If you have played blackjack or poker online then you might be familiar with the concept of bonus whoring. Many players have successfully used this strategy to build a massive bankroll for free. You can, too, if you literally play your cards right.
What is Bonus Whoring?
Bonus whoring is the practice of chasing bonuses offered by online poker, blackjack, and sports betting rooms. A bonus whore—get used to the term—never deposits a penny at an online betting site. Instead they take advantage of the free bonus money offered by the casinos online. The player then uses their playing skills to turn that bonus money into a large bankroll.
Most online bonuses come in two varieties. The first one is the free money bonus. This bonus is given to you when you register your account and there is no deposit required. A no-deposit bonus is the one best suited for bonus whoring. There is also a matching bonus. To receive this bonus you will need to make an initial deposit to your account and the casino will match it.
Once the bonus money is in your account you can use it to build a large bankroll by playing blackjack or other online casino games.
Understanding Play Requirements
All bonuses offered by online casinos have a play requirement attached. In other words, you must play a certain amount before you can cash out the bonus. This is known as playthrough.
A play requirement will sometimes be as high as $1000 for a $50 no-deposit bonus! That means you will have to bet at least $1000 before the free money is available for you to withdraw. Obviously, you are going to have to win at whatever game you play.
The goal is to win consistently and build your bankroll as you are completing the play requirement. By the time you have reached it you will have a nice sum of money to cash out.
Bonus Whoring Strategy
Satisfying the play requirement can be tricky, but it is very possible. Here are a few basic strategy reminders:
Don’t play slot machines when bonus whoring. This is what the online casinos want you to do because they know you cannot beat this game. You will never meet the play requirement and cash out a bonus by playing online slot machines.
Your best bet is online blackjack. Remember, blackjack is the only game in the casino where you can use basic strategy to reduce the house edge against you. Therefore, playing online blackjack will give you the best chance of building your bankroll for free.
Online poker is also good. If you have the poker skills and can play Texas Hold ‘Em then online poker can be a good choice. The problem is that some areas, such as the United States, have banned online poker and there are very few poker sites offering free money.
Play the lowest limit until you have built your bankroll. In most online casinos the lowest bet at blackjack is $1 per hand. You need to be betting this amount until you have built your bankroll.
Your Bonus Whoring Bankroll
In the beginning growing your bankroll is going to be a painfully slow process. It will take time. Do not get impatient and begin playing higher limit games to build it faster. As your bankroll grows you can begin to bet more on each hand of blackjack you play
A good bankroll building strategy is to increase your bet by one unit each time you double your bankroll. Let’s say you receive a $50 no-deposit bonus. Start by playing blackjack for $1 per hand. When your bankroll hits $100, increase your bet to $2 per hand. At $200, increase the bet to $3, and so on. If you follow this strategy you will stand a good chance of turning that $50 into $500 or more.
If you get impatient playing the lower limits, just remember that you are also satisfying the play requirement. By the time you reach a healthy bankroll you will have met the requirement and can cash out.
The Most Famous Bonus Whore
In 2006, poker pro Chris “Jesus” Ferguson began a journey that would officially make him the biggest bonus whore of all time. Starting with $0 he built a poker bankroll of $10,000 at the online site Full Tilt Poker.
Ferguson began by playing in the free-to-enter bonus freerolls offered by the site. He began to cash in some of these, sometimes for as little as $0.10, and kept going. It was a long and tiring journey. 18 months and thousands of poker hands later, Ferguson met his goal of $10,000. He donated the entire amount to charity.
Ferguson says, “I really wanted to demonstrate to people the power of good bankroll management and what you can accomplish with it, because I know far too many poker players who don’t have it.”