OddsMonkey team member, Suzy Beth, had an early Christmas when she hit the jackpot recently. Her big win at the casino shows why you should always do the small offers. And trust the expected value over time…
Q&A: Suzy Beth’s big win at the casino
Tell us what happened!
I’m still shaking! I won an £11,000 Jackpot on a low risk, free spins offer that had been posted in OddsMonkey earlier in the day.
Where did you first hear about the offer?
The offer was one of lots being posted in OddsMonkey that day: a Christmas Advent offer from Betfair Arcade. It was a simple offer to spend £10 on their “Festive Fun” collection of slots and get 10 free spins the next day. Not a risk-free offer, but low risk with +EV (positive expected value).
It was actually my turn to post the offers that morning, and like every other offer posted on the Community, it was posted with the strategy and the EV (Expected Value).
The strategy recommended playing your £10 on the Jingle Bells slot as it has the highest RTP at 96.49%. RTP stands for Return to Player which means how much you would expect to win playing the game normally. That is, you would lose 3.51% of your stakes.
What made you choose to do this offer?
It had a positive expected value and I was on Betfair later in the evening checking some football bets when I remembered about it. As I have played this Jingle Bells game before, I knew it was actually a Daily Jackpot slot too. That means it has a Jackpot which keeps increasing until it’s won and it has to be won every day at some point,
I had deliberately not played it earlier in the day. You know, just in case there was a chance of a big win later! I know there’s no knowing the right time and it’s high unlikely to happen, but I was thinking, “you can’t win it if you’re not in it!”
When I checked the game, it still hadn’t been won for that day, so I left it bit longer. It was about 11:30pm when I decided to give it a go.
How often do you do casino offers? Are they part of your matched betting strategy?
Yes they’re part of my matched betting strategy. Anything with a positive Expected Value is. I used to do them all religiously, no matter how small the value, but have found haven’t got time to do them all any more, I probably do a couple per day on average…If they’re easy to do and not very time-consuming. Maybe I should rethink that now 😀
Can you tell us a little bit about what EV is and how it works?
EV stands for Expected Value. It is where the maths of an offer tell us we have an edge over the “House” (Casino) over a long time, In other words, over time you would expect to come out with more than you put in. In this case, as the House Edge of that game is 3.51% (opposite of the RTP) that means the casino would expect to retain 35p for every £10 a customer would play on the machine. That’s how they work and how Casinos make their money over time too. So we might expect to retain £9.65 from our £10.
For this offer, the next day we would get 10 free spins worth 20p each, so effectively getting a £2 bonus. Then after we had spun the free spins and the Casino had retained their 3.5% house edge on them too, we might expect to keep £1.90 of their value. So if we lose 35p originally but get back £1.90, we are expecting a profit. Over the long term, if we were to play this type offer many many times, of approx. £1.55 – that is then the Expected Value of this single offer.
This doesn’t happen in a smooth manner though, as there is a great deal of variation in when you win or lose. However, the more you play, the more it is expected to even out and as long as the maths is on your side, it should always be in your favour. And the more small offers you take, the more those pennies will add up. This shows we shouldn’t ignore an offer just because it’s only worth £1 or so as over 20 similar offers you’d be expecting £20+ in value.
The Casinos themselves work purely based on maths and they don’t lose. They will get their 3.5% over time too. And they don’t grumble when they have to pay out big winners, do they? They usually do the opposite and publicise it 😉
How long were you playing for?
Not long at all, I honestly can’t really remember now! Perhaps about 3 or 4 minutes. I didn’t even register that 2 Jackpot symbols had dropped in and that you only needed 3 of them. Then the 3rd one came in and the game started making noises. The main screen blanked and the message at the side where the ‘Jackpot countdown’ changed to “You Win”. I was a bit confused as to what was actually happening to be honest!
What was your reaction? Could you believe it?!
No I couldn’t believe it, still don’t! I stood up, paced around, sat down again and kept checking the screen. The main screen did its count with coins piling over the display and whistles and sirens going everywhere. I just kept saying to myself, “No, this can’t be right. We don’t win jackpots – it’s always someone else!” I was shaking like a leaf and when it was finished counting and celebrating, I took the picture below.
I didn’t close the game and then went to wake the household up to come and check I wasn’t dreaming.