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Best Free Bet Offers

It’s a competitive world out there when it comes to bookies looking to both attract new business and keep hold of the customers they already have. An increasingly popular way to do both is to offer free bets to customers. 

New customers will feel like they’re getting something decent for free (the clue is in the name) for opening an account at that betting site while existing customers will feel that their loyalty is being adequately rewarded when a free sports bet comes their way every so often. 

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What Is a Free Bet?

A free bet is a wager that a betting company offers to a customer to place on a sports event, either as an incentive to do something or as a reward for already having done something.

But as is the case with lots of elements of online betting, not all free bets are the same. They vary when it comes to such things as the amount of the free bet, how it can be used, when it must be used and what wagering requirements apply to that particular free bet. 

The word 'free' isn’t there by accident. Whereas normally, a customer needs to use their own funds to place bets in the classic Punter vs. Bookie battle of wits, in the case of a free bet, the betting site itself provides the money with which the customer places the bet. 

This may all sound incredibly simple, but there’s a bit more to it than that. Whereas it’s true that the betting site is the one stumping up the cash for you to place on a team, player or horse of your choice, free bet offers come with certain rules and requirements. To put it bluntly, the sportsbook is giving you something for free, but you can’t have it all your own way! 

This is where the terms and conditions of the free bets online come into play. A betting site may be looking to increase interest in a particular tennis tournament, meaning the free bet may need to be used on that particular event. Or, to make it a fair contest, they may decide that you need to place the free bet at minimum odds of, say, 1.5 rather than on a 1.01 shot where you’re almost guaranteed to win. 

Similarly, maybe you need to meet certain wagering requirements (see below) before being able to withdraw the cash. 

The point about all of this is that it’s vital that you read the terms and conditions of free bets carefully. Not only do they determine what you need to do to place the free bet correctly, but they also determine how to turn what is essentially bonus money into cash that you can withdraw. 

 

Latest Free Bet Offers

How Do Free Bets Work

Sportsbooks can’t just be throwing money away by giving free bets to customers who then win, withdraw their winnings and never come back. 

The expression ‘you’ll never find a poor bookie’ has some truth to it, but being an online betting site in one of the most competitive industries means the betting sites have to somewhat protect themselves, which is where those terms and conditions come into play. Here are some that you’ll see most often in free bet offers, with an explanation as to why they’re there. 

  • Expiry date: It’s not practical for a betting site to have a free bet offer that just sits in a customer’s account eternally. So, all free bet offers will have a date by which they need to be used. It could be as little as a couple of days or as much as 30 days, but there will always be one. 
  • Minimum odds: The idea of a free bet is that it’s the sort of wager that customers would normally place rather than one that’s open for bonus abuse. So, if you were allowed to place a bet at 1.05, it’s very likely to win rather than being a fair contest between sportsbook and punter. So, the betting site will usually determine that the bet must be placed at odds of at least 1.5 or 1.8.
  • Particular game/event: In a bid to increase interest in the event that may be a little under the radar compared to the more high-profile stuff like Champions League football or Wimbledon tennis, the betting site may insist that your free bet must be used on a particular event rather than just any event of your choice.  
  • Betting market: A betting site may wish to promote a particular betting market by offering a free bet on it in a bid to encourage customers to play it in the future. So, if your free bet is on, say, the ‘anytime goalscorer’ in a football match, maybe if you use your free bet on it and win, you may start playing that market more regularly. 
  • Type of bet: This could go one of two ways. The bookie may determine that you can’t use your free bet on, say, multiples or Bet Builders. Or they could go the other way and determine that it can only be used on multiples or Bet Builders. It just depends. 

Finally, a word on wagering requirements. Let’s say that with a particular free bet offer, the betting site allows you to place a free bet of £10 at whatever odds you wish on any football match of your choice. 

You decide to place it on there being at least one goal in the match at odds of 1.05. Assuming the bet won (it should, given the odds in question), you could then take the £10.50, withdraw, and never return to the betting site. 

That may not be a huge problem if it only applied to one customer, but imagine if a thousand customers all did exactly the same thing; it could prove very expensive to the betting site. So, the site may decide that you need to wager through the stake three times. In other words, you need to wager three times the value of the £10 free bet (£30) on future bets before you can withdraw it.

But there’s another way they can protect themselves. Very often the betting site will only allow you to keep the winnings from the bet rather than the stake, as well. So, if you placed your £10 bet at odds of 1.5 and it won, you’d keep the £5 profit but not the £10 stake. 

Free Bets Vs Risk-Free Bets

With free bets, the betting site supplies the money used to place the bet. Normally, the stake is put aside separately from your balance in order to place the free bet. For example, when Betfair gives you a free bet to use, you just need to press a button that tells the site that you’re using your £2 free bet bonus (rather than your own money) before processing it. If your free bet goes on to win, great. If it doesn’t, you’ll just have to wait till the next free bet offer comes your way. 

Risk-free bets work differently. Here, you need to use your own funds to place the bet. If you don’t have any funds, you’ll need to make a deposit in order to take advantage of the offer. If the bet wins, you pocket the winnings. If it loses, then the betting site will step in and refund you the value of the bet, hence why it’s risk-free. 

Different Types of Free Bets

These days, there are plenty of different types of free bets online. Whereas they all come under the category of ‘free bets’, they work in very different ways. Here are a few examples of them with explanations regarding the mechanics of how they work in practice. 

Matched Free Bet

This is a bit of a tricky one as 'matched bets' can also refer to using a free bet to place a wager on one outcome and then using a betting exchange or other betting site to place a bet on the opposite outcome, thus ensuring you make a profit regardless of what happens. 

But normally, a matched bet means that if you place a bet for a particular amount – generally on an event chosen by the betting site – the sportsbook will then give you a free bet in the future for doing so. For example, if you place a Bet Builder for £10 on a Tuesday Champions League game, you’ll be given a bet for the same amount, which is also to be used as a Bet Builder on any Wednesday Champions League game. 

Matched Deposits

Strictly speaking, this isn’t so much an example of a free bet as it is an example of free wagering money. What we mean by that is that a free bet is normally for a particular stake to be used as a one-off bet, whereas matched deposits can normally be used on whatever you like and don’t have as many restrictions in terms of timings and the events they can be used on. 

Furthermore, matched bets, as the name suggests, are linked to deposits. So, the offer may be that if you deposit £20, the betting site will give you a (100%) matched bonus, meaning they’ll ‘match’ what you deposited. You’ll then have £40 to play with rather than £20. 

Crucially, there’s normally a cap on how much you can claim as a matched deposit. The maximum might be £50, meaning that even if you deposited £500, the bookie would only ever give you £50. There are also likely to be wagering requirements on the matched deposit bonus but not on the money you actually deposited. 

Enhanced Odds Bonus

This is another bonus that maybe isn’t a free bet as such but is still worth including here. 

In this case, the betting site will allow you to place a bet at considerably greater odds than it would normally be. For example, whereas Rory McIlroy’s odds to win The Open would normally be 7.0, the betting site may look to attract more business by offering McIlroy at 9.0.

Some online bookies will save these enhanced odds for special events, whereas others make 2-3 such bets available every day. Even though there are often limits on your stake, winnings from such bets don’t tend to have wagering requirements.  

No Deposit Free Bets

Whether this applies to new or existing customers, very often, part of the deal is that you must make a deposit to get your free bet. It goes without saying that it’s in the betting site’s interest for you to do so. But that’s not always the case. 

Sometimes, bookies' freebet offers really are just a gift without you needing to deposit or do anything else to get them. The idea here is that inactive customers may not have played for a while, and being awarded a free bet may spark their interest in making a deposit of their own accord at a later stage. 

Stake Not Returned Bets

We’ve mentioned this in passing already: if your free bet wins, you get the profit paid to your account but not the stake itself. 

So, you’re awarded a free bet for £10 and put it on Chelsea at evens (2.0) to beat Arsenal. If it wins, the £10 is paid to you but not the stake. It’s one of the ways betting sites give something away without compromising too much of their own money. 

 

Best Free Bets

Benefits of Free Bets

Free bets are a useful tool for sportsbooks and an attractive bonus for bettors. Here are some of their benefits for both sides:

  • It's a good way to place real-money bets when you’re low on funds or don’t have any at all. 
  • Customers will feel like they’re being rewarded for their loyalty as an existing customer or for choosing that particular site as a new customer. 
  • When the free bet must be used on a particular sport/event, it encourages you to try betting on sports you wouldn’t normally wager on. You might find a new favourite. 
  • The same goes for types of betting markets (e.g. Over/under 2.5 goals) or types of bets such as Bet Builders or multiples.  
  • With the exception of free bets that depend on you making a deposit, there’s no downside whatsoever to using a free bet. 

Free Bets: An Overview

By now, you should be fully up to speed with what free bets are, why betting sites give them out, what different types of free bets exist, crucial terms and conditions that determine how they have to be used, how wagering requirements work and everything else about them. 

The greatest benefit to them is that if you’re low on funds or don’t have any money at all in your account, using a free bet that goes on to win can get you back in the game and allow you to build on your winnings, however big or small they may be. 

Having said all that, remember that free bets, like just about all bonuses, aren’t free money as such. If you need to make a deposit of £20 to get a £3 free bet, it may not be worthwhile to do so, as other sites may have better bonuses on offer if you are prepared to make a deposit. This is why free bets awarded to you without having to make a deposit or do anything else are the best ones.

Always remember to read the terms and conditions carefully so you know exactly what you have to do to get your free bet and how to meet the wagering requirements if the bet goes on to win so you can withdraw the money should you choose to do so.

FAQ

How do you guarantee profit with free bets?

A free bet is already something you’ve got as an extra at a sportsbook, so any win with your free bet is a profit. Now, to improve your chances of winning, it’s best to use your free bet on a wager that’s most likely to win.

Can I withdraw free bet money?

Yes, you can withdraw the money you’ve won through a free bet. Bookies typically have wagering requirements for releasing these funds and, of course, you cannot take the cash instead of your free bet.

How do I place a free bet?

Sign up for a betting site and collect your free bet offer either by placing your first deposit or completing a qualifying bet. Check the free bet restrictions and then make a bet (or bets) that fits these requirements. Also, make sure you’ve completed the offer before the expiration date, so verify the T&C on how your sportsbook of choice handles the free bet offers.

Do free bets pay real money?

This depends on the betting site and typically you’ll only get the winnings as real money, but not the stake that was part of the free bet. Bookies often have additional requirements before you can withdraw these funds, usually involving wagering the winnings a certain amount of times.

Who offers the most free bets?

All bookies listed on this page offer free bets as part of their promo offers. Their offers change on a regular basis, so be sure to check each of the sites to find the latest promotions.

Are free bets free money?

Basically, free bets are free money. That being said, bookies often require players to complete a certain task, usually depositing some amount of money or placing a qualifying bet, before rewarding the player with a free bet.