One of our least favorite sections to run into when Online Bonus Whoring is the one that says, “Games that do not count towards the Wagering Requirements,” however, it is important to recognize that such games do not necessarily make a Bonus worthless. Typically, these are the games that tend to have a lower House Edge or the capacity for, “Opposite Betting,” such as betting Red/Black in Roulette, or that failing, betting eighteen units on Red and putting one unit on each of the Black numbers...not that I’ve done that before, or anything.
Anyway, these are the games that, when allowed to be used to complete the Wagering Requirements, often result in having greater multiples of playthrough requirements than games such as Keno or Slots and often include a wide variety (if not all) of the Table Games as well as all of the Video Poker games. It is important to differentiate, however, whether or not these games merely do not count towards the Wagering Requirements or whether they are not allowed to be played AT ALL.
Many Bonus Terms and Conditions, as I have mentioned before, will include verbiage to the effect that the entire Bonus, and any winnings therefrom, will be voided in the event that a player plays any of these games. However, there are many Online Casinos out there in which, while these games will not count towards the Bonus requirements, they are allowed to be played.
In order to highlight a scenario in which these games might not contribute to the Bonus Requirements, but the fact that they are allowed to be played might still yield an Advantage, I am going to come up with a hypothetical sign up Bonus with a not unusual 40x Wagering Requirement that can be used only on Slots for playthrough.
We will assume that the slot game in question has a hold of 10%, which would actually be quite high for an Online Casino, but again, it is better to assume a worst-case scenario. We are also going to use a 100% Deposit Bonus on a Deposit of $500 and Bonus amount of $500 which then makes the sum of the two $1,000 resulting in a playthrough of $40,000. If we assume that the game upon which we will be playing through has an Expected Loss of 10% of all monies bet, then the Expected Loss on the overall playthrough is $4,000.
Just to make this Promotion even more feasibly something that you would actually run into, we are going to make it a non-cashable Bonus, which means that the $500 in Bonus Money will be removed completely from your account when the Wagering Requirements have been completed.
With all of that out of the way, let’s assume that there is a Craps game upon which you can bet up to $500 per roll, even though the wager itself does not count towards the playthrough requirements. I’m using Craps because, as I recall, I recently did an Editorial in which Roulette was the correct play, so there is already an example of that available out there.
Okay, so let’s say that you can make a $500 bet on the Three combined with a $500 bet on the Eleven because there are no, “Maximum Wager,” rules in the Terms & Conditions: You have a combined 11.11% chance of winning one bet or another combined with a 88.89% chance of losing both of them. If you win on either of the bets, which pay 15:1, but effectively pay 7.5:1 on the either/or combined basis we are looking at them, then we have the following possible results:
(.1111 * 7500) - (500 * .8889) = $388.80
That means that we have a positive Expected Value, on that bet alone, of $388.80. Of course, such Expected Value also assumes that we do not have to make any other bets, which is not the case. In any event, the 7.5:1 return means that we will have a new bankroll of $8,000 because we will get one of the original $500 bets back plus the $7,500 win. In the event the player loses, the loss is actually $500 rather than $1,000 because the player is only betting $500 of actual money.
We also have to include the fact that the Bonus amount is going to be subtracted from the win in the event that the player successfully completes the playthrough requirements. Because of this, the player effectively only has a bankroll of $7,500 because he is going to lose the Bonus amount of $500 after all Wagering is completed.
As we have determined, the Expected Loss on the slot game, upon which the playthrough of $40,000 must be completed is $4,000 based on the Expected Loss of 10% of all monies bet. When that is subtracted from the $7,500 we would otherwise have if the Craps bets were the only bets that we would have to make, we come up with a result of $3,500 Expected after all of the Wagering is completed. In essence, we are either Expected to win $3,500 or to lose $500. Applying that to the aboive formula:
(.1111 * 3500) - (500 * .8889) = -$55.60.
That means that we are ultimately Expected to Lose $55.60 which refers to losing $55.60 of our original deposit. That’s obviously not good, so we need to start with a greater bankroll and increase the Variance of the overall play as relates the $500 Bonus money. To do this, we are going to look at betting $500 on Snake Eyes as well as $500 on Midnight for a combined payout of 15:1 if either of those results hit and the same loss of $500 in the event they both miss.
That reduces the overall chance of winning to 5.56% while the chance that we will lose on the play is increased to 94.44%. Let’s see what that does to our Expectations:
(.0556 * 15000) - (500 * .9444) = $361.80
As you can see, the Expectation actually went down because, if this were the only play that we were doing, it actually has a greater House Edge than the 3 and 11 bets. However, this will enable us to go into the Slots portion of the play with a greater bankroll. Given that we will be ahead $15,000 and get one of the $500 wagers back, we will be looking at a total bankroll of $15,500, which, again, is reduced to $15,000 as a result of the fact that we will lose the $500 in Bonus money once the Wagering Requirements are completed.
We are going to combine this with that same Expected Loss of $4,000 on the playthrough on the Slots game which brings us to a profit of $11,000 in the event that we are successful. We will now apply that to the formula:
(0.0556 * 11000) - (500 * .9444) = $139.40
In other words, our Positive Expectation of playing this way is $139.40 and this is because we have increased the Variance of the $500 in Bonus money which effectively becomes real money in the event that we have won the bet.
Therefore, it is very important to not completely disregard a Bonus as not having any profit potential simply because the playthrough must be done on Slots. While there are very few (if any) Promotions that are mathematically beatable if one could ONLY play Slots, sometimes a Promotion can be advantageous even if the playthrough can only be done on the Slot games provided you are allowed to play other games even if they do not count towards the Wagering Requirements.
With all of that said, though, I would definitely talk to Live Support and get an E-Mail record of them saying that certain games are allowed to be played with Bonus Money even if they do not count towards the Wagering Requirements. This will at least give you a leg to stand on if you are said to have violated the Rules, or if the Terms and Conditions were to happen to change (unlikely) during the course of your play. However, an Expected Profit of $139.40 for an investment of $500 is definitely strong for something that should only take several hours...depending on how much you want to bet at a time on the Slots in order to complete the Wagering Requirements. There are few opportunities in Land Casinos with the potential to be so lucrative in such a short period of time (at least, on a percentage basis) so plays similar to what I have described are certainly strong and something to look for.