Sportsbook and Casino Bonus Guide

April 25, 2022

2nd chance bets, matched-bet, first-bet insurance…there are so many bonuses available and sometimes it's hard to understand what the differences are between them. In this guide we walk you through all types of sportsbook and casino bonus offers available, how to evaluate that bonus, and more. 

  • Sportsbook bonus offer types
  • Casino bonus offers types
  • How to evaluate a bonus offer

Sportsbook Bonuses

2nd Chance bets

The most common bonus amongst US sportsbooks is the bonus bet. A bonus bet is exactly what it sounds like. You get a 2nd chance free bonus bet which means that if your bet is lost you will get a refund. But you should be aware that the refund is usually paid out in the form of a free bet. The 2nd chance offer is normally only valid on your first bet. Some sportsbooks, for example, Caesars, refer to a risk-free bet as first bet insurance which is the same thing but just an alternative wording. 

Example: BetMGM Bonus - $1000 paid back if your first bet is lost

Let's take a look at BetMGM's bonus bet offer. Your first bet is matched 100% up to $1000 in free bets in case your bet is lost, which means that any amount from $1-1000 will be refunded in a matching free bet in case your bet is lost. 

BetMGM Sportsbook

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Bet $10 & Get $200

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Matched Bet

Just like the bonus bets, you will get a refund in case your bet is lost but what makes a matched bet better than the bonus bet is that your bet is matched no matter the outcome. If your first bet is won you still get the free bet paid out.

Matched First Deposit Bonus

A matched deposit bonus is giving your bonus money based on your first deposit amount. The % match varies a lot and can go as low as 20% which is the DraftKings sportsbook offer and 100% which is the BetRivers deposit bonus offer. 

Example: 100% up to $250 at BetRivers

When you deposit an amount between $10-250 at BetRivers you will get a bonus matching your deposit amount. A deposit of for example $50 would trigger a $50 bonus and your bankroll balance would be $100. The bonus is paid out as bonus money that needs to be wagered 1X before they are considered as real withdrawable cash. 

BetRivers Sportsbook

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  • Great Welcome Bonus
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Free Bet

A free bet normally come in the form of a no deposit bonus or sign-up bonus which means that you are awarded something after completing registration. A free bet is a bet that you can use for free at no cost. A free bet could have a few terms connected to it such as minimum odds and play thru requirements. 

Odds Boosts

Odds boosts are great for building a big bankroll from just a small cash injection. Odds boosts mean that the odds are boosted which will give you a higher payback in case your bet is winning. 

Example:  Bet $10 Win $200 at BetMGM if either team hits a 3-points 

This is one of the best examples of a great odds boost. The chances of a basketball game finishing without a 3-pointer being scored are extremely low. Getting a 20/1 odds on it happening is truly awesome. These huge odds boosts are always only available for new customers. Some brands like for example Caesars offer daily odds boost but they are more in line with example -110 odds boosted to +130 odds. 

Casino Bonuses

No Deposit bonus

Unlike sportsbooks, casinos often offer a small appetizer bonus once the registration is completed. A signup bonus or no deposit bonus is a reward you get when you register your account. The bonuses are often something like $10-25 or 10-100 free spins on a specific casino game. 

Free Spins

Free spins can be used on a specific slot or any slot. As the bonus term indicates, it gives you an opportunity to spin the wheel in a slot game X amount of times for free. Free spin winnings usually come with quite tough play thru requirements.

Bonus Sign-up Money

Sign-up money is great and is the perfect way to test a casino without putting your own money at stake. A sign-up bonus is something reward upon registration at an online casino. Be aware that the term free is somewhat misleading as the money cannot be withdrawn before turning them over X amount of times. 


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Cashback bonus or 2nd chance gambling

A cashback bonus or bonus bet gambling works similar to 2nd chance bet for sports betting. It means that you can gamble for free and get cashback up to X amount of dollars throughout a predecided time span. Always check how the cashback money is paid out. It usually comes in the form of bonus money and has a wagering requirement connected to it. This means you have to wager the bonus money Y times before you can withdraw them as real cash. 

Example: $1000 cashback at Fanduel for the first 24h

At FanDuel Casino you can get 24h hours of gambling free for up to $1000. So if you lose $1000 for the first 24h hours after making your first deposit you will get a cashback. 

FanDuel Casino

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Matched deposit bonuses

This works exactly in the same way as for sportsbooks. See above for further clarification.

DraftKings Casino

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  • No Deposit Bonus
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How to evaluate a bonus

Most important is to look for a bonus that matches your type of betting. If you are a high-roller, look for the biggest bonus available. If you are new to sports betting or online casino you should look for odds boosts, free spins, etc. 

Basically, any bonus that will give you a chance to bet without putting too much of your own money at stake. Everybody should be aware that sports betting and casino betting comes with a risk so never bet more than you can afford. 

Now when you know more about the various bonus offers you are ready to register an account, make a deposit and start to place bets. If you want to know more about how these steps are done you can read any of the guides below: 

Gus Anderson
Gus Anderson is a gambling wizard. As a kid he dreamt about becoming a Tennis, Hockey and Golf professional but ended up as a gambling professional with focus on both sports & casino.
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