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Risk-Free Bets

Risk-Free Bets

Sadonna Price
Sadonna Price
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What Is A Risk Free Bet
How Does Risk Free Bet Work
Pros & Cons Of Risk Free Bets

Risk-free bets offer a unique, intriguing proposition to bettors.

As the name suggests, this bonus seeks to strip away any associated risk, at least for one bet, which is why many bettors find this bonus appealing.

Risk-free bets are so common that they’ve become the default welcome bonus for many sportsbooks, while other books still use it for ongoing promos.

Since there’s a high likelihood that you’ll interact with this bonus, you should familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of a risk-free bet if you wish to make the most of this type of promotion.

To ensure that you’re able to do so, this guide will take you through all the important things you need to note regarding risk-free bets.

What Is A Risk-Free Bet?

Risk-free bets may sound complicated to first-time bettors, but they are extremely easy to understand.

In short, if you suffer a loss on your very first bet after signing up on a site with this offer, the stake used to place that bet will be refunded up to an amount stated by the sportsbook.

Bettors can then use this compensated amount to place another bet.

Essentially, the risk-free element is that you have a ‘plan B’ in case that first wager loses. If you win that first wager, you don’t get the bonus, and you can carry on with business as usual.

However, should you lose, you have this bonus as your backup, which you can use to bet again.

It’s crucial to note that most sites issue refunds as site credit, not cash; however, this depends on the sportsbook.

How Do Risk-Free Bets Work?

The terms and conditions surrounding a risk-free bet will dictate how a sportsbook handles this bonus.

Since different books use different terms and conditions, you should always review the full offer to know what conditions will apply to you if you were to opt-in.

Sportsbooks like FanDuel and FoxBet place a minimum odds requirement of -200 on this bonus, while others like BetMGM and Unibet have no restrictions.

FanDuel credits the losing bet in the form of site credit. BetMGM and Fox Bet do so through free bets, while Unibet issues refunds in the form of cash.

FanDuel and Unibet will pay out the bonus amount staked plus any winnings earned if you do happen to win your risk-free bet, while BetMGM and Fox Bet will only pay out the winnings only.

Keep in mind that the above terms are always subject to change. This is why we strongly emphasize that you check all the conditions associated with the bonus before opting in.

Some core factors that you need to keep an eye on include the following:

  • Potential odds restrictions. For example, minimum odds of -200.
  • Rollover or playthrough requirements. Basically, how many times are you supposed to wager the bonus?
  • Time-bound restrictions. Operators often place time limits on bonuses. So once you’ve been credited with the bonus, you have a specific period during which you’re supposed to wager it; otherwise, the bonus will expire.

Knowing such terms is also beneficial in scenarios where the bonus is available in different sportsbooks.

This will allow you to weigh the differences between each sportsbook, so you’ll know which book’s conditions are more favorable to you.

In such a case, you’ll end up going for the best offer.

Is This Bonus Really Risk-Free?

Sportsbooks like to advertise the fact that risk-free bets have no risk at all.

This claim is partially true if you consider that risk is somewhat removed from the first wager you place. However, from there, the aspect of risk comes rolling back around.

Plus, the fact that you have to deposit your money in the first place means that you’re still risking something since there is no guarantee of that deposit ever coming back.

One crucial thing that you need to keep in mind is that sportsbooks are extremely cunning, which keeps them in business.

For example, let’s say that a sportsbook has a risk-free bet offer of up to $1000. Great! So you decide to deposit the max, $1000, to make the most of this offer.

Unfortunately, your first wager loses, but you take solace in the fact that the book has given you $1000 to play with.

However, you realize that you need to bet this $1000 twice or even three times before you can withdraw it, meaning that you risk losing in both those situations.

Additionally, you realize that the book only pays out winnings from the bonus and doesn’t include the stake. So you’ve had to risk a lot to end up with a sum that isn’t much greater than the amount you deposited.

So, despite the risk-free claim, there’s still an associated risk with this bonus offer.

Sure, some risk might be alleviated, but such a bonus is not risk-free. The only offer unquestionably risk-free is the no deposit bonus because you’re playing with the bookies’ money in that bonus.

How To Perfectly Optimize Risk-Free Bets

Just like any other bonus, you can take advantage of risk-free bets smartly and efficiently to bolster your bankroll. One such way of doing so is by depositing the maximum amount advertised by the sportsbook or depositing a reasonably high enough amount.

So if the book you’re signing up on has stated that the max it will refund is $500, you can deposit that or a close enough amount that you’re comfortable with.

Next, take note of any potential restrictions—it can be odds or market restrictions. Knowing such restrictions will help you understand what you can and can’t aim for if you want your first wager to be eligible for the bonus. With that in mind, you can begin scouring for potential wagers.

Some bettors like to go for extreme long shots since they know that they have the backup of a bonus, while others prefer to keep it conservative by sticking to what they would normally wager.

Our advice? Try to stick to what you would reasonably wager on, but if you want to risk, go for a riskier but reasonable selection that you think has a greater chance of winning your bet than losing it.

If this bet wins, that’s great! You can cash out immediately. However, if the bet loses, you have a backup that allows you to try again.

Remember, if you happen to lose this time, there’s no backup. Plus, keep in mind what you’re playing for when going through your options; some books will pay out the bonus stake and the winnings, while others will only give you the winnings earned.

With all that in mind, you can make an informed bet and hopefully defeat the bookies with your second bet.

Pros & Cons Of Risk-Free Bets

The main pros of risk-free bets include the following:

  • If you lose, this bonus gives you another chance.
  • It reduces some risk which can allow you to try a unique wager.
  • Risk-free bets usually involve large amounts, and this can help boost your bankroll.

On the flip side, the main cons associated with risk-free bets are discussed below:

  • There’s still a great amount of risk involved.
  • There’s no bonus for winning your initial wager.

Sportsbooks With Risk-Free Bet Bonuses

If you’re looking for sportsbooks with this type of offer, you’re in luck because this bonus is extremely easy to find. The best sportsbooks offering risk-free bets to new customers are discussed below:


BetMGM sportsbook has an intriguing sign-up bonus; if you join the site, you get a risk-free bet which will be refunded up to a max of $600 if your very first wager loses. The minimum stake amount to qualify for this bonus is $50, and the refund will be given in the form of five different free bets. So if you staked $100 on your first wager and the bet lost, you’ll get five free bets worth $20 each.

However, you only receive the winnings that the free bets yield as the stake amount is not included.


FanDuel has one of the highest risk-free bet offers in the market, offering up to $1000! The great thing is that you don’t have to stake the refund all at once, meaning that you can split it into different bets.

Plus, winnings include both the bonus staked and the amount won, making this promotion even more attractive.


Fox Bet’s risk-free bet offer will refund you up to $500. You’ll be given the refund as one single free bet that has a 30-day expiration, giving you ample time to look for a winning wager. However, the payout doesn’t include the bonus amount staked as you only get the winnings yielded.


Unibet’s risk-free bet offer is also a gem. Losing bets will be refunded up to $500, and this is also credited as cash. There are no odds restrictions, and if you win your extra bet, you get the winnings plus the bonus amount staked.

Golden Nugget

Golden Nugget offers a max refund of $250, which is given in the form of a free bet. The good thing is that the book hasn’t placed any minimum odds requirement, but the payout isn’t inclusive of the bonus amount staked.

Additionally, this bonus doesn’t apply to parlays, so the free bet can only be placed on single bets.

Final Take On Risk-Free Bets

Risk-free bets are great bonuses that give you additional safety on the very first wager that you place on a site. Though this bonus isn’t 100% risk-free, the fact that you get another chance to try your luck is better than settling for a loss.

So if you have the chance to go for this bonus, first read the sportsbook’s terms and conditions, then opt-in after you’ve understood everything associated with the offer.

Thirsty For More Betting Knowledge? Check Our Gambling Education Hub.


About the author

For almost two decades, Sadonna has remained at the forefront of the gambling industry in the US and abroad, covering the latest news and legal update...

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