Often, bookmakers have deposit bonuses. A good way to maximize your bankroll early on in betting arbitrage career is to deposit just the right amount (no more) to maximize the bonus that can be received at the bookmaker.

An example would be that you get a 100% deposit bonus of maximum $100. A deposit of $100 will then maximize your bonus ($100) at that bookmaker, and if you do this with 10 bookmakers, you effectively will have increased your bankroll with $1000.

Read all there is to know about bonuses in the Ultimate Guide to Sure Betting


Free bet vs Sign up bonus

There are basically three types of bonuses out there that you can get just for signing up and depositing some funds to a bookmaker. You’ll either get a sign up bonus or one of two different free bets. A sign up bonus is pretty straight forward stuff. You get x amount of money into your account, which you can use straight away. Some of the key things to know about sign up bonuses are:

  • You might need to “roll over” the bonus x times before you can make a withdrawal
  • They sometimes come with other restrictions, for example that you need to bet on odds over 2.00 for the roll over requirements to count
  • They are straight forward to bet with, as they are in your account together with your regular funds

A free bet is a bit different compared to a regular bonus:

  • Before you place a bet, you’ll have the option to use your regular funds, or the free bet.
  • If you bet using your free bet, and your bet wins, you’ll only keep the bet winnings (not the free bet amount itself). This is called a SNR (Stake Not Returned) free bet.
  • Since you will only get to keep the winnings, you want to bet on a high odds that maximizes your potential profits. To guarantee a profit, you cover the other side using matched betting or arbitrage betting.
  • There are also SR (Stake Returned) free bets, but they are rare.

Example of a free bet

Let’s say that you get a SNR free bet of €50, and bet the whole amount on a match with the odds 1.50. If the bet is a winner, you will win €75. But the bookmaker will only pay out your winnings (€25). This makes it tricky to use free-bets within Arbitrage Trading, but there is a pretty good way of doing it anyway. And the best part about free-bets is that you don’t even need to bet on a positive arbitrage to release the funds!