If you thought only online casino players could get super bonuses, we have a surprise for you. It turns out that the online sports book community is just as competitive as online casinos. They to realize they have to offer sports gamblers a little something extra in order to earn their patronage. With that in mind, most of the world’s top online bookmakers offer “free Bets.”
What Are Free Bets?
As the name indicates, free bets are just that, free bets. They are typically awarded to new customers based on certain criteria. In form, free bets can vary from one online bookmaker to the next. It’s simply a matter of how the amount of the free bets is determined and how the applicable terms and conditions are laid out. It’s worth noting that compared to the online casino community, free bets carry better value for the gambler because the normal terms and conditions as designed to be player-friendly.
How Free Bet Amounts Are Determined
Depending on the online sports book, free bets are awarded to sports gamblers based on two criteria: the amount of the gambler’s first deposit or the amount of the gambler’s first cash wager. Let’s look at how each option works.
First Deposit Free Bets – You decide to make an initial deposit of $200 into your online sports book account with online bookmaker A. At the time of your deposit, the online bookmaker is offering a 100% matching bonus based on the sports gambler’s first bet up to a maximum bonus of $100. Based on the promo, your $200 deposit will earn you $100 in free bets. Typically, the $100 free bet bonus will be placed in a separate bonus account for easy tracking. The bookmaker will likely allow you to use your free bet monies as you see fit with certain limitations as laid out in the promo’s terms and condition (to be discussed below). Any winnings you may secure from your free bets will remain in your bonus account until you have met other terms and conditions (to be discussed below).
First Cash Wager Free Bets – You decide to deposit $200 into your online sports book account with bookmaker B. At the time of your deposit, the online bookmaker is offering a 100% matching bonus based on the sports gambler’s first cash wager up to a maximum bonus of $100. The amount of your free bet bonus will not be determined until you place your first bet. If you bet $100 on a football game, the online bookmaker will place $100 in free bet monies in your bonus account as soon as your first bet goes final. From there, the terms and conditions will be applied in the same manner as a first deposit free bet promo.
Note: It’s rare, but some online bookmakers offer the sports gambler a choice between how their bonus will be determined.
Terms and Conditions
Ah, those pesky terms and conditions. You have to remember; online bookmakers won’t stay in business if they are giving away free money. That’s why every free bet promo comes with certain terms and conditions. These terms and conditions are designed to limit the online bookmaker’s potential liability. With that said, online sports book promos come with player-friendly terms and conditions, unlike a typical online casino promo.
Free bet terms and conditions cover three primary aspects of a free bet. First, a free bet promo will likely limit the amount of money you can win. For instance, most free bet promos will only allow the gambler to place straight bet wagers. That effectively limits the bookmaker’s financial exposure to 90% of the bonus amount.
Second, most free bet bonuses come with time limits. The gambler has X amount of days to wager their free bets monies. Then, they have X amount of days to clear the promo’s rollover (play through) requirement with any winnings from their free bet(s).
Finally, there’s the rollover requirement. Online casinos typically require a gambler to wager the amount of the bonus at least 35 times. Online bookmakers only require that any winnings from the free bet monies be wagers from three times the winnings amount to five times the winnings amount. If you win $100, your rollover requirement will anywhere from $300 to $500.
Once you clear the rollover requirement, any remaining winnings will be immediately transferred to your regular wagering account and become eligible for withdraw.