Online sportsbooks offer bonuses as a way to draw in new bettors and retain existing customers. They provide a variety of deals to accomplish this goal.
Risk-free bets are definitely among the most popular offers. In fact, many betting sites provide risk-free wagers as welcome bonuses.
Assuming you’re new to the online betting world, you might be wondering what a “risk-free bet” entails. The following guide discusses how these wagers work along with what you can do to take advantage of them.
What Is a Risk-Free Bet?
A risk-free bet theoretically allows you to place a wager without assuming any risk, hence the name. You make the bet and wait to see if you win or lose.
Nevertheless, the fact that you have an opportunity to recover losses makes risk-free wagers special. After all, you don’t stand any chance to get your money back when losing a regular bet.
Where Can You Find Free Bets?
Numerous betting sides offer risk-free wagers. They typically provide these deals in the form of welcome bonuses.
Here’s an example on how these bets work when they’re part of welcome packages:
- An online sportsbook offers a risk-free wager worth up to $50.
- You place a deposit.
- You’re now qualified to get up to $50 in losses back from the offer.
Again, countless online sportsbooks feature risk-free bets. You shouldn’t have any trouble finding a bookmaker that offers one of these deals.
You can either visit betting sites directly to see if they offer risk-free wagers or check out an affiliate site. Affiliates are particularly helpful because they list a number of risk-free bets in one spot.
Steps to Getting and Using Risk-Free Wagers
The top online sportsbooks do their best to make the process of getting risk-free bets a smooth one. Nevertheless, you may want some help in figuring out how to pick up these wagers. The following steps explain how are you can take advantage of risk-free offers.
Step 1: Find an Online Sportsbook With a Risk-Free Bet
You essentially have two options for finding risk-free bets:
- Visit internet sportsbooks directly.
- Visit an affiliate that lists various risk-free deals.
In the first scenario, you simply need to visit a betting site. Assuming the online sportsbook offers a risk-free bet, then you should immediately see it on the front page.
As for affiliate sites, they promote a variety of online sportsbooks and list associated risk-free bets. In this scenario, you can just visit the betting site that you’re interested in through the provided link.
Step 2: Find a Bonus Code (If Needed)
Some online sportsbooks require you to use a bonus code to qualify for a risk-free bet. Bonus codes indicate which offer you’re interested in.
Here’s an example:
- An online sportsbook offers a risk-free wager worth up to $25.
- The code for this bonus is “BET25.” You decide to go for this deal.
- The bookmaker requires you to enter code BET25 when completing registration.
Not every betting site forces you to input a bonus code. For those that do, though, you want to be sure and enter the appropriate code when signing up.
Step 3: Complete Registration
The registration process involves entering all required information and verifying that everything you’ve offered is correct.
Common information that bookmakers ask for includes your name, email, mailing address, username, and password. Betting sites in regulated markets (e.g. New Jersey) commonly ask for the last four digits of your Social Security number, too.
After completing the registration form, you must agree to the bookmaker’s terms and conditions and submit the form. The online sportsbook (should) instantly approve your account.
Step 4: Place a Deposit (Without Neteller or Skrill)
You must place a deposit before qualifying for a risk-free wager. To do this, you visit the sportsbook’s banking section and look for available deposit methods.
Most betting sites accept several of the following options:
- American Express
- Bank transfer (ACH)
- Discover Card
- Western Union
Once you choose a banking method, you just need to enter the deposit amount and confirm the transaction. If you use a credit card, then your funds will arrive instantly so long as everything is approved.
Step 5: Place Your First Wager
After depositing, you can place your first bet and take advantage of the promotion. In some cases, you may need to “claim” the wager from your account before using it.
One of two scenarios will happen when you place a bet:
- You’ll win and collect your payout.
- You’ll lose and have an opportunity to earn back your losses.
The risk-free aspect refers to how you can regain losses. Of course, you’ll need to follow terms and conditions when doing so.
Satisfy Terms and Conditions
Again, you needn’t do anything if you win the risk-free bet. You merely collect your profits and move on.
If you lose, however, you’ll need to meet terms and conditions before receiving the funds back. Here are the primary terms and conditions that you must satisfy.
Rollover (playthrough) refers to the amount that you must wager before receiving losses back from a risk-free bet. It’s expressed as a multiple of the bonus.
Here’s an example on how rollover works:
- You deposit and qualify for a risk-free bet worth up to $50.
- You place a wager worth $25 and lose.
- You’re now eligible to earn the $25 back.
- Playthrough is 8x.
- 25 x 8 = $200 must be wagered
Of course, you need to satisfy other terms before getting the $25 back. But rollover is perhaps the biggest part of regaining your winnings.
Rollover Time Frame
Online sportsbooks only give you a certain period of time to meet playthrough. Many online bookmakers provide between 30 and 60 days to satisfy rollover.
The key, though, is that you’re aware of the exact time frame. Otherwise, you might take too long to satisfy playthrough and miss out on the bonus funds.
Bookmakers require you to bet at specific odds or higher when completing wagering requirements. The reason they do so is to ensure that you don’t just choose heavy favorites when meeting playthrough.
Here’s an example on how minimum odds work:
- A bookmaker requires you to bet at -160 odds or higher.
- Under these guidelines, you can place bets at -160, -155, -150, etc.
- However, you’ll lose the chance to regain losses if you wager at -165, -170, etc.
It may go without saying, but you at least need to place the minimum wager when using a risk-free bet. If the bookmaker requires you to at least make a $10 wager, then you can’t bet any less than this amount when using a promotion.
Of course, you stand to benefit more by wagering up to the cap of a risk-free offer.
Some bets are only available for specific markets. For instance, an online sportsbook may offer a risk-free wager for esports only.
The primary motivation behind market restrictions involves getting you to try something different. By forcing you to bet on esports, the bookmaker is funneling you to a new market.
The process of getting risk-free bets isn’t overly difficult. You start by finding a bookmaker that offers a risk-free wager.
From here, you sign up for an account and place a deposit. Depending upon the bookmaker, you may need to use a bonus code, too.
In the event of a win, you’ll collect winnings and boost your bankroll. A “loss,” meanwhile, isn’t actually a loss because you can still earn the money back.
In summary, risk-free wagers are definitely worth taking advantage of. They give you the confidence of placing a bet while knowing that you can regain the potential losses later.