How Free Bets Work (and how to claim one today!)

Free Bets Work

What is a Free Bet?

Free bets are incentives offered by sportsbooks as a “token” or “bonus” of a certain amount. The bookmaker gives these to bettors to cover a bet’s stake. These free bets are not exclusively for newcomers. Regular bettors can also get free bet credits as a token of appreciation.

How do Free Bets Work?

Usually, free bets range from £10 to 25. If you gain a profit when using the free bet, only the profit will be given to you, not your free bet stake amount. For example, a £25 free bet placed at even money would give you £25 in profit and not the £50 that would include the free bet amount too.

Can I Request a Cash Out on my Free Bet?

The free bet credits cannot be converted into cash directly. Only after betting will the winnings become available as cash. Whether you are using a free bet credit or not, always carefully read the conditions attached to the bet. These offers might have expiry dates (ensure your free bets don’t lapse) and there are limitations on the types of bets you can place with them, among other restrictions.

Strategies for Using Free Bet Credits

It seems logical to place your free bet on a heavy favourite, as the result of you winning that bet may seem highly likely, but this method has a catch as you will not get the stake back along with your bet. 

For instance, if you get a £250 free bet and leave it on a heavily favoured team with odds at -450 to win the game, then your winnings and the amount you would be able to withdraw from the one-time free bet will be £62. The best way to increase the worth of your credit is by using free bets at extended odds.

Breaking Down the Math

You’ll notice that bets with longer odds have a higher expected value. With longer odds, the implied probability decreases, making it more profitable over time to bet on these with free bets. But what if you’re looking to guarantee a profit from a specific free bet? 

You can find some platforms that offer bettors a dedicated section to find free bet conversion opportunities. Start by visiting the “Low Holds” page. Add the bookmaker with your free bet and then sort it by the conversion percentage. This will show you the most profitable options for using your free bet. Luckily, with advanced technology, most online sportsbooks have all the tools you need to work out the odds.

Free Bet vs. Risk-free Bet

Despite their similar names, free bets and risk-free bets are distinct, particularly in how your betting amount influences your total payout on a win.

  • Free Bet: a bet that does not involve real money is referred to as a free bet. If you use a free bet, you will only receive the winnings.
  • Risk-free Bet: a riskless bet involves gambling with your real money. With a risk-free bet, if your wager is successful, you keep your winnings, as with any standard bet, and there’s no need to worry about special terms and conditions.

How Do Risk-free Bets Work?

Risk-free bets offer a discount with your first bet, usually as part of the welcoming bonuses. Risk-free bet bonuses usually come with a minimum deposit (about £10). If your risk-free bet does not win, you’ll be refunded the bet amount in a few ways, depending on the bookmaker and the sign-up promotion.

  • Free Bet: your risk-free bet is returned as a free one, you can win again. The free bet value itself cannot be cashed out.
  • Site Credit: this varies from a free bet and may have conditions attached. For instance, site credit might come with wagering requirements, stopping you from withdrawing the cash until certain conditions are met.
  • Cash Back: some bookmakers are known to refund lost bets in cash. This gives you the freedom to either go ahead and place further bets or cash out with no strings attached.

Types of Other Bonus Bets and How They Work

Bonus Bets

These are the most basic forms of bonuses. There is a fixed amount of money on deposit when you bet, which cannot be taken as cash. If you decide to use this bonus and lose your bet, the amount of bonus money will disappear. If you win, your win increases your real money balance. For instance, if you place a bet and win £5 of free money, it is the equivalent of earning £5 in real cash.

Second Chance Bets

These are more advanced and typically have many rules. For instance, if a sportsbook gave you a £500 second chance bet of up to 100% refund of your first wager, it will require you to deposit £500.

Bonus Bet, No Deposit

These are usually smaller amounts, such as £5 or £10, because no upfront deposit is needed.

When you win these bets, most of the time you’ll have to wager your winning several times over before withdrawing.

Deposit Match Bonus

This type of bonus is popular in online casinos and sports betting sites where the site could match up to 300% of your deposit. For example, you will receive an additional bonus of £1 if the 100% deposit match is on a £1 stake. These bonuses usually come with playthrough requirements before you can withdraw them.

Ways to Claim a Bonus Offer

Claiming bonus offers in sports betting usually involves one of two things: using a bonus code or meeting the minimum deposit requirement.

Using a Bonus Code

  • These codes are often provided to bettors via email after they have registered for an account.
  • Bonus codes can also be found through various online advertisements and promotions.

Minimum Deposit:

  • Put a set sum of money into your betting account to claim the bonus. The minimum deposit varies from about £5 to around £20 but could be more depending on the platform.

Understanding Wagering Requirements

Free bets in the sportsbook normally involve wagering. These play-through requirements need to be met to convert any bonus money into real cash, which can be cashed out.

  • Example of Wagering Requirement: a free bet valued at £20 with a rollover requirement of x30 means the total amount placed to reach its limit cannot be more than £600 (two multiplied by three).

How to Claim Your Free Bets

Sports betting often relies heavily on free bets. As you will now realize, these wagers may help increase your betting bankroll or serve as a hedge against bets. Here’s a step-by-step guide to making the most of your free bets

  1. Find and Claim Your Free Bet Bonus: begin by examining a wide range of free bet offerings. After choosing, click on the “Claim Offer” button corresponding to that offer.
  1. Account Setup or Reload: if you are a beginner, register with the sports betting site and use your bonus to bet. If you already have an account, deposit, and start getting the bonus.
  1. Place Your Free Bet: to place your free bet, simply add selections to the betting slip as usual and click on “Place Bet”.
  1. Follow Wagering Requirements: when using a bonus, be aware of the conditions associated with your wager and bet carefully.

Withdraw Your Winnings: once the bonus rollover conditions are met, you can withdraw your winnings.

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