How To Make Bank With Your Bonus Bets. | School of Bets

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How To Make Bank With Your Bonus Bets. | School of Bets

As many long term sports bettor would tell you, bonus bets, or free plays, are not just a chance to boost the bankroll but they are a license to swing for the fences. Wagering on sport with the sportsbook’s money is a thing of beauty, but then turning that free shot into serious cash, well that is sports betting nirvana.

How is a bonus bet different to an ordinary sports bet? A bonus bet is generally awarded to the bettor, by the sportsbook, as a sign up or deposit incentive or as a promotion to place a certain bet type. Unlike normal wagers, the payout on a bonus bet does not include the original stake, just the profit. Bonus bets can carry other conditions at the discretion of the sportsbook.

The Prerequisite Knowledge for Using Bonus Bets.

The absolute bottom line when using a bonus bet is that you, the bettor, do not receive your stake back when the bet cashes. You simply receive the profit from the bet. This one piece of information is the single most important reason to use the bonus bet in a certain way or get no real benefit from it.

When you think about it, sportsbooks have it right. You shouldn’t get the stake back. That would really be against the spirit of the bet. Assuming it has been awarded to you through a deposit bonus or a promotion the emphasis really is on you to take a risk, have some fun, back your judgement and see if you can’t turn that bonus money into cold hard cash. If you were to get the stake back on the bonus bet then all it would take is to bet on a -10000 (1.01) favorite to convert the bonus money to real money. No sportsbook would be willing to take on that risk considering if the bet lost they really gain nothing anyway.

The second key point is that winnings from bonus bets are usually not available for immediate withdrawal. They are usually subject to turnover conditions, meaning they may need to be bet again at (for example) odds of greater than -200 (1.50) in order for them to become accessible.

Bonus bets are a great thing but using them to gain the most benefit is more difficult that it seems at first. So what are the best ways to make bank?

The Best Ways to Turn Bonus Bets into Bank:

1. Long Odds All Day

The fact that a bettor will not receive the stake back in the payout on a bonus bet means that chasing longer odds is not just a recommendation it is a total necessity. It is simple math really. The longer the odds the less impact the non return of the stake has on the overall payout. For example a $20 bonus bet placed on a -200 favorite will return as a total payout just $10.

Ie $30 Payout – $20 Bonus Bet Stake = $10 actual payout.

A staggering 66% loss of payout due to the no stake return.

On the other hand a $20 bonus bet successfully wagered on an underdog at +400 would see a total payout of $80 with the relative effect of the non stake return minimized somewhat.

Ie $100 payout – $20 Bonus Bet Stake = $80 actual payout

A much more palatable 20% reduction in payout.

The counter argument is that underdog is less likely to win and so hypothetically the bettor is wise to just bank some profit, like the $10 in the first example, and move on. The problem with this theory is the cost of opportunity. Assuming when the bonus bet is placed the principles of finding value are followed then it makes far more sense for the bettor to speculate on a well researched underdog without having to risk real money.

A bonus bet affords you a chance to shoot for longer odds without the risk. Gamble a little and take the shot!

2. Parlay City

Having established that a punter is better served searching for longer odds when using their bonus bet then what better way to build up some juicy numbers than to craft together a well thought out parlay bet. Note that avoiding parlaying a series a points spread or total bets is recommended as the odds heavily favor the sports book the more legs you add with these types of bets.

Bonus bets are begging to be used on parlays. Other than producing healthy odds they bring the fun factor and scratch that parlay itch that so many bettors seems to have. It’s a free play, so bundle up some good looking underdogs, look across a variety of sports, perhaps let it run across a weekend, but make it a parlay that adds a little thrill to your betting week.

For an indepth look at parlay betting do yourself a favor and read the school of bets comprehensive guide. This will sharpen your parlay game and have you ready to multiply up!

3. Both Sides of a Market

The both sides a market method is where a bettor will use a bonus bet to bet against themself by placing the bonus on the opposite outcome to one they have already wagered on. Effectively this method guarantees profit. An example would be where an NFL bettor may take the Tennessee Titans at -2.5 in a game using their own money. As the game approaches they then use a bonus bet, of similar size to their original bet, to back the Titans’ opponent at +2.5. This way regardless of the outcome some money will be returned.

This method has some major drawbacks. The first one being the lost opportunity of using the bonus bet to hit a market with much longer odds. The both sides of a market method is overly conservative and is the kind of play a sportsbook prefers bettors to use.

The second drawback is that it brings into question the confidence the bettor has in their original bet. If they in fact are lacking enough conviction to decide to use the bonus bet to bet against themself then why did they place the original bet in the first place. If a bettor is confident in a bet then it actually would make more sense to use the bonus bet to increase their exposure to the bet instead of play against it.

Despite its obvious drawbacks this method may suit certain bettors and it definitely is a means to guarantee some winnings.

4. A Hedge for Free!

The art of the hedge bet is certainly one that takes skill. One way to develop that skill, without hurting the bank balance too much, is to use bonus bets to stake the hedge. Assuming you have a parlay or future bet that has positioned itself well enough that its current odds are well shorter than the starting odds then the bonus bet hedge comes into play. The bonus bet hedge allows you to lock in profit without having to increase your actual bankroll exposure as would normally be the case with a hedge.

It is important to note that very few sportsbooks will allow a bonus be or free play to be used in-play live betting. Clearly that reduces some bonus bet hedge opportunities.

What Makes a Good Bonus Bet?

A Bonus Bet Promotion Where the Original Bet Didn’t Need to Lose to Qualify for the Bonus.

When sportsbooks offer promotions where the bet stake is returned as a bonus bet if some part of the bet fails, eg one leg of a 3 leg parlay fails, then to receive the bonus bet your initial bet must have actually lost. This is not an ideal outcome. The best result for the bettor would have been to win the bet. The bonus bet is simply insurance. That is, it gives the bettor a chance to win the original lost stake back (and maybe some extra) through a bonus bet

The best bonus bet promotions are ones where the bonus can be achieved even when the original bet wins. An example of this is the double your winnings in bonus bets promotions that some books run from time to time. If you see this type of promotion don’t hesitate to jump on!

Option to Split Bonus Bet Amount into Smaller Stakes

Some sports books allow bettors to take a bonus bet amount and break it up into smaller bet sizes. This option is powerful as it allows the bettor to look for long odds but spread the risk across a number of bets. This feature is generous and should not be taken lightly. If your sport books allows you to split bonuses then you are probably onto a winner.

Long Expiry Date Time Horizon

Most bonus bets come with an expiry date. A good bonus bet is one that has a long time horizon on its expiry date. The reason this is so critical is that it allows the bettor to sit and wait for an appropriate bet to wager the bonus on. Sometimes it can take a few weeks for the right ‘spot’ to appear. There aren’t too many more frustrating moments for a sports bettor than when they find a good bet and realize the bonus has expired.

No Extra Conditions

Another must have feature of a bonus bet is a limit on its conditions. It is annoying and highly inconvenient for a bettor to qualify for a bonus bet only to find they are limited to what sport and which markets they can actually use the bonus on. A bonus bet free of these conditions where the bettor can be creative is a key ingredient in a good bonus bet and very important in helping the bettor make bank.

The Qualifying Promotional Market is Mainstream

Another feature of a good bonus bet is when the qualifying market is an area of mainstream betting eg moneyline, points spread etc. Often sportsbooks use promotions to entice bettors to bet on markets which are more in favor of the books. While these are worth a look be a little bit war. Ask yourself why the sports book is so keen for you to bet on that market.

If you come across a bonus bet promotion that is aligned with a market your were going to be on anyway, ten do all you can to ensure you get qualified!

The Game Starts Now!

Bonus bets are sports bettors best friends. A free swing and an opportunity to leave nothing in the tank. Pursue the promotions and continue to rack up the bonuses. Clever use of your bonuses may be the difference between a winning and losing long term.

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