What are betting bonuses?
Betting bonuses can take many forms, but we can break them into two major groups and then from there into a number of sub-groups. The main two categories are:
- Welcome or signup bonuses. These promos are for customers signing up to a sportsbook for the first time.
- Bonuses for existing customers. These promos are designed to keep existing customers hungry and can often focus on a particular sports event
Sportsbooks all around the world have offered welcome bonuses for many years. Nowadays in Europe, sportsbooks, welcome bonuses do not vary all that much. But in 2018, the US, the world’s biggest market legalised sports betting. Sportsbooks suddenly had an incentive to pick up as many new customers as possible and what better way than to offer the crazy signup bonuses.
Frequently asked questions about sportsbook bonuses
What is a 100% deposit bonus?
This type of bonus means that the sportsbook will match your deposit. There always be a minimum and maximum deposit requirement. The matched deposit will be credited to your account in the form of free bets. You will need to check the smallprint to see if there is a turnover requirement attached to these free bets.
What does 10x rollover mean?
This means that you have to win ten times before the free bets can be converted to cash. Often the higher a signup bonus is the higher the turnover requirement is. It can make more sense to go for a lower bonus which comes with a lower rollover.
What are free bet bonuses?
These are promos that pay out with free bets. Free bets are not cash, they are simply a free wager. If you win the bet however the winnings can be converted to cash. There is usually a time requirement for free bets, for example, they must be used within 7 days of issue.
Sportsbook Signup Bonuses
So, as a US-based customer, you are really in luck when it comes to signup bonuses. You literally have every sportsbook vying for your first deposit. The reason for this is that the sportsbook you do sign up with will often be the sportsbook you stay with. That’s just how we are wired.
Signup bonuses will require you to signup and place a deposit, then they will place a certain amount of free bets in your account. The amount of free bets and the terms and conditions can vary greatly between sportsbooks. Some US sportsbooks also offer a no deposit bonus as part of their welcome package, but we will deal with this type of offer separately.
A signup bonus will almost always be a % of your first deposit paid into your account in the form of free bets.
Free bets are a free wager than you can place with the sportsbook that has issued them, like a voucher or a coupon. If you win that bet, you will be able to keep that money unless there is a turnover requirement stipulated by your sportsbook. This means that you will need to use the free bets and win a certain amount of times before that money is yours.
There are two things you need to take into account here:
- The amount of free bets offered
- The turnover requirement
The most obvious piece of advice we can give you is don’t just be distracted by the big numbers! The amount of free bets you are offered is, of course, important, but the turnover requirement is just as key.
- Sportsbook A offers you a matched welcome bonus of up to $200. This means that if you place the first deposit of $200, then sportsbook A will deposit $200 in free bets into your account.
Amazing right? Well if we look a little closer we will see that sportsbook A requires you to turnover these free bets 10x. This means that you need to win with this money ten times before the money is actually yours!
- Sportsbook B offers you a matched bonus of up to $50. This is obviously a quarter of the maximum amount offered by sportsbook A. However they only stipulate you need to turn it over 1x. This means that if you deposit $50, and receive $50 in free bets which you then place on a winning bet, all profits will be yours in cash!
In the example above you can see that the second option which offers you much less in terms of free bets, is actually a better deal due to the turnover requirement. We take all of this when ranking our sportsbooks and their deposits.
Welcome bonuses can be a way of making some quick money, but they are actually a great way to get to know a sportsbook. The more you get for ‘free’ at the beginning, gives you more of an opportunity to try out the sportsbook without the risk of losing your money. We like to see these welcome bonus free bets as a trial period where you can test the product for free.
When it comes to welcome and signup bonuses, you are much more likely to see these promotions marketed to a wider audience. They are a marketing tool to attract new customers, so you will see them pushed out to sports fans everywhere compared to existing customer promos which usually remain on site.
No Deposit Bonuses
In the betting promotion, no deposit bonuses are like gold. For you, as a customer, you can’t really ask for more than a no-risk, no deposit bonus. These are always offered for new customers.
The downside, if there is one if you compare these bonuses with normal signup bonuses is that you won’t get the big numbers. Without a turnover requirement and without any money being deposited, you are not offering the sportsbook much in terms of commitment. This is why these are rarely offered in the saturated European markets. However, in the US market, you can get no deposit bonuses of between $10-20.
These type of bonus usually come hand in hand with your original welcome bonus. A reload bonus means that you can get a bonus when you deposit money. They will typically be a much lower percentage than your original signup bonus.
Your sportsbook won’t offer you a reload bonus for every deposit until the end of time. Instead, you might be offered a reload bonus in the first month of your signup. Sportsbook often offer to reload bonuses around a special campaign or particular sporting event.
How do you use a sportsbook bonus?
As we mentioned earlier you should know all the terms and conditions associated with your sportsbook bonus. When you know all of the stipulations you can create an appropriate strategy.
For example, if you have received $200 in free bets from your first deposit. You should treat this very differently to your $200 you have cashed in. Such a high amount will come with a turnover requirement, so you should place more sensible bets with these $200 free bets until you have made the requirement.
You should also use a sportsbook bonus to trial a sportsbook. A bonus reduces the amount of risk associated with betting so you can have a look around and try new betting forms without the fear of losing your own money.
Most of all you should have fun with them. Too many people think they can use bonuses as a way to beat the sportsbooks. This is a risky strategy and doesn’t work in the long run, you might make a few bucks, but you really only beat a sportsbook through skill and luck.