BonusesA list of the best bonuses available for online sports bettors. Sportsbook Review has got you covered.
Sign-Up Bonus Offers
Matched Deposit Bonus Offers
Alternatively, a sportsbook could offer a 50% match deposit. In that case you could deposit $100 and receive $150 to play with. Some sports betting offer 150% or 200% matched deposits, while others might go to 300% or 400%, but they may only allow you to deposit a small amount when seizing this free bet bonus.
You will notice that each betting site has a minimum and maximum deposit amount for anyone that wants to take advantage of a first deposit free bet bonus offer. For example, one site might offer a 100% matched deposit up to $250, while a rival site could offer a 50% bonus up to $1,000. In the first case, you would be able to deposit $250 and receive $500 to play with. In the second case, you could deposit $1,000 and receive $1,500 to play with.
You can only qualify for a sign-up bonus if you are a new customer. You often have to enter a promo code to unlock these bonus funds. For example, at Intertops you can use the promo code ROOKIE200 for a 200% matched deposit bonus when you register, or ROOKIE100 to take the site’s 100% matched deposit bonus. It sounds like a no-brainer to take the 200% sign-up bonus instead of the 100% sign-up bonus, as it gives you more bonus funds, but they actually come with different wagering requirements, so some bettors might prefer the 100% offer.
No Deposit Bonuses
Why would a betting site offer a risk-free bet? The idea is that you will be so impressed with the sports wagering platform after betting for free that you will decide to remain a long-term customer, deposit real money and play it on various different markets. Some sports betting operators believe that getting your foot in the door is half the battle. They lure you in with a risk-free bet, and then try to sell themselves in a short space of time, encouraging you to stick with them.
You may find that a sports betting site then offers subsequent bonuses after giving you a risk-free bet in order to give you another incentive to stay. A no deposit risk-free bet is a really appealing bonus offer for anyone that bets on sports, and it is well worth snapping them up when you see them. We will always highlight no deposit risk-free bonuses alongside match bonus offers and other free bets at SBR.
Another form of bonus is badged as a “risk-free bet”, but you actually have to deposit your own money. You might be encouraged to deposit $30 and place a wager. If you win, the winnings are added to your balance. If you lose, you will be given a $30 free bet, allowing you to have another go. The sportsbook might refer to this as a “risk-free bet”, although it does actually require you to risk your own money.
Boosted Odds Bonus Offers
The offer will be limited to new customers, and you will generally only be able to wager a small unit such as $1 at those boosted odds. You will also have to deposit some of your own money to unlock the bonus. If you win, you will be paid in the form of free bet credit as opposed to real money that you can instantly withdraw.
Sportsbooks will run other creative bonuses to tempt new customers. You might find you can bet $10 on the first quarter-final clash at the US Open tennis tournament, and then receive a subsequent free $10 bet on each of the remaining quarter-finals. You might alternatively receive double the odds on your first bet. These free bet offers are again more common among European sportsbooks, but US facing betting sites increasingly offer such free bet offers, which are also referred to as bet free, bet for free or free bet.
Reload Bonus Schemes
Free Play Bonus vs. Cash Bonus
Let’s say you receive a $100 cash bonus and you use it to bet on the Dallas Cowboys to cover the spread in a big NFL game. You would generally get odds of -110 on a bet like that. If the Cowboys covered the spread, you would make a $91 profit. If you placed that bet with a cash bonus, your account would be credited with $191 ($91 profit and your $100 stake returned as your bet was a winner). However, if you placed that bet with a free play bonus, your account would only be credited with $91, as you do not get the stake back on a free play bonus.
A cash bonus is therefore generally more appealing than a free play bonus when you sign up at a sports betting operator and place your first bet. However, you might find higher rollover requirements on a cash bonus, so read the small print before deciding which free bets promotions to take advantage of. As a general rule, risk free bet offers are free play rather than cash bonuses.
Each sportsbook sets different rollover requirements for its bonuses. They typically become more onerous as the amount you receive in free bets rises. For example, you might find an 8x rollover attached to a 200% bonus, a 6x rollover attached to a 100% bonus and a 4x rollover attached to a 50% bonus. On reflection, you might decide that you stand a better chance of actually being able to withdraw money if you opt for the 50% bonus with a 4x rollover as opposed to the 200% bonus with an 8x rollover.
With each free bet offer, you must bear in mind the percentage you will be given, the rollover required, the maximum bonus cap and whether it is a free play or a cash bonus. A 50% cash bonus up to $250 with a 5x rollover requirement is very different to a 150% free play bonus up to $3,000 with a 16x rollover.
SBR will always tell you what the true bonus is in each case to help you make your decision. A 150% free play bonus up to $3,000 might initially sound better than a 50% cash bonus up to $250, but it is actually a smaller true bonus. A rollover requirement is also referred to as a betting requirement or a playthrough requirement.
Other Terms & Conditions
A common condition on a free bet bonus is a minimum odds requirement. You cannot simply bet your bonus on a few overwhelming favorites at odds of -10000 and expect that to take care of your rollover requirement. You will generally find that you have to wager it at minimum odds of -200, -150 on +100. This is another important point to bear in mind when weighing up how attractive these free bets and risk-free bet promotions actually are. Some players prefer to simply avoid free bets and risk-free offers altogether, but they can be very lucrative if you get it right.
Loyalty and VIP Programs
For example, Bovada gives customers 1 point for betting $1 on either video poker or table games, 5 points for a bet of $1 on slot games, 3 points for betting $1 on sports singles (moneyline, spread etc.), 15 points for betting $1 on teasers, 25 points for betting $1 on a sports round robin or a parlay, 40 points for a $1 straight bet at the racebook or 60 points for a $1 exotic bet or multiple at the racebook. You would therefore earn $600 points by betting $10 on an exacta for the Kentucky Derby.
You can then exchange these reward points for free bets or other prizes. You will typically move up through the loyalty program tiers by betting a high volume or placing large wagers, and your rewards will improve the higher up the ladder you climb. High rollers and players with VIP status can expect to benefit from a personal account manager, enhanced free bet rewards and bonuses, exclusive promotions, faster withdrawals, cash back on settled bets, and other incentives, such as trips, gadgets and bespoke hospitality invitations.
There are also contests that you can pay to enter. BetOnline often hosts a $250,000 NFL Mega Contest, a season-long handicapping contest that carries a first prize of $100,000. Your first entry costs $100, and subsequent entries are discounted.
SBR also runs various exciting contests for our members. You can win points and then exchange them for free bets at our top online sportsbooks. Sports betting sites will also run prize draws, put on promotions around seasonal events such as the NBA finals or the Super Bowl and provide many more reasons to remain loyal.
Refer a Friend Bonus
Where to Find the Best Sportsbooks’ Bonuses
If a risk-free bet offer or a matched first bet promotion sounds too good to be true, it probably is. For example, if you find a high cash bonus on a first bet, with no rollover requirement attached, it should set alarm bells ringing. It could be an extremely generous sportsbook, but that is highly unlikely.
One way to identify scam sites is to visit our blacklist, which details all the different sites that have stiffed players over the years. Many of them use free bet offers to lure you in, but you should avoid them and stick to the trustworthy sites listed on our top sportsbooks page. Many of them offer great bonuses, so you are bound to find more than one that appeals to you. It is always worth signing up with more than one sportsbook, as that ensures you benefit from more than one bonus offer.