How do Risk-Free Bets Work?

If you bet on sports, you know that sportsbooks offer a lot of promotions for new players. These welcome bonuses vary by the book. Yet, two of the most common are deposit matches and risk-free bets. 

A deposit match is self-explanatory, but the same concept does not apply to risk-free bets. Risk-free bets are not necessarily risk-free, and this will often surprise new bettors. 

Here is how risk-free bets work.

The Definition

If you sign up for a sportsbook, you will most likely receive a risk-free bet at some point in your sports betting career. A risk-free bet is not as simple as it sounds.

When you are awarded a risk-free bet, make sure you read the fine print. However, most risk-free bets work the same way. Risk-free bets usually apply to the first bet you make on a site.

Risk-free bet promotions are standard, but you will first encounter this on your first wager for most books. Once you place your first bet for this promotion, it will be considered risk-free.

Therefore, if you win the bet, you will not receive any benefit. You only receive a benefit if you lose the wager. It’s much better to win a risk-free bet and not receive any promotional extra because you do not get your money back if you lose.

Sportsbooks will give you your risk back in the form of free bet credits. Unless you win with the new credits, you will not receive your money back. 

When you think of a risk-free bet, think of it as a second chance opportunity because it’s not risk-free. 

Risk-Free Bet Example

You are a new player on a sportsbook, and you are credited with a free-bet for joining the platform. Team A is playing Team B, and you decide that you want to take Team A on the moneyline. 

You wager $200 on Team A to beat Team B straight up. If Team A wins, you will receive your payout. However, if Team B wins, the risk-free bet promotion will apply. 

Team B ends up defeating Team A, so you do not win any money. Your account is credited with $200 of bet credits. You can now play with these bet credits as your second chance opportunity. If you lose with the risk-free bet credits, you will not receive any money back.

The critical thing to understand about risk-free bets is that they are really not risk-free.

The Pros and Cons of risk free bets

A risk-free bet is good because it’s better than actually betting your own money. When you wager with a risk-free bet, you will have two chances to win on a sportsbook even if you do not receive physical money back.

A risk-free bet gives you an added level of confidence to place a bet that you may not place if you were not guaranteed to receive the money-back through credits. 

Risk-free bets are still not the best type of betting promotion. It’s better to find a deposit match because this way, you are actually playing with house money. Risk-free bets put the winning probability on the side of, the house so still wager smartly with risk-free bets.