How to Profit from Casino Offers

Training: Intermediate


mascot money

Wondering why casino offers are worth your time? Here you'll learn how to take advantage of them and why it can be more profitable than traditional matched betting.

Online casinos (often in a different section of a typical bookmaker site) provide an endless range of gambling products, including arcade games, virtual slots and common table games such as blackjack and roulette.

Many have a live casino section with footage of a real croupiere hosting table games with other online gamblers – almost as if you're there!

Just as with matched betting (sportsbook), bookmakers have plenty of ongoing and flash promotions for their casino games which we can also take advantage of!

Before you start trying to extract value out of actual offers, it's well worth getting accustomed to the new formats and games. Have a browse around and play some of the games with (very) small stake sizes – but stay disciplined! Making a small investment of time and money will equip you for maximising your profits later on (and protect you from getting gubbed from the get-go!).

The House Edge

Before learning how to beat casinos at their own game, we need to first understand how they operate.

It's probably no surprise to you that they have an advantage. A mathematical edge that arises from paying out less than the fair amount.

A simple way to think about it is from a coin toss. A fair casino would double your stake if you can correctly predict whether it lands on heads or tails. But in practice you'll find they pay out less than fair - in this example they might pay only 90% of your stake if you correctly guess.

It's this difference between the fair payout and what is actually paid out that's known as the "house edge".

House Edge: The difference between the fair payout and the actual payout expressed as the percentage of the player's original bet, giving the casino a mathematical advantage over long-term play.

For example, if a casino game had a house edge of 3%, then for every £100 you play on that game, the casino would make £3 on average.

Typically:

Slots = 5%
Roulette = 2.5%
Blackjack = 0.5%

Return to Player (RTP)

You may also come across this phrase so it's worth covering here. Essentially RTP is the opposite of the house edge. It is the amount that is expected to be returned over long-term play expressed as the percentage of the player's original bet.

If the house has a 7% edge then a punter playing through £100 would, on average, get £93 returned. So the return the player average would be 93%.

RTP = 1 - House Edge

Matched betting equivalent

If we jump back to matched betting as a comparison (betting on sports), this can be thought of as a matched bet on the Oddsmatcher with a 95.00 rating. Say the odds of something was 2.00 at William Hill and 2.05 lay at Betfair - a £10 bet at William Hill and a £10 lay at Betfair will return £9.50 whatever happens. In this instance you could say William Hill has a 5% house edge, with a 95% RTP.

We're losing 50p but we tend not to care so much as we're getting a free bet, or a bonus of some sort. The same idea can be applied here.

Unlike a matched bet however, we can't guarantee that 95p will be returned. If £10 were to be wagered on roulette we could receive £20 or have absolutely nothing at the end of it. So with casino offers, it comes down to weighing up the value, which we'll come to shortly.

You can take the advantage!

Just like with matched betting, we can take advantage when there's a casino promotion on offer.

The addition of a free bonus is likely to stack the odds firmly in our favour, which turns the losing game into a winning game over the long term.

Expected Value

The Expected Value (EV) will indicate whether a bonus has long term value. In other words, whether the edge is on our side (as opposed to the house) to make it worthwhile doing.

If it’s above zero then it’s worth doing (as we have the advantage), and if it’s less than zero then it’s not worth doing.

We can calculate the EV quite simply, using this equation:

Estimated Value = Bonus - (Total Wagering Requirements x House Edge)

Wagering Requirements

A typical casino bonus will have some wagering stipulation. When you have a read through an offer's T&Cs you will generally see this written in three ways:

  1. Wagering on bonus: When a bonus has a 10x wagering requirement you need to stake a total of £(10 x bonus)
  2. Wagering on bonus and deposit: When a bonus has a 10x wagering requirement you need to stake a total of £(10 x bonus)
  3. Wagering on winnings: To calculate this simply add 1 to the number of times the bonus needs to be wagered. For example, when a bonus has a 10x wagering requirement on its winnings you need to stake a total of £( (10 + 1) x bonus) or £(11 x bonus)

The most common is the first, but occasionally you'll come across the second and third used which can sometimes cause confusion.

Now that we've covered the wagering requirements and house edge, we can have a look to see how the EV is calculated for some casino bonuses.

Calculating the EV of an offer

Imagine we have a £10 bonus that has a 10x wagering requirement, and we play it on a slot that has a 4% house edge.

EV = Bonus - (Wagering Requirements x House Edge)
     EV = £10 - (10 x £10 x 0.04)
     EV = £10 - £4
     EV = £6

The expected value of the bonus here is £6.

Now we've pulled you through the mathmatical trenches (important for understanding) you'll be glad to know we have an EV calculator which will do all of this for you!

To calculate the EV of a casino bonus we need to know two things: the house edge of the game you're playing and how much wagering is required.

Using the example above we can see there's a total of £100 wagering needed, as it's a £10 bonus with a 10x required wagering.

EV Calculator

Example of a bad casino offer

If you have a play around with the EV calculator, you will notice that a bonus is generally not worth taking up if there is too much wagering required.

For example NetBet have a matched deposit up to £200 for new casino customers. The bonus is subject to a 30x wagering requirement.

NetBet Casino Offer

Double your first deposit up to £200... too good to be true?

Say we wager this all on a regular slot that has a 5% house edge.

EV = Bonus - (Wagering Requirements x House Edge)
     = £200 - (30 x £200 x 0.05)
     = £200 - £300
     = -£100

So from a £200 deposit we can expect to lose £100 after completing the wagering on an average slot. No thank you NetBet!

Example of a good casino offer

Betfair Arcade have a £10 bonus offer for new casino customers. The bonus is subject to a 1x wagering requirement.

offer

Again, we'll wager this on a regular slot that has a 5% house edge.

EV = Bonus - (Wagering Requirements x House Edge)
     = £10 - (1 x £10 x 0.05)
     = £10 - £0.50
     = +£9.50

So from a £10 deposit we can expect to make £9.50 profit after completing the wagering on an average slot. Yes please Betfair!

Summary: what we've learnt so far

Every 'game' in the casino is ingrained with an algorithm that gives them the advantage over long-term play - this is known as the 'house edge'.

The RTP ('Return to Player') is how much we will have returned on average, which is 1 - house edge.

Some offers will provide a bonus of some sort that can put the odds in our favour and therefore give us the advantage - this is calculated by the EV.

The EV of a casino bonus will indicate how much it's worth. If it's above 1, we're likely to make a profit.

Ready to get started?

Now that we've learnt the basics of turning the tables on the casino, it's time to fire away with some high EV offers! Below you'll find some of the easier casino sign-up to dig your teeth into, all of which are risk-free or low risk.

Click here to see what casino offers are currently available.


Next guide »
How to play Blackjack

 

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