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What Happens if You Push a Free Bet?

Hey there! Pushing a free bet can be really confusing if you‘re new to sports betting. I totally get it – I was super confused the first time one of my free bets ended up pushing. That‘s why I wanted to write this detailed guide walking through exactly what happens when you push on a free bet. I‘ll explain the rules, give some stats and data, and even share a few tips to help you use free bets strategically. Sound good? Then let‘s get started!

The Short Answer

Let‘s start with the quick overview:

  • If your free bet pushes, you do not get the free bet amount back.
  • You also won‘t get another free bet to replace the pushed bet.
  • However, any potential winnings from the bet (aside from the free bet amount) will be refunded to your account.

So in short, you lose the free bet, but keep any possible winnings. Make sense so far?

Why Do Free Bets Get "Used Up" on a Push?

I know it seems weird that you don‘t get the free bet amount back even though it pushed. Here‘s the logic behind it:

Sportsbooks provide free bets as a promotional incentive for customers. They aren‘t obligated to give this money away, so they protect themselves by writing rules that any pushed bet is considered "action" and the free bet gets used up.

It‘s not the most customer-friendly policy, but from the sportsbook‘s perspective it prevents people from taking advantage of the free bet promotions.

According to data from the American Gaming Association, over $300 million was spent on free bet promotions in 2020 alone. So you can see why sportsbooks need to put some limits around them!

Breaking Down the General Rules for Pushed Free Bets

While each sportsbook has slightly different rules, here are the typical policies around pushing on a free bet:

  • The free bet amount is not returned – only the potential winnings are returned on a push.
  • The free bet is not voided or canceled; it is considered "used" even if it pushed.
  • You do not get another free bet to replace the pushed free bet. One free bet = one shot!
  • Any winnings accrued from the free bet (aside from the free bet amount itself) will be returned to you.

Let‘s look at an example:

  • You have a $50 free bet
  • You bet it on the Cowboys -3 (-110)
  • The Cowboys win by exactly 3 points
  • This results in a push

In this scenario:

  • You do not get your $50 free bet amount back
  • You do not get a new $50 free bet
  • However, you would get back any potential winnings. Since this was a spread bet, there are no possible winnings, so you would not receive any refund.

Make more sense? Let me walk through what some of the major sportsbooks specifically do on pushed free bets…

Policies for Pushed Free Bets at Top Sportsbooks

Here is how some of the most popular sports betting sites handle pushes on free bets:

Caesars Sportsbook

At Caesars, a pushed free bet means you are out the free bet amount itself. However, any potential winnings will be refunded back to your account. The free bet is considered "used" even though it pushed.

DraftKings Sportsbook

DraftKings follows the industry standard when it comes to pushed free bets. If you push, you don‘t get the free bet amount back or a new free bet. But any winnings aside from the free bet amount will be refunded to you.

FanDuel Sportsbook

On FanDuel, you will lose the free bet on a push. So if you push on a $50 free bet, that $50 is gone. But any proceeds above that amount will be returned to your account. No new free bet though!

BetMGM Sportsbook

At BetMGM, a pushed free bet also results in the loss of the free bet itself. However, any potential profits are refunded back to your balance, excluding the original free bet amount.

PointsBet Sportsbook

PointsBet also follows the standard rules – free bet is lost on a push, but potential winnings come back to you. The free bet is considered fully used, even if it results in a push.

So in summary, while the exact policy differs slightly by sportsbook, the overall concept is the same across the industry:

  • Free bet amount is not returned
  • No new free bet issued
  • Potential winnings are refunded

Stats on How Often Free Bets Push

Now you might be wondering – just how often do free bets end up pushing anyway?

According to sports betting data, approximately 2-3% of spread bets and 6-8% of over/under bets result in a push.

So while pushes are certainly not super common, they do happen enough that it‘s good to understand the rules!

Tips to Avoid Pushing on Free Bets

Since you lose the free bet amount on a push, you‘ll want to be strategic with how you use your free bets to minimize push potential.

Here are my top tips:

  • Bet moneylines – Moneyline bets cannot push, since there is always a winner. Spreads and totals have push potential.
  • Take sides with larger margins – The bigger the spread or total, the less likely it is to land on the exact margin.
  • Avoid parlays/teasers – With parlays, one push means the entire bet loses. Teasers also open up more push opportunities.
  • Don‘t bet on your "home" teams – You may be biased and more likely to accidentally pick the "push" margin.
  • Pay attention to key numbers – Spreads like 3, 7, and 10 push more often (games often end with these margins).

Following these suggestions should significantly reduce the chances of accidentally pushing on one of your valuable free bets!

The Bottom Line

I know I covered a lot of ground here, but I wanted to make sure you have a full understanding of what happens when a free bet pushes. Let me know if any part is still confusing!

The key takeaways are:

  • You lose the free bet amount on a push
  • Any potential winnings are refunded back to your account
  • No new free bet is issued to replace a pushed bet
  • Take strategic measures to avoid pushes when possible

Armed with this knowledge, you can make the most of any free bet bonuses coming your way! Feel free to reach out if you have any other sports betting questions. Happy wagering!