Best Free Bet Offers in Canada

The Canada sports betting landscape is expanding and with the anticipated launch of Ontario online sportsbooks in April 2022, bettors in parts of the Great White North are going to be inundated with options for where to place their wagers.

In competing for the public’s business, online sportsbooks are sure to offer a cavalcade of welcome offers, along with ongoing promotions to keep players happy after they’ve signed up.

That’s especially great news for Canadian Football League fans, who will find the CFL well represented each week with moneyline, spreads, and totals. That doesn’t even mention having some props available in addition to futures for the Grey Cup.

But whether you’re betting on the CFL, NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, or any other sports league out there, there will be offers and promotions that can help get you some extra value and larger payouts.

There are no guarantees about what we’ll come across in Canada, but we can use what we’ve seen from sportsbooks in other gambling jurisdictions to make an educated guess.

Here, we’ll explore some of that to detail the most common sportsbook promos and free bet offers in betting, and what that could look like in Canada with the biggest sportsbooks

First bet insurance

First bet insurance may be the most commonly-offered deals these days, and for good reason. It focuses on the very first wager placed with the sportsbook, and works as a security blanket in the event it doesn’t go your way.

After signing up and making a deposit, you are eligible for the bet insurance. Place your first wager and if it loses, the site will refund you in site credit or free bets up to a certain amount. This offers an incentive to take a shot with a large bet as the first one, knowing that some type of reimbursement is on the way and it won’t be a total loss.

PointsBet and BetMGM are two of the sites with the best first bet insurance offers, and FanDuel also has one of note. If your bet wins, congratulations, you’ve got some profit to start off with. If it doesn’t, the insurance payout should occur within 72 hours, and you’ll likely have up to 30 days to use it somewhere on the sportsbook.

Match offer

An investment match is probably the most preferred offer type for bettors because it’s the quickest way to multiply the amount you have to wager with. It involves the sportsbook matching your deposit up to a certain amount, and it can double the amount you have to wager with.

For example, let’s say one site is offering a 100 percent deposit match with a free bet. This means you could deposit $250 and be awarded another $250 in a free bet, giving you $500 in total funds. Sportsbooks usually match your deposit 100 percent of the way, though it can vary.

Even if a sportsbook is matching you dollar-for-dollar, it can be offered in different ways. Caesars may offer the match as a lump-sum free bet, while BetRivers could offer site credit that is broken up into as many wagers as you want.

Sportsbook free bets explained

Free bets are interesting because the term is used for what is awarded as part of welcome offers, but they are also frequent rewards for existing customers.

When it comes to welcome offers, free bets are usually awarded as a smaller part of a larger offer. For example, bettors may receive a free bet just for signing up at a sportsbook, but can also then get a currency match up to a certain percentage as well.

The amount of the free bet or site credit isn’t withdrawable, as it’s meant for you to wager it on the site, and you will likely have 30 days to use the free bet before it expires.

If you win, the profits will be yours, but the credit itself will be used up. If you lose, the credit will also be gone, but you at least got to place a bet without using your own funds. Other than welcome offers, free bets will also occasionally be available as part of limited-time promotions.

Do online sportsbooks have regular ongoing promos?

While a welcome offer is a huge part of the betting experience, sportsbooks know the amenities can’t stop once you’re done signing up. The industry is incredibly competitive and as a result, sportsbooks do a lot to encourage customer loyalty.

Each of the sites on our list boasts a wide range of promotions covering many different sports including football (CFL, NFL, NCAAF), basketball (NBA, NCAAB, etc.), baseball (MLB and more), hockey (NHL, Olympics, etc.), and many more.

All Canada sportsbook apps will have a dedicated promos section. Beyond that, keep an eye on the banner display atop the main betting lobby for current offers. Additionally, check your email regularly, as books will send out special offers from time to time. Here are what some common offers look like:

  • Daily Odds Boosts: Enhanced odds on select wagers chosen by the sportsbook. Caesars is among the books with a regular assortment of boosts on a daily basis.  
  • Profit Boosts: Get a boost on your winnings for certain bets. Amounts will vary but could range anywhere from 10% to 100%. BetRivers is one of the books with a regular array of boosts, as is DraftKings.
  • Bet/Parlay Insurance: Similar to a bet insurance, you can get reimbursed for losing a specific type of bet, including a parlay or a same-game parlay. For example, you may get up to $10 back at FanDuel for an NFL same-game parlay, win or lose.
  • Free-To-Play Contests: Free-to-play contests with a chance to win big prizes. Both DraftKings and FanDuel offer some massive ones at certain times of the year, such as for the Super Bowl or March Madness.
  • Betting pools/contests: Put your skills to the test against other bettors for the chance to win prizes. BetRivers has a season-long NFL spread challenge, while DraftKings has regular pools for all sports.   
  • Referral Offers: If someone you refer signs up and makes a deposit, you can get a credit from the site. BetMGM is among the sportsbooks currently offering site credit for referrals.  
  • Reload Offers: A match offer for existing customers. Could match anywhere from 20% to 100% of the way, up to a certain amount. A guilt-free way to throw some extra funds into the account, knowing you’re getting even on top of it.
  • Rewards Points: You can collect redeemable points just for betting on sports at certain sportsbooks. BetRivers and Caesars have two of the most highly regarded loyalty programs in the industry.

In general, some books have a larger assortment of regular promotions to choose from than others. DraftKings, FanDuel, BetRivers and Caesars have a ton of promotions each and every day, particularly for the most popular sports and leagues.

Free bet FAQs

How many free bets can I get at sportsbooks?

Individual sportsbooks limit sign-up offers to one per user. However, you can sign up for as many different sportsbooks as you’d like. This also has the benefit of letting you try multiple sportsbooks and giving you a chance to shop around for the best odds.

What sports can I get free bets for?

For sign-up offers, you can generally use the free bet to wager on any sport you’d like. If you’re into the CFL and that’s all you plan to wager on, you can use it there without issue. Free bets for existing players may have sport- or bet-specific requirements, so be sure to check the terms and conditions.

Can I cash out my winnings from a free bet?

Any winnings that you get from a free bet will be yours to keep. You can withdraw them from your account or keep them there to bet with again. The amount of the actual free bet isn’t eligible for withdrawal and won’t be included in your winnings.

Is there a maximum you can win on a free bet?

If you review the terms and conditions of the free bet offer, you’ll see all of the terms and conditions, including any minimum odds or maximum payouts. For a general rule, all online sportsbooks have a maximum amount that they’ll pay out. Sportsbooks can also cap payouts by bet type or sport.

The fine print on free bet promotions

While many of the offers that you’ll find at online sportsbooks are pretty straightforward, there will almost always be a few details that aren’t part of what the site is posting in big bold letters. You’re going to want awareness of every aspect of your offer, so we’re here to talk about the fine print.

No matter where you decide to play, always take the time to review the terms and conditions and any house rules. Here are some of the most common points that could come up:

  • Wagering Requirements: Most offers are paid in free bets and site credit, meaning they can’t be withdrawn like cash. They must be played and even winnings from these offers could be subject to wagering requirements before they can be withdrawn. If you wager with any regularity, there shouldn’t be much of an issue meeting them in most cases.
  • Welcome Offer Minimums & Maximums: You’ll see that you can get bet insurance up to $1,000 and you can take full advantage, but you by no means need to bet that much. Whatever it is, the insurance bet will adjust to your wager amount. The same goes for a deposit match offer
  • Time Limits On Sportsbook Offers: Always check on how long you have to use any site credit or free bet that you may receive from a welcome offer. You will usually have 30 days, but you will also have to follow other rules like making your initial deposit within a week of signing up.
  • Promotional Odds Requirements: Some promos such as profit boost and even parlay insurance will require the entire wager to meet a requirement, or each leg of the wager to be of a certain price (such as -200 or greater).
  • Bet Insurance Bet Deals: If claimed at signup, bet insurance (unless otherwise stated) is only good for your first wager on a site, so you can’t just pick and choose when to use it. Plan accordingly and make sure that the first wager is one you might want to be refunded if it loses.

Once again, we have to stress the importance of knowing the terms and rules before committing to anything. It’s your responsibility to know what’s what, so take a few minutes to review everything before signing up. It’s a small price to pay for saving some unexpected headaches down the road.