Types of online sports betting bonuses
Sign up and welcoming offers
Betting sites bonuses come in all shapes and forms, but sign-up and first deposit bonuses are the most common type. The idea is simple – when you sign up for the first time and make an account, you get various bonuses ranging from free bets to real money. Some bonus codes require making deposits, others come once you’ve made bets.
There are even no-deposit bonuses, which require nothing more than creating an account and entering a promo code, although these are quite rare. Some promotions reward you with free bets, others with cash. Let’s take a look at the most common ones.
Free bet bonuses
The most common type of sports betting bonus is one offering free bets. These usually require you to make an initial bet that meets certain criteria. For example, you may need to bet at least £10 on odds of 1.5 or greater. In return, you are eligible to receive one or more free bets, which also usually have strict betting conditions attached. Note that you can also sometimes get free bets by making an initial deposit on your account, and that most betting sites have time frames for qualifying bets or deposits as well as free bets.
That means that if you fail to meet the qualification requirements or use your free bet within the allotted time frame (usually one week), you effectively forfeit the promotion. A subcategory of this type of betting site bonus includes so-called money-back bets, which essentially give you your stake back if your initial bet loses. These are great as safety nets and encourage players to pony up large initial bets when first joining the site.
Matched deposit bonuses
Matched deposit bonuses are more typical for casinos than sports betting, but they do exist for both. The concept is very simple – you deposit a certain amount of cash into your account, and the bookie matches it. The most common types are 50% and 100% matched bonuses.
As you can imagine, the former means that you will get 50% of whatever you deposited as a welcome bonus from the bookie, while the latter means that you get the full amount matched. These also usually have both lower and upper limits. For example, if you make an initial deposit of anywhere between £5 and £100, a 100% matched deposit will get you anywhere from £5 to £100 in extra bonus funds.
No deposit bonuses
When it comes to sports betting, no-deposit bonus offers are rare and much sought-after commodities. As the name suggests, these are basically freebies. You sign up, enter a code, and voila – you get your bonus, all without the need to deposit or bet any of your own money. As you can imagine, in addition to being rare, these types of bonuses usually tend to be much smaller and have stricter conditions on cashing out your free money or bets.
Mobile, payment method, and location-specific bonuses
This category includes various types of promotions and bonuses that are available only for mobile devices, only when using certain payment methods, or only to punters located in certain countries.
As you can imagine, betting site bonuses aren’t always the same across the board. Currencies vary from country to country, which means that welcome bonuses typically vary between countries too. Furthermore, eWallets usually tend to have the fastest processing times, but by using them, you often forfeit the right to claim bonus promotions. Finally, if an operator is trying to push a certain payment method or promote their mobile app, they may offer bonus codes specific to their mobile platform or a certain deposit method. These are usually time-sensitive, but they often return after a certain period of time.
Existing customer offers
Given how many online sports betting bonuses are designed to attract new customers, you’d be forgiven for thinking that loyal punters are getting the short end of the stick. In reality, there are plenty of bonus offers and codes aimed at existing customers, too. These include everything from special bonuses for certain bet types (accumulator bet insurance or boosts) to enhanced odds on specific matches.
There are also high roller bonuses, which allow seasoned punters to bet higher amounts or get better bonuses as well as ongoing rewards. Some bonuses are exclusive to new customers, others to veterans, but the majority of bonus offers and codes tend to work for all players.
Betting sites with bonuses are usually aimed at enticing new customers, and players signing up can certainly take advantage of them through various bonus codes.
However, they may also become available as opt-in promotions for existing members, allowing special deals on certain betting events and offering better-than-average odds in certain circumstances. The idea is simple – be there to bet on the right match at the right time, and you’ll reap much higher rewards should you place a winning bet.
Accumulator boosts and accumulator insurance
When it comes to sports betting bonuses, accumulator bets tend to be very popular. This involves betting not just on one game or in-game event, but a whole series of them. If a single bet fails, the whole thing goes bust. But if all of your bets come through, you win big.
This high-risk venture is popular with seasoned punters. In order to motivate more people to place these types of bets, many operators offer increasing rewards the larger your accumulator bet is – i.e. the more elements your bet consists of. Some bonuses also offer partial insurance for your bet, so you get at least part of your stake back if one leg of your accumulator bet lets you down.
In-play boosts and money-back promotions
In-play bets are bets taken while a game is already underway. In order to promote in-play betting, operators often offer bonus codes for betting while games are underway. These provide perks like better odds or more cash. Alternatively, you can also get money-back promotions that, for example, return your stake if the match ends in a draw or have other similar conditions that protect your investment should certain conditions occur.
High roller bonuses and VIP programs
The final bonus types we’ll mention usually have little to do with codes. Operators like to attract new punters, but they also like to cultivate relationships with existing players. High roller bonuses usually give much higher matched betting bonuses to experienced punters who are not afraid to pony up large sums of money for bets. You need to put in a much larger initial bet, but the casino will match that with more money. There are also various VIP programs that further sweeten the deal by either offering opt-ins for exclusive member-only rewards or giving better bonuses to high rollers and regulars.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are betting bonus codes?
Codes you can use to get special bonuses when betting. Codes are the most common type of betting promotion. They’re usually used when creating new accounts or opting in for specific betting schemes. You simply enter the code, place a qualifying bet or deposit, and you’re ready to go.
Which betting sites give bonuses?
Almost every betting site does. These bonuses tend to differ between sites, though. However, the most common online betting bonuses include free bets or matched deposits for new customers and acca insurance or boosts for everyone.
Is there a difference between matched deposit bonuses and free bet bonuses?
Yes. Matched deposits give you actual money, which you can freely distribute on bets however you see fit (within certain terms and conditions), whereas free bets give you access to bets of specific value that have to be used under certain specific conditions.
Do bonus bets expire?
Yes. Generally speaking, most sites that give free bonus bets have strict conditions attached. One of those is the time frame in which you can make use of them after which they expire. The time is usually anywhere between one week and a month.
Can I withdraw bonus bet winnings?
Only after certain conditions are met. Whether you use betting bonus codes or another method to get free bets, some general rules apply. You have to stake your free bets under specific conditions (odds of 1.5 or higher or certain bet types only, for example), and you also cannot get the actual bet value back as cash, only the winnings. Sometimes even the winnings have to be reinvested as additional bets, but you can usually cash them out without the initial bet.