How to Compare Online Sportsbook Sign-Up Bonuses

When you’re looking for a new vehicle, what criteria matters the most? Are you looking for a new or used vehicle? Are you in the market for a sports car or a sports utility vehicle? Electric versus hybrid? These are just a few of the considerations that go into which vehicle you’ll choose to drive in the near future.

As this example illustrates, comparison shopping for the best deal and which vehicle best meets the individual’s needs is important. The same philosophy holds true when considering sportsbook’s sign-up bonuses.

Much like vehicles, sportsbooks offer sign-on bonuses that come in several different models. Sportsbooks offer these bonuses to solicit new customers or entice existing customers into future bets. Choosing the right sportsbook offer is crucial if your plan is to only select one. 

What different types of online sportsbook bonuses exist for new and returning customers? And which bonus will best suit your preferences? Those questions and more are answered below.

Types of Sign-Up Bonuses

Primarily, five types of promotional offers are used by sportsbooks around the country. If you’re looking for a deep dive on each of these bonus models, keep reading as we go over the different types of sportsbook promotions.

Bet & Get Offers

Multiple online sports betting companies are using this type of promotion, creating an extraordinary value for bettors new to the sportsbook. With this method, the bettor invests small amounts, ranging from $5 to $50, to receive up to $250 in free bets.

Typically, this sign-up bonus matches the original deposit with 10x to 40x times your initial investment in free bets. These free wagers are often site credits and can be redeemed over a limited time, but the bettor cannot immediately withdraw money for selecting successful bets in all cases.

Risk-Free Bets

Several sportsbooks offer “risk-free” betting options for consumers, usually matching per dollar up to a maximum amount of the first bet placed. Consider risk-free bets as an insurance policy against the money wagered as limitations exist for this promotion.

Suppose you place a $500 bet for your first wager. Accordingly, successful bets will pay out a cash amount depending on the odds. A losing bet, however, will yield $500 in site credits that can be redeemed, based on the promotional guidelines, as either multiple smaller bets or as one single free bet. 

Note that some sportsbooks call these different things, such as No Sweat First Bets or Second Chance Free Bets.

First Deposit Matches

First deposit matches can range from as little as 10-20% all the way up to 100% of your first deposit. The matched amount will be capped and paid out as a site credit, ensuring bettors do not make deposits and then immediately withdraw the matched amount back as cash.

For this promotion, a 20% match of a $1,000 deposit would yield a bettor $200 in site credit or free bets, regardless of the first bet’s outcome or amount wagered. Likewise, a 100% match of the same $1,000 deposit would create $1,000 in site credit or free bets.

These promotions are also very popular with online casinos.

First Bet Match

This promotional credit is similar to a first deposit match. First bet matches are also provided as site credits in the amount of the first bet, and these promotional credits are returned to the bettor regardless of outcome. Knowing the sportsbook’s rules pertaining to how this credit will be disbursed is important as credits will have restrictions.

No Deposit Bonuses

No deposit bonuses are free money distributed by the sportsbook under rare conditions. As states are legalizing online sports betting, for example, many sportsbooks are offering a pre-registration bonus in free bets to individuals who sign up before the legalized betting’s launch date. These promotions are extremely restricted and often require action within a week’s time.

Which Promotion Is Best for You?

Determining which promotion to choose requires some initial consideration as to how much money you plan to invest. Also, bettors should decide if signing up at multiple sportsbooks is a route they wish to pursue.

If you choose to start small with only one sportsbook, the Bet & Get offer is the best route. Initial small investments, from $5 to $50, can yield as much as $250 in free bets or site credit. Promotions that offer unrestricted use of the site credit, meaning that there is no set amount per bet, provide you with the best scenario to turn this sign-up bonus into cash.

Taking advantage of multiple sportsbooks’ promotions is an opportunity for intermediate bettors or those with a higher risk tolerance. In this scenario, choosing a promotion offering a risk-free bet creates an arbitrage betting situation.  Arbitrage betting provides you with a chance to take your risk-free bet at one sportsbook and bet the opposite side through another sportsbook to ensure a decent return on your bet.

For maximum value for bettors or those investing large sums of cash, first deposit matches or first bet matches are the way to go. This creates the largest sums of site credit for you, up to the capped amount allowed through the promotion. In this instance, investing $1,000 with first deposit matches will give you $2,000 to bet through the sportsbook.