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What Are Risk Free Bets?

Here is our detailed and informative guide to understanding risk free betting offers. Read here to learn what these offers are and how to use them online.
Fri, October 27, 4:20 AM EDT | 4 min read

Risk free betting is a popular topic in the sports betting world that you may have already heard of. These risk free betting offers can look different depending on the sportsbook, but normally they share some similarities. Overall, this is one of the most common welcome offers you will encounter and thus it is important to be familiar with how these offers work and how to leverage them to your own benefit.

Using these risk free bets in tandem with some expert analysts picks can be a huge benefit to your sports betting strategy. Of course, some risk free betting offers are better than others, and this normally comes down to the amount covered, and how a potential losing wager will be refunded in your account. Let's dive into these powerful offers.

How do risk free bets work?

Sportsbooks like to offer promotions and bonuses to both show that they value their customers and also draw more patrons to their platform. Risk free bets are one of the most common bonuses you will find in the US market. These bonuses are often only for first time users on the platform, but they can also be given as weekly promotions.

Depending on the online sports betting platform, these risk free betting offers can be for a wide range of different amounts, and have different terms and conditions applied to them. We'll cover the terms and conditions later, but for now we can break down how these bets work. It should be very concise and easy to understand.

Risk free bets normally work in the following manner. When you place your first wager with the online sports betting platform of your choice, that wager will be considered a risk free bet. If your wager is a winner, then that is the end of it. However, if your wager is unsuccessful, you will be reimbursed in a variety of ways.

Depending on the sportsbook that you have chosen to use, you may be reimbursed with cash to your account, credits for any of the website's features, or potentially more free bets to be used on future wagers. The amount you receive is normally the same amount that you used in your initial wager.

Depending on the platform, you may be surprised to find that there are some large risk free betting offers. While some sportsbooks may only cover up to $100, others like FanDuel or DraftKings are known for having exceptional generous offers up to $1000. Some sports bettors have developed their own risk free betting systems that involve taking advantage of these generous offers and signing up for multiple platforms. Risk free betting can be a powerful part of a sports betting strategy.

Example of a risk free bet

As these risk free betting offers are very popular, you will find them at most sportsbooks you are interested in. Many bettors develop their own risk free betting strategies that take advantage of these offers. However, if you have never used a risk free bet before, it is worthwhile to take a look at a potential offer and see how it works.

Like we mentioned before, the platform FanDuel has made a lot of fans in the past with their $1000 risk free betting offers. This is for new customers only, but can be very beneficial in a risk free betting system. To claim this offer, you just need to sign up for an account and deposit any amount of funds you wish, but keep in mind that only up to $1000 will be covered in this offer.

So if you were to bet on an NFL game, this is how a potential risk free bet could look. Let's say you place a $1000 moneyline wager on the New York Giants at +200 to beat the Miami Dolphins outright. If the Giants do beat the Dolphins, then your wager is successful and it returns your initial wager amount of $1000 in addition to your winnings of $2000 for a total return of $3000.

Of course, in this scenario the risk free bet does not apply as you have won. If you instead lost this bet, then your $1000 would be returned to your account in the form of credit on the platform, or in another way depending on the sportsbook. This way, you would be able to use these funds to place more bets in the future. As you can see, risk free bets can be very beneficial and some bettors choose to develop their own risk free betting strategies around these offers.

Understanding the terms & conditions

Now that you understand how risk free betting works, it is also important to realize that there are certainly terms and conditions associated with these offers. Again, these details will depend on your chosen online sports betting platform, but we can go over the most common factors that could impact your offers.

Three important factors to keep in mind are:

  • Time Limits
  • Rollover Requirements
  • Odds Restrictions

These factors could affect your potential payout, or the wagers you are able to select. If a certain wager has a very long time horizon, like a futures bet or a big parlay, your risk free betting offer may not cover it. There may also be odds restrictions, meaning that if a certain wager has exorbitant odds, it may not be covered as well. Sometimes you will not be able to bet on parlays at all. Keep these terms and conditions in mind when developing your own risk free betting systems.

Of course, depending on your online sports betting platform, your potential reimbursement could be very different. Some platforms may choose to reimburse you fully, another may return your total wager amount in 20% increments. This means that if you were to be $1000 on one wager, you would instead be reimbursed with (5) $200 wagers. Always make sure to read the fine print and reflect on the many reviews we have in our risk free bets section to decide which sportsbook is best for you.

Where can I bet legally in the US?

In previous years, Las Vegas, Nevada was the main sports betting hub in the US. It was hard to find anywhere else that accepted sports betting. However, in recent years a wave of pro betting legalization has spread across the country, bringing sports betting to the public eye. Now, there are many different states that have jumped on board with their own sports betting platforms and more are certainly due to join in soon.

As of this moment, here is a list of states that allow sports betting in one capacity or another:

  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Washington DC
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

Of course, many more states have expressed their desire to also join this budding industry. This market has created thousands of jobs and is bringing in millions of dollars in tax revenue for participating states, so surely many more are due to join in. Keep in mind, some states have physical betting offices, while others are solely focused on online and mobile sports betting.


As you can see, risk free betting is enormously powerful and can be a great asset to you. For those that are just starting out in sports betting, or seasoned players that have developed their own risk free betting strategies, there is a lot of potential to take advantage of. As always, you should read up on the terms and conditions of your chosen platform, and keep in mind that there are certainly still risks involved in these offers.


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