What is bonus hunting
Bonus hunting is when you register in online casinos for the purpose of benefitting from the casino bonus they offer. A bonus hunter will only gamble until they have met the wager requirements for the bonus. Once this has been achieved they will withdraw their money and move on to the next casino. The goal of the bonus hunter is to be able to withdraw as much of the bonus as possible
Origin of Bonus Hunting
When online gambling first became popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s there were a lot of casinos that offer large bonuses with very favorable terms. It was not hard to register and deposit money to earn a bonus and then quickly fulfill the terms and conditions to be able to withdraw the money. It would not take long before people started to abuse this system by going bonus hunting. It did not take very long to fulfill the terms and conditions and you could earn a good hourly income from bonus hunting. The number of casinos available was limited but you could still earn 1000s doing this. I know, because I did. I would register in a casino, play blackjack to fulfill the wager requirements and withdraw the money the next day.
It would not be long before the casinos were forced to introduced less favorable terms and conditions to prevent people from taking advantage of the system. The casinos needed to get the people to stay around for longer and play more.
They achieved this by introducing more stringent wager rules and by excluding certain games from the wagering requirement altogether. Very few casinos allow you to play blackjack or video poker to meet the wagering requirement these days and those who do usually only count each round at a fraction of its true value. It is common that for every USD10 you bet, only USD1 is counted towards the wagering requirement. Some casinos introduced rules that prevent you from ever cashing out the bonus.
The casinos learned from their early mistakes and it is a lot harder to make money bonus hunting today than it was back in the early days of gambling. Harder does however not mean impossible. It is still possible to find bonuses that allow you to make money bonus hunting.
The first thing you need to learn to be able to earn money as a bonus hunter is to learn how to find profitable bonuses and other offers. For a bonus to be profitable it needs to fulfill the following requirements.
- The casino must allow you to withdraw the bonus once the wagering requirement is met. If you are not allowed to withdraw the bonus then it is impossible to profit from it.
- There can be no restrictions as to how much money you are allowed to withdraw. Limitations on how much money you can withdraw might affect whether or not it is possible to make a profit from the bonus. The restrictions might limit or completely eliminate any potential for profit depending on the exact limit.
- The bonus must be worth more than your expected loss for fulfilling the wagering requirement.
Finding profitable bonuses
It can often be hard to find bonuses that allow you to make a profit. Most bonuses will not allow this and you will have to spend a lot of time looking for bonuses and evaluating if they might be profitable You will spend more time looking for bonuses than you will spend actually collecting the bonuses. You can make it a little easier to find bonuses by visiting casinobonuses.com to find the latest casino bonuses. (There are other similar casino bonus sites as well but I think casinobonuses.com is the best casino bonus website right now.) It will still be hard to find profitable bonuses since the majority of all bonuses have a negative expected value. They are designed to allow you to have more fun while playing in an online casino. They are not designed to be abused.
I recommend that you forget about trying to make money bonus hunting and instead start using bonuses to be able to play more and have more fun when you play casino games you enjoy playing. By registering in new casinos and getting new casino bonuses every time you lost your money in a casino you can get a lot of free money to gamble for and a lot more fun for your money then you would get if you stayed loyal to one casino.
The expected loss for each game can be calculated by multiplying the house advantage for the game you want to play with the wagering requirement. Ie if the wagering requirement is 40 000 and you are playing a slot with a 98% return to player then the bonus must be worth more than USD 800 for the bonus to be profitable. The house advantage equals 1 – RTP. If the RTP is 0,98% ( 98%) then the house advantage is 0,02 ( 2%)
Wager requirement 40 000
RTP 98% (1-0,98=0,02)
Expected loss = 40 000 * 0,02 (HOLD) = 800
If you instead chose to play a game that offers a low 1% house advantage (99% RTP) then the expected loss is cut in half to USD 400.
Wager requiement 40 000
RTP 99% (1-0,99=0,01)
Expected loss = 40 000 * 0,01 (HOLD) = 400
It is very important to play games with the lowest possible house advantage while bonus hunting.
You can make money bonus hunting if the expected loss is smaller than the bonus.
Not a guaranteed profit
The house edge and RTP will provide you with the average outcome of the came. There is no guarantee that you will achieve this average while you are playing. You can deviate significantly from these averages during your limited run. If you are unlucky you might see a true loss that is a lot higher than the expected loss. A high true loss can cause you to lose money from registering in a casino even if the expected loss would have provided you with a profit. Bonus hunting is gambling and should never be done with money you can not afford to lose.