What's Bonus Hunting? A Guide to the Bonus Hunt Concept of Casino Streaming
Bonus hunting’s a concept usually associated with advantage players. An advantage player is a person who knowingly target and exploits casino promotions in order to gain an edge, and make a profit from them.
Nowadays the term “bonus hunt” has a totally different meaning. Today it represents a brand new concept which originated from the casino streaming niche that started with CasinoGrounds back in 2016. A niche where you could watch casino players stream their play live on Twitch and YouTube.
Since then the concept of a bonus chase quickly gained a following, and today the most popular streamers doing a bonus hunt can expect thousands of viewers tuning in to both watch and participate.
How Does A Bonus Hunt Work?
The concept of a bonus hunt is simple:
- Play on slots that has a bonus game with free spins
- Play them until the bonus round triggers
- Exit the game before the bonus round starts
- Save the bonus-opening for later
The viewers and followers of the CasinoGrounds streamers are encouraged to participate both before, and during the bonus hunt streams.
Bonus hunts usually start with an announcement in the community's forum. Everyone can drop a comment in the dedicated hunting thread and participate by guessing the outcome of the hunt.
Since it's a community event, the streamers also take requests. Meaning, if you have a favorite slot that you'd like to see played - don't be shy!
Drop your request in the bonus hunt thread, or write it in the live chat window during the stream. Often you'll hear the streamers ask their viewers directly as well.
If you're not sure what game you'd like to see them play, or can't remember the name - check out our online slots section. It has a search function, shows you all the data of the game such as RTP (theoretical return to player), paylines, volatility, who made the game, when it was released and game reviews as well.
Another thing that makes the crow go wild is when "pick-n-click" games come up. That's when the streamer has to make a choice. It can be choosing the amount of Free Spins, which character to play in the bonus round, or simply picking a number of objects to reveal a prize.
That's where you come in, because more often than not you'll hear them ask you "Click on the screen", or "Vote please". This is done in one of two ways; 1) voting by typing a number in the live chat, or 2) Click map voting.
The last option is easier and more manageable compared to voting in the live chat. Live chat votes literally triggers a landslide of numbers covering the entire chat. A click map however allows you to simply click on the screen, where you'll see the result of the vote updated in real time.
Click map votes always end up a competition in their own right, as the rivalry between the groupings fighting for their favorite to win is fierce!
A Concept Made Popular by CasinoGrounds Streamers
It's not clear who started doing bonus hunts during their streams, but it's no secret that the concept really gained traction once LetsGiveItASpins and NickSlots started doing them.
The concept quickly became popular due to the new way of engaging their viewers, taking them on a journey; from picking which games to play, triggering bonuses, collecting them, to opening them in order at a later point.
A bonus hunt’s usually accompanied by a good ol’ fashioned guessing competition. The streamers ask their viewers to take part by guessing how much money they’ll win during the hunt.
Those guesses can easily be worth a cool 10% of the winnings in cold hard cash for a lucky winner …
Speaking of cold, hard cash; with trust being one of the key factors of the CasinoGrounds success, streamers are constantly asked over and over “where should I play?” or “how do I ...”.
This lead to the creation of our very own casino bonuses index, where you’ll find offers from only the streamers top rated picks, and also an entire online casino guide dedicated to educating the viewers on hot topics.
Guess the Outcome - Win Cool Prizes or 10% of the Streamers Total Winnings
Bonus hunts are immensely popular. If you really want to see a crowd go wild, then just watch how fast a bonus competition catches fire once the “Guess the win”-thread for it opens on the CasinoGrounds forum.
Part of this is due to the fact that streamers usually give lucky guesses a chunk of their winnings.
Both NickSlots and LetsGiveItASpin are well known to give their contestants with the closest guess 10% of their total winnings.
Meaning, if any two of those streamers run, say a €2.0000 bonus hunt, and ends up winning whatever sum of money - one lucky winner gets 10% of that in cash. Sometimes the streamers also decides to “go with the flow” and reward even more players.
And it’s not just cash prizes folks. Literally anything’s on the table; from merchandise to free spins, bonuses, and more to be revealed in the future.
With that said, it’s not just the players who gets to make good on these streams. Charitable organizations gets their fair share too, during special charity events, including dedicated bonus hunts.
Two Popular Bonus Hunting Approaches on Online Casino Streams
Despite being a brand new concept, there’s two popular ways of approaching bonus hunting.
The first being the original “raw balance” approach which is to be considered the “established standard”, and the second one being the “feature buys” which is popular for quick streams.
Hunting With a Raw Balance: What You See is What You Get
The established standard among streamers hunting for bonuses is to start with a raw balance.
- Raw starting balance
- No bonus money
- Streamer(s) risk their own money
- More genuine, entertaining streams
A raw balance is a clean deposit with nothing extra to it as it’s the streamer’s own money at stake. This makes it more genuine, as there’s no bonus money involved, no free spins, no perks, no nothing.
What you see is what you get; from the low’s of missing that near x200 win, to the high’s of scoring huge when Lady Luck decides to reward the streamer with a gigantic win. All of which happens to live on stream with thousands of viewers watching.
The Raw Balance Bonus Hunt is by far the most popular approach. It takes the viewers on a journey from the very start, catches their attention while building up to the very climax of the hunt which is when the streamers open their bonuses.
For those bonus hunts that also are accompanied by a competition, that part becomes even more exciting as the viewers who participated gets to share the win.
The Feature Buy Approach
The feature buy approach is similar to the original, but with one key difference; the bonus rounds are not chased, but bought directly in-game.
A feature buy slot
- Allows you to buy yourself into the bonus round directly
- Usually costs x100 of your stake
- Guarantees a bonus
The reason for this approach is simply because of the guaranteed bonus, hence the hefty price of a x100 your stake.
The first ever game to include this feature was Big Time Gaming’s White Rabbit - an instant hit that would pave the way for many more slots of the same caliber.
Read more: Feature Buy Slots
Bonus hunting with Bonus Money
This approach is rarely something you’ll see done by serious casino streamers as it implies advantage play.
How bonus hunting with bonus money works:
- Streamer deposits money
- Receives a deposit bonus (from 100-300% match)
- Streamer gets a bigger balance to play with
This approach rules out the combination of feature buy slots, as regulated and licensed online casinos have very strict bonus rules and conditions. One of the most prominent ones being the max stake pr. Bet, which is usually €5.
As betting anything more than that amount pr. round would be a clear breach of the terms and conditions of the casino, this makes buying features directly impossible.
The second problem with bonus money is that it’s exploitable (advantage play). Usually, casinos have wagering requirements for money won with bonuses. This means that if you win €100 when playing with your bonus money balance, that amount needs to be wagered anywhere between 10-45 times over. (€1.000 to €4.500).
This can be easily circumvented by playing on casinos that advertise “no wagering requirements” on winnings from free spins and bonuses. As such, anyone doing bonus hunts could simply use the bonus money to rack up as much in winnings as possible, then walk away with their winnings, risking nothing.