Standard cashback bonuses refund a percentage of net losses within a specified time period. The bonus only pays, if you have a net loss during this period. Cashback bonuses may be also given as a percentage of net win, rather than loss. Cashback bonuses often do not have a wagering requirement. Playing cashback bonuses usually requires a high risk tolerance and is not for everyone. However, bonuses may have a high EV, as well as unlimited reloads.
Comparing to Sticky and Clearplay Bonuses
Mathematically, cashback on loss bonuses are similar to sticky bonuses and Clearplay bonuses when cashed out early. Consider a 25% cashback bonus up to $100. If you wagered on no-house-edge coin flips until you either gained or lost $400, then half the time you would make a gain of $400 during wagering, and half the time you would lose $400 during wagering. When you lost $400, you would have a net loss of $300, after the 25% up to $100 cashback bonus was given. This makes the EV of the bonus ($400 - $300)/2 = $50. The average gain of a cashback on loss bonus is listed below:
Average Gain = Bonus * Chance of Bust - Average Wagering * House Edge
Recall that this is the same formula as the EV of a sticky bonus or the EV of a Clearplay bonus when cashed out early. While the EV of a cashback bonus is similar to a sticky or Clearplay when cashout early, the risk level may differ. With the same bonus and strategy, the average size of a loss (and a win) is smaller with cashback bonuses than sticky or Clearplay bonuses. For example, Yukon Gold used to offer a 100% cashback bonus up to $50. With a coin flip to 2x balance strategy, the EV of the bonus is $25. Half the time you win $50 and half the time you lose, and get your full $50 back, making the EV ($50 - $0)/2 = $25. With a 100% sticky bonus up to $50 and the same strategy, the EV is ($100 - $50)/2 = $25. In both cases the EV is $25, but the cashback bonus has no risk of a loss, and the sticky bonus has a 50% risk of losing the full deposit size.
Unfortunately, there aren't many 100% cashback bonuses. Cashback bonuses are usually 10-25%. This low percent results in a dramatically increased risk of a large loss, for both cashback and sticky bonuses. In the 25% bonus up to $100 example at the start of this section, you'd have a good chance of losing $300 with a cashback bonus and $400 with a sticky bonus.
Begin by choosing a deposit size such that if you lose the full deposit, you will receive the desired cashback bonus size. For example, if a casino offers a 25% cashback bonus up to $100, you would need to deposit $400 to receive the maximum bonus. As expected, optimal strategy for cashback bonuses is similar to optimal strategy for sticky or Clearplay bonuses. Begin by making large or high-variance bets on a low house edge games until reaching a target. Cashback bonuses often do not have a wagering requirement, which can eliminate the need for two-tier betting. Instead you can cashout after reaching the target if you win, and wait for the cash to be credited if you lose.
One important consideration is making a single bet or few very large bets may get you flagged as an advantage player and banned from future offers. This is especially true for cashback bonuses over longer periods, such as monthly or weekly offers. Instead of a single full-bankroll bet, I recommend making half-bankroll bets or less on blackjack (when allowed). If you keep playing blackjack until you either double your bankroll or bust, then the end result is similar to a full bankroll bet. Another good alternative is to make smaller bets on a higher variance game like video poker, then double up (using video poker double function) until reaching a target gain. There are countless other alternatives. Choose a game, make large or high-variance bets, then stop if you have a large net win.
You can check the EV of cashback bonuses with various strategies by using the two-tier bet size simulator. Enter a the cashback percentage in the corresponding box of the simulator. Enter a bonus size of 0, unless you are playing a bonus that gives a cashback along with a standard cashable/sticky bonus, such as the Intercasino blackjack reload. If there is no wagering requirement enter a wagering requirement of 0, check "Always to Target", and enter an appropriate target size.
Cashback on Win Bonuses
Some casinos may give cashback on win bonuses including Bet Fred, Gala, Totesport, and Blue Square. The bonus pays when you make a gain, rather than when you make a loss. This changes the EV equation to the following, assuming that all wins are the value that results in the maximum bonus payout:
Average Gain = Bonus * Chance of Win - Average Wagering * House Edge
Optimal strategy also changes. The maximum EV occurs when starting with a large deposit size, in such a way that there is a high probability of reaching the maximum win, without losing much EV to the wagering. Consider a 25% up to $50 cashback on win bonus with no wagering requirement. You want to make a gain of exactly $200 to receive the maximum bonus. If you deposited $200 and played no house edge coin flips, you'd have a 50% chance of reaching a gain of $200 and a 50% chance of busting, so the average gain is 50% * $50 = $25. If you deposited $600 and played no house edge games, you'd have a 75% chance of reaching $200, so the average gain is 75% * $50 = $37.50.
When factoring in real world games with a house edge and chance of overshooting the max bonus, things become more complicated. I'd recommend choosing a deposit size that fits your risk tolerance and making half-bankroll bets or less on blackjack (when allowed), trying to reaching the maximum win without much overshoot. If you use a large deposit size in relationship to the win target, you may wish to increase bet size following a loss or even Martingale. For example, you might make a $1000 deposit on a bonus with a $200 win target, then start out with $50 bets and increase bet size on a loss such that your bet size is never less than 1/4 of the amount needed to reach the win target. Note that the risk of overshooting the maximum win is higher on games with highly varied win sizes, such as video poker and slots.
Again, you can check the EV with various strategies by using the two-tier bet size simulator. Enter a negative cashback % to simulate a cashback on win bonus. In the example above, you would enter a cashback of "-25%".
Cashback Payouts Given as a Bonus, not Cash
A few casinos, such as Betway and Betsafe, have 100% cashback offers where a bonus with a wagering requirement is given if you lose instead of cash. These offers can be misleading since they may be labeled as "risk free" when they are in fact much riskier than a standard cashable bonus. A standard cashable (pre-wager) bonus is given 100% of the time. With these 100% cashback offers, the bonus is only given the portions of times that you bust. For these offers, the formula becomes the following, where "EV of Bonus" is the EV of the cashable/sticky/Clearplay bonus that is given during the times that you bust.
Average Gain = EV of Bonus * Chance of Bust - Average Wagering * House Edge
Strategy is similar to a standard cashback bonus until you get the bonus, then strategy changes to whatever is required for the cashable/sticky/Clearplay bonus that is received.
A partial list of casinos offering cashback bonuses is below. This list is far from complete.
|Casino||Software||Group||Bonus EV||Max Bonus||Bonus %||Wager||Type||Game||Notes|
|50 Stars Casino||Playtech||IOG||+$100||$230 to $250||20%||0xB||Cashback||Blackjack||Monthly bonus, See T&C|
|5Dimes||AST||Independent||???||Unlmited?||25%||0xB||Cashback||Blackjack||See Summary & Warning|
|777 Dragon||Microgaming||Vegas Partner||+$3000||$10000||10%||0xB||Cashback||Blackjack||Paid weekly, limit is $10k per month, See T&C|
|Bet 365||Playtech||Bet 365||+$150||$375 (£250)||10%||0xB||Cashback||Blackjack||Frequently changes, See bonus calendar|
|Bet Fred||Playtech||Independent||Negative||$200||5%||10xB||Cashback on Win||Blackjack||Frequently changes, See bonus calendar|
|Better Casino||Playtech||Independent||Negative||???||10%||0xB||Cashback||Slots||Frequently changes, See bonus calendar|
|Betway||Microgaming||Independent||+$300||$1000||100%||0xB / High*||Cashback / Clearplay||Blackjack / Clearplay||Two parts -- Cashback, then Clearplay, Periodically offered, See T&C|
|CanBet Casino||Microgaming||Independent||Varies||$1000||10 to 20%||0xB||Cashback||Varies||Weekly bonus, See T&C|
|Casino.net||Boss Media||Net International||Unlmited?||Unlmited?||10%||0xB||Cashback||Blackjack||Only silver+ level, See T&C|
|Gala Casino||Gala-Coral||Coral||+$60||$150 (£100)||10%||0xB||Cashback,
Cashback on Win
|Blackjack||Weekly bonus, See T&C|
|Get Minted||Wagerworks||Cashcade||+$120||$300 (£200)||10 to 50%||0xB||Cashback||Blackjack||Terms vary, See promotions calendar|
|Golden Casino||Odds On||Casino Blasters - linked||+$1500||$5000||10 to 20%||0xB||Cashback||Blackjack||Bonus % depends on player status, Weekly bonus, See T&C|
|Golden Palace||Playtech||Casino Blasters||+$1500||$5000||10 to 20%||0xB||Cashback||Blackjack||Bonus % depends on player status, Weekly bonus, See T&C|
|InterCasino||Cryptologic||Partnerlogic||+$65||$70 & $40||30% & ~17%||0xB & 60xB||Cashback
|Blackjack||Monthly BJ bonus, See T&C|
|InterCasino UK||Cryptologic||Partnerlogic||+$50||$55 (£35) & $30 (£20)||30% & ~17%||0xB & 60xB||Cashback
|Blackjack||Only UK, UK Players can claim both monthlies, See T&C|
|Linesmaker Casino||World Gaming||Jazette Ent.||Unlmited?||Unlmited?||5%||$500||Cashback||Blackjack||Monthly bonus, See T&C|
|Parbet||Cryptologic||Partnerlogic||+$50||$40 & $40||30% & 30%||0xB & 60xB||Cashback
|Blackjack||Monthly BJ bonus, See T&C|
|Sky Vegas||Orbis / Wagerworks||Sky Bet||Varies||$7500 (£5000)||10 to 20%||0xB||Cashback||Varies||Frequently changes, Cashback may given as free bets, See calendar & T&C|
|Sloto' Cash||Rival||Trenan||???||???||5%||0xB||Cashback||Blackjack||Monthly bonus, See T&C|
|Virgin Casino||Wagerworks||Independent||Varies||Varies (low)||10 to 20%||0xB||Cashback||Varies||Weekly bonus, Terms vary by week, See T&C|
|Wild Jack||Microgaming||Jackpot Factory||+$100||$250||10%||0xB||Cashback||Blackjack||Limited per Group, Monthly bonus, Terms not confirmed|
|William Hill Casino||Cryptologic||Independent||~+$0||$75 (£50)||20%||0xB||Cashback||Slots||Weekly bonus, See T&C|
|World Wide Vegas||Parlay||Independent||+$110||$250||50%||0xB||Cashback||Blackjack||Weekly bonus, See T&C|
Software -- The software used by the selected casino.
Group -- Casinos often are linked together in e group. These groups are listed in the table. I recommend not simultaneously playing two sign up bonuses from the same group. Wait until payment is received, then play at the next casino.
Bonus EV -- EV stands for Expected Value. Bonus EV indicates the average expected gain of the bonus with the following play -- Make high variance bets to a 2x target, then playthrough bonus.
Max Bonus -- The bonus that is given with the maximum allowed deposit for that bonus. If the max value is expressed as one number + another, then there are two bonuses, usually one signup bonus and one deposit method bonus. If the value is expressed as a range, then the bonus is dependent on return from a free play offer.
Bonus % -- Bonus % indicates the ratio between the bonus and your deposit. If a $300 bonus is given on a $100 deposit, the bonus % is 300%.
Wager -- Wager indicates the wagering requirement for the bonus. All wagering requirements are expressed in terms of the bonus. For example, the wagering requirement at Golden Palace is 20x(bonus+deposit). With a $100 deposit, the wagering requirement would be ($300 + $100)x20 = $8000. $8000 is 27x the $300 bonus, so the value in the table is 27xB. Clearplay bonuses may list two wagering requirements -- the minimum wagering requirement and the wagering requirement on the game French Roulette. "0xB / 60xB" indicates that you can cash out your winnings immediately (0xB), and if you complete the playthrough on French Roulette there is a 60xB wagering requirement.
Game -- Game indicates the recommended game to play the bonus.
USA? --"No" means the casino allows no players from the United States. "Yes" means the casino allows players from anywhere in the United States. "Some" means the casino allows players from some US states, but not others. Microgaming casinos typically allow players in 39 US states. They do not permit players from 11 states where gambling is legislated illegal or where there have been related court cases -- Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington, Wisconsin, New York and New Jersey.
Notes -- Notes indicates other important things to take note of, such as associated warnings.
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