Sports Betting Q&A
Frequently asked questions about sports betting
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How do free bets work in sports betting?

Free bets in sports betting are often connected to deposits and are also referred to as bonuses.

Most free bets are only available on a first deposit at that specific sportsbook. For instance, DraftKings has a $20 free play that has a number of stipulations. First, you have to deposit at least $5 into your account and then you'll get the $20 in free play money, which is not redeemable for cash. Almost every sportsbook has some kind of deal to attract new bettors and there are many different methods to draw people in.

The idea is that sportsbooks will get new people to sign up for accounts and deposit money, and if they win a few bets, maybe continue wagering at that sportsbook instead of going elsewhere. 

There are positives and negatives to free bets. For starters, if you feel like you're playing with free money, you may not be inclined to put much thought into your bets. If that's the case, you may deposit $100 into your account and before you know it, your original $100 is gone as well as the $100 in free money. 

If you know what you're doing and hit a few bets and come out in the positive, then the bonus is worth it, but there's a reason these offers exist. Sportsbooks not only get your information for future spamming opportunities, but they also have numerous stipulations that usually give them the advantage in the end.

Free bets look fun on the surface, but if you play into the hands of the sportsbook, they could turn into a quick negative in your pocket.

How to claim a free offer

The most common methods to claim free offers are by either using a bonus code or having a minimum deposit. In some cases, it could be both of those things. Bonus codes may be emailed to a user after registering for an account or they can be found through numerous online advertisements. As for a minimum deposit, those can range anywhere from $5 to $20 and sometimes more.

Free bets

Free bets, as listed above, are the most straightforward bonus. You usually get a set amount of money to bet when you deposit and that money can't be redeemable for cash. For example, if you bet the free $5 and lose, that money is gone. If you bet $5 and profit another $5, you'll be up $5 in real money.

Since you're betting free money, it may be worth it to go big like in a multi-team parlay, though some sportsbooks may limit your eventual payout.

Risk-free bets

Risk-free bets are a tad more complicated because they usually have a lot more rules. In 2020, new customers at FanDuel could get a $500 risk-free bet. This means that users could get a 100% refund on their first bet up to $500. Of course, if you want to bet the full $500, you would have to deposit that money into your account to be able to make the bet.

Again, there are a few underlying requirements that make getting this money back a tad more difficult. If your $500 bet loses, while you should get another $500 within the next few days, that money is not yet yours. That money is considered Free Bet money and if you want to get it back, you'll have to wager another $500 before you can withdraw any of it.

Match bet offers are in the same mold as risk-free bets with different wording. For the above FanDuel promotion, a match bet offer would be 100% on up to $500. That means you can get back 100% of your money on your first bet up to $500.

Free bet, no deposit

These are usually minimal amounts like $5 or $10 because this method is harder to retain bettors since no deposit is needed. Even if you win this kind of bet, you'll likely have to wager your winnings multiple more times for you to meet requirements and withdraw that money. This offer doesn't often amount to much and is usually for bettors to get a sense of how that specific sportsbook runs and what kind of odds they offer.

Deposit match bonus

These bonuses are usually done through casinos, as that's where they were popularized. Sportsbooks will match a deposit, which often has a minimum requirement at a preset percentage, ranging from 50% to 300%. 

For example, if you deposit $100, you could get another $100 in free money with a 100% deposit match bonus. Again, that free money will have to hit a few betting requirements before it can be withdrawn.

Read More Sports Betting Q&As

More Questions To Read
What are some current trends in sports betting?
Betting trends usually refer to what the public is doing. You have two choices, to follow the public or fade the public.
Who benefits from sports betting?
Sports betting not only benefits each state, but it also gives fans another way to enjoy games.
What is a sports betting model?
A sports betting model is a system that can identify unbiased picks to determine the probability for all outcomes in a certain game.
What is a sports betting exchange?
A sports betting exchange allows bettors to bet against each other instead of through a bookmaker.
What are some tips for managing your bankroll when betting on sports?
The most important tip when betting on sports is to limit each bet to be between one and five percent of your bankroll.
Can sports betting be a career?
Yes. Sports betting can be a career if you make it your full-time job and put in the hours.
Can sports betting make you rich?
Sports betting is unlikely to make you rich unless you turn it into a full-time job and become one of the best bettors in the world.
Is sports betting a waste of money?
Sports betting is not a waste of money if you define your goals before making your first wager.
Can sports betting be profitable?
Sports betting can be profitable, but the majority of bettors lose money, which is why sportsbooks exist.
What some simple tips for betting on sports?
A simple tip for betting on sports is to remember that only a small percentage of bettors are profitable in the long run.
What are some good sports betting tips for beginners?
A tip for beginners may be that turning a profit in sports betting is difficult and because you "know sports" doesn't mean you'll be successful.
How do you win at sports betting?
To win at sports betting, one has to put time into studying and researching various aspects of a matchup.
Why should sports betting be legal?
Sports betting should be legal because not only is it another way for fans to enjoy action, but it's also a boost to the economy.
Is sports betting rigged?
Sports betting is not rigged, but it is against your favor because of the vig.
What is the tax rate on sports betting winnings?
When PASPA was overturned in 2018, states began legalizing sports betting and introducing different taxes on revenue.
How do sports betting payouts work?
Sports betting payouts depend on which type of odds are being used.
What is a bookie in sports betting?
A bookie is someone who facilitates gambling by setting odds, accepting and placing bets, and then paying out the winnings.
What are some popular sports betting books?
BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel and PointsBet are some of the more popular sportsbooks where sports betting is legal.
Which sports betting site is best?
BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel and PointsBet are some of the more popular online sportsbooks where betting is legal.
What is a hedge in sports betting?
A hedge is a method to reduce risk and secure winnings for a specified bet.
What is the spread in sports betting?
The spread, also referred to as the line, is used to even the odds between two unevenly matched teams.
How do sports betting spreads work?
Sports betting spreads, also referred to as lines, are used to even the odds between two unevenly matched teams.
What does hook mean in sports betting?
The hook means a half-point in sports betting.
What is arbitrage in sports betting?
Arbitrage in sports betting is when someone places bets on all possible outcomes of an event at odds that guarantee profit.
Can you arbitrage sports betting?
Arbitrage sports betting is legal, though it's frowned upon by bookmakers.