How Do Sports Betting Bonuses Work?

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Online sportsbooks offer a bonus to new bettors to encourage them to deposit. The sign-on bonus is an excellent incentive because it increases your bankroll.

No online sportsbook is created equally because its ‘Free Play’ or bonuses on deposit fluctuate from 50% to 200%. Whatever amount you deposit, the sportsbook matches it with a bonus instantly that can be used on live betting. This article looks at how sports betting bonuses work, roll-over requirement, as well as the fine print (or terms) attached to the bonus which bettors often overlook.

The Two Most Popular Sportsbook Bonuses

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One can use the analogy that sportsbook bonuses are as variable as hailstones. You get small ones, and you really get big ones. As much as a hailstone can injure a vehicle, it will at least give the owner a chance to get a new window or even a new car from your insurance. So there is always some good to come of out it.

There is a bonus for each and every bettor out there, and even if you get hit by a few hailstones along the way, you can still come out as a winner. There are two standard bonuses namely the free bets bonus, and the match bonus.

Free Bets Bonus

The free bets bonus is a small amount of cash and most probably the most convenient bonus of the lot. The size of the free bet bonus varies from $5 to $30, and bettors can use it to wager on a specific sport. If the bettor won $50 with his $30 free bet, usually he must complete a small roll-over of 1x.

Welcome Bonuses


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Match Bonus

The match bonus is a percentage bonus that can be anything from 50% to 150%. Whatever amount the bettor deposits is matched with a bonus by the sportsbook in percentage terms. If the bonus is 50% up to $50 and the bettor deposits $50, his or her deposit is matched with another bonus of $50. Hence the term ‘match’ bonus. However, don’t get confused with a match bonus and matched bets because they are two separate bonuses.

A matched bet is when the bettor places a bet from his or her own money that is less than $50. If you lost the money, the online betting site will reimburse you. Another advantage of the matched bet bonus is that it enables bettors to place bets on sports they wouldn’t otherwise risk their chances on.

6 Important Terms of Sportsbook Bonuses Explained

1. The roll-over: This is also called the ‘wagering requirement’ or ‘play-through.’ Bettors usually miss the roll-over condition of the bonus entirely, or they simply ignore it. This is a big mistake! If a bettor does not meet the roll-over conditions, it can lead to a heated argument between the two parties, where the bettor calls the betting site ‘crooks.’

No matter which sportsbetting operator you join, you will be expected to meet the roll-over. If you have accepted its bonus, you must jump through a few hoops before any winnings gained with it are released; period.

The roll-over requirement can be 3x, 5x to 10x. If the sportsbook’s bonus has a roll-over of 10x, it means that you must bet your deposit and bonus 10x. If the bonus is 100% up to $50 and you deposited $50, the bonus you’ll receive will be $50. The figure looks like this: 10x$50+$50=$1,000.

A big bonus is not necessarily a better bonus. The terms attached to big bonuses can be severe. So, before you accept it, pay close attention to its play-through terms.

2. What do we consider a steep roll-over? Anything more than 10x is too high. The sportsbook bonus is designed to make a profit, always remember that before you accept it.Maximum permissible bets. As with a deposit bonus at an online casino that carries a maximum bet per spin of $5 on a slot machine, the sportsbook also restricts bettors on how much they can bet with their bonus.

This restriction is called a ‘minimum odds bet.’ Players often get excited when the site is running a $5,000 sportsbook bonus. They think that it is more than enough cash to bet the maximum on specific sports. This is not so.

Sportsbetting operators are smart, and they don’t consider single bets of $200 + as probable or profitable. Obviously, this depends on which site you’re placing your bets at.

3. Deposit Methods: Online sportsbooks run special promotions that coincide with a specific holiday like Christmas, New Year, or a major sporting event. They’ll offer bonuses to their customers that use a particular banking method such as an e-wallet (Skrill, Neteller) or Bitcoin. Sometimes they’ll even throw in an extra 10%. (

4. Sportsbook Bonus Promo Codes: When you accept the sign-on bonus, there is a bonus promo code that must be supplied to the support staff or the Cashier. Once when you have provided the bonus code, will the bonus be activated and credited to your account. An example of the aforementioned is XBET. The sports betting site offers an exclusive bonus of $500 to all depositors who sign up through The bonus is claimable with the code ‘XWON.

Make sure to check your Inbox because an email with an activation link will be sent to you. When you click on the link, only then will your bonus be activated.

5. Perks: Sportsbooks like to spoil their bettors with complimentary points. Make sure that you get comps on the bets you’ve made with your welcome bonus. The comps reward system of each betting site is different. Before you accept the welcome bonus, email the sportsbook and ask them if they reward comps for bonus action.

6. Betting Restrictions: When you accept a bonus, please make sure that you are eligible to receive it. You also need to make sure that the sporting event you will be using the bonus on, is indeed allowed. The sportsbook describes in its fine print (terms and conditions) that it excludes certain sports such as Asian handicaps, for instance. If you have placed a bet on Asian handicaps, your bonus will be canceled, as well as your winnings.

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How Do Sport Betting Bonuses Work Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the Biggest Mistake Bettors When They Accept The Bonus?

The obvious one is that they get overexcited when they see the size of the bonus, and they forget to read its terms. Another thing they forget to do is provide the promo code for the bonus and to complete the roll-over.

Then you get the ‘bonus hunter’ who deliberately sets up multiple accounts to claim a bonus. Sportsbooks pick up on this immediately, and they’ll close the abuser’s accounts. Just a friendly heads up, don’t do this because you will get caught.

Is The Sportsbook Bonus Cashable?

No, it is not. Once you have cleared the roll-over of the bonus, the sportsbook will deduct it from your wins.

Is The Roll-over In Line With What You Bet On?

It should be. For every legitimate 10 players, there’s always a bonus abuser. Sportsbooks have learned to mitigate the play from bonus abusers over the years because it cost them tens of thousands in bonus money. Unfortunately, the honest players had to pay the price for their nefarious activity.

The sportsbooks let the deposit and bonus ride on 10-1 favorites by incorporating a lessor of the risk win. If you bet $10 to win $1, you just rolled over $1. It’s exactly these types of terms that leaves many a player disgruntled.

Another thing to check; make sure the bonus promotion is in line with the sport you are betting on. If the Super Bowl just ended, a sportsbook can increase the roll-over without you even realizing it, especially if you like to make straight bets on sides and totals.

Are Bitcoin Sportsbook Bonuses Offered?

Players who deposit with Bitcoin ( receive bonuses just like fiat currency depositors.

Are Sportsbook Bonuses Awarded To Mobile Players?

Indeed, sports betting sites offer bonuses for bettors on-the-go.