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What is a Risk-Free Bet? How to Use Risk-Free Bet Sportsbook Bonuses

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What are Risk-Free Bets?

Risk-free bets are promotions where the sportsbook will refund your bet if it loses. Sometimes the refund comes in site credit, but often it’s a free bet where you only get the winnings back and not the stake if it happens to win.

Since sports betting is a competitive market in the United States, sportsbooks are constantly looking for ways to draw customers to their specific books. One of these ways is through a risk-free bet welcome promotion, where first-time users can get a risk-free bet sometimes worth as much as $1,000.

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How do Risk-Free Bets Work?

All risk-free bets are profitable promotions in terms of positive expected value, but it is possible to lose your risk-free bet, lose the free bet returned from it, and all of a sudden be staring at zeroes in your account. 

Most sportsbooks allow risk-free first bets up to a certain number. For FanDuel, Caesar’s, and several others it’s around $1,000. 

To take full advantage of the expected value from this promotion, let’s say a bettor deposits $1,000, earning a risk-free bet up to $1,000. So to take complete advantage, the bettor places all $1,000 on the Bengals to cover the spread in the Super Bowl at -110 odds. If the Bengals cover, the promotion is over and the bettor has taken full advantage. It worked out perfectly because the bettor risked $1,000 to win $909.09. Since the bet won, the bettor now has $1,909.09 in the account. 

If the $1,000 risk-free bet loses you would be refunded $1,000 in site credits on FanDuel, for example. However, you would need to bet through all $1,000 before it’s possible to withdraw.

If the return is not in site credits but is in the form of a free bet, it gets more complicated, as explained in our next section.

Do you get Your Stake Back With Risk-Free Bets?

With the original risk-free bet made with your own cash, you do get your stake back if you win the bet, meaning the $1,000 stake plus the $909.09 winnings. If you lose and get refunded a free bet as the “risk-free” return, you do not get your stake back on bets made with that free bet token. This makes them inherently worse than cash.

So in the event that you lose, you are given a $1,000 free bet. Say you bet that on the Celtics to cover the spread at -110 odds.

If the Celtics cover, you win the bet but do NOT get your stake back. So after losing the “risk-free” bet and winning $909.09 from the free bet, your account will have $909.09, which is less than the $1,000 deposited in the first place. Of course, if the free bet loses as well, you’ll be down $1,000 from a “risk-free” bet promotion. 

Risk-Free Bets Strategies:

In order to truly guarantee profit and have a “risk-free” start to building your bankroll, you need to have several sportsbook accounts and ideally find an arbitrage opportunity.

Keep an eye on the OddsJam arbitrage page to find those opportunities, but it’s also possible to use two promos or odds boosts at once to create risk-free profit due to the more favorable odds being offered in the promos. 

That way you can guarantee a small profit through arbitrage, and if the risk-free bet outcome loses you get the free bet or site credit back in return.

Even without arbitraging the bet, you can bet both sides of a wager. Worst case you lose the vig (juice), but hopefully the side that the promotion is on loses and you get the free bet or site credit back while making a profit on another sportsbook. You can use the OddsJam Low Holds betting tool to find betting opportunities with zero to small amounts of vig.

Check out also our guide on how to fix Sportsbook Geolocation.


Worth $4,461

BetMGM logo

Get a $1,000 Risk-Free First Bet!

Betfred logo

Bet $50, Get a $111 Bonus + Up To $1,000 Over 5 Weeks!

FanDuel logo

Get a $1,000 No-Sweat Bet on The Big Dance!

WynnBET logo

Get $100 in Bonus Bets ... No Matter What!

Caesars logo

Bet up to $1,250 on The Big Dance, Get Bonus Back if You Don't Win!

Risk-Free Bet Common Terms and Conditions:

As always, please read the terms and conditions of every deal and promotion in real-time as it comes to you. Here’s a brief rundown of two of the most common ones:

BetMGM: Five equal free bets upon a loss of a risk-free bet. So if your $100 risk-free bet loses, they will give you five separate $20 free bets. 

FanDuel: Offers site credit instead of a free bet which is beneficial because you get the stake back of the bet, and can split up the funds among however many bets you’d like.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to [email protected] with any questions or if you’d like a more detailed breakdown of the best option for you personally to use your risk-free bets.

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