If you’ve ever bet online, then you must have heard of sportsbook bonuses! Almost every sportsbook offers some type of bonus or incentive to entice new customers to deposit their hard earned money with them.
And this is GREAT for the player! Taking advantage of these bonuses are an easy way to help increase the odds of you coming out ahead and winning money.
Now as with everything in life, nothing is truly free, so let’s take a closer look at how sportsbook bonuses work.
How Sportsbook Bonuses Work
Let’s dive right into how sportsbook bonuses work by starting with a fictitious example. Let’s pretend I own a sporstbook called “Cool Guy Sportsbook” (remember, it’s fictitious, so I get to choose the name 🙂
Now I’m a brand new sportsbook, so in order to try to recruit new players I decide to offer a signup bonus to try to lure in new players.
I decide to offer a 25% cash bonus to all new customers of Cool Guy Sportsbook. I cap the bonus at $500 and say that there is a 7 time rollover required before you can cashout.
Now if I just lost you in the last sentence, don’t worry. Let me go over exactly what the “rollover” is because it’s the key to evaluating how good a sportsbook bonus is.
First off, a CASH bonus means that I will add extra money directly into your sportsbook account. In this case I’m saying that I will give you a bonus of 25% up to a maximum bonus of $500.
So for all you math whizzes out there, that means that it takes a deposit of $2,000 to get the maximum bonus of $500. Of course you don’t have to deposit that much. For example you could deposit $500 and I would give you a $125 bonus (25% of $500).
Now let’s look at what we mean by the term “rollover”.
As I mentioned before, there’s not such thing as a free lunch. No sportsbook is going to give you free cash and just let you cash it out right away. Instead they say that you need to wager a certain amount before you are able to cash out from your account.
The rollover, along with the size of your deposit and the bonus you get determine how many wagers in total you need to make to have met the terms and conditions of the bonus.
So going back to the Cool Guy Sports example, let’s say that you deposit $500 and I give you a $125 bonus. The rollover is 7 times.
To calculate the total amount of wagers you must make, you add the deposit + bonus and multiply by 7:
($500+$125) * 7 = $4,375
This means that you must make wagers totalling $4,375 before you can cashout your bonus.
Now although this number might sound like a lot at first, it actually is quite easy to get through. As long as you’re not planning on just betting on one game and are someone who likes to bet on sports, then you’ll probably surprise yourself at how easy it is.
And you could reach this figure by making wagers of whatever size you want. It could be 100 wagers of $43.75, 50 of $87.50 etc.
All things considered, the lower the rollover, the better it is for you the player. A lower rollover commits you to a lower total amount of wagers and lets you cash out sooner (if you choose to).
There are two types of bonuses – cash bonuses and free play bonuses….
A cash bonus works as I described above – it is money added to your sportsbook balance for you to play with.
A freeplay bonus is given to you as a free bet. Let’s use the prestigious Cool Guy Sportsbook for another example 🙂
Let’s say that instead of a cash bonus, I offered you a 50% freeplay bonus. Assuming you deposited $500, I would put a $250 free bet in your account.
There’s a key difference here – instead of adding money to your balance, I am giving you a free bet for that amount. So your balance starts at $500 and you can make a free bet in the amount of $250.
So let’s say that you want to bet on a baseball game and you bet on the Texas Rangers at +!00. We’ll use an even moneyline like that to keep it simple.
There are two possible outcomes here:
1) Texas loses and you lose the free bet. In this case, you’re left with the balance of $500. You haven’t lost anything, but you haven’t gained anything from the bonus either.
2) Texas wins – woohoo!! In this case, your account will be credited with the WIN amount only. So your free bet was for $250. This means you risk $0 to win $250 and your account will be left with $750.
As you can probably see, a freeplay is less valuable than a cash bonus. Let me illustrate this by using the above example, but assume Cool Guy Sportsbook gave you a 50% cash bonus. Your account starts with $750 and you decide to make the exact same wager ($250 on Texas).
The two scenarios are:
1) Texas loses. Once again, your account is left with the original $500 you deposited.
2) Texas wins – you’re a genius! Now here’s the key difference – instead of having $750 in your account like in the freeplay example, you’ll have $750 + the $250 winnings, so you’re left with a total of $1,000. Good stuff!
A freeplay bonus is worth about half of what a cash bonus of the same amount is worth. Like they say, cash is king!
I absolutely love sportsbook bonuses. I’m someone who bets year round, so it’s easy to make up the rollover.
And the extra cash and freeplays go a LONG way. They don’t guarantee that you’ll win, but they sure do help!
Typically sportsbook will offer their best bonuses to brand new customers, but they’ll also offer “reload” bonuses to existing customers as a way of enticing them to make another deposit. Some sportsbook like bet365 or BetIslands are known for having some fantastic reload bonuses at different times of the year.
And if you have recently lost all the cash at a sportsbook, it doesn’t hurt to call them and ask if they can offer a juicy reload bonus. It often works and you’ll end up getting a better deal than they advertise.
Since bonuses are such a great way for sports bettors to increase the odds, we have a special section devoted to the best sportsbook bonuses. Here you’ll find details on the latest bonus offerings from all sorts of sportsbooks – take a look!