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The 2022 World Cup is just around the corner, with the big kick-off in Qatar scheduled for November 20. This will be a historic tournament: the first World Cup in the Middle East, the first in the northern hemisphere's winter, and the last to feature 32 countries. There is plenty to be excited about for the 22nd edition of a competition launched in 1930 and has gone from strength to strength since then. This is one of the most open World Cups in recent times, with almost a dozen teams set to arrive in Qatar with the ambition of going all the way. Qatar is by far the smallest nation to ever stage a World Cup. It beat the USA, South Korea, Japan and Australia to the hosting rights in a vote held in 2010, much to the shock of the soccer world. The competition was moved from June and July to November and December in 2015, and the hope among fans is that the world's best players will be less tired than usual by the time the tournament gets underway.
The World Cup is the biggest and best sporting event on the planet (with all due respect to the Olympics, it does not command the viewership of football's most significant tournament). And it is a particularly excellent event for sports bettors, whether you have substantial experience, are a casual punter, or have never placed a single wager before. Whichever of those categories you fit into, IrishLuck is here to help. With hundreds of online sportsbooks, it can be hard to know where to start. The choice is often overwhelming, particularly as bookmakers have well-honed tactics to try and lure you in. That is where we come in. Our team of betting experts has conducted thorough research on all of the major bookmakers, weighing up the pros and cons to produce a guide which we hope will be useful for all those looking to place bets (and make money!) at the upcoming World Cup.
The Best World Cup Betting Bonuses to Help You Win Big This Year
Perhaps the most important thing a bettor can do is to seek out value in the market by finding the best odds available for any game or tournament. But an often overlooked way to increase your earnings is to find the best betting bonuses. Because the World Cup is such a big event, virtually every sports betting site will offer at least one promotion, bonus or special prize related to the tournament. Usually, all you need to do to claim the offer is sign up for free (be aware that you may need to provide proof of i.d. and comply with SMS verification) and deposit cash into your account. Sometimes you might need to enter a promo code, but the registration process is generally straightforward and does not take up too much time. It is not in the sportsbooks' interest to make things long-winded and complicated.
Of course, nothing can stop you from making accounts with multiple bookies and taking advantage of various World Cup bonuses. In fact, we would encourage you to do exactly that. Once you have used up all your credit or rewards, you can focus on the one or two sites you prefer going forward. Bear in mind, too, that there are no World Cup-specific sportsbooks. Once you have created an account with a particular company, you can use their site or app to bet on other football events like the Premier League, the Champions League, La Liga and the Bundesliga. You can also seek returns in sports like tennis, MMA, horse racing and rugby.
World Cup Betting Offers
Free bets are not the only type of offers available to bettors for the 2022 World Cup. After signing up for Casumo Casino, a customer has the chance to bet €10 and get €20 free. This is certainly a similar concept to a free bet, but is perhaps more accurately described as a form of bet credits. The BetVictor sportsbook is running a similar promotion right now. If you wager €10, with the money deposited from a source such as a debit card, Neteller or PayPal, you will receive €50 in bonuses. And if you are a bingo fan, you can play through BetVictor without having to find another site.
Top World Cup Betting Bonuses
At the top of this page, you can find links to the top sports betting sites for players in Ireland (even if you are from the UK or elsewhere, it is worth checking out most of these bookies). One website we would like to highlight is Mr Green, which offers up to €50 in free bets as part of a sports welcome offer ahead of the upcoming World Cup. A free bet is essentially a no-risk selection: you do not have to stake any of your own money on your selection, but if your bet comes through, you get to keep the winnings. Make sure you check the T&Cs, though: sometimes it is impossible to withdraw earnings from free bets, with the winning only being used on future bets with the same bookmaker.
That is not necessarily a problem, but it is something to be aware of. Another bookmaker offering free bets ahead of the tournament in Qatar is 888Sport, which has many other advantages, including 24/7 live chat if you ever need help or assistance and a fantastic interface on mobile. 888Sport is also offering a €10 casino bonus as part of this offer. Finally, Betway Sports gives punters matched free bets up to €30. So, if you make three selections of €10 each, you could get three free bets each worth €10. Again, be sure to check the sign-up T&C before you proceed.
Betting Promotions for the World Cup
If you want to get the most out of betting on World Cup games in November and December, LeoVegas Casino and William Hill are both running gambling promotions in the form of sportsbook bonuses. LeoVegas also provides a fantastic casino and offers odds on esports as well as the real kind - so if you like to have a few spins as well as making predictions on sporting events, it could be the site for you. William Hill also offers a number of different betting options, although it is more of a traditional sportsbook than LeoVegas. Its current new customer offer is a buy-in bonus, plus a number of free spins in their casino. Do not forget to check the expiry date of World Cup betting promotions - some may require you to sign up before the tournament gets underway, while others may have different time limits.
Terms and Conditions Associated With World Cup Betting Bonuses
Each sportsbook will have its own terms and conditions. You might think it is boring to read through them all before you register, but it is also important so you know exactly what you are getting in to. Different bookmakers will often have different eligibility restrictions, deposit methods, max and min deposits, withdrawal restrictions, payment restrictions, wager and bonus amounts and wagering requirements.
Some will have specific rules and exclusions for withdrawals, card payments and payment methods, while the deposit requirement might not be exactly the same for Paddy Power and Ladbrokes, for instance. Payment method exclusions may also exist for some bookmakers, and the method of bet settlement will not always be identical. Customers should ensure they read through the T&Cs to avoid any nasty surprises at some point down the line. For more information on how to play safe and gamble responsibly, visit begambleaware.org.
Most Popular World Cup Betting Markets
We have covered this topic in more depth in our World Cup guide, where we run through some of the most popular bet types and wagering choices. Here is a quick run-through of common terms you will see while betting on the World Cup.
Bettors can settle a bet before the final whistle for a set price offered by the bookmakers.
This type of bet is usually displayed as an Over/Under - such as under 2.5 goals.
Both Teams to Score
If you think there will be goals at both ends, this is the selection for you.
As well as predicting the number of goals, you can forecast how many cards there will be.
First Goal Scorer
Predict which player will find the back of the net first in any given match.
Also known as an acca, this is a combination bet featuring four selections or more.
World Cup Betting Bonuses FAQs
How do World Cup betting sites work?
As mentioned above, there are no specific World Cup betting sites, so you will be using regular sportsbooks to bet on the tournament in Qatar. Sign up by entering your details, deposit some money into your account and you are ready to go! In order to be eligible for any special World Cup promos, you may need to fulfil the terms of a qualifying deposit and there might also be some rules about the wager bonus amount. Generally, though, this will all be made as clear as possible by the bookmaker in question.
Can World Cup betting bonuses be used to bet on any sports?
This depends on the specific type of bonus being offered. Some offers relate specifically to the World Cup, so the free bet or other promotion would be void if used on another event. Others will provide general sign-up offers that do not necessarily need to be used for the World Cup or even football.
Who are the main contenders to win the 2022 World Cup?
Five-time winners Brazil are the bookmakers' favourite to win the World Cup for the sixth time. The Selecao have not lifted the trophy since the last tournament to be held in Asia in 2002. Brazil lost the 2021 Copa America final to Argentina, who are expected to be there or thereabouts in Qatar. France are the holders but they have not been in particularly good form of late. Fellow European sides England, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands will also be looking to challenge.