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The best bets and resources to make you more profitable

What is a Bonus Bet if Your First Bet Loses? How to Use Sportsbook Bonuses

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What are Bonus Bets?

Introductory bonus 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 bonus 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 bonus bet welcome promotion, where first-time users can get a bonus bet sometimes worth as much as $1,500.

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The best bets and resources to make you more profitable

How do Bonus Bets Work?

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

Most sportsbooks allow bonus first bets up to a certain number. For FanDuel, Caesars, 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 bonus 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 initial 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 bonus bet, it gets more complicated, as explained in our next section.

Do you get Your Stake Back With Bonus Bets?

With the original 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 bonus bet as the return, you do not get your stake back on bets made with that bonus bet token. This makes them inherently worse than cash.

So in the event that you lose, you are given a $1,000 bonus 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 initial bet and winning $909.09 from the bonus bet, your account will have $909.09, which is less than the $1,000 deposited in the first place. Of course, if the bonus bet loses as well, you’ll be down $1,000 from the promotion.

Bonus Bets Strategies:

In order to truly guarantee profit and have a risk-free start to build 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 initial bet outcome loses you get the bonus 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 bonus 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 $1,608

BetMGM logo

Bet $5, Get $158 in Bonus Bets - Guaranteed! Must be 21+. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER.

Caesars logo

Get up to $1,000 Back in Bonus Bets if Your First Bet Doesn't Win!

Fliff logo

Get a 100% Match Bonus up to $100 Fliff Cash with Promo Code ODDSJAM!

Underdog Fantasy logo

Get a 100% INSTANT Deposit Bonus with Promo Code ODDSJAM!

Vivid Picks (4 Pick) logo

Receive a 100% Deposit Match up to $250 in Vivid Bucks!

Bonus 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 bonus bets upon a loss of initial bet. So if your $100 initial bet loses, they will give you five separate $20 bonus bets. 

FanDuel: Offers site credit instead of a bonus 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 bonus bets.

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Underdog Fantasy

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Vivid Picks (4 Pick)

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