Sports Betting Strategy

Why Free Bets Come At A Cost

When searching for the perfect sports betting website it’s important to remember that while the signup bonus is an incentive for signing up with a sportsbook you shouldn’t base your decision solely on which sites offer the best bonus out of the gates. It’s important to consider the cost that comes with those signup bonuses and whether or not the incentive is good enough to use that site. Here is a look at why free bets come at a cost.

Terms & Conditions

Anybody that has ever signed up for anything that has terms and conditions usually understands the importance of reading the fine print in order to make sure they aren’t missing key details. Bookmakers will offer their promotions with creative language to disguise the actual terms of their signup incentives and make them seem like much better value than they actually are. Here is a look at five misleading “free bet” phrases that could be misunderstood.

Promo Cash

Some sportsbooks use the term “Promo Cash” when they give you an amount to bet with. However, your stake isn’t returned if you win, as you only receive your winnings. For example, if you are given $50 to bet with as Promo Cash and win $22 on the bet, then you receive the $22 but the $50 disappears. There are also restrictions to what you can bet on. This is important to remember because the Promo Cash will show up as part of your potential winnings but when you actually win it will not be part of the total.

Free Bet

Sports betting sites will also use “Free Bet” as a term to advertise a chance to bet without risking your own money. However, those books often require you to make a small deposit in order to earn that free bet. Therefore, while you are technically allowed to make one free bet you are also depositing a certain amount of money that you might never get back. In order to withdraw that money you will likely have to risk losing it at least a couple of times so while you technically get one free bet it doesn’t come without a price.

Risk-Free Bet

The “Risk-Free Bet” allow you to place a bet and reclaim your money if you lose. While that may be true, you will still have to use your own money on an additional bet to qualify, sometimes multiple times, so you aren’t actually making a bet that is completely risk-free. A Risk-Free bet usually requires you to invest some of your own money and if you have to risk it multiple times then you are likely creating an even greater risk for something that you might have thought was free.


There is nothing wrong with taking advantage of the signup bonuses offer to new members because they could actually help you gain an early edge. However, it’s important to remember that while you might gain a small advantage it is still more likely than not to come with a cost. Make sure you do your research to find the best available signup bonuses and read the terms over before you sign up so you understand exactly what you are getting when you join a sportsbook.

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