There is a surprising amount of terminology you need to understand to become a successful sports bettor. In today’s guide, we’re going to put you straight about minimum bets, which are easily confused with other types of sportsbook limits.
Whether you’re unsure as to what a minimum bet is, or you would just like to gain a better understanding of exactly how these sports betting sites work, we are sure that you will find our sportsbook minimum bet guide can put everything into perspective for you, and help with your overall understanding of sports betting.
In essence, a sportsbook minimum bet is the smallest amount you can wager at a US sports betting site. However, that magic figure is far from static.
We’re sure you’ll want to know why minimum bets vary, not just between different sportsbooks, but often on the same one. So, in this section of our guide, we’ll be exploring a couple of minimum bet scenarios to put you in the picture, but we’ll also look at some specific examples further on in our guide.
There are usually some very explicit terms and conditions applied by sports betting sites as soon as bonuses or offers come into the equation. Whether they are in the form of no deposit promos, matched deposit offers or free bets, minimum bet requirements are certain to apply.
For example, if your sportsbook gives you a free bet, it will have certain T&Cs applied to it and there can be a number of different variations along the way.
The easiest way to explain is to give you an example. One of the most flexible (and generous) sportsbooks is Bet 365, which often runs promos giving all eligible bettors a free $5 bet to use on a named sports event. Usually, a Bet365 free bet of this type must be placed as a single wager, using the full amount, so by default, $5 would be the minimum bet.
However, they are also well known for offering free ‘loyalty’ bets to regular users of the site. In contrast to those mentioned above, these individualized free bets usually have no expiry date and can be used either to place a single wager or several smaller ones, subject to the standard minimum bet amount on the Bet365 site.
There is often a sportsbook minimum bet applied to access live streaming for sports events. It’s also unlikely that the minimum wager on the event in question will be below $1 to get that privilege, but there are exceptions.
Some sports betting sites will allow free access to live streaming if you have a funded account. Others require you to have placed a bet in the previous 24 hours, but for some, you must place a bet on the event that you want to watch and there will be a minimum amount you can wager.
Yet another variation is to apply a temporary ‘pay-to-view’ minimum bet amount for certain sports events. One such example is the Men’s Singles Final at Wimbledon which is broadcast from the UK. A US sportsbook might apply a $5 minimum bet in order to view that event, to help cover the cost of providing it. But in fairness, if you’re a big fan of tennis, then it’s a relatively small price to pay.
What does sometimes catch bettors out, especially those new to betting on sports, is the difference between the minimum bet and the minimum deposit at a sportsbook.
As we’ve already explained, the minimum bet is the lowest amount a sportsbook will permit you to wager, but the minimum deposit is the smallest amount you can add to your sportsbook account in a single transaction.
Although the two are not connected, if you’re a small-stakes bettor, then a $1 minimum deposit sportsbook is much more likely to suit your needs. After all, if you’re going to be wagering cents at a time, you won’t want to have to deposit $50 for the privilege.
There is a fair bit of variation here. Although there are some $1 minimum deposit sportsbooks out there, as well as some $5 options, the vast majority of sports betting sites require each deposit you make to be at least $10, which includes some of the top-branded sports betting sites. $20 seems to be the next step up, but there are also a few stalwart sites which maintain a $50 minimum per deposit.
For some of you, perhaps knowing the maximum amount you could bet might seem more relevant, but it pays to have an understanding of both ends of the scale. There are plenty of very good reasons for knowing the minimum bet amount that your sportsbook has in place.
A typical sports bet minimum bet is $1, placed as a single wager, but the minimum bet permitted for each leg of an accumulator might be as little as $0.10, sometimes even less.
There are also occasions when the minimum bet amount is enhanced by a sportsbook and others where it is enforced. Below are some scenarios to explain what we mean by that.
The lowest minimum bet amounts usually come into play when you place accumulator bets. Even a sportsbook that implements a $1 minimum for a single bet will allow you to place accas (wagers with three or more selections) with a much lower minimum bet amount for each selection.
There’s no average we can refer to here. We’ve seen sportsbooks that allow as little as $0.01 per selection, but minimum bets of $0.10, or thereabouts, are quite common. For instance, our FanDuel review reported a $0.09 minimum bet requirement, but other US sportsbooks insist on $0.20 or $0.25, even for accas with a lot of selections.
Prop bets cover a multitude of different outcomes for single or multiple sporting events. For horse racing, it might be the winning distance in lengths for one race, or across the whole meeting at the track. Soccer bettors could try to predict factors like the number of attempts on goal, corners or cards given for a game.
If you enjoy placing fun bets, then it’s quite likely that you don’t want to be tied to a high minimum bet amount for trying to guess the flavor of the Gatorade at the Super Bowl. So, if fun wagers are more your style, then a sports betting site which offers low minimum bets is much more likely to keep you entertained.
For anything a little bit out of the ordinary, you may find the minimum bet amount is higher or lower than usual, but this should be made entirely clear by your sportsbook before you place your bet.
There is another circumstance where a minimum bet limit may be enforced. Sports betting sites have a cap on per bet, daily, or sometimes even account lifetime winnings. So, if the potential return for a wager you are placing will exceed that cap, most betting sites will suggest a reduced stake in order for you to place the bet. However, you shouldn’t rely on that happening, some sportsbooks will simply reduce your winnings to meet their requirements, which could be hugely disappointing.
We found an example of exactly how these rules are applied during our Caesars sportsbook review. The Caesars sportsbook has a minimum bet requirement of $0.10, but the maximum payout for a single bet is capped at $2 million. The Caesars T&Cs also state that the maximum number of selections for a same-game acca is ten, although up to sixteen are permitted across multiple events, but winnings may still be capped at the sportsbook’s discretion.
Just one final note about maximums. If you were to hit a big accumulator win, it would be devastating to find that your sports betting site implements a maximum withdrawal limit and will only permit you to withdraw a certain amount per day, week, month or even per year. Meaning that you could potentially wait a good amount of time to get all of your winnings.
Accepting low-stake wagers might seem counter-intuitive for a sports betting site, which after all is in the business of making a profit. However, because there are a far greater number of bettors who regularly place multiple, small bets every week, it’s actually a much more consistent income stream for a sportsbook.
That’s why most sportsbooks endeavor to keep the minimum bet low across the majority of their wagering opportunities, but what happens when they don’t specify a minimum? Well, even though it doesn’t come up that often, we’ll take a brief look.
As mentioned, there are some sports betting sites that do not impose a specific minimum bet, opting instead to assign minimum wagering limits according to the event you are hoping to bet on.
There’s really no way to second-guess or to suggest an average amount that might be applied, but generally speaking, there are very few sports betting sites that will impose any more than $5 as a minimum bet.
Usually, sportsbooks have some sort of inbuilt alert when you are completing your betslip. If the amount you input as your stake falls below the minimum bet, or exceeds the maximum wager allowed, you will get a warning, plus the chance to either change your stake amount or cancel the betslip completely.
We’re sure that most of you will have witnessed a change in the betting odds whilst completing a betslip, which requires your acknowledgment to proceed and usually this works in a similar way
So, if you have ever wondered why sportsbooks apply minimum bet amounts, now you know. We hope that we’ve also provided you with a better understanding of the different ways minimum bet amounts are used and how they might affect you.
The chances are that you will now look at sports betting in a whole new light and benefit from the additional knowledge you have gained by reading this guide. There are plenty more where this one came from and we hope you’ll visit CaptainGambling.com again soon.
Sportsbooks are individually responsible for setting any limits that apply to your use of the site. As this is such an important subject for bettors, we ensure that it’s fully covered in all of our sportsbook reviews. Why not head over and check them out, it’s much more fun than reading all of the T&Cs for yourself!
Sports betting sites are businesses first and foremost, meaning that they must make a profit to continue offering their services. In certain circumstances, a bet may exceed the maximum risk a sportsbook is willing to take on. We’ve explained this in more detail, together with the most likely reasons in our minimum deposit betting guide, it’s definitely worth a read!
There are several different reasons why sportsbooks implement a minimum deposit amount, but they are not related to any minimum bet policies a sports betting site has in place. To understand more about how sportsbooks work and to find out why various limits exist at all, head over to CaptainGambling.com and take a look at our detailed betting guides.
Players must be 21 years of age or older or reach the minimum age for gambling in their respective state and located in jurisdictions where online gambling is legal. Please play responsibly. Bet with your head, not over it. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, and wants help, call or visit: (a) the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey at 1-800-Gambler or www.800gambler.org; or (b) Gamblers Anonymous at 855-2-CALL-GA or www.gamblersanonymous.org.
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