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The casino can be quite daunting – and it was something that took us a lot of courage to finally get started: but what a mistake that delay was, as it probably cost us thousands of pounds in the process! When you read through various matched betting communities and see the £1k, £1.5k+ monthly figures many members are making, it is all to do with the casino and exploiting the bonuses they provide.
I am not going to ramble about the intricate details as to how a casino and casino bonuses work, as it is covered quite brilliantly here in the Oddsmonkey guide section. However, to break it down simply:
All casino machines and table games have an edge (or advantage) for the casino over the players to ensure that the casino turns a profit.
As an example, a standard slot machine works with algorithms that have an RTP (return to player) of 95% – some machines may have RTPs of up to 98%. Using a standard 95% slot RTP as an example – this means that for every £100 spent on this machine, using say £1 spins, a player is expected to lose £5. Does this mean he/she loses £5 every time? Well no, not quite. Some players may hit a bonus and win thousands of pounds, whereas some players may be down on their initial £100. The point is that over the course of thousands of pounds being spent on that particular slot machine, the algorithms put in place ensure that the machine in question will make 5% profit for the casino from the thousands of pounds put through it by the players. This is known as the casinos edge, which we touched upon earlier (100% – 95% slot RTP = 5% casino edge/advantage).
So if casinos always have the edge, how do we, as matched bettors, then make money from them?
Well, quite simply, we only ever use the casino when they give us offers and bonuses with a +EV.
A +EV refers to a positive expected value and is where the tables are turned so that we have the edge over the casino. The +EV ensures that we make money over the long-term – in a similar way the casinos do when the edge is with them.
+EV in the one way as to how so many savvy matched bettors are making thousands of pounds of profit every month.
You may be wondering now though, if +EV offers and promotions make casinos lose their edge, why on earth do they do them?
Well it’s worth remembering, matched bettors like us are such a tiny percentage of the gambling world. The point of the casino giving bonuses where the player is expected to win, is to get a (normal) player hooked, make them feel special, make them feel like they can win every time, and to get them used to the different casino games and machines available so that they feels comfortable using all the areas of the casino’s website. This tactic entices normal players to play, without the need for a bonus, and eventually the casino does its thing and takes the player to the cleaners. The said gambler will always remember their big win(s), think they can do it every time, deposit more money, and then the losing cycle will continue.
This is the process of a gambler (which is how casinos and sportsbooks make their money) – but remember, we are matched bettors, and thus have control and a unique understanding of how things work to ensure we never fall into the bookie/casinos trap.
There are many different types of casino bonuses that give a +EV advantage to their customers. To see some great examples, with quick guides and the profits you can make you can visit the Oddsmonkey’s Casino Welcome Offer List.
For now, to explain how we profit from +EV casino offers we will use a simple example offer, such as “deposit and wager £20 on the slot Slingo Rainbow Riches, and get £10 cash back”.
The first thing we need to check is the RTP of the slot. (The Oddsmonkey guides do this for us, but for this worked example we start right from the beginning).
On https://slotcatalog.com/ we can search for any slot and find the RTP. Slingo Rainbow Riches has a 95% RTP – or a 5% casino edge.
This means from the £20 we need to wager (spend) on this slot we are expected to lose £1. We work out the expected loss by multiplying the wagering amount (£20) by the casino edge percentage (0.05). However, for wagering £20 on the slot we will be given £10 cash back (regardless of whether we win or lose on the slot overall). This cash back means that this offer therefore has an Expected Value of £9 – which means it is +EV offer. The +EV is calculated by taking the expected loss from the initial wagering (£1) away from the cash back amount of £10.
This was a basic example. Sometimes casino offers can be slightly more complicated. Let’s look at a variation on the same example offer: “spend £20 on Slingo Rainbow Riches and receive a £10 bonus that has to be wagered x10”.
Instead of cashback here, we are instead getting a £10 casino bonus – which has to be wagered (spent) ten times over before any winnings will be eligible for us withdraw.
£10 bonus x 10 totals £100 of bonus wagering that must be done before any winnings can be withdrawn. To be clear – you are NOT spending £100 of your own money here! You will be using the casino’s £10 of bonus money to do this £100 in wagering. If the bonus finishes before you’ve wagered the £100 you just stop and don’t wager any more of your own money.
If you are using 25p spins on the slot, in order to do £100 in wagering you have to do 400 spins (400 x 0.25 = 100). Considering this in another way – if your first spin is 25p, your second spin is 25p and your third spin is 25p, you have spun a total of 75p from the £100 wagering that is required. This leaves you with another £99.25p left to spin from your bonus in order to complete your wagering.
How do we now work out if this offer is +EV or not?
Well, we already know the expected loss from the initial £20 of wagering is £1 on this slot.
We additionally now need to work out the expected loss from wagering the £10 bonus 10 times on this slot. We work this out by multiplying the bonus wagering amount (£100) by the casino edge percentage (0.05).
= £100 wagering x 0.05 casino edge = an expected £5 loss from the £10 bonus.
So, from the £10 bonus that has to be wagered x 100, we are expected to lose £5, leaving us with an expected profit value of £5 from the bonus. Once we also take into account the £1 expected loss from the initial £20 wagering to then this offer has an Expected Value of £4 – which means this is also a +EV offer. The +EV is calculated here by adding the expected loss from the initial wagering (£1) to the expected loss from wagering the casino bonus (£5), then taking this (£6) away from the casino bonus amount (£10).
What would happen to the EV if the £10 bonus had had to be wagered twenty times though instead of ten?
Quite simply, we would steer clear of this offer! It would no longer have a positive EV.
A £10 casino bonus with x20 wagering means the bonus needs £200 of wagering (20 x £10 bonus) before any winnings can we withdrawn.
The expected loss from the casino bonus would therefore be worked out by:
= £200 wagering x 0.05 casino edge = an expected £10 loss from the £10 bonus.
This means the bonus expected value is zero.
In other words, you are expected to make nothing from this bonus.
If we also account for the expected £1 loss from the initial £20 of wagering, overall we are expected to lose £1 from this offer.
This is an example of a -EV (negative expected value) offer which can look nice from a distance, but is not profitable once dissected and checked thoroughly.
As matched bettors we never do –EV offers.
You need not worry about having to calculate the EV of casino offers all the time though as Oddsmonkey kindly cipher through the ton of offers for us every day and then post all the +EV ones that are worth doing on their Daily Offer Calendar. Oddsmonkey automating which casino offers are worth doing saves us a ton of time everyday and lets us concentrate solely on doing the offers and making our profits!
Now, if you’re anything like we were when we first started trying to understand casino offers you may still be a bit confused about the wagering we’ve been talking about. Specifically you may be thinking “how can I place £200 worth of spins if I don’t have this money in my casino account?!”
This question is all too common. To explain we need to go back to the example offer where we had a £10 casino bonus with x10 wagering.
Let’s say that after spinning 25p eighty times in order to complete the initial £20 of wagering, your casino balance is now at £25 (= £5 profit from the initial spins).
As you’ve completed the initial wagering with your own money, the casino now releases a £10 bonus, which takes your overall balance up to £35. At this point £25 is your own money that can be withdrawn and £10 is bonus money that must be wagered 10 times before it can be turned into cash and withdrawn.
Hypothetically, let’s say with our first 25p spin with the £10 bonus, we hit a nice jackpot and make £120 (this is of course rare – although we did once hit £60 from a first wagering spin!). Our overall balance will now show £155.
We already know £25 of this balance was our own cash from the before the bonus, which leaves £130.
From the £10 bonus we’ve so far wagered 25p of the £100 that we need to wager. This means we still need to wager £99.75.
£130 minus the £99.75 in wagering we still need to do leaves £30.25.
So, whatever happens from now with our remaining spins – even if a single spin doesn’t win (which is very unlikely!), we will have made a minimum of £30.25 in profit from the bonus.
I hope this explains how wagering a bonus works!
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