A Course in Bonus Whoring

A Course in Bonus Whoring

Posted on 14/06/10 - by Theodor Mavrodis

When bonus whores try to find the best bonus casino, all they look for is positive expected value. A deal that gives them a mathematical advantage and an expected profit.


They only play at a casino where they know the bonus gives them an edge.

How Bonus Whoring Works

Understand the Sign-up Bonus

Let's take this from the beginning. All casino sites offer some sort of sign-up bonus for their new players. When you sign up and make a first deposit, the casino site will give you money that is released when the wagering requirements are met.

Say that you find a “200% up to $400” bonus deal and make a $200 first deposit.

Now you will not only have the $200 to play for but also an extra $400 the casino "gives" to you.

But you can't just withdraw this cash – that would be too easy.

To get the money you'll have to wager the money a number of times. The wagering requirements can be something like: "wager 10x bonus amount to release bonus," which means that you'll have to make $4,000 in bets before the bonus money is in your real-money account.

Estimate Your Expected Loss

As you probably understand, the casino games' built-in edge will make you lose money on every blackjack hand, roulette spin or craps roll you make.

That's your expected loss.

If a slots game has a 5% advantage, you will on average lose five cents on every dollar you put into the virtual machine. If you make the same bet a hundred times, you've lost five dollars, and so on.

To calculate this accurately is of utmost importance if you want to become a successful bonus whore.

Total Loss When Wagering Requirements Are Met

Say that you want to reach the $4,000 in wagered money as in the bonus example above.

You play slots and bet $1 on each spin, and since the casinos edge will take 5 cents from you on every spin, you will have lost $200 from your bonus money when you're done. (0.05 x 4,000 = 200)

Expected Loss vs. Bonus Payout

As you see, this utopian bonus deal leaves you with a $200 profit when you've played the required amount of games. The total bonus was $400 but the casino edge took $200 from your winnings.

In consequence, this is a bonus deal with positive expectation and a perfect scenario for a professional bonus whore.

Common Pitfalls

Remember that the bonus requirements might differ depending on what casino game you choose. Low-edge games like blackjack and craps naturally have tougher wagering requirements compared to slots or keno.

Before you start playing, remember to analyze the expected loss in your chosen game.

Furthermore, what I describe here is expected wins and losses.

As you know, casino games don't work like that in the short run. Sometimes you'll catch a winning streak and win money although the odds are against you and sometimes you'll lose more than you're expected to.

If you start losing more than expected, you might have to make an additional deposit to be able to clear the bonus.

A professional bonus whore never puts his whole bankroll in one casino. He knows about these short-term swings and always has money to back up the game with would he end up in a nasty cold streak.

Where to Find the Best Casino Bonuses

Here on CasinoTopLists we rank the best casino bonus you can find right now. With our exclusive max bonuses and match percentages, your chance of winning improves drastically.

However, to find out if the bonus actually offers positive expectation, you'll have to compare the expected losses to what you'll get in bonus money.