Most online sportsbooks today offer additional incentives for getting customers through the door and signing up for new accounts. Almost 100% of the time, these incentives come in the form of some type of initial deposit bonus – aka the infamous “1st time deposit bonus” promotion. And if you’re looking to sign up for a new sports betting account, these offers are pretty much something you will instantly want to snatch up.
We feature a range of online sportsbooks here at BettingSites.us, but the most common percentages our partners give out on initial player deposits range anywhere from 15% up to 200%. The amount of the bonuses matched also vary, as some sites offer as little as $200 in max bonus cash, all the way up to $1,000 and up. Although some of these options look very enticing, there’s usually caveats to actually claiming your bonus and being able to cash it out.
In this article, I will cover which bonuses are normally the best to take – especially if you’re a new player – as well as going over rollover requirements, taking advantage of reload offers and getting the most out of your betting bankroll by finding sites with additional Rewards programs that will incentivize your wagers even further. However, to be completely transparent and truthful, you, as a sports bettor, should also do your homework on all these books and not just look at bonus amounts, but also things like history, integrity, support, payout speeds and lines pricing as well.
Typical Signup Bonuses
As I mentioned above, the most typical bonuses are your standard 50% to 200% match bonus on your 1st deposit. Now some books will feature multiple bonuses that you can take advantage of, but if you’re just a recreational bettor then the offer that is advertised the heaviest on the website’s homepage or the one that a particular sportsbook will feature as its “best” is normally the one you should take.
Now a common rule of thumb to go by when accepting any type of bonus is that the LOWER the percentage, the EASIER it is to clear the bonus. This is where the term “rollover” comes into play pretty heavily, and it’s something you should definitely remember if you want to cash out those free dollars the bookie credits your account with.
Sportsbooks like JustBet.cx offer just a minuscule 15% signup bonus; however, it’s one that comes with just a tiny 4x rollover rate, not to mention JustBet will match anything up to $2,500 on your initial deposit. That means you get $500 in extra money to play around with for your sports bets and will be able to clear it much faster than other bonuses with a higher percentage match.
All in all, don’t get fooled by the extravagant offers that exceed more than 100%, because most of the time the rollover requirements on those exceed 10x and above, making it that even harder to clear all of the bonus funds that book might ship to you.
What is “Rollover?”
Most sports bettors don’t read this part of the bonuses TOS (“terms of service”), and for that you probably deserve to get that perplexed look on your face when customer support informs you that you haven’t completed the proper rollover requirements to clear your bonus cash. But have no fear, this section will quickly and easily breakdown rollover and what it means as it pertains to your initial signup bonus (and even reload bonuses, too).
Rollover is normally comprised of this formula:
(Deposit Amount) + (Bonus % of Deposit) x Rollover Requirement = Total Bets Wagered
I don’t want to scare anyone off with all the math, as it’s nothing super intimidating. These rollover requirements are put in place to protect the sportsbooks from players betting and wining big and then trying to withdraw their funds right away. Most sports bettors though love betting games and will do so at a very long-term rate, so it’s not something management worries about a ton if we’re being completely honest here.
Here’s a quick example for WagerWeb’s initial deposit bonus rollover requirements:
$1,000 (my deposit amount)
+ $150 (15% bonus earned from initial deposit) = $1,150
Rollover is 8x so the next step would be:
$1,150 x 8 = $9,200 in bets made (before you can withdraw any of your bankroll PLUS the $150 in extra bonus cash WagerWeb credited to your account.)
Sportsbooks With the Best 1st Deposit Bonuses
We obviously feature a lot of great sportsbooks here at BettingSites.us, but there are a few that definitely stand out when it comes to initial deposit bonuses. Personally, the sportsbooks that offer a more “industry standard” match of 50% to 100% are the ones I like to sign up with. The rollover requirements are a lot lower and you can clear your extra cash a lot more easily. Here are some of our favorites:
JustBet.cx and Bookmaker.eu (15% bonus match) – Don’t be fooled by the paltry 15% number; these books are on top of their respective games and each one allows you to clear your maximum match bonus in a lot less time than other online sportsbooks. Get your 15% bonus up to $2,500 at JustBet – or your 15% bonus up to $2,000 at Bookmaker – and gain access to some of the best lines in the world, along with top-notch prices in major sports markets and a lot more added perks each site offers its players.
BetOnline.ag (25% bonus up to $1,000) – This bonus has just a 6x rollover rate and is very easy to clear. Make sure to use bonus code “FIRST” when you sign up. This bonus will be instantly credited to your account in the form of free plays. I love BetOnline because they also offer a 25% lifetime reload bonus to keep players loyal and coming back for more action.
Reloads are one of the greatest gifts that sports bettors can receive once they’ve found a sportsbook they can trust. Oddly enough, some books don’t even offer reload bonuses, which of course are normally just free cash and/or free players that you get credited to your account once your initial deposit bonus has either been cleared or you it doesn’t clear in the allotted time frame. For the bookies that DO offer them, they’re normally kept in the 25% range up to a certain deposit figure.
Like every other bonus offer though, you want to make sure you always read over the TOS (“terms of service”), as sometimes these bonuses can be held to higher rollover rates. In addition, a lot of even the most top-tier sites don’t offer reload bonuses to their customers, so you really should do your due diligence in finding a sportsbook if this is something you require for them to keep your business long-term.
Best Reload Offers
From time to time, there are a few sportsbooks that generally go out of their way to offer some great reload bonuses to their customers. Now, not all reloads are created equal. A lot of books don’t like offering them because they’re not trying to lose more money short-term if you clear some nice wins during the reload timeframe. Regardless of that, I will still list my top recommendations here, enjoy!
Here are some of our top picks for reload bonuses on BettingSites.us:
BetOnline.ag (25% LIFETIME reload bonus) – Use bonus code “LIFEBONUS” whenever you make any additional deposits AFTER your initial bonus clearing period is over. This is a great play by BetOnline because a lot of other sites limit their reload opportunities to just a few every year. With this option, you never have to worry about getting added cash credited to your account whenever you deposit. On top of that, the rollover requirement is still only 6x, just like their initial deposit bonus.
SportsBetting.ag (25% LIFETIME reload bonus) – Use bonus code “FORLIFE” for any subsequent deposits you make after you clear your initial deposit bonus. This is the sister site of the aforementioned BetOnline.ag, so all the rules and rollover are the same. This is being listed as it’s a simple option to earn free cash while also taking advantage of the same lines and software as SportsBetting.ag’s sister sportsbook.
JustBet.cx (10% reload) – This site makes my list not because of how low the bonus is, but how easy it is to clear. I’m not by any means in love with this bonus percentage, but if you can manage to cap it out with a $2,500 deposit, then this will be the easiest $250 you clear on ANY book, hands down.
Rewards Programs and More
Once you’ve found a site that you feel comfortable signing up with and you make that first deposit into your account, it’s important to make sure you can milk these sportsbooks for maximum value on your betting sessions. A great way to do this is finding ones that offer rewards programs for its players. Like reload bonuses, actual rewards programs don’t really exist. However, there are a few that still have them and use them as a way to make up for either really low bonus structures or just to keep players coming back by giving away free things.
On top of these rewards programs, a lot of books will also feature “Free Bets” promotions where you can essentially get a single bet (normally up to $50) on the house. There are also cash back rebate programs and racebook rebate incentives given to players as well. I’ll list a few of my favorite sportsbooks offering these types of added value plays to their customers below.
Best Sportsbook Rewards Programs
I wish more of these programs existed in the sportsbook industry, but unfortunately they just do not. However, there are a few that offer decent rewards for their players, most of which offer bettors points that you can accrue over time and then be cashed out to earn free cash rebates, free bets or even merchandise.
Here are a few online sportsbook rewards options:
Bookmaker.eu – For everything that Bookmaker lacks in the form of their low initial deposit bonus, they make up for with a decent Rewards program. New members can earn “BetPoints,” which are earned when you bet sports, make wagers in the casino or play poker on their branded tables. These points can be used for cash back, airline miles, Bookmaker swag and even gift cards. You also earn daily cash rebates on any horse wagers you make, win or lose.
JustBet – Like Bookmaker, JustBet also offers a relatively small percentage match bonus as well. However, they do attempt to make up for it with their own Rewards program, which functions similarly to Bookmaker’s program. Earn “BetPoints” any time you make a wager and from there you can accumulate them and eventually cash them out for JustBet merchandise, airline miles and of course cash back rebates. To qualify instantly for the program you need to make a deposit of at least $300.
Best “Free Bets”
Free bets are ALWAYS +EV plays when it comes to sports betting. It’s so popular nowadays, that even though some sportsbooks don’t offer it to new players, they will normally offer some type of similar promotion throughout the year in different sports leagues and markets. You just have to keep an eye on these respective websites just in case something pops up.
The way it works is pretty simple. Make a bet and await the results. If the bet wins – YOU WIN – and all is right with the world. However, if you lose, you just have to contact support and mention the “Free Bet” promotion in the subject line and within a few hours you will get the amount of that bet credited back to your account. It’s a no lose situation and it helps get players through the door and gets them better acclimated on how to make certain bets and navigating around the sportsbook backend.
My personal recommendations for best Free Bet offers include:
BetOnline/SportsBetting.ag – Both of these sites are owned by the same company and run the same promotions. So you get double the free bet plays should you choose to open an account at each. There are 2 free plays offered by each of these sites.
The first is a $25 free live in-game wager. Sign up at BetOnline or SportsBetting.ag right away to take advantage of this offer – which basically allows your to check out their live in-game betting platform and make bets DURING these games.
You will also get access to a $25 free mobile bet, where if you make a wager via your smartphone and lose, you will get that money credited back to your account. Just make sure to contact support and mention the free bet plays so they can look up your wager and credit back any losses (up to $25 on each bet).
Intertops – One of my all-time favorite sportsbooks offers new players a $20 signup token that can be used for a free bet. If the bet loses, contact support and they’ll credit the $20 into your account immediately. They also run free bet promotions year-round. You have to check the lines page to keep tabs on any special offers like this, as they literally pop up randomly every few months.