Bonuses and promotions are proven ways for online sportsbooks to attract more customers and keep their existing ones loyal. As a sport bettor, you should always keep your eyes open for value, and these bonuses provide a great way of doing this. With so much competition between books, there are many great deals you can take advantage of.
Small differences in the fine print can make a big difference to the value of seemingly very similar offers. For example one book might count their bet-through requirement only using the bonus cash, while another counts the total of your deposit + the bonus.
This page introduces the main types of bonus you’ll find at online sportsbooks, and notes what to look out for on each one to ensure you get the best deal. You will also find some examples based on both US and non-US books – along with links to our detailed sportsbook reviews for more in-depth information.
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Welcome Bonuses at Online Sportsbooks
The first thing you will see at most online sportsbooks is their introductory bonus offer. These offers often provide a match of your first deposit of between 50% and 100%, which can instantly double your betting funds. The caps on these vary from site to site with a typical range being from $250 to around $1000.
There are 3 key differences factors to look out for when comparing these offers. These are the wagering requirement (how many times you need to bet your bonus amount before it can be withdrawn), whether this wagering requirement is based on the bonus only or the bonus + deposit total and whether there are any restrictions on the types of bet or lines which can be used to clear this.
Bet through requirements range from 3 times the bonus total to around 10 times for sports bets. Some operators allow you to clear the same bonuses in their real money casinos, though this play-through requirement will be a lot higher. Minimum odds requirements start from around 1.50 (1/2 in fractional terms), though some books have tougher requirements.
When comparing any type of bonus it is worth spending a few minutes checking the fine print. Often you will find bets which do not count (for example Parlays) or even areas of the site which are restricted while clearing your bonus. Sticking with the reputable sportsbooks featured here at CasinoGamblingStrategy.org will help you avoid this kind of issue.
Sportsbook Reload Bonuses
These work in similar ways to the welcome bonuses – for additional deposits. These are often a smaller percentage of your deposit than the initial bonus, typically ranging from 10% to around 50%. Some books, including TopBet offer automatic reload bonuses each time you deposit. You can normally only have one active bonus at a time, so if you are clearing a sign-up bonus or reload offer already, you will not be able to claim another.
Even with the attached bet through requirements, reload bonuses make a big difference to your profits over time. Many bettors will gain more profit from these over time than the initial deposit bonus, so make sure your book offers them.
Free Bet Offers
Free Bets are found at many books, and are sometimes used instead of a sign-up bonus – especially by the European online bookmakers. These offers match your first wager, normally up to €50, with a free bet. These are often used to attract first time bettors interested in big sporting events.
These can often be used for any single line on the sportsbook, either win or each-way, however you are often restricted from placing accumulator or parlay bets. If your free bet wins, you not receive the staked part of the promotional bet back to your account – instead you will just get the winnings.
In some cases you may also need to meet further wagering requirements in order to withdraw your winnings from a free bet. The requirements are all noted in the T&Cs, and work along the same lines as the welcome bonus.
Free bets are often available for existing customers, either as a loyalty reward or as an incentive for making a new deposit (especially if your account is dormant for a while).
Sports Betting Sites with Cash-back
While not as common, certain sportsbooks may provide you with a cashback offer. This provides you with a refund on all your losing bets from the previous week or month. While the cashback value is only usually around 5-10%, it can be a handy little boost to your bankroll, particularly after a bad run. You can normally find this sort of offer running as part of a sites racebook, and guarantees some kind of small return off any bet.
Price Boosts, Reduced Juice Lines and Enhanced Place Terms
Price boosts (or reduced juice lines) and enhanced place terms can provide a smart sports bettor with a lot of extra value.
Some sportsbooks make reduced juice lines a central part of their appeal. 5Dimes is a great example here. In addition to offering some of the best lines (including Dime Lines) for a wide range of sports, they will offer further reduced juice lines on bigger events as promotions. These small differences add up fast through the year – it is always worth checking them out when you compare the offers of different sportsbooks. Price boosts can work in similar ways to the reduced juice offers, or can work by guaranteeing the best price – if the price goes up after you place your wager you’ll get the better price instead.
Enhanced place terms are for sports such as horse racing, which offer each way or place chances. These may pay 5 places instead of 4 or offer 1/4 odds instead of 1/5. Bet365 is one sportsbook which has built a strong reputation for doing this often, while other sportsbook may enhance the place terms on certain high profile events.
Sports Betting Bonuses – Summing Up
Bonuses and promotions can offer any sports bettor extra value and add a significant boost to your overall profits over time. In addition to welcome offers, such as sign-up bonuses, good sportsbooks should also provide you with several opportunities to gain free bets, and possibly cashback or enhanced terms. By checking out a site’s ongoing promotions before you register your account, you will be able to get an idea of what’s on offer, and ideally never have to place a bet again without receiving some kind of extra value.