Betting Bonuses and Promotions | Your Complete Guide

Betting Bonuses & promotions

Betting Bonuses and Promotions

Betting bonuses and promotions offer customers excellent value when choosing an online sportsbook. They vary from site to site and are available to new and existing customers. 

To ensure you can access the best bonuses and promotions at Ohio sportsbooks, we take a look at what they are and how to use them when betting on your chosen sports. 

Cleveland Browns' Amari Cooper catches touchdown vs. Cincinnati Bengals

What is a Betting Bonus?

When you sign up for a new online betting site, you will be offered a bonus or promotion to use. Every sportsbook offers unique bonuses, and they can include deposit matches, odds boosts, and risk-free bets. 

Some bonuses will be exclusively for new customers, while others will be offered to existing bettors as part of a loyalty program. Below, we introduce the most popular betting bonuses and promotions you will find at Ohio’s sportsbooks and explain how to use them when betting on your favorite teams.

Different Betting Bonuses and Promotions

Deposit match 

When a sportsbook matches your deposit, they will provide you with the same amount of money that you deposit into your account to use as free bets. 

For instance, a site might offer a 100% deposit match of up to $100. As such, you can deposit up to $100 in your account and receive the same amount back to use across the site. 

Deposit match bonuses are common sign-up promotions and give you a great opportunity to increase your chances of winning when you first join an online sportsbook. 

Deposit bonus 

Similar to a deposit match, a deposit bonus is another popular betting promotion offered to new and existing players. But instead of offering a percentage, a deposit bonus will likely offer a set amount depending on how much you add to your account. 

For example, a deposit bonus might stipulate that you can get $50 in free bets when you deposit $100 into your account. 

You can then use your free bets to build an NFL parlay or to place a futures bet on the Bengals to win the next Superbowl, for instance. 

Free bet credit

Free bet credits often fall in line with big sporting events and are offered when a sportsbook is looking to promote a specific event. Moneyback specials and refund offers are among the most common free bet credits.

For instance, if Columbus Crew makes it to the MLS Cup finals, you might be offered a moneyback bonus when you bet on the first goalscorer in the match if the game ends goalless or goes to extra time. 

Free bets typically come with qualifying conditions, so read the terms and conditions thoroughly before placing a bet.

Odds boosts

Sometimes, a sportsbook will decide to boost the odds on a certain event to encourage more people to place bets. Essentially, boosted odds equate to less risk for the same reward. 

Again, odds boosts are often tied to special events, be it the Stanley Cup or the US Open. In most cases, odds boosts can increase your profit between 10% and 40%, depending on the offer. 

Odds boosts often apply to moneyline bets, parlays, and prop bets, but you might also see a sportsbook alter the point spread to increase the value of betting on an underdog.

Merchandise giveaways

Who doesn’t love some free merch? Some sportsbooks offer merchandise giveaways as part of the betting bonuses and promotions to entice customers to bet on specific games or events. 

For instance, if the Bengals are up against the Giants in the NFL playoffs, a sportsbook might offer some Bengals merch to spice up the betting card. The free merch offer might be intertwined with some of the other bonuses and promotions already introduced. 

Read the terms and conditions carefully, as you might have to place a qualifying bet to be eligible for merchandise giveaways on your chosen sportsbook. 


Cash-out is an awesome feature that allows bettors to settle a bet early while the game is ongoing. Depending on how the game is progressing, the sportsbook might offer you the chance to settle your bet with a reduced payout. 

For example, if you have a three-team NFL parlay and you’re reliant on the Rams to beat the Browns in the final matchup, you might cash out on the bet before the final game ends. You will do this if you don’t think the Rams will win the match for whatever reason. 

If the Browns were to win and you cashed out early, you would at least “win” something, even though your parlay didn’t come through.

Risk-free bet 

When you place a risk-free bet, you will receive something in return, even if your bet loses. It might be a free bet or a site credit of some kind.

Be mindful that risk-free bets are almost always offered as site credit, meaning you can’t withdraw the money to your bank account. 

Still, you can use the money to place future bets, which is certainly better than losing the money the first time around!