The Different Types of Free Bet
Each bookmaker has a different free bet promotion and it’s important to read the key terms and conditions before qualifying for each offer. We aim to provide as much information about each operator and its bonus so that you’re fully equipped to land the free bet, although you can contact their customer service department should you require further information.
- Matched free bets: These are probably the most common type, with new customers needing to make a first deposit after opening an account with a bookmaker. They then need to place a qualifying bet and, when this wager is settled, the bookie will credit your account with a free bet to the same stake. There is usually an odds requirement for your qualifying bet such as 1/5 (1.20) or 1/2 (1.50).
- No deposit free bets: You can occasionally land yourself a free bet without having to make a deposit. It might still be the case that you need to register your payment details although a bookie might then credit your account with a bonus without having to risk any of your own money. Naturally, it’s great to bet with risk-free money although there are likely to be turnover requirements before any withdrawal can be made, and no deposit bonuses would be more common with casinos.
- Reload bonuses: After you’ve claimed a welcome bonus, the bookies will want you to keep returning to their site and reload bonuses often attract repeat business. You might get an email from a bookmaker offering you the chance to enjoy a reload bonus when you log in and make another deposit and this could even be another 100% match if you’re lucky.
- Risk-free bets: Online sports betting generally carries some level of risk to your funds, although that’s not always the case. There are first-class bookmakers who will give new customers a risk-free bet offer and this generally involves getting money back if your opening wager is a loser. So you either get to keep the profit if you win and get money back if it loses.
- Qualifying free bets: So you might open a bookmaker account and follow the terms and conditions to generate a free bet. However, there might then be qualifying conditions before a withdrawal can be made. Sometimes you need to bet through this free bet amount a certain number of times before a withdrawal can be made and there might also be a minimum odds requirement.
- In-Play bonuses: In-Play betting has become increasingly popular over the past few years and there are bookmakers who run free bet promotions where customers can enjoy In-Play bonuses. These offers generally centre around big football matches and it might require you to bet a certain amount on a pre-match betting market before the bookie then allow you to enjoy an In-Play bonus when the match in question has kicked off.
- Moneyback specials: You’re not always going to back a winner when you place a bet, although you can sometimes get losing stakes refunded thanks to the moneyback specials that are available with certain bookmakers. These are often called MBS and a bookie might specify that if a team wins a particular match or a player scores in the game, you can enjoy money back on losing bets as a free bet.
Find the Best Free Bet Offer for you
Quite simply, there has never been so much choice and that’s great news if you haven’t opened up an online betting account with any bookmaker so far. However, the wide range of available free bets can often be confusing and it’s important to take your time and pick out the promotions which work best for you.
We recommend that you’re always comfortable with the amount you need to deposit and bet in order to qualify for a free bet, while it also makes sense to focus on bookie at a time rather than trying to generate bonuses with several operators simultaneously as this could prove overwhelming.
There is no limit as to how many different online betting accounts you can have. Indeed, we recommend that it’s worth signing up with a number of new betting sites. Firstly, that means you can land yourself multiple free bets and hopefully enjoy a winning start. Secondly, you can then benefit from existing customer offers and for example, more competitive horse racing odds in the long run.
Free Bets for New Customers
The vast majority of free bet promotions are designed for new customers considering that the bookmakers are always trying to bolster the number of registered players who are visiting their website on a daily basis. They are often generous and could see a bookie offer you a matched free bet which should be used wisely.
Many new customers use free bets recklessly and go for a big-priced selection in the hope of landing a big return, although it pays to be more calculated and look for a betting option that you consider to be a value proposition. It’s always good to make a winning start and get ahead of the curve when your bookie offers you free money.
Free Bets for Existing Customers
You might have to work harder to land a free bet when you’re an existing customer although there are promotions out there, especially when there are big sporting events like Champions League football, the Cheltenham Festival and the US Masters. It’s always worth visiting the bookmaker websites during busy weeks to see what offers are available and you can hopefully secure some bonuses.
Alternatively, we often receive an email thanking us for being a loyal customer and getting the chance to use a free bet. The same applies to many other customers and the size of the free bet tends to differ according to your average stake and whether you’re regarded as a “winning” or a “losing” customer.
Football Betting Offers
Many of us love betting on football and there are regularly offers regularly available when it comes to key competitions such as the Premier League, Champions League and World Cup. We’re talking about In-Play free bets, Acca Insurance, Money Back Specials and Price Boosts, while many new customers will also qualify for their welcome bonus by betting on football and then using their free bet on a different match.
Bookmakers vary on whether they will offer cash out on bets placed with free bets. It's worth checking out each betting sites T's & C's before joining.
Horse Racing Free Bets
For most UK bookmakers, horse racing is one of the leading sports when it comes to turnover and it therefore means that they will have free bets available for the big meetings. Whether it’s the Cheltenham Festival, Royal Ascot or Glorious Goodwood, it’s likely that an operator might boost their its standard free bet and offer a new customer something special.
You might even find that a particular horse is the subject of a Price Boost so that you’re able to bet small stakes on a runner at 30/1 when the actual price should be evens. The winnings are sometimes paid in free bets and this is an excellent way of getting started, although you’ll often find a matched free bet as an alternative here.
Cheltenham Free Bets
We would say the Cheltenham Festival is the best time to either open a new bookmaker account or alternatively have an active existing bookie account. If you’re a new player, Cheltenham is the time to land the biggest bonuses with some firms, with this four-day meeting being a huge opportunity for bookmakers to land new players.
There are Money Back Specials, free bets if you back a winner at a certain price and the chance to enjoy a free bet if you bet on the opening race of each day of the meeting. A shrewd customer will end up generating a large number of bonuses throughout Cheltenham week.
Grand National Free Bets
The bookmakers tend to be split over the Grand National so you might not always find a free bet available for the Aintree extravaganza. Some firms will pull up the drawbridge and try to avoid once-a-year punters with their welcome bonus, although others are more generous and there’s the chance to have a free shot at backing the winner of the world’s most famous steeplechase.
Royal Ascot Free Bets
When it comes to flat horse race meetings in the UK, none are bigger than Royal Ascot, with five days of high-quality action taking place in front of huge crowds. This popular event leads the bookies to regularly pull out the stops with their free bets and you can often enjoy a more generous welcome bonus during Royal Ascot than you would find in a typical week.
Free Bets FAQ's
Can I use my free bet on mobile devices?
- Yes, most bookmakers will allow you to claim the same free bet offer whether you’re betting on desktop or mobile.
Are free bets available to new customers only?
- The most generous free bets generally apply to new customers, although existing customers can regularly land free bets when it comes to big sporting events.
What is a wagering requirement?
- A wagering requirement means the number of times you have to play through a certain amount of money before you can qualify for a free bet or a bonus.
Can I cash out with a free bet?
- There is sometimes the chance to cash out your free bet. If this option is available, you should be able to see the cash out value after you have placed the bet.
What are VIP and loyalty schemes?
- These schemes are aimed at customers who bet with the same bookmaker on a regular basis. You can earn loyalty points and VIP customers will get several perks including more free bets.
Which betting sites give free bets to new players?
- The vast majority of bookmakers will offer you a free bet when you get started. Take a look through our list and work out which free bet is the most appealing to you.
Can I use multiple free bets?
- You can't open multiple accounts with the same bookmaker although there is no limit as to how many different free bets you can claim. Some customers take the welcome bonus from every bookie that is listed at on our website.
How do free bets work?
- The vast majority of free bets are provided by a bookmaker when a customer registers a betting account, makes a first deposit and then places a first bet. The free bet is then credited and you can bet on a selection with the bonus cash.
I haven’t received my free bet stake return, what’s wrong?
- Free bet stakes are generally not included in any returns. You should bear this in mind when it comes to betting with a free bet and find odds that will secure you a desirable return.
Are all payment methods eligible for free bets?
- Not always. Read the terms and conditions where you might find that new customers e-wallet payment solutions such as Skrill, Neteller and PayPal won't be eligible for a free bet.
What does free bet returned mean?
- Sometimes a bookmaker will include the free bet stake as part of your overall returns. So they will credit you with a bonus and you can bet in the knowledge that you will get the stake and the profit from that bet.