The Optimal Ways to Use Ohio Sports Betting Bonuses & Promos

The Optimal Ways to Use Ohio Sports Betting Bonuses & Promos article feature image

There will be a lot of sportsbooks trying to get the attention of Ohio bettors on Sunday and beyond. And they use a lot of different language — first bet on the house vs. bet credits vs. deposit match. What's it all mean? And is there a best way to use them?

Hopefully, we can lend a hand.

There are a few tips and tricks you should know before signing up. Unfortunately, most people don't learn them until later in their legal betting journey. And at that point, they've already signed up and claimed the new user bonuses.

What Each Bonus Type Means

  • First bet on the house: This is the most common offer. Each book calls this something a little different — FanDuel's "no-sweat bet," second chance bet at BetRivers, first bet "on Caesars," etc. But they all work like this — make your first bet up to the amount the book says, and if it loses, you'll get refunded in bet credits equal to whatever you lost.
  • Deposit match: A deposit match is what it sounds like — the sportsbook will give you the same amount you put in, in some form or fashion. Unfortunately, most deposit matches come with a rollover, which means you have to wager a certain amount before getting the full bonus.
  • Bet credits: Bet credits also may have slightly different names depending on the sportsbook. But it's basically like the book is spotting you the bet, and you keep the winnings.
  • Site credit: Site credit is similar to bet credits, only better because you keep the stake amount if it wins. So if you bet $50 in site credit on the Bengals at +100 against the Bills and Cincy wins, you win $50 and keep the $50 you bet. If it was bet credits, you'd only keep the $50 in profits.
  • Bonus voucher: SuperBook is the only site I know of that does bonus vouchers, which will split some of your bet into cash and some into a bet on the house.

How to Use the Bonuses

There are two different schools of thought when it comes to the optimal way to use your sign-up bonuses — "match betting" which guarantees a profit, or betting at plus-money to maximize your expected value.

Locking in Profits

Let's look at an example for Sunday — this works for both first bets on the house, and bet credit offers.

Say you're using a $500 first bet on the house (meaning you'll be refunded in bet credits if your first bet loses) from Caesars. You don't really want to do this with NFL in the small chance the game ends in a tie, so we'll go to the NBA. You also don't want to try this on obscure props or obscure sports, because it's a good way to get limited.

You want to find two lines that are 1) as high as possible 2) in a "main market" like NBA or NCAAB moneylines and 3) close together at different sportsbooks. You put the first bet on the house/bet credits on the plus-money side, and cash at another book on the other side.

Here's how it could work:

  • You put the $500 bonus bet on the Wizards +230 at Caesars.
  • You put $811.76 on the Bucks at -240 at PointsBet, which would win $338.24.

If the Wizards win, you profit $338.24 because you won $1,150 and lost $811.76 on the hedge. You're now done with this promo.

If the Bucks win, you'll have won $338.24 from PointsBet and you'll get $500 back in bet credits from Caesars; so at this point, you're down just a bit. And you'll have to "convert" the bet credits to cash to make a profit.

Bet credit conversion is the same concept — you can lock in a profit by hedging at another sportsbook.

Find two lines that are close together, and bet them at different books.

  • Bet $1,151.16 on SMU -330 in college basketball at PointsBet using cash
  • Bet the $500 bet credits on Tulsa +300 at Caesars

Here are the outcomes:

  • Tulsa wins, you'll win $1,500 and lose $1,151.16 on the hedge for a $348.84 profit.
  • If SMU wins, you'll win $348.84 — and you'll have the $338.24 you won from the initial NBA bet.

So either way, off a $500 deposit, you've locked in a profit of about $187, and you'll have $687 total in your accounts. You can convert bet credits to cash through this method at a higher rate if you're patient, but with some of these promos, you only have a week to use the credits.

Betting at Plus-Money

Mathematically, you get the most expected value by betting the biggest longshots possible with bet credits or first bets on the house. The higher the line, the higher the EV.

But that's assuming you have an infinite number of promos to claim. You do actually want to lock in some cash, after all.

So there's a sweet spot between +300 and +500 in tight markets (meaning the gap between the favorite and the underdog is small).

Let's break down the math.

Take these three examples from a $50 bet with bet credit, in which you don't keep the initial bet amount if it wins.

OddsWin AmountProbabilityEV

Example 1: You'll win $20 if the $50 bet credit wins. The probability a -250 favorite wins is 71.43%.

The EV, in this case, is 71.43% x $20, which equals $14.28. So over an infinite number of bets, that $50 will be worth just $14.

Example 2: Now let's bet a +250 underdog with a $50 bet credit.

You'll win $125 if it wins, and you can expect the bet to win 28.57% of the time.

The EV, in this case, is 28.57% x $125, which equals $35.71.

Example 3: How about a +500 underdog with $50? You'll win $250 if it wins, and you can expect the bet to win 16.67% of the time.

The EV, in this case, is 28.57% x $125, which equals $41.67.

It's mathematically impossible to get a better advantage over the sportsbook on a favorite than on an underdog with a bet credit. The longer the odds, the more value you get.

Site-by-Site Breakdown

1. BetMGM

  • Promo code: ACTIONNFL
  • Offer: Bet $10, get $200 in bet credits

BetMGM is offering new users $200 in bet credits when they bet at least $10 on any NFL game.

2. FanDuel

FanDuel is giving all new users $200 in bonus bets if they deposit and wager at least $5 on any event. It's a better offer than the $1,000 no-sweat bet that FanDuel offers in all other states.

That's because to get $1,000, you actually need to wager that much, and if your first bet loses, you'll get it back in bonus bets, not actual cash.

3. bet365

  • Promo code: ACTION
  • Offer: $200 in bet credits

Bet365 has probably the simplest offer on the market — just bet $1 on anything and get $200 in bet credits. You can then use those bet credits on anything.

4. Caesars Sportsbook

  • Promo code: ACTION41BET
  • Offer: $1,500 first bet on the house

Sadly, Caesars isn't offering the $3,000 deposit match as it did in New York — arguably the best sports betting sign-up promo ever.

Instead, you can get a $1,500 first bet on the house. That means if your first wager on the platform loses, you'll get refunded in bet credits, equal to whatever you lost.

5. Barstool Sportsbook

  • Promo code: ACTNEWSOH
  • Offer: $100 bonus cash, plus $1,000 first bet on the house

This offer is sort of two parts, but sort of one part. Let me explain.

You'll get $100 in bonus cash if you make a wager on the platform, no matter what. But your first bet is also a first bet on the house up to $1,000.

6. SuperBook

Superbook is one of the only sportsbooks to use "bonus vouchers." It means that part of your bet will be cash, and part will be bonus money.

Say I put $20 on the Bengals +100 on Monday Night Football against the Bills. If it's a 50% bonus voucher, $10 will be placed with cash and $10 with bonus cash (meaning you don't keep the initial stake with the $10 in bonus cash).

So if Cincinnati wins, you'll profit $10 and keep $10 from the cash bet, and keep $10 from the bonus cash for $20 profit. If Cincy loses, you'll only lose $10 in cash.

7. PointsBet

  • Promo code: Use this link
  • Offer: $200 in bet credits plus a $100 bet on the house for five days

PointsBet is giving new users $200 in bet credits when they sign up, plus a $100 first bet on the house each of your first five days on the platform.

Let's say I bet $100 on the Jets -2 tomorrow and it loses — I'll get $100 back in bet credits. If I then bet $100 on the Bengals on MNF and it loses, I'll get $100 back in bet credits.

8. Hard Rock

Make your first deposit and you'll get to spin Hard Rock's "mystery wheel." That will give you bonus bets anywhere from $25 to $5,000. You can then convert the bet credits from there.

9. Betfred

  • Promo code: Use this link
  • Offer: Bet $50, get up to $1,111 in Fred Bets

OK, this offer is a bit confusing. Here's my most succinct version.

You'll get $111 in Fred Bets after your first $50 wager. Then, you'll also get "50% back on combined total net losses per week, up to $200 in Fred Bets per week, for five consecutive calendar weeks, beginning on the date of their first bet." So if you lose $400 in your first week, you'll get $200 back in Fred Bets.

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10. DraftKings

To get the full DraftKings offer, you need to deposit $5,000 — 20% of that is $1,000. It also comes with a pretty hefty rollover, which means the bonus bets release as you wager more on the platform.

OH only. 21+. Know When To Stop Before You Start.® Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER.

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