Online sportsbooks want your business. That goes without saying – they make money when people bet, so the action they can take the more money they will make over the long term. Their business is incredibly competitive, so books are increasingly competitive about offering bonuses to entice you to work with them. These bonuses take all sorts of forms, and some of them can be surprisingly generous. Here are seven things to keep in mind when you are trying to sort out the good online sportsbook bonus offers from the bad ones.
Look for the best one – This one is obvious, but it’s important. When you are looking for a sports book and using the bonuses as a guide you need to make sure you find the best bonus possible. How big is the bonus? How much does it benefit you and your style of betting? What do you have to do to earn it? The more of these questions you ask the more you can be sure you are getting the best value. The important thing to remember is that there is no single bonus that is the best overall – just one that works best for you and your individual needs. Once you have decided on the book you like then before you sign up you should use Google to look around for the best bonus offered by that book. Sometimes sites will offer special bonuses through different websites that could be even more attractive to you.
Put them in context – For some people finding the best bonus should be a high priority. For others it is irrelevant. It’s important that you understand what kind of person you are in that regard so you can act accordingly. If you are someone who bets $10 or $20 a game then a bonus could add a serious boost to your bankroll, and you should definitely look for the best one you can find. If you bet $1000 per game,though, then the bonus is probably irrelevant, and it’s far more important to find a online book that is easy to work with and which provides the best odds.
Read the fine print – One of the more common bonuses is that the books will offer to match your initial deposit. That can be a whole lot of free money, but there are always going to be some strings attached. Before you let that bonus influence your decision making you need to make sure that you can cut through those strings. A while ago I decided to throw a bit of cash onto one of the major poker sites just to play around. I’m not a hardcore player by any means, but I like to play. After playing for several hours, though, I realized that it was taking so long to release the bonus that it was ridiculous. I was literally making pennies per hour from this bonus. Pointless. Sportsbook bonuses aren’t quite that bad, but they can be close. Make sure you understand what you are actually getting with the online bonus, not what they say you are getting.
Look beyond the bonus – Books use flashy bonuses to try to get you in the door, but once you are in the door you have to use their book to make your bets. It’s far more important, then, that you make sure that the book works for you than that the bonus does. If, for example, you are a football bettor who bets about $100 per game then it would be far more valuable for you to be with a book who averages -105 over the season than one who typically is at -110 or worse, even if the latter book offers you a couple hundred extra dollars at sign up. The bonuses can act as a tie-breaker if two sportsbooks offer similar services, but they shouldn’t force you into picking a worse book for you.
Don’t let bonuses influence your behavior – The worst thing you can do is to allow bonuses to influence your betting decisions. For example, if you use two books you might be tempted to bet with the one which has a bonus you are working to clear off even though the other one offers better odds on the games. Bonuses can be important, but they aren’t the most important thing, and if you aren’t careful they can lead you to make decisions that could cost you more than the bonuses are making you.
Maximize them – Once you have found an online sportsbook bonus that works for you – you are comfortable with the book and the terms of the bonus – then it only makes sense to take as much advantage of it as you can. If they will match up to $600 in your first deposit and your bankroll is bigger than $600, for example, then it wouldn’t make sense to only deposit a couple hundred to try things out. By taking the maximum advantage you can of good sportsbook bonus offers you are maximizing the added return on your betting investment.
Take advantage of more than one – This is really a point that extends beyond bonuses to sports books in general. By having accounts at more than one sports book you can not only maximize the amount of free money you can gain in bonuses, but you also make it much easier to get a price that is attractive for you in any game you want to bet. If you only have one account then you are stuck with the lines that they offer. Multiple accounts lets you shop around, and it’s often surprising how much range there can be in lines between books. Always finding the best line you can is a key to long term betting success.