The below is our old bonus rating system and is only used where there is not enough information to conduct the simulations required for our new bonus rating system. To find out more about our bonus rating system click here.
Due to the large variety of bonuses types, sizes and conditions, it is a very challenging task to come up with a system to quantify the desirability value of a bonus to players. Our system is far and away the most comprehensive ranking system to be found anywhere online.
It should be noted at the start that this system has been designed with the ‘average player’ in mind and not the player necessarily the player that is looking to mathematically profit from a bonus and as such has not be calibrated to Expected Value but rather to the entertainment value that we feel players are looking for when they accept a bonus.
Our objective is to reach an out of 10 rating wherein the bonus is accurately ranked.
For comparison purposes we have divided our bonus ratings into 6 game categories – while a specific bonus might be excellent to a slot player, often that bonus would make a terrible choice for a Video Poker or Baccarat player. This should make it easy for anyone to locate bonuses tailored specifically to their requirements. The six game categories we’ve selected are Slots, Blackjack, Roulette, Baccarat, Video Poker and Table Poker.
Almost all bonuses carry a wagering requirement – the amount you are required to wager prior to being allowed to withdraw any funds. As such this seemed like the logical place to start putting together a rating system. As different venues express the wagering requirement in different ways (xbonus, x(deposit+bonus), xdeposit, fixed required amount) we decided to normalise to a xbonus figure. We do this for each of the 6 different game categories listed above as regularly the terms and conditions vary the wagering based on the game you play.
However, this in itself is not enough to compare the quality of a bonus as many offer differing match percentages and there are several different types of bonus ranging from upfront cashables which you can withdraw once you’ve reached the wagering requirements to post wager stickies which you receive after the wagering requirement is complete and cannot every be withdrawn from your account.
Types of Bonus
To take account of the different bonus types we assign an integer value to each of the different bonus types and apply it to the xbonus wagering requirement as a multiplier. The different types of bonus are listed below alongside the affect they have on the xbonus figure;
- Cashable – This bonus is given at the time of the deposit and can be withdrawn once the wagering requirement is complete. It has no effect on the xbonus wagering requirement.
- Sticky – This bonus is given at the time of the deposit and cannot be withdrawn even when the wagering requirement is complete. Sticky bonuses will multiply the xbonus wagering requirement by 2.
- Post-Wager – This bonus is not received until after the wagering requirement has been completed, but can be withdrawn once it has been added to the player’s account. Post-Wager bonuses multiply the xbonus wagering requirement by 2.5.
- Sticky Post-Wager – This bonus is not received until after the wagering requirement has been completed and cannot ever be withdrawn. Sticky Post-Wager bonuses multiply the xbonus wagering requirement by 3.5.
- Cashback on Losses – This bonus is only given as the result of a player losing funds and is awarded as a percentage of the loss. If this is awarded as cash – i.e. is immediately withdrawable – Cashback on Losses will multiply the xbonus wagering requirement by 2.5. If the Cashback on Losses carries its own wagering requirement it will multiply the xbonus wagering requirement by 3.
- Cashback on Wins – This bonus is only given as the result of a player winning funds and is awarded as a percentage of the win. If this is awarded as cash – i.e. is immediately withdrawable – Cashback on Wins will multiply the xbonus wagering requirement by 3. If the Cashback on Wins carries its own wagering requirement it will multiply the xbonus wagering requirement by 3.5.
- Cashback on Wagering – This bonus is awarded as a percentage of the overall amount wagered regardless of wins or losses. If this is awarded as cash – i.e. is immediately withdrawable – Cashback on Wagering will multiply the xbonus wagering requirement by 0.5. If the Cashback on Wagering carries its own wagering requirement it will multiply the xbonus wagering requirement by 2.
- No Deposit – This bonus is awarded upon sign up and requires no deposit from the player. It will multiply the xbonus wagering requirement by 0.5. If a No Deposit bonus is offered in addition to a deposit bonus, the deposit bonus will be rated and the No Deposit bonus will be accounted for in the adjustments section below.
While two cashable bonuses with a 30xbonus wagering requirement would at this stage come out equally as valuable as each other, it’s obvious to see that if one bonus is 300% up to £300 while the other is 100% up to £300, as you’d only have to deposit £100 to get £300 bonus with the first bonus compared to £300 to get £300 with the second, the first bonus is clearly vastly superior.
To take account of the percentage match that the bonus offers we’ll then take our xbonus wagering requirement and divide it by the decimalised version of the percentage match (300% would be 3, 100% would be 1, 50% would be 0.5%. In our above example the first bonus would have its xbonus wagering requirement divided by 3 giving it a 10xbonus wagering requirement and showing it as the vastly superior bonus.
Where complimentary spins are offered as an alternative or addition to a standard bonus they will be valued at the following amounts depending on the bet value of the spins:
- 3 credits for 10 spins up to 0.25 per spin
- 6 credits for 10 spins between 0.26 and 0.50 per spin
- 9 credits for 10 spins between 0.51 and 0.75 per spin
- 12 credits for 10 spins between 0.76 and 1.00 per spin
- 15 credits for 10 spins between 1.01 and 1.25 per spin
- 18 credits for 10 spins between 1.26 and 1.50 per spin
- 21 credits for 10 spins between 1.51 and 1.75 per spin
- 24 credits for 10 spins between 1.76 and 2.00 per spin
The credit value established from the above table will be considered bonus money for calculating the percentage match. The values will increase by 3 credits for every 0.25 increase in the spin value. Any free spin value will be capped at the win limit if there is a win limit associated with the complimentary spins.
Converting Our Results to a Rating
The figure we end up with is of no use to the player – it is simply a good comparison of different bonuses for a ranking system and it fails to take account of many other factors that can affect the quality of a bonus. What we do next – to work out what qualifies as a good, mediocre or bad bonus – is apply the above system to every sign-up bonus listed on the site then put the xbonus wagering requirement for each game category in sequential order from lowest to highest. We then split this list into 8 evenly sized groups and award between 1 and 8 points to each group, with the lowest xbonus wagering requirement receiving the highest marks (being the best for the player).
This process will be repeated once per year to ensure that as the market changes our rating accurately reflect the change.
The current scoring bands are as follows;
- 30 or less scores 10 points
- 31-35 scores 8 points
- 36-40 scores 6 points
- 41-50 scores 4 points
- 51-60 scores 2 points
- 61+ scores 1 point
- 100 or less scores 10 points
- 101-200 scores 9 points
- 201-300 scores 8 points
- 301-350 scores 7 point
- 351-400 scores 6 points
- 450-499 scores 5 points
- 500-599 scores 4 points
- 600-699 scores 3 point
- 700-800 scores 2 point
- 801+ scores 1 point
- 60 or less scores 10 points
- 61-160 scores 9 points
- 161-200 scores 8 points
- 201-280 scores 7 points
- 281-300 scores 6 points
- 301-350 scores 5 points
- 351-450 scores 4 points
- 451-500 scores 3 point
- 501-800 scores 2 point
- 801+ scores 1 point
- 99 or less scores 10 points
- 101-199 scores 9 points
- 200-249 scores 8 points
- 250-300 scores 7 points
- 301-350 scores 6 points
- 351-400 scores 5 points
- 401-500 scores 4 points
- 501-700 scores 3 point
- 701-800 scores 2 point
- 801+ scores 1 point
- 119 or less scores 10 points
- 120-200 scores 9 points
- 201-300 scores 8 points
- 301-350 scores 7 points
- 351-400 scores 6 points
- 401-500 scores 5 points
- 501-600 scores 4 points
- 601-700 scores 3 point
- 701-800 scores 2 point
- 801+ scores 1 point
- 59 or less scores 10 points
- 60-69 scores 9 points
- 70-79 scores 8 points
- 80-150 scores 7 points
- 151-300 scores 6 points
- 301-350 scores 5 points
- 351-400 scores 4 points
- 401-500 scores 3 point
- 501-650 scores 2 point
- 651+ scores 1 point
While those rating take account of several of the important factors when rating a bonus, there are many that we haven’t yet accounted for that we’ll now deal with as adjustments to the scores arrived at about. We’ll deal with this as two lists, the first detailing the factors that we consider to be a negative and the second the factors we consider to improve a bonus. Please not that regardless of adjustments no casino’s score can move above 10 or below 1 (unless no bonus is offered or a game cannot be played at all with a specific bonus, in which case they will receive 0).
Bonus Size – Throughout our rating system we’ve failed to take into consideration the size of the bonus that the casino offers. The reason for this is fairly simply – for your average recreational player we’re of the mind that once you reach a certain deposit size (£100), the average recreational player is unlikely to be willing to put a larger amount of their money at risk in one sitting. So having a bonus of 100% up to £1000 is great, but for most players the upper ends of such a bonus will be far out of reach. However, there can be situations where the bonus on offer is very small and as such unattractive. In the case of any bonus that is less than £100 we will subtract 1 from the bonus score. If the bonus is less than £50 we will subtract 2 from the bonus score.
Maximum Bet Restrictions – Some casinos have taken to limiting the largest bet a player can place while playing with a bonus. This would be fine however the vast majority of venues that include such rules do not restrict the player from placing wagers that are large enough to breach the rule and instead just confiscate any winnings when the player comes to withdraw. It’s a trivial task for a software provider to alter the maximum allowed be on any game to suit the bonus and thus stop players from accidentally breaking the rules. If a casino impose a maximum bet restriction without restricting bet sizes within the games we will subtract 1 from their bonus score.
Game Restrictions – As with Maximum Bet Restrictions above, if a casino wish to limit the games that can be played with a bonus, they must do so by denying access to the games within the software while the bonus is active on a players account. If a casino impose game restriction without stopping player with bonuses from accessing the restricted games we will subtract 1 from their bonus score.
Maximum Withdrawals – Some casinos have taken to restricting the maximum the player is allowed to win from a bonus, voiding any winnings that exceed that limit. Any casino doing so – except where the bonus is of a No Deposit nature – will have 2 subtracted from their bonus score.
Deposit Method Restrictions – Some venues are now increasing the wagering requirement for their bonus based on the deposit method the player uses. Any casino doing so will have 1 subtracted from their bonus score.
Rolling Over Wagering Requirements – We have encountered some venues that are rolling over the wagering requirement of bonuses wherein the player lost the entire sum of their deposit and bonus (busted out) onto the next deposit. This practice will result in us subtracting 3 from the bonus score of the casino.
Vague/Awkward Rules – Where terms are found to be vague or specifically difficult for a player to comply with we will subtract between 1 and 3 from their bonus score depending on the nature of the infraction.
Misleading Advertisement – Advertising a bonus in a specifically misleading way, such as summing percentages across different bonuses to make the bonus seem bigger. this practice will result in us subtracting 2 from the bonus score of the casino.
Free Play – Free Play bonuses generally involve the player being provided a free play balance for 1 hour upon signing up and will award an improved sign-up bonus if the player wins. Any casino doing this will have 1 added to their bonus score.
Exclusive Bonuses – Many visitors to this site will already have an idea of where they want to play and are simply checking to ensure that the venue they are looking to sign-up to is safe to play with and to see if they can find any coupon codes that will improve what they will receive when they sign-up. As such any casino that offers an improved sign-up bonus through this site will have 2 added to their bonus score. The improvement has to be to the size of bonus available or the percentage match offered.
Complimentary Spins – As with the Exclusive Bonuses above, if a casino decide to offer an improved sign-up deal through this site which entitles the player to a number of complimentary spins on a slots game this will increase their bonus score by 1.
No Slot games with a house edge above 5% (RTP less than 95%) – As a standard, slots game charge the player far more to play than many of the table games available. As such, if a casino make a real effort to ensure they offer their slots games players competitively cheap games their Slots bonus score will be increased by 3.
Bonuses on subsequent deposits – If a casino offers additional bonuses on deposit two and beyond we’ll improve their bonus rating by 1 or 2 depending on the quality of the subsequent bonuses.
No Deposit bonus – Where a no deposit bonus is offered in addition to a deposit bonus the bonus ratings will be increased by 1.
As this system is quite complex we will provide an example below.
Casino A offer a 300% up to £300 sticky bonus, with a 25x(deposit+bonus) wagering requirement, which is Exclusive to this site but limits the maximum bet to £5 in the terms and does not do so in their games and. All games can be played with this bonus, but some games contribute less than others towards the wagering requirement as listed below;
- Slots 100%
- Roulette 50%
- Table Games 20%
- Video Poker 10%
The first thing we need to do is change the 25x(deposit+bonus) wagering requirement into the xbonus format. So if I deposited £100 and received £300 we would have 25x(£100+£300) = 10000. Divide that by the bonus size (£300) and we get 33.3xbonus (rounded to one decimal place).
Next we need to account for the type of bonus (Sticky) and the percentage match (300%). A sticky bonus has its xbonus wagering requirement multiplied by 2 giving us 66.6xbonus and a 300% match would cause us to divide the xbonus wagering requirement by 3 giving us 22.2xbonus (rounded to one decimal place).
Now we need to work out the effect that the game weightings have on the wagering requirement.
- Slots counts 100% so the wagering for slots remains at 22.2xbonus
- Roulette counts 25% so the wagering for roulette is divided by 0.25 giving us 88.8xbonus
- Table Games count 20% so the wagering for table games is divided by 0.2 giving us 111xbonus
- Video Poker counts 10% so the wagering for video poker is divided by 0.1 giving us 222xbonus
Now compare these wagering requirements to our scoring system above (not that Blackjack, Baccarat and Table Poker would all fall into the Table Games section).
- Slots – 7
- Blackjack – 7
- Roulette – 5
- Baccarat – 7
- Video Poker – 5
- Table Poker – 5
Next we look at the adjustments that need to be made – these will be the same across all game categories. As this bonus is exclusive to the site we add 2 but given that the max bet limitation is in terms only, we subtract another 1. As such we add one to each of these scores giving us;
- Slots – 8
- Blackjack – 8
- Roulette – 6
- Baccarat – 8
- Video Poker – 6
- Table Poker – 6