Nowadays, most punters prefer to place their wagers at online bookmakers, because they offer greater diversity. First of all, the number of web-based betting providers is beyond impressive but make sure you open an account with one which offers transparency and provides fair betting environment. Usually, transparent bookmakers display their license numbers and the name of the institution that issued them at the foot of their homepage.
Then again, online bookmakers provide punters with yet another advantage – in most cases, they publish the earliest odds one could hope for. Besides, the odds are updated as frequently as possible, not to mention, online you will find much greater versatility as far as sports markets are concerned. Features like Live Streaming, Bet Calculators, In-Play and Mobile Betting are designed with the sole purpose of making your life easier. There is no need to leave your home and search for bookmaking retailers.
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However, online bookmakers’ merits do not end here. Web betting providers are typically rather generous to all registered members. Punters are awarded generous bonuses from the very moment they join in. Most bookmakers greet customers with a special Sign-Up offer, consisting of a Free Bet. But this is not all – in addition, there are numerous ongoing promotions which aim to make your stay at the online bookmaker’s website even more thrilling. In many cases, punters are granted special bonuses upon their first, second and thirds deposits. You’re also eligible to receive a bonus if you sign up and place your first bet via mobile devices, such as smartphones or tablets. Then again, those of you who enjoy betting on multiple selections, are granted yet another Accumulator (also known as Acca) bonus. Refer one of your friends to the bookmaker’s website and you’re in for yet another reward.
Naturally, to obtain the bonus funds, you must comply with certain terms and conditions. These differ from one web bookmaker to another, but there are some points of contact between them. For instance, in many cases the funds you’re rewarded with upon registration cannot be withdrawn from your betting account.
Bonus funds are not actual money to begin with. Punters are allowed to use them to bet with only. However, winnings you’ve accumulated with the bonuses can be withdrawn after you’ve met all the wagering requirements. Another thing that bonuses typically have in common is the fact they have an “expiration date” for lack of better words. This means, if you don’t use your free bets, for example, they will become void after a while.
The Sign-Up Bonus and Free Bets
It’s only suitable to begin with this promotion as this is the first bonus punters receive, when they join an online betting website. It is a common practice among web-based bookmakers to reward newly-registered members by granting them free bets. The free bet comes with a number of advantages. First of all, it allows punters to test the website’s interface and see how online betting works. Free bets are also designed to encourage bettors to wager online instead of resorting to more traditional methods, such as visiting a retail betting shop.
As you can probably suppose, free bets are awarded only to punters who have just opened their accounts. In the process of registration, you will be asked to select a deposit method. Usually, there are many different options to fund your account, so you surely will find a method that suits you.
You’re probably wondering why is this necessary. Well, more often than not online bookmakers only advertise the free bets as such. But the truth is, you must first make a deposit into your account and then place a qualifying bet. The amount varies from one bookmaker to the next. Let’s assume, that bookmaker X demands a $10 bet in exchange for the free one. This means, you need to bet $10 first and if your selection turns out to be a losing one, you will be awarded $10 for free as a mean of compensation. You can use the bonus funds and attempt to recoup the losses of your original bet.
Bear in mind, conditions are imposed on withdrawing your free bet winnings,too. For example, most bookmakers require you to roll over the value of your initial bet as well as that of the free one a specific number of times. To put it simply, punters are expected to place several other bets before they can withdraw the winnings derived from the free bets.
With the advent of mobile technologies, more and more web-based bookmakers provide punters with the option to place bets on the go. This allows for even greater flexibility and further adds to one’s convenience. What is more important, most established betting providers have downloadable mobile apps on offer. Such apps are typically compatible with the most widely-spread devices, such as Blackberry and smartphones and tablets that are based on Android and iOS. Usually, downloading the app is free of charge. Those of you, who download and install the bookmakers’ apps on your mobile devices, should prepare for a special sign-up bonus. It’s reserved for mobile users precisely.
Mobile bonuses for the most part are based on the same principle as free bets. Registration is required, that goes without saying. In some cases, only newcomers are eligible for the bonus. For the purpose, they are required to download the free app, install it on their portable device and register this way. However, other bookmakers offer a bonus on punters’ first mobile deposit, in which case registration isn’t necessary. For the purpose, punters need to place a qualifying bet for the first time via their smartphone or tablet. The amount of the qualifying bet may vary – some bookmakers demand $2, others $5. The mobile bet will then be matched with a certain percentage, typically 100%.
In addition to the Sign-Up bonus, many bookmakers offer bonus match on punters’ first deposits. Some are generous enough to reward bettors on their second and third deposits as well. There are variations of deposit bonuses, too, but broadly speaking punters are given a bonus match of their deposit of “up to” a certain percentage. This means your first deposit will be matched with a given percentage up to a certain amount. Most commonly the first deposit match-up bonus is equal to a maximum of 100%. Most bookmakers allow you to play the bonus funds right away. But keep in mind, that the winnings derived from the bonus can be withdrawn only after you wager the amount of the bonus a specific number of times. Only then you will be able to obtain the winnings you’ve accumulated.
It would be easier to understand how a deposit bonus works, if we illustrate it with an example. Bookmaker X offers 100% first deposit bonus of up to $100. This means that if you’ve deposited $50, you are eligible to receive another $50 as a bonus. If your initial deposit amounts to $100, your bonus will also be $100. Most times second and third deposit bonuses are matched 50% and 25% respectively.
More experienced punters enjoy placing multiple bets on several selections. These go by different names – Accumulators and Parlays are the most popular ones. However, such bets carry a higher risk because one is required to predict correctly the outcomes of all selections in order to generate any profits. Even if a single selection’s prediction is incorrect, you lose the entire accumulator. Accumulators can consist of two (Doubles) or three (Trebles) selections but in some instances the number reaches up to twelve, sometimes even more.
Some web-based bookmakers give punters the opportunity to boost their accumulator winnings even more. If all selections, the accumulator consists of, are correctly predicted, punters can receive an additional bonus which typically ranges from 5% to 100%. Most often than not, the bonus percentage depends on the number of selections. Generally, the accumulator must consist of at least three selections in order to qualify for this type of bonus. Trebles typically grant punters a 5% bonus, while 14-folds accumulators’ winnings can be matched with up to 100%. But as you can imagine, predicting the outcome of 14 games is next to impossible.
The Refer a Friend Promotion
Many bookmakers tend to reward registered members when they refer one or several of their friends. This is a rather appealing offer as you’re practically not expected to do anything else but invite one of your friends to join in and sign-up with a real money account. You can send the invitations via emails. When your friend has completed their registration, they should email the support team of the respective online bookmaker to inform them it was you, who have recommended the website. Most times, the email should contain at least your username or email address. Then you will be rewarded for the referral with a specific amount of bonus funds to use on betting.
General Terms and Conditions of Bonus Offers
We’ve already hinted that while most online bookmakers offer relatively similar bonuses, the terms and conditions of those may vary greatly from one website to another. All punters are recommended to read the T&C page at the bookmaker’s website down to the very last detail. What’s more, it would be best to do so prior to completing your registration.
Reading the T&C is one thing, understanding what they actually mean is another. In many cases, the conditions are formulated in such a way that punters struggle to comprehend them altogether. To avoid misunderstandings, it would be best to ask for assistance.
This couldn’t be easier – most, if not all online bookmakers, offer very adequate customer support. Typically, a Live Chat is available around the clock. Operators are on customer’s disposal 24/7 to answer questions and help solve any ensuing problems. If any section of the T&C is not quite clear to you, contact the support team and everything will be duly explained to you. Should the need arise to ask questions and no Live Chat is on offer, you can always reach the support team via email or over the telephone. No need to worry about the expenses – usually customer support lines are toll-free.
So, let’s go back to explaining what the general terms and conditions for the bonuses are. The Free bet bonus in most cases demands an initial deposit to be made. The bonus funds themselves cannot be withdrawn from your account – they’re allotted to place bets with. You can, however, withdraw the winnings, you’ve accumulated with the free bet. That is, if you meet the wagering requirements, imposed on the bonus. Most times, the free bet cannot be used on all markets either, and must be placed at lower odds markets. The odds in such cases range between 1.5 and 2.00 but the numbers vary. Most bookmakers exclude the Goal Line and the Asian Handicaps markets from their bonus offers altogether.
The aforementioned conditions are applicable for deposit bonuses as well. The match-up bonus can be used for bets only and cannot be withdrawn on its own. To withdrawn your winnings, however, you must roll over the bonus and the deposit’s amount a specific number of times. Normally, the requirement is to place three other bets with the same value (bonus+deposit amount), but it all depends on which betting provider you’re wagering at. Sometimes punters are expected to spend the bonus or the free bet in its entirety- it cannot be split into smaller bets.
A certain limit is imposed on the winnings you’re able to withdraw. For example, if you’ve managed to generate more substantial profits with your free bets, you’d be able to cash out only $100 from your overall winnings. The rest will be annulled as soon as the withdrawal is processed.
Typically, punters are given a specific period of time to meet the wagering requirement. If they don’t succeed, both the remainder of the bonus and the winnings, accumulated with the free funds will be declared void and will be removed from the account.
Those of you, who participate in the Refer a Friend Promotion should keep in mind the bonus money for the referral are transferred to punters’ accounts only when their friends have met the wagering requirements. Usually, the requirements are the same as those you comply with to obtain the Free Bets bonus. This means your friend, too, should make a qualifying deposit and roll over the value of the deposit and the bonus a number of times.
Don’t forget each newcomer is entitled to a single free bet or deposit bonus. Once you’ve used yours, don’t expect to receive another one. Those who attempt to manipulate promotional offers, typically have their accounts terminated. Don’t bother registering under different usernames just to receive a second free bet. It’s not worth it – you will be requested to provide your credit/debit card’s number, name, email address and phone number; your IP address is also tracked. If you get caught and you most surely will be, you will be banned from the bookmaker’s website for good.