How Do Sports Betting Bonuses Work?

Sports betting bonuses

How Do Sports Betting Bonuses Work?

Almost if not all online sportsbooks entice bettors -especially new ones- with plenty of sports-betting bonuses. You may have seen them advertised on TV, on the Internet, or on a bus stop somewhere. This is not a scam. Sportsbooks will truly give players free bets, free money, or whatever online sports betting bonus they are offering.


Sports Betting Bonuses Explained

There are many types of sports betting bonuses and, while they all serve the same purpose: to encourage players to bet, they are quite different.


The most popular one is the one we see advertised all the time: a deposit bonus or a deposit match. This bonus, as its name states, will reward new bettors with free money or free bets (sometimes called “free play”) equal to the amount they deposited… to an extent. 


This bonus will read something like “100% of your first deposit up to $200.” This means the book will give the bettor up to $200 if they deposit $200 (100%) or more for the first time with a sportsbook. 


Alternatively, sportsbooks also have a “re-up bonus” where they will give back a set amount when a player deposits again. It works just like the first-deposit bonus.


In other cases, a sportsbook can simply give a bettor free bets or free money. These are two different sports-betting bonuses. 


The free bet or free play is like a betting credit. This is not real money. This is a credit that a bettor can use that can eventually turn into real cash. The condition here is that free plays can only be used on certain betting markets like straight wagers and select teasers. Future bets and props tend to be excluded.


The free money is, as it says, money rewarded by the sportsbook to the player. It is usually given in smaller increments like $10 or $25 as part of a promotion, e.g. the start of the NFL season.


Some books also offer a crypto bonus. This is where the book will reward bettors with free bets or match the deposit they make if they use a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin.


Also learn about Point Spreads Betting Tips and Tricks


What to Keep in Mind with Sports Betting Bonuses

Sports betting bonuses are a great way to enjoy some betting at the expense of the sportsbook. But, as is usually the case, an online sports betting bonus usually has some asterisks attached to it. Get familiar with the conditions of a sports betting bonus.


+ Learn What the Rollover Is. A rollover is an amount a bettor needs to wager to be eligible to redeem the sports betting bonus they received. Rollovers can range from 5x to 20x. This means a bettor will need to have wagered 5x to 20x the amount they received in a bonus to be able to withdraw it. 


+ Find out What Qualifies for the Bet. Not all bets qualify for the rollover and free bets cannot be used for everything. Read the conditions to see what qualifies for a bet. Many books will exclude large favorites -any favorite bigger than a -300 for example- while some will not include props. 


+ Be Aware of Contests or Promotions. Sportsbooks offer limited-time sports betting bonuses in the form of contests. Take advantage of these contests and promotions while they are available.



Sports Betting Bonuses as Examples

Qualifying for the rollover used to eventually redeem an online sports betting bonus entails many intricacies. In the case of one sportsbook, for example, their rollover amount is 6x. Additionally, the stipulation is that the money counted on the rollover is the lowest amount on both risked and won money. Let’s use an example.


🔹 Wager A: stake $200 to win $100


🔹 Wager B: stake $100 to win $150


In this example, the $100 win in wager A qualifies along with the $100 stake in wager B. Whichever the lower amount is what qualifies.



Pros vs Cons

🔷 Pros:

🔹 Sports betting bonuses can reward bettors with free bets and/or free money to use for betting.
🔹 These bonuses can give bettors more capital to use for wagering.
🔹 An online sports betting bonus can be claimed as soon as a deposit bonus is made -a deposit match- or during contests and promotions. They are widely available.


🔶 Cons:

🔸 Deposit bonuses and/or free bets are subject to rollover. Many rollovers are restrictive and limit what a player can use as a bet.
🔸 Free bets or free plays can only be used on a limited amount of betting markets.




Sports betting bonuses are a great way for players to add capital to their bankrolls. These bonuses can be redeemed as soon as the first deposit is made, or whenever promotions are available. There are stipulations to the bonuses -like rollover requirements and a limited market to use it on- but online sports betting bonuses are still, generally, free ways to bet online.



Sports Betting Bonuses FAQs

1. How Do Bonus Bets Work?

Bonus bets or online sports betting bonuses are free money or bets bettors can use, under certain conditions. Bonus bets can be used just like regular bets, albeit with some restrictions.

2. How to Get Bonus Bets?

Sports betting bonuses are given to bettors with promotions like a sign-up bonus. A popular bonus bet is when the sportsbook gives the new player the same amount of money they deposited – up to a certain amount.

3. How to Bet With Bonus Money?

Depending on the sportsbook, bonus money can be bet just like regular money, as it is added to the account of the bettor. Alternatively, some will explicitly ask what to use on a wager: the bettors’ actual cash or the bonus bets or credits they have.

4. Can You Withdraw Bonus Bets?

Sports betting bonus bets can be withdrawn just like regular money. However, this is subject to rollover, meaning the bettor must have bet a certain amount of real money to be able to withdraw their bonus bet money.

5. Which Sportsbooks Have the Best Bonus?

Every sportsbook has its own set of sports-betting bonuses. It depends on the bettor how they use their bonus and what their style of betting is. Most, if not all books, offer a deposit bonus which matches the amount of cash bettor deposits. Check the rollover rules from the book. Preferably, the less restrictive the rollover requirements, the better.


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