Your goal in this type of bonus hunting is to strike a balance between statistical profitability on one side and the risk of either bad luck or the casino won’t pay you on the other. Pushing volatility to extreme levels unnecessarily increases 2 previously mentioned risks. And as my simulations show you can comfortably achieve profit anyway without pushing too much.
An important task is to estimate slot volatility and find out its RTP:
- RTP is usually published by the slot producer.
- Check the pay table and how much the full line of major symbols pays.
- Full line in high variance slots usually pays 4000 and more
- Full line in medium variance slots usually pays around 500
- Read the rules and special features
- Figure out what is the maximal win in 1 spin and how you can achieve it
- Max. win in low variance slots is 250x bet or less
- Max. win in medium variance slots is around 500x bet
- Max. win in high variance slots is 2000x bet or more
- Count the frequencies of high-paying symbols on the reels and estimate frequencies of high winning combinations
- Count the frequencies of game features
- Spend significant time playing in demo mode and keep statistics of winning rounds
- At the end you should figure out the share of money paid in a form of individual wins higher than X-times the bet
My simulations show that for bonus hunting the most suitable slots are with medium or high variance and RTP over 96% (RTP is a very important factor). I was very surprised when I found out that it’s not necessary to push volatility into extreme levels – you are more comfortably profitable if you keep a reasonable balance, and your game style will be much closer to the style of a casual gambler.
After you have determined the slot RTP and estimated its variance, then check the following tables to choose the suitable bet size. Tables at the end of this article will give you an idea about your chances.
Even if you usually don’t need to push volatility to the extreme, I’ll tell you some tricks about how to increase it. These tricks may come in handy for very high bonuses:
Double-up option/gambler feature
Some slots have a feature which allows you to double your win or lose it with chance 50:50. This is the ultimate feature to regulate the volatility of a slot game: simply double up until you win high enough or until you lose. And since the chance is 50:50 you are statistically not losing anything.
By abusing this feature you can theoretically reach effectiveness of bonus conversion close to the game RTP. But your playing style will be very suspicious.
Be careful as this feature is usually prohibited or restricted in bonus conditions.
Change number of winning lines to 1
If you play a slot with 20 winning lines and hit a winning combination only on 1 line, the win is split among the bet on all 20 lines. So even if that one line won 10 coins, the bet for the whole round was 20 coins and you actually lost 10 coins. This happens most of the time with the exception of some special slots with features which allow you to win on all lines simultaneously.
The exact opposite is when you decrease the number of winning lines to 1. You either hit a combination which gives you 3-15000x of your bet or you lose. This trick increases volatility of the game 5-15 times (depending on the number of lines and other features of a game).
Note that with a lower number of lines the maximal bet allowed by game is usually decreased as well. However that is a good tradeoff if your maximal bet is already restricted by bonus conditions.
Be aware that some casinos already know about this trick and restrict maximal bet per winline when playing with bonuses.
Take lower bonus
If maximal bet limits are set as absolute values (max. $5 for example) you can increase your relative volatility by decreasing bonus size. So while $1000 bonus is not profitable, $200 bonus with all other conditions equal can be comfortably profitable.
Less is sometimes more.
I think that high volatility bonus hunting is nowadays still possible but it definitely isn’t for everyone. It’s for experts who can perform the required math, who are willing to read tons of casino terms of service, and who have a big enough budget to fund temporary losses.
And what about the future?
I don’t see a bright one for bonus abusing. More and more casinos are fixing the last cracks in their terms of service, which is why casino winning tips such as those in this article might only work for a limited time.
On top of that with increasing regulation the choice of online casinos will become more and more limited for everyone.
Countries like Peru which a few years ago had almost no idea about online gambling are now founding their own regulators and stop respecting licenses from trustworthy worldwide regulators like Malta.
Countries with freedom of speech like Czech Republic are adopting legislation for internet blocking like in Russia just to block foreign casinos and bookies.
When most players end up with a limited choice of 20-30 casinos then the times of bonus hunting will definitely be over.