Free Bets; the gold dust and sometime saviour of bettors. But, just what are they and just how useful can they be? Whether they are coming in handy as damage limitation when a bet falls through, or, cropping up as part of a bookmakers free bet offers. In both instances, they are worth making the most of. Below, we have a table of just some of the best free bet sign up promotions from a range of some of your favourite bookmakers. You really won’t want to miss out on these top best free bets.
Free Bet Offers from UK Bookies (July 2020)
How Does a Free Bet Work?
If you’ve spent any time whatsoever betting on sports, or simply investigating a few bookies, you’ll almost certainly have come across the term ‘free bets’. So, what exactly does this mean, and how do free bet offers actually work?
For starters, while a free bet itself is free, you will usually have to fulfill some real-money betting requirements before claiming it. Once you’ve completed those, you’ll unlock your free bets. These might come as one lump sum, or – preferably – as separate, smaller bets.
These free bet tokens will be free to use, in that they won’t count against the cash balance of your account. For the most part they work just like regular wagers, in that you pick your market, accept the odds, and stick the bet down, only using free bets instead of cash. One crucial difference, though, is that – unlike a regular bet – your stake won’t be returned with any winnings.
Let’s investigate William Hill’s classic ‘Bet £10, Get £30’ New Customer Offer as an example:
- Register at William Hill, entering the promo code P30
- Deposit £10, avoiding ineligible payment methods
- Within the football section, bet £10 on Everton to beat Watford at evens (exceeding the minimum qualifying odds of 1/2)
- Everton win, returning £20 (£10 winnings + £10 stake)
- Receive 2 x £15 free bets, to be used within 30 days
- Place the first on Southampton to beat Aston Villa, at 3/1
- Southampton draw, so the bet loses
- Place the second on Arsenal to beat Tottenham, at 2/1
- Arsenal win. You return £30, with the free bet stake not included
- From a £10 real money deposit, you now have £50 in cash in your account
Free Bet Offers for New Customers
Bookmakers free bets will more often than not be linked to some sort of new customer offer. But how do they work exactly? Well, as you can see from our table above, every bookies free bet offers differ in what you get back. Not only in what they offer, but, also how you qualify for your free sports bets.
These offers are aggressive and are positioned to keep the bookmaker competing at the top alongside other bookmakers. If you’re a new betting customer, you have a huge range of options open to you as to which bookies you sign up with.
So, of course, you’ll have a look at who is going to offer you the best free bets online. Each offer from each bookmaker will all have different terms and conditions which apply to their free sign up bet. You need to be wary of these, as, otherwise you may not hit the stipulations set out and you will miss out on your free bet!
Bet X, Get Y
The most popular method for distributing these tokens to new customers is via free bet sign up offers. We’ve looked at William Hill’s version already – one of the best free bet offers out there – but you’ll find plenty of similar promotions from bigger and smaller bookies alike.
These usually take the form of ‘Bet X, Get Y’, wherein you fulfil a betting requirement to unlock the free bets, and must use them within a given period of time (anywhere from 7 to 30 days). If you’re looking for a new bookie, we’d highly encourage you to seek out this promotion type; it’s straightforward, and offers excellent value.
No deposit free bets
No deposit free bets are much less common than regular welcome promotions. If you can find them, though, these are probably the best free bet offers of the bunch. As the name suggests, these promotions give you a free bet without requiring any kind of real money deposit. They will normally offer much smaller rewards, though – perhaps only a £5 token – which is obviously dwarfed by the £20-£30 you’ll get from regular welcome offers.
For larger bookies, risk-free bets are another popular way to deliver free bets for new customers. Again, this offer type is summed up in its name: your first bet with a new bookie is entirely risk-free. If the bet wins, you collect your winnings as normal. If it loses, you’ll get your entire stake refunded. While some sportsbooks offer this refund as cash, it’s more likely to be delivered as a free bet.
Finally, we have matched deposits. Another straightforward proposition, these offers ensure your first deposit with a sportsbook is ‘matched’ in the form of free bets. Although some bookies will only provide a 50% match, many will offer a full 100%; if you deposit £20, for example, you’ll automatically be given £20 in free bets.
The Most Common Free Bet T&C’s Explained
With that in mind, it is well worth knowing the pitfalls and stipulations that must be hit across the majority of large-to-small bookmaker. Here is an example of a hypothetical free bet promotion then: Bookmaker ABC offers you a “£50 free bet” when you sign up as a new customer. In these hypothetical terms and conditions, you are likely to come across the likely stipulations that free bet offers with. The main stipulations are; the deposit amount, the deposit method, rollover requirements and minimum odds that the qualifying wagers must be placed on. Once you know these key stipulations, it is MUCH easier to then identify which are the best free bet offers in the UK.
- Deposit Amount: Most big bookmakers, such as William Hill and Paddy Power, will state that there is a minimum you must deposit for the first time after you sign up to be eligible for this offer.
- Deposit Method: In line with the stipulated minimum deposit, many betting sites with free bets on sign up ask make it clear that only deposits made via debit/credit card will be eligible.
- Rollover Requirements: Sometimes known by this name, others by wager requirement. Essentially, the bookmaker is not going to give you a free £10 bet for simply depositing £10. No, you must bet through it numerous times (often three times) to the value of £30, in this case.
- Minimum Odds: This one is probably the simplest to spot, but, can have the most telling impact on you receiving your betting sites free bets. Don’t worry though, they aren’t normally too harsh with this and will often set the minimum odds that bets qualify on at 1/2.
Maximise Your Profits With Free Bets
In the UK free bets are available left right and centre, but, what’s the point in just being eligible for a free bet and then wasting it? That’s why to maximise your free online bets the best advice we can give you is this; read our reviews and choose the best bonuses available to you!
We have touched on it previously too, but, there is no cap on the number of bookies free bets you can sign up for. Yes, if you find through our reviews that there are two or three specific bookmakers you like the look of and their free sports bets tickle your fancy – then feel free to sign up to all of them and utilise them all.
One thing which is paramount and we cannot stress enough to check before going to sign up for any free bets offers is that you simply must check the minimum deposit required to qualify. If you don’t, you not only pass the opportunity to be eligible for the free bet, but, you’ve then also made a deposit you didn’t want to make.
The other to note, is that while some reward your deposit and thereafter betting – some bookies will simply match your first bet. So, if that’s the case with your chosen sign up offer, don’t squander the chance by placing a small first bet, when you could get more bang for your buck!
Free Bets For Existing Users
They might be more commonly associated with welcome offers, but free bets can play a key role in retaining customers too. In fact, an increasing number of sportsbooks are making free bets part of their ongoing promotions arsenal.
The two most common ways in which this is done are free bet clubs and weekly free bets. There are slight differences between the two, but the intention is the same. Namely, to provide customers with regular free bets as rewards for their ongoing loyalty, and – hopefully – keep them betting regularly.
In terms of their actual mechanics, you will normally have to fulfil a set of betting criteria in order to unlock one, or multiple, free bets. These will usually reset at the end of a given period, with most being calculated on a weekly basis.
To give you a better idea of exactly how these ongoing free bet promotions work, let’s look at a few examples that are currently on the market.
William Hill Free Bets
Well, some bookmakers such as William Hill will just randomly reward you with free bets into your account. Sometimes unannounced which, if a free bet can be deemed this, is rather frustrating – but you do tend to get a notification when they do.
Coral Free Bets
There are other bookmakers which work to this method, but what do others do to give back to their longstanding bettors? Well, Coral for instance have their Bet & Get scheme, which sees bettors bet Monday-Thursday and be rewarded with a free bet on the Friday. Not bad right?
Betway Free Bets
Betway have their tier system which is free to utilise. The more you bet, the more you get back from them and move up the tiers. Everything from free bets to VIP tickets to sporting events.
Paddy Power Free Bets
The Paddy Power Rewards Club is easily one of the best loyalty schemes around right now. It’s easy to understand, delivers great value, and scales depending on how much you’re willing to spend. At the lowest level, you need only place a £5 bet to unlock a ‘Power Up’; essentially an odds boost. Place five bets of £5 or more within a week and you’ll get a £5 free bet, while five bets of £10 or more nets you a £10 free bet. This offer can be triggered every single week, and free bets last for a whole week too.
A final example of this is Paddy Power who use social media, with their Finders Keepers campaign. They randomly drop a huge cash amount into an unassuming existing account, which must be claimed within a set time-frame. If you don’t claim it, it moves onto the next random account. The second part of this is they also place thousands of free bets into random accounts too under the same proviso. Use it, or lose it!
The LeoVegas Bet Club
The LeoVegas Bet Club works in a similar way, delivering loyalty rewards on a weekly basis. To qualify, you must place at least five in-play bets of £10 or more on the mobile app. Those five bets will net you a tidy 20% profit boost to increase your winnings, but the best thing about this offer is how it scales.
Place 10 qualifying bets in a week, for example, and you’ll get a 30% boost. 15 bets get you 40%, 20 bets gives you 50%, and – if you hit 25 bets – you’ll net a hefty 100% profit boost, which can deliver up to £100 in extra winnings.
MansionBet MakeABet Club
Finally, we have the MansionBet MakeABet Club. MakeABet is MansionBet’s version of a ‘bet builder’; a tool which helps simplify multiples betting. In this case, you need to include at least three selections in your wager, it can be pre-match or in-play, and you must stick it on an eligible major football league.
Place three such bets of £5 or more within a week, and you’ll be given a £10 free bet, which can be used any time within the next seven days. If you’re a fan of accumulator betting anyway, this is an excellent offer for you.
Free Bet Tips
By now, you should have a pretty good idea of how free bets work. To ensure you’re fully prepared to get the most possible value from them, though, we’ve provided a few top tips for maximising your free bets:
Watch out for restrictions
Whatever the promotion type, our number one rule is to always check the terms and conditions! It’s no different when it comes to free bets. We’d encourage you to check out those T’s & C’s in full before committing to an offer, but there are two main restrictions to look out for.
Firstly, which markets are eligible, either for the qualifying bet or the free bet? Many can only be used on football, for example; others are fine for singles bets, but not multiples. Secondly, what are the minimum odds; again, for either the qualifying or free bets? If there are separate minimum odds for a multiples bet, are they cumulative or ‘per selection’?
Check the expiry date
There’s nothing more frustrating than studying those T’s & C’s, fulfilling the requirements perfectly, getting your free bet… and then completely forgetting to use it in time!
Within its terms and conditions, every free bet offer will have an ‘expiry date’ for the free bet. Usually, you’ll have seven days to use it, but this can vary from brand to brand. Also, check whether this date relates to placing the free bet, or settling it; if it’s the latter, your wager must actually be completed within that time frame.
Prioritise smaller denominations
We touched on this earlier, but – particularly with welcome offers – some brands will offer their free bets as a lump sum, while others will give them out in smaller chunks. ‘£30 in free bets’, for example, might mean 1 x £30, 2 x £15, or 3 x £10.
As a rule of thumb, it’s slightly preferable to have more, smaller bets. This allows you to spread your exposure around, and not risk the entire reward for the offer on one, single bet.
Get your loyalty rewarded
Free bets might usually be associated with welcome offers, but – as noted above – they’re often available via ongoing promotions too. If you already have a bookie you enjoy using, head to their ‘Promotions’ page immediately and find out if there are any deals you can profit from.
You might find that you actually only need to adjust your regular betting behaviour a little to lock in a nice reward. If you’re an existing Paddy Power customer, for example, and already regularly place four £5 bets per week… stick one more down and get yourself that £5 free bet courtesy of the Rewards Club!
Free bets are part and parcel of a successful bettor, why? Because used currently and at the right times they can help you maximise your winnings, or, in some cases help you save your winnings. Whether it is as part of a new sign up offer, or, part of a recurring current customer offer – you should always look into the offer first. Don’t get distracted by the information and graphics that are promoting the offer – look deeper to find out how and what can be done with your free bet gathered from the offer. If you implement this to every free bet offer you receive, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with just how handy they can be.