The Best Sports Bonuses

All About Bonuses

What Are the Best Bonuses?

One of the biggest attention grabbers a bookmaker can offer is giving you the best sports betting bonuses. Being such a highly competitive market, and with so many new potential customers up for grabs, the gloves come off when it comes to getting those punters through the proverbial front door. This is where being in possession of the best sports betting bonuses in the market come into play.

The Best Premier League Bonuses


Best Odds and Bonuses

There are all sorts of sports betting bonuses up for grabs these days. You can find yourself with a free bet, a deposit match bonus, a reload bonus – or more. However, they aren’t always as good and as exciting as they look. Because of this, you really need to check out the small print. Sometimes, the bonuses that look great on paper can work out to be nothing but smoke and mirrors. Conversely, the bonuses that don’t seem to have that elusive sparkle can sometimes be the best. Remember the saying “All that glitters is not gold”? Well, that can be very true when it comes to the sports betting bonuses. Here’s our guide of what’s hot and what’s not in the world of the betting. It’s time to take a look at the best sports betting bonuses on the market.


How the Best Sports Betting Bonuses Work

Because bonuses are the most popular way to entice players to use their sites, it is vital for new players to really understand how the best sports betting bonuses work before they commit to one – or more of them. This way, you are more likely to get the very best sports betting experience available to you.

On the whole, there are really 2 different types of sports betting bonuses. Firstly, there’s the welcome bonus, which is only available when you initially decide to join a betting site. After this, there’s the ‘lifetime bonuses’. These are the bonuses that you’re entitled to claim for your entire time as a member of an online bookmaker. Thus, when you choose an online bookmaker, you should look at all of the bonuses that are on offer. That way you will be able to truly make the most out of your entire sports betting ‘career’. This is often what is referred to in the business as a ‘Lifetime Value’.

It is incredibly important if you plan on making online sports betting an ongoing fixture in your life. You must be savvy to ensure you understand the best bonuses so you’re not caught out by cheeky wagering requirements. However, don’t let big awesome bonuses go to waste.

Check the Details

Because of the importance of checking all sign-up bonuses carefully before deciding which one to pick, you need to take your time and not rush into the first one that pops up. When you finally pick one, take your time and make sure you understand the process fully.  You need to claim it on sign-up, and if you don’t execute this properly, then you may lose out altogether.

When you do decide to claim and sign up, give yourself plenty of time. It can take anywhere up to 20 minutes to correctly sign-up to a new online bookmaker for the first time. If you rush it because you’re worried about missing the beginning of the game, you could potentially mess up. Give yourself plenty of time to work through the whole process carefully. Claim the right bonus correctly and then you can worry about what bet you are going to make first.

Wagering Requirements – The Low Down

Wagering requirements are sometimes referred to as the ‘rollover’ or the ‘playthrough’. These aren’t difficult to understand once you get to grips with it. The wagering requirement is simply one of the terms that are imposed by the online bookmaker before you are able to withdraw any money won from a bonus that has been awarded. This requirement is always referred to as a multiple. It is always written in the terms and conditions of any bonus on offer.

Let’s look at an example of a wagering requirement and see how it would work in real life, so you can understand exactly how simple it is to figure out once you completely understand the term:

Imagine that one of the bookmakers is offering a £150 match bonus when you deposit £150 on sign up. You then read the terms and conditions and see that you can only withdraw the bonus and winnings when you have fulfilled the 5-times wagering requirement of the bonus and the deposit. This simply means that before you can withdraw anything from that bonus, you must place real money bets totalling £1,500.

So, how did we come to the sum of £1,500? Well, the bonus plus the deposit is £150 + £150 and the wagering requirement is 5-times, so you work it out as (£150+£150) x 5 = £300 x 5 = £1,500. It’s a very simple process to work out. This is obviously only the case if it is a deposit match bonus. If you are awarded a £20 free bet, then because no deposit is required, the wagering requirement only applies to the bonus: 5 x £20 = £100. So, here you would only need to bet £100 in real money bets to make a withdrawal from the bonus.

How It Affects Your Bonus

The important thing is how this affects your bonus and your experience. Ultimately you need to know how you can use this bonus to make money. Firstly, it’s important to understand that wagering requirements means the amount that you actually wager and not the amount that you actually lose. So, if your wagering requirement is £1,500, as in the above example, you must simply make £1,500 worth of bets. They all count – whether you win or lose.

Another important factor to note is that the bookmakers always give it as a multiple as opposed to simply £1,500. This is because you do not have to take the entire amount of the match bonus on offer. Just because it’s a 100% match bonus up to £150, you don’t have to claim the entire £150. If you’d rather make a smaller deposit and get a smaller bonus with a smaller wagering requirement, then you can. You could simply make a first deposit of £50, get yourself a £50 match bonus and have a wagering requirement of £500 [5 x (£50+£50)]. Commonly, even if it’s a set amount on a free bet, they will still write the wagering requirement as a multiple rather than set amount, even though it is a set amount. This is simply for continuity’s sake really. Traditionally, online bookmaker s always write wagering requirements as a multiple and generally punters take very little time to understand them.

Is it a Good Bonus?

Now you know exactly what a sports betting wagering requirement / rollover / playthrough is, but it’s important to know whether the one on offer is good or not. The rule of thumb is generally that any sports betting wagering requirement that is 5-times or below is pretty decent. Some even going down to a 2-times wagering requirement. On the very rare occasion, some welcome bonuses have no wagering requirements at all as a special promotion – and these are like gold dust. However, if you see a great looking bonus that has a wagering requirement of 10-times or 15-times, then you should think twice about taking it up, because more often than not, these terms are almost impossible to fulfil – especially if a bookmaker has attached a time limit to it.

The Best Sports Betting Bonuses

Looking through all the online bookmakers to check out the bonuses and read all the terms and conditions attached can be a long – and very arduous task – no-one likes to read through an endless stream of small print. The good news is that now you don’t need to do that because we have done all the hard work for you. Here at BettingOnline, we have gone through different bookmakers, looking at all the bonuses – welcome bonuses and ongoing bonuses along with the terms and conditions attached, to make sure you get the very best lifetime value with the best terms. To find out what the best deals are on the market then check out our comprehensive list of the best bookmakers for bonuses and promotions.

Our Tips for Sports Betting Bonus Success

To get you on the road to successfully picking the very best sports betting bonuses out there – here are our tips:

Wagering Requirements and Time Limits

  • Read all of the terms and conditions of the bonus very carefully. Sometimes the heading and the wording of the bonus offer makes it seem far more exciting than it actually is.
  • Make sure the wagering requirement is fair. The best bonuses come with a wagering requirement that is 5-times or less. If there is a wagering requirement bigger than that, then the bonus isn’t really worth much as the terms will be almost impossible to fulfil.
  • Check the time limit. Often, bookmakers attach time limit to a bonus. On most sites, the bookmaker will give you anywhere between 1 month to 3 months – sometimes even more. However, there are certain sites that give incredibly short time limits. This is another term that can render the bonus virtually pointless.

Maximum and Minimum Requirements

  • Look at the maximum bet size. Sometimes the bookmaker attaches a maximum bet size to a bonus. Often this is represented as a percentage of your total bonus. Often it’s around 30%. So, if you claim a £150 bonus then a bet of over £45 at any time will automatically void the entire bonus. There have been cases where because a player has exceeded this, not only has the bookmaker voided the bonus, but it has also voided the wins, offering them just the initial deposit back. Look at this very carefully to avoid such problems.
  • Check out the minimum odds for bonus clearance. Often an online bookmaker will stipulate that there is a minimum odds term for bonus clearing bets. This is to avoid players simply placing the bonus money on an event that is almost a certainty in order to claim the bonus money. This would most certainly leave the sportsbook at a huge disadvantage. Most good sites will not allow these bets to contribute to the wagering requirements; however some less reputable online bookmakers might use them as an excuse to void both the bonus and winnings – so tread carefully here.
  • Finally, make sure that the bonus isn’t just for ‘wagering requirements only’; this means that they’ll never allow you to withdraw the bonus at all – the bookmaker deducted it at the point of withdrawing the winnings. This would actually mean that it isn’t really a bonus fund all.


Sign-up / Welcome Bonuses

A welcome bonus, sometimes referred to as sign-up bonuses, are the offers that most often look the best and the most enticing; these are designed to get the new bettors through the door. These are often much more attractive than lifetime bonuses. The welcome bonus is highly competitive and for this reason, when looking at these, you need to do your homework. The online bookmakers will attempt to dazzle you with big and impressive numbers. However, be careful and make sure you read the terms and conditions carefully. Online bookmakers want to lure you through the front door – not bankrupt themselves by giving away loads of free money.

There are different types of bonuses you may be offered as part of your welcome bonus. It could be matching a percentage of your initial deposit – often 100%, but it could be higher; some even go to 200% or even 300%. Be careful though, because the higher the sports betting bonus, the more you have to wager to actually withdraw. Other sign-up bonuses could include simply match your first bet or even offering to multiply the winnings that you make from your first bet.

These bonuses are normally the best that the bookmaker offers and are only available for that one time only. Because of this, you need to act carefully with these. Read the terms and conditions and check the wagering requirements. Also, check the time limit attached to your welcome bonus. Finally, make sure that you take your time when signing up so you don’t miss out on the offer by accident.

First Deposit Bonuses

Although a welcome bonus generally needs to be claimed on sign-up, they don’t normally have to be actually used on the sign-up if you don’t make your first deposit on that day. You may sign up on Monday, and click to claim your first deposit bonus, but choose to actually make your first real money deposit on the big game on Wednesday. You need to check the terms carefully though as some may have time stipulations in the terms and conditions. There are some online bookmakers that state that it is for deposits made on that same day. Others can be more flexible, so read the terms and conditions carefully to avoid losing the welcome bonus completely.

These initial deposit bonuses tend to be deposit match bonuses; for every £1 you deposit, the online bookmaker will match a certain percentage of that deposit. These normally range between 50% – 100%, but can be more. These are sports betting bonuses that will have minimum and maximum deposit amounts attached, so please make sure that the amount you want to deposit is valid to claim your bonus before you commit your money to the site.

Free Bets

Another welcome bonus some online bookmakers offer are free bets or matching bets. An example of this offer may be when you make your first deposit of £30; the bookmaker allows you to place a bet for £10 without having to lay out any of your own money. If this bet loses, then no harm done – you lose nothing of your own money. However, if you manage to land a winner, then you get the winnings.

Visually this welcome bonus may not look as exciting as a 100% bonus up to £150 … comparing a free £10 to a £150 bonus can be very deceiving. It may not look as enticing, but there are definitely advantages to be had if you get a free bet. If you don’t think that you’ll be making bets too frequently – just on major sporting events such as the Grand National or Wimbledon Final, then you can have some fun with it. You can put your welcome bonus free bet on whoever you like. It doesn’t matter if you want to take a chance the underdog because it’s not your money at risk. There’s also no commitment to the bookmaker as there isn’t a huge wagering requirement attached to cash out.

A Matching Bet

If you get a matching bet as opposed to a free bet, then this is slightly different. Here, the online bookmaker will give you the same bet you have made again. If you bet £20 on Federer to win the final, it will give you another £20 bet on Federer; essentially you have £40 on him winning. This ensures that you can’t place £20 on Federer, placing your ‘free bet’ on Nadal, guaranteeing a winning profit.

Because of the nature of these bonuses, the outcome is essentially that you are doubling your win; therefore, the best option is to go for the favourites. This way you’re odds on to get a good payout, as opposed to being in with a long-shot of getting a humongous payout.


Lifetime Bonuses

Welcome bonuses are those that you are most likely to encounter on your initial sign up; they are also pretty much one time offers only. However,  lifetime bonuses and promotions add more value overall. If you pick one of the best online bookmakers for bonuses and promotions, then the chances are that during your time at these bookmakers, you’ll have the opportunity to take advantage of a decent number of sports betting bonuses and promotions aimed at every one of its customers. These bonuses can be offered as incentives to make another bet; they’re also rewards for being a loyal and appreciated customer. They can be an offer to get you back if you haven’t made a bet for a while, or even to cheer you up if you’ve had a losing streak. Whatever the purpose, these are offers that can add to the fun and excitement and even add to your betting bankroll.


A Reload Bonus

Now, there may be times that you haven’t necessarily been on a lucky streak with those winning bets coming in; there might be a time when the bankroll you had in your account has dwindled down to nothing. Hopefully this won’t happen too often. Hopefully you’ll be at a point that you withdraw much more than you deposit. However, bear in mind that is something that might happen. In this unfortunate case you might well be offered a ‘reload bonus’; this is the bookmaker’s way of encouraging you to keep going and not to simply cut and run.

These reload sports betting bonuses are never quite as eye catching or as mouth-watering as those initial sign-up bonuses, as it’s incredibly unlikely that they’ll offer you another 100% or even 200% bonus, however, that means you’re not going have to keep on working off the hefty wagering requirement that comes attached. When you get this offer, you’ll also be much more aware of your betting habits, what type size of bonus best suits you and you can make a more informed choice on what to do with it if and when you claim it.


Cashback, or rebates as some bookies call them, are an incentive for punters who find themselves on a losing streak. If you get the offer of one of these sports betting bonuses, then basically for every £1 that you either bet or lose, then the bookies will give you a certain percentage back, in order to minimise your losses. It is important if you do get one of these bonuses, that you consider this when you make a bet because this can significantly alter the value of a bet you place as the risk isn’t as high. If you win, then you get a decent return, but if you don’t win then you may get 25% or so of your stake back, which decreases the overall risk of the bet. This can alter the choice you make when deciding where to wager your money.

Special Promotional Bonuses

Now, there are certain times of the sporting calendar when there will be a lot more interest in placing bets. Certain events throughout the year see people that never normally go near a bookies have a little flutter. These are generally people that either have no account – or an account opened up last year and never used again. For this reason, this is the prime time to offer a special promotion; to lure back those bettors who are potentially anyone’s.

So, imagine you were always going to have a bet on the Grand National. Online bookmakers understand this and throw out some very impressive deals at this time; this could be the key to making sure you get a great deal when making your bet.  Online bookmakers will therefore use this period to offer sports betting bonuses such a free Grand National bet of 50% of your actual deposit. If you take it up on its offer then if you deposit £50, then you will automatically be credited with a free £25 bet that you can place on the Grand National. This is always a great offer, so it’s the perfect time to sign up. If you’re looking for a new sportsbook then picking one at a popular time of the year is the best way to get the best deals.

With all these top tips in mind, make sure you come over and check out the online bookmakers with the very best bonuses right now.