Risk free bets are one of the most popular and valuable sportsbook bonuses available today. Major operators like FanDuel offer new players a risk free bet up to $1,000, which gives you a second chance if your first real money wager loses. In this complete guide, we‘ll explain exactly how these promotions work and provide proven strategies to maximize their profit potential.
What is a risk free bet and how does it work?
A risk free bet gives you a refund in site credit if your initial bet placed at a sportsbook loses. This site credit matches the amount of your first wager, up to a specified cap that is usually between $500-$1,000 depending on the sportsbook.
Here are the key details on how risk free bets function:
Only applies to your first bet – The risk free bet promotion is for new players only and can only be used on your very first wager. Any later bets won‘t qualify.
Single bet requirement – Nearly all risk free bets must be placed on a single wager. You can‘t split the bonus across multiple smaller bets.
Refund in site credit – If your qualifying bet loses, you‘ll receive a refund in site credit matching the amount of your stake. This site credit can then be used to place additional wagers.
Capped at a maximum amount – Sportsbooks limit the maximum refund you can receive, commonly $500, $750 or $1,000. Make sure to check the terms.
Typically short expiration – Any site credit awarded from a losing risk free bet often expires in 7-14 days if not used.
One time only – You can generally only claim and use the risk free bet welcome bonus once per sportsbook.
Win and it‘s done – If your initial wager wins under the promo, you keep the cash winnings and the sportsbook‘s risk free bet offer is completed.
While the core concept is straightforward, there are some finer details that vary across sportsbooks. Be sure to read the full terms and conditions for the specific risk free bet promotion you plan to use.
Step-by-step guide to using FanDuel‘s $1,000 risk free bet
FanDuel provides one of the most generous risk free bets in the industry, offering new users up to $1,000 back in site credit if their first bet loses. Here is the complete process to take advantage of FanDuel‘s risk free bet welcome bonus:
Sign up – Create a new account at FanDuel Sportsbook, either through their website, iOS/Android app, or in-person at a retail location if available in your state. You must be at least 21 years old.
Verify your account – FanDuel will require some basic personal information to verify your identity and location. This is standard and ensures you meet eligibility requirements.
Make a deposit – Fund your new account with at least $10 to activate the risk free bet promotion. Deposit options include online banking, credit/debit cards, wire transfer, PayPal, Play+ card, and cash at retail.
Place your first bet – Wager $10 to $1,000 on any available market. This initial bet triggers the risk free bet, so make it count. Bet at least $500 to maximize the offer.
If your bet loses – If your first wager loses, FanDuel will refund you up to $1,000 in site credit within 72 hours. This site credit will be available for 14 days.
If your bet wins – If your initial qualifying bet wins, you keep the cash payout and the risk free bet promotion is completed. No site credit will be awarded since you did not lose.
Once the site credit is in your account from a losing first bet, simply use it to wager on any other events offered at FanDuel. Any winnings are yours to withdraw or continue betting with.
Risk free bet strategies and tips
While risk free bets are straightforward to use, there are some proven strategies bettors employ to optimize their profit potential and chances of converting the site credit into cold hard cash.
Bet the maximum amount
This is the most important tip. Sportsbooks cap risk free bet refunds at a fixed dollar amount, so you should always wager the max to take full advantage. Bet $1,000 if the limit is $1,000. Don‘t leave any free money on the table.
Focus on high probability bets
Target wagers with a strong chance to win on your initial risk free bet. This will increase the likelihood you win and keep the cash, eliminating the need for the site credit refund. Consider moneylines on big favorites or spreads with enough of a cushion.
Consider player prop and game prop bets
Player props and game props often provide morevariance than sides or totals, increasing the probability of a win. There are more possibilities to find an edge. Just be selective and focus on props with plus EV.
Look for advantageous betting opportunities
The biggest betting events like NFL, NBA, and MLB games offer the most market variety and often the most mispriced odds to capitalize on. Be patient and pounce when you spot a clear +EV opportunity.
Hedge if you receive a site credit refund
If your risk free bet loses, use the resulting site credit refund to hedge on a separate wager and lock in some guaranteed profit via the free play. Look for minimal variance bets like very short minus odds favorites.
Don‘t add risk by parlaying
It can be tempting to use your risk free bet on a big parlay for a chance at a huge payout. But that adds variance and unnecessary risk. Keep it simple and gain experience making +EV picks on singles.
Comparing FanDuel‘s risk free bet to competitors
FanDuel is among the leaders in risk free bet maximum refunds at $1,000, but other top sportsbooks like DraftKings, BetMGM, Caesars, PointsBet, and BetRivers also offer very competitive sign up bonuses. Here‘s a look at how FanDuel stacks up against the other major U.S. sports betting operators:
|Risk Free Bet Max Refund
|Site Credit Expiration
|Must Use on One Bet
The core terms are very similar across the major brands, with just slight variation in maximums and expiration dates. Caesars does differ by allowing site credit to be spread across multiple wagers. Ultimately you can‘t go wrong with any of the top five sportsbooks and their generous risk free bet welcome bonuses.
What to watch out for with risk free bet promotions
While risk free bets offer a great opportunity to try online sports betting with minimized downside risk, there are a few drawbacks and terms to be aware of:
- Can‘t withdraw site credit refund directly as cash right away
- Typically a one time promotion for new users only
- Expiration dates pressure you to wager quickly
- Minimum odds restrictions may apply
- Profit from site credit is not given back as cash
- Limitations on which sports/bets qualify
- Must make a deposit and gamble to qualify
- Books can revoke site credit if they suspect abuse
The good still far outweighs any negatives, but it‘s important to read the fine print and understand you likely won‘t have unlimited time to use the site credit or be able cash it out immediately.
Pros and cons of risk free bets vs other welcome bonuses
Pros of risk free bets:
- Downside protection on your first sportsbook wager
- Chance to win cash instantly and withdraw
- Can test a sportsbook‘s platform with no risk
- Often very quick and easy to opt-in
- High maximum refund amounts
Cons of risk free bets:
- Typically just for your first bet
- No guaranteed profit like with matched deposit bonuses
- Refund in restrictive site credit, not withdrawable cash
- Short expiration date to use site credit
Matched deposit bonuses that offer guaranteed bonus cash on top of your initial deposit amount are the other most common sportsbook welcome bonus. While they provide ensured profit, this needs to be unlocked through a lengthy playthrough requirement. Risk free bets have the advantage of no required playthrough and the ability to instantly win real cash.
Real bets that scored big with risk free bet promotions
Here are some stories of bettors who capitalized on risk free bet offers with huge scores:
A FanDuel player turned $5,000 in site credit into over $56,000 in profit by finding +EV bets on a variety of markets during last year‘s NFL playoffs.
A bettor at PointsBet landed $22,500 in cold hard cash off a $1,500 risk free bet placed on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to win the Super Bowl at +1500 odds.
A DraftKings user made nearly $10,000 in profit by using a $1,000 free bet refund to hedge a wager on the Los Angeles Rams futures.
A new BetMGM customer won $40,000 off a $1,000 risk free first bet they placed on +4000 golf odds for an underdog who ended up winning the tournament.
These are just a few examples of how lucrative risk free bets can be if you get lucky or play them strategically. Even smaller winning wagers can lead to nice instant withdrawals from the sportsbook.
Frequently asked questions about risk free bets
Here are answers to some of the most common questions around understanding and optimizing risk free bets:
Can I withdraw my refund instantly if my first bet loses?
Unfortunately, no. Risk free bet refunds come back as restrictive site credit that has to be wagered again. You can only withdraw any resulting cash winnings.
Should I bet more than the max refund amount?
No, there is no benefit to betting over the capped risk free bet amount. If your wager is $1,100 but the refund limit is $1,000, you‘ll only get back the $1,000.
Can I use both a deposit match and risk free bet welcome bonus?
Usually not. Most sportsbooks require picking one or the other. Some do allow using both, but may cap the total combined amount.
What‘s the best sport for my risk free bet?
It comes down to your betting experience. For beginners, lower variance bets like NFL point spreads or MLB moneylines are best. Experts can take on higher variance UFC or NBA props.
What type of bet should I make for my risk free wager?
Focus on getting a clean win rather than a bigger payout. Straight bets like moneylines, spreads and totals are ideal. Save parlays for later wagers with the site credit.
Can I use site credit on any bet I want?
Typically yes, but some risk free bets exclude certain wagers like live/in-play bets or prop bets. Most though allow site credit on any open market.
Is there a trick to cash out site credit as withdrawable money?
No, there is no way around the wagering requirement with site credit. Some conversions to withdrawable cash will happen automatically on certain winning wagers though.
How long do I need to wait for my refund if my first bet loses?
Payout timeframes range across sportsbooks from 24 hours up to 72 hours. FanDuel pays refunds within 72 hours. Be patient as bonuses experience delays at busy times.
Can I use my risk free bet refund site credit on a parlay?
Absolutely. Parlays are a popular use of risk free bet site credit since you can take a shot at a big payout without putting your own cash at risk. Just beware the variance.
What‘s the best strategy to ensure I make a profit off my risk free bet?
If your initial bet loses and you receive site credit, place a bet on a very short minus moneyline favorite in another event for minimal variance. This guarantees you lock in some profit.
Risk free bets represent one of the most valuable welcome bonuses available today at leading online sportsbooks like FanDuel. Their simplicity and ability to cash out instantly make them extremely attractive. By following the tips and advice in this guide, you can optimize your chances of scoring a major payday.
Just be sure to shop around and compare terms across operators. Look for risk free bets at the $1,000 level and research the reputation of the sportsbook. Take your time and wait for the right opportunity to capitalize on the offer.
Above all, have fun with your risk free bet and view it as house money to take some smart chances with. Enjoy testing the waters of legal online sports betting with minimized risk. Before long, you‘ll hopefully be cashing out your winnings.