This page is for those of you who want to quickly compare the free bet offers and betting bonuses that we list. The free bets listed in the table below are pretty much the same as the ones on the main betting bonuses page, just displayed in a way that makes comparison easier.
Best Free Bets From UK Betting Sites
Terms and conditions apply, new customers only. Refer to the bookmakers website for full details.
Casino Free Bets
Traditionally most betting sign up offers could only be used to place sports bets, but recently many sites have started including casino free bets as well. So you might sign up, deposit and bet £10 and then receive three £10 sports bets plus a £10 casino bet. Alternatively you might find yourself on the receiving end of some free spins or some other kind of casino related perk.
Note: If you’re mainly interested in casino games then you might want to head on over to our casino bonuses page which lists sign up offers that are specific to the casino section of the betting sites.
We’re assuming that all readers of this site like a flutter – whether it’s on some hands of blackjack at the local casinos or trying for a huge progressive jackpot at an online casino. We also know that if you’re on this site that you’re aware of the benefits that playing with free casino money can bring.
But did you know that many online bookmakers also offer free bets to their customers? It surprises us sometimes when we hear that our casino bonus loving friends who place bets on the football or have a punt on the Grand National do so at a local bookies where they receive no bonus at all.
With this in mind, this section of the site that focuses on betting bonuses – a term we use to cover the free bets and other promotional offers that bookies offer their new customers.
On the page you’ll find recommendations of the best betting offers and promotions from trusted and UK facing online betting sites – including many of the names you’ll recognise from the high street. The main page of the site lists the best offers along with a short description, or if you’re looking for a quick list there is also a page where you can compare free bet offers.
Free Bets Explained
Free bets are offered by bookmakers as a method of marketing and promotion to encourage new customers to give them a try. The bookmakers lose money on free bets but they are a highly effective way of attracting new gamblers and work in the same way as a supermarket loss-leader – a product the supermarket uses to get people through the door but on which they actually make a loss. The bookmakers hope and expect that enough people will like and enjoy their product and come back as regular punters to compensate for the ones who will come for the free bet but then leave for ever.
Of course, there is no obligation to use a bookmaker beyond the free bet. They have created the freebie as a promotion and chosen to offer it. It is up to them to convince their potential customers of the merit of their sports betting products and to convert them into loyal patrons but if you want to take a free bet and move on that’s your prerogative.
That said, few free bets and bonuses are totally free and most require you to risk some of your own funds at some stage. Moreover, all free bets have terms and conditions attached which must be fulfilled in order to gain the free bet and then to subsequently withdraw any winnings. Here we take a brief look at the main types of free bets and the different terms likely to be attached to then.
- Matched Bet – This is a bonus bet token that is given after you have place a qualifying bet. So if you sign up, deposit and place a bet of £25, then you receive a £25 free bet token once your original bet has been settled. Most matched bets do not come with any additional wagering requirements.
- No Lose Bet – Similar to a matched bet except that you only receive your free bet token if your original bet loses. So despite the fact that a ‘no lose bet’ sounds fantastic, they’re actually not as good as traditional matched bets. Like matched bets, the winnings from most no lose bets are immediately withdrawable with no further playthrough or turnover requirements.
- Deposit Bonuses – A deposit bonus is very much like a casino bonus in that you sign up, make a deposit and receive some bonus cash in your account. You can then use this bonus money to bet as you wish. Like casino bonuses, they usually come with a set playthrough requirement so that you can’t just receive the bonus and immediately withdraw it. This turnover tends to be much lower than you’d find at a casino though – expect to see something in the region of 4 – 10 times at a decent betting site.
There are a couple of other things you should take into account when looking at a betting bonus. First, most qualifying bets as well as the free bet tokens require you to place bets at a minimum odds. This is usually evens or better (2.0 in decimal) or sometimes 1/2 (1.5 in decimal). This is to stop you placing your qualifying bets on events or outcomes that are nearly a ‘sure thing’.
Secondly, different betting sites treat their free bet tokens in different ways. Some will give you the value of the free bet’s stake along with your winnings (known as ‘stake returned’) meaning that if you have a £10 free bet token and it wins at odds of 2/1, you will receive £30 back – just like you would if you had placed the bet with £10 of your own money (£20 winnings + £10 stake).
Other betting sites only pay you the winnings (known as ‘stake not returned’) – so if you placed a £10 free bet that wins at 2/1, then you would receive £20 back (£20 winnings only and not the £10 stake).
In case you were wondering, deposit bonuses are usually always withdrawable once you have met the turnover requirements.
That’s pretty much all you need to know about betting bonuses – so have fun, place a few bets and hopefully win yourself some extra money. Just be sensible and never bet with money you can’t afford to lose.
Checklist: Things to Look Out For
- Are there minimum odds attached to the free bet and/or the qualifying bet?
- Do you have to wager a certain amount before any winnings can be withdrawn?
- Is the stake returned or not returned with your free bet?
- Are any sports, markets or types of bet excluded from the free bet?
- Are there any geographic restrictions? Is the free bet available to people in your country?
- Are there any time limits, for example from joining to claiming the free bet or from the free bet being added to when it expires?