Free Bets

footballOn this page you’ll find a full list of free bets tracked by the site and covers both long term sign up offers as well as short term specials such as enhanced odds or the ever popular ‘bet through the card’.

Note: When more than one free bet is listed for the same site you can normally only claim one of them. This happens when special or even specific promotions are offered alongside the normal sign up bonus.

Bet £10 Get £30
New UK & IRE customers only. Bonus code: W30. Min deposit and stake £/€10 at min odds 1/2 within 45 day expiry from registration. Paypal & some deposit & bet types excluded. Free bets issued as £/€10 on UK racing, £/€10 on international racing, £/€10 free bet on Ante Post racing. Free bets valid for 7 days. Free bet stakes will not be returned in any winnings. T&Cs apply. 18+. #ad
£20 Risk Free Bet
New customers only, limited to one per person. If you’ve previously had a Paddy Power account, you will not qualify for the offer. Place your FIRST bet on any Sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using Cards or Paypal will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply. #ad
£20 Exchange Bet
New customers only, bet up to £20 on the Exchange and if your first bet loses, we’ll refund you £20 in Cash. Bet must be placed in first 7 days of account opening. T&Cs apply. #ad

What Actually is a Free Bet?

Free IconOne of the best things about betting online versus at a high street bookie is the fact that you have a lot more choice about where you place your bets – so the competition for your business is much higher. This means that any online betting site that wants to get you on their books has to work a bit harder for it – and what better incentive to sign up is there than some free bets?

Nearly all of the bookmakers, betting sites and sportsbook that exist on the web will offer some kind of introductory promotion to entice you through their virtual doors – usually in the form of a free bet or betting bonus. There are a few different categories of sign up bonus (‘SUB’) kicking around which we’ll explain later on in the article.

As you can probably infer from the title we’ve given the table, all of the bonuses in the list are the ones that can be claimed by UK punters – we are a UK website, after all! The offers are also for new customers only, so if you already have an account with any of the bookies in the list then you won’t be able to claim their welcome bonus again.

Betting Bonuses Explained

Robot Teacher and Blackboard

The term ‘free bets’ often gets banded around quite freely (especially in reference to UK bookies), as does the term ‘betting bonuses’. Whilst many consider these two to be the same thing, and the end result – free cash – is the same, there are actually subtle differences in how they work. Below you’ll find a guide to the different types of introductory offer that you might encounter on the web:

Free Bets / Matched Bets

As their name suggests, these are free promotional credits that can be used to place wagers. For the most part you can use them just as you would regular money, although you will often find that the free bet token must be used in its entirety in one go – so if you have a £25 free bet token you must place on bet with a stake of £25, and not five £5 bets.

To get a free bet you usually need to first place a qualifying bet – so using our £25 example, you would have had to place a £25 bet using your own money (and have the bet settled) before the free one would be added to your account. Winnings from free bets are then yours to keep, usually without any other kinds of restriction or condition attached to them.

Deposit Bonuses

The final kind of betting bonus is the ‘deposit bonus’ which is given based on the amount you deposit rather than the amount you first bet. So a 100% bonus on a £100 deposit would net you a £100 bonus – pretty simple, right?

These kinds of offer tend to come with additional wagering requirements attached meaning you have to place a minimum value of bets before you can withdraw the bonus or its winnings, but once you’ve done this you can usually withdraw the bonus itself – something which you don’t get from a free bet where the token normally doesn’t get returned with the winnings.

You can also chop up your bonus into as many smaller bets as you like – so your £100 bonus could be used to place one hundred £1 bets if that’s what you wanted to do.

How To Compare Free Bets

Comparing Two Websites

On the surface many of the offers in the free bets table might look pretty similar – especially when they’re for the same amount. But all introductory bonuses are going to come with terms and conditions and it’s these that can turn a ‘good’ bonus into a ‘not so good’ bonus.

At Gambling Offers we only list promotions that we think are worth claiming and so in the above table you’ll find what we consider to be the best free bet offers currently available. But we thought it was still worth writing up a guide to comparing free bets – so here’s what you should be looking for before claiming:

  • Is The Stake Returned? The first thing to check makes a huge difference to the value of the offer and that’s whether or not the free bet token or the promotional bonus money is returned with your winnings. It should be fairly obvious that getting the stake back in addition to any winnings (as would happen with bets placed with regular money) is preferable to not getting it back. These days most free bet offers tend to be ‘Stake Not Returned’ or ‘SNR’ to use the lingo, whilst most bonuses are (known as ‘Stake Returned’ or ‘SR’).
  • Is The Bonus Withdrawable? This next one only applies to offers where the stake is returned and is a bit of a moot point if it isn’t. So if it is returned, check whether or not you can actually withdraw it or if it’s removed from your account once you’re finished with it (known as a ‘phantom bonus’).
  • What Are The Minimum Odds? Regardless of the type of offer, most of them will come with minimum odds. This is to stop you using ‘sure things’ as your qualifying bets in order to get the bonus with minimal risk to your own funds. A ‘good’ minimum odds requirement is 1.5 in decimal or 1/2 in fractional format, and it’s not uncommon to see a minimum odds of 2.0 or ‘evens’.
  • Are There Wagering Requirements? Finally you need to figure out what you have to do in order to be able to withdraw your promotional winnings. Most (but not all) free bets come with no wagering requirements (‘WR’) – meaning if you win with your freebie, you can withdraw immediately. On the other hand pretty much all bonuses are going to have some kind of WR – this is because in most cases you get to withdraw the bonus itself too. So if you get a £100 bonus with a 5x wagering requirement you will need to place £500 worth of bets before withdrawing (5 x £100 = £500).

Common Exclusions

Do's and Dont's

Regardless of what form your offer comes in – free bet, bonus or money back – there will almost always be exclusions on what you can bet on. Even when the terms of an offer says you can bet on ‘any market on any sport’ that doesn’t mean you have a free pass to do whatever you like as often certain types of combination bet are excluded. Here are a few of the more common exclusions you could come across:

Sport / Market

The most basic thing to look out for is what sport and/or market you’re allowed to bet on. Bizarrely there doesn’t seem to be any real logical reason behind some of these exclusions.

For example:

  • Sport – You may be only allowed to bet on horse racing. Alternatively you could be able to bet on anything except horse racing.
  • Market – The markets could be restricted. So you could be allowed to place a bet on a horse to win but each way bets are excluded.
  • Specific Bets – Some offers actually specify the exact bet you need to place. Meaning that it’s a bet on Arsenal to win or nothing. The payout for these kinds of offers can either be through enhanced odds (ie: 10/1 instead of evens) or via a specific trigger from the match or race (ie: bet £10 on Chelsea and get a £5 free bet for every goal they score).

Bet Types: Multiples and Full Cover Bets

The restriction of accas is a common one which is possibly to stop people placing bets that have potentially very large returns. At the same time some sites only allow you to place your free bet on an acca – as we said earlier there doesn’t seem to be a great deal of consistency in the risk management of these offers between bookmakers.

It is also very common for full cover bets such as a lucky 15’s to not be allowed.

Products: Parimutual Bets & Betting Exchanges

One fairly consistent rule – and one that actually makes a lot of sense – is the exclusion of bets where the wager isn’t being made against the bookie. For example:

  • Pool Betting – The most famous parimutual bets in the UK are those offered by the tote. With totepool betting, as well as other pool and jackpot bets, the stake goes into a pot that is paid out to the winner. With the bookmaker taking a cut for themselves first, of course. But this means that a free bet used to enter a pool has guaranteed to cost the bookmaker money as they would have to make the contribution to the pool.
  • Exchange Betting – Peer to peer betting is a similar scenario to pools betting in that the bet isn’t made with the bookie, it’s against other people. So Bob bets against Jimmy and either Bob wins or Jimmy wins, the bookie never receives anything other than their commission for arranging the bet (around 5%).

Having said this, there are exceptions to most rules and we have seen free bet style offers for both totepool and betting exchanges but they’re relatively rare. It’s also mainly when the betting site wants to promote a specific product.