The Math Behind Casino Bonuses

Bonuses are a common strategy used to lure players to an online casino. The online gambling industry is very competitive, and as such, providers use smart wordplay to make offers sound attractive. The most popular of these, according to CasinoTop10 is usually the online casino deposit bonus, as this is the introduction.

Keep in mind that the casino’s primary goal is to make money, so most of these will cost you more than you earn. Once you understand how the math behind bonuses works, it’ll be easier to find a profitable offer.

Finding Profitable Bonuses

Three variables are needed to calculate the actual value of a bonus. They are as follows:

The Deposit & Bonus

Except for the no deposit bonus, the premise behind this bonus is to receive something in return for making your first deposit. In most cases, the provider matches your deposit by a set percentage up to a predetermined limit. For example, if the offer is a 100% match up to $150, and you deposit $150, you’ll have a $300 balance. This bonus often comes with a minimum deposit requirement.

Wagering Requirements

The WR is usually displayed as a multiple, referring to the number of times you need to play through the bonus before you can withdraw winnings. Say the bonus mentioned above has a 30x wagering requirement, it means you’d have to wager the $150 bonus at least 30 times.

So that’ll be $150×30 = $4,500 in wagers. Always be sure to check if the WR is on the deposit and bonus or only the bonus. If it’s on the deposit and bonus, this would mean ($150+ $150)x30 = $9,000 in wagers. To learn more about these casino bonuses visit here.

House Edge / RTP

All electronic casino games have a return to player or RTP percentage. It refers to the percentage of money wagered that is returned to the player. The house edge, as opposed to the RTP, refers to the percentage of money wagered goes to the casino. It means that if the game has a 95% RTP, the house edge is 5%.

Using The Math

You can quickly determine what a bonus is worth using the variables mentioned above in a formula. First, you’ll multiply the deposit and bonus by the wagering requirements to assess the playthrough requirement.

Once you have the playthrough, you’ll increase it by the house edge. The total is the amount you can expect to lose.

By subtracting the original deposit and bonus amount from the whole, you can see if it’s an overall loss or profit. Let’s test this with a couple of examples:

100% up to $150 with 30x Wagering Requirement

You’ll receive a 100% match of $150 when depositing $150. This means you’ll have to wager at $300. The RTP on the slots that you can play is 95%, meaning there’s a 5% house edge and the WR is 30x.

300 x 30 = $9,000 Play through

$9,000 x 0.05 = $450 loss

$300 – $450 = -$150 total loss

This bonus is projected to lose, making it a poor deal.

150% up to $100 with 30x Wagering Requirement

You’ll receive $150 for a $100 deposit. The WR is 30x, and you’ll be betting with $250. The RTP is 97%, meaning the house edge is 3%.

250 x 30 = $7,500 play through

$7500 x 0.03 = $225 loss

$250 – $225 = $25 total profit

This bonus would be profitable for the player. Once you’ve completed the WR, you’ll be left with $25.

Understanding the Return


Understanding the difference between X-for-1, X-to-1, and 1-in-X helps as casinos often use this to confuse players.

X-to-1 is most often used to describe payouts predetermined by a paytable for table game wagers. When the player wins, his bet returns as well as an additional amount. However, he stands to lose his entire wager.

This means that a player who wagers $20 where the payout is 25-to-1 will either lose his money or win $500 (25 x $20).

X-for-1, on the other hand, is more often used for slots. Every spin on a slot machine is a wager and immediately deducted from the player’s account. Once the reel stops spinning, an amount will be paid into the player’s account based on a predetermined paytable.

The player has already forfeited the original wager. This means that a 2-for-1 payout is equal to a 1-to-1. Bets on keno, lotteries, video poker, and blackjack slots pay X-for-1. It causes confusion used to the casino’s advantage.

As the player places the wager, it’s automatically collected and usually indicated by a light that appears on the screen. These types of bets are seldom successful in table games.

1-in-X has nothing to do with the payouts but refers to the rate of an occurrence like rolling a seven in craps. 1-in-6 rolls are bound to be a seven in craps whereas, in roulette, 1-in-38 spins come up as the red-7.

In Conclusion

The world of online gambling can be so much more enticing once you start playing with real money. As previously mentioned, most casinos create bonuses in a manner that prevents winning anything. Some casino bonuses are engineered to draw you in; others are there to ensure that you continue making deposits.

You’ve now learned the essential mathematics required to assess a good casino bonus. Lucrative offers might be hard to come by, but it’s not impossible. Now you can impress your friends with your ability to earn from the start.