Sports Betting Bonus Offers

Top Betting SitesSign-up Bonus
1Bovada.lvUS Players Welcome50% to $250 Cash
2Intertops.euUS Players Welcome50% to $200 Cash
3Betonline.agUS Players Welcome100% to $1K F.P.
4Bookmaker.euUS Players Welcome25% to $1K Cash
5GTBets.euUS Players Welcome100% to $500 Cash

The table to the left shows popular sports betting bonuses at reputable gambling sites accepting players from most USA states. If you live outside the US I suggest checking www.Bet365.com to see if there is an opening account offer available for your country. Please note: this page was last updated in March 2019. Thus, it is possible the bonus could have changed since our last content update. Some offers require a bonus code and/or specific deposit methods. Be sure to check each website for details.

Understand, many sports betting sites use sign up bonuses as a method to attract new clients. These bonus offers come in unique shapes and sizes. Some sites offer “risk free bets” or “free play credits” while other sites offer true cash bonuses. The value is not easy to determine at first glance. They all have rollover and other terms associated with them. In this guide I use actual current bonus offers to cover each type of bonus in detail. It is important to read closely because you’ll soon see; the size of the bonus alone does not determine its true value.

Free Play Credits

Free play credits are quite popular at US facing sportsbooks. www.betonline.ag is a very popular US betting site offering players a 100% deposit match in free play credits (up to $1,000) on their first deposit using crypto currency. This is available to US and Canada residents. It requires code CRYPTO100. Deposit method must be Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin or DASH. It requires a 14-time rollover of deposit plus bonus before withdrawal. Later in this article I cover the best way to use this bonus. I also compare it to cash bonuses and reduced juice to help readers decide if it is the right bonus for them.

For now, understand free play credits as offered in this BetOnline example are not cash. For example, let’s say you use $100 cash to make a wager on the New Orleans Saints -110 (91/100 UK / 1.91 European). If you win you’ll get back your $100 stake + $91 win, so you have $191 returned. If instead you bet with $100 in free play credits you’ll get back only $91 on a win. This is because you used your “free play credits”; they are not returned for making another free play wager. So, as you can see, there is a big difference between free play credits and cash. Again, I get to further comparisons deeper in this article.

Risk Free Bets

Risk free bets are a common offer of UK bookmakers. If a betting site offers £20 risk free, this means you’ll need to register, make an initial deposit and then stake £20 on a match. If your wager loses get a £20 refund, which is why it is risk free. This form of bonus is straight forward and again common. Therefore, I don’t cover this type of bonus further in this article because there is not much to discuss. In the future I may add a directory of sites offering risk free bets. For now, I will spend my time explaining cash bonuses which are often higher value.

Cash Bonuses

Generally speaking, of all bonus offers, cash bonuses are the best. There is though a lot to look at such as rollover and other terms and conditions. I explain some of that with the math shortly. First, here is a listing of reputable betting sites offering cash bonuses.

intertopswww.intertops.eu offers players the choice of a 100% up to $100 cash bonus with a 6-time rollover, or a 50% up to $200 bonus with 4 times rollover. This is available on all deposit methods except NETELLR. It is available for customers in North America, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland. It is worth noting that, online since 1996, Intertops was the world’s first online betting website. They have a near perfect track record and are very reputable.

Bovada Logowww.bovada.lv is a US only betting site that accepts players from 45-states. Players located Delaware, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, and Nevada cannot play here. They offer new players a very generous 50% bonus up to $250 cash on their initial deposit. This is available on all deposit methods. It carries only a five-time rollover on deposit+bonus amount. Their company is very reputable having been in the industry since the early days.

bookmaker-euwww.bookmaker.eu is the website high stakes bettors from the US most trust. In business since the early days, they offer the highest wagering limits. They do not kick players out for winning too much. They offer a 25% cash bonus on every deposit made using bitcoin or any other crypto-currency. This is not only a sign-up bonus, but rather a bonus given again and again on each crypto deposit. It requires an 8-time rollover on deposit amount + bonus before any withdrawals.

GTBets is Also Worth Considering

gtbetswww.gtbets.eu accepts players from many countries and offers a 100% up to $500 cash bonus on initial deposits. This is available using most deposit methods. Players who use NETELLER or Skrill to deposit receive a lower bonus offer of 50% up to $500, yet the rollover is 50% less. A pioneers of online gambling (the original VIP Sports) closed in 2011. Some of their management founded GTBets right after. This experienced team has operated this site for 8-years with good player feedback. We are confident enough about the company but their bonus rollover is high and confusing. I will soon cover how it works, and how to best use it, in my GTBets review.

Comparing Bonus Types

If you place a wager at UK odds 91/100 (-110 American / 1.91 European) for an odds/even bet (same odds on both sides) risk free bets are worth 45.5% of their face value. This because on a $100 risk free bet, 50% of the time you’ll win $91, and 50% of the time you’ll break even. This averages to 45.5%. When using free play credits on a straight bet the same is true as this bet works exactly the same.

When wagering with bonus “cash” (as opposed to free play credits) you’ll need to shift your thinking a little to understand the value. The bonus money is not yours; it was free. So, if you have a $100 cash bonus, and risk it on a -110 line, 50% of the time you get back $191 and 50% of the time you break even. Thus, 50% of the time a $100 cash bonus is worth $191, so it is worth 95.5%. However, all bonuses are worth far less when you consider rollover.

Understanding Rollover

At most sites you’re required to rollover your deposit+bonus anywhere from 4-times to 20-times. For example, let’s use Bovada where the full bonus is $250 on a $500 deposit. The rollover is ($250+$500)*5=$3,750. To clear this bonus we decide to make 375 wagers of $10.00 each. Wait! Stop! Betting sites calculate rollover as the lesser of amount risked or potential win. Thus, at odds -110 (91/100 UK / 1.91 European) we would only get credit for $9.10 on a wager of risk $10.00 to win to win $9.10. So, what we are going to need to do here is make it 375 wagers of $11 to win $10.00. Because such wagering options are a 50/50 proposition here are the results:

* Half the time we’re going to win $10.00. That’s (375 bets/ 2)*$10 = +$1,875
* Half the time we’re going to lose $11.00. That’s 375 bets/2*-$11= -$2,062.5

As you can see above, this bonus carries a positive expectation. Although we lost $187.50 of the $250 bonus, we still have our $500 initial deposit and $62.50 of the bonus left. Thus, we are now free to cash out our $562.50 balance for $62.50 profit. Worth noting is, many bonus offers have a MUCH higher rollover. Let’s take a look at Betonline.

BetOnline bonus compared

At BetOnline an initial deposit using crypto-currency receives a 100% match up to $1,000 free play. To keep the deposit amount the same as the example above, let’s say we make only a $500 deposit and get a $500 bonus. This requires 14-times rollover. Here the rollover is ($500+$500)*14=$14,000. Our balance is not $1,000. It is the $500 cash we deposited, and $500 of free play credit. As explained earlier, the free plays get used only once. The balance is not returned on a win.

Continued: Meeting the BetOnline Rollover

Our first $500 of rollover uses free play credits. It doesn’t matter if we make 500 bets of $1 free play, or 10 bets of $50 free play, or bet it any other way. At odds -110 the $500 staked is a chance to win $454.54. As bets at -110 are 50/50 propositions, we expect on average to have $227.27 of that balance left as cash. We started with $500 cash + $500 free play and now have a balance of $727.27 cash. We also have a lot of rollover left. Remember rollover is the lower of a wager’s amount risked or amount we stand to win. Here we covered $454.54 of our $14,000 rollover.

To clear our remaining $13,545.46 of rollover let’s make 500 bets on -110 odds of risk $29.80 to win $27.09. Again these are a 50/50 proposition and thus:

* Half the time we’re going to win $27.09. That’s (500 bets/ 2)*$27.09 = +$6,772.5
* Half the time we’re going to lose $29.80. That’s 500 bets/2*-$29.80= -$7,450

We expected an average balance of $727.27 cash after using the free play. Shown above: we now expected to lose $677.50 on average to clear the remaining rollover. That leaves us only $49.77 remaining. As we deposited $500 to start, and are now down $450.23, we’ve lost most of our deposit. Thus, unlike the Bovada bonus, this BetOnline bonus is not +EV (positive expected value). Though still -EV (negative expected value), there is a trick we can use to increase EV.

Free Plays are Worth More on Longshots

I already explained that when betting at odds -110, free plays convert on average to about 45.5% face value. It is though possible to get much larger value when betting the free play on an underdog. Let’s say we are looking at a baseball game for which BetOnline has odds of favorite -280 / underdog +235. A $500 wager on +235 pays $1,175. My no-vig calculator tells me the underdog in that example has about a 28.83% chance of winning. The expected value of my free play is $1,175*0.2883= $338.75. That amount is 67.75% of my $500 free play, as opposed to a 45.5% value when betting the free play at odds -110.

In the above example we didn’t have to bet $500 on +235. We could have made 500 different bets of $1.00 each on similar odds for this to work out the same. Because the free play amount is not returned on a win, the bigger odds you use it for the more average value it has.

How to Hedge and Other Warnings

These days online gambling is competitive and there are many reputable bonuses available. It is best to use only sites rated well on our SBS Rating Guide. There are many less than reputable betting sites offering massive bonuses. Some of these do so because they are scams and have no intention of paying winners. Others pay most winners but have predatory rules. They can remove bonuses and winnings by citing an account is non-recreational. This is not likely to happen at sites we mention on this page, but it could happen elsewhere.

A trap many people find themselves in is trying to arb out bonuses. Let’s take the example I gave of using the BetOnline bonus at odds +235. Let’s say you bet all your $500 initial deposit and all your $500 free play on that +235. On a win you get back the $500 stake + $1,175 winnings on cash staked + $1175 winnings on free play staked, for a total return of $2,850. Not wanting to risk all that, you decide to arb it.

Continued from Above: an Example of a Bonus Arb

To arb you find a different betting site that has -280 on their opponent. What you need to do to arb is place a wager that will return the same $2,850 on a win. This is simple algebra. Let’s call the stake “a”. The formula is a+(a/2.8)=2850. That solves to a=$2100. So you deposit $2,100 to another betting site and bet it all on -280.

At BetOnline you risked $500 deposit to get back $2,850 if the underdog wins.
At the other site you risked $2100 to get back $2,850 if the favorite wins.

In this example, you risked $2,600 total and get back $2,850, for $250 profit, no matter which team wins. This is appealing to some for reason 71.2% of the time the favorite will win. At that other website you didn’t have a bonus and can cash the $2,850 right out. Your BetOnline balance is $0, so there is now no rollover to meet there. In the 28.8% chance the underdog wins your BetOnline balance is now $2,850, but at least it is cash with $1,000 of the rollover met. You could then try arbing it again.

I’ll be honest and say I have done a lot of similar types of arbs. There is a danger though. Some players get addicted to trying to arb out bonuses. They end up using more and more bonuses at less than reputable sites. A few big underdog wins in a row leaves a huge balance there. They are then left to wonder if that website will pay. It is important to understand that risk before getting too deep.

Reduced Juice is Often Best

5Dimeswww.5dimes.eu is a betting site that offers players by far the best odds. For most sports, their betting menu has a section called reduced. Here you’ll find point spread 50/50 bets at -105 instead of -110. Recreational players often fail to realize how huge this actually is. Let me backtrack to compare.

In a previous example at BetOnline, we deposited $500 and got $500 free play. After betting the free play we expected to have an average balance of $727.27 cash with $13,545.46 of rollover left. Next we cleared that rollover by making 500 bets on -110 odds of risk $29.80 to win $27.09. We lost $677.50 doing so. Thus, we had $49.77 left from our $500 initial deposit. What if we had done the same at 5Dimes instead, using no bonus?

The initial $500 staked in free play at BetOnline would have been a cash bet here at -105. The expected loss on that is $12.50. We still have $487.50 left. Next we stake the exact same $29.80 on the same 500 bets. This time, because -105 instead of -110, it is $29.80 to win $28.31.

* Half the time we’re going to win $28.31. That’s (500 bets/ 2)*$28.31 = +$7,077.5
* Half the time we’re going to lose $29.80. That’s 500 bets/2*-$29.80= -$7,450

So, we’ve lost an average of another $372.50 bringing our balance down to $115.00. We deposited the same $500 amount, and made the exact same wagers at BetOnline as we did at 5Dimes. At BetOnline we had a $49.77 remaining balance and at 5Dimes we had $115. Remember, 5Dimes gave us no bonus, they only gave reduced juice.

Conclusion

If you can understand what I have now pointed out, you now know reduced juice is better than most bonuses. Most players should consider avoiding bonus offers that carry large rollover. Doing the 5-time rollover at Bovada, and 4-time rollover at Intertops is fine as these are +EV. At BetOnline I’d suggest either declining the bonus, or waiting to take the bonus when you’re in a position to arb it out. It is too often players go on a hot streak but never see those winnings. They can’t take a break from betting because they have massive rollover left to meet. Recreational bettors should consider using 5Dimes reduced juice as their primary betting out. This leads to a higher return with no rollover to meet. You can deposit and withdrawal hassle-free as you see fit.