Getting the Most out of Sportsbook Bonuses
Everyone is excited to have legal sports betting in Tennessee. Sports bettors were thrilled when the voters passed the law in May 2019, and just as happy were the sports bookmakers, who have since been flooding the market and setting up their operations.
With no cap upon the number of licenses available for online sportsbooks in Tennessee, many different sites can operate in the state. That said, for a sports bettor having so many options can feel a bit overwhelming. How does anyone know how to wade through it all?
But it’s actually a very good thing to have so many options. The new sportsbooks want your business, they need your business, and they are willing to give you free money if you register an account with them and begin placing bets.
Bonuses, bonuses and even more bonuses are coming your way, and who doesn’t love a good bonus, be it in free bets or deposit bonuses at sign up?
Sure, a sportsbook is trying to lure you in because it’s banking on taking more money from you than it’s going to give you. But if you pay attention to the rules and play things right, there is no reason why you can’t profit from the many bonus offers out there.
Common bonuses offered by Tennessee sportsbooks
Sportsbooks have come up with several different ways to entice you with bonus offers. All of them have different rules, different hooks and differing levels of benefit to you. But all of them can be a great way to boost your bankroll and place wagers with the sportsbook’s money.
But one thing to note — most of these bonuses are for new customers. You will get them when you register a new account with a sportsbook you haven’t wagered with before. If you are an existing customer, you will be ineligible for most bonus offers.
Matching deposit bonus
The most common type of sportsbook bonus that you’ll encounter is the deposit match bonus for new customers. It’s important to know that these types of bonuses will only be connected to your first deposit. Be sure to read up on any bonuses before making that first deposit. Otherwise, you might miss out.
Matching deposit bonuses operate exactly as they sound. For each dollar that you put into your new account, the sportsbook will match it with a predetermined amount. Typically that’s somewhere between 50% and 100% of your deposit, up to a certain amount — usually no more than $500.
Often this kind of bonus is automatically added to your account. But even in that case, you want to make sure and read the terms. If the bonus will match you up to $500, as an example, there’s no reason to only find that out after you deposit $300 and cost yourself an extra $200.
Sometimes the bonus is not automatically added to your account, and you will instead need to input a given code to trigger it. So again, read the details before jumping in.
The terms are all easy to find. And then when you do find a deposit matching bonus that is going to give you free money to play with and comes with rollover terms that are reasonable to you, go for it.
Free bet bonus offers
Another very common bonus type is an offer for a free bet. As an example, you might get a $25 bet because you deposited $50 in your account. If you lose the bet, no problem, it was done with the sportsbook’s money and not yours.
But if you do win the bet, then you’ll get to take away the profit, minus the value of the free bet. You’ll get the profit, but the money for the original stake will remain with the sportsbook.
Obviously, these bets in real money value are significantly less than what you get through a deposit match. But if you are only a casual bettor and don’t want to invest a lot in an initial deposit, or don’t expect to invest the time required to release that deposit bonus into your account, free bets can be a great way to play.
You get a free opportunity to make some money and at no risk to you. What’s better than a no-risk bet?
Matching bet bonus offers
A less common type of bonus offer is the matching bet bonus. If a sportsbook offers you free bets, then it’s unlikely that it will also offer a matching bet. But if you look hard enough, you will still find some books that will match certain bets. Usually, these are seasonal or promotional offers — like a Monday Night Football bet or Stanley Cup playoffs bet.
The way it works is simple — you place a bet, let’s say for $25, and the sportsbook will match that bet, making your wager $50. If you lose, you only lose your original $25 stake.
But if you win, you’ll cash in winnings on a $50 bet. The only thing you don’t get is the $25 that the sportsbook matched. But all winnings on that total are yours.
The matching bet offer is exactly what it says. It matches your bet. You will not be able to use that bonus for a different bet. It automatically attaches itself to the bet you place.
Money-back bonus offers
Of course, no one gets into sports betting because they think they are going to lose bets. Sorry to be the one to break it to you, but you will lose on occasion. Many occasions, actually. It happens to the best of us, so don’t take it personally.
Sportsbooks, however, have come up with ways to help ease the pain of losing, which is where money-back offers come in. Similar to insurance that you’ll come across on a variety of different types of bets, money-back offers help out when your luck turns bad.
Let’s say you put money down on a soccer bet, and your team failed to score a goal. Terrible luck. In some cases, if the game ends tied or you only lose by one goal, you will get the amount of your stake returned to you.
The same may happen in baseball games in which your team loses the bet in extra innings. It’s often offered on football bets in which your team blows a fourth-quarter lead. Or if your NBA bet scores over 100 points but still loses, you get your money back.
Most of the time, this money is returned to you in the form of betting credit and not cash directly. But occasionally you’ll find these bonus offer types that do offer cash back, and naturally, those are the best.
Refer-a-friend bonus offers
You are likely to encounter what is called a refer-a-friend bonus. These are especially nice because after you use up all of the bonus offers associated with being a new customer, this is a bonus that you can take advantage of as a regular customer.
They work as they sound. For every person whom you refer to the sportsbook, you will get a certain amount of money credited to your account. This can be anywhere from $50 to $100 and is usually split evenly between you, the referring current customer, and your friend, the new customer who is signing up.
These bonuses only work if the person you are referring to the sportsbook is a new customer. There are also often going to be activation requirements attached to the bonus offer.
That means that the credit won’t appear in your account until your friend either makes a deposit or places a bet. Each sportsbook has its own requirements, so be sure to read what they are.
Seasonal betting bonus offers
A good sportsbook will constantly revolve its betting bonuses and promotions, with the most logical time for these rotations to come with the season changes.
When the football season kicks off in the fall, you are likely to see parlay offers, betting bonuses specifically related to football and the big events of the week (like Monday Night Football), and betting pools that pit you against the other bettors at the book.
These offers will change or be added to when the basketball season begins, the NCAA tournament rolls around, and baseball gets ready for Opening Day.
All are great ways to maximize your betting profits since you’re going to be betting on those big events anyway, even without the sportsbook giving you incentives to do so.
Using bonuses to grow your bankroll and boost your wagering
Successful and seasoned bettors know how to crunch the numbers on bonus offers to make sure they maximize the available profits. But they also know that there are certain rules to always follow when finding and activating bonuses.
Never make a deposit at a sportsbook just to earn a sign-up or deposit-match bonus. In the long run, this is a bad strategy. Make sure you are only registering for an account and making a deposit because you want to place wagers with that sportsbook.
Be it a hobby, an attempt to make money, or just a way to have occasional fun, sports betting requires your commitment. If you’re just making a run for some fast cash through bonuses, it’s unlikely to work out.
Also, there’s never a reason to go off-brand with your sportsbook of choice to find a good bonus offer. The biggest names in sports betting are operating in Tennessee, and all of them will offer some sort of bonus that will add value to your bankroll and your sports betting experience.
If you haven’t heard of the sportsbook or the reviews of it online aren’t all that great, move on. It may offer the best bonus, but if the experience as a whole isn’t a good one, it will definitely not be worth it.
Know the fine print
Sportsbooks aren’t trying to trip you up. They aren’t trying to offer you a bonus that you’ll never actually be able to cash in. But each of the bonus offers you encounter will come with playthrough requirements and other restrictions that you need to know and understand before you proceed.
Some of the requirements might not seem all that obvious, so you need to read the fine print and make sure you have a plan to meet bonus release requirements.
Money has been put into your account as betting credit, but when does it become cash that you can withdraw? You will have what is called a playthrough requirement, which means that to release the funds into your account — or “clear” the money — you will have to bet the total of the bonus a specific number of times.
Let’s say your bonus is $500, and the sportsbook requires that you play that amount six times before the money is cleared. That means that you’ll need to place a total of $3,000 in qualifying wagers to release the original $500.
Time limit requirements
The caveat to the above playthrough requirement is that there will be a time limit. If you had a year to meet the $3,000, no problem. You can do that on the NFL season alone.
But the time limits imposed by the sportsbook are generally around 60 days. When you place the bet or make the deposit that activates the bonus, the clock starts ticking.
Also, know that there is likely to be a time limit on the front end as well. If you register for an account but take longer than seven days to make an initial deposit, it’s likely that you’ll no longer qualify for the bonus.
Minimum odds requirement
Just bet all the heavy favorites to accomplish your playthrough requirements. That way, you can do it quickly and without much risk.
Sorry, but the sportsbooks have considered that and are likely to have minimum odds requirements for a bet to count toward your playthrough requirement. Typically this is around -200. You can, of course, bet on any game with any odds, but if it’s too big of a favorite, it’s not going to count toward clearing your funds.
The final word on getting the most from bonuses
When betting on sports, the difference between walking away a winner and walking away a loser is very small. It takes winning just 52.4% of your bets for you to pay for the cost of the wager, pay the sportsbook its juice, and then turn a profit.
Anything less than that and you are losing money. So with such a small margin separating the winners and losers, you need every little advantage that you can get. Bonus money can be that edge.
Using that free bet or deposit bonus money intelligently is important. Some people treat it like the sportsbook’s money, so they wager it away without much thought. But if you think of it as your money, but also as the freedom to lose a bet or two without hurting your bottom line, you will be more successful.
Using your bonus money judiciously can make all the difference. And having an extra $500 betting cushion can help enable you to survive the inevitable losing streak that happens to everyone.
There can, of course, be a negative to having a big deposit bonus put into your account. You may feel stuck to that sportsbook since you’ll be working to fulfill the playthrough requirement.
This is why we cautioned you against choosing a book solely for its bonuses and promotions. You must also like its features, its sports and bet type options, and the accuracy of its point spreads and posted odds.
When you have a $500 bonus sitting in your account, that sportsbook becomes your sportsbook, and it will be the place you make your bets. Just be sure to like it for many reasons other than just the bonus. Do that, and you’ll be fine.