The majority of matched bettors start out by completing new customer offers at bookmakers. These can be extremely profitable and can not only help you understand the potential of matched betting but also allow you to build up a large bank to complete more offers at once, thus increasing your profits. Some people give up after this stage as they don’t see the potential in reload or advantage play offers. However, this is a big mistake and many matched bettors make far more profit on a monthly basis the longer they do it. This is because they gain experience and knowledge of other profitable offers and methods of generating a profit which opens up many doors to earning a significant income in the long-term from matched betting.
One route which many matched bettors explore is casino offers. Beginners may be initially put off by casino offers as they can be confused with gambling. However, when the odds are in your favour it means that you will make a profit over time and for some people, these profits can be significant.
Casino offers can be generally split into three categories:
We’ll be taking a look at these three types of casino offers in this article but first, it’s important to understand the benefits of casino offers and the logic behind how they are profitable.
There are a countless number of online casinos with the number dramatically rising in past years due to the popularity of online betting. With the majority of these casinos offering bonuses, free spins and other promotions on a daily basis, it allows those with knowledge to take advantage and generate an additional stream of profits alongside their standard matched betting.
Just like with sports offers, casino offers come in various forms and with terms attached. Risk-free offers are indeed risk-free and require no deposit to claim them with the potential of winning real money. Low-risk offers are appealing to many as the potential profits are usually higher for a relatively small risk. Whereas high-risk casino offers aren’t for the faint-hearted but can return significant profits.
Variance & Expected Value
Usually, playing casino games isn’t a good idea as every game has a house edge. For example, if you bet on red on roulette an infinite number of times, you would lose money. The same with blackjack, craps, slots and every other casino game. You may get lucky and win occasionally but overall, you would be down.
So how are playing casino games profitable if the casino always wins in the end?
The answer to that is in the offers that the casino provides. If you play a casino game without an offer such as a bonus, free spins or cashback, then it has a negative Expected Value (-EV). However, in some cases, when you are offered something in return for playing, it’s possible that the offer has a positive Expected Value (+EV) which means that the odds are in your favour of winning.
Expected Value is a term which you will often see on matched betting sites and is used not only for casino offers but sports also. The expected value is how much you can expect to make from a particular offer if you played it an infinite number of times. The expected value amount isn’t the amount you will win every time you play the offer but is the average amount you will profit if you played it an infinite number of times.
This may seem confusing at first but with a little bit of maths, it’s simple enough to understand and we’ll go into the maths below.
As mentioned, you won’t win every time with casino offers and it’s important not to be too disheartened when you don’t. Sometimes you will make a profit, sometimes you will break even and sometimes you will lose money. There is a lot of variance with casino offers but if you only play +EV offers then over time, you will make a profit.
For example, have you ever heard the term ‘the house always wins’?
This is due to the house (the casino) having an edge on every casino game as mentioned above. However, there’s nothing stopping you walking into a casino, placing £100 on red, winning and then walking out leaving the casino down. The casino expects some players to win but they’re happy about that as they know that over time, the will be in profit as they have the advantage on every game. The more hands of blackjack or spins of the roulette wheel people play, the more the maths averages out which ensures they will be up.
The difference with playing casino games when there is an offer involved and when the offer has a positive expected value is that it is not the casino who has the edge, it is YOU! Just like the casino does, you can expect to lose sometimes but as it is you who has the edge, it is you who will end up in profit overall.
Knowing which offers are +EV
This is a big question as you should only play offers which have a positive expected value. But how do you know which offers are +EV?
Thankfully, most matched betting sites do this work for you and will only list offers which are +EV. However, it’s helpful to understand how to calculate EV for times when you are offered bonuses and free spins which aren’t listed on matched betting sites.
In order to calculate the EV of casino offers which require you to bet with your own money in order to receive a bonus, it is helpful to break it down into two parts.
- How much it costs to qualify for the bonus
- The EV of the bonus
There are two simple formulas to calculate the above.
Qualifying cost = House Edge x Wagering Requirement
Bonus EV = Bonus Amount – (House Edge x The Required Wagering)
These formulas can be used to calculate the EV casino offers which have x1 or no wagering requirement, so let’s take a look at a couple of examples of Low Risk Casino Offers.
Low-Risk Casino Offers
Low-risk casino offers are popular among many matched bettors as many of them are +EV and give people the chance of winning large amounts for a relatively low risk. Usually around £5-£20. Low risk offers generally consist of wagering a certain amount in order to receive a bonus with low wagering or a number of free spins. It’s unlikely that you’ll lose your entire stake when qualifying for low risk offers as you’d expect to win at least something when wagering.
Example row-risk casino offer: Bet £10 on slots and get a £5 bonus with x1 wagering
We need to know the following to calculate the EV:
- The amount of casino bonus we’ll receive
- The amount of wagering required
- The house edge of the game
We know the first two as the bonus is £10 and the wagering is 1 x £5 (£5) but what about the house edge?
Different casino games have a different house edge. For example, blackjack has around a 0.5% house edge and roulette 2.5%. The house edge of a slot depends on which one you are playing. Some casinos display the RTP of each slot which stands for ‘Return To Player’ and is the percentage of stakes which is paid out as winnings on average. For example, if a slot has an RTP of 96%, you could expect to receive back £96 for every £100 you wagered on it. The house edge of a slot is simply (100% – RTP). So, for a slot with a 96% RTP, the house edge would be 4% which is the percentage of wagers which the casino makes on that slot.
Now that we know all of the variables for the equation, let’s work out the EV.
First, we need to calculate how much it will cost us to qualify for the bonus. We know that the house edge is 4% and the wagering requirement is our initial £10 wager.
Qualifying cost = 4% x £10 = £0.40
So, it will cost us £0.40 to receive the bonus. If the EV of the bonus is more than £0.40 then it will have a positive Expected Value.
Now let’s calculate the EV of just the bonus.
Bonus EV = £5 – (4% x £5)
Bonus EV = £4.80
We now know that the EV of the bonus is £4.80 and it costs us £0.40 to qualify for the bonus. To calculate the total EV of the offer, simply subtract the qualifying cost from the Bonus EV. In this example we get:
EV of the offer = £4.80 = £0.40 = £4.40
This offer has an expected value of +£4.40 which means that it is worth doing. Remember, you won’t win £4.40 every time you play this offer but if you played it an infinite number of times, you would average £4.40 profit each time.
Let’s take a look at another one
Example low-risk casino offer: Bet £5 on slots and get 10 free spins worth £0.20 each. Keep any winnings from the free spins.
We know that no wagering on winnings is required so our bonus wagering is the value of the free spins. If we use a slot with a RTP of 96%, we know that the house edge is 4%. For the bonus amount, we simply combine the value of the free spins which in this case is £0.20 x 10 = £2.
The cost of qualifying for the bonus is:
Qualifying cost = 4% x £5 = £0.20
The Bonus EV is:
Bonus EV = £2 – (4% x £2) = £1.92
Therefore, the total EV of the offer is £1.92 – £0.20 = £1.72
How much money do you need to do low-risk casino offers?
If you’re doing sports offers alongside low-risk offers then you should have a big enough bankroll to do them. It is possible that you don’t end up in profit on a string of offers but as you are not risking much money, the profits from your sports bets should cover this. The more casino offers you do, the more profit you can expect to make on average and so you should be able to build up a good-sized bank over time to cover any losing streaks.
High-Risk Casino Offers
High-Risk casino offers are not for everyone as although you will end up with a profit if you only play +EV offers, you may go on losing streaks which can wipe you out if your bank isn’t big enough.
An example of a high-risk offer is something like ‘100% deposit bonus up to £100 with x40 wagering’ like the one found at Mayfair Casino. This means that you must deposit £200 and complete £7,000 worth of wagering before you can withdraw any winnings. As you can imagine, the bust rate for high-risk casino offers is quite high and you can expect to lose your initial deposit between 80% – 90% of the time which is around 8 or 9 from every 10 offers on average. However, it isn’t uncommon to experience much longer losing streaks and when you’re risking £50 – £500 on each deposit, you could be down thousands of pounds before ending up in profit.
That said, if the expected value of the offers are positive, you will end up in profit over time and so it is a case of trusting the EV and having a big enough bankroll to see out the losing streaks. Often, one big win can put you back in profit.
The standard EV formula is inaccurate when applied to high-risk casino offers or offers with wagering above x1. This is because the formula assumes that you will complete the wagering every time you play the offer. However, when there is a chance of busting out before completing the wagering, in order to calculate a near-accurate EV, you must simulate playing the offer many times. This would be close to impossible to do manually and so a casino calculator is needed to perform thousands of simulations. ProfitSquad provides a casino calculator to do this which helps members calculate the EV of any casino offer based on a number of variables such as wagering requirements, bonus type, game RTP, stake size and more.
How to find profitable casino offers
The easiest and least time-consuming way to find +EV casino offers is to simply join a matched betting site which finds these offers for you. ProfitSquad are experts in casino strategy and provide advanced tools to help you accurately calculate EV. By doing so you can be sure that you are only playing offers where you have the advantage, allowing you to maximise your profits when playing casino offers.
Casino offers can be extremely profitable. No-risk and low-risk casino offers are something all matched bettors should consider as they can add an additional income stream to your profits. We don’t recommend anyone trying high-risk casino offers unless they have had a lot of experience with low-risk offers first and have had and understand the necessary training provided by a service such as ProfitSquad.
Remember that you can lose money with casino offers whether they are low-risk or high-risk. The main factor to consider when choosing offers to play is whether or not they have a positive expected value. If they do and you have a large enough bank to see you through the losing streaks, then it may be something you should consider as ultimately, you will end up in profit if you complete enough offers.