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What as a risk-free bet? Guide to risk-free sportsbook bonuses and promos

Risk-free bet promotions and bonuses come in all manner of shapes and sizes and the US sports betting industry is littered with offers that fall under that category. While plenty of those promos are generally fit for purpose, others aren’t exactly as risk-free as the vendor advertises.

To help you develop a better understanding about how risk-free bets work, we’ve written an easy-to-follow guide on the subject with the aim of offering both new and experienced bettors key information about the ins and outs of what the promotions have to offer.

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BONUS

TURNOVER

RATING

PROMO / SIGN UP

Up To $1000 Risk Free Bet

No requirements

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$500 Risk Free Bets

No requirements

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Bet $1, Get $200 In Free Bets

1x bonus amount

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20% Deposit Bonus Up To $1000

No requirements

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Up To $500 Risk Free Bet

No requirements

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Risk-Free Bet Up To $1000

No requirements

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Get 2 risk-free bets Up To $2,000

No requirements

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100% Up To $250 On First Deposit

1x wagering

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$100 Free with $20 Bet

No requirements

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100% First Bet Match Up To $1,100

25x bonus amount

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What is a risk-free bet?

The basic idea behind a risk-free bet is generally the same with any sportsbook you choose to use. With a risk-free promotion, the sportsbook will refund your stake/wager up to a pre-determined dollar amount if your first real-money qualifying bet loses.

The refund offer usually comes in the form of a site credit or free bet, thus offering a sort of insurance on your initial wager. The sportsbooks label this a risk-free bet because your opening stake is refunded if your bet loses.

As with every promotion and bonus offered by any sportsbook, the details are super important, so ensure you have a thorough read of the terms and conditions attached to each one.

Every sportsbook will handle the refunds and bonus credits process a little differently. Some treat bonus bets like cash, which means that you can pocket both the stake and the profit if your bet lands. Others will only pay out the winnings however and not the original stake, while others will only allow you to use your bonus bet in one fell swoop.

Risk-free bets come in varying amounts and they usually range anywhere from $100 with some sportsbooks up to a massive $5000 with others.

Are risk-free bets really risk-free?

I guess this is the burning question everyone wants the answer to, so we’ll try to do our best without hurting anyone’s feelings.

In truth, the most important thing to understand with all of this is that risk-free bets aren’t completely risk-free. When you stake your cash, there is always a chance you won’t get it back. That’s just the reality and it’s worth noting before you decide to take the plunge.

While the safety net of a bonus bet is a nice thing to have, if your initial qualifying “real-cash” bet loses and the promotion kicks in, your money is gone.

It’s important to not fall into the trap of thinking that a risk-free bet means you’ll get your money back if your bet loses. The promos don’t work that way.

A bet credit or bonus bet gives you a second bite at the cherry, however, there is also a chance that you lose both the first bet and the second bonus bet, so remember to never bet any money that you cannot afford to lose.

It’s also worth noting that with some sportsbooks you could end up with a net loss on your bet, even if your second chance bonus bet lands.

If you’re betting with a sportsbook that only pays out the winnings on bonus bets and not the original stake, you could actually make a net loss even if you win.

For example, a bet on a short odds favorite in a game could lead to that net loss on an event, so you’d need to hit longer odds to make the bet worth your while.

Again, risk-free bet promotions are not entirely risk-free. The only completely risk-free sportsbook bonus is a no-deposit bonus.

Are risk-free bets worth it?

Once you get your head around the pitfalls, risk-free bets still offer an excellent opportunity to make a bet at longer odds than you might usually consider. If you are unsuccessful in your first attempt, you’ll get a second chance with your bonus bet. Of course, your probability of winning one out of two bets is higher than a standalone single, so have fun with it.

Risk-free bets are called promotions and bonuses for a reason. They have been put together with value in mind in an attempt to attract new customers, so don’t be afraid to give them a whirl.

Risk-free betting sites and offers

Now that we’ve dug into the nitty-gritty of what risk-free bets really are, it’s time to take a look at where you can find them. Below, we’ve compiled a list of sportsbooks that offer risk-free bet bonuses and what’s involved in each promo.

WynnBet Sportsbook

Free-Bet Risk-Free Bet: If your risk-free bet loses, you get up to $500 to use on one free bet. If your free bet wins, you only get the profit and not the stake as well.

Up to $600: Your risk-free bet is insured up to $600.

Read our detailed WynnBet Sportsbook review here.

BetMGM Sportsbook

Free-Bet Risk-Free Bet: If your risk-free bet loses, you get up to $600 to use on one free bet. If your free bet wins, you only get the profit and not the stake as well.

Up to $600: Your Risk-Free Bet is insured up to $600.

Read our extensive BetMGM Sportsbook review here.

PointsBet

Free-Bet Risk-Free Bet: Depending on your state, PointsBet has a different free-bet risk-free offer. Typically, they offer up to $500 risk-free.

Splitting Free Bets: PointsBet allows users to split up free bet credits into multiple free bets.

Read our extensive PointsBet Sportsbook review here.

Unibet

Free-Bet Risk-Free Bet: If your risk-free bet loses, you get up to $500 to use on one free bet. If your free bet wins, you only get the profit and not the stake as well.

Read our extensive Unibet Sportsbook review here.

How can I sign up for a risk-free bet online?

While the steps vary a little from sportsbook to sportsbook and app to app, the process should be a relatively easy one no matter where you choose to look for risk-free bets.

In general, the whole shebang should go something like this:

Set up an account: To set up an account, you submit your personal details and then have them verified. You’ll probably need to submit a form of photo ID.

Opt-In: Some sites will require you to opt-in to claim your risk-free bet.

Place your bet: Your first bet will be what activates the risk-free bet promotion. The qualifying stake will vary from company to company

Collect your winnings: If you win, your account balance should update with your win pretty quickly.

Use your free bet: If you lose, you typically must use your free bet within seven days. But again, make sure to check the specifics of each offer you use.

Risk-free bets – the bottom line

The biggest thing you can take from all of the above is that free bet promotions are offers are not completely risk-free. It’s the nature of the gambling world that everything comes with a certain amount of jeopardy, though risk-free bets offer you a second chance – which is better than none at all.

It’s vital that you pay attention to the terms and conditions of each offer before wagering your cash, but as long as you keep it fun, then you can really enjoy what risk-free betting bonuses have to offer.