies. Manufacturers rate their machines low, medium, or high. Some go deeper and rate them on a 1-5 or 1-10 scale.

A game with low variance produces a smoother player experience with fewer losing spins stretches but smaller wins. Conversely, a high variance machine awards more significant wins but does so less frequently.