Betting Offers Terms and Conditions Explained
When you’re looking to sign up an online sports book, you might at times feel bombarded by a range of terminology that you’re not familiar with. And while there have been moves by the Competitions & Markets Authority (CMA) to ensure that online bookmakers are clearer in the terms of their sports betting offers, there may still be aspects of these offers that you don’t fully grasp.
To help you navigate your way through the multitude of sports betting offers currently available, what follows is a guide to the main T&Cs that you need to get a handle on. Before you sign up with any online bookmaker, make sure you’re familiar with the precise T&Cs of any offer.
Matched Bets or Bonus Bets
Probably the most common form of sports betting bonus is the matched free bet offer. With this sort of deal, when you sign up for a new account with an online bookmaker and make your first bet, this will be matched by the sportsbook e.g., bet £10 and get a £10 bonus bet. In some cases, the amount of the matched bet will be higher e.g., bet £10 and get a £40 in bonus bets. These sorts of deals are always widely publicised around big race meetings like the Cheltenham Festival or sporting events such as the World Cup.
There are, however, terms and conditions in place with this sort of deal, both with regard to your initial bet and the bonus bets you receive. These vary from site to site, but there will usually be minimum odds applied to both your qualifying bet and any subsequent bonus bets (generally even money or better), as well as limits on the type of bet you can make (e.g., some will limit it to single bets, others will permit accas). Some online bookmakers will also limit your bonus bets to certain events as well.
Odds Boost or Enhanced Odds
Once you’ve signed up for an online sports book account, one of the most popular offers you will get is Enhanced Odds, sometimes known as Odds Boost. For instance, in a football match where there is a clear cut favourite at odds of even money, you might be offered enhanced odds of 4-1 to entice you to back them.
When you take an Odds Boost offer, the amount that you will be able to bet will be limited, often to around £10. Also, if your bet comes in, you’ll get paid out in cash for the actual odds portion of the bet, and in bonus bets for the enhanced odds portion. For example, if you put on a £10 bet at the enhanced odds price of 4-1 when the actual price is even money, you will get £10 paid out at 1-1 in cash, and £10 at 3-1 in bonus bets. Enhanced odds are usually only available on selected events, and some bookmakers will limit you to one Odds Boost bet per day.
Money Back Offers
A popular offer at online sports is the money back or cash back offer. This can take many forms, but essentially it means that you get your stake money back in the form of bonus bets if you have a ‘near miss’ — e.g., if you have a punt on a horse to win at fixed odds and it runs a place, you get your stake money back to use for a bonus bet.
There will be limits as to how much you claim in bonus bets from a money back offer, usually no more than £50.
Accumulator bets (popularly known as accas or multi-bets) are when you wager on a combination of different events or races in a single bet. The total odds you get on your acca is the sum of each individual event, known as a leg or fold, and so the potential is there for huge payouts. However, if one fold doesn’t come in, then the whole bet is lost.
At most online sportsbooks, the minimum number of legs you can have in an acca bet will be either 3 or 4, with no upper limit. You can generally mix the types of bets you make e.g., if you are betting on football, you could have a combination of outright winner, first team to score, both teams to score (BTTS) and first player to score in the same acca (or any other permutation you can come up with). You can also generally include different sports in the same acca e.g., you can wager on football, cricket and basketball in the one bet.
The best online sports books offer punters Acca Insurance. This means that if you place an acca bet and only one leg fails to win, then you get your stake money back in bonus bets. There will usually be a maximum amount that you can get back, generally in the region of £25, and it will only apply to accas of at least 4 folds. At some sportsbooks, Acca Insurance is available on any bet, while others will limit it to selected matches.
If you use any bonus bets that you claimed from Acca Insurance on another acca, this second bet will generally not qualify for an Acca Insurance offer.
As an additional incentive, some online bookmakers offer Acca Bonuses. This is an additional bonus sum that they pay out on top of your wager if your acca bet comes in. Generally speaking, the more legs you have in your bet, the greater the Acca Bonus payout.
Usually available on accas, but also at some sports books on single bets as well, Cash Out enables you to get out of a bet if it looks like it is not going to come in. For instance, if you have a 5 fold acca, and the first four legs have won, but the team you had in the fifth leg is getting beaten soundly, then you can cash out the bet for a reduced payout amount.
You can Cash Out of a bet at any time, but the amount you can claim will depend on when you make the decision to abandon the bet. You can check the real time Cash Out value of any live bet (which can change both significantly and quickly) on your bet slip at any time.
Best Odds Guaranteed
Most online sports books will give you Best Odds Guaranteed on all UK and Irish horse racing and greyhound racing, while some also offer it on selected football matches as well.
Best Odds Guaranteed (also known as BOG) means that if you back a horse or greyhound to win, but the eventual starting price (SP) is higher than the price you got, you’ll get paid out at the higher odds. For example, if you back a horse to win at 5-1 but it drifts out to a SP of 10-1, your bet will be paid out at the higher of the two prices.
Rollover or Wagering requirements
The rollover amount (also referred to as wagering or playthough requirements) is the amount you need to wager before you can withdraw any winnings made from bonus bets. For instance, if you deposit £10 and get £40 in bonus bets, then at most online sports books you will need to wager at least £50 in real money (£10 + £40) before you can cash out any money you won from your bonus bets.
Depending on the offer and bookmaking site, the rollover associated with bonus bets will be anywhere between 1x – 5x. It is generally the case that until you have met the wagering requirements, there will be limits on the size of bet you can make, and in some cases minimum odds will be applied as well.
Some bookmakers may also have a condition in place where, if you have accepted a bonus, you can’t withdraw any of your own money either until you have met the wagering requirements. This practice has come in for sharp criticism from the CMA, and sportsbooks now need to be very explicit if they have this T&C in place.