Sports Book Deposit Bonus Vulturing

Many online sports books offer various types of bonuses for players to sign up, deposit funds, and play. They also offer special event based bonuses such as free bets and bonus payouts. Recently a friend of mine opened an account with an online sports book, deposited funds, and thought he was going to receive a deposit bonus, only to learn afterwards that there is a betting requirement associated with the bonus. He also learned that his initial deposit is tied up unless he makes the betting requirement.  He is pretty frustrated, but there is a fairly easy solution to his problem.

Many sports books offer deposit bonuses such as a 100% first deposit bonus. The sports books understand that most players will deposit funds, claim the bonus, and lose the entire amount deposited. The sports books are trying to give players a taste of the action and hope those new players become regular customers. Even though the sports book offers players “free money”, the sports books know that most players don’t have a bankroll strategy. Most players don’t size their bets to match their bankroll using a statistical method like the Kelly Criterion. Most players just bet a an amount picked “out of the air” and end up betting above their bankroll, and so blow thru their entire deposit plus the bonus.

Players can also get caught up by not reading the fine print. Most deposit bonuses have a betting requirement attached to them. The requirement will be a betting factor of the deposit amount in order to withdraw the bonus cash, the player must run the deposit thru at least 50 or 100 times. This betting requirement effectively bleeds out the bonus by way of the edge built into the game odds. But if you are stuck with cash at a sports book with a betting requirement, but you want to get your money out without meeting the betting requirement, below I have provided a way to do this.

Let’s use an example of a first deposit bonus offered by Sports Interaction. The basic description of the bonus reads:

“Sports Interaction gets right to the point with their sportsbook bonus – 100% cash bonus with a $200 maximum when you sign up. The rollover rate on this bonus is 10x. If you deposit the maximum of $200 – your account will show $400.”

So with this bonus, you may have to make $4000 worth of bets in order to withdraw your deposit plus the bonus cash. If you are unwilling to make these bets, there is a way to withdraw your money plus the bonus amount without running it thru the required number of times.

The first thing to do is to open an account with a reputable sports book that is regulated and legal in your home jurisdiction. Make sure you disclose all your personal identification to this sports book and confirm that you can make deposits and withdrawals without any hassle.  I suggest actually making a deposit and making a withdrawal to confirm you won’t have a problem.  Also research the limits the sports book might place on withdrawals.  They could limit withdrawals up to certain amounts without further delays. Test out these limits if you think they may be relevant. Fund this account with enough bankroll to cover any bets you might have with sports books where you are trying to claim a deposit bonus or another bonus (more on that below).

Now that you have a “home” account setup and in good standing, search out a deposit bonus that you’d like to take advantage of. Using the example above, you could deposit $200 into a Sports Interaction account and be eligible for the 100% deposit bonus. What you are going to do next is make one bet at Sports Interaction and the exact opposite bet at your “home” sports book.  Find an event with a favourite and an underdog. It also helps if you can get the sum of the odds on each side to be close to break even, but if you are claiming a 100% deposit bonus, a fee of 1% isn’t such a big deal (but every penny counts).

Let’s assume that Ladbrokes is your “home” account, and you find a bet on an NBA game with a moneyline bet between Chicago and Philly for the odds listed below:

Chicago Philly
Sports Interaction 1.30 3.65
Ladbrokes 1.29 3.60

In this case, to get rid of the deposit bonus with a single bet, you would bet the entire amount in your Sports Interaction account ($400) on Philly. If you lose the bet, your Sports Interaction account balance will then be zero. At the same time, you bet $1,400 in your Ladbrokes “home” account on Chicago.  If you win this bet, your profit will be $400 (which is the amount you would have lost in your Sports Interaction account).  Oppositely, if your bet wins at Sports Interaction, you’ll win the exact amount in your Sports Interaction account as you lost in your Ladbrokes account.

The reason why you may want to choose bets with an underdog and a favourite is its more likely the favourite will win and shift your money to your “home” account right away. Otherwise, it will take several bets to shift the funds. Obviously, you need to be able to calculate your ability to fund further bets in your “bonus vulturing” (Sports Ineteraction) account should your underdog bet win.  But this calculation can be done separately based on the size of your overall bankroll. If your bankroll is not big enough to shift the money using a single bet, you can split up the transactions in any number of smaller chunks. They key thing to remember when doing this is the house edge. Just make sure that the sum of the odds on both sides of the bet are close to 100%. You will probably be able to find an arbitrage opportunity (and even make more money in the process), but if you’re lazy and don’t want to search, just find a bet where you are only paying about 1% spread between the two sports book’s odds.

Using this method, you can go around the internet and “bonus vulture”. You shouldn’t even care much about the reputation of the sports books where you are vulturing since you won’t even need to withdraw the money from these accounts anyway, you don’t need to verify the account at the vulturing books.  Hopefully, all you’ll be doing is opening an account, claiming the bonus, and losing it in one big bet, or a series of smaller bets.  The funds in your “home” account should grow proportionately to the bonuses you are vulturing. This is also a good way to grubstake an online sports betting bankroll. You could probably make at least $1,000 in bonuses with some effort and research. Also, if you do this with a team, you can also grab the “refer a friend” bonuses.

Here are a couple of links that have long lists of deposit bonuses, there are many more online, just do a Google search:

Vegas Update Oct 31

Today, I played video poker at the Gold Coast. It was a bonus point day for B Connected members, which is Boyd Gaming’s main slot club. On this bonus point day, players receive 7x points on video poker. Since the slot club normally returns 0.10%, today, players receive 0.70%. Points can be used for cashback or freeplay.  But players can also use their points to purchase food at the casino/hotel.  Using points for food yields the player 0.167% on a normal day and 1.169% on this bonus point day. But if you’re spending your points on food, you have to consider the price of the food.  If you convert your points into food, you must get good value or else you would be better off taking cash and using the cash to purchase food somewhere else. The breakfast buffet at Gold Coast is $5.99, which is one of the best food choices available at Gold Coast as you can basically make it your meal for the day if you also take some fruit in your backpack.  But food is still cheaper at a grocery store.

So if the players club is yielding 0.70%, players must find a game that has a base rate of at least 99.30%.  They must also consider their ability to play the game accurately.  I think too many video poker players underestimate their error rate.  Players must practice regularly on a program to track their accuracy, if they don’t, they are very likely making errors they don’t even realize. I can only play Jacks or Better (9/6) and FPDW accurately.  I can play 400 hands on average in a row without making an error, but I still make errors sometimes.  Half of my errors come from a fat finger, and half my errors come from misreading a hand (usually a missed straight flush opportunity).  I factor in 0.10% error rate for my play just to be safe.

The Gold Coast offers some decent video poker, but they have downgraded a few of their multi-play games. I used to play their multi-play 9/6 Jacks or Better, they offered these on the Super Times Pay machines.  You could either use the multiplier function or just play the multi-hands. But Gold Coast still offers single line NSU Deuces Wild returning 99.73% played perfectly, and 9/6 Jacks returning 99.54% played perfectly.  I rate my 9/6 Jacks or Better play at 99.40%, so with the slot club, the return on this game today would be 100.10% with cashback and 100.569% for comped food. Players should also consider the bankroll required to play at a particular level.

I just play for fun, so I play at the single line quarter level, and I can play about 400 hands per hour, so my return per hour is about $2.85 in the long run. This will not make me rich, but it does give me a cheap shot at making a royal flush.  For the Video Poker nerds out there, I saw Jean Scott (The Queen of Comps) and her husband playing $2 NSU Deuces. At perfect play they are making 0.40% without factoring in mailers and drawings. At 500 hands per hour, they are making $20 per hour in the long run.  If they exchange their points for food, they are making $43 per hour.  They probably also get good mailers and win some drawings every once and a while.

Gold Coast also offers Multi-Strike 9/6 Jacks or better.  I had never played this game before, and I felt like playing a multi-line game, so I sat down a played a few hands. I quickly realized that the strategy for Multi-Strike is different because of the different multipliers for each level. Each level in fact has its own strategy.  This game returns 99.80% played perfectly, but a quick glance at the Wizard of Odds site, shows that perfect play requires some significant adjustments. It was a mistake to sit down at this game without much more preparation.  Because of the multiplier levels, Multi-Strike is also more volatile and it quickly ate up my budget for the day.  The lessons I learned today are: 1) stick to your core games and don’t venture out to any other game on the fly, 2) practice on the computer and learn to play accurately, 3) calculator your bankroll requirement and stick to your denomination.