Should You Claim a Sportsbook Welcome Bonus or Not?
Learn how staking requirements work, how to successfully rollover a bonus and when it’s best to turn down a tempting first deposit bonus offer.
Bookies sign up offers might be tempting at first, but after reading between the lines, you might start questioning if they’re really worth the effort. We’re not talking about free bet no deposit offers: those are a no brainer.
A 100% deposit bonus will double your initial deposit, and that’s usually enough to convince most beginners to apply even without reading the terms & conditions. Offers can sometimes prove to be very helpful, but there will be occasions when you are better off without claiming them.
We’ve devised a guide to help avoid confusion and make things easier for the punter. That’s why we’ll explain how sportsbook bonuses work, what rollover requirements are and the things you need to check before claiming an offer on a betting site. Finally, we’re going to provide a few tips on how to beat wagering requirements and have fun at the same time.
Quickly navigate to your desired topic:
- How Sports Betting Bonuses Work
- Sportsbook Bonus Rollover Requirements Explained
- Essential Things to Look For Before Claiming a Betting Offer
- Sportsbook Rollover Strategy: How to Beat Wagering Requirements
How Sports Betting Bonuses Work
Betting sites will offer bonuses to attract new players to test their product, but they aren’t just giving money away. In fact, bookies implemented staking requirements to protect their investment. Their objective is to keep you playing as long as they can, hoping that you will eventually get used to their platform, spot their strengths and stick with them.
Free bets are usually pretty straight-forward, in the sense that you get to place a bet and keep only the profit if the bet slip wins – the stake is deducted from the overall win.
Sportsbook bonuses however required a bit more work. Because you get to keep the initial bonus amount – that’s usually going to be either 50% or 100% of your 1st deposit at sportsbooks, and up to 300% for poker and casino bonuses – you have to accomplish the staking requirements in a given time-frame.
The Full Bet is a combination of the two, in the sense that you get the best of both worlds: it’s just one bet you’ll have to make – as in free bets, but you get to keep the bonus money – as in betting bonuses.
Of course, there are quite a few more types of betting offers on the internet, but these are the most common ones amongst top UK bookmakers. Next, we’ll explain what a rollover requirement on a bookie bonus is.
Sportsbook Bonus Rollover Requirements Explained
Each deposit bonus comes with rollover requirements, meaning that you have to wager a certain amount of money (commonly from x3 up to x40 the value of the bonus money) within a reasonable timeframe (7-90 days) at a set minimum odds (can be anything from decimal 1.25 to 2.50) before you are allowed to withdraw any funds from your account.
The best way to illustrate bonus rollover meaning is to preview a few examples:
What does 1x rollover mean? Well, that’s what you’ll usually get with a Full Bet: You only have to stake the bonus amount once to get clearance (turn it into real money) and be able to withdraw the funds. So, if you get £100 bonus money, you wager £100, and you’ve cleared the bonus, regardless of the bonus type.
A x40 rollover means that you have to stake £40.000 to clear a £100 bonus, and so on. You could be baffled by these numbers, and rightly so. Fortunately, these increased demands are only prevalent in the online casino realm, bookmaker rollover requirements being more feasible.
On the other hand, just a small percentage of punters realised how much they usually stake in a betting month. If you have an online betting account, go ahead and check that out right now. I’m sure you’ll be surprised!
The bookmaker may also choose to exclude some betting markets and set a few other staking requirements, and we’ll get into that in the next chapter.
Essential Things to Look For Before Claiming a Betting Offer
Everybody knows that clearing sportsbooks welcome bonuses and reload bonuses is more challenging than making a quick buck off a free bet. However, only a few punters realise that not all deposit bonuses are more lucrative than risk-free bets or similar offers.
You must scour the full T&C’s before claiming a bonus, but that won’t be very effective if you don’t know what to look for. That’s why we’ve put together the list of things worth checking out before claiming any sportsbook or casino promotion:
Find out if you are eligible. See if your country of residence is on the restricted territories list. Furthermore, some sportsbook payment methods (e. g. Skrill & Neteller) may not qualify for claiming promotions. Also, note that any online bookmaker will only allow a bonus to be claimed once per household / IP address. Last but not least, you need to be above the legal age (18-21 in most countries) to be allowed to participate in online gambling.
Use the bonus code if there is one. You may need to manually enter a bonus code before making your first deposit to get the bonus. Sometimes it is possible to claim the offer even if you forgot to do so, but that’s not always the case. Be advised not to place any bets if you find yourself in a situation like this – doing so may diminish your chances of receiving the offer. Nonetheless, there are sports betting sites that will refuse to offer the bonus if you haven’t used their promotion code when signing up or before depositing.
Evaluate the rollover requirements. How many times you have to wager the extra money is essential, but you should always consider the other factors as well, i. e. x10 rollover on 1.20 min. odds is better than x5 rollover on min. odds of 2.50. Read the T&C’s carefully and pay attention to the way the multiplier is being used, because not all bookies calculate the rollover the same way: some bookies will ask you to wager the bonus and the deposit amount a number of times. So what seems to be x5 can sometimes be x10.
Make sure the value of your 1st deposit is within the acceptable margin. You have to be careful about respecting the minimum deposit amount to make a qualifying deposit. There’s also a maximum bonus amount, and as weird as it may seem, sometimes going over that limit will make things worse for you, i. e. when the rollover requirements are calculated as the sum between the bonus and the deposited amount.
Can you make the deadline? Even if the other playthrough requirements seem feasible, sometimes meeting the rollover requirement within a very short time-frame can turn a seemingly good bookmaker bonus into a no go. A month should generally be enough, but you should always check the maximum bet stake as well because you can find yourself in situations where you have to place way more bets than you imagined to clear the bonus. For example, anything with a higher stake than £20 would count as if you only wagered £20 – i. e. if you wager £100, only £20 will count towards the rollover conditions.
Is the minimum odds requirement compatible with your betting system? Online sportsbooks aren’t charity, so they won’t just hand you over extra money. If you could roll over the bonus funds on low odds such as 1.02, then many will register with bookies just to make a quick buck. Minimum odds are commonly defined within the 1.40 – 2.50 range. According to the betting strategies you are using, you’ll find it more or less challenging to complete the wagering requirements.
Some bets don’t count for rollover conditions. So far, so good, but there’s more. Certain bet conditions might compromise your rollover success rate. Live bets, cashed-out bets, and voided bets might not count towards the turnover requirement. Additionally, some bet types could be ineligible, e. g. Asian handicap, under/over goal totals, forecast, tricast or single bets. Such conditions may be unacceptable for some horse racing or football punters.
Don’t withdraw funds from your betting account before the bonus has been cleared. Most bookies will cancel any ongoing bonus and promotions if you withdraw funds before you’re done with the staking requirements. Figure out how long it could take, but be aware that you could lose it all. You should never top-up your betting account with money you can’t afford to lose. Gambling is for fun, remember?
You might have to choose between a few deposit bonuses, so pick wisely. A sportsbook matched deposit bonus could be more appealing than a 500% profit boost on your first bet. Still, you may find that it’s the other way around after carefully analysing the two betting promotions. Certain bonuses can be used both in the sportsbook and casino, but others can’t be. In some cases, you’ll be able to claim two promotions in conjunction (e. g. a sportsbook bonus & a casino bonus). Still, sometimes you’ll only be allowed to benefit from a single promotion on your initial deposit, and you’ll have to choose wisely after thoroughly evaluating the two.
Some betting bonuses are for wagering purposes only. The ‘freeplay’ concept means that you’ll be credited extra funds to wager, but you’ll never be able to withdraw them. Furthermore, your real money is always first in the queue. These types of bonuses were popular in offline casinos back in the day, but online punters despise such promotions, which they believe to be misleading.
Next, we’ll reveal a few tips on how to roll over bets successfully now that you know what you’re up against.
Sportsbook Rollover Strategy: How to Beat Wagering Requirements
You’re here because you’re wondering how to turn bonus bets into cash: Well, first figure out if your betting style emulates the bonuses’ wagering requirements in terms of the minimum odds, betting markets allowed and if you have enough time to perform the wagering requirements without drastically increasing the stakes or the number of bets you commonly place. Don’t be afraid to go ahead if only slight adjustments are required, as they should not affect your overall efficiency.
Ignore the matched betting rollover strategy. Arbitrage betting is against the rules, and many online bookmakers will cancel your bonus (and even suspend your betting account) if you are caught in the act. Don’t think you can outsmart bookies by backing and laying an outcome on separate sportsbooks, because they’ve improved their methods quite a bit during the past decade. Currently, online bookmakers can detect mug punters by sharing information through specialised companies. Don’t claim a bonus unless you want to try new online bookie, have fun, and wager your way through the staking requirements.
Mix business with pleasure. Sports betting bonuses can be used to test various strategies in a real environment. If spreadsheet simulations aren’t exciting enough for you, alternatively you could seek a betting system that could work as your sportsbook rollover strategy – e. g. value betting, or one of the many betting on the draw football systems, where the minimum odds requirement is high.
Are you still looking for the definitive answer on how to beat wagering requirements? We believe the best way to fulfil the rollover requirements and convert the bonus or free bet money into cash is to stop thinking about it and proceed with betting as per usual. However, if you are forced to drastically change your strategy to claim the funds, you might be better off without the offer.
Avoid alluring sign-up bonuses when the bookmakers behind them have no history. Be wise and only register with the top UK bookmakers unless you want to get in trouble. Even if you’ve got accounts at all the major online bookies and you aren’t eligible for a first deposit bonus you can always try to contact the customer service department to get a reload bonus.