Can These Be Beaten?
I’m going to give you a two-for-one special in terms of looking at an online casino promotion that may have some value. The first one we are going to look at is Thrills Casino with the second being Casumo Casino. Let’s start with Thrills Casino:
The first thing that we are going to notice is that Thrills Casino is busting out a New Player offer of a 100% Deposit Match bonus with deposits ranging from €20-€100 as well as twenty free spins on their Starburst game. They claim that each free spin has a value of $1.00, but I doubt if that is true. I think what they mean is that each free spin reflects a 1.00 bet, which is ten lines at .1 per line, according to gamesandcasino.com.
Other sites have the RTP of the game at 96.1%, so we’ll go with that which means the Expected Return of twenty spins is 20*.961 = 19.22
The catch is that the player will receive five free spins per day beginning with the first day that the player signs up for the bonus. Essentially, this represents five spins per day for each of the first four days.
When we look at the range of the amount that can be deposited, we have to understand that some of the value we are getting from this promotion comes from those free spins, at least, provided that the remaining bonus with the 30x playthrough on slots is not positive by itself. In the case of this bonus, if we deposit €20 and that gets matched, then we have to play €40 * 30 = €1200 in order to complete the bonus terms.
While that may not seem terribly daunting, if we again use that RTP of .961, then we see that the expected loss from the total playthrough is $46.8, which means that a player making the deposit is not expected to complete the playthrough successfully.
Fortunately, the monies won from the twenty free spins are credited to the player’s cash balance and, according to the website, do not need to be wagered. Unfortunately, the website’s statement is both true and untrue at the same time.
While this is a fully cashable bonus, the website says that any funds played will first be played out of the player’s cash balance and then out of the bonus balance. When the playthrough requirements have been completed the bonus balance (if any) will be added to the player’s cash balance (if any). Of course, if the player has no cash balance at that time, then the bonus balance would simply become the new cash balance once the playthrough has been completed.
The kicker is that the cash balance gets played first, so when we look at that expected loss of €46.8, and we look at getting €19.22 off of those free spins, then we have an expected profit of €12.42 if we play it that way. While that’s not terrible if you like playing slots anyway, there is a better way to play it than that.
You want to make the statement that you don’t have to play the monies from the free spins always true. To do that, you’re going to want to make the €1200 in total bets prior to taking ANY of the free spins, or run out of your €20 deposit and €20 bonus, whichever comes first. Only then will you take the first five free spins and then you will log in each day thereafter and take the five for those subsequent three days. By doing this, you can make the maximum permissible bets of €5 on any slot game you like and blast through the playthrough requirements in 240 quick spins or go bust. You’ll have that done in no time!
In the meantime, your expectation on those twenty free spins is that you will essentially get your money back if you do lose on the play. Granted, you will probably either have a profit or a loss and must have a minimum balance of €10 to cash out. In terms of expectation, though, you basically get to take 240 €5 shots and if you lose your €20 of actual money, you’re expected to recover all but €0.78 of it.
If you do hit something good on the initial spins, say €100 or more, then you could reduce your bet to maybe €1 per spin to attempt to grind out the playthrough requirement, I think it would be tough for them to call that, “Bet Structuring,” or trying to circumvent anything. Just don’t do anything silly like spinning €0.10 to get through it, that would essentially be a drop of fifty units down to one unit...pretty obvious. If the casino won’t tolerate bet spreading of €1-€5, though, that’s just ridiculous and if they void you for that, I’d complain to anyone who will listen.
In the meantime, you still want to make sure that you plow through the wagering requirements on the first day so that you can turn around and take those free spins and keep any of the winnings. Basically, you get to take some €5 shots essentially for free and your expectation range depends on the specific probabilities of the machine, which, unfortunately, I don’t know.
It is important to realize that this bonus loses value the MORE you deposit since so much of the value is tied in with the free spins. For example, if you were to deposit €100 for a €100 bonus and wagering requirements of €6,000, then at a .961 return, you are expected to lose €234 on your initial playthrough. The free spins will remain worth the same €19.22, so your expected overall loss is essentially €80.78.
Furthermore, €5 is not as high a bet relative to a bankroll of €200 and Wagering Requirements of €6000. It represents only 2.5% of your bankroll and only 0.0008333333 or 0.0833% of your wagering requirements. In comparison, with a bankroll of €40 and Wagering Requirements of a much lower €1200, the percentages are 12.5% and 0.41667%, respectively.
In other words, you’re betting less into the house edge and each time you are represents a substantial portion of your bankroll, which gives the house edge less time to chip you down. It’s not often that the math behind a particular bonus equates to, “Less is more,” in terms of making a deposit, but this is one of those times.
There are three bonuses which are available on your first three deposits after that. The fourth bonus is a 100% match with a 30x playthrough requirement on slots, which we already know does not have a positive expected value by itself as there are no free spins. The second and third bonuses are 100% matches with a 20x playthrough requirement, which, I assume, can be as much as €100 each.
In the case of depositing €100 and getting the €100 match, you would be looking at a total bankroll of €200 and wagering requirements of only €4,000. I say only because, based on a 96.1% RTP, you are expected to lose €156 which would only leave you with €44, a loss of €56. Unfortunately, that is still not a profitable proposition.
The other positive is that withdrawals are instant for most methods, so you can get your money quickly once the withdrawal is approved!
If you’re a slot player, please pay special attention to the following terms:
Whilst playing with a bonus you will not be able or allowed to play the following games: Koi Princess, Double Dragons, Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, Blood Suckers, 1429 Uncharted Seas, Game of Thrones (15 lines), Spring Break, Ladies Nite, Eye of the Kraken, Tower Quest, Lucky Angler, Big Bang, Forsaken Kingdom, The Wish Master, Scrooge, Devil's Delight, Champion of the Track, Robin Hood - Shifting Riches, Pearls of India, Royal Masquerade, Tomb Raider 2, Castle Builder, Untamed Bengal Tiger, Untamed Giant Panda, Untamed Wolf Pack and Untamed Crowned Eagle.
Any attempt to build up the feature value inside any game whilst having an active bonus, then redeeming it once the Bonus Wagering Requirement is not active to get the value paid out as Real Cash will be considered fraudulent play and any winnings will be confiscated. For example (but not limited to), playing Netent’s “The Wish Master” with an active Bonus, activating 3 “wishes” to then leave the game and come back and collect the feature payout once the Bonus is gone.
Okay, so we want to see if we can do any better than these numbers with some lower variance, so let’s take a look at the sort of wagering requirements this casino has for other types of games:
- Other table games: 40%:
- All Roulette 5%:
- All Video Poker: 5%:
- All Black Jack games & Baccarat including Punto Banco: 5%:
- 3-card Poker and Oasis Poker: 5%:
Thrills Casino is powered by Net Entertainment, (NETENT) a software company with an excellent review that can be found here.
The first thing we want to do is recall the expected losses on our playthroughs with the slot games:
First Deposit: 1200 * .0391 = $46.92
Second Deposit: 4000 * .0391 = $156.4
Third Deposit: 4000 * .0391 = $156.4
Thus, our target is any expected loss that is less than that given the new playthrough contributions. Let’s look at our best games in each category:
Other Tables: TXS Hold ‘EM (Element of Risk 0.53%)
Expected Loss: (1200/.4) * .0053 = $15.90
Expected Loss: (4000/.4) * .0053 = $53
This is definitely the way to go. The expected loss on the first bonus is $15.90, which gives you an expected profit of $4.10 right off the top and then the $19.22 value of those free spins for a total value of +$23.32 on that first deposit. The second and third deposits each have an expected loss of $53 for an expected profit of $47, for a combined profit of $94.
If you want to do the fourth bonus, you can still enjoy an expected profit on a $200 deposit with a playthrough of $6000 because of (6000/.4) * .0053 = $79.5 for an expected profit of $20.50.
The four bonuses combined have a total value of $137.82 in expected profits on a total of $320 deposited, so the overall expectation is +43.06875% relative to deposit, not bad at all! If we take a look at the total amounts to be bet, then we see that we are going to playthrough a total of $38,000 across all of the bonuses, so given the expected profit of $137.82, the advantage is 0.36268421% considering the total monies bet.
One interesting thing is, since we see there is an advantage even with the increased playthrough. We would have an expected profit of $20.50 on the $15,000 (6000/.4) playthrough requirement, so when we add in the $19.22 from the free spins, we get a total expected profit of $39.72 if we decide to max out the first deposit, as well. That would result in an increased $16.40 in expected profit bringing the total to $154.22 instead.
Of course, our total deposits would now be $400, so relative to deposits the expected profit percentage goes down to 38.555%. Furthermore, we would now also need to make $50,000 in total bets, so the overall advantage per dollar bet would be reduced to 0.30844%.
If we look at time value, then assuming a player can play a lightning quick 800 hands per hour, the 38,000 total playthrough with an expected profit of $137.82 would be 47.5 hours at $1 per hand. Whereas, the total playthrough of 50,000 with an expected profit of $154.22 would be 62.5 hours at $1 per hand. That translates to about $2.90/hour and $2.47/hour, respectively.
The fastest that you can play is $5 per hand, as that is the maximum bet while on a bonus. In that case, 38,000 total playthrough would take 9.5 hours and 50,000 playthrough would take about 12.5 hours. That doesn’t account for the fact that you make additional bets as the game goes on, but you get the idea.
It’s actually extremely relevant in this game because the average final bet is 3.8181 times the ante, so we can actually divide that from the total hours figures.
|Bet Level||Hours||Divide||New Hours||Expected Profit||Expected Profit Per Hour|
Of course, increasing your max bet will increase both the variance and risk-of-ruin (read: busting out) on one of your deposits, but these are some pretty good numbers. In my view, for playing online, even $11.08/hour is pretty tolerable.
I can already tell you that if you can play TXS Hold ‘Em with that kind of contribution to the wagering requirement, it’s not even going to be worth looking at anything else. Besides that, just glancing at the contribution to wagering requirements and corresponding house edges, I can already tell you that you are better off with the slots than you are with even the best returning other games. I guess I’ll be nice and prove the point really quick.
The Jacks or Better game returns 99.56% which means the house edge is 0.44%, the contribution to the playthrough is only 5%, so let’s look at our 20x and 30x playthrough requirements here. Keep in mind our expected losses on the slot game:
First Deposit: 1200 * .0391 = $46.92
Second Deposit: 4000 * .0391 = $156.4
Third Deposit: 4000 * .0391 = $156.4
Okay, so here we go with Video Poker:
Expected Loss: (1200/.05) * .0044 = $105.6
Expected Loss: (4000/.05) * .0044 = $352
Thus, Video Poker cannot be played at an advantage at all on any of the bonuses.
The long and short of it is that you want to take advantage of ALL four bonuses and play TXS Hold ‘Em for a total expected profit between $137.82 and $154.22 total depending on how much you deposit between the €20- €100. I could understand only doing the deposit of €20 to save time, but you will want to talk to live chat (and get a transcript) to make sure that if you deposit the €20 the first time you are still allowed to deposit €100 for each of the other three bonuses. If not, then I would definitely advise €100 deposits each time.
If you’re a slot player, then the only bonus that is going to be profitable for you is to do the first bonus of €20 with the twenty free spins. Make sure to hit your playthrough requirements before playing any of the free spins that way you can truly cash the results of the free spins if you choose to do that. I advise playing bets of €5 each for the sake of both speed and variance, as the variance is your friend on this particular promotion if playing slots. Aside from that, you could maybe drop down to bets of €1 each if your balance exceeds €100, or maybe you want to shoot for €200, it’s up to you.
The last three bonuses are relatively generous and offer some good play time, if not an advantage. Since you are expected to lose, the more you deposit, the more you are expected to lose. It’s possible that the minimum deposit of €20 gives you enough wiggle room to bet the €5 and use variance to your favor (reducing bets on a good hit) to gain a slight advantage, but without the specific probabilities, I have no way of knowing that. The €5 max bet isn’t doing you any favors on the table games as that does not give you enough of an opportunity to bet high with the bonus funds and grind out the playthrough if you hit something big.
Another thing I would ask live chat is if the €5 maximum applies to initial bets only, or if the total wagered on an outcome may not go over €5. I’ve never heard of it being the total amount wagered, but that would affect the TXS Hold Em play as you could then only have a base bet of €1 as your total bets could reach €5.
Net Entertainment software powers Casumo Casino, so that makes that easy. We’ve already linked to the Wizard of Odds review of the software, and really, that’s all that is particularly relevant in this case. With that out of the way, let’s see what we are working with here:
The first part of this bonus is pretty similar to the Thrills Casino in that it invokes a deposit match in conjunction with free spins. The first thing that they will do is triple your first deposit with a 200% bonus and then give you 200 free spins. They say that the second and third deposits will get a 50% bonus while the fourth and fifth get 25%, so let’s figure this out based on their €1200 in total bonuses statement.
(x * 2) + (x * 1) + (x * .5) = 1200
X = 342.856 (!?)
There must be something more to this, wish it was on the main page.
Oh, here it is, different page:
200% bonus (max bonus €50) and 200 freespins (20 per day the following 9 days).
2:nd deposit 50% deposit bonus (€150 max bonus).
3:rd deposit 50% deposit bonus (€200 max bonus).
4:th deposit 25% deposit bonus (€400 max bonus).
5:th deposit 25% deposit bonus (€400 max bonus).
Okay, so the deposit amounts are apparently €25, €300, €400, €1600 and €1600 to maximize the bonus. That certainly seems silly, but we’ll go with it.
Here are the wagering requirements:
Before you can withdraw your bonus money they need to be wagered. All bonuses must be wagered 25 times (deposit + bonus) and free spins winnings 30 times. You can make a withdrawal before you have fulfilled the wagering requirement, but then you will lose your bonus money.
The bad news is I can’t tell what game the free spins are on, the good news is since they have a wagering requirement (on winnings) it doesn’t matter too much.
Okay, so the first thing we are going to look at is the wagering requirements based on the initial bonus amounts. Devil’s Delight seems to be the best returning slot game that the player is permitted to play, which has an RTP of 97.6% (House Edge of 2.4%), so let’s take a look.
|Deposit #||Deposit||Bonus Funds||Total Funds||Playthrough||House Edge||Expected Loss||Overall Result|
Basically, you start out with a very slightly positive bonus and then the expected value of the bonuses, playing the best returning slot machine they have, get much worse at each increasing bonus level.
After contacting support, I have found that the game is, again, Starburst, but each spin is worth $0.10, you get twenty spins per day for ten days.
$20 * .961 = $19.22, which has to be played through thirty times for $576.6. If you play it through on Devil’s Delight at a 2.4% House Edge, then you expect to lose $13.84, which leaves an expected profit of $5.38 on that combined with the $5 above for $10.38.
In total, you have an expected profit of $10.38 on the first bonus and are expected to lose money on all subsequent bonuses, a lot of money. So much money that I might suggest you would be better off just making a deposit and playing it straight up if you still choose to play at the casino because then, at least, you can cash out whenever you like.
Unfortunately, the table games are no better because the best one is Oasis Poker with an element of risk of 0.48%, but given the increased wagering requirements the $1,875 playthrough on the first bonus becomes $18,750, so 18750 * .0048 = $90. If we look at 11,250 then it becomes 112500 * .0048 = $540 in expected loss. Curiously, it always doubles.
Finally, Jacks or Better could be played at the 50% bonus and would be better than slots, but still, comes with a small expected loss.
If you want to maximize your bonus at Thrills Casino, then you’re going to want to take every bonus and deposit the full $100 allowed while playing TXS Hold ‘Em Poker as every bonus level has a positive expectation with playing proper strategy. You can save time and improve your hourly rate (with not that much of a monetary deduction) by only depositing $20 on your first deposit, but you will first want to make sure you can still deposit $100 and get the full match on the remaining three deposits.
If you do not wish to play Texas Hold ‘Em Bonus at Thrills Casino (why wouldn’t you!!??), then I believe the only bonus that I can say for sure has a positive expectation is the first one with the twenty free spins. You would want to play through the requirements (or lose everything) first and then play the free spins to recover (expectation) some of your money.
No matter what you decide, you want to do your playthrough before playing the free spins that way the $$$ made on the free spins convert directly to cash with no playthrough.
With Casumo Casino, the Max Bet allowed while playing on Bonus is $5, so I would say just to go ahead and bet that. The only bonus that has an expected profit is the first one at a combined $10.38. So my advice for that is to bet $5 per spin (unless you hit something good, like $100 or more, then drop it down to $1/spin) and then play through the bonus requirements on the first day. Half money comes from your cash balance and half from your bonus balance, so if you complete the playthrough requirements on that first bonus and have enough to cash out, make sure to make your withdrawal before doing the bonus spins.
After that, do the bonus spins and try to meet the playthrough requirements on Jacks or Better.
Thrills Casino is offering a valuable combination of four bonuses that you should be able to play with an advantage if you do what I suggested in this article. The only bonus at Casumo Casino that is any good is the first one and it really isn’t even worth anyone’s time unless you have burnt out promotions everywhere else and have nothing else to do. Since you would have to log in ten days in a row and any winnings from Starburst would need to be played through 30x, you’re going to be lucky to get the whole thing done in less than two hours of your total time.
Good luck whatever you decide!