Two-Tier Betting – Bust Through Wagering Requirements!

So you see a juicy offer come through to your inbox. It reads along the lines of:

“Deposit £10 get a £10 games bonus!”

You scroll down to the T&Cs and you despair

“50x wagering requirements on bonus before withdrawal”

With only slots contributing 100% to these wagering requirements…

Believe it or not these offers are not necessarily a money losing trap providing you use the correct strategy. The trick with large wagering requirement offers is to try to gamble your entire bonus on a long shot such that if it wins, the chance of losing the bonus after wagering will be negligible. Most of the time we will lose our bonus but this is ok since we will avoid unnecessary wagering. The EV lost from the gamble will also be negligible since we will only be playing our bonus once. Think of it as choosing between a 100% chance of starting with a £10 bonus or a 32% chance of starting with a £30 bonus if we placed the £10 bonus on a column bet in roulette.

The Maths

Typically the best way to churn through the wagering requirements of these offers is simply to do slots since the contribution from other games is so small. For roulette the contribution to wagering is typically 20% which means a 35x wagering requirement turns into a 175x wagering requirement. It is however difficult to estimate the variance of slots since there is no fixed payout and each slot is unique in its variance. To illustrate a point however I’m going to assume a 95% return to player (RTP) expressed as a 15% chance of a 5.33-1 payout for the purposes of a simulation.

If we receive a £10 bonus that has 20x, 35x, 50x or 100x wagering requirements and we use 20p spins, what is the chance that we will lose our bonus before completing the wagering requirements? Furthermore what is the expected value and chance that we can complete the wagering requirements if we try to multiply our bonus at the start?

Here are the results for a 1000 trials each, assuming we try to multiply our bonus on roulette:

No Gamble:

Wagering Requirements Bonus lost (/1000) Average profit if wagering completed Total EV
20x 734 15.13 4.02
35x 850 17.50 2.63
50x 914 17.81 1.53
100x 970 20.37 0.61


Wagering Requirements Bonus lost (/1000) Average profit if wagering completed (£)
Total EV
20x 376 17.53 5.32
35x 624 19.87 3.63
50x 735 21.88 2.82
100x 927 27.34 0.97


Wagering Requirements Bonus lost (/1000) Average profit if wagering completed
Total EV
20x 26 30.79 6.48
35x 185 29.02 5.11
50x 376 27.19 3.67
100x 756 28.81 1.52


Wagering Requirements Bonus lost (/1000) Average profit if wagering completed
Total EV
20x 0 69.91 7.56
35x 0 63.75 6.89
50x  10 54.56 5.84
100x  228 41.86 3.49


Wagering Requirements Bonus lost (/1000) Average profit if wagering completed Total EV
20x 0 349.57 9.45
35x 0 342.10 9.26
50x 0 336.25 9.09
100x 0 312.77 8.45

The total EV was calculated by the average profit times the chance of the gamble winning, times the chance of not losing the bonus after wagering.

As you can see from the tables, the importance of trying to multiply your bonus at the start becomes more critical the greater the amount of wagering that needs to be done. The EV of a £10 bonus with 100x wagering requirements placed on a single number before wagering is 14 times greater than with the ‘no gamble’ method. Not only this but the chance of winning anything from the bonus is also about the same. After winning a single number bet there is nearly a 0% chance of losing the bonus after wagering. Hence the chance of winning something from the bonus is 1/37 = 2.7%. With the no gamble method however we only have a 3% of the time we are able to complete the wagering! Would you rather have a 3% chance of winning £20.37 or a 2.7% chance of winning £312.77? I think the answer is pretty obvious.

In reality the simulation may even underplay the importance of trying to multiply the bonus due to the assumptions made about the win rate. A lower win rate slot will be even greater variance which will skew the results even more.

Final Notes

When completing the wagering requirements try to find the highest RTP slots that the site offers. Some of the best slots are Bloodsuckers and Golden Tour which have an RTP of 98%, even greater than roulette. Golden Tour is particularly good as it is very low variance given that most rounds you will win 40% of your bet back.

If the site doesn’t offer roulette e.g. Zinger Spins try to find some other game that you can multiply your bonus on. Deuces Wild is my favourite but it takes a while to get your head around it so I would not recommend this for beginners. Another option is baccarat as the house edge is low. I wouldn’t try to double too many times though as your EV will be exponentially chipped away as you make larger and larger bets. Three to Four tops in my opinion.

Also as always, read the T&Cs very carefully. Some sites have very vague and potentially questionable terms which state that they can remove your bonus if they consider what you’re doing as ‘irregular betting patterns’. I’ve even seen a site include even money bets as irregular betting patterns when they’ve defined it. To this day I still scratch my head about what that even means – Is everyone breaking the rules when they bet on red?


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