Nowadays, most online sportsbooks have a player retention strategy in place in order to attract new sports bettors or keep their current customers. One of the main ways sportsbooks entice new and existing players is by offering free bets. With sports betting now available in Colorado, you’ll be sure to see several of them offering free bets to Colorado sports bettors.
You may be asking yourself if free bets are actually free. The answer is, yes. However, there are certain stipulations you should be aware of prior to taking advantage of your next free bet.
We’ve put together a comprehensive guide on how free bets work at online sportsbooks below.
Top Colorado Sportsbooks with Free Bet Offers 2020
Recently, Colorado joined several other states in legalizing online sports betting. Below are three of the best online sportsbooks available in Colorado that offer various types of free bets.
DraftKings Sportsbook offers three types of bonuses to its players. Their free play bonus is accessible simply by registering. Once you do so, you can receive $25 in free money to wager.
The second bonus is their deposit bonus. This is also accessible during the registration process. Here, DraftKings will provide a 20% match of your deposit, up to $500. In other words, you’ll need to deposit $2,500 to receive their maximum of $500.
The third bonus is their risk-free bet. With this promotion, you can be refunded up to $500 max on your first lost bet.
The free play bonuses at DraftKings are considered to be top-of-the-line. We are impressed by their max limits and they make it very easy for new players to claim the bonuses.
At FanDuel Sportsbook you’ll at least find two types of free bet bonuses running at any given time. The first is their free play bonus. This is when they provide you with free money to wager. However, unlike DraftKings their offer is fairly low – only $5 in free play.
The second promotion you’ll find is their risk-free bet. It’s consistent with most other sportsbooks, including DraftKings, as you can be refunded up to $500 on your first lost bet.
FanDuel uses a promo code system so you’ll have to visit their site to retrieve the code and enter it to claim the bonuses.
The risk-free bet at FanDuel is a nice offering, otherwise, we were a bit disappointed that FanDuel doesn’t have a comparable bonus offering relative to other major online sportsbooks.
FoxBet is currently offering two bonuses – a deposit bonus and a risk-free bet bonus. Their deposit bonus is quite reasonable as they will match 50% up to $500. Therefore, you’ll only have to deposit $1,000 to redeem the full $500. Whereas with other sportsbooks you may be required to deposit more to receive $500.
The risk-free bet at FoxBet is in line with most of their competitors as they will refund up to $500 on your first lost bet.
The redemption process is straight-forward. Simply sign up and look for the designated links at the sportsbook to claim the bonuses. FoxBet does not use promo codes.
It can be argued that among the three sportsbooks highlighted here FoxBet has the most favorable offering, particularly due to their deposit bonus terms. It would be great to see FoxBet consider offering a straight free bet bonus to round out their offering.
What Are Free Bets?
A free bet is when a sportsbook offers you the ability to place a wager without using any of your own money. Thus, the difference between a regular sports bet and a free bet is that the book bears all the financial risk. If you win your free bet, your account is credited with the net winnings.
Free bets are mostly marketed to new players. Just about any reputable online sportsbook offers new players the ability to take advantage of a free bet upon signing up. By doing so, sportsbooks are counting on the new player continuing to use their site to bet on sports and make a deposit with their own money.
If you found yourself hesitant about free bets before, rest assured they are legitimate and they are typically used as a marketing tool in order to get you to sign up. Most online sports bettors have the intention of habitually betting on sports. Therefore, the strategy makes sense from both the bettor’s point of view and the book’s point of view.
Redeeming the Offer
The most common way to redeem your free bet is by entering a designated promo code as advertised by the sportsbook. Most, if not all, sportsbooks require this code to be entered during the registration process. Unless of course, the book offers you a free bet as an existing customer. Regardless, the redemption process is rather straight-forward.
In addition, sportsbooks will require you to meet their minimum deposit requirements before they credit the free bet amount to your account. This is because they would like for you to go through the process of signing up and depositing money so that you are more likely to continue to bet after your free bet.
If a promo code is not required, be sure to review the book for an opt-in checkbox or section of the signup page in order to confirm that you’d like to take advantage of the free bet.
Types of Free Bets at Sportsbooks
It is true that a free bet is what it sounds like – a free wager. However, there are a few different variations of free bets offered by sportsbooks. Below are a few key differences among them.
The main difference between a risk-free and a free bet is that a risk-free bet requires you to deposit your own money for the wager and meet the minimum odds requirements, which are typically 2.00 or higher.
Additionally, should you lose the bet you will receive your funds back in the form of a bonus. With this bonus, you are free to wager it at the sportsbook, however, before you can cash out your winnings you’ll need to satisfy the playthrough requirements.
With a free bet, you don’t need to deposit any of your own money and you don’t get any losses back.
Free bets are what they sound like – free. To further clarify, when a sportsbook offers a free bet to a player they are providing free funds to wager with. As opposed to players having to tap into their own money.
One particular catch with a free bet is that you can only collect on the net winnings of the wager. You cannot collect the wager amount as it was free and provided by the house. Otherwise, free bets have very few limitations. For instance, you use your bet on moneyline wagers, futures, or prop bets. Also, you’ll be hard-pressed to find restricted sports leagues as you can choose any sport to bet on.
Free bets are categorized a few different ways:
A match bet simply means that a book will match your wager up to a certain amount. Typically, books will offer a match bet that has a cap of 100% of a $500 wager. To take advantage of a match free bet you’ll need to wager your own money, but should you lose, the sportsbook will match your bet (up to a certain percentage per the terms) and provide the funds directly into your account.
Free Bet Without a Deposit
A free bet that does not require a deposit is widely available across online sportsbooks. But, the caveat is that the maximum wager allowed is oftentimes a low amount (between the $5 and $10 range).
The free bet no deposit bonus is a good choice if you are looking to avoid depositing your own money in order to sign up and bet but you should be aware that sportsbooks will not let you cash out unless you meet wager requirements. For example, you will likely be required to wager 10-15x (sometimes higher) your winnings in order to be eligible to cash out.
Deposit Match Bets
If you are an online casino player you are most likely already familiar with this type of free bet. A free bet with a deposit match simply means the sportsbook will match your deposit amount, up to 100% (with 100% being fairly common).
Again, you will be required to meet wager requirements (such as 10-15x your winnings) in order to be able to cash out if you opt to take advantage of a deposit match free bet.
Pros of Free Bets
- Depending on the type of bonus, some bets are 100% risk-free.
- Offers you the ability to try out online sports betting with little to no financial risk.
- Enables you to access an online sportsbook to view the interface, lines offered, and gain a better understanding of how the book works.
- Increases your account balance and potential to continue to wager using house money (money earned entirely from free bets versus your own).
Cons of Free Bets
- Free bets and related bonuses come with terms and conditions that must be agreed upon and oftentimes make it more difficult to cash out.
- More often than not, the maximum wager limits are no more than $10 for a non-deposit match bet. Therefore, offering you very little value.
- Higher-value offers require deposits of your own money.
As mentioned throughout this article, you will notice that sportsbooks will require you to meet certain playthrough requirements or wager requirements in order to cash out.
This means that you will need to continue to bet your winnings at the book up to a defined amount (e.g. 10-15x your net winnings) before you are even eligible to cash out. This policy provides an element of financial protection for sportsbooks and alleviates them having to deal with bettors who only want to bet using house money.
Additionally, there are other restrictions and requirements often associated with free bets.
Many offers must be claimed within a defined time period. This will most likely be presented to you while you are signing up, however, to confirm you should always read the terms and conditions page to understand if you need to place your free bet before a certain date.
One way sportsbooks mitigate their risk is by limiting the odds. Meaning, you can only place a wager on bets with certain odds (typically no lower than 1.5)
The majority of sportsbooks do not allow you to split the free amount across different bets. Instead, you must use all of it on one wager.
Maximum Win Restrictions
Most free bets carry a limit in terms of the amount you can cash out. This is common with free bets that do not require you to make a deposit.