Barstool Sportsbook Online Review & Welcome Bonus
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If Horatio Alger and P.T. Barnum – and Jim Cramer, and your favorite pizza shop owner, and Jimmy the Greek – had a child, the result would undoubtedly look something like Dave Portnoy, a.k.a. Davey Pageviews, Davey Day Trader, El Presidente, and probably a few other names not suitable for print.
His media footprint is Bigfoot-like at this point. If he’s not reviewing some pizza joint in the middle of New Jersey, he’s interviewing the 45th President of the United States. If he’s not talking stocks on CNBC, he’s making college football picks on Barstool’s video feed.
He is, simply, everywhere. So Penn National Gaming, which owns a 36% stake in Barstool, has the gaming know-how. Portnoy has the marketing skill. Put together, the sportsbook app should be gangbusters. So is it? Well … One bite, you know the rules.
In which states is Barstool online sportsbook available?
Currently, the Barstool online sportsbook is available in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Colorado, Indiana, Colorado, Virginia, New Jersey, and Arizona.
|State||Casino partner(s)||Launch date|
|Pennsylvania||Hollywood Casino Penn Nat'l Race Course||Sep. 2020|
|Michigan||Greektown Casino||Jan. 2021|
|Illinois||Hollywood Casino Aurora||Mar. 2021|
|Indiana||Hollywood Casino Lawrenceburg||May 2021|
|Colorado||Ameristar Black Hawk||Aug. 2021|
|New Jersey||Freehold Raceway||Aug. 2021|
If performance in Pennsylvania is any indication, Penn National has a hit on its hands. Barely a month after launch in PA, the app had been downloaded 310,000 times nationwide. In December 2020 in Pennsylvania, Barstool handled $71.8 million in bets and the sportsbook generated 14.7 million in revenue, or a 20.5% hold percentage. (Not a great month for the bettors!). Barstool is off to a strong start in Michigan, as well, and poised to make a dent there, having the benefit of launching at the same time as all the other sportsbooks in the state.
Barstool online sportsbook bonus package
|No Deposit Bonus||$10 free betting credit|
|New Member Offer||Risk-Free Bet up to $1000|
|Bonus Valid||January 2022|
Barstool has rotated through a few different promotions – as most sportsbooks do. At one time, the bonus package has included a free $10 in bonus cash, simply for signing up, plus a $500 or $1,000 “risk-free” bet.
Let’s discuss both below.
$10 free bet (or other increment)
Create an account, and you’ve got yourself ten bucks to play with without having to deposit dime one. This $10 has/had a one-time play-through of $10, meaning in order to convert the money into withdrawable cash, you have to wager the full $10. For instance, if you bet $5 of the $10 bonus money and win at +100, your bonus balance will now be $15. You’ll still need to wager $5 to fulfill the playthrough requirement.
To be clear: This $10 bonus offer is free money. You have to bet with it once, but if you win, your winnings – and the original $10 – is yours to keep. Only hitch: In order to be able to turn the bonus balance into cash, you’ll have to make a deposit and wager at least $10.
But you’re going to want to do that, which brings us to Part II of the going Barstool bonus.
Up to $1,000 “risk-free” bet
The second part of the bonus is a $1,000 risk-free bet (at one time it was $500). Now “risk-free” doesn’t exactly mean what you think. Unlike the $10 in bonus cash, the $1,000 risk-free bet comes with some strings – although the strings aren’t as tightly wound as some other books.
So here’s the deal: After your first deposit, your first bet – up to $1,000 – is “risk free.” What this means in the Barstool world is as follows: Let’s say you don’t want to get extra spicy, so you deposit $500 instead of $1,000. Then you decide to put $500 on the Steelers giving five points to the Browns at -110 — and you win. Congratulations! You’ve now got a cash balance of $954.55 – the original $500 you deposited and bet with, and the $454.55 you won.
But let’s say the Browns cover the spread (suppose Steelers win 24-20), and you lost. Many other sportsbooks would credit the $500 back to you as a single $500 “free bet,” meaning you’d have to wager it all at once in an effort to win back your money. Also, note that on these “risk free” bets, sportsbooks don’t credit you back the actual $500. This is commonplace. Rather, let’s say after taking the L, you bet the Steelers at -110 to beat the Ravens the following week. If you win, you’d have $454.55, which would be your balance, but the “free bet” portion of the money disappears into the ether (so you don’t have $954.55 if you had won the initial bet), and you’d have a net loss of $45.45. Not the ideal outcome, but you went 1-1 and your bankroll is only lightened by the vig.
Barstool stakes a better deal
Fortunately, Barstool offers more flexibility than a single bet, an amount equivalent to your first bet, to win back your stake. If you lose your original initial bet – again, it’s up to $1,000 – you’ll get it back in bonus dollars at the sportsbook, which is a better way of crediting back bettors who don’t connect on their first bet. So you don’t need to bet it all at once; you can make 1,000 $1 wagers if you like.
Furthermore, if you win, not only do you collect your winnings, but you also collect the bonus dollars. The terms go: All sportsbook bonus cash stake will be converted to real cash balance only if bet settles as a win.
An example: Suppose you deposit $500 and make a bet, and it’s an L. Now, you get that $500 back in bonus bets. Let’s say you bet it all on the Steelers again at -110 and win. Now, you will have the $454.55, plus the original $500, as it’s been turned back into cash.
So you lost your original $500 bet, and then bet $200 bonus cash on the Steelers again, and lost again. Now you’ll have $300 left in your bonus account, and you decide to switch it up and catch the Eagles at -110 giving six points to the Giants. If you win that bet, now you’ll have $572.73: $272.73 in winnings and the $300 bonus converted back to real cash. All told, you’d have a $72.73 net profit
To unlock the bonus cash if you lose your first bet, you do need to play through the full amount. So if you bet and lost $500, you’ll need to bet the full $500 before the bonus money turns into cold cash.
Two more key points here, if Barstool is offering a $10 free bet (or other increment)
First up: make sure you use the $10 free money first before you make a deposit. This is very, very, very important, because the first bet after you make your initial deposit is the bet that counts toward the “up to $1,000 risk-free” offer, and if you want to maximize the offer, you’ll want to bet $1,000, not $10.
Second important point: Due to the nature of the $1,000 “risk free” offer, you can guarantee yourself minimal downside by covering yourself if you should lose.
For example: You bet $500 on your first bet and win. Congrats, you’re a winner, nothing else to see here.
But if you lose? Then you can hedge by betting both sides of a game. So, let’s say you lost the $500. You can then take that Eagles-Giants game, bet the Eagles -6 at -110 with your bonus cash, and then go to another site and take the Giants +6 at the same -110. In this scenario, you’ll definitely lose $45.45, but that would be it. If the Eagles win, you’ll have invested $1,000 total (the original, losing $500 bet at Barstool and the new $500 bet on the Giants), and you’ll get back $954.55. If the Giants win, the same math applies. So basically, at worst, if you play it this way, the $500 “risk-free” bet is really a chance to win $454.55 at -110 while only risking $45.45. Of course, you could really go for it, using that $500 on a parlay at big odds, knowing that if you lost, you’ll still have a chance to cover yourself down to a $45 loss.
Barstool online sportsbook basics
With Barstool being limited to Pennsylvania and Michigan as of March 2021, you have to be located in either of the two states in order to use the app or the web-based platform. Anyone can download the app, but you need to be in PA or MI to make a bet. Obviously, as Barstool rolls out to more states, those states will allow you to play. We tried to place a bet in Trenton, New Jersey on Barstool – a stone’s throw over the Delaware River into Pennsylvania – and were flatly denied.
Additionally, and just like all other sportsbooks, you need to be 21 years of age or older to place a wager, and you cannot share your login information with other would-be gamblers.
The Barstool sportsbook experience offers everything we’ve come to expect from sportsbooks, from single-game wagers to exotic parlays to special promos to everything in-between.
So if you’re ready to bet, read on … but if you think Barstool – or other sports betting apps – might be a bit of trouble for you, you can always check out how to opt-out of gambling opportunities in your state.
In Pennsylvania, for instance, you can self-exclude from casinos only, or from online-only. You can also set online limits for yourself. All this information – as well as the steps needed to self-exclude – can be found here, and here for Michigan. Obviously, other states will have their own set-ups for self-exclusion.
Barstool online sportsbook mobile app
The Barstool Sportsbook app is a delight. A breeze to navigate, no issues with color or typeface, everything from soup to nuts is right there in front of you. It is almost the opposite of Portnoy in character: Simple, easy, inoffensive to a fault.
Let’s break it down …
- Availability: If you’re an Apple fan, simply head to the app store to download. If you’re using an Android device, you’ll have to download it from the web as the Android store doesn’t currently allow sportsbooks in its hallowed halls. Honestly, the easiest way to get the app on Android is simply to Google “Barstool sportsbook download.” (Good news: this policy changes March 1, when Google will allow sportsbook app downloads in the Play Store. Or so they have announced.);
- Speed: Oh baby. Login time? No longer than 10 seconds. Switching between screens? Near-instantaneous. Bets populating the bet slip? Quicker than you can say “Akron +27.” In other words? It’s fast. No qualms here.
- Stability: In all the time we spent playing with the Barstool app, there were no crashes, nothing buggy, nothing at all except some easy swipes and button mashing.
- Appearance: Listen, it would be fair to think the Barstool Sportsbook app would look similar to the Barstool Sports app, which, if we’re being honest, looks like it was designed by a team of current frat bros. But the sportsbook app? It’s clean and uncluttered. Across the top you’ve got the basics, the navigation menu and your account balance. Click on the account balance, it takes you deposit, withdraw, transaction history, the works. Underneath that is a slider bar with the days’ promos and deposit come-ons. Below that are buttons for Barstool exclusives – such as odds boosts and some truly inspired action, like “total combined turnovers and missed kicks in all Mid-American Conference Games” or, for the Masters in 2021, “total combined score to par for the entire field on holes 11, 12, and 13 at the Masters in round 1 – as well as buttons that take you to individual sports. And underneath there are the day’s top action and links to upcoming and live events.
- Navigation: Getting around the site is a breeze, no problems, always a back arrow in the top left to get you back. The buttons are responsive, no issues there.
- Bet slip building: Nothing extraordinary here, just the basics, and that is fine. You click on a bet, the bet goes into your betslip. You click on two bets, two bets go into your betslip. The betslip button is centered at the bottom of the screen, and clicking on it takes you to a clean and neat betslip. It will list your potential parlays first, followed by straight bets. Additionally, across the top, you can customize your parlays (taking some straight bets out), tease games – it appears you can get 6 to 8.5 points on football, for instance – and create Round Robins.
- Statistics: This is a cool little feature. When you click on a game from most of the major sports – we’ll use the NFL as our “for instance” – the top of the page gets populated with a scrolling bar full of stats pertaining to the matchup. “Implied win probability” starts us off, followed by recent games of the teams playing, past matchups against each other, a “hot tip” – such as, “The Colts have won seven on their last eight road games against the Titans” – season-long cover percentage, recent over/under data, and a handful of other numbers. Are these necessarily actionable? Not really, but they’re there, they’re fun to scroll through, and they don’t interfere with the product at all.
The web-based platform for Barstool Sportsbook is, quite frankly, not as good as the app. It’s a little slower, a little less responsive. The bet slip – which quietly does its job on the app – literally pops out of the right hand part of the screen when you click on a bet, taking up real estate and covering up the other action. You have to manually arrow it back to whence it came.
Navigating is easy enough, with all the sports listed across the top, some of the sports in button form below that, the scrolling bar of promos. Off to the left are even more links to the sports, along with links to accounts, promos, preferences, and the like.
The center of the screen, thankfully, is dominated by odds. So that’s good.
The web-based platform is a little messier and a lot less responsive than the app. There is no contest here; it’s clear the app is the better choice.
Creating a Barstool Sportsbook account
The process for opening an account cannot be simpler at Barstool.
- For starters, you give your email, choose your username and password. Please note the password must contain a capital letter, a number, and a special character.
- Next up is a pair of security questions you’ll set, from “what’s the name of your oldest cousin?” to the Barstool-esqe “where did you have your first kiss?” You’ll also be afforded the opportunity here to click if you want to be asked the questions every time you log in, and if you want an email alert every time you log in.
- Lastly is your account information, name, address, birthday, phone, and last four of your Social Security number. All of these are standard questions.
- If you’re registering on your mobile device, you’ll be asked if you want to enable biometric login credentials.
- And that’s that. You’re in.
Pricing and betting options at Barstool Sportsbook
No matter how pretty a sportsbook app looks and how much you like Big Cat or PFT, for many folks, betting loyalty will come down to pricing. So, is Barstool competitive? Competitive enough, that’s for sure, though some of their numbers start creeping up once you get out of the -110 range.
For instance, in a recent NFL betting week, the majority of spread and moneyline bets were -110, but a few were -105 and — this is the issue — -117 instead of -115. Now, are we going to dither over a few points? Yes, yes we are. We are always encouraging our readers to shop for the best lines, and this is no exception. Every dime counts, so consider all of your options.
Overall, however, betting lines were more or less in line with the other major sportsbooks. This makes sense, of course, as Barstool currently uses Kambi Sports for its risk-management and betting menu — same as DraftKings (which will be switching to SB Tech) and BetRivers, among others. Accordingly, you will often (but not always) find the same prices and betting menu at these competing sportsbooks.
Player prop pricing
One area we always check out is player props, where a not-very-liquid market (meaning: less money is bet here as opposed to just the winner/loser, and it can be much easier to find advantages in these markets) can reveal some big swings site-to-site. But Barstool? Just fine and dandy.
In fact, its player props were in many cases better than some competitors. Many books have the standard odds on either/or player props (Derrick Henry over/under 85.5 yards, for example) set at -115 on either side. But Barstool? Most of their player props came in at -112 on either side, or equally priced otherwise (such as one side at -105, the other at -119). These prices were right in line with the big boys at DraftKings and FanDuel.
Here’s a more complete breakdown of what’s offered at Barstool Sportsbook:
- Moneylines: This is a simple bet, namely “who’s going to win.”
- Totals: For many sports, there’s an over/under number of points, goals, or runs scored. You can bet either over or under the stated amount, for the full game or just a half, or first five innings, etc.
- Spreads: If Team A is favored by 6 points, you can bet on them, but if they win by five points or fewer (or lose), you lose. If they win by six, you tie.
- Parlays: Combining two or more events, such as the Phillies moneyline and the Steelers spread bet. Odds for parlays grow exponentially the more outcomes you add.
- Teasers: Similar to parlays, but instead you get to add points to your spread parlay bets. Barstool allows you to add anywhere from 6 to 8.5 points, in half-point chunks.
- Player props: Betting on individual players to hit (or miss) their mark, like “Miles Sanders over/under 74.5 rushing yards” or “Bryce Harper to hit a home run.”
- In-game bets: Barstool offers the cutting edge of sports betting here, being able to wager on events as they happen. This is not just limited to the big sports; Barstool offers live betting on seemingly everything around the globe.
Betting options: Sports and leagues
For starters, you can bet on everything. OK fine, there’s some hyperbole in there, but really: It’s a long list. Here we go …
- Australian Rules
- Rugby League
- Table Tennis
And the above are not limited to the United States. For example, on a weekday afternoon in November, the live betting menu featured a trio of hockey games from Norway and Sweden, soccer from England, Scotland, Venezuela, and Uruguay, and a Russian table tennis match.
Really: If there’s a sporting event happening around the globe, Barstool probably has odds on it.
Other notes and promos
Barstool also offers an array of “only at Barstool” action, such as a “Quick Pick 6,” in which you choose from all the leagues, set a date range, and Barstool will automatically put together a six-leg parlay for you. Is this intelligent gambling? Hell no, but it is kinda fun.
Also, at 5 p.m. on weekdays, Barstool offers “Reduce the Juice,” a one-hour window of reduced odds on select standard bets.
Barstool also offers some exotic bets you may not find anywhere else, like “total points scored in all games this week in the Mid-American Football conference” and “total number of eagle putts for Bryson DeChambeau at the Masters.”
And then there’s the off-the-wall promos, like in giving players “Overs” jackets if they bet at least $100 on the over during a Monday Night football game early (during the 2020 seas).
Barstool Sportsbook loyalty/rewards
Barstool online sportsbook introduced a loyalty program that is tied in with all Penn Nationals retail properties, Barstool Online Casino in Michigan and Hollywood Online Casino in Pennsylvania called mychoice rewards. Mychoice reward points are earned for every bet you make at a $10 wagered for 1 tier point on straight bets and 1 point for every $5 bet on parlays. These points help move you up in the mychoice tier system and with each tier you climb, the better the perks.
|Tier Level||Points needed|
While you are earning tier points, you are also earning mycash points as well. Mycash points can be redeemed for Barstool merchandise, free play, dining comps, hotel stays and more. There are over 35 locations in the US including Michigan, Pennsylvania and Nevada where mycash points can be redeemed. If you are not ready to start traveling, mycash points can also be redeemed for bonus cash on any of the mychoice online casinos or sportsbooks.
Deposits and withdrawals at Barstool Sportsbook
Deposits and withdrawals are industry standard at Barstool. Here’s a rundown …
- ACH/e-Check: This is a quick and easy direct transfer from your bank to Barstool via eCheck, though withdrawals can take 3-5 business days. Deposits are usually near-immediate.
- Online banking: Not so different from ACH/e-check, except you’re just dealing directly with your bank on a digital transfer of funds. There is also a 3-5 business day lag when dealing with withdrawals.
- PayPal: More or less the gold standard, it’s an easy deposit and usually a same-day withdrawal.
- PayNearMe: This one takes a few steps. If you choose this, you’ll get sent a code, and then you’ll take that code to select stores – usually a 7-Eleven or CVS. You show the cashier the code, you pay the cashier, the magic of a connected world happens, and there’s money in your account. You cannot withdraw via this method.
- Debit/Credit cards: Debit cards are usually a go, though some credit cards balk at dealing with sportsbooks. May be a trial and error thing for users. Also, you cannot withdraw to your credit or debit cards.
- Wire Transfer: Pretend like it’s the 1940s and you’re wearing a fedora. Note funds will not be immediately available, and you can’t withdraw via wire transfer.
- Check: You can’t deposit this way, but you can have a check sent to you in the mail. Allow two weeks for delivery.
More on Barstool’s face, Dave Portnoy
Portnoy is no stranger to controversy – in fact, he seems to welcome it. Furthermore, the filter between his brain and his mouth sometimes seems to be short-circuited. But there is simply no denying the outsize impact he has on American culture, specifically American sports culture. In short: Millions of “Stoolies” can’t be wrong.
In 2016, Portnoy sold a majority stake of his business to the Chernin Group, staying on as, well, as “el Presidente.” Then in 2020, Penn National Gaming took a 36% stake in Barstool, with Portnoy continuing to retain creative control.
And Penn National knew what they were buying, as the company immediately launched plans for the Barstool Sportsbook app to be the company’s centerpiece into what’s quickly shaping up as the Sportsbook Wars of 2021 and beyond. And in September, the Barstool Sportsbook App officially launched in Pennsylvania.
More about Barstool Sportsbook
One area where Barstool absolutely slays the competition is their built-in fanbase. Many sportsbooks would fall over themselves to have access to the millions of “Stoolies” that visit Barstool websites and apps. Obviously, the goal for Penn National Gaming is to turn these millions of fans into millions of fans of the sportsbook.
And quite frankly, it doesn’t look like too heavy of a lift. Barstool fans are usually rabid Barstool fans; it’s a love or hate thing. With that kind of brand loyalty – and, as discussed, competitive pricing – it doesn’t seem like such a longshot that the Barstool Sportsbook becomes a dominant force in the space.
Of course, a lot of this – if not all of it – comes back to Portnoy. The love/hate experience people have with the Barstool brand is really a love/hate experience they have with Portnoy himself. Loud, brash, decidedly non-politically correct, Portnoy is a lightning rod. But really, at this point, with all his success, hating on Portnoy comes off a bit more as jealousy than anything else.
Sure, DraftKings has a deal with ESPN, PointsBet is tied up with NBC Sports, William Hill is with ESPN and CBS Sports, but Barstool Sportsbook is with… Barstool Sports. It is the strongest – and obviously, most direct – connection in the game. The only other potential comparison is the Toronto-based theScore Sportsbook, but they just don’t have the fanbase here in America, at least not yet.
Additionally, Penn National and Barstool are reaching out into the brick and mortar world, with the first Barstool Sportsbook having opened at the Ameristar Casino Resort Spa in Black Hawk, Colorado.
We take customer support seriously over here, as there is nothing more annoying than jumping into a live chat for help and finding out your 39th in the queue. Even more annoying? Finally getting through to someone who seems to know less than you do about your question.
So when we say Barstool’s customer support – specifically its live chat – is the best in the game, you should trust us. Every single time we utilized live chat, we got someone within minutes. Even more notable – the chat felt like an actual chat. English words used in sentences that human beings might say to another. Nothing robotic about the exchange, and all questions – no matter how arcane – were answered by the person we were connected with. Never did we have to go “up the chain.” What normally is a bad experience even in the best of times was an easy – and dare we say – kind of fun adventure. Not only should all sportsbook apps take a page from how Barstool is handling its live chat, all companies should see how it’s done right.
Barstool also has an email function, but it’s still in the messaging app format. You ask a question, and an automated response asks for your email address to answer it. Honestly, there’s no reason to use it. The live chat is best in class.
Jeff is a veteran journalist, working as a columnist for The Trentonian newspaper in Trenton, NJ for a number of years. He's also an avid sports bettor and DFS player. He can be reached at email@example.com.
- In which states is Barstool online sportsbook available?
- Barstool online sportsbook bonus package
- Barstool online sportsbook basics
- Barstool online sportsbook mobile app
- Web-based platform
- Creating a Barstool Sportsbook account
- Pricing and betting options at Barstool Sportsbook
- Betting options: Sports and leagues
- Other notes and promos
- Barstool Sportsbook loyalty/rewards
- Deposits and withdrawals at Barstool Sportsbook
- More on Barstool’s face, Dave Portnoy
- More about Barstool Sportsbook
- Customer support