Sportsbook Bonuses Explained (How Sports Betting Bonuses Work)
- Bonuses are an easy way to increase your bankroll, but they come with conditions
- Sportsbooks typically require you to wager a certain amount before bonuses can be withdrawn – this is called play-through
- Understand betting play-through requirements with this guide
It’s easy to understand that sportsbook bonuses are a great way to bolster your bankroll. Figuring out exactly what terms and conditions you have to fulfill before you’re able to withdraw these bonuses is not as simple.
Every bonus offered by an online sportsbook, regardless of whether it’s an initial deposit bonus, a free bet bonus, or otherwise, comes with a set of wagering requirements.
Understanding detailed terms of bonuses such as play-through requirements and time limits can be complex, and sportsbooks often use complex jargon to obscure the complexities of redeeming these bonuses.
That’s where we come in. To have all the nuances of your sports betting bonus explained in simple, plain English, read on!
Find the best sign-up bonuses offered this season by checking our list of the best betting bonuses. Every site on the list has their best deposit bonus offer listed.
What Does Play-Through Mean?
Firstly, “play-through” can also be referred to as “rollover.” Two terms are interchangeable.
An example might help in understanding just what these mean. Let’s say that you deposit $250 to a sportsbook that is offering a 50% bonus with a 5x rollover. This means that you’ll have $375 to bet with, but can’t withdraw the bonus money until you’ve placed $1,875 ((250+125)x5) in bets.
The following table illustrates how much you will have to wager in order to clear common rollover/play-through requirements and obtain your bonus money, assuming a $100 initial deposit:
Sportsbooks calculate rollover and the bets that go towards clearing it differently, so be sure to read the terms and conditions carefully.
Sportsbooks May Place Odds Restrictions and Time Limits on Rollover
Some sportsbooks credit you your risk amount for losing bets, and the lesser of the risk or win amount for winning bets. This means that if you bet $10 on the Patriots at -110, you earn $10 towards your rollover requirement if they lose, but only $9.09 if they win.
Most books have rules against betting strong favorites to clear the rollover, so don’t be surprised if you have to bet at higher than even money to earn credit towards your rollover. If you have to bet at better than 2/1, it’s probably not a good deal.
Another thing to look out for is a time limit on the rollover. Rushing your bets to clear an arbitrary threshold is a sure way to place poor bets and lose money. Before you take a bonus with a time limit, calculate how much you need to bet per week to clear that requirement, and figure out if this makes sense for the way you want to bet.
Depending on Your Online Sportsbook, There May Be Additional Requirements on Your Bonus
Besides play-through requirements, sportsbooks have a variety of other terms associated with sign-up bonuses that you need to be aware of in order to clear your bonus for withdrawal.
They vary from sportsbook to sportsbook, so it’s worth reading the fine print before jumping on one and trying to cash out before you’ve met all of them.
Here are some examples of additional requirements:
- Bets with a price of less than or equal to -200 (1.5) do not count toward fulfilling sportsbook bonus rollover requirements
- No withdrawals can be made within 30 days of claiming this promotion
- Only eligible for use in sports, horse racing, and casino
- You can only have one active bonus at any one time. To claim another bonus the current active bonus must be completed or closed first.
- In multiple bets, at least one selection must have odds of 1.50 (1/2) or greater to count towards any turnover requirement
Essentially, you might have to look out for the following requirements at your sportsbook:
- Odds restrictions on bonuses. Some bets may not count towards your rollover beyond a certain threshold. Usually, this means that you can’t just bet on massive favorites over and over again for your rollover requirement.
- You may have to wait for a specified time period before you withdraw your bonus.
- You may be restricted to only using your bonus at certain sections of your sportsbook.
- Sometimes, a sports betting site offers multiple bonuses. This is common if they have ongoing bonuses. You’ll likely only be able to have one active bonus at a time.
Apply Your Knowledge and Start Betting Today!
Now that you know exactly how sports betting bonuses work, you know the next logical step: start betting!
No matter whether you’re after a sign-up bonus or an ongoing bonus, we can point you in the right direction with that helps you decide on the optimal sports betting bonus.
Anything else you want to know about sports betting bonuses that we haven’t covered? Email us and we’ll make sure to cover it in an upcoming article.
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