The real winning odds with casino bonuses

Casino Bonuses Ranked by Winning Odds and Rarity

12 min

Only 5% of players get to cash out their bonus winnings. If you find yourself in the other 95% more often than not, you’re not the only one. There’s no proven way to get profit from every bonus, and every offer is different – so, do online casino bonuses really increase your chances of winning, or they’re not worth your time?

Is Claiming Bonuses A Good Way To Make Extra Cash? 

The answer is not as simple as it sounds. Claiming bonuses is definitely not a reliable way to make extra cash, but it’s the only way to make extra money to play in the casino. At the same time, each casino bonus has its claiming terms and gameplay rules, and you should be aware of each perk before deciding if a deal is good or not.

Knowledge is power in online gambling, so let’s get through the most favourable bonus types and, most importantly, what makes them different from a player’s perspective.

Bonus Types Ranked By Winning Chances & Rarity

Bonus Types Ranked By Winning Chances & Rarity

Some bonuses will require deposits, others won’t. Most offers will ask you to play through your funds for a given amount before you can claim them. If you want to ensure you get the highest winning chances, you should be familiar with every type of bonus before you decide to claim one.

Bonus Type Prevalence Simulated Winning Chances Key Features
No Deposit 6% of casinos 1 in 100 players win No risk, hard to cash out
No Wagering 4% of casinos Better odds with deposit No playthrough, lower max cashout
Low Wagering 17% of casinos 1 in 125 players win Rollover under 25x, withdrawal limits
Free Spins 38% of casinos 1 in 500 players win $100+ Game restrictions, wagering requirements
Deposit Match 15% of casinos 1 in 60 players withdraw Flexibility but high wagering

No Deposit Bonuses: Available at 6% of Online Casinos

No deposit bonuses are the hardest to come by simply because they allow you to play (and win) without risking your own money. They’re great for any player who wants to get a feel of the casino without spending anything.

Is there any catch here? Most of the time, there is. Casinos will place hefty restrictions on no deposit bonuses to limit their losses. This includes things like very high wagering requirements of 50x or more. You may also be limited to certain games or maximum bets, and have a strict time limit to use the bonus, from a few hours to 1-2 days.

No Wagering – Only 4% of Online Casinos

No wagering bonuses are offers that won’t request gamblers to play through their winnings before withdrawing, yet they require a deposit in most cases. So, your chances of winning more than you’ve deposited get considerably lower.If you get a strike of luck while playing through a no wagering bonus, though, you can already consider those funds as yours.

Low Wagering – 17% Of Casinos

If the bonus terms specify a rollover amount of 1x to 25x, then that bonus is considered low wagering. It’s appealing just because they’re less restrictive than a standard offer.
While no wagering and low wagering bonuses are much easier to withdraw, note that you’ll encounter cashout limits that could make them less “worthwhile.” The average cashout limit stands around £50 to £100, but it can get way lower or higher than that. It’s all about the bonus terms!

Free Spins Bonuses: 38% of Casinos

Free spins bonuses are one of a kind, and statistically, they’re the most attractive.

Once you’ve claimed such a bonus, you’ll be awarded a number of free spins on one or more slot games. After the free spins are depleted, you must wager your winnings acquired from said free spins on the same games or anywhere in the casino, depending on the bonus.

Most players will go for bonuses with the highest number of spins every time. But if you want higher chances to win, that’s not the key. The game you’ll be playing on, the maximum bet and the maximum withdrawal are, in fact, what determines the real value of a free spins bonus.

There’s no point in claiming a 100 free spins offer, for example, if the wagering is 200x and even if you complete it, the max. cashout value is £10.

While the terms and conditions are critical for maximizing free spins offers, you can also implement some strategies when using the spins.

For instance, pay attention to the bet levels – sometimes, casinos will require a certain bet amount per spin. Start at the minimum and slowly increase your wager if you’re not hitting any big wins. This helps manage your bankroll. Also, if there are multiple slot options, pick a volatile, RTP slot for better chances to get a large payout.

Deposit Match Bonuses – Available at 80% of Casinos

While free spins deals will give you costless gameplay on different slots, match bonuses that double your money are all about flexibility.

The drawback? If you want to get big bonuses, you need to make hefty deposits. For example, if you were to claim a 200% bonus up to £1000, you’ll need to make a total deposit of £500 in one or more steps to reach the maximum amount.

These bonuses are often awarded in steps consisting of individual deposits – generally 2 to 5. Even if you don’t want the full bonus amount, considering the average minimum deposit is £20, you’d still have to invest from £40 to £100 to get the value stated by the offer.

Just like with the other standard bonus types above, your chances of winning are tied to wagering rules and the games you’ll be playing with your real money bonus. You should keep your funds in check and, if you’re playing classic games, maybe look into advanced tactics like James Bond on Roulette or Double Deck in Blackjack.

Why the House Usually Wins and How To Avoid it 

Why the House Usually Wins and How To Avoid it

Online casinos are designed to make more money from players than players make from them.

This is because all the games give the casino a built-in mathematical advantage.  For example, in blackjack the dealer always wins when there is a tie. All slot games are programmed to pay out less money than they take in over time. This edge means over many bets, the casino is likely to end up ahead and make a profit. 

But what can a player do to minimize the casino’s advantage? Our editor, Adina Minculescu, has a few insights to share:

  • You can play familiar games: Use your funds on games you’ve played before, so you’ll always know where you stand and when to stop playing.
  • Make the best out of low bets: When you get bonuses, the more you play – the better. Even if it’s tempting to raise the bet value when possible, you should avoid it until you’re comfortable with your balance amount.
  • You can win jackpots even with bonus funds: If you have the option, use your bonus funds on jackpot games.
  • Avoid “High number” bonuses: The flashier the numbers, the trickier the prize. If you’re not sure how that 200% bonus will be credited to you even after you’ve read the terms and conditions, then you should consider switching to another offer.
  • Go for Free Play before committing to a game: Some online casinos offer free-play demo versions of their games. If you’re unsure what will happen after you claim your free spins on an unknown title, play the game for free first. You might get some insights on what happens after you’ve claimed the bonus.

Get Better Winning Odds By Understanding Your Bonus Better

Get Better Winning Odds By Understanding Your Bonus Better

We kept mentioning bonus terms and conditions so far. The truth is that the only real edge a gambler can get over the casino is by being aware of said bonus terms every single time. Let’s quickly get into the most important rules and what they mean for each player – and how to make sure you can get the best odds by leveraging them.

Wagering Requirements: How Much is Too Much?

Wagering conditions are the most common bonus requirement in every online casino.

That’s because the uncertainty of gambling gives them an edge even with low rollover numbers. Unless you’re really lucky, you won’t make it past the wager rule with most bonuses. After claiming thousands of extras, our experts concluded that bonuses with wagers lower than 25x the bonus can end up with wins more often than not.

Withdrawal Limits Always Make The Difference

It doesn’t matter if you get 10 free spins or 100 free spins on your first deposit, and it doesn’t matter if you wager your bonus all the way. What matters above all is the max cashout limit.
The good thing about it is that you can quickly check the amount in the bonus terms and conditions before playing. If you want to win big, make sure the max cashout amount is within your desired range.

Be Fully Aware Of All The Terms And Conditions

But wait, there’s more! To actually increase your winning chances with bonuses, you should be mindful of other extra bonus terms. They can always mean more than they seem at first glance. You should consider the wagering contribution, time limit, payments that are accepted, and penalties.

Research and Compare Different Casinos: The differences might surprise you

There’s a common misconception that all online casinos are the same, and there’s nothing “extra” you can get if you opt for new ones.
That’s a flawed assumption that no player should make. Different casinos have different bonus offers, different tournaments, games and personalized deals.

When it comes down to bonuses only, many online casinos are looking to stay on top of the game, so they give out better rewards than their competition. That’s where players can profit. Simply making an informed decision before you choose a casino can make the difference between winning and losing.

How Pros Do The Math On Wagering Requirements

How Pros Do The Math On Wagering Requirements

Experienced players know that crunching the numbers and wagering requirements is crucial in evaluating the actual value. As we’ve mentioned before, these playthrough rules can greatly reduce the potential upside of a bonus. Pros can calculate before claiming to assess if the requirements are beatable.

For example, let’s look at a 100% deposit match bonus up to $200 with a 25x wagering requirement. For every $1 of bonus money you receive, you need to wager $25 before cashing out.

So, for the full $200 bonus, you must place $5,000 in bets before withdrawing any winnings. Now, if we assume a return to player rate of 95% on slots (meaning an average loss of 5% per bet), a pro would calculate their expected loss chasing the playthrough as:

$5,000 in total wagers x 5% house edge = Expected loss of $250

Since the maximum bonus is $200, playing through the requirements is expected to cost $50 even if you “play perfectly”. With this in mind, the pros may view this bonus as unprofitable even though it seems fair at first glance. Doing the math prevents chasing an apparently positive value.

To properly evaluate, experienced players calculate the expected value of the bonus based on factors like:

  • Wagering needs – The higher the requirements, the less valuable the prize.
  • Game weights – Some games contribute less to the playthrough, which makes it harder to fulfil it
  • House edge – The casino game odds impact your ability to complete the wagering

Here are a few more examples for a better overview:

Wagering Requirement Bonus Amount Total Required Wagers Expected Loss Expected Value
20x $100 $2,000 $100 $0
30x $150 $4,500 $225 -$75
40x $200 $8,000 $400 -$200
50x $300 $15,000 $750 -$450

Expert’s Tips: Extra Bonuses That Only Seasoned Players Know About

Expert’s Tips Extra Bonuses That Only Seasoned Players Know About

Even if you’re not ready to sign up for a new online casino to get a bonus, the chances to score a freebie are still there. Some casinos give access to special bonuses that are less obvious than a “Click here to get the bonus” button.

Refer-A-Friend Bonus

This type of bonus is not a common occurrence, but if you already have a casino account, you might be eligible for it. If you happen to know someone who wants to sign up with your referral link and code, you can get your hands on a quick bonus just like that.

Birthday Bonus

Most players don’t know this, but many casinos will give special birthday rewards to their players. Check your e-mail and your casino account on your birthday, too!

Reload Bonuses

If you’re going to top-up your account once more after you’ve played through the initial funds, keep an eye out for reload bonuses. They’re more common than you think.

Gamble Responsibly And Don’t Get Drawn In By Every Bonus Offer

Before you start claiming bonuses, whether you’re visiting one casino or more, set a starting budget. Some welcome bonuses might ask for a higher starting deposit than you anticipate, while others offer the bonus over consecutive deposits that might add up to an unaffordable amount.

You need a win limit just as much as a loss limit. If you’ve won a significant amount, it might be a good time to stop and enjoy your winnings. Profit needs to remain profit! Make sure that gambling isn’t your only form of entertainment. The world of online casinos is vast and exciting, but you shouldn’t get lost chasing bonuses and wins.

Use Self-Exclusion Tools if needed. If you feel like you control your gambling habits, use self-exclusion tools. Every legit online casino provides such tools, and they’re not there just for display – use them as soon as you feel overwhelmed.

Bonus Winning Chances Are Both About The Player And The Casino

In conclusion, the likelihood of winning with casino bonuses depends on a balance between a player’s decisions and casino specifics. While online casinos craft bonuses to attract players, and they make sure to have the upper hand as often as possible, a smart and self-aware player can turn the odds in their favour. The key is a balance between bankroll management, understanding different games and odds, and reading the terms and conditions. It’s all about making informed choices and, most importantly, knowing when to walk away.

Mihnea Mosneagu
AuthorMihnea MosneaguAuthor & Editor at CasinoAlpha

Mihnea’s communication skills make his articles easy to understand by the readers. He is a good analyst and a great strategist, which allows him to extract the most relevant information and then explain it so that everyone will easily understand the complicated terms of the casino world.

Adina Minculescu
ReviewerAdina MinculescuSenior Author & Editor at CasinoAlpha

Adina’s analytical way of thinking is what gamblers need to understand the casino market. With her expertise in this niche combined with her studies in linguistic typology and hermeneutics, you will get the essential help to make informed financial decisions. Let her be your reliable guide!