As a newcomer in the world of esports betting, it can feel difficult to keep up with all the potential questions. We’ve briefly discussed before how appealing some welcome offers and deposit bonuses many gambling sites use to attract new customers can be, and we’re going to provide you with the tools and knowledge required to correctly choose between the bonuses that are worth signing up for and the ones that aren’t. When a site throws you a nice welcome offer – something like ‘’$50 for FREE” – you need to remember there’s no such thing as a free lunch! It’s important to do your research and determine how much a bonus is actually worth before giving away your hard-earned money and valuable user data to a site.

Every bonus offer you see on the internet will either have terms and conditions associated with it or some seriously small text explaining the rules. You must read the fine print to best understand the value of the bonus. These rules will typically outline the amount you need to bet in order to get your funds (called rollover or turnover), as well as the rules regarding how and when you will be able to withdraw the funds.

Earn up to 100% of your deposit, up to $100 – sounds good, right?

You must bet 28 times the deposited amount within 14 days and bets must be placed on odds of 1.75 or more.

That second line makes the whole thing look a lot less appealing, doesn’t it? It’s quite possible that you’ll run out of funds before completing these terms, forcing you to deposit again if you want to unlock your “free” bonus.

There’s also the specific value of the bonus itself, which you can calculate using some fancy math and by taking into account some other elements.

You can calculate the margin the bookmaker is taking by taking the implied probability of both teams in a bet, then checking how much more than 100% they add up to. For instance, let’s look at a game between Griffin (offered at 1.15) and KT Rolster (offered at 4.99):

  • 1/1.15 = 86.96%, 1/14.99 = 20.04%
  • 86.96% + 20.04% = 107%
  • 107% - 100% = 7%

This means that the margin the book is taking is 7%.

Knowing this, we can finally calculate the expected return and overall value of our 100% “bonus”. First, we multiply the rollover by the deposit amount and the margin to see how much we will lose to the site over the course of placing the required number of bets. Then we subtract this from the amount of bonus money promised to us, which will give us the value of this whole endeavor. For example, let’s look at what we get if we deposit $25 and go for this “free” money they’ve promised:

  • we must place $700 in bets to get our bonus ($25 * 28x rollover)
  • we pay 7% of $700 in margin, which is $49
  • this means that the expected return on $700 in bets is $651, meaning on average we lose $49 over the course of unlocking our bonus.
  • therefore the value of this bonus is -$49, so you will lose both your deposit and the bonus funds under normal circumstances

As you can see, this bonus is not particularly appealing to a user: it will be extremely difficult to unlock it without busting your account and having to deposit again. Do you see why this is a good deal for the site and not the user? Make sure you don’t fall for fake bonuses like these!

The primary ways to always ensure you’re getting the best value for your bonus dollar is to do your homework before you sign up to the site. Use the tools provided in this piece to find out how much the bonus is worth – how much you are likely to actually recoup of it, how much of your own money it’s going to cost you – before signing up. It’s like shopping for anything else in life: if you’re set on getting a bonus from a new betting site, why not put the same preparation into determining the one that is the best suited for you, the consumer, as you would if you were buying a cell phone or a car?

Avoid the bonuses you will never see, take advantage of the ones that provide good value and all of a sudden, redeeming these legitimate bonuses will be a great bankroll booster to help you get on your journey as an esports bettor!

Remember the name of this series when you’re making your decisions surrounding the betting space: Bettor Beware!