Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Close but No Cigarillo

Nearly satellited my way into the big +$1,000 WSOP ME tourney at Full Tilt last night, but ended up going out out 14th, with the top eight getting seats into the satellite for the actual ME seats. Nothing too boneheaded or ridonkulous, just went card dead at the wrong time in a turbo and got no love racing with 55 versus K7h when blinds got uppity.

Had a question or two of late about the no-risk, $500 free promotional offers running at a few casinos of late, so I thought I'd mention those.

Casino Classic is offering $500 free, no deposit required, and you have an hour to wager with it. You have to make 100 bets during the hour, and once you make 100 bets and have won at least $20 (so that your balance is at least $520), you can claim your winnings into your casino account. The maximum you can claim, though, is $200 in winnings, so keep that in mind. When your hour expires, you'll be prompted to claim any winnings in excess of the $500 you started with.

To claim any winnings, you have to deposit a minimum of $20 into your account. You'll also need to clear wagering requirements for the bonus money you claim, which is 30xbonus. So if you transfer $100 in bonus money from winnings during your free hour, you have to wager $3,000 in the normal casino before you can withdraw it. The following games count towards clearing the wagering requirements as listed:

Slots, American Roulette and Parlor Games count 100% towards wagering requirements.
Table Poker, all Roulettes excluding American Roulette, Casino War and Sicbo count 50% towards wagering requirements.
Video Poker, all Blackjacks except Classic Blackjack, Craps and Baccarat count 10% towards wagering requirements.
Classic Blackjack counts 2% towards wagering requirements.

All in all, it's a nice little promotion if you haven't signed up at the casino yet. It truly is risk-free to give it a whirl, and just a $20 deposit if you have winnings from the free hour.

Mummy's Gold Casino is another one offering pretty much exactly the same deal, as far as a risk-free $500 in free chips and an hour to play with it and try to run it up. The only real difference is that they require a $50 deposit in order to claim any winnings.

Edit: Captain's Cook is also running the exact same deal as far as the risk-free $500 to play with for an hour, and a deposit of $50 to claim winnings.

The only times to be wary of deals like the above is if you'd be sacrificing another potentially better bonus offer at the casino, but both of those are better than the other signup offers currently offered by either casino. You see that more, though, with offers such as $5 for free, no deposit required, or a 100% up to $100 signup bonus. While there's nothing wrong with taking the free $5, you're shooting yourself in the foot EV-wise, as a 100% up to $100 cashable bonus is almost always worth much more, even if it requires depositing $100.


JasonSpaceman said...

Captain Cook's Casino is on the same network as Casino Classic and offers an identical deal to Classic's. I took about $700 off of that one a few weeks back.

Klopzi said...

Thanks for the heads-up.

I guess poker will have to stay on the back-burner a while longer...

Foster said...

This may be stupid because im new to these but if American Roulette is allowed can't you just do equal bets on red and black and hope that double 00 doesn't come up to often?

ScurvyDog said...


That's not a stupid idea at all, as far as clearing the WR that way. You can also do a similar thing with Sic Bo and cover the board and only crap out when you roll three of a kind.

The only risk is that they'll check the game logs, see what you're doing, and bust you for the catch-all "bonus abuse" clause that they almost always sneak into the terms. Some casinos specifically state that you can't bet both sides of a wager just to clear the WR, so it's definitely something that some of the casinos are aware of.

It's a little risky to play the bonuses that way, due to the above and because it leaves a trail, but I honestly have no idea how rigorously they check for such things.

Luke777 said...

Hello scurvy.
Your blog is completly great, i started read it 2 months ago and i love it.
I wanna ask what wagerring metod would you recommand for this casinos?
I have just transfered 200$ to my account. Thanx for info.

ScurvyDog said...


It's pretty easy to calculate the best game to play from a EV perspective.

The general formula is this:

EV = B – (HA*WR)

(EV is expected value, or what you should expect to profit/lose; B is bonus amount; HA is house advantage; and WR is wagering requirments.)

WizardofOdds.com is the bets place to get the house advantage for various games, which is all you need to look up to run the numbers for these bonuses, which use Microgaming software and can be found here:


Let's run the numbers first for blackjack, which is normally best due to the low HA. I'll also assume you pick an allowed BJ variant that has a HA of about 0.5%. Those count as 10% of a nromal bet for WR purposes, so the 30x WR (30 x the bonus, which is $200) is effectively 10x what it would normally be, or $60,000

EV = $200 - (.0050*60,000), which gives us a finally tally of:

EV = -$100

So you got $200 in bonus money, and will likely lose -$100 clearing the WR, leaving you with a profit of $100.

That looks bad but remember that you didn't have to deposit anything, so you should expect to lose $100 while clearing the WR, leaving you with $100 in profits.

If you clear it at a game that counts 50% of a normal bet for WR like Casino War, the numbers look like this:

EV = $200 - (.0233*12,000), which gives us a finally tally of:

EV = -$79

You lose -$79 clearing the WR, leaving you with a profit of $121 in this scenario.

Slots are head to pin down an exact HA, but it's about 5%. Here are the numbers for clearing it at slots, which count 100% towards the WR:

EV = $200 - (.0500*6,000), which gives us a finally tally of:

EV = -$100

which is surprisingly just about the same as blackjack in the end.

Short answer to your actual question: Play Casino War or any of the games that count 50% towards wagering, and pick one that you can autoplay in order to grind out the WR at a minimum bet. Don't get upset if you lose a lot of your bonus money, as you're expected to, and remember that it's all basically free money.

Luke777 said...

Thanx scurvy for your long answer :)
But i don't understand , according what you say isn't this bonus -EV?
As you say EV = $200 - (.0500*6,000) =
so i'll loose my 200$ bonus and extra 100$ of my money on avarage? I deposited only 50$, but still it doesn't seem good to me or maybe i'm missing something? Thanx for help.

ScurvyDog said...


The formula calculates the EV from clearing the bonus. It's agnostic to what you deposit, which determines the overall profitability.

I never calculated an EV from clearing the bonus that was -$300, so I don't know where you got that number. If the EV is $-100, that means you'll expect to lose $100 while clearing the required WR.

If you deposit $50, you start with $250. That's your starting point, when you begin to clear the WR. You then clear the WR and lose exactly what was expected, which is $-100.

That leaves you with $150 remaining in your account, for a profit of +$100.

ScurvyDog said...


Actually, hmm, let me poke around some, now that I think about it more. I wasn't the originator of that formula as it came from the old casino forum on BonusWhores, and I may be wrong about my earlier statements.

I've only really used it for normal bonuses, which I would simply avoid and not consider if the EV was negative.

I was assuming that the EV calculation was simply what you'd expect to lose while clearing the WR, but that may not be the case, and it may also take into account the bonus amount, with the negative number being the loss in addition to the bonus.

At first glance these seemed different sorts of bonuses since your initial deposit was so low, but that's lazy thinking on my part, as it's really no different than a normal bonus, just with a smaller deposit in relation to the bonus size.

So, umm, yeah. More later if I can scare up more information.

Luke777 said...

Thanx for helping Scurvy. Well to me it seems clear, but i'm not bonus expert. I had to deposit 50$ to be able transfer those 200$ from my free play.
Those 300$, i was just using simple logic. If i play 6000 hands on slots, where the house advantage is 5%, on average i'm gonna loose 300$ during that wagering. While i'm starting with 50 deposit and 200 bonus.
I don't wanna make mistake , but in your formula you discount from bonus
money money you gonna loose during wagering and you get in this casinos
negative number, so it means on average you loose your bonus and those 100$ from your money?

EV = B – (HA*WR)
Starluck bonus with BJ
EV = 100 - (0.005*1600) = 92
888 bonus with BJ
EV = 200 - (0.005*4000) = 180

All this bonuses i did so far have positive EV, while this have negative no matter what game i count with couse of their rules.

I never did any casinos doubling the
bonus first on BJ, maybe that would be way here? If i double on BJ i get 500$ then on slots i loose 300$, which would be 150$ gain. But i have
about 50% chance that i loose my 50$
deposit while doubling, so on average my gain is 50$. Not great bonus but better than nothing.
What do you think scurvy, is there some better way or did i do some mistakes while counting?

Luke777 said...

Well it solved faster than i thought :P I just recieved email from them:


Due to licensing restrictions, we are regrettably unable to host players from your country and we have therefore had to close your accounts with the Casino Rewards network of Casinos

We apologize for any inconvenience caused.

Kind Regards,
CR Helpdesk

Really 'nice' of them that they don't have any warning, they let you register , deposit money and then they send email as this.
Anyway thanx for your help Scurvy, i'm 2000$+ after 2 months thanx to your great blog.

ScurvyDog said...


Yeah, I was being dense yesterday, as the final tally has to be your overall expectation, including the bonus money. Sorry about that. Der.

With that in mind, the double up strategy is probably best, as far as betting big at BJ early and either busting or doubling up, then grinding out the WR. It's still better to grind it out at War or another game relatively low HA game that counts as 50% of the wagering.

Foster said...

Well I managed to get the full bonus ($200) on the first one last night! I think took my $220 and ran it up to $400 at BJ then took the 400 to Jacks or better and ran it up to $1500!!! I'm now grinding out the WR at Casino War on autoplay... In one of the comments you said it was 12,000 WR with war but its a 20x bonus right? So it would be 8000 right??

Funny story from the Jacks or better run for you... I actually hit a straight flush! And I had been running really really well with the doubling so I tried to double it and I managed to win the first double but saw the big DOUBLE TO 1000! on the screen and got greedy... I lost the second double and felt like a comlete ass! Lesson learned on that one...

Scurvy thank you so much for putting all this information up I've made over $2000 in the last 5 days from 5 casino bonuses!!

ScurvyDog said...


I did mention my finder's fee of 30% of all winnings, right? :)

I believe the WR is 30x bonus for all three of these, but check to make sure.

Also keep in mind that you were clearing WR at both BJ and Jacks or Better, too, (just at lower rates, based on the percentages that those games count towards the WR) while making your earlier wagers, so you don't have to clear the full WR at War.

Nice score.

Foster said...

I checked it is 30x... One more question if you dont mind? That little popup on the credits window shows the bonus amount and it keeps dropping. Is that an acurate indicator of the bonus cleared so far? And also what are he cashouts like from this place? Long, slow, do they ask for a bunch of documents to be faxed in?

Thanks again!

One more thing did you get my email I sent on the 15th?

ScurvyDog said...


Not sure if the bonus indicator is accurate, as I signed up at these casinos many moons ago and haven't cleared a bonus there using the current system.

Cashouts shouldn't be too painful and they typically don't ask for ID to be scanned and faxed/emailed.

Got your email but I've been way too busy of late to deal with such things. Patience, grasshopper.