Types of Free Bet Offers
With so many betting sites offering lots of different deals, there’s plenty of choice out there for new and current punters. Here are some of the different types of free bet offers you’ll come across at UK betting sites.
New Customer Free Bets
Also known as welcome offers, these are the most common free bet offers, issued to new customers when they first sign up to a betting site. Free bet sign up offers are usually automatically credited to your betting account and kept separate from any deposits that you’ve made.
New customer free bets are often contingent on punters making a qualifying bet on a particular market. For example, a £20 bet on any sports market might unlock some free bets. Another example is Bet365’s open account offer, where punters new to the site receive £50 in free bets when they bet £10 for the first time.
Welcome offers featuring free bets usually come with low or no wagering requirements, and generally player-friendly terms. Still, be sure to check out the T&Cs before you bet, as it’s likely there’ll be rules around minimum bets.
Existing Customer Free Bets
The best betting sites will reward loyal customers with frequent free bet offers, often in connection with major sporting events such as big boxing bouts and football cup finals. Sometimes the free bets will be more flexible with the markets you can place them on — for example, Bet365 regularly dishes out £5 free bets to be used on any upcoming Premier League match at the weekend.
These offers tend to be less generous than free bets for new customers, but can still provide a boost. The good news? These types of bets don’t usually require any wagering or qualifying bets to activate them — once they’re in your account, you can bet away on selected markets without any faff.
Matched Wager Offers
With a matched wager offer, the bookie will equal the wager you set down by a certain percentage. For example, a 100% matched wager on a £20 stake would see you win the equivalent of a £40 stake if your bet comes good.
These deals pop up on a range of sports, whether it be horse racing or basketball. However, always check the eligible markets before you get started. As for terms and conditions, matched wager offers might come with win caps, or time limits they must be used within.
Fixed Amount Added to Initial Deposit
These free bet bonuses are dependent on a qualifying deposit being paid into the user’s account. For example, you might be offered a £5 free bet following a £20 deposit.
These sorts of promotions are less common once you’re an existing customer, but bookmakers might offer them as an incentive to add funds to your account after a period of inactivity. Be sure to check the available markets to avoid disappointment down the line.
Risk-free bets are another common type of welcome bonus that new betting sites offer. Bookies structure these betting bonuses so that you first have to stake your own money. The clever bit is they give you your stake back as a free bet if you lose.
For example, if you stake £20 of your own cash upfront, then there are two scenarios. The ideal outcome? You win your bet and take home the profits with your initial stake. However, if you lose then the bookie will put that £20 stake back into your balance as a free bet. That means you get a second chance in the markets.
Risk-free bets in the UK are usually subject to wagering requirements, so be sure to check out the full T&Cs before you opt in to these deals.
Free Bets No Deposit Offers
The next type of welcome bonus is a free bets no deposit bonus. These offers are rare but do occasionally crop up. Essentially, the bookie will give you a completely free bet when you join the site, before you’ve added any funds to your account. No deposit free bet bonuses are a great way to try new sports betting sites without having to risk your own cash.
Generally, these offers are subject to steep wagering requirements. The bookies will require you to turn over any winnings multiple times at specified minimum odds before you can withdraw. This might look something like 5x wagering of profits at odds of evens or above.
Enhanced Odds Free Bets
Another popular free bet offer is enhanced odds. With this type of promotion, you’ll be offered a free bet at improved odds. As a particular set of odds is being enhanced, these free bets are only eligible for specific markets.
An example you could come across is a £5 free bet on Romelu Lukaku to score for Chelsea in their upcoming match, with boosted odds from 3/1 to 6/1. Enhanced odds regularly feature across betting sites, but to take advantage of them with a free bet is an even better deal.
Cashback Free Bets
Similar to risk-free bets, cashback bets offer some security if you lose. Bookmakers sometimes offer promotions where, after making a real money bet, punters will receive their stake back as cash if the bet loses.
One example of this is the Bore Draw bet, regularly available on football markets. With this offer, if you bet on a team to win and the match finishes 0-0, your stake will be returned to your account as cash — bore draws aren’t so boring now!