Who loves bonuses?
Of course we all do. Sports betting bonuses are great because they provide us with the opportunity to bet with money which is not technically ours.
Bookmakers offer their customers all types of promotions in an effort to attract new customers and retain their existing players. They know that in order to stay in business, they need to tempt more and more players betting with them.
Sports betting bonuses are a very nice way for you to increase the money you can earn from your bets. However, you need to make sure that you use such bonuses in a shrewd way.
The most important thing is that you read the full terms and conditions for each offer before you claim it! I can’t stress this enough.
Too many people never take a look at the T&C’s section, then they start betting using a bonus from a bookmaker, and they reach a certain point where what they see in their account section within the bookmaker website doesn’t resemble what they were expecting to see there. Either they expect to be able to withdraw their funds because they think they’ve completed the bonus rollover conditions, or they see their bonus hasn’t been activated at all, or something similar to these cases.
Bookmakers offer you additional money to bet with in the form of bonuses, but they also need to stay in business themselves. So in exchange of giving you these additional bonus money, they have rules for each bonus that are very strict and you need to fulfill all of them if you wish to take advantage of the benefit of such bonuses. All of these rules are at the bottom of each offer, in the terms and conditions section. So, as mentioned, make sure you read it in full before committing to a bonus so that you avoid any potential disappointments at a later stage.
This article outlines 24 crucial things to check before claiming a sports betting bonus. They are situated at the terms and conditions section for every bonus offer. You may see all of them for one offer, or only roughly half of them in another offer. Nevertheless, 99% of the online deposit bonuses contain at least several of these aspects. They are all crucial so their order in the list is not with regards to importance. Rather, they are sorted in a way that goes through the entire process from making the deposit to get the bonus all the way until you withdraw your winnings.
So, let’s get rolling.
1. If it’s a welcome bonus, you can only claim it once
Sports betting bonuses have different triggers which release the bonus into your account. The most popular triggers are a deposit or a bet on your behalf. This article focuses on deposit bonuses, meaning that in order to get the betting bonus, you need to make a qualifying deposit first.
Deposit bonuses can be either a welcome promotion (related to first deposit) or a reload promotion which can be claimed with subsequent deposits, provided that the bookmaker offers you such reload bonuses. In case the offer you wish to claim is a welcome bonus, bear in mind that you can claim it only once when you make your first deposit at a bookmaker. Having already made a few deposits at a certain bookmaker, you usually won’t be able to take advantage of the bonus as you’ve missed claiming it with your initial deposit.
Make sure when you open an account at a bookmaker and make that first deposit, to take advantage of the welcome bonus they are offering you.
2. Deadline prior to which you need to claim the bonus
This one is particularly valid for reload bonuses. The welcome bonuses described above usually have indefinite time frame unless the bookie decides to pull the offer from the market for some reason. First deposit offers are available for you to get them with your initial deposit. Reload bonuses, on the other hand, are frequently time sensitive and have a deadline. An example rule in the T&C’s section may read like this:
This offer is only available until 18 August 2019 at 23:59 GMT.
So if you wish to take advantage of the bonus, make sure to make your qualifying deposit prior to the deadline.
3. Is your country eligible?
You need to ensure that your country is not in the list of restricted territories. Bookmakers don’t offer the bonus to customers from such territories. How each bookmaker decides which countries to restrict for an offer is a question that only they can answer, but you can’t do anything with regards to that besides complying with that rule. So in case you unfortunately see you country of residence is in the list and you are not allowed to claim the bonus, don’t bother trying to get it at all.
4. Certain deposit methods are ineligible
Not all available deposit methods are allowed for bonuses. For instance, many bookmakers restrict Skrill and Neteller, and in such a case you need to ensure you don’t deposit with them to claim the bonus.
Such payment methods may be available in the bookmaker’s platform and you can make deposits using them and subsequently place bets, but you can’t enjoy sports betting bonuses in addition to that.
Read the terms of an offer carefully – if your preferred payment method is restricted for bonuses, you have to use an alternative method.
5. Is there a bonus code?
You may need to manually input a bonus code in a specific field while making your qualifying deposit, or you may have to click an opt-in button somewhere. Each bookmaker has its own process of granting bonuses depending on the back-end platform they’re using.
Make sure you completely understand what you need to do with regards to that. A very irritating possibility you don’t want to happen is making a qualifying deposit and adhering to all the other rules diligently and still not receiving your bonus. When you go to customer support, they tell you:
Sorry but you haven’t inputted the bonus code XYZ in the necessary field when you had to do it and thus you can’t get the bonus
If this happens, some bookmakers will make an exception and still manually give you the bonus if you ask them to. Other bookmakers, however, won’t do that, so you need to ensure you correctly do what they ask you for in the first place.
This of course excludes the possibility of technical glitches in the bookmaker’s platform where, even when you’ve correctly used a bonus code, the bonus is still not granted to you. In such cases, their customer support department will assist you.
6. There is a minimum deposit amount requirement
In order to give you a bonus, bookmakers are asking you for a minimum amount of your qualifying deposit. Usually this number is £/$/€ 10, but it can vary. Check this number and avoid a situation where you deposit less than that and then wonder why the bonus is not into your account.
7. The bonus is defined as a percentage of your deposit amount
How much bonus money you’ll receive depends on what percentage of your qualifying deposit amount the bookmaker is offering you.
Example A: Deposit $50 and get a 50% bonus – you will receive $25 in bonus money
Example B: Deposit $50 and get a 100% bonus – you will receive the equivalent of your qualifying deposit which is $50 – such bonuses are often referred to as match or matched bonuses.
Example C: Deposit $50 and get a 200% bonus – you will receive $100 in extra funds to bet with
8. There is a maximum bonus amount condition
The bookmakers set an upper limit of what they are willing to give you. You can’t get more than that no matter how much you deposit.
For example, the offer is 100% up to $100. This is a bonus that matches the amount of your deposit but has an upper limit of $100. If you deposit $20, you will get a $20 bonus. Depositing $100 will bring you a $100 bonus. Depositing $200, however, will still earn you only a $100 bonus. Despite the fact the bonus is 100% of your deposit, it is up to $100, so no matter how much money above $100 you deposit, the maximum amount you’ll get is $100.
These last two aspects – what is the bonus percentage of your deposit amount, and what is the maximum bonus allowed – are really crucial. Make sure you are not surprised after you claim an offer by misreading these numbers.
9. There are rollover conditions
The part in sports betting deposit bonuses related to the rollover (also known as wagering) conditions is maybe the most frustrating one to the players. However, this only happens with bettors who haven’t made the effort to read what the rollover conditions are. Be shrewd and check these prior to committing to a specific bonus.
What does bonus rollover conditions mean? When a bookmaker gives you a bonus, you can’t instantly withdraw what they’ve just given you. For example, let’s assume you’ve taken a 50% up to $50 bonus. You deposit the $100 required to get that $50 extra money. In order to be able to withdraw that extra money, you need to roll over either the bonus funds, or both the bonus funds plus your qualifying deposit together, a certain amount of times.
Example rule in the terms and conditions:
Bonus funds must be wagered 10 times (10x) before you can withdraw them
This means that in order to withdraw any winnings from this 50% up to $50 bonus, you need to make bets with total stake value of $500 (10 times $50). Only after you do that and if you have the funds still in your account, you can make a withdrawal.
Another example rule in the T&C’s:
Before making a withdrawal, your deposit amount and the bonus must be wagered 10 times (10x)
This means that in order to withdraw any winnings from the same 50% up to $50 bonus, you need to make bets with total stake value of $1000 (10 times the qualifying deposit of $50 plus 10 times the bonus funds of $50).
Usually, within your betting account section while you are logged-in at your online bookmaker, you are able to see at any point in time how much money are left to be rolled over until you can make a withdrawal.
It is very, very important to be aware of the rollover conditions before claiming a bonus, so that you are prepared what you are required to achieve afterwards before taking your potential profit. This was just an explanation of what rollover conditions are. The next five things listed below are all related to these rollover conditions. Usually, a sports betting bonus based on a deposit contains a mixture of different aspects of these rollover conditions. Continue reading to learn what you need to pay attention to.
10. The bets which count for rollover conditions have minimum odds
You don’t just have to roll over your deposit and bonus a certain amount of times – you have to do it by placing eligible bets that satisfy the bookmaker criteria. The most common such case is the minimum odds requirement.
No bookmaker will allow you to be rolling over your bonus on selections with odds in the 1.01 – 1.10 range. Such picks are considered almost 100% sure to be correct hence it would be very easy for you to satisfy the bonus rollover requirements and then withdraw everything. Bookmakers would experience enormous losses if they allowed that.
To exercise control over this, bookies require you to place bets at minimum odds which they define. Usually these fall in the 1.40 – 2.50 range. Bookmakers do this so that you need to bet on sports games where the winning selection is not so clear-cut.
Adding minimum odds into the equation, our example T&C’s rule now reads:
Before making a withdrawal, your deposit amount and the bonus must be wagered 10 times (10x) on sports selections with minimum odds of 1.50
11. Certain bet types don’t count for rollover conditions
Again, this depends on each and every bookmaker themselves. Some will not put further restrictions than minimum odds on the eligible bets for bonus rollover, but most bookies do.
The most frequent bet types that you will see restricted for bonus rollover are system bets, Over/Under bets, Forecast, Tricast, and sometimes frustratingly – single bets. Some bookmakers find it too risky to offer bonuses to players on single bets only (even if there is a minimum odds requirement) hence they require the placement of multiple bets (also known as parlay, accumulator or combo bets). In addition, they sometimes go further than that and put a minimum odds requirement for every single match (leg) that is a part of your multiple bet.
Read the terms and conditions carefully when you claim bonuses to be aware of these and to avoid disappointment.
12. Certain bet conditions make the bet ineligible for bonus rollover
There are few widespread cases where your bets don’t count towards the bonus rollover:
- If you cash out a bet – if that counted, you would be able to abuse the bonus by constantly cashing out every bet the same minute you placed it and get almost the entire betting stake back to your wallet. So this isn’t an option and you would need to wait before your bet either wins or loses before it contributes to your rollover;
- If your bet is void – when a game you’ve placed a bet on gets cancelled or suspended, the bet is considered void. This is neither a winning nor a losing bet. Your betting stake is simply returned to your wallet. Logically in such cases, these kinds of bets don’t contribute to your rollover;
- If your bet is placed using a free bet – while betting with various online bookmakers, you will occasionally receive free bet offers. Bets made as a free bet don’t contribute to your rollover. The reason is because the bookmakers themselves have provided you the stake to place the bet with. These funds are not practically yours, so you don’t risk a part of your own bankroll. You bet with the bookmakers’ money.
The above-mentioned three are not all possible such rules, so you need to go over the whole bonus terms section to ensure you don’t miss something important.
13. Maximum bet stake
Some bonuses have maximum stake of each eligible bet in order for it to count towards the rollover conditions. For example – $50, and anything with a higher stake will count as if you’ve wagered just $50.
Often this threshold is equal to the deposit amount that releases the maximum bonus. For example, in a 100% up to $50 bonus, this deposit amount is $50, and some bookmakers set the same limit to your maximum bet stake. No matter if you bet $50, $100 or $150 on a sports event, only $50 will count for your bonus wagering.
14. Does the bet count for the rollover condition upon placement or upon settlement?
The majority of bookmakers require your bet to be settled as won or lost before it contributes to the bonus rollover. Nevertheless, some companies allow a bet to count towards your wagering upon placement. However, considering the fact you could cash out such a bet, as previously explained, you will find that most bookies use settlement.
15. Pay attention when is the bonus received
A bonus may be granted immediately to your account after you make a qualifying deposit. Alternatively, that can happen only after you roll over your whole deposit once on eligible bets.
Lots of players fail to acknowledge this rule and wonder why the money in their account doesn’t increase with the bonus funds after they deposit. The answer is they have to wager their deposit first.
16. You have a deadline to fulfill the conditions of the offer
To encourage you to bet more frequently on their sports betting platforms, bookmakers will allow you a certain time frame during which you need to complete the bonus rollover. If you fail to do that in the requested time period, you lose all bonus funds together with the possible accumulated profits.
Bookmakers do this to increase the chance that you lose more bets hence withdraw lower profits from the bonus they’ve given you. By pressuring you to make bets within the designated time frame, you are prone to betting on days when no betting selection looks appealing to you. If it weren’t for the bonus, probably you would take a day off and skip betting.
The time frame completely depends on the bookmaker. Usually it falls anywhere between 10 and 90 days, but there are exceptions.
The corresponding rule in the terms and conditions of the bonus will read something like this:
You have 30 days to complete the full rollover requirements of the bonus, otherwise the bonus and any accumulated winnings will be forfeited.
Make sure to always be aware when the wagering deadline for every bonus offer you claim is. Never allow a bonus to be forfeited. You must at least give yourself a chance to return a net profit from wagering the bonus, even if it requires you to place bets in the last possible day you wouldn’t normally place provided the bonus condition didn’t exist.
17. If you withdraw before your bonus is settled in any way, it will be lost
Bookmakers kind of lock your own money you have deposited before the bonus rollover requirements are completed. If you make a withdrawal while a bonus is active in your account, everything you’ve done up until that point in terms of bonus wagering will be thrown to the trash.
This rule is present in all bonus terms and conditions. Plan your budget accordingly and be prepared to avoid withdrawals from your sports betting account while you are satisfying bonus wagering requirements.
18. Whose money are the first in the queue?
Usually you are first wagering with your own money and only then with the bonus money. When a $50 bonus is added to your own $50 that you’ve deposited, that totals $100 you can bet with.
If your first bet is with a stake of $20, those will come from your own money. Let’s assume you lose that bet.
Now imagine the second bet you make is with a stake of $40, then $30 of those will come from the remainder of your own funds and $10 will arrive from the bonus money.
Most of the time such calculations are just a technicality, but in some cases it may be useful to know whether a bet is made with your funds, bonus funds or a mixture of both.
19. Ability to claim a casino welcome bonus
Some bookmakers allow you to claim a sports welcome bonus in conjunction with a casino welcome bonus, while others don’t.
In case you also have an interest in online casino, make sure to check whether you will be able to enjoy both first deposit offers.
20. You can’t have two active deposit bonuses at the same time
When you are rolling over a currently active bonus, you can’t roll over another bonus simultaneously. The reason is to avoid a situation for the bookmaker where the same sports bet counts towards the wagering conditions of two or more separate bonuses.
Even if you claim another offer, it will wait in the queue. Only after you are done rolling over the first one, the second bonus will become active.
21. Is the bonus completely gone if you lose all your funds?
In 99% of the cases the answer to that question would be Yes. However, I’ve seen a few times a rule where even if your bankroll hits zero, when you make another deposit, the bonus that you were rolling over previously would continue being active.
Usually when you lose all your funds in your sports betting account, the bonus gets cancelled too. Beware cases where it doesn’t. There are no benefits for you whatsoever, but only for the bookmaker, as you won’t be able to claim another bonus before the wagering requirements of the first one are fully completed.
22. Only one bonus per household / IP address is allowed
This is to prevent fraud on your behalf. If both you and your spouse open accounts with the same bookmaker and claim the same welcome bonus, it is considered that only one of you is actually in charge of both accounts, hence you got multiple accounts. This opens up the possibility of abusing the bonus and bookies are not fond of that at all. Therefore, a bonus can be claimed just once per household / IP address.
23. All bookmakers have fraud departments which examine the bets you make
If you are trying to cheat them out in any way by taking advantage of other bonuses simultaneously, or you are placing the opposite selections of the same market while wagering a bonus, or engaging in any other fraudulent activity, bookmakers will take the bonus away from you. Depending on the severity of your betting offense you may also experience account closure.
Avoid such practices. Make genuine bets using a top-notch betting strategy and don’t abuse bonuses a bookmaker gives you. You can absolutely win a good amount of money from sports betting bonuses playing fair and square.
24. General terms and conditions apply
If anything regarding a specific bonus offer bothers you or looks dodgy, have a look at that section as well.
Do your homework to avoid unpleasant surprises
Winning money from sports betting bonuses requires a little bit of additional effort before you start placing your value bets. You have to be prepared for every sports betting bonus you claim.
Going through the terms and conditions of every offer is a must for your sports betting success. You can’t expect to win money from an offer if you are not aware of the rules the bookmaker has set for that offer.
This effort will take you some time but the more you practise it, the better you’ll become. Money won’t just easily fall from the sky 🙂 Do your homework first and control the situation the best you can.