But what exactly is a free bet and is it as good as it sounds? If you’re new to betting or have never heard of free bets, never fear as we’re on hand to help. Here you’ll find information about exactly what they are and how they work, along with answers to the questions you never even knew you had!
What Exactly Is a Bookmaker Free Bet?
At the simplest level, a free bet is exactly what it sounds like. A bookmaker will give you money to play with so you don’t have to use any of your own cash to place a bet. They won’t physically give you the money, and you won’t be able to withdraw it as cash; the bookie will credit your account with the agreed sum to enable you to place a bet. This is what is known as a “free bet” and there are an abundance of these types of daily betting offers for existing customers as well as the standard new signup promotions.
Bookmakers are often keen to offer free bets to new customers as an incentive to sign up. There’s often a flurry of offers from bookies around big sporting events such as the FA Cup Final and Cheltenham Gold Cup because casual betters will join and have a flutter. The free bets and deals available might only be available for the specific event rather than open to use on whatever sport you want. Wherever possible we’ll tell you what the restrictions are surrounding any promotion published on Yesbets, but it’s always important to pay attention to the terms, just in case the offer has changed or been updated in any way.
As we alluded to earlier, you don’t have to be a new customer to receive free bets. Although bookies are keen to attract new customers all the time, they realise that if they don’t look after their existing customers they’ll go elsewhere. Therefore you’ll often find “reload” offers for existing customers.
Some of these betting promotions have triggers attached to them, for example, bet £10 and get a £10 free bet if your horse finishes 2nd. In this case you will only receive the free bet if your horse finishes 2nd, so it’s a bit like some added insurance for the bet that you intitaly place.
Loyalty Free Bets From Bookmakers
Then there’s the loyalty offers. After you’ve completed the Paddy Power welcome offer, if you place 5x £10 bets per week, you will receive a £10 free bet. That’s £520 in free bets just for choosing to place your wagers with Paddy Power.
Coral also offer free bets every week. All you need to do is join their Coral Connect program and place £25 worth of bets each week and you’ll receive a £5 free bet to use online and £5 that you can place in store.
To receive your weekly Skybet free bets you will need to opt in to the promotion, after you have joined, then simply place £20 worth of bets during the week and you will then receive a £5 free bet to use on any market you choose. Perfect for a BTTS bet, or a cheeky football accumulator.
At Yesbets we feature all the top free bets available to the UK market, both for new and existing customers. With offers from a huge range of bookmakers, you won’t find a better place to get the very best free bets.
Are There Any Catches With Betting Offers?
In general, using free bets is a great move, offering low-risk play with the opportunity to enjoy cash returns. However, it is important to be aware that some bookies may place qualifying criteria on their free bets.
As mentioned above, some free bets are only available to use on certain events or sports. For example, you’ll find a huge array of bookies offering deals for the Grand National (Bet365 Grand National extra place promotion is just one example), but these won’t be transferable to other sporting events taking place on the same day.
There may also be stipulations on the type of bet, such as minimum odds you can play for. It’s also worth bearing in mind that most of the free bets that you receive will have an expiry date on them. This can be anything from 24 hours to 1 month, but generally they have a 3 day shelf life. Bookmaker sign up offers tend to come with free bets that take longer to expire, but always make sure that you check how long you have to place your free bet when you receive. it.
If you forget to use your free bet, all is not lost. It’s worth jumping onto Live Chat or ringing customer services and explaining that you missed the deadline. Whilst bookmakers aren’t compelled to reinstate your free bet, some are generous and will recredit it for you. it’s a case of if you don’t ask, you don’t get.
It’s also worth checking what deposit method you need to use in order to claim any free bets. Many sites won’t let customers take part in a promotion if depositing with Neteller or Skrill. More recently PayPal is also excluded as a depositing method too. If you want to use PayPal as a deposit method, make sure you take a look at our PayPal betting sites list, that shows all bookmakers that accept PayPal as a deposit method.
Free Bets With No Deposit Required
No deposit free bets are the most popular but they’re also much harder to find. These involve no profit for the bookie so they’re not as readily available as a matched free bet. But they do appear from time to time so make sure you check in with us regularly to see if we have found any of these juicy promotions.
Matched Free Bets
The more common free bet type is the matched free bet. This is when you deposit a sum into your account and make a bet, typically up to around £50, and the bookmaker gives you a free matching bet. As we mentioned previously, free bets are only available for a very limited time so make sure you sign up to Yesbets to get the hottest deals straight off the press!
How to choose the best Betting Offers
If you’re struggling to decide what free bets to choose, here are a few pointers as to what you should look out for:
- Is there a minimum deposit amount?
- How much do you need to bet to qualify?
- What type of sport or event can the free bet be used on?
- Are there any specific odds which apply for the free bet?
- When can the free bet be used? For example, is it only available for your first bet?
- How soon will the free bet be credited to your account?
- How quickly can you withdraw the winnings from a free bet? Sometimes you’ll need to make a minimum number of bets or your account balance must reach a certain level.
Not all free bets include restrictive terms and conditions but it’s essential to make sure you check before you play.
What Sports Are Most Betting Promotions Available For?
Betting is synonymous with most sports. Take a look at betfair’s list of markets covered on their exchange platform and they cover anything from American football, to volleyball. Of course some markets are more popular than others, so let’s take a look at some of the sports that we cover at Yesbets.
If there was a sport that is most commonly associated with betting, then it’s horse racing. If you look at any online bookmaker in the UK, horse racing will feature as one of the most prominent sections of the site. This in turn means that there are plenty of horse racing offers available for punters. Make sure you also combine promotions with our free horse racing tips to gain the maximum advantage when betting on horses. Some of the horse racing promotions offering free bets are as follows:
2nd place refunds - You receive a free bet if the horse that you backed to win comes 2nd in the race. William Hill have started offering £10 back as cash if your horse comes 2nd during the flat season this year, take a look at William Hill’s sign up offer if you don’t already have an account. You can currently get £30 in free bets when you join.
2nd to SP free bets - Very similar to the offer above, but this time you only get the free bet if the starting price favourite wins the race. If you want to place a bet with a bookmaker offering 2nd to SP refunds, there is little point backing the favourite in the race as the offer has no value. You’d be much better off choosing a bookmaker that offers the highest odds on the favourite. Boylesports normally run a 2nd to SPfav promotion on 2 meetings per day. If you haven’t joined them, take a look at the Boylesports sign up offer, where you can get £25 in free bets
Fallers insurance - A very handy promotion to make use of during the jumps season. Place a bet on a horse to win and if it falls, is brought down or unseats the ride during the race, you get your money back as a free bet. You’ll here pundits say things like “bar making a mistake, or falling, this horse has to win”. Take out fallers insurance and you’ve increased the likelihood of collecting on your bet. Betstars are giving £20 in free bets to all new customers and offer fallers insurance on UK and Irish jumps races
Betfair 3/1 offer - This is a cracking offer available on ITV races and other selected meetings. If you place a bet on a horse at odds with a starting price over 3-1 and it wins, you get a £25 free bet to use as you like. Remember that the horse must start the race at odds of over 3-1 regardless of the price that you back it, so pay attention to the starting price of your horse. The latest Betfair welcome offer gives new customers £100 in free bets, so well worth signing for.
Bet365 4/1 offer - Bet365’s version of picking a winner for a free bet is very similar to the promotion offered by betfair with a number of key differences. Firstly Bet365’s offer relates to the price that you backed the horse at, so if you backed it at 4-1 and it goes off at 3-1 and wins the race, you still qualify for the free bet. Secondly, the free bet must be placed on the next featured race and it is placed with your own funds. If it doesn’t win then you get your money back as cash. Thirdly the offer is up to £50 instead of £25 (although betfair have previously run a Cheltenham free bet special worth £50 in the past).
Free bets for lengths - Coral were the first bookmaker to run this promotion, but it has since been replicated by other bookies, including Bruce Betting, Betfred and Totesport. For the Coral variant, if you place a winning bet on a horse race, you will get a £1 free bet for every length that your horse wins by (up to £10). So if your horse wins by 8 lengths, you’ll receive an £8 free bet.
Best Odds Guaranteed - Whilst it´s not a promotion that offers any free bets, Best Odds Guaranteed is a superb offer run by many of the UK bookmakers. BOG means that if you place a bet on a horse and it goes off at a bigger price, you get paid that bigger price instead of the price that you placed the bet at. Most UK bookmakers offer Best Odds Guaranteed when betting online and if they don´t, we´d recommend using a different bookmaker.
Bookmakers will run a number of promotions on a daily basis for horse racing, but it’s the major festivals where you will find an abundance of offers for every race. the largest of these is Chetltenham. It’s so big that we have an entire Cheltenham betting offers guide that we produce every year. But it doesn’t stop with Cheltenham, you can find plenty of Ascot betting offers, as well as a number of free bets for Aintree. If you are looking at having a bet during any of these big meetings, be sure to check out our dedicated pages.
Football is hot on the heels of horse racing when it comes to having a bet. Many would argue that it is now even more popular, given its broader appeal amongst the general public. With its popularity skyrocketing, it goes without saying that there are plenty of football betting offers to get your teeth into. Perhaps it’s the sheer range of markets available in football betting that makes it such a hit with punters. You can literally bet on any outcome of a football match, but some popular ones are accumulators, BTTS (both teams to score), in-play betting, First Goalscorer, anytime goalscorer and of course match odds (1x2 betting). Bookies run promotions on all of these markets and many more besides.
Combine these offers with our free football tips and you’ll be well on your way to having a good knowledge of betting on the beautiful game. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular betting offers available for football
Free bet per goal scored - One of the easiest promotions to get involved in. Back a team to win and get a free bet for every goal scored. Coral have been big proponents of this offer in the past, but the likes of Jennings bet and Genting have picked this up over the past few months. Sometimes you will receive a free bet relating to the number of goals scored by the team that you backed, other times it’s the total number of goals scored in the game. either way it’s a great offer an easy to complete.
First Goalscorer Offers - There’s a few permutations around goalscoring promotions. Betfred run double delight, hattrick heaven whereby if your selection on a first goalscorer bet scores twice you get double the odds and if he gets a hattrick you get treble the odds. It’s available on selected games each week and our Betfred Promotions page will show you which games are featured under the betting offers for existing customers
Another goalscorer offer relating to the first goalscorer market is get your stake back as a free bet if your selection scores 2nd instead of first. it’s really a form of insurance on your bet meaning you get something back if your player is on the scoresheet second.
If a certain team wins, get a free bet - Paddy Power run this offer frequently during the football season. Place a bet on the goalscorer, correct scorer or ht/ft markets and if your bet loses and the stipulated team wins, get a free bet. In Paddy Power’s case it’s up to £10 back. We list what game this promotion is available for on our Paddy Power promotions page
If a certain player scores, get a free bet - This is largely the same as the offer above, but instead of a team winning, you need a player to score to get the free bet. It’s also dependent on your bet losing, so treat it as some additional insurance when placing your goalscorer bet. Paddy Power run this offer as well.
2up - This promotion is popular with people involved with matched betting, because it allows you to lock in profit by using a betting exchange. It’s a great offer for punters as well so don’t discount it. With 2up, if you back a team to win and your selection goes 2 goals ahead at any point during the game, your bet will be paid out as a winner regardless of the result. There’s nothing worse than seeing your bet looking like a comfortable winner only for it to be destroyed by a couple of late goals. Bet365 and Paddy Power both run this promotion on Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup games, so there’s plenty of football matches that it will cover.
Bore Draw - It’s not just football fans that dislike 0-0 matches. Apart from being dullsville for those watching the game, it can be incredibly depressing for punters too. A number of bookies run a bore draw promotion whereby you get your stake back as a free bet on goalscorer, correct score and half time/full time markets if the game ends 0-0. This is a great promotion if you are looking to place a bet in these markets where teams have tight defences and trouble scoring goals.
In Play Betting Offers - Plenty of bookies run in play betting offers during the season. Some require you to place a bet in play and in return you receive a free bet. Others require you to place a bet and in return you receive a free in play bet. Whichever way round it is, these are fantastic promotions and are a great way to grab yourself some easy free bets for existing customers.
Acca Insurance - Acca insurance gives you your stake back as a free bet if one leg lets you down. You will typically need to place an accumulator with at least 5 legs, with each leg having a minimum odds of 1.2. View our full list of bookmakers that offer Acca insurance.
If you want to learn more about betting on the football. Take a look at our complete football betting guide. We´ll explain all the basics, including how to place bets and what different football betting offers are available.
We’ve seen the number of tennis betting offers increase exponentially over this last year. Whereas most free bets for tennis used to solely relate to Wimbledon betting promotions, this season we’ve seen many bookmakers run offers for the US Open, Australian Open and the French Open. With plenty of different insurance offers available there is bound to be something that can help give you an extra edge in your tennis betting.