Types of Online Betting Bonuses

OddsChecker give you a comprehensive guide to the different types of online betting bonuses, to make sure that you get the best value there.
Published: May 11, 2021 - Estimated Read Time: 4 minutes

The number of available and reputable online sportsbooks feels like it's growing by the week. As more US states move to legalize and license online sports betting, bettors will be increasingly inundated in sports betting bonus codes to entice them into signing up and spending their money.

If you are unfamiliar with the concept of a sports betting bonus, read on as we demystify the various types of online betting bonus codes out there. We'll also discuss the importance of familiarizing yourself with wagering requirements to ensure you get the most bang for your buck.


Types of Online Betting Bonuses

Online sportsbooks use online betting bonus codes as a means of attracting new customers and rewarding the loyalty of regular customers too. Most sports betting bonus codes are related to initial sign-ups and are activated by inputting a code within the registration form.

Below, we've helped you to make sense of the seven most common sports betting bonus promotions. Find an online betting bonus type that suits your needs, and we'll do our best to point you in the right direction of a reputable sportsbook that specializes in those deals:

Free Bets

Many licensed online sportsbooks in the US will dish out free bet bonuses in some shape or form. They are the most common online betting bonus. Upon completing your sign-up and activating your new sports betting account, you will activate one or multiple free bets which will be visible in your available balance. It could be one $20 free wager or it could be two $10 free wagers, it's totally dependent on how your chosen sportsbook sees fit.

Just bear in mind that most free bet promotions are labelled as "Stake Not Returned" (SNR) wagers. This means that you will only receive the winnings from successful free bets and not the stake itself. It's still a good promotion though as it's essentially one or multiple no-risk chances at winning free money. Using our expert picks and analysis, provided by our own handicappers and data powered by StatsChecker, you can give yourselves an even better chance of success.

Cash Bonus

Cash bonuses work slightly differently to free bet promotions. Although they are still usually activated during sign-up, direct cash bonuses give you a fixed amount to bet on whichever sports markets you want.

There are no restrictions like the SNR of free bet offers and you can use the cash bonus to bet at any odds you like. With some free bet promotions, you will be restricted to betting at certain odds, with no option to use free bets on clear odds-on favorites, for example. Although cash bonuses tend to be smaller in amount than free bets, the flexibility to wager on whatever you like is the main benefit here.

Deposit Bonus

A deposit bonus, also known as matched deposit bonus, is one of the few online betting bonus promotions requiring you to risk any of your own money upfront. Once you sign up to your chosen online sportsbook and complete your first real-money deposit, you will activate a matched deposit bonus. These bonuses are usually only valid for your first real-money deposit.

If you are wondering how does first deposit bonus work in sports betting promotions, we've put together a simple example for you.

Let's say your chosen sportsbook is offering a 100% matched deposit bonus up to $100. This means that you can deposit up to $100 and receive the same amount in bonus funds. There are minimum deposits to trigger most deposit bonus promotions, which are usually set at $10. Some matched deposit bonuses will also offer 50% deposit matches. This means that you'll get a matched bonus worth half your initial real-money deposit.

If you're looking to wager on Horse Racing, find the best Horse Racing free bets on our sister site here.

No Deposit Bonus

A no-deposit bonus is the holy grail of sports betting bonus codes. It means bettors do not need to deposit a cent of their own money to receive bonus money to wager with. No-deposit promotions are rarer than most other sports betting bonus promotions. They are typically used by new online sportsbooks looking to drive traffic and interest in their site or during major sporting events like the FIFA World Cup or the Super Bowl.

There is a slight catch with no-deposit bonuses. Most carry significant wagering requirements, which mean that you'll need to rollover your bonus funds multiple times before you can withdraw it as real money to your bank account. Providing the rollover requirements aren't too significant, this is a small price to pay to have free money to bet with.

High Roller Bonus

High roller bonus promotions are reserved exclusively for a sportsbook's "VIP" customers that have the biggest betting bankrolls. These particular offers entice high-volume bettors with the option of making four-figure deposits and receiving matched deposit bonuses worth between 50% and 100% of your real-money deposit.

High roller bonuses may also be offered in the form of reload bonuses to existing customers based on their high volume of wagers over time. Online sportsbooks will pinpoint their most valuable customers and offer exclusive high roller bonuses to encourage bettors to reload their account and get access to additional bonus funds in the process.

Signup or Welcome Bonus

Signup or welcome bonuses are one of the most popular sports betting bonus promotions. They are offered by almost every online sportsbook, rewarding users for signing up and becoming a new customer. In most cases, welcome bonuses will be in the guise of a deposit bonus, giving you a set percentage of your first real-money deposit as bonus money. The sole purpose of a signup bonus is not only to entice you as a new customer, but to maximise your betting bankroll and give you more opportunities to become a winning bettor.

Mobile Bonus

Given that the majority of online sports bettors now look to place pre-game and live sports bets on their smartphone and tablet devices, it's no surprise that licensed US sportsbooks are developing exclusive bonuses for mobile bettors. When you sign up and log in to your chosen sportsbook via your mobile device, you can activate a mobile bonus and free bets that can only be placed using your handset.


Understanding the Terms & Conditions

While sports betting bonus codes are exciting and a great opportunity to boost your online betting bankroll, this excitement should be tempered by encouraging you to look closely at the terms and conditions of every sports betting bonus you accept.

Understanding the wagering requirements of an online betting bonus is vital to ensure you don't commit money and miss out on turning your bonus funds into real money that can be withdrawn into your bank account or e-wallet.

Most free bets or deposit bonuses will come with wagering requirements attached. The rollover is normally the amount of the bonus multiplied by a rollover rate to equal the rollover amount.

Let's say that you received a bonus of $50 and the rollover rate was 20x. You would need to rollover this bonus - and any subsequent winnings - 20 times ($1,000) before it could be withdrawn as real cash.

Ideally, you will read the terms and conditions and hand-pick a sports betting bonus that has the lowest possible rollover rate attached. Sports betting bonus codes that have zero rollover rate do exist but they are much harder to find these days.

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