NFL players

Sports Betting – What is a Free Bet?

The sheer weight of options open to sports betting enthusiasts, especially in a US state that has just legalized the market and opened it out to a number of licensed operators, means that the brands out there are doing their level best to attract your business.

The best way they know how to do this is to offer promotions, a lot of them. Indeed the matter of over-promotion is often cited as a real issue in the early months of legalization, with many complaining about this very problem. 

On the plus side, this means that those who are keen to join the fun are bombarded with a number of different promotions, which come in a number of formats, such as those listed below.

  • Sign-Up Bonus
  • No Deposit Bonus
  • Reload Bonus
  • Deposit Match
  • Free Bet

These are the most common types, so let’s dig a little deeper.


Sign-Up or Welcome Bonus

As the name suggests, this bonus will usually be a sum of money or credit that will be placed on your account when you join a brand. Often this won’t actually mean real money, not until you’ve deposited some of your own money, and even then, it’s not as clear cut as you might think, hence the need to take care to read the wagering requirements.


No Deposit Bonus

Some brands will look to entice you by offering you a bonus before you’ve even put any of your own money into your account balance. Once again, this sum won’t usually be cashable until you’ve played through it a number of times. 

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Reload Bonus

This is for existing customers who have already made a deposit or two and basically means that when you make a deposit, you’ll receive an additional sum in the form of a reload bonus and this kind of reward is the sign of a sportsbook that is keen to rewarding loyal users, which is by no means common.


Deposit Match

Here, if you were to make a deposit of $500, the brand would match it with an additional $500, but usually, this money is not available for you to withdraw any time soon but is still an excellent investment to your stake money.

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Free Bet

Some sportsbooks offer what is known as a free bet, and this is done, on the whole, in the form of a specific bet that they are encouraging you to back. They are offered to tempt people to sign up, and usually, the free bet, if it wins, will mean that you are given bet credits to your account and not real money. They are also often called risk-free bets. 

All of these bonuses and promotions are good additional reasons to join or remain with a brand, but they should be looked at as part of an overall assessment of a sportsbook. In other words, if the sportsbook doesn’t have competitive odds, does not offer a broad sports betting market, has too few payment method options, and has poor customer service, then frankly, these offers are not worth pursuing, so be wise when reacting to them as and when they are offered.

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