How do betting bonuses work?

Bookmakers must stand out in a crowded market and make sure you sign with them. How do they do it? Bonuses, bonuses and more bonuses. If you're new to betting, the number and different types of offer swirling around can be overwhelming and leave you scratching your head. The penultimate chapter of your guide sheds lights on how betting bonuses work so you can choose with confidence.


Most common sports betting bonuses

Competitive isn’t the word when it comes to the amount of bookmakers pushing and shoving each other out of the way in order to secure your sign-up. This goes for all online gambling sites but particularly those focussed on sports betting where interest continues to soar.

You will come across bettors who will have already made up their mind with regards to who they’ll bet with. This could be based on the company’s reputation, an advertisement, a recommendation, or the like and even the lure of a bonus is unlikely to sway them.

The majority of us though remain open in terms of who we go with and so the more bonuses, the better. Here are the most common sports betting bonuses, what they mean and how to play them.

Deposit Bonus

By far the typical type of bonus, the sportsbook will match your first deposit, up to a certain percentage, from anywhere between 10% and 200%. For example, a promotion that offers 100% on your first deposit will effectively double your stake - if you deposit $50, the bookie will also deposit $50 as a reward for signing up. Such an offer will come with conditions however so it’s important to read the exact terms before committing.

For instance, any money won on the back of a successful bet, is likely to be in need of being ‘rolled over’ - played a certain number of times to lessen the chance of you walking away with any money (note that bookies aren’t out to just give you money and need to protect themselves from potentially losing large amounts).

The rollover requirements, i.e. X15, will always be stated but still, reading the terms of the offer is still crucial to avoid disappointment.

Betting Sites With Deposit Bonuses

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  1. 20% Deposit Bonus up to $1,000

  2. 100% Deposit Bonus up to $1000

  3. 2nd Chance Bet up to $500

  4. 100% Deposit Match up to $250

  5. $10 No Deposit Free Bet with a Risk-Free Bet up to $1,000

No deposit bonus

It’s always good to have the opportunity to try new experiences for free and this does exactly that. As the name suggests, this bonus requires no deposit and you will be issued free money upon completing the sign-up registration.

A promotion that actually does give free money is a favorite amongst bettors given the chance you have of winning, without risking money of your own.

As mentioned though - and it’ll be a phrase word you’ll be accustomed to - consider the terms. Money won from a no deposit bonus won’t be eligible for withdrawal until you make a deposit into your account. This serves as a deterrent for bettors looking to abuse the offer and open numerous accounts.

No Deposit Bonus Betting Site

Sport bonus:

$10 No Deposit Free Bet with a Risk-Free Bet up to $1,000

Turnover: 1x bonus amount Lowest odds: -200 Bonus code: N/A

Free Bet

Free bets are rising in popularity among sportsbooks in the US currently. Free bets are often advertised as "Bet and Get" offers. For example, you may see sportsbooks offer bonuses such as Bet365's "Bet $1, Get $200".

What this means is that when you make a qualifying bet of at least $1, you will get $200 in free bets.

These types of bonuses do require you to lay down some money at first, but you were probably going to do that anyway if you're there to bet on sports. The great thing about these offers is they don't depend on you losing your first bet in order to offer you any type of value, like a risk free bet. Simply make your first qualifying bet, and then win or lose (in most cases) you will get free bets back.

Betting Sites With Free Bet Bonuses

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  1. Bet $1, Get $200

  2. Bet $100, Get $100

  3. Bet $10 Get $50

  4. Bet $50, Get $250

Risk Free Bet

Risk free bets are arguably one of the most common types of betting bonuses offered by sportsbooks today.

A risk free bet tends to fall in line with a big sporting event such as the Super Bowl or a particular game the sportsbook wants to promote. Refund offers and money-back specials are the most common ways a risk free bet will be offered.

For example, with a risk free bet, if you wager on the Lakers to beat the Warriors, but the Warriors end up winning, the sportsbook will return your stake, thus making that bet "risk free".

Betting Sites With Risk Free Bets

21+. Bet Responsibly. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER.

  1. Up To $1,250 On Caesars

  2. 2 Risk Free Bets up to $2,000

  3. Risk-Free First Bet up to $1,000

  4. Bet $5, Get $150 in Bonus Bets

  5. Risk-Free Bet up to $500

  6. Risk Free Bet up to $1,000
    + 1 month of fuboTV free

Reload bonus

While, sportsbooks will spend both money and time chasing new custom, the need to retain existing customers is important too. Hence the reload bonus.

Bettors can be rewarded for loyalty or have their account topped up should funds be on the low side - a nice way to perk somebody up, wouldn’t you say?

Naturally, the more active you are in terms of betting, the more chance there is of being rewarded. Companies are well aware of the value of specific customers and will aim to keep their participation high especially.

Top tips for playing bonuses

  • Read ALL terms and conditions
  • Don’t expect to make large amounts of money
  • Aim to use bonus as a way of discovering how a site does things