Whether you consider sports betting a hobby or part of your income, there’s no denying that it requires a large financial investment - especially if you plan to bet throughout an entire season. Fortunately, there are several different types of sportsbook bonuses and promotions that help you place more bets, with less money.
Sportsbooks often release new betting bonuses and promos. This is to entice new players to join them, as well as to keep their existing customers happy. These promotions usually give you additional funds to play with or allow you to place bets for free with zero risk.
Stay tuned to find out more about which are the best types of sports betting bonuses and promotions, how you can make the most of them, and determine whether they're worth your time. It's important to note that we won't delve into specific bonuses, but instead focus on the types of promotions available across various sports betting apps.
Most Common Types of Sportsbook Bonuses & Promos
No matter what sportsbooks you use, you’ll definitely find a ton of different bonuses in the “Promotions” tab. Here are some of the most common types of promos you’ll come across in all sportsbooks:
Arguably the most ubiquitous sportsbook bonus, a free bet allows you to place your bet without worry. So, if your bet loses, you don’t actually lose any of your own money. If you win, you get to keep your profits, which are awarded to you as real money.
There are different names for free bets according to the platform you play on, such as bonus bets, bonus credits, and free play, but they’re all exactly the same. It’s a free coupon you can use for one bet or sometimes even split it into multiple stakes.
- Free bets often come as part of a sportsbook’s welcome package for new players, but there are also free bet promos for existing bettors from time to time.
- Free bets usually come with certain rollover requirements you need to meet before you can request a withdrawal. That’s why you should always read through the specific bonus terms and conditions before you use it.
Another thing to keep in mind is some free bet bonuses come with restrictions on what types of odds you can bet on. For instance, a welcome package with bonus bets may require you to only place bets on the moneyline to be eligible for the promo.
A deposit match bonus is another popular promo type you’ll find in all the best sportsbooks. They’re usually reserved for new bettors as part of their sign-up bonus and only apply to your initial or first few real-money deposits.
- For example, if you sign up with a brand-new sportsbook, they may offer you a 100% deposit match up to $500. Essentially, if you make a deposit, you’ll earn the same amount you put in as bonus credits, which you can use to bet on any event you want.
- One issue that often comes up with deposit match bonuses is wagering requirements. Sportsbooks often put strict rollover requirements on large deposit match bonuses, which means you’ll need to place several successful bets before you can withdraw your bonus credits.
Keep in mind that your bets usually need to be placed on -200 or better odds and often exclude specific markets, such as prop bets, which narrows down your options even more.
First Bet Insurance
Some sports betting platforms will offer new players insurance on their first bet up to a specific amount of money. This means that if your first bet loses, you’ll receive your wager amount back in the form of free bets. What’s great about this type of promo is there aren’t too many hurdles to claim it, and the maximum amount you receive back can be huge.
- The first bet insurance does come with a few caveats. The most important one is you actually need to deposit and play with your own money. This makes it hard to utilize the bonus to its full extent, as there are few new bettors who will risk the maximum amount (usually around $1,000) on their first bet.
- Additionally, if your bet is successful, you just receive your payout like usual and don’t get any bonus funds.
Any bonus bets you receive are subject to rollover requirements, making it pretty cumbersome to withdraw, especially if you wagered a large amount to utilize the bonus to its full potential.
Another great promo you can find on most sports betting apps is odds boosts. Through odds boosts, sportsbooks increase the base odds for a particularly popular market or event to attract even more players. You might get boosted odds on a specific market, such as the over/under, or when you place a same game parlay with a specific number of legs.
- Odds boosts can provide great value to your bets, especially if you’re betting on strong favorites. For example, if the New York Giants are a -110 favorite against the Buffalo Bills and you find boosted odds for them at +105, you should definitely wager a good amount of money as you get a lot of value.
- Similarly, odds boosts are a great resource for arbitrage betting, as they’re usually the best odds for that particular market.
Be aware that sportsbooks always limit the maximum betting amount on these boosted odds, so you can only utilize them if you use a small bet size in the first place.
The reload bonus is one of the most common promos for existing bettors you’ll find at online sportsbooks. It works almost identically to a deposit match bonus, where you get a percentage of your deposit as bonus credits to use for your sports bets. But, unlike first deposit bonuses, a reload bonus usually comes with a much smaller percentage.
- Reload bonuses can be very useful if you frequently top up your balance, as they can give you a decent bonus amount, which means more money to wager.
- Most sportsbooks will offer reload bonuses on a weekly or monthly basis or when you reach certain loss requirements.
The downsides of reload bonuses are pretty much the same as with any deposit bonus; you need to make a deposit to take advantage of them, and they’re usually accompanied by wagering requirements.
Parlays are generally very popular among sports bettors as they provide an opportunity for huge profits. However, huge parlay bets are definitely not among the best betting strategies, as they come with a higher vig the more legs you add.
- Parlay boosts attract novice bettors into placing larger parlays. Sportsbooks know that new players love the thrill of a parlay with many legs and offer you a scaling odds boost to lure you into adding more legs. While this can lead to a massive win if it hits, one of the legs can easily miss and lose you the entire bet.
Parlay boosts often come with restrictions on which betting markets you can use, as well as a minimum number of legs to make it profitable for the sportsbook. Plus, you’ll often need to add picks with specific betting odds, making it even more risky.
A cashback bonus is a way for the sportsbook to return a portion of all player’s losses for them to keep playing on the platform. Therefore, if you’re a winning player, you’ll probably never need to utilize a sportsbook cashback promo.
- Cashback bonuses usually run daily, weekly, or monthly and are based on your total wagering losses for each period. For instance, if you lose $100 in a day and your sportsbook offers a 10% cashback, you’ll receive $10 as bonus bets to place your bets or even real money you can withdraw.
- As with all sports betting bonuses and promotions, cashback promos have certain rollover requirements and market restrictions. For example, you may be limited to betting on the moneyline with cashback bonus credits, which isn’t ideal if you prefer other markets, like over/under bets.
Also, you need to have lost a specific minimum amount of money to be eligible for the promo, and there’s usually a maximum cashback amount you can earn.
A sportsbook VIP program is a loyalty program that rewards you as long as you keep wagering money on the platform. This promotion is particularly popular among high rollers who want a special VIP status to go with their large spending.
- VIP programs usually rely on a ranking or leveling system, where you earn points according to the money you bet. Each level comes with its own perks and rewards, including free bets, higher deposit bonuses, and access to premium and personalized customer support.
This sports betting promo type is most suited for those with large bankrolls. That’s because the best rewards are usually towards the top of the ranking system, and you need to be able to afford frequent and very large bets to reach the higher VIP levels.
Why You Should Utilize Sports Betting Bonuses & Promotions ✅
Regardless of your experience and status as a sports bettor, bonuses and promotions can be very helpful to you for several different reasons.
- Increase Your Bankroll - The best part about sports betting bonuses and promos is they help you play with a larger bankroll thanks to the bonus credits you receive. Plus, daily, weekly, and monthly promos will help you exercise better bankroll management and avoid losing all your money.
- Less Risk Involved: The ability to place your first bet without any risk can be great, especially for new players who are deterred from sports betting for fear of losing. In addition to the first bet insurance promo you’ll find on most platforms, you can utilize several free bets, allowing you to wager with zero risk.
- Potential for Huge Wins: Even if you don’t plan on betting regularly, you should try out some sportsbook bonuses and promotions. You might get lucky and score a huge win from a simple free bet or some bonus credits.
Downsides of Sportsbook Bonuses & Promos ❌
Naturally, it’s not all positive when it comes to sports betting app bonuses, as they come with a few important downsides you should be aware of.
- Mandatory Deposit - While there are a few no deposit bonuses for new players, most sportsbook bonuses and promotions require you to make a mandatory deposit first. This makes them subpar for those with a smaller budget or bettors who don’t want to risk any money.
- Wagering Requirements - The biggest issue with any sportsbook promo is rollover requirements, which mandate you to wager a specific amount before withdrawing any winnings. What’s more, this amount is usually multiple times your deposit plus bonus amount, which can make it hard to achieve.
- Lack of Good Promos for Existing Players - The most generous sports betting promos are usually reserved for new players who sign up with a platform for the first time. On the other hand, existing customers usually receive subpar bonuses, such as smaller free bets or lower percentage deposit matches.
Claiming your Own Sports Betting Bonuses & Promotions 💰
If you want to get your hands on any sports betting bonuses and promotions we discussed, the process is very simple. Just look through a list of the best sportsbooks, pick your preferred one, and sign up for free. Then, choose the bonus you want, make any necessary deposits, and you’ll be ready to start betting in no time.
👉Before you place your bets, don’t forget to look through our sports betting communities. You can find several teams of veteran bettors who will gladly help any newcomer with tips and tricks on placing better bets. They’ll also share their best sports picks with you so that you can get a better shot at huge wins and profits!