Mobile sports betting has been gaining in popularity since first launching in 2018, when individual states began legalizing the practice. Now, several have operational online sportsbooks, with more in the process of legalization.
If you’re a new bettor looking to sign up at a sportsbook, one of the most critical factors in the selection process is their new player offer. With so many welcome bonuses out there, it’s important to find the best on the market.
Free bets can be risk-free, where you are rewarded with a free bet on your first wager if it loses. They can also be a matched first bet equal to your first wager at the sportsbook. Let this page be your guide to assist in your decision and walk you through everything you need to know about free bet offers in the US online sportsbook market.
What Is a Free Bet?
To simplify, a free bet is a wager in which the stake is paid by the sportsbook. The value of the free bet will vary by promotion and by the sportsbook operator.
Usually, a player can obtain a free bet from sportsbooks when there is a new user sign-up offer, a promotion for existing bettors, or a referral offer.
While the operator will pay the stake of the free bet, the stake is not part of the payout if the free bet is a winning wager. For example, a bet of $100 at +200 odds placed with cash would pay $300 ($100 stake + $200 profit) but a bet made with a free bet would only pay $200.
Terms and conditions will vary by site, but luckily we did all the hard work for you in our individual online sportsbook reviews. While some operators may not have any restrictions for free bets, others may not allow you to use them on parlays or odds/profit boosts, for example.
New Customer Free Bets
Best Free Bet Offers
The following online sportsbooks are offering free bets:
*All of the following free bet promotions can be obtained by clicking the “Get Bonus” link here at The Game Day. The following offers are for new users only. individual sportsbook terms and conditions also apply.
- BetMGM Sportsbook: Risk-free bet with a maximum of $1000
- BetRivers Sportsbook: Risk-free bet up to $500
- Betway Sportsbook: Risk-free bet of up to $250
- Caesars Sportsbook: Up to $1,250 in bet reimbursement if your first wager fails
- FanDuel Sportsbook: No-sweat first bet up to $1,000
- FoxBet Sportsbook: Get up to $500 in a risk-free bet
- PointsBet Sportsbook: Up to five risk-free bets totaling $500
- Superbook Sportsbook: Up to $1,000 risk-free bet
Free Bets For Existing Customers
Every sportsbook will give players a bonus for referring friends, so if you refer a friend to a specific sportsbook you can get free bets and site credit that way.
Additionally, the following betting sites are offering free bets to existing users:
- BetRivers Sportsbook: BetRivers has a ton of great free-bet promos for every sport throughout the winter, including college basketball, NBA and NHL
- FanDuel Sportsbook: Place a $10+ wager on a Same Game Parlay on a Thursday NBA game airing on TNT for a $10 site credit
- SI Sportsbook: SI Sportsbook gives free bet credits to users whose same-game parlays fail
How Do Free Bets Work?
When you receive a free bet offer from a sportsbook, it is fairly cut and dry. If the free bet wins, then you can walk away with your winnings and move on to your next wager.
However, if your free bet loses, the sportsbook will cover your bet in various ways:
- The betting site will either give you a free bet back at the sum of the predetermined amount you saw when you claimed the promotion.
- The sportsbook could elect to refund your initial wager in the sum of the aforementioned predetermined amount in the form of site credits or bonus funds which you can not cash out at most books.
What Happens If A Free Bet Pushes?
If a free bet pushes and is voided, the fate of the free stake is at the discretion of the sportsbook.
A sports betting site may simply count the pushed wager as your free bet. You would then move on to your next wager. However, some may elect to give you a second chance since the initial bet did not have a win or loss outcome.
These decisions are always dependent on the betting site. Since all are different and have different rules and regulations, you should always be sure to read the terms and conditions of the free bet offer. It is also a good idea to not bet even number spreads or totals to help minimize the chances of a push occurring. For example, a bet on the Eagles -4 has a chance of pushing, where Broncos -7.5 will either be a win or a loss.
Do Free Bets Expire?
Since all sportsbooks are different and have different terms and conditions, the answer to this question varies.
While most free bets have an expiration date attached, there are some operators that do not hang an expiration date on their free bet offers. However, these are few and far between.
As a general rule of thumb, plan on your free bet expiring seven days after it was issued.
Can I Withdraw My Free Bet Winnings?
Yes, you can withdraw your free bet winnings. However, some sportsbooks may have playthrough requirements attached to those winning funds.
While some operators will allow you to withdraw your winnings from a free bet with no strings attached, others will make you wager the winning funds before you are allowed to withdraw them.
For instance, if you win $100 on a free bet and the sportsbook has a 4x rollover requirement attached to it, then you must place $400 in wagers before you can withdraw the initial free bet winnings.
All betting sites are different. Always make sure to read the fine print.
Free Bets vs Site Credit
While most sportsbooks will issue the refund for a losing risk-free bet in the form of a free bet, some sites like FanDuel will issue site credit instead. Site credit plays the same as cash, in that wagers placed with site credit will pay out both the stake and the profits from the bet on winning wagers.
Benefits of Free Bet Offers
Free Bet offers are absolutely worth it. Who doesn’t like free money or the opportunity to win free money?
Here are some of the benefits of free bet offers:
- You can use your free bet to try out a different betting strategy since there is no cash coming out of your bankroll.
- A user can also use their free bet to try to hit big and build a longshot parlay you normally wouldn’t wager. Since the bet would be risk-free, you won’t be out anything if it loses.
- Another advantage of a free bet is bankroll building. If you strategize on how to use it, you could turn it over with a safe wager. If that bet wins, you could add money you wouldn’t have had to your initial bankroll but keep in mind, the stake amount is not included, so anything shorter than -150 may not be worth the extra security.
- Free bets are an excellent way for new users to test their luck at sports betting and see if it’s something they would like to pursue.
- If you are an avid sports bettor, you can join a multitude of sportsbooks and accumulate free bet offers, turning them over to add to your overall bankroll.
Best Ways to Use Free Bet Promotions
There are three great ways to utilize free bet offers. You can use them to build your bankroll, try to hit big, or test out a new betting strategy.
Free bets given to existing users typically aren’t worth as much. If you have a $10 free bet from BetMGM, you may want to take that and build a lottery ticket parlay and try to cash for a $100 or $1,000.
However, since welcome offers are often worth more, you shouldn’t use these as throwaways. Instead, try to use it on a safe bet and build your bankroll up.
A safe bet is a wager with a higher probability of cashing. The return might not be as large since they won’t have the most favorable odds, but having 70% of your free bet turned over than risk losing all of it on a bet that has a minimal chance of winning.
Also, keep an eye out for special winter sports betting promotions for events like NBA’s Christmas games, college football bowl games, the NHL’s Winter Classic, and the Super Bowl. During these times, some sportsbooks may improve their free bet offers.
Where Can I Legally Get Free Bets Online?
You can find free bets anywhere in the United States where sports betting has been legalized.
Of course, you must also join a sportsbook that is offering a free bet to get one, but at this point, most have them in one form or another for new and existing users.
Here are the following states in which online sports betting is legal, as well as those in which it is pending:
- Connecticut (no betting on in-state college teams)
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey (no betting on in-state college teams)
- New York (no betting on in-state college teams)
- Washington D.C.
- West Virginia
Choose More Than One Betting Site with Free Bets
This notion of having accounts at multiple online betting sites is not just a good idea for taking advantage of promotions, but for price shopping and having a variety of options when it comes to lines and odds. For big events, you may see multiple sites offering promotions that can be free money if played properly.
A sharp sports better utilizes all of the sportsbooks in their arsenal if they are line shopping. Our odds comparison tool helps do the hard work for you by showing the best lines and odds for NFL, NBA, NCAAF, and NBA along with expert picks for select games.
Not only that, when it comes to free bet offers and other sportsbook bonuses, a sharp sports bettor will always take advantage of all the free money betting sites are giving away daily.
Remember, though, that free bets are not just for new users. They are out there for existing users too as part of revolving daily promotions. It’s important to keep tabs on a sportsbook’s promotions page and see which offers you can use to your advantage each day.
Take advantage of all the free money out there will help you build your bankroll and keep you in the game.