Using The EV Simulator
Reading Time: 15 mins
Expected Value (EV) is a really important concept when completing casino offers.
It helps us decide which offers are worth completing, allows us to prioritise the highest value offers, and accurately track our results.
If you are unfamiliar with EV, and why it is important, check out our Variance and Expected Value Guide
In this guide, I will be going through the following points to ensure you can always calculate the EV of offers that you receive:
An EV simulator is a really useful tool.
You enter the various details of a casino offer, such as the bonus amount, wagering requirements and game choice.
An EV simulator will run thousands of simulations to understand the different possible outcomes of an offer.
In doing so, the simulator will produce an accurate estimate of the offer’s EV.
It can also give you valuable information, such as the bust out rate, the average time required, and the impact of using different spin sizes.
Every time that Team Casino posts an offer, we will use the EV Simulator to check that it is +EV, and to help us decide the best approach.
We think you'll find having an EV Simulator really useful too.
It will help you to:
How To Use The Simulator
When you load the EV Simulator, the first thing to do is select the offer type.
The simulator has 7 different modes for common offer types.
Choose the relevant mode from the drop-down menu.
The EV Simulator will then ask for various information in order to analyse your offer.
Once you have filled out each of the boxes, just click ‘Start Simulation’, and after a few seconds, your EV estimate/s will be displayed.
Here we explain how to use the simulator for each of the different offer types.
Just click on the toggles below to expand each section.
Free spins offers are a common type of promotion that you’ll experience regularly.
If you need to wager your own money first, to receive the free spins, then select ‘Wager For Free Spins'.
Once selected, you will see a Red ‘Wager’ section. Here you should input how much money you need to wager, and on which type of game (inputting the RTP if using a slot).
If the free spins have been added to your account without any need to wager first, then select ‘Free Spins Only'.
You will then need to complete the green ‘Free Spins’ section.
Here you enter the number of free spins received, what the value of each free spin is (usually 10p or 20p), and the RTP of the free spin slot.
If there are wagering requirements on the free spin winnings, then select Yes as shown below.
Then input what the wagering requirements are (usually something like 10x free spin winnings).
Select the game on which you will be wagering, and input the game’s RTP.
If you are wagering on the free spin slot, then the RTP will be the same as the Free Spins RTP. However, sometimes you can switch to a different game, like a higher RTP slot, in order to attempt the wagering requirements.
Once you have completed the required fields, click ‘Start Simulation’ to get your EV estimate.
If there are wagering requirements, then your results will show four different EV estimates. These are based upon different stake sizes that you could use to attempt the wagering requirements.
If you haven't already, make sure you've read our bonus wagering guide for lots of valuable information on these offers.
The wagering requirements on bonus offers make an EV simulator really very useful for finding the EV, and deciding your approach.
If you need to wager your own money first, to receive the bonus, then select Wager For Bonus.
You will then see a Red ‘Wager’ section. Input how much money you need to wager to get the bonus, and on which game type (inputting the RTP if using a slot).
If the bonus has been added to your account, without any need to wager first, then select Bonus Only.
Next, is the green ‘Bonus’ section.
Here you should enter the bonus amount, and what the wagering requirements are.
Select the type of game that you will be using. If using a slot, you should select the slot’s variance (discussed below) and it’s RTP.
The EV and bust out rate of your bonus will depend on the stake size that you choose to use to attempt the wagering.
The EV simulator will display four different sets of results, based upon different potential stake sizes that you could use.
A simple offer type. You wager a certain amount, and the casino will pay you a cash reward with no wagering requirements.
You’ll need to know how much money you need to wager, whether you will be wagering on blackjack, roulette or slots (inputting the RTP if slots) and the cash reward amount.
Loss back promotions are where, if you play on certain games and make a loss, the casino will refund a percentage of your losses as cash.
If you are unfamiliar with loss back offers, check out our money back on losses guide.
In order to simulate the EV of a cashback offer, you will need to know:
- What % of your losses the casino will refund (usually 25%, 50% or 100%)
- The maximum amount of cash the casino will pay you if you make a loss.
- The type of game that you will be using and it’s RTP
- What spin size you intend to use
The EV of loss back offers will depend on your profit target. Your profit target is the amount of profit at which you would choose to stop wagering.
You should decide your approximate profit target before starting the offer.
To help with this, the EV simulator will display 4 different EV amounts, based upon different spin sizes, as well as the % chance of busting out (losing the maximum required for the full cashback).
A Golden Chip is a form of free bet suitable for use on table games like blackjack and roulette.
To analyse a golden chip offer, the EV simulator will ask you two things:
- How many golden chips will you receive
- The value of each chip. This should be specified in the T&Cs – usually, it's £1 per chip.
If you are unfamiliar with these offers, check out our golden chips guide
To simulate an offer's EV, the EV simulator will ask for various pieces of information.
Here we explain how to quickly find the information that you need.
When considering invite offers, we should aim to use the highest RTP game possible to maximise our EV.
Blackjack, given its 99.5% RTP, should be our first choice where it is allowed.
Roulette has a 97.3% RTP, whilst the RTP of slots varies, anywhere from 80% RTP up to 98.5%.
When selecting Blackjack or Roulette in the EV Simulator, it will automatically add in the RTP for you.
However, when you select Slots, the Simulator will ask you to input the RTP.
Our Slots Database contains the RTP of over 1,000 slots. You can also search by casino, to find the highest RTP slots available at over 100 casinos.
If a slot isn’t listed in our database, then speak to us on live chat, and we will be happy to help.
Alternatively, you can try to search Google for the ‘slot name RTP’, or search for the slot on Slot Catalog.
When analysing free spin offers, you need to know what the value of each free spins is.
Often these are worth 10p or 20p each, but the free spin value can range anywhere from 5p-50p per spin.
This is obviously going to have a massive impact on the EV.
An offer might be -EV if 10p free spins, but +EV if they are worth 20p each, so it is important to check this carefully when considering an offer.
The first thing to do is to check the offer terms and conditions. This will often state how much any free spins are worth.
If not, we can assume that their value is the smallest spin size that is allowed on the free spin slot.
We can check this by opening the eligible slot/s and setting it to the minimum spin size (usually 10p, 20p or 25p).
If we have a choice of slots to use our free spins on, it is possible that we can increase our EV by finding the slot which has the highest free spin value. They may not all be the same.
When wagering bonus money on slots, the slot’s variance will impact the EV.
So the EV Simulator will ask you to select the variance level, from low to high.
It can be difficult to know this information.
Some slot providers rank their slot’s variance, others don't. Plus, what one provider might consider high variance, another might call medium variance.
However, there are two places that you can check to get an idea of a slot’s variance:
- Slots Database – our database gives a variance estimate for almost 400 slots
- Slot Catalog– will often give a variance estimate for slots
Slot variance is not an exact science, and its impact on EVs isn’t huge, so don’t worry too much about it.
If you are not sure of the variance of a slot, then we’d recommend selecting ‘Medium Variance’ in the Simulator.
The EV and bust out rate (chance of losing the bonus before completing the wagering requirements) of offers with wagering requirements is impacted by the spin size that you choose to use.
When wagering a bonus, a higher spin size typically means a higher EV, but also a higher chance of busting out.
The EV Simulator will display the EV and bust out rate of four different spin sizes that you could use to wager your bonus money.
By default, this is set to 25p, 50p, £1 and £2 spins.
However, often you’ll want to use different spin sizes.
You can quickly adjust the spin sizes from the Settings section.
Open up the settings box, and edit the spin sizes that you would like to compare.
Then click ‘Start Simulation’.
You’ll then see results tailored to your chosen spin sizes.
The EV Simulator will also give estimates for the average amount of time that you will need to attempt the wagering on your bonus.
As you might expect, bonus wagering will take much longer when using 20p spins, when compared to £1 spins.
This can be an important consideration when deciding how to approach an offer.
This time estimate is based upon the average amount of time you need to complete 1 spin on a slot or roulette or play 1 hand of blackjack.
By default, the EV simulator is set to:
- Slots – 3 seconds per spin
- Roulette – 10 seconds per spin
- Blackjack – 15 seconds per hand
However, you might think that these time estimates are unrealistic for the offer you are considering.
Perhaps the slot doesn’t have turbo mode, or you are doing a slow, live casino offer.
If so, you can adjust the time per spin/hand from the Settings to get a more realistic time estimate for the offer you are considering.
Cash First Offers
If a casino uses cash before bonus funds, as many do, then when we attempt to wager bonus money, the casino will first use up all of our cash balance.
It will only use our bonus balance once our cash is gone.
If you receive an offer, the simulator might show that the offer is +EV, but if the casino uses cash before bonus, your entire cash balance could be at risk.
This would significantly increase the risk of the offer, and will strongly impact how you should approach the offer.
Make sure you have read our guide on ‘How To Approach Cash First Offers.
This will show you how to find out which casinos use cash first, and how to safely approach their offers.
High Risk Offers
The Team Casino EV Simulator does not support high-risk deposit match offers.
These are offers where you deposit a certain amount of money, in order to instantly receive a bonus.
These use cash before bonus, and come with very large wagering requirements.
We do not recommend these offers.
Find out more with our blog post: High Risk Offers Warning.
You may have come across basic EV calculators before.
Using a basic EV calculator doesn’t work for offers with wagering requirements.
It will give very low, and often, minus EV values for these offers.
An EV calculator assumes that we always complete the entire wagering requirements on a bonus.
So if you had a £20 bonus, with 30x wagering, it assumes that we complete £600 of wagering every single time.
That would mean losing a lot of EV to the game’s house edge, so we get a really low EV estimate for the offer.
However, you’ll know that we do not complete the entire wagering requirements for every bonus.
In fact, the vast majority of the time, we’ll bust out before completing the wagering requirements.
Therefore, the average amount of wagering completed is lower than the calculator assumes. This means our EV loss to the house edge is much lower.
So the true EV of an offer with wagering requirements will be much higher than the EV calculator predicts.
For this reason, we need an EV simulator.