The number of people who bet on sports online has been steadily increasing, ever since online betting was introduced more than 15 years ago, but especially in the past several years. The number of online betting providers is also significantly higher nowadays and there is big competitions between operators. In order to attract customers and to make their betting offer more appealing to them, operators offer various bonuses, aimed at new and existing players alike. It is very important for punters to understand sports betting bonuses, how they work, what sort of bonuses are there and what conditions they come under.

Generally on Sports Betting Bonuses

First, we need to make a distinction between the main types of bonus offers. Generally speaking, sports betting websites usually offer bonuses in the form of free bets. This means that the bonus amount which is received by the punter can be used as a free bet. These bonuses are usually issued as multiple free bets. For example, if you receive £50, the rules may state that this amount cannot be used at once, but instead there have to be at least 5 bets, each of at least £10.

Operators also offer extra profit on certain bets. The bonus may be expressed as percentage points. It may be stated that whenever a punter wins a certain bet, the winning amount will be increased by, say, 15%. Similarly, operators may offer improved odds on certain markets, which in turn will also increase the amount that the punter may win.

Even though most sports bonuses are either Free Bet bonuses or increases of the winning amount, there are a lot of different bonuses that sports betting operators offer. The bonuses may be general and the bonuses paid out to every new player as soon as they open an account, or as soon as they make their first deposit are such bonuses, but there are also specific bonuses that are active only during a certain timeframe and even bonuses that target only one match or sporting event.

Bonuses Offered by Online Bookmakers

  • Many sports betting operators offer players a bonus as soon as they open an account or right after they make their first deposit. Some operators offer a specific amount of money, either at once or in few instalments as soon as you register an account. Other operators offer a bonus after you make your first deposit. This bonus usually matches the amount you have deposited, up to a certain amount.
  • The match up bonus offered to new players may be in the amount of £100 pounds and perhaps even more, whereas free bet bonuses are usually lower and they might be in the amount of £5, £10, or up to £30.
  • The accumulator insurance bonus is one of the most popular bonuses, offered by many sports betting operators. The principle is simple. Whenever a player wagers an accumulator bet of over a certain number of games, usually 4, 5 or 6, and he misses only one selection, the operator returns the wagered amount in the form of a free bet. This is a very rewarding bonus, as players can be sure that if they miss only one match, they will still get a refund.
  • There is another very popular bonus offered on accumulator bets. Many operators offer a bonus on accumulator bets where the potential winning amount is increased by a certain percent, depending on the number of selections. So, if you bet on 4 games you might get a 7% bonus, 11% if you bet on 6 games and some bookmakers even offer bonuses up to 100% or even more, but in order to qualify for such a bonus you’d have to place a bet on 15 or more selections.
  • Money Back Specials are bonuses offered on selected matches or events. With this bonus players get their bet refunded in the form of a free bet even if the selection that they placed a wager on doesn’t win. For example, a bookmaker might offer a Money Back Special on halftime/fulltime bets on the Champions League where if the match ends in a goalless draw, you get your wager back, regardless what selection you wagered on. Such bonuses might be even offered on individual games. UK bookmakers often offer special bonuses on matches of England’s National Team.
  • Best Odds Guaranteed is a special kind of bonus offered on horseracing and greyhound racing. It basically means that regardless how many times the odds change from the moment a punter placed a wager up to the moment when the race begins, the odds that are most favourable for the punter will always be taken into consideration. This bonus is very popular and it is offered by almost every UK betting operator and it is valid on UK and Irish horse and greyhound races. Has to be mentioned that this offer is usually valid for singles, multiple bets and each-way bets.
  • Last but not least, it should be noted that a lot of bookmakers have VIP programmes/Loyalty schemes which allow the most loyal and eager punters to benefit from a range of offers. Often the prizes offered as part of the loyalty scheme include smartphones, football shirts and even tickets for popular sporting events.

Criteria for Bonus Selection

Basically all operators offer bonuses and sometimes it is difficult for punters to choose the bonus that is most suitable for them. There are certain aspects which should be taken into consideration when deciding which bonus offer to use.

  • The awarded amount is a good indicator. Surely, it is better to win a larger amount of money, as that increases your winning chances. However, that is not the only important thing. Bonuses often come with rollover requirements. The rollover requirement tells you how many times you have to wager the bonus amount before you can withdraw your winnings. So, for example, if you received a £100 bonus and there’s a 5x rollover requirement, it means that you will have to wager an amount of £500 before you can collect your winnings.
  • Sometimes you have to make a qualifying bet in order to meet the criteria that will make you eligible. The required bet may have to be of a certain amount, for example a minimum of £10. Similarly, on some bonuses there is a maximum amount which can be wagered on one bet. Also, there may be requirements regarding the type of the bet. Some bonuses are applicable only on single bets, whereas other only on multiple. Also, the bookmaker may also require that your bet is higher than certain odds, like 3/4, evens or higher.
  • Finally, some bonuses are available only for a certain amount of time and you have to act quickly if you want to take advantage of an offer. Some bonuses are valid only on matches of a certain competition, like the World Cup or the Euro in football.

Carefully weigh out all the criteria and compare bonuses. You won’t always be able to claim all available bonuses and you will need to make a selection.

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