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What is a Bonus and How Does it Work?

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Welcome bonuses. Improved odds bonuses. Fixed game bonuses. Sound familiar? Surely you’ve heard talk of the bonuses that many online sportsbooks offer. The majority of them refer to bonuses for new users registering to the sportsbook in question and they can offer up to €350 for signing-up. You are sure to have seen them on one site or another. Perhaps you are suspicious or you’ve asked, “What’s the catch?” with these types of bonuses. If that sounds like you then you are in the correct place. In the article below, we’ll explain to you how online bookmaker’s bonuses work. 

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What is a Bonus?

To understand how bookmaker bonuses work, we first must understand what a bonus actually is. As you probably have deduced, a bonus is a claimable monetary amount used by sportsbooks to attract new customers to their site. Who wouldn’t want €350 after all? Surely we have all stopped to think when we have seen that we can receive free money just for registering with a bookmaker. And that €100, €200 or €350 that they offer to you is, without a doubt, a fair justification. 

Understanding that bonuses are used to attract clients, the user must be sure that they have carefully read all of the terms and conditions regarding the bonus, which is also something that we will touch on in later sections. Although the bonus comes to the user in the form of a promotion, these may refer to amount bet, specific markets, or to very specific odds. The conditions and terms of each bonus can make or break our success or failure when it comes to receiving the promised amount by the bookmaker.

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How Does a Bonus Work?

When we talk about bonuses offered by sportsbooks, we are usually referring to welcome bonuses, as those are the most advertised and the ones that attract the most attention. The function of a welcome bonus is simple. First of all, the user must register with the sportsbook and provide all the required information. Once registration is complete, the user must then make a deposit and begin to bet. It is in this part where the conditions for every bookmaker will vary in regards to what is required to claim the welcome bonus.

There are plenty of opportunities for bettors in English speaking markets to take advantage of excellent bonuses from a number of top sportsbooks. Below are some of the top betting sites currently available:

Bonuses for the United Kingdom

For the UK, bet365 stands out in particular as an reliable and trusted site due to their decades of experience in the market. You can also take advantage of superb sign-up bonus of £50 in free bets! Check out the full list of sign-up offers available to UK players.

Bonuses for South Africa

South Africa punters can find the reputable Betway or Playa sportsbooks, both of which offer bonuses of R1,000 and R10,000, respectively. Click the following link to view our top South African bookmakers.

Bonuses for Nigeria

The sports betting market has exploded in Nigeria in recent years, leading to the establishment of a number of high-quality bookmakers. Sites like Bet9ja and 1xBet topped our list thanks to their juicy welcome bonuses and excellent offering of odds and markets. You can see the full list of Nigerian sportsbook sign-up offers here.

Bonuses for India

Another emerging sports betting market, India continues to establish themselves as one of the world’s most passionate sports betting countries. There are a number of recognizable names such as bet365 as well as India-specific sites such as Betindi. You can find our top Indian bookmakers by following the link.

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What types of bonuses might we find?

Every sportsbook has its own strategy. Therefore, every betting bonus works in a different way depending on the bookmaker that we choose. 

  • First-time deposit bonuses: These welcome bonuses usually take into account the amount of the first deposit and multiply that amount, sometimes even doubling the initial deposit. For example, if a bookmaker offers a 100% up to a maximum of €150 and you deposit €100, you will receive another €100 to bet with. However, the €100 cannot be withdrawn until you meet the specific requirements.
  • Reload bonuses: A popular bonus for existing users who are ineligible for welcome bonuses, many sportsbooks will offer reload bonuses. These function almost identically to sign-up bonuses but can vary in the amount offered as well as the requirements to clear the bonus.
  • Risk-free or free bet bonuses: Bookmakers can also, at times, offer risk-free wagers in the form of freebets. These are essentially refunds with the sportsbook stipulating a specific betting market for a specific match or competition that is eligible for the promotion. Punters who follow the requirements and wager on the “risk-free” bet will keep the winnings like normal should the bet be a winner, or will be reimbursed in the form of free bets should the bet turn out to be a loser.  
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What Conditions Does the Bookmaker Require in Order to Award the Bonus?

This is the most important factor that you must take into account when choosing which bonus to ultimately go with. The conditions are specific to each bookmaker with the goal being to make the chance of success attractive to you…while still being profitable for them. 

  • Predetermined odds: The vast majority of sportsbook bonuses require the user to bet on markets with specific odds. Thus, having to place bets on markets with odds of at least 1.80, for example, makes it somewhat more difficult for the punter to be successful. This is an important factor to bear in mind as bookmakers can vary these odds, which can range from 1.50 to values above 2.00.
  • Single bets or accumulators: There are more than a few bookmakers that have implemented accumulator betting as the requirement to clear their provided bonuses. These usually involve a minimum of three legs (or individual selections) with minimum odds that can range from 1.40 to 1.50 for each leg. This, of course, makes things more complicated as the odds of winning an accumulator bet are significantly lower than that of a single bet. Thankfully, the rollover amount required for these accumulator focused bonuses is not as high as the single bet bonuses would be.
  • Temporary or event-specific bets: Some bookmakers offer free bets for a certain period of time. If we are not aware of the existence of this temporary handicap, it is possible that we will lose the bet. In addition, many bets such as ‘boosted odds’ only refer to a specific event and will be lost the moment that event has taken place. It is important to be attentive to the fine print of each promotional offer. 

In order to take advantage of the welcome bonuses offered by bookmakers, it is necessary and recommended that you carefully read all of the features and conditions of the bonus to be able to receive it. All of these promotions have an allotted time ranging from one week to one month. It’s important to prioritize the bonus requirements during this time and fully understand what they are asking for. Perhaps they offer us €200 but we have to bet five times the amount. The truth is that betting €1,000 in a week can be an expensive endeavor and risky for a novice bettor. The best thing to do is to read carefully, ask customer service, search forums for any questions you may have or check out our website for the details of each welcome bonus. 

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