Online casinos are a good source of entertainment and when you sign up to an online casino as a new player you'll most likely qualify for welcome bonuses. However, even if a promotional offer may seem appealing at first glance it is always a good idea to check out whether the offer is worthwhile.
The calculation underlying casino bonuses is pretty simple and in this article we guide you through the steps. Continue reading to understand more about the maths behind online casino bonuses.
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Bonus amount and percentage
When considering a new player incentive, the total amount of bonus money the casino will ‘reward you' as well as the deposit match percentage should be your first considerations.
Imagine you make a £100 deposit and the site rewards you with a 100% deposit match; your funds will be doubled. However, if the bonus is set at 50% and you deposit £100, you will only receive an extra £50.
Everything from wagering requirements to RTP (Return to Player) percentages should be taken into account by players to fully understand each bonus's potential.
With this in mind, CasinoAlpha has carried out extensive analysis on a wide range of incentives to help readers understand the maths behind each offer.
RTP and house edge
When searching for the perfect bonus you should ask ‘What game titles are available as part of the bonus?' and ‘What is the payout percentage for these games?'
The optimal strategy is to seek out bonus offers on slots and table games that have the best payouts. These are the games you should focus on to maximise your bonus winnings.
To do this you need to know both the Return to Player (RTP) percentage and the house edge of the game. For slot machines you should find games with RTPs above 96% such as Starmania by NextGen, Dead or Alive by NetEnt or Immortal Romance by Microgaming.
Conversely, the house edge for table games should ideally be no more than 5%. For example, European Roulette has a house edge of 2.7% and it can vary from 1% to 5% in Poker. Blackjack boasts one of the lowest house edges at just 1%.
Wagering requirements (play-through)
Wagering requirements, also known as play-through requirements, are a critical aspect of online casino bonuses. Put simply, the play-through stipulates that you must wager a minimum amount of money at a casino before you can withdraw any bonus-related winnings.
The operator determines the exact amount, but it typically depends on your deposit, bonus or both.
Calculate the wagering terms
As previously mentioned, the wagering requirements are a multiple of your bonus amount or the combined total of your bonus and deposit. As a result, it's simple to calculate the money required to fulfil play-through requirements.
For instance, if a bonus has a 20x wagering requirement, the player must wager the bonus amount 20 times before withdrawing any winnings. If the bonus is £100, the player must wager £2,000 before any bonus funds can be withdrawn.
🔥 Hot tip! Look out for online casino welcome offers that do not require any wagering on winnings. You'll need to make an initial deposit but whatever you win is yours to keep.
Analyse the game weighting
Game weighting is a crucial factor in meeting wagering requirements. In many casinos, playing slot machines is the simplest way to fulfil wagering requirements, as generally, slots contribute 100% to these requirements.
In contrast, table games typically contribute between 5% and 20%. Therefore, if you wager £100 on a blackjack game that contributes 10%, only £10 is subtracted from your total wagering requirements.
A quick read through the terms and conditions will provide all the necessary information regarding this calculation.
Verify the withdrawal limits
The withdrawal limit of a bonus is a valid reason to decline an offer from a reputable casino. For instance, if a casino has matched your initial deposit of £100 and the highest withdrawal amount is capped at £200, this could be challenging for you in the long run.
However, many online casinos have high withdrawal limits and, in some rare cases, some sites do not limit bonus winnings.
Check the bonus validity
It would be incredible if bonuses had no expiry dates, as you could grab a sweet deal and use it for as long as you desire. Unfortunately, every casino has a time limit on their promotions. As a general rule all bonuses will expire, unless claimed, between 72 hours and 7 days after joining up.
Read the bonus rules
Rarely will an online casino allow you to collect multiple bonuses at once. For instance, if you accept a welcome package, you can't collect a live casino signup bonus as well. Doing so disqualifies you from winning any funds associated with these bonuses.
To redeem a casino bonus, only specific payment methods may be used. Reading the bonus terms and conditions is the best way to determine if the casino accepts your desired payment option.
When to accept a casino bonus
If you intend to play at the casino for a brief period it is unlikely that you will wager the minimum amount necessary to withdraw your winnings. The same holds if you have a limited bankroll.
There is no point in taking advantage of a new player welcome offer if you intend to simply try to win what you can, withdraw and never return. The offers are structured in such a way to minimise this from happening.
However, if you genuinely want to double your initial deposit and give yourself a much better chance of winning something, and you intend to play regularly, then a welcome bonus is well worth it.