Sportsbook Bonuses

Picking sports betting sites can be challenging and confusing. With so many online sports betting sites to consider, where should a gambler start to learn more about sportsbooks? Well, the wait is over. In this article, SportsTypist takes a deep look at some of the most popular sportsbook bonuses to help you get free money and put more money in your pocket with the best sports betting sites. Although sportsbook bonuses are not the only thing that a player should look at before deciding what sportsbook is right for them, it is important to understand what types of bonuses are available among different sportsbooks. Indeed, selecting a sportsbook with desirable sports betting bonuses platform could be what sets up successful sports gamblers compared to those that fail or never get started. Bonus funds are always a prized commodity for sports betting.

This article will discuss the six types of sportsbook bonuses that are commonly offered at the most trustworthy and desirable sportsbooks. The six types of sportsbook bonuses are the following:

  • First deposit bonus;
  • Reload bonuses;
  • Risk-Free bets;
  • Bonus bets;
  • Boosted bets; and
  • Casino-related bets.

Deposit Match 

A matched deposit bonus is normally one of the most desirable sign-up bonuses for brand new players to a sportsbook because it allows a player to start becoming familiar with the sportsbook’s interface for a minimal investment. Indeed, many online sportsbook review websites provide readers with an outline of the different deposit bonus options. If the player does not like the format of the sportsbook interface or the limited number of sports to bet on, then the player can continue online gambling with a new sportsbook.

What is a Deposit Match

A deposit match is when a sportsbook will match a player’s first-ever deposit with the sportsbook up to a certain amount. It is important to understand that the deposit match does have a cap. For example, if the player’s first deposit with the sportsbook was $500, the sportsbook may have a 100% match up to $250. However, some sportsbooks may put the $250 cap in small print and advertise the 100% in bold letters. That means that a player might think that they are going to receive another $500 from the sportsbook, meaning that the player can bet up to $1,000 (only $500 being the player’s own money). But that is not correct. Because of the $250 deposit match cap, the player will only have $750 in their internal sportsbook account (with 2/3rds of that amount, or $500, being from the player’s initial bet). The takeaway from this example is simple, a player must understand the limitations of the match or confirm that there is no limitation.  

Understanding the Wagering Requirement

Regardless of what type of cap is provided on the deposit match, these no deposit bonuses will include a wagering requirement. A wagering requirement is a mandate that the player places a certain number of bets on games while on the sportsbook website before the player is permitted to withdraw his or her winnings from the player’s internal account being managed by the sportsbook. In short, to withdraw winnings from the sportsbook and place it back in the player’s bank account/PayPal account/bitcoin wallet, etc., the player must first make a certain number of bets/wagers on the sportsbook’s website to give the sportsbook the chance to win back the deposit amount (and perhaps the player’s initial deposit as well). Thus, unless a player makes a certain number of bets up to the threshold amount, which will vary based on the sportsbook’s terms and conditions for the deposit match bonus, the player will not be able to transfer his or her winnings for real cash money or cryptocurrency (For crypto sportsbook players).  

What a wagering requirement really means for new players is that unless the player starts early and begins to gamble as soon as they register, is willing to deposit more of their own money into their account, or are extremely lucky or knowledgeable about certain sporting events or specific games, a player will need to be aggressive to reach the wagering requirement, especially if the wagering requirement is high. In addition to understanding that a deposit match bonus will likely need to be accompanied by a player making additional deposits, players also need to keep an eye out for what types of bets count toward the wagering requirements. For example, if a team is favored by more than a certain number of points on the moneyline, the sportsbook may not count the money wagered on that game toward the wagering requirement. 

Contribution Component of a Wagering Requirement

Digging one level deeper into the wagering requirements associated with a deposit match bonus, a player may misunderstand that in some instances the player must consider what a game’s “contribution” is toward reaching the wagering requirement finish line. In simple terms, a contribution is the percentage of each bet per game that counts toward the wagering requirement. For example, certain games that have a close point spread (i.e., a coin flip to decide who wins) may count the full 100 percent of a bet toward the wagering requirement (e.g., a player bet $50, then the full $50 counts toward the wagering requirement amount). However, other games may only have a 50 percent consideration toward the wagering requirement (e.g., a player bets $50 on the favorite to win the game, but the team is heavily favored, then only $25 of the bet counts toward the wagering requirement amount). Therefore, before a player decides to deposit any of his or her own money with the sportsbook, the player should consider whether they believe they will be able to reach the wagering requirement threshold based on the contributions attributed to the upcoming sporting events and games the player expects to gamble on. If the sports or games the player likes have a high or 100 percent contribution, then it might be an appropriate decision to make an initial deposit with a certain sportsbook. But if the player’s favorite sport or games have a low contribution amount, then the player may want to consider how much the player enjoys gambling on the sportsbook and what other sportsbooks are offering.  

Minimum Deposit

Players should be aware that almost all deposit matches are conditioned on a player placing a certain amount of cash into the internal account before the sportsbook will match. For example, if the deposit match bonus is 100%, but the match is not triggered until the gambler deposits $50, the gambler must make sure that they have $50 to deposit with the sportsbook. In other words, it is pointless to pick a sportsbook based on a deposit match bonus if the gambler does not have enough money to deposit to qualify for the match.

Expiration Dates Associated with Deposit Match Bonuses

As a final step for reviewing a deposit match bonus, players should be aware that many deposit match bonuses have an expiration date. Therefore, there is a time restriction for a player to reach the wagering requirement and make a withdrawal from their internal account with the sportsbook. For example, many sportsbooks only offer players up to 30 days after claiming the deposit match bonus to complete the wagering requirements. 

Bonus Codes

Players should remember that not every deposit match bonus is automatic. Some sportsbooks require a promo code before granting the player a deposit match bonus. Others will automatically give players the deposit match bonus.  

If a promo code is needed, most players report that it is easy to find the code on the sportsbook’s website itself. Alternatively, a quick Google search can help a player quickly find a promo code to qualify for the bonus. In most instances, promo codes are easy to find (if even needed).

Don’t Get Greedy

Sportsbooks do not allow a player to get more than one deposit match bonus when the match is related to the player’s first deposit. Sportsbooks may ban any player who tries to receive two deposit match bonuses through two different accounts. Remember that the deposit match bonus should not be abused and is used by sportsbooks to market to new players. Deposit match bonuses give players a way to get used to a sportsbook at a discount and figure out if the sportsbook is right for them. Trying to abuse the system not only reduces the chances that sportsbooks will continue to provide these kinds of offers to players but can also result in legal consequences.

Reload Bonuses

The theme of a deposit bonus is not limited to new players, and instead, many betting sites offer a reload bonus to existing customers who continue to make deposits with qualifying online sportsbooks. Reload bonuses provide players with a percentage match from the betting site. For example, a $100 deposit for further online sports betting may qualify the sports bettor for a 20% reload bonus, or $20 additional dollars, directly from the sports betting site. This deposit bonus provides existing customers with a reason to continue to use the online sportsbook.

Risk-Free Bets

A risk-free bet bonus lets players make their first bet on a sportsbook platform for free. There are two possible ways a risk-free bet bonus can benefit new players.

The first way can be by the sportsbook providing bet credits to the player’s internal playing account with the funds to bet. The second way, and more common way, is for a sportsbook to rebate a player’s first bets should the bets not result in the player getting any winnings. A player should be aware of certain conditions that are included with a free bet bonus, such as what types of sporting events and games qualify for using the risk-free bet bonus, what money-lines qualify for the bonus to be used, and what types of bets the risk-free bet may be used for. 

For an example of how a risk-free bet would work, if a sportsbook offered players a risk-free bet up to $300, then the sportsbook would place a $300 credit in the player’s account (without the need for an initial deposit) or provide a $300 credit to the player’s account after they lost $300 of their own money on a losing bet. A basic outline of the principles associated with placing a risk-free bet is analyzed on this site.

Bonus Bets

Occasionally, online sportsbooks will randomly offer free bets to returning players, not just new customers. Although rare, players have reported receiving free bets at certain times throughout the year.

Boosted Bets

This bonus offer is applicable for specific bets. For example, from time to time a sportsbook may provide a player with better odds to improve the player’s payout. If a player bets that an underdog would win the game, and the odds are +250 (meaning that every $100 bet results in the player receiving a $250 profit), a sportsbook may bump up the odds to +300. That would mean that a player placing a $100 bet would receive $300 in profit if the underdog won.

Casino Related Bets

Many online sportsbooks not only allow customers to bet on sporting events but also online casino games. When evaluating top online sportsbooks, players should also review any similar casino bonus being offered by the sportsbook. For example, the sportsbook may offer players the ability to receive a slots bonus or free spins to gamble in casino games for free, while also betting on sporting events. If a player can identify other free bets via a traditional gambling site that also offers sports bets, players may want to consider the site. Players should not be singularly focused on being sports bettors when attempting to identify bonus winnings.


Deposit match offers, reload bonuses, risk-free bets, bonus bets, boosted bets, and casino-related bets are six of the most common bonuses that players should be aware of. Players would be wise to review other online sportsbook bonus reviews to understand all of the bonuses being offered at online sportsbooks.  It is simply unacceptable for a player to deposit money with a sportsbook without first doing some research on the different sportsbook websites. This article will provide players with a strong foundation for understanding bonus offers.