While there are many reasons why using sports betting sites is the best way to bet on sports, very few of them are quite as enticing as the bonuses and free bets that you can get your hands on. If you aren’t familiar with how sports betting bonuses work, they are basically additional money that’s added into your online account to bet with. You generally have to make a deposit and wager a bit of your own money to be eligible for them, but they are still effectively free money.
Bonuses are a great way to add to your bankroll, and some sites are really quite generous, particularly to new customers signing up and depositing for the first time. Below we explain more about why sites give them away and look at the different types available. We also explain why it’s important to understand the terms and conditions they usually come with and offer some advice on finding a good bonus.
The number of sports betting sites on the web has increased significantly over the years as online betting has grown more and more popular, which means bettors have plenty of options of where to place their wagers. As a result, sites have to work hard to attract new customers and keep them happy, and offering bonuses is one of the methods they use to do this. The bonuses and free bets that they give away are essentially just incentives to get you to place your wagers with them.
The idea is that you are far more likely to join a new site if you can claim a decent bonus for signing up. You are also more likely to make additional deposits subsequently if there are even more bonuses available. Sites tend to work on the principle that it’s worth giving away this money if they end up with regular customers as a result, because they will probably make the money back in the long run.
This is because most people who bet do lose money overall. If a site gives away $100 to a customer who ends up spending a total of $500 with them, then that’s obviously a good way to do business. However, not everyone loses money, and it’s possible to take advantage of bonuses. If you bet smart and manage to win money, then the bonuses can end up being extra profit for you.
You could be forgiven for thinking that the idea of getting something for nothing is too good to be true, but these bonuses really are available. It’s not quite true to say that they are completely for nothing, because they do generally have certain terms and conditions attached. For the most part, though, these aren’t unreasonable. Typically you have to make a deposit in order to claim a bonus or free bet, and then have to wager a certain amount before you can make any withdrawals.
The amount you have to wager is known as the wagering requirements, or play-through requirements, and the exact terms can vary. At some sites the requirements are very low, while at others they can be quite high. This is why it’s very important to check the terms and conditions of a bonus before claiming it.
At some sites there are certain rules about which types of bets count towards the wagering requirements, so make sure you check for anything like that. You might also find that bets placed at really short odds don’t count. With free bets, some sites let you keep the stake amount and any winnings but some only let you keep the winnings. This is also something you should check, as it makes a significant difference to the value of a free bet.
The most common type of bonus offered by sports betting sites is the sign up bonus. This is what you’ll be offered when you first join a site. Typically it will be a fixed percentage of your first deposit, up to a maximum amount. It will be added into your account when you make your initial deposit and, once you have met the wagering requirements, you’ll be able to withdraw it along with any winnings.
Some sites give you free bets of a certain value instead of a bonus when you make your first deposit. There are even a few sites that will give you a small free bet just for joining. A number of sites don’t award you with a bonus right away, instead giving you a refund if your first bet loses. This isn’t quite as valuable, but it still means you get to make a risk free bet. It’s worth comparing the sign up bonuses at different sites when deciding where to join, to see where you can get the best value.
Reload bonuses are also quite common and several sites offer them. These are essentially the same as sign up bonuses, but they can be claimed by existing customers rather than new ones. Some places offer reloads on your first deposit each month, some on your first deposit each week. Some even offer them on every deposit you make, but this is pretty unusual.
Most sites also have some kind of scheme in place to reward their customers’ activity and loyalty.
One of the key factors we look at when we are ranking sports betting sites is the bonuses that are on offer. We don’t necessarily think that biggest is always best, but we do feel that sites should be reasonably generous at least. Therefore, virtually all of the sites that make our top rankings do provide decent bonuses.
If, however, you are specifically looking for the maximum value available, then you might want to take a look at the following page: Best Sports Betting Sites for Bonuses.