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How free bets work
When it comes to a free bet, the clue is in the name! They really are just bets that are free. It’s as simple as that.
Bets for free is when a bookies will give you a small bet that you can place on a specific match or sporting event. Or you might be able to choose from a selection of events, in a specific time window.
Usually, free betting opportunities are given out as part of a welcome package. But you can also find these offers for existing players too. In fact, they’re so popular that bookies give them out regularly. So there’s always a way to score a freebie or two.
Placing bets for free lets you try out a new site and its sportsbook. Which will give you a good feel for the bookmakers and what they’re offering. Plus, you can actually win real money with these free gifts.
Why do betting sites offer free bets to players?
The reason that freebets exist is two-fold. Firstly, they are a fantastic way for betting sites to attract new customers. Because, in such an oversaturated industry, it can be hard for betting websites to stand out among their competitors. So, by offering up free wagers, this gives them a much better chance of catching your attention.
Secondly, they offer a fantastically unique experience for the player. Because you can try out a site and its sportsbook for free. Plus, you can actually win real money, even with a free wager.
Finally, happy customers are more likely to stick around and end up making a deposit with said betting site. So, to summarise, free betting it’s probably the most powerful marketing tool in a bookies’ arsenal.
What does ‘free’ mean exactly?
So, we’ve already clarified that free bet is exactly what it says. The ‘free’ part is not there to trick you. And you can indeed place these bets at no cost to yourself at betting sites UK.
That being said, as with any bonus at a real-money gambling site, these freebies are laden with terms and conditions.
We’ll go into these terms and conditions in more detail a little later on. But, for the moment, keep in mind that these bets for free can be offered as part of a no deposit or deposit deal.
The various kinds of free bets
There are loads of freebets available at UK bookies up and down the country. This is because, as we’ve just seen, they are an extremely popular bonus. And a very powerful marketing tool for betting companies.
Usually, free wagers come as part of either a no deposit or deposit deal. But, what’s the difference? Let’s take a look:
- Free bets no deposit: this is when you can pick up a bet for free, without having to make a deposit with the betting site. Unsurprisingly, these bets are quite low in value and will have a lot of T&Cs attached
- Free bet when you make a deposit: this is when you get a bet for free after you’ve made a deposit with the betting site. Generally, these are more generous than free bets no deposit and come with slightly less T&Cs attached
Now that you know the two different types of free bet that bookies give out, it’s time to take a look at where you can find these deals.
New player promotions
All the best online betting sites offer their new players an incredible welcome package. So that you will choose that bookmaker over another. Therefore, these sign-up offers are usually the most generous offer that any bookies will give out.
This is great news if you’re a new bettor, as you can get your hands on lots of bonuses, including bets for free.
Typically, as part of a great welcome deal, we would expect to see a good selection of the following types of bonus:
- No deposit bonus: get bets for free and/or bonus cash, without making a deposit
- Match deposit bonus: the bookies will match your deposit amount with bonus cash. The UK average is 100% or 200%!
- Free-bets: place bets for free on a selection of sports events, as part of a deposit or no deposit bonus
- Casino-bookies hybrid bonus: get bonus cash to use at the bookies, as well as an amazing online casino bonus. Typically, these deals include things like free spins no deposit bonuses and extra cash
- Risk-free wagers: get your money back if your bet doesn’t come in!
- Enhanced odds: get better odds on a specific match or sports event. Or for a period of time
As you can see, there are tons of bonuses available. And the top bookies in the UK will offer their customers a welcome deal that contains one or more of the above bonus offers, neatly packaged as one amazing sign-up deal!
Existing player promotions
The best betting sites don’t just lavish their new customers with bonus deals. There are lots of bonuses and promos available for existing customers too!
As a returning customer, you should be rewarded for your loyalty. And the leading UK bookies know that. That’s why there are lots of existing customer deals around, as well as new player bonuses.
So, as an existing customer, you should expect to see the following types of bonuses and promos extended to you:
- Freebets: get bets for free when you make another deposit with the same site
- Reload bonuses: get extra cash when you make another deposit with the same site
- Free bet clubs: receive tons of free wagers weekly or monthly, when you sign up to the site’s betting club
- Enhanced odds: get better odds for a limited time, or on a specific event. Usually as a reward for making another deposit
- Risk-free wagers: get back your stake if your bet doesn’t come in
So, as you can clearly see, there’s lots on offer for existing customers too! But, whether you’re a new player or a returning client, you should never take on any type of bonus before reading through the terms and conditions thoroughly.
T&C’s that you should be aware of
When it comes to any type of bonus, you should always read the T&Cs. As these terms will affect how you use your offer. As well as how easy it will be to convert your bonus money into real cash that you can withdraw.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the most common T&Cs that are usually attached to bookies’ bonus deals.
Odds restrictions are one of the most common caveats that usually affect free wagers. These are in place to make things a little riskier for you, the player. And they mean that the bet you place must have odds over a certain amount.
For example, when you look at the T&Cs, you might see that the odds must be above 1.3 in order to qualify for a free wager.
This makes sense. As, after all, the bookmaker wants you to place bets that have at least a little bit of uncertainty attached. Otherwise, people would just use their freebies on the ‘favourite’ every time!
Minimum required deposit
Minimum deposit amounts can affect bonuses, like free bet, enhanced odds and risk-free wagers. And, as the name suggests, it’s when you must deposit over a certain amount in order to trigger your bonus.
So, unless you’re using a no deposit bonus, make sure to read up and see what the minimum deposit is, so that you can use your offer. Or, if the amount is higher than you want to pay in, you can turn down the bonus and look for another one.
Another thing that’s super important to know is if there are any withdrawal limits on your offer. These will affect any winnings that you get from using bonus cash or free wagers. And they can lead to disappointment, if you don’t know what they are.
At most online bookmakers, they will put a cap on the amount of winnings you can take out, if you win using a bonus deal. For example, if the bookie caps winnings at £1,000, then you won’t be able to withdraw anything above that amount. And, effectively, those winnings will be lost.
Therefore, it’s important that you check what the withdrawal limits are before you take on any bonus. So that you know exactly what the max amount is that you can win.
Pretty much any bonus you take on will have an expiration date attached to it. So, you must take note of this, in order to use your bonus before the time has elapsed. However, this usually doesn’t just refer to the time in which you must apply your bonus, e.g. use your free bet.
In fact, the offer expiration usually means the time in which you must use your bonus and adhere to any wagering requirements that are needed to convert your bonus cash into real winnings as well.
Of all the T&Cs, wagering requirements are probably the most important one that you need to understand. As, even the best free bets offers and other deals are usually affected by them.
Wagering requirements refer to the amount of times you need to bet through your bonus cash, and/or any winnings you get by using bonus cash, before you can convert that money into ‘real’ winnings that can be withdrawn.
For instance, let’s say you take a freebet offer and you see ‘x25’ in the T&Cs. This is your wagering requirement. And it means that any money you win using that free bet must be wagered a further 25 times, before you can take out any real-money winnings.
So you see, wagering requirements are extremely important to understand. As, if you don’t fulfil them correctly, you won’t be able to take out any real money from the bookies using a bonus.
Additional common terms
While the above T&Cs are the most common, and the most important, they aren’t the only ones! Bookmakers attach all sorts of different caveats to their deals and, in some cases, their customer’s accounts.
That’s why we can’t emphasise it enough that you have to be clued up on these terms in order to get the most out of any bookie bonus.
So, here are some other T&Cs to be on the lookout for when shopping around at the top betting sites in the UK:
- Restricted markets: especially in the case of free wagers, your offer will probably only apply to specific matches or events. So you’ll find that you’re restricted as to what you can bet on
- Excluded deposit methods: some bookies only extend their offers to customers who use certain payment methods. The most common payment platforms that are excluded from bonuses are e-wallets
Finding the free bet that’s right for you
So, by now you should have a good idea of how freebet offers work. As well as other types of bookmakers’ bonuses.
Now it’s time to take a look at how to find the best free bets UK deals. Using our checklist, you can find the top deals that suit your personal needs.
Use our list to find a reliable bookmaker
With so many gambling sites UK all vying for your business, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer choice and promise of bonuses.
But, why not let us take the hard work out of finding a great bookies for you? Our team of expert reviewers have over 10 years’ experience in the online gambling industry. As such, they know exactly what to look for in a fantastic betting site.
We don’t just look at what type of free betting you get. We also take into account things like the betting websites’ ease of use, sportsbook, matches and odds, new and existing player bonuses, all the T&Cs, customer service, peer reviews and payment options. That’s a lot of work!
And, once we’re done putting all these sites through their paces, we make sure that they fulfil our reviewers’ strict set of criteria. Before bringing you the absolute best that the gambling industry has to offer.
To summarise, by choosing a site with us, you can be sure you’re getting world-class bet sites that know how to treat their customers. Plus, every site we work with is licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). So you can relax in the knowledge that all sites we list are legal and super secure.
Always read the T&Cs
As you now know, all bookies’ offers come with some pretty hefty T&CS attached; even free bets no deposit. But, if you read through all the terms and understand what’s required of you, there’s no reason why you can’t use a great bonus deal to your advantage. And walk away a winner.
Just make sure you check the wagering requirements, offer expiry date, max withdrawal limits and the other important terms we’ve gone through today.
Things to be aware of
Choosing your betting websites through us means you’re getting the best from the UK gambling industry. But, ultimately, the best bookies for you is a matter of personal choice.
With that in mind, here are some other things to be aware of, when you’re looking at signing up to a new bookmakers’.
Know Your Customer (KYC)
Know-your-customer (KYC) is the process in which you have to prove to the betting site that you are the account holder. KYC is a legal requirement at all UK-licensed gambling sites. So you will encounter it sooner or later.
Although a little long-winded, the process is really rather simple. When you sign up for a new account at any UK bookies, you’ll be asked to submit a photo ID and proof of address.
But, depending on the site, you might also be asked to prove your identity further. And some bookies will ask you to send a photo of yourself holding your ID. Or even screenshots of your deposit method.
While most of us don’t like being asked for so much personal info, these measures are actually in place to protect players from fraudulent activity online. So, really, they keep you safe at real-money sites.
Finally, as a legal requirement, this means you must complete all KYC protocols fully. Otherwise, you won’t be able to continue using your account.
You can’t use credit cards at UK bookmakers
If you place bets regularly, then you probably already know this one. But keep in mind that at all UK real-money sites you cannot use a credit card.
As of April 2020, the UK government, along with the UKGC, banned the use of credit cards at all gambling sites across the country. This was in a bid to stop people spending money they didn’t have. And avoid players getting themselves in debt.
So, while you will see Mastercard, VISA and Maestro all listed as payment methods at any bookmakers in the UK, please note that this refers to debit cards only.
The upsides of free bets
Now let’s take a look at some of the biggest perks of taking advantage of a free bets UK deal.
✔️ You get more cash to bet with
One of the biggest pros of taking on a freebet offer is that you get more money to play with. By increasing your bankroll, you can place more bets. And, in the case of free bets no deposit offers, you can try out a site and its sportsbook for free.
Plus, even though the money you win will be subject to wagering requirements and other terms, you can use this bonus cash to place even more bets!
✔️ Free bets are very common in the UK
As we’ve mentioned, freebets are a very common giveaway. For example, the biggest football betting sites give away freebies all the time. So you can pick up more than one of these offers, by signing up to multiple bet sites. And have your pick of free football bets, as well as tons of other types of sports.
Plus, by signing up to more than one account, you can get your hands on all sorts of other bonuses, as part of an awesome welcome package. So, not only will you have bets for free. You’ll also get a ton of other benefits, too!
✔️ You have a higher chance of winning
Betting offers in general increase your chances of winning. It’s just simple maths! With more free wagers and/or bonus cash, you can spread your bets around and dramatically improve your chances of landing a win.
Plus, if you make regular deposits at the same site, you’ll get more and more bonuses thrown your way. Which, again, gives you even more chances to win big.
The downsides of free bets
Now let’s take a look at some of the possible downsides of using a freebet offer.
❌ You need to be aware of all the terms
We’ve already talked a lot about the different terms and conditions that you need to understand in order to use your free wager efficiently. Therefore, one of the major downsides of taking on these offers is having to trawl through all the different T&Cs. Which, at the very least, is time-consuming and not very fun.
Things like wagering requirements and maximum cash out limits are important things to know. So, it becomes a laborious task having to read a ton of small-print before you can use your bonus. And it can kill your buzz pretty quickly!
❌ You can (usually) only get one offer per bookmaker
As we’ve seen, the most generous offer that you can get your hands on is a welcome package as a new player at new betting sites. This means that, generally speaking, you will only be able to get hold of this super generous deal once.
However, by signing up to more than one betting site at the time, there’s no reason why you can’t get your hands on lots of different welcome packages at the same time. Just remember, you probably won’t be able to get such a good deal as a returning customer.
How to cash out your winnings from a free bet
Finally, we get to the fun part! If you’ve taken a free betting offer, and have adhered to all the T&Cs, then it should be time to cash out a nice little stack of winnings.
Cashing out is easy, with all the most modern and cutting-edge withdrawal methods at the top bet sites in the UK.
These days, you can choose from multiple different payment methods at your favourite bookies. With that in mind, here’s a list of some of the most popular options that you can use at the top betting sites in the UK today.
e-Wallets (Paypal, Neteller, Skrill)
E-wallets are some of the most popular payment methods on the market. Here are the most popular e-wallets on the market today:
The great thing about e-wallets is that they’re available in multiple currencies and languages. Plus, making deposits and withdrawals at UK bookies is usually free.
Also, digital wallets are particularly popular with gamblers because they offer an extra layer of security. In that you only need your username and password to make transactions.
However, keep in mind that e-wallets come with some fees attached, when loading your account with funds. So you must take these charges into consideration before using your account.
Bank transfers are a tried and tested method of depositing and withdrawing at a bookmaking site. Super simple to set up, and very secure, wire transfers are a firm favourite with bettors who don’t want to use their debit card. Or who don’t want to open an additional account, like an e-wallet.
Just remember that bank transfers are quite slow. And you could wait up to five working days for your winnings to make their way to your bank account.
Debit cards (VISA/Mastercard)
It goes without saying that pretty much every betting site in the world accepts debit cards, like Visa and MasterCard. Completely free to use, debit cards are one of his most straightforward ways to make deposits and withdrawals at a bookies.
That being said, debit cards do come with some drawbacks. For one, they are not the most secure method to use, as they require you to give out your card number and personal information every time you make a transaction.
Furthermore, all debit card payments are visible on your bank statements. So, if you like to remain anonymous online, you should opt for another option, such as an e-wallet, instead.
Sports & Casino hybrid deals
If you’re the type of person who likes to spice up their gambling, then you should consider taking on a sports-casino hybrid deal.
These fantastic offers let you bet with your favourite bookmakers. As well as with some fantastic affiliated casino sites. These types of bonus offer dynamic experiences and more variety than just a regular bookies’ bonus.
Online slots are one of the most popular types of games found at any UK casino. Fast paced, action packed and with some truly magnificent jackpots on offer, it’s not hard to see why people love slot gaming.
With that in mind, you can get your hands on lots of free spins to use on thousands of slot titles with a fantastic casino-bookie hybrid bonus. These free spins can be found as part of a no deposit offer.
Matched deposit casino bonus
Another type of bonus that’s very common at online casinos is the matched deposit bonus. Very similar to what you find as an online bookies, this is where the casino will match your deposit amount with a percentage in bonus cash. The UK average is 100% or 200%. Meaning that you can potentially double or even triple your bankroll.
Just bear in mind that you must check the terms and conditions on these offers. To make sure that you can use your match deposit money across the bookies and online casino. As sometimes there are caveats as to how freely you can move between the two different sites using your bonus.
No deposit casino bonus
Finally, the no deposit bonus is as popular at online casinos as it is with online bookmakers. As the name suggests, this is where you can pick up a fantastic bonus without having to make a deposit with the casino. And, with a hybrid offer, you can use your no deposit bonus at both a betting site and a casino.
If you still have questions regarding bets for free, then check out some of our FAQs.