Sportsbook Bonuses Tutorial

While you are looking for the best odds and the best options to make money with your sports wagers, one thing to take into consideration is how to get your money to work for you while you are playing.

These days, the online betting industry is highly competitive, and with so many sites competing for your business (and your deposits), companies are throwing promotions and bonuses at players at breakneck speed.

However, when you see all these offers, do you really know what they entail? Well, we are here to clear up the confusion around online betting bonuses – how they work, what to look for and which ones to take advantage of to best suit your gambling style.

Why Bonuses Matter

Many players just make their deposits at online betting sites and head straight to the betting screens, paying no attention to bonus codes or offers in their account. This is something we hope to change with the help of pages like this one. Every bonus that a site offers gives you a chance to earn a little something more when you wager, win or lose.

Managing these offers in a manner that allows you to maximize value can often be the difference between being a winning and losing player. Each of the bonuses that we are going to review in the next section of this page takes on a life of its own, and you need to understand when to take advantage of these offers to get the most return on each deposit and bet you make.

Different Types of Bonuses

When you look at a promotions page of a betting site, or in the emails that seem to clog up your inbox, it can seem somewhat overwhelming. There are percentages, dollar amounts, Terms and Conditions that all tend to confuse more players than motivate them. So, let’s try to demystify these bonuses and explain how each one works (and why you should be looking for them).

No-deposit Bonus

Let’s start with getting something for nothing! Many betting sites use a no-deposit bonus to entice you to give them your contact information. There is a lot of value to the site in receiving this information, as they now have you in their database where their conversion team can take over. The standard no-deposit bonuses on betting sites are very small bets you are allowed to place on certain sporting events, or Free Spins (which we will explain in more detail further on).

As far as we are concerned, you should take advantage of every no-deposit bonus you find. We suggest that you create an email account specifically for your gambling accounts, so you aren’t getting spammed to your personal or work email addresses.

Welcome Bonus

Once a site has you in their system, the next step is to get you to become a depositing player. This means giving you some compelling reason to pull out your wallet and give the site some money. Most betting sites reserve their biggest offers for these Welcome Bonuses, which can take the form of match bets, bonus dollars or other items.

We review all the Welcome Bonuses we see, looking into the Terms and Conditions (which there will be) to see how many times the bonus money needs to be wagered to convert it to real cash, as well as if there are any maximum amounts of bonus winnings you are allowed to withdraw from the site.

Current Sportsbook Welcome Bonuses
Caesars Sportsbook
Up To $1,250 On Caesars
FanDuel Sportsbook
$1,000 No Sweat First Bet
Betrivers Sportsbook
2nd Chance Bet Offer
BetMGM Sportsbook
$1,000 Risk-Free 1st Bet

Reload Bonus

Once you have become a depositor at a betting site, it is up to the operator to give you reasons to make additional deposits. These are called Reload Bonuses, and this is where a site can start to get more creative if they have a good marketing department. Reload bonuses can be as simple as a percentage of bonus dollars into your account, but we like sites that tie the offer to special events.

For example, perhaps a site has a special reload bonus around the Superbowl which not only gives you a free match bet but an entry into a draw where you could win a trip to the big game. These types of bonuses appeal to a wider array of players as the potential for earning or winning tangible goods is a big draw to players who are more casual gamblers.

Free Bet

The Free Bet is a bit of a misnomer. As they say, there is no such thing as a free lunch, so it is important to read through the terms and conditions of any Free Bet offer to ensure you aren’t disappointed or caught off guard by a rule. Most Free Bets require you to place it on a certain minimum odds, meaning you can’t just take a heavy favorite. We understand why a site takes this stance, as it limits their risk.

However, each site that offers these types of promotions tends to have a different minimum, so you should look for the sites that give you the best chance of winning that bet. Then, the winnings from that typically have a wagering requirement attached to them, as well as a maximum that you are allowed to withdraw after you have played through enough times. The good news is that all these winnings, even as limited as they might be, were amassed for free. So, maybe there is such a thing as a free lunch after all!

Free Spins

If a betting site also has a casino offering, they may entice you to play more often with a series of Free Spins of a slot machine. While this may not be all that attractive to you if you aren’t a casino player, there is no reason not to try your luck. Again, these Free Spins and any winnings that come as a result will have a list of Terms and Conditions attached, but as we mentioned before, anything you get for free is worth taking advantage of. Who knows…maybe you’ll hit a big win at the reels!

Match Bet

A match bet is more common on an ongoing basis at most betting sites. The match bet requires you to make a wager of a certain amount, at which point the site doubles your action. As an example, you may use a Match Bet in your account to bet $20 on the Patriots, with the site doubling your bet to $40. If you win, you will receive the $40, but if you lose then only $20 would come out of your account.

These are sometimes placed into your account without notice, so you should always check the lobby and your account screen when you log in to see if there are any Match Bets to take advantage of as they will likely have an expiration date.

Loyalty Points

The final piece of the bonus puzzle is more of a passive bonus. Loyalty programs are designed to give small amounts of cash back to players who spend the most time at a betting site. These points are accumulated without having to opt-in for a bonus and are typically tracked right next to your actual balance. Something to keep in mind when looking at loyalty programs is the redemption rate for these points, which can vary from site to site.

You also want to make sure you read up on the expiration date of points, as you don’t want to accumulate them only to find they are removed from your account before you are able to use them. In most cases, there is no additional value to stockpiling the points unless there is a points store to use them in. If there isn’t that option, then our suggestion is always to redeem them when you reach the minimum required amount. This will give you the cash to use for more betting, which in turn can have a positive impact on your overall profitability.

The Sites with The Best Bonuses

With the knowledge of all the types of bonuses that you will encounter at a betting site, it is time to turn your attention to finding the best offers for your style of play. Here is another way we can help you get started, as we have reviewed comprehensively the promotions department of all the sites our team has reviewed.

While every gambler is a little different, we have taken a more general approach to providing you with a list of the best betting sites for bonuses. All of the sites we have listed below have the best combination of deposit, match and loyalty bonuses, which will all help you be more profitable in the long run.


If you are a shrewd gambler, then you are always checking different sites for the best odds you can find. This will give you the best value for the money you are wagering. Well, you should also be just as shrewd when looking at the bonuses that a site offers.

The more value you can extract out of a site in the way of loyalty points, free bets and deposit bonuses, the further you will be able to stretch your money, which will give you even more to bet with when you come across a line you can’t walk away from.

We encourage you to bookmark this page and refer to it whenever you see a promotion that you aren’t sure about, and in the worst case scenario, reach out to the site and ask for clarification. It is their job to ensure you fully understand everything about their site, so you are entitled to have as much clarity as possible before accepting an offer.

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