In today’s online world, online casinos appear to be cropping up every single week. New iGaming brands are coming to the forefront, and the best way to capture the interest of potential customers is to offer welcome bonuses and reload offers to turn new customers into regular players and brand advocates. If you’re new to matched betting, you might not be aware that it’s possible to turn a profit from slot machine bonuses offered by online casinos.
Slot machines have certainly come a long way since Charles Fey’s Liberty Bell, which was a simplified version of Sittman & Pitt’s inaugural gaming machine built in New York in 1891. Today’s online slots offer high-definition visuals and audio that look like something out of a video game on the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One. Unlike traditional slot machines, or ‘fruities’, online video slots have multiple paylines. Although this means that it can cost more to play per spin, it opens up a wealth of winning opportunities thanks to enhanced symbol combinations. In matched-betting circles, we cannot consider slot offers as being 100% risk-free. That’s because there will be occasions where you’ll have to deposit some of your own funds, and the variance of online slots is such that you won’t always be able to convert your bonus money into cold hard cash.
what is variance?
Online casinos develop games that offer an edge in favour of the house. Blackjack has the lowest house edge for casinos at around 0.5%. However, video slots tend to have a 5% edge in favour of the house. Over the long-term, the house will always win, but if you play short-term with your casino bonus money, and you adopt the right strategy, it’s possible to win more than you lose. Each casino bonus offer will have an expected value, known as an ‘EV’. For instance, if a slot offer has an EV of £10, if you played it three times you might win £6 one time, £7 another time and lose £3 the third time. If you wish to calculate whether a casino slot offer is profitable, you need to determine its EV: Amount of casino bonus – (house edge x total wagering required).
Low-risk slot offers
What does a low-risk slot offer look like? Low-risk slot offers are those that beginners should be looking to utilise to help build their matched-betting bankroll. Fortunately, they are also the most frequent offers dished out by iGaming brands. Generally, you’ll be asked to wager a small amount of your own money to receive bonus funds or free spins on a specified video slot. A typical low-risk offer will be ‘Bet £20 and Get £10 free’. With most slots offering a 5% edge, you’re likely to lose £1 in qualifying for your bonus money. The EV on this offer is therefore +£9 based on the following: £10 – (5% x £20).
high-risk slot offers
Higher-risk slot offers will appeal to those who have bigger matched-betting bankrolls with the funds to speculate and potentially accumulate huge jackpots. A typical high-risk slot offer might be: ‘Get a 100% matched bonus up to £100’ with 40x wagering. In this example, if you deposit £100, your chosen online casino will also offer £100 of bonus money. However, this can only be withdrawn as cash once you’ve met the wagering requirements, i.e., 40x the deposit and bonus (£8,000). These offers are high-risk, as the chances of you busting your bonus money before meeting those wagering requirements are quite high. Nevertheless, there will be times when you land a monster jackpot, allowing you to play through the wagering requirements and pocket what’s left.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised to find that many slot offers are profitable. You just need to be sure that you take on the offers that suit your bankroll. If you are a novice matched bettor, we recommend sticking to low-risk offers. Once you’ve built a large bankroll of £5,000 or more, you’ll have the capability to take on high-risk bonuses and deal with potential downswings, i.e., losing runs. Slot betting might be daunting, but it is incredibly enjoyable and can add another string to your matched-betting bow, aside from sports betting offers.