Making the best of free bonuses
January 14, 2019
Here at Matched Bets, there’s nothing we love more than a free bonus or a deposit match offer. A good bonus gives you the chance to try a new site, or try betting on a new sport without risking your own cash. Bonuses are the backbone of our whole betting strategy.
You’ll find plenty of bonus offers at online casinos and bookmakers, but not all of them are as good as they seem. Whatever the headlines say, it is important that you read the small print carefully. You could find that your big money bonus yields small money wins, if you even manage to win at all.
Whatever they may seem to be claiming, you need to remember why the bonus is being offered in the first place. Casinos and sports bookmakers are not in the business of giving away money, in fact it’s quite the opposite. The bonus is there to get your attention and tempt you to play. Once they have achieved that, the aim is to do all they can to get that bonus back using a number of smart, small print tricks.
Small print trick one – limited time offers
Many bonus offers will come with a time restriction to get you to use them quickly. This is intended to convert you while you are a hot prospect, before you have a chance to cool down and change your mind. If you don’t use your free bonus within that set time, you will lose it. If you want to use your bonus for a specific sports event, or on a specific day, then you will need to time your application carefully to match.
Another time restriction comes in the form of a drip feed bonus. This breaks down the headline figure into a number of smaller bonuses or bets, which you get each day for a week or so. This is designed to get you returning to the site on a regular basis in the hope that it becomes a habit.
Small print trick two – wagering
Of all the small print tricks to look out for, wagering is one of the most important. It is very rare for you to get a bonus win that you can simply withdraw as cash, and the larger the win, the more complicated they will make it for you to claim your funds. Most bonuses will have what is called a wagering requirement, where you will have to bet your winnings a number of times, or bet a multiple of your original bonus figure, before you cash in. This can often be as much as thirty or forty times, which vastly increases the chances that you will lose it again, as well as building that regular habit once again. To make matters worse, you can’t simply pick those nailed-on winners either, as qualifying bets usually have to be at least even money, and sometimes higher.
Small print trick three – loyalty points
A similar small print trick is loyalty points. In this scenario, you cannot withdraw your bonus money wins until you have earned enough loyalty points, or player points. Since these are earned using your own real cash, chances are you will lose more that you eventually get to win with your bonus, defeating the object altogether.
The best way around the last two restrictions is to not be greedy. If you look for smaller bonuses, with a smaller cap on your potential winnings, then you are much more likely to be able to cash out when your bet comes in. There are many sites that offer a small free bet, with potential wins of £5 or £10, which can be withdrawn as real cash without too much messing around. Playing lots of these types of bonus may take a bit of time filling in forms, but it is worth it for the simplicity of the transaction. Play half a dozen in an evening and you could walk away around £50 up, with no long-winded wagering to contend with.
Of course, the biggest thing in your favour when it comes to free money bonuses, is that most people don’t bother to read the small print at all and just dive right in. This means that the bookmakers and casinos are making enough from everyone else to not be too bothered about a few savvy players who suss out their system. Become one of those savvy players and you can do very well in the bonus-sphere, piling up a steady profit in return for very little risk.