Value of Casino Bonus – All You Need to Know about Bonus Money

Bonus Estimated Value (EV) is important factor when deciding whether you should accept a bonus or not. Bonus EV has three possible values – positive, negative, and neutral.
Updated: Dec 13 2020
What is the estimated vale of any casino bonus

What is casino bonus EV?

Casinos offer players bonuses on sign-up, bonuses on subsequent deposits, bonuses for completing missions. Bonuses, bonuses, bonuses...casinos are offering players so many different bonuses it makes can make your head spin.

But should what are good bonuses?
What are bonuses you should accept?

Or at least what are the bonuses it might make sense to accept?

That's where casino bonus estimated value comes to play.

Casino bonus EV or Casino Bonus Estimated Value tells you mathematically whether the bonus is likely to actually give you money or it will end up costing you to accept the bonus.

How to calculate the value of casino bonus?

If you're already an avid player, you can spot bad bonuses from miles away. And you know to stay away from them.

If you're just starting your journey in online casinos, it's not so simple. And sometimes it's not so simple for experienced players as either - nice looking bonus offers can actually not be so nice at all. And even calculating bonus estimated value might not always be as straightforward as we'd like it to be.

Estimated value of a casino bonus can be calculated through a rather simple equation. If you don't feel like doing it manually, you can use our Casino Bonus Estimated Value Calculator here.

If the result of the estimated value calculation is positive, the actual bonus value might be also on the positive side, and it might be worth accepting the bonus.

If it's negative, the actual bonus value might be on the negative side, and it might be better idea to stay away from it.

In order to calculate the bonus value we need information about three things - size of the bonus, Odds and RTP/House Edge.

Note that when you add RTP (Return to Player) and HE (House Edge) together, the result is always 100.

The easiest way to calculate casino bonus offer estimated value is using this equation:

Bonus Estimated Value= Bonus – (house edge) x (wagering requirement)
While in case of some casino bonuses you might need to rethink the calculation a bit, in case of simple bonus offers and sign up bonuses it usually works well enough.

EV calculation examples

Imagine a casino offers you a 100% bonus up to 100 euros where the bonus wagering requirement is 20x. Average RTP of the games where you can wager the bonus is 96%. The latter means that the house edge is 4% or in numeric representation 0.04.

EV = 100 – ((0.04) x 20x100))
EV = 100 - 80
EV= 20

Based on this calculation, the Estimated Value of this bonus offer is positive.

So it might make sense to accept the bonus.

But you need to understand that this calculation just shows you the potential value of a bonus and whether it might be worthwhile to accept it. In no way does it guarantee any outcome.

You can also try to do some EV calculations yourself:
Casino Bonus EV Calculator

But mathematically it makes sense.

Let's imagine the previous bonus offer is now slightly different.
Let's say the wagering requirement isn't 20x anymore, but it's 30x.

Would the estimated value of the bonus still be positive?

EV = €100 – ((0.04) x 30x100))
EV = €100 - €120
EV= -€20

As you can see, the wagering requirement matters.

It matters a lot!

While 20x wagering requirement in case of this bonus would have made the bonus great, 30x wagering is already too much here.

Note that the 96% average RTP we chose is close to the average in most casinos, but it can also be lower.

How to calculate the value of bonus spins?

You now know how to calculate the estimated value of a regular casino bonus. But what if you are given not money but bonus spins or free spins with your deposit?

Calculating EV here isn't that much different.

Free Spins EV calculation example

Imagine you need to deposit €100 to get 50 free spins on NetEnt's Gonzo's Quest. The value of each free spin is €0.20. This means that the total value of the free spins you are given is €0.20x50=€10

Simple enough, isn't it?

Gonzo's Quest slot RTP is 95.97% (so house edge is 4.03%). The wagering requirement the casino has applied for the winnings of these free spins is 35x.

EV = €10 - (0.0403x 35x10)
EV = €10 - €14
EV = -€4

We rounded a little here, but the result is the same. This offer would come with a negative EV and is not worth it.

Obviously, if you wanted to go into all the tiny little details, you'd want to add the potential average wins of each and every spin into the calculation, but that's not really worth it.

But what you do need to keep in mind when it comes to wagering free spins, is that you're not actually wagering free spins but their winnings.

In reality the calculation would look a little different.

Imagine you got the 50 free spins and you won only 3 euros with them. Or imagine you got the free spins and you won 50 euros with them. The calculation would be similar.

If you won €3 with free spins:

EV = €3 - (0.0403x 35x3)
EV = €3 - €4.2
EV = -€1.2

If you won €50 with free spins:
EV = €50 - (0.0403x 35x50)
EV = €50 - €70.52
EV = -€20.52

Some casinos offer you free spins without a deposit but require you to wager the winnings with your own money.

So imagine you won €50 with the free spins and started wagering them with your new deposit - in all likelyhood you'll be spending a lot more money on wagering the free spins winnings than the winnings are actually worth.

Taking the house edge away from the the casino

The main goal of EV calculation is to gain edge over the casino. At least short term. In the long term casino always wins, in the long term casino always has an edge over you.

But short term, by accepting only the right kind of bonuses, you can gain an edge over the casino. And that's what we are looking for here when making all those casino bonus estimated value calculations.

How to find casino bonuses with positive EV?

Based on the simple calculations we just showd you, the easiest way to to find potentially profitable casinos bonuses are to look for sign up bonuses or any kind of deposit bonuses where the wagering requirement is maximum of 25x.

Higher than that and in case of a simple deposit bonus you're already drawing dead.

In case of slightly different bonus structure and slightly more complex bonuses, it depends on other factors as well.
Jay Gory
Jay Gory
Jay has been playing in online casinos as well as online poker rooms for nearly two decades and is now sharing his knowledge on Cheers! Casinos.

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