What to Do With Sportsbook Sign-Up Promos & Bonuses

An online sportsbook, often known as a race and sports book, is a betting site where you may place bets on a wide range of sporting events, such as horse racing and greyhound racing, as well as boxing and mixed martial arts.

Commonly, sportsbooks nowadays give out free money to get your attention and money as a registration bonus, deposit match, etc. This article explains how to best use these bonuses and promos for your own good.

Types of “Free Money”

Free bets can be used in a variety of ways, but they should always be placed on underdogs or anything that pays out more than the odds of victory. In a moment, I’ll explain why. First, you must understand the difference between the types of promos and bonuses.

Free bets: This is cash they put in your wallet that you can use to bet or take out. Because they give it out in tiny amounts, like $10 or $25, the platform won’t feel it if you take it and flee. It’s rare to find a book that gives away money for free.

Risk-free bet: You can use this money to place bets, and if you win, you get your winnings in real money. Any offer like “bet $5, win $200” is like receiving $200 in free bets. Free bets are the most popular promotional offer type.

Deposit match: For example, a $1,000 risk-free bet is offered by FanDuel. However, you must deposit $1,000 to receive the whole $1,000.

Site credit: BetMGM***** offers a $500 deposit match for new customers. They’ll match your initial investment of $200 with an additional $200 in free bets.

Site credit is similar to free bets, but it is better because you can use it in any amount. In most cases, free bets need a single $50 stake. Five $10 bets or 50 $1 bets are possible with $50 in site credit.

Understand the offers at each platform before you proceed. While sportsbooks aren’t necessarily trying to mislead people with their marketing, they are sometimes deliberately unclear. Each promotion’s terms and conditions can be seen by clicking “further information” or “view terms.”

How to Use Your Sportsbook Bonus

A sign-up bonus can be put to a variety of uses. A beginner bettor’s first reaction is to place a bet on a favorite, which is a safe bet. The odds restrictions placed by sportsbooks on free bets mean that you cannot use them on favorites.

Because an underdog’s winnings will quickly enhance a bettor’s balance, it makes the most sense for new customers to use their welcome bonuses on an underdog. They will give a free bet (or something similar) to the underdog if they lose the bet.

If you’re a first-time gambler, your comfort level and bankroll will greatly influence how much you stake.

So, here are a few things to do with your free bonus:

1. Place Bets on the Underdogs

Playing it safe with your free bet might be your initial instinct. There are two problems with this approach:

  • Many sportsbooks do not allow free bets to be placed on large favorites (often capped at -300 or so).
  • With favorites, you’re getting less than the projected value.

With a free bet, you don’t lose anything, so the expected value (EV) is the probability times the amount you can expect to win. It’s the amount of money you’d earn or lose if you placed that bet an infinite number of times, known as the expected value.

For example, if you have a #50 free bet and you stake a -250 favorite. You’ll win $20 if it wins. But the probability of that win is 71.43%.

The Expected Value, in this case, is 71.43% x $20, which is only $14.28. That means no matter what you do with favorites, that $50 will be worth just $14.

2. Futures

Legal sportsbooks don’t allow credit bets, unlike bookies. In order to place a bet, you must make a deposit and put your money on the line. Most bettors find betting on futures challenging. I mean, why will the sportsbook want to hold my money for 18 months, even if I think Europe will win the 2023 Ryder Cup?

Free bets are a fun way to enter futures trading without having to risk any of your own capital. Honestly, that market is largely in the hands of these sportsbooks. Around a quarter of every dollar spent on the Stanley Cup winner is kept by the bookmakers, and that percentage rises to nearly half. They possess fewer than 5% of the points in point spreads.

Futures may not be the safest way to use free bets, but it can be a lot of fun to stake your claim on a team or player via futures and cash in when you’re successful. Isn’t it supposed to be pleasant to wager on sports?

3. Parlays

Parlays aren’t a bad option, but instead of tying together a bunch of teams to get a +500 payout, you can use your freebies to make a single bet at a similar price. As a result of the sportsbook giving you a lower price than the actual likelihood on parlays, your anticipated value is reduced, and your variance is increased because you require many events to occur.

4. Arbitrages

In an arbitrage, you place bets on both sides of the same game at odds, guaranteeing a profit regardless of the outcome.

Rather than arbitrage, this is more of a comparable concept. It’s a little like a freebie, but not quite.

Using the free bet, you can wager on the favorite at one book and the underdog at another.

Let’s assume you have a $50 free bet for the NFL this weekend and want to use it. On the Browns, you’re welcome to go for broke.

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