How to Use a Sportsbetting Bonus
Sportsbook bonuses exist in some way for every major online sports betting site on the market.
These bonuses are meant to entice potential bettors to try the site, but not every bonus rewards bettors with the same amount or works in the same way.
Some sites offer a sign-up bonus in the form of a “risk-free bet” or a “match bonus”.
These online sportsbooks may then require you to wager this bonus money a certain amount of times before withdrawing it (rollover amount) or even require you to bet with those bonus funds in a certain window of time after getting them.
Every online sportsbook bonus is a little different so it is absolutely imperative that you read the full terms and conditions before trying to claim that bonus.
In this guide, we’ll define common terms online sportsbooks use to describe their bonus, explore some common rules, and try to point you to the best sportsbook bonuses available now.
Difference Between Match Deposit, Risk-Free Bets, And Free Bets
These are the three most common types of online sportsbook bonuses for new users.
The match deposit at online sportsbooks is a bit different than a risk-free bet in the sense that it is not dependent on you betting, rather how much money you initially put into your account on the site.
For example, PlaySugarHouse will match your first deposit into the site up to $250 dollars.
This money is put into a separate bankroll and you will have to bet with that money at least once before being able to withdraw it. You don’t have to bet the entire amount all at once, but those rules may differ at another site with the same type of bonus.
Sports betting sites like PointsBet offer a risk-free bet worth up to $500. In short, if the first fixed odds bet you ever make on the site loses, the site will reimburse you with up to $500 worth of bonus money.
If your initial bet wins, congratulations on the victory, but you’re not going to qualify to get that risk-free bonus.
If you do happen to get reimbursed by the site, there are two things to remember.
The first being that you cannot automatically withdraw that bonus amount, you have to bet with it at least once. The second thing to remember is that when you bet with that bonus money and win, you’ll only get back the winnings from that bet, not the original amount you put down.
So, if you got $100 in bonus money and put it on a bet that had odds of -100 and you win, you would only come away with $100. You wouldn’t receive $200 like a normal wager.
Free bets are similar to the risk-free bets, except you don’t have to lose your first bet in order to receive that amount.
For example, you may find a bonus that will award a free bet worth up to $500 depending on how much your initial bet is. Whether that bet hits or doesn’t the amount your awarded goes into a separate bankroll.
Similar to the risk-free bet, you’ll only receive the winnings of using this bonus money.
What Is A Rollover Requirement?
The rollover requirement is the number of times you have to bet with your bonus money before it becomes available for you to withdraw.
For example, let’s say you find a match bonus that will reward you 100% of your initial deposit. Let’s also say that you deposited $100 and the bonus has a 5X rollover requirement.
This means you would have bet $1000 before you actually see that bonus amount reach your bankroll. The calculation is as follows:
(($100 initial deposit + $100 in bonus money= $200) x 5)=$1,000
The rollover requirement is a crucial aspect to look out for when looking at online sportsbook bonuses. What may seem like a really good deal could end up being almost unattainable. Offshore sports betting sites are notorious for these requirements.
Other Common Online Sportsbook Bonus Requirements
While the rules for online sportsbook bonuses differ at each site, there are some common rules to look out for. A list of common requirements goes as follows:
- Bonuses must be played through by a certain time frame. Common time frames are either 7 days or 30 days.
- You can only have one active bonus at a time. Entering another bonus forfeits any progress you may have made with another one.
- Bonus money can only be used on odds that are less than or equal to -200. This is to make it so that bettors don’t just hammer heavy favorites to get the bonus.
- You may have to wait a certain amount of time before you’re eligible to withdraw the funds.
- Bonus funds can only be used in the sportsbook and not for casino games or poker.
There can obviously be more rules depending on the online sportsbook bonus you’re trying to get. The site also has the ability to withhold funds, end the promotion at any time, or change the rules at their discretion.
This is why it can’t be stressed enough to read the terms and conditions of a sportsbook bonus before you start relying on it.
Each online sportsbook reviewed here at PickASportsbook has a customer service department that can help break down their bonus requirement further or walk you through the process.
Are There Free Bets That Don’t Need An Initial Deposit?
There are certain online sportsbooks such as Caesars Sportsbook that will offer new users a first-time no ‘deposit free bet’.
For these bonuses, you unlock $10 in bonus funds simply for making an account with the site. You don’t have to put money into your bankroll and you don’t have to make a bet in order to get that $10 in bonus funds.
Although, just like any sportsbook bonus money, you have to use these funds to bet on odds the site offers before you can actually withdraw the money.
This bonus has to be made in full within a week after receiving it, and if you happen to win the bet you make, you will only get back the winning amount put into your bankroll rather than the original $10 in bonus money you make.
So for example, let’s say you use the $10 in bonus funds to bet on odds that are +100 and you win. You would only get back $10 that you could then cash out rather than $20 if you would just use $10 of your actual bankroll.
It’s easy to see why deposit free bets reward new users with such small amounts.
Which Online Sportsbook Has The Best Sign Up Bonus
Determining which online sportsbook has the best sign-up bonus comes down to review a couple of key factors.
The first would be if it requires you to bet on anything. This is because if you happen to win then you don’t really get anything from it. This means the sign-up bonus has the potential to be useless.
Another factor to consider is how much is being offered. Some sites offer as little as $10 and others offer as much as $1,000 to new users.
The most important factor we consider is the rollover requirement. How many times do we have to play and put money down before we get to cash out that bonus money? Certain sites make it almost impossible to get the mark they are advertising.
With this in mind, we’d say that Caesars Sportsbook, PlaySugarHouse, and Fox Bet have arguably the best online sportsbooks sign up bonuses.
Caesars has the $10 no deposit sign up bonus to go along with a deposit match bonus worth up to $300. The catch is that you have to play through these funds within a week of getting them.
Fox Bet has a $20 no deposit sign up bonus as well as a $100 deposit match bonus for new users. The advantage this bonus has is that you have 30 days to play through them rather than just seven days.
PlaySugarHouse is a bit in between the two. They don’t offer a no deposit bonus but their deposit match bonus is worth up to $250 and only requires a 1X rollover.
An honorable mention is PointsBet. The site not only offers $500 risk-free bet for first-time users who bet on fixed odds, but also a $500 risk-free bet to try their PointsBetting feature. PointsBetting can be intimidating for first-time bettors so it’s nice to have a decent amount of insurance before making that bet.
Of course, the answer to which online sportsbook has the best sign up bonus is a bit subjective and will usually depend on the sports bettor themselves.
A bettor could enjoy a certain sportsbook more than others and in that case, it would make more sense for them to try and take advantage of the bonus offered there. To determine which site that might be, we recommend reading out sportsbook reviews.