Free bets are offered by bookmakers to try and attract new customers and can be a great way to try out a new online bookmaker without risking too much of your own cash, or – very occasionally – any at all. As you can see in the list below, all the bookies we work with, including the big high street brands that are household names, offer free bets and we’ve got the full lowdown on what they are, how they work and things to watch out for.
What Are Free Bets?
As said, free bets are enticements to attract new customers in what is an evermore competitive sector. If you watch pretty much any sporting event on TV you’ll see either some form of sponsorship from a betting company or else the adverts will be for one or other of the big brands. Free bets are just like this – part of the marketing budget to attract new players and get the name of the bookmaker more widely known.
On average they cost the bookmaker money, make no mistake about that. But on the other hand, that means that you the player can benefit from free bets and do so with no real effort. Most bookies offer a free bet as a welcome bonus to a new customer when they join. If you’ve already got an account, and often even if someone in your household has, you won’t be eligible but otherwise you’re free – and we fully advise you to do this – to take advantage of all the free bets the bookies offer.
Depending on the exact nature of the free bet they can either double your odds or act as a “buy one get one free” type deal, giving you more chances to win. Why not open a new bookmaker account with all the best online bookies out there and take advantage of the free bets whilst also trying out the bookies and deciding which you like best?
To claim a free bet just open a new account by clicking on any of the links here and within five minutes you can be betting on whichever game of football – or other event – you like. It’s that easy! Note that with most you’ll usually need to make some sort of bet or deposit first in order to qualify for the free bet but we’ll explain more about that in the next section.
Different Types of Promotion
A matched free bet usually offers a 100% match of your first bet at a bookie. These are usually up to a maximum amount of £25 or £50 although it varies from site to site. Some sites even offer a 200% or even a whopping 400% free bet, so, for example, if you place a £5 qualifying bet you might get a free bet of £20!
No Lose Free Bet
With a no lose free bet the free bet is only credited if your first bet loses with a given bookmaker, so these are not quite as good. It still gives you the chance to have a bet though, safe in the knowledge that if you don’t win you’ll get a free bet and have a good chance of making an overall profit.
With a deposit bonus the bookie will usually match the value of your first deposit up to a given amount. Terms vary between different online betting sites so whilst a 100% deposit bonus is fairly standard, some offer 50% whilst others offer 200% or more. Most deposit bonuses are subject to a rollover, or wagering requirement, of which more below.
No Deposit Free Bet
These are increasingly rare but they do crop up from time to time and this really is a no lose, free bet. If ever there was such a thing as a free lunch, this is it! Just sign up and the bookie will give you a totally free bet. You can’t just withdraw the money but as you don’t need to make a deposit (though you may need to provide debit/credit card details for ID) you literally have nothing to lose so any no deposit free bets should be snapped up!
Common Terms and Conditions
Different free bets will have different terms and conditions and we suggest you check these with the site you are signing up with. That said, these terms aren’t to trick you and all of the sites we work with have rules that are fair and relatively simple to comprehend. Here we list some of the main things to look out for so you don’t lose out on your free bet.
- Minimum Odds – Many bookies will have minimum odds on either the qualifying bet, the free bet or occasionally both. If you bet on something below the minimum odds you may forfeit the chance to earn a free bet.
- Stake Returned or Not Returned – Most free bets are stake not returned. This means that a £25 free bet at odds of 2/1 returns £50 profit but you don’t get a total of £75 as the free bet is stake not returned. Very few free bets today are stake returned and if they are they tend to carry wagering requirements.
- Wagering Requirements – Sometimes, especially with a no deposit bonus or a stake returned free bet, the online bookie will require you complete a certain amount of wagering with them before you can make a withdrawal of any winnings. This may entail, for example, betting a total of three times the free bet amount, or three times the deposit plus bonus.
- Time Limits – Most free bets have time limits of some sort, with restrictions on how long you wait from registering to claiming the free bet, how long the free bet is valid for and how long you have to complete any wagering requirements all being common.
- Restricted Markets – Some bookies do not allow free bets, qualifying bets or rollover bets to be made on certain markets, with in-play bets often restricted – check the relevant terms for details.