Colorado sportsbooks offer their players an array of bonuses and promotional offers to get them to sign up. Generally speaking, sportsbooks award bonuses in one of three ways.
The first, and likely most common, method is through free bets. A free bet bonus is a voucher that players can use to make a bet.
Sportsbooks will also award players in bonus dollars. These function identically to free bets in almost every way, save one. Namely, they can be divided and wagered individually, where free bets cannot.
Finally, a sportsbook might just hand out a bonus in cash. If that happens, then you are free to do whatever you like with it – including withdrawing it to your bank account.
This page provides you with a complete overview of the different bonus offers available at the best Colorado sportsbooks and examples of the types of bonus offers you can expect to find.
Best risk free bet offers from Colorado sportsbooks
Types of sportsbook bonuses
Sportsbook bonuses come in a variety of flavors. They vary in terms of generosity, scope, and redemption difficulty.
Some of them are excellent offers. Players who claim these types of bonuses will usually receive free money, free bets, or some other type of perk that makes it worthwhile.
Others are more of a mixed bag. The terms and conditions associated with satisfying these bonuses may make them, frankly, not worth the trouble.
However, it’s important to understand the different types of bonuses, the terms and conditions that apply and how to clear them.
The first type of bonus that bettors encounter is likely the sweetest. The no-deposit bonus is nothing short of free money that the sportsbook places into your account.
Typically, a no deposit bonus will pop up as an incentive for new account holders. In order to smooth their registration, a player might be allowed to try the site on the house, so to speak.
No-deposit bonuses come as bonus dollars, free bets, or straight cash. In most cases, players will have to wager the bonus to make anything eligible for withdrawal. Players usually trigger these bonuses by entering a promotional code into the correct box during registration.
Make sure to check with PlayColorado before you register with a sportsbook, as we will have any codes that are available. In fact, some of our codes can’t be found elsewhere.
Otherwise, the sportsbook may hand out these bonuses to everyone who registers. In that case, there’s nothing to do but complete the registration process. Then, start betting!
It makes sense that if there are no deposit bonuses, then there must also be deposit bonuses. Indeed, there are. However, deposit bonuses function very differently than their counterparts.
Deposit bonuses call for the sportsbook to match a percentage or portion of your next deposit into your account. The match percentage can be as high as 100%, although many of them match roughly 25% of the deposit.
Deposit bonuses will always come with a cap on the amount of bonus money that can be secured from them. Beyond that cap, there is no benefit to you. These types of bonuses can come as either bonus dollars or free bets and are not eligible for withdrawal.
Furthermore, deposit bonuses almost always bear a restriction called a playthrough or wagering requirement. Before the bonus dollars are available to you for withdrawals, you must make bets equivalent to a certain multiple of the bonus dollar amount.
Ideally, this multiple is a one-time turnover. However, it’s not uncommon to see requirements up to 50 times the bonus amount.
Real world example
DraftKings offers new players a 20% bonus match up to $1,000. Since the maximum award is $1,000, you will have to deposit $5,000 in order to realize the maximum value from the offer.
The offer comes with a playthrough requirement 25x the bonus amount. So, you might have to make wagers of up to $12,500 in order to release the funds fully.
Sportsbook customers must bet with odds greater than -300 in order to count against the playthrough requirement. So, extremely heavy favorites cannot be used to trigger a release of the bonus funds.
Gambling is synonymous with risk. Anyone who chooses to place a bet has to accept the possibility that the money might be lost.
However, in some cases, it is possible that you might not have to shoulder that risk. Sportsbooks commonly offer insurance or refund bonuses on specified bets to encourage players to take a shot.
In this type of bonus, the sportsbook will designate a certain bet or bets as eligible for a refund. These bets could be a type of wager or on certain games.
If a bettor happens to win this type of bet, then nothing out of the ordinary happens, and the bettor gets paid. However, if the bet should lose, then the sportsbook refunds the amount that the player initially wagered.
There are a couple of catches, of course. The first caveat is that the offer is only good for bets up to a certain amount.
So, any amount wagered over the maximum will not be refunded to the player. A $500 losing bet receiving only $25 as reimbursement could understandably leave a bad taste.
The other catch is that the refunds usually come in the form of bonus dollars or free bets. So, it will be necessary to bet through them at least once in order to convert them back to regular dollars.
Obviously, it’s still possible to lose the whole stake, too. However, if you were already planning on making a wager similar to the specified type, then there’s no reason not to take advantage.
Cashback bonuses are quite similar to insurance bonuses. Both offer refunds on net losses.
However, cashback bonuses tend to be more expansive, and cover bets within a certain timeframe or bets made using a certain deposit. With cashback, the sportsbook simply agrees to cover any net losses that the players suffers during the specified period.
Some sportsbooks will even offer a risk-free time period for new players that is, essentially, a cashback deal. Whatever net losses that you suffer in that time, the sportsbook will recoup for you.
Of course, like most bonuses, there are limits. The book will only guarantee losses up to a certain amount. Furthermore, cashback does not usually apply to any losses incurred within the period of time. Rather, it is a refund on net losses, meaning that you must have all your wagers add up to a loss to receive cashback.
Real world example
During a previous NFL season, BetMGM offered Buffalo Wild Wings Overtime Insurance. The promotion vowed to pay refunds to anyone who made pre-game wagers (spread or moneyline) and lost when the game went into overtime.
You could receive a refund on wagers up to $25. The refund would return to you in the form of 5 bets, each worth 20% of your total amount wagered.
This type of bonus can be a fun way to watch money roll into your account. Simply put, anyone who claims this bonus will receive a payout each time an event occurs in a game or match.
So, for every goal scored, touchdown made, or basket shot, perhaps, the sportsbook might send you a $1 in site credit. Depending on the particulars of the deal, a high-scoring affair might work out in your favor.
Real world example
FanDuel’s Big Game TD Bonus required you to select a player on one of the teams in the Super Bowl. If you made a bet of $25 or more, then you’d be eligible to collect every time your player’s team scores.
For every point, FanDuel would deposit $1 in site credit into your account. Given that the teams involved were known for their high scores, it had the potential to be a lucrative deal if one or both of them perform similarly in the Big Game.
Colorado Odds Boosts
Odds boosts are so common in sportsbooks that they often are not listed as promotions. Instead, they are identified as another feature of the site.
In an odds boost, the sportsbook elects to increase the potential payout of various wagers. For instance, a team listed at +200 might now have odds of +225. In effect, bettors who accept these offers are taking a shot at extra dollars without additional risk. So, they are good opportunities for those who were already planning to make similar wagers.
Most sportsbooks will identify multiple bets and markets for odds boosts each day. Because the list is always changing, it makes sense that the books separate them from the other longer-lived promotions.
Real world examples
Obviously, odds boosts change every day, so any examples are going to be almost immediately out of date. Still, recent bets with boosted odds at DraftKings include:
- Tyreek Hill to score the first touchdown in the Super Bowl – from +750 to +850
- Gonzaga to beat Santa Clara by 20 points or more – from +130 to +150
- Dominic Thiem to win in straight sets over Alexander Zverev in the Australian Open – from +240 to +265
Note that boosts are significant, but not life-changing. You’re not going to double your payout with an odds boost, but it can be a nice benefit or nudge if you were thinking about making the bet, anyway.
Sweepstakes promotions are less common for sportsbooks. You see them more often in online casinos.
However, they function the same way, no matter what type of gambling app you’re on. Players are awarded entries to a prize drawing based upon their amount of play. At the end of a certain time period, the sportsbook will randomly draw a winner from the pool of entries.
Unsurprisingly, the key factor to determine the number of entries is the overall money wagered in the specified time period. Some sweepstakes might also award entries based upon betting volume – that is, the number of bets made.
The prizes are usually cash, trips, or gift cards. Many sweepstakes pertain to current events, such as the Super Bowl, March Madness, or the World Series.
Play these bonuses if you were already going to play. However, it is not advisable to make them your focus, as it’s never certain that you will win the prize(s).
Real world example
BetMGM offered players the opportunity to attend the NBA All-Star Game in Chicago. The prize package included airfare, tickets to the festivities, and hotel accommodations.
Players could earn sweepstakes entries by opting into the promotion each day of the promo period. They could also accelerate their entry-earning by placing wagers on NBA games or parlays.
Though the prize package was worth $5,600, the sheer volume of competition for it likely made it a crapshoot for most. Unless you were planning to log some serious action on NBA games, anyway, this promotion was probably not worth the worry.
Like sweepstakes, leaderboard promotions are more common in online casinos than online sportsbooks. However, they do occur, so it’s important to give a quick description of how they work.
Much like sweepstakes, players are rewarded based upon the amount and frequency of their wagers. The only difference is that, instead of a random drawing, a leaderboard pits players against one another based upon an established point system.
The more that you play, and the higher the wagers you make, the more points you will earn. Those points create a hierarchical leaderboard that acts as a competition.
These leaderboards usually run for a week or a month. After the specified time period, the sportsbook awards the top point earners with cash or prizes.
Like sweepstakes, playing for the sake of the leaderboard is not a great idea. However, if you’re already planning on putting in the time, there’s no reason that you cannot be rewarded for it, too.
Real world example
BetMGM offers the Power Parlay Leaderboard to any parlay bettors who like to play. The leaderboard gives the most frequent parlayers the opportunity to win prizes weekly and monthly.
Obviously, the more you bet, the higher you’ll be on the board. However, it can be a nice extra bump for anyone who was going to hit the parlays hard regardless.
Some promotions on sportsbooks don’t even require putting down any money at all. In fact, they are available throughout the entire country, regardless of what the laws on sports betting in each state are.
Sportsbooks sometimes offer contests that are completely free to enter. They usually involve players making a large set of predictions.
Of course, making so many predictions means that many players will be weeded out of the running for prizes naturally. The mathematical odds against choosing completely correctly negates the chance that the sportsbook will have to pay too many people.
Still, it is a chance at free money, even if it is a small one. If you have the time to play the game through, there’s no harm in doing so.
Real world example
In honor of the Super Bowl, DraftKings partnered with Wrangler to present the DraftKings Squares competition. The contest promised to award over $54,000 in prizes to players, and cost nothing to enter and win.
In order to play, bettors simply picked a random square in a grid. At the beginning of the game, each square received a random number for each team playing in the Super Bowl.
If the last digit of both teams’ scores at the end of any quarter matched your numbers, then you won a prize. It was totally random, but hey, it was a chance at free money.
How to determine if a bonus is worth taking
Bonus offers are usually a nice side benefit for playing on a particular sportsbook. After all, receiving something extra for no added cost sounds like a no-brainer.
Unfortunately, not all bonus offers are worth claiming. In fact, if you do a few calculations, some of them might turn out to be losing propositions.
A sportsbook’s house advantage
Sportsbooks make their money by charging a premium on the winning side of each bet. This premium is known as vigorish, or “vig,” for short.
Typically, the vig on a winning bet is 10%. You can see how much they’re charging by looking at the three-digit number next to point spread and totals bets. 10% = -110, 13% = -113, and so on.
So, for instance, if two bettors bet against each other, they might each pay $11 for the chance to win $10. After the bet ends, the sportsbook would end up paying out $21 (the winner’s $11 stake plus the $10 payout) and keeping $1 for itself.
Since it paid out $21 of $22 bet, that translates to an overall house advantage for the sportsbook of 4.55% (22/21 – 1). So, for every $100 that you bet on a sportsbook at this vig, you can expect to receive $95.45 and lose $4.55.
How the advantage affects bonuses
This edge comes into play for bonuses because of the playthrough requirement. In effect, every time you have to wager through the bonus amount, you can expect to surrender 4.55% of the wagered amount back to the sportsbook.
So, let’s say that a $100 in bonus dollars comes with a 20x playthrough requirement. That means you will have to bet $2,000 (20 x $100) in order to free the money up as cash.
Well, on average, you can expect to lose 4.55% of that $2,000, which comes out to $91. So, the actual expected value of your bonus dollars is only $9, not $100, since you had to surrender $91 to receive $100.
Should you take the bonus?
Although $9 in value does not sound great, it’s still a positive expectation. So, from a pure mathematical point of view, you should accept this bonus.
In fact, you should probably accept any bonus that you calculate to have a positive value. In the long run, you will be enriched by it.
On the other hand, if that same $100 bonus came with a 25x requirement, then you’d have to put up $2,500 to satisfy it. At that rate, you’re surrendering $113.75 en route to clearing the bonus.
So, in that case, you’d actually end up losing money on the bonus. You’d get the $100 back, but you’re still out $13.75 for the trouble.
Understandably, you might not feel like doing these calculations every time you consider a bonus. That’s fine, but bear in mind that the value of the bonus reduces as the playthrough multiple goes up. If it gets above 20, it’s probably not worth the effort.
Also, keep in mind the fact that there are time limits associated with most bonuses. If a bonus requires you to wager through thousands of dollars, and you are used to betting $5 and $10 at a time, then you might want to consider whether it’s even feasible that you will achieve the goal.
For instance, let’s say that you bet in $5 increments, and you usually place 5 bets an hour. That means that you wager through $25 each hour.
If the playthrough requirement is $2,500, then you will have to play 100 hours at your standard rate to accomplish it. 100 hours away from your family and daily life may not be feasible, especially in a week, two weeks, or a month.
The other approach might be to bet in higher increments. However, this decision might put undue strain on your bankroll or finances. You might have settled on $25 an hour because that’s the responsible choice for your situation.
Hopefully, you can see how some bonuses could end up not being worth the trouble. So, please consider the terms and conditions of an offer carefully before you accept.