Evaluating Casino Bonuses

Would you like to know how to work out the value of any casino bonus you might find? This can help you to concentrate your efforts on the most profitable bonuses, and avoid those that might look good at first glance, but have little or no value thanks to the small print!

Once you have found your bonus, you need to check the terms and conditions for the offer. What you are looking for is the wagering requirement, usually shown as either a multiple of either the bonus amount, deposit, or both.

Examples of this would be 20x Bonus, 20x deposit, 10x Bonus and deposit.

We don’t really care how it’s expressed, what we want is the dollar value of the action we need to give the casino in order to be able to cash out.

Next we need to know the “House Advantage” of the game you intend to play. Our house advantage article, linked above, lists the stats for some of the more popular games with bonus hunters.

Once we have these figures it’s time for some math!

Multiply the total wagering required by the house advantage. This is how much on average you will lose playing out the bonus. If this is less than the bonus amount, then the bonus has a positive expectation, and should be played. If the average loss is higher than the bonus amount, then walk away and find a new bonus! If you are just looking for entertainment value and are not worried so much about squeezing out profit, then this process can still give you an idea of games to play that will keep you playing longer before busting out. With any luck, playing longer gives you more chances to hit a jackpot or major score.

Here’s a quick example of calculating the bonus value by using the wagering requirement terms and conditions.

Bonus – 100% match up to $200
Wagering Requirement – 20x bonus
Game to Play – Blackjack (0.5% house advantage)

So our wagering requirement is 20 x $200, which is $4000

Our average loss will be 0.5% x $4000 which is $20

Bonus ($200), minus the average loss ($20) … means this bonus has an expected value of $180. We should be putting this one high on our list of casinos to play!

Get started on your own bonus calculating by finding a free chip that tickles your fancy from our no deposit casino bonuses list.


  1. Dustin Nieder says

    As I was writing my comment on freechiplist just now I was trying to remember where it was that I read the casino bonus evaluation formula that I have been using. Oh look, got it from Keith. You rule dude.

    • Haha! Thanks Dustin. Man, I wish 20x bonuses still existed. These days, 30x is pretty generous. Very happy that I was able to pass you something useful, because, Lord knows, you have certainly helped our community with your secret shopper reviews and bonus tips.

      Keep ’em coming!

  2. But how do you collect your winnings and can it be transferred to another casino

    • The casinos have a good list of withdrawal options. You will need to submit ‘know your customer’ documents, I am sure. For example, your drivers license and proof of address.

      I do not think they will allow a transfer to another casino.

      I pretty much just use bitcoin to deposit or withdraw now. Less identification hassle and quicker deposits and withdrawals.

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