Are Casino Bonuses as Profitable as Matched Betting?
April 18, 2020
Is it possible to use casino bonuses to make money?
Casino bonuses look awesome. Don’t they? They claim that they will give you huge amounts of money, sometimes without you even needing to deposit your own funds. These enticing offers bring new customers to the platform, but can they be used to turn a profit?
Can casino bonuses be used for matched betting?
Not in the same way.
With matched betting, you take free bets from bookies and place them on a team, and then back the opposing team with different bookies at the right odds to guarantee that you win back your free bet.
Casino bonuses cannot be used this way. The premise is different. Let’s say you had a free bet on roulette, and you bet on black. You cannot then bet red on another site and think that your bet is “matched”. The results of each wheel are entirely independent, and it would also be possible to lose both bets. Both wheels still have a green “0” square, which represents the house edge.
Even if you won a free casino bet, there are still wagering requirements that you must meet to withdraw your winnings. And the amount of the deposit or bonus money must be wagered a certain number of times.
However, that doesn’t mean that casino bonuses don’t have value!
Can you profit from casino bonuses?
Online casinos offers come in many forms, for example the famous 888 Casino no deposit and welcome bonuses. And even though the wagering requirements make it difficult to release the money you are initially given, as well as any money you accumulate playing the games with the free funds, there is a way.
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Let’s keep the numbers simple, and say that you are joining a site with a 100%-match bonus. If you deposit £100, you should, in theory, get £100 for free. Your deposit of the extra £100 goes straight in your account as bonus funds, but to withdraw it, you must wager it 10x. This means you must bet a total of £1,000 to gain full access to your free £100.
- The payout of the slot machine you are wagering on is 95%
- This means that if you wager $1,000, you stand to lose an average of $50 (the 5% house edge)
- Doing this, you unlock a free $100 from the bonus offer
- Your total expected value is +$50, making this a profitable casino offer
Keep in mind that casino games are not a guaranteed win. If a slot machine pays 95% in the long term, this does not mean that you will lose 5% of your money during your session. You may win, or you may lose, but in the long term, the house has a 5% edge on the slot used in the example. Statistical variance is an issue here.
Are the bonuses always profitable?
It’s important to understand the individual bonuses that you are offered. The example above is profitable or has a positive expected value, which means that the numbers are technically in your favour. Let’s look at an offer that is not profitable.
- You deposit £100 and are matched with £100 for free
- To release the bonus, you must wager it 30x for a total of £3,000
- The slot machine offers 95% returns, so you stand to lose 5% on your £150 – £3,000
- You lose an average of £150 but gain £100 free for an expected value of -£50
In this example, you will lose money in the long run. So how do you counteract that to make sure the bonus is profitable?
First, look for 200% deposit bonuses or for offers with low wagering requirements. You should also make sure you are playing the right games. The lower the house edge, the more profit you can make from free offers.
Second, check out which games are eligible for your wagering requirements. Roulette has a 2.5% house edge. In the example above, this difference would be enough to make the bonus profitable. You would stand to lose an average of £75 on your £3,000 and gain £100 free for a total of +£25.
Slots are also available online with payouts as high as 98%, which would again bring you back into a positive expected value. The competition in the market means that it is worth finding the right game to play. Although a perfect blackjack game can bring the house edge down as low as 1.5%, you would need to know exactly what you are doing.
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