💡 TIP! Don’t forget to read the terms and conditions in full before activating any bonus or betting sites offers! Head to our section on why betting bonuses might not be best for you for more information!
We’ve all seen betting bonuses that have seemed too good to be true. Or wagering requirements that seemed too complicated to understand. It isn’t easy to figure out which ones are the good ones.
But what if it could be easier?
This is why we’re here. Not only do we have a list of the best UK bookmakers offering bonuses, but we also explain everything you need to know about betting bonuses in 2023!
Top Betting Sites Offering Bonuses in the UK
Free Bets Bonuses
Sign-up Offer Bonuses
Types of Betting Bonuses
Betting bonuses vary widely from bookie to bookie, as do the conditions that apply to bonus offers. There are a few different types of betting bonuses that bookies tend to offer. The easiest way to find bonuses that are right for you and your style of betting is to be aware of what’s out there and how these bonuses can benefit you.
Below we’re going to go into the ins and outs of different types of betting offers. From your standard deposit-match sign-up offers to different types of free bets offers and everything in-between.
Deposit bonuses (or deposit match bonuses) are likely the most common kind of betting bonuses out there. These are often used as betting site sign-up offers to draw in new customers, like we mention on our sign-up bonuses page, and help add value to punters’ first few weeks with a new bookie.
Deposit bonuses are the kinds of betting promotions where betting sites offer to fully or partially match punters’ deposits with bonus funds. These will typically look like the “100% up to £50″ betting bonuses that you’re all too familiar with. Though, be aware that these bonuses come with strings attached in the form of wagering requirements (read more about them in our section on understanding wagering requirements below).
Bet Insurance / Risk-Free Bets
The “risk-free bet” was a relatively uncommon type of betting bonus in the UK until around 2018 or so, and since then has grown in popularity. Some debate that bet insurance offers aren’t really bonuses, but we’re not here to argue semantics. These sports betting offers allow punters to make a bet and get their stake refunded to them if the bet loses, which is why the bet is considered to be “risk-free”.
Bet Insurance offers typically say something along the lines of “Your First £20 Bet, Risk-Free!“, and bettors who choose to accept these offers are typically given wager-limits and odds restrictions to abide by for their bet to qualify for bet insurance.
Free Bets / Bonus Bets
Free bets (or “bonus bets”) have been a matter of debate in the UK for quite some time now. Some punters love them, others have issues with what they’re called, and some are still on the hunt for the elusive “no deposit free bets” that used to be so common back in the day.
As we explain on our free bets page, free bets used to be available on almost every UK betting site out there. Due to changes in legislation that govern how transparent bookies need to be about their terms and conditions, though, many of these free bet offers (particularly the “no deposit required” ones) have disappeared.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t still free bet sign-up offers there for betting bonus connoisseurs to get their hands on, though, they just look a little different than they used to. The key thing to remember as a punter, though, is that there are different types of betting site free bet offers out there.
Deposit to Get Free Bets
As the name suggests, ‘deposit to get’ require customers to make a deposit in order to receive a free bet bonus. To claim this type of bonus you simply sign up with an online betting site and make a deposit. The bookmaker will match your first deposit in the form of a bonus bet. Minimum and maximum deposit limits as well as other rules will likely apply. Feel free to check out our guide to understanding betting bonus terms & conditions below for more information on what to expect.
A good example of this would be “Deposit £10, Bet with £20″ bonus that is becoming increasingly popular. Punters make a deposit of a specific or minimum amount, and get rewarded with bet vouchers.
Bet to Get Free Bets
With this type of free bet offer you will need to sign up, make a deposit and then place a bet, or a number of bets, to activate your free bet bonus. These bonuses are known as ‘bet to get’ offers and usually strict staking and wagering requirements apply. As usual, make sure to read the relevant terms and conditions closely before availing of any ‘bet to get’ free bet offer.
These typically look like the “Bet £10, Get £30 in Free Bets” online bookmaker sign-up offers that have become commonplace in recent years. These bonuses require punters to place a bet (terms and conditions will specify any odds restrictions, sports restrictions, etc.), and once the bet has been cleared, the punter will receive their bonus bets.
Loyalty Award / VIP Club Free Bets
For existing customers, one of the most common ways to get free bets is via promotional offers. For example, many bookmakers run promotions for Acca bets. If you place an acca with four selections or more, they will give you a free bet matching your original stake if one leg of your acca lets you down.
These can come in all shapes and sizes, but are usually event-driven. Punters will either need to place a bet on a specific event to get their bonus bets, or the free bets they receive in exchange for betting/depositing will only be able to be used on specific events. These types of bets are extremely popular around football, horse racing, and tennis events in particular.
Enhanced Odds & Profit Boost Promotions
Profit boost promotions are relatively new betting offers, but can add a ton of value to your sports betting experience. These are mostly used as offers for existing customers, like we mention on our betting promotions page, and give punters better returns on their bets than they’d usually get, and are normally event-based.
For example, a bookie might boost odds on a particular horse race. This could see odds on a particular horse go from 4/1 (i.e. a return of £4 for every £1 staked) go all the way up to 18/1 (i.e. return of £18 for every £1 staked) with a decent odds boost betting promotion.
The added value on returns isn’t always given to the punter as withdrawable cash, though. Some bookies return this to punters as bonus funds, meaning the funds need to be redeemed, or even as free bets. For example, if a punter places a winning £10 wager on a bet that was boosted from 4/1 to 18/1, they could get the £40 return from the original odds added to their withdrawable balance, and the remaining £140 boosted return as bonus funds that need to be wagered a number of times before becoming withdrawable.
What About No Deposit Bonuses?
Unfortunately, no deposit bonuses are now extremely rare. While it used to be relatively easy to find free bonuses that required no deposit, because of bonus hunters and matched betting, bookies almost never offer these kinds of betting deals anymore.
Even the best online betting welcome offers require some sort of deposit to be made today. If you’re looking for a free sign-up bonus with no deposit required, you’ll likely be able to find one, but you’ll likely need to spend hours hunting the web until you find one that isn’t either expired or from a less than reputable bookie.
Bonus Codes and Promo Codes Explained
You’ll see that some of the betting bonuses listed on our site will have bonus codes or promo codes attached to them, which means that you need to enter the code when either registering your account or activating your bonus. Bonus codes actually used to be a lot more popular at UK betting sites, but are slowly disappearing as time goes on.
Does this mean there are fewer bonuses out there for punters? Surprisingly, no. More and more punters are looking for betting bonuses that are easy to activate, and easy to redeem. This is why bonus codes are slowly disappearing. Requiring a specific code for that just makes it harder for punters to access these betting deals as they run the risk of losing or misremembering the bonus code.
For those who are fans of bonus codes, though, there are still enough bookies out there who use promo codes that they’re considered to be a healthy part of the online betting industry. Some examples of top-tier UK bookmaker offers that feature bonus codes are:
Betting App / Mobile Betting Bonuses
Today it seems so natural and normal to place bets on your phone, but back around 2013 or so, smartphones were still finding their ways into pockets and handbags around the world. For a brief period, it seemed like all the biggest bookies had mobile-exclusive betting bonuses, or promotions that could only be activated from within their betting app.
LeoVegas Sport, for instance, have a profit boost sign-up bonus that requires punters to place an in-play bet from a mobile device to activate. This can be done from either the LeoVegas app or via your smartphone or tablet’s web browser.
Luckily, though, very few bookies require you to be using a laptop or desktop computer in order to claim your betting bonuses. While mobile-specific bonuses aren’t very common anymore, almost every bonus and promotion that you see on this page can be activated and redeemed on either mobile, desktop, or tablet devices.
Understanding Bonus Terms & Conditions
Many punters have activated a betting site bonus only to walk away feeling disappointed. Many assume that the catchy tagline that bookies use to promote these offers is all they need to know. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case.
Every single betting bonus, even the best bookmaker offers, comes with a set of terms and conditions. A “100% up to £50″ welcome bonus doesn’t mean that all you need to do is deposit £50 and your money is automatically doubled. You’ll need to redeem your bonus funds or the winnings earned by using them before being able to withdraw the funds.
The bonuses that betting sites feature CAN add value to your betting experience, but you need to jump through a few hoops along the way.
The most valuable piece of advice we can give you is this:
ALWAYS READ THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS IN FULL BEFORE ACTIVATING A BONUS.
We understand that there are terms you might not be familiar with. That’s why we’ve narrowed it down to the 5 most important things to look out for before activating a betting bonus:
💡 TIP! Watch out for payment method restrictions, too! As a general rule, steer clear of using e-wallets like Neteller, Skrill, or PayPal for your first deposit. Most bookies consider first deposits by e-wallet to be ineligible for bonus activation!
Some types of betting bonuses, like deposit match bonuses, require bettors to place a deposit in order to activate the bonus. The vast majority of bookies will state that punters need to deposit a certain minimum amount in order for it to qualify.
This is usually somewhere between £5 and £10, but we’ve seen the odd bonus or two that had minimum deposit amounts as high as £20. In general, the lower the minimum deposit, the more control you have over your betting bonus. This is especially important when you take into consideration some of the other conditions that bookies apply to bonuses, such as wagering requirements which we talk about below.
Most betting bonuses include wagering requirements of some form or another. This is when punters need to wager their bonus funds or free bet winnings several times over in order to redeem them and be able to withdraw them.
For example, an offer like “100% up to £50″ will mean that your first deposit will be matched up to a maximum of £50. The terms and conditions might say something along the lines of:
“Wagering requirements: 3x bonus amount“
This would mean that if you choose to take the maximum bonus amount of £50, you’ll need to wager that £50 three times over in order to redeem the funds. That means you’ll need to place £150 worth of bets in order to be able to withdraw your £50 bonus.
💡 TIP! Betting sites that have wagering requirements that are higher than average sometimes try to hide this in their wording. Instead of wagering requirement being, for example, 6x bonus amount, they’ll word it as “3x bonus + deposit”.
It is also very common for odds restrictions to apply to bonuses. This limits punters to placing bets with specified minimum odds in order for them to count towards redeeming your bonus funds.
Some online bookmakers have much stricter odds restrictions than others, and that can make it a lot harder to convert your bonus into real money. For example, it isn’t uncommon to see bookies dictate that only bets placed at odds of 1/2 or bigger count towards redeeming a bonus.
This one mostly applies to free bets offers, like we mentioned above. Some bookies will place a cap on how much a punter can win from using a free bet or bonus bet.
Where punters need to be especially careful here is that this isn’t always listed in the specific bonus’ terms and conditions. Some bookmakers include a line in their terms and conditions that says something along the lines of “All general bonus terms and conditions also apply“. With some betting sites, it’s only when clicking on the general bonus terms that you’ll discover the cap.
Luckily, most bookies who cap winnings for free bets and bonus funds include a reasonable cap of around £10,000. However, even that can be devastating to a punter who happened to use a free bet in order to win big. Some bookies even have much lower caps of around £100.
When it comes to deciding whether a betting bonus is right for you, this is often the deciding condition. Redeeming a bonus of £100 by wagering that amount four times over might seem reasonable if you have 90 days to accomplish that. If the terms and conditions state that you need to do that in only 7 days, though, many punters will likely find that extremely difficult, or even impossible.
A lot of the biggest and most reputable bookies use 90 days as the standard time limit for punters to redeem their betting bonuses, however many give much shorter ones. This is one of the main reasons that we insist that punters read the terms and conditions in full before activating bonuses.
Checklist for Choosing the Best Betting Bonuses
With so many things to keep track of, it can be hard to decide whether or not a betting bonus is right for you. To try and make it easier for our readers, we’ve come up with this basic checklist you can use:
- What type of bonus is it? (Refer to our section above on betting bonus types for more help here)
- How much do you need to deposit?
- What’s the maximum bonus / free bet amount?
- What’s the wagering requirement? How much will you need to wager to redeem the bonus? (Read more in our section on understanding bonus terms and conditions above for help here)
- Do you need to follow any odds restrictions when redeeming your bonus or winnings?
- Do you need to bet on a specific sport or event?
- How much time do you have to redeem the bonus?
- Do you think you can realistically redeem the bonus without having to drastically change your betting habits?
- Do you think you can realistically redeem the bonus without spending more than you are physically able to?
If you just ask yourself these questions when trying to evaluate a bonus, it will become clear to you whether or not the betting bonus is right for you.
Pay attention to the last two questions, in particular. Sports betting is only fun when done responsibly. If you’re changing your betting habits or spending more than you’re comfortable with while trying to redeem a bonus, cancel the bonus and consider possibly reaching out to an organization like Gamblers Anonymous for help.
How Do I Claim Betting Bonuses?
So far we’ve talked about recognizing different bonus types; we showed your our guide to understanding bonus terms and conditions; and we’ve even given you a handy checklist to help you choose the right bonus. But that still leaves one important question:
How do you actually claim a betting bonus?
It’s actually really easy, and to make it even easier, we’ve broken it down into steps for you:
- Take a look at our list of top betting bonuses in the UK Head back to our list of the top betting sites offering bonuses in the UK. Instead of being overwhelmed with dozens of different options, just focus on the top 7. These are some of the best betting offers in the UK, so all you need to do is take your pick.
- Compare the betting bonuses What are you in the market for? A deposit-match bonus? Free bets? What about a no-risk bet? Make sure to read each bonus’ terms and conditions. Once you’ve narrowed it down to the two or three bonuses that look interesting, ask yourself the questions from our checklist above to choose which one works best for you.
- Click on “CLAIM” Now that you know which bonus you want, click the big, green “CLAIM” button next to the bonus to be taken to the betting site. Sign up and complete your account registration. This may take anywhere between 2 and 7 minutes, depending on the bookmaker.
- Make your first deposit Like we mentioned above, most bonuses require a bonus for activation. Make sure you meet the betting bonus’ minimum deposit amount, if any. This is where you’ll likely need to enter your debit card details. Your funds should be available in your account almost instantly, as well as your bonus funds or free bets.
💡 TIP! Don’t forget that when it comes to deposit-match bonuses, you don’t have to claim the maximum bonus amount. Sometimes it’s best to go for a smaller bonus that you’re sure you’ll be able to redeem!
- Start redeeming your bonus! Like we mentioned above, you’ll need to meet certain criteria to redeem your bonus funds or free bet winnings. Now you’re free to start placing bets. Don’t forget that most bonuses allow in-play bets to qualify towards redeeming bonuses too! Just make sure to redeem your bonus in the timeframe specified in the terms and conditions.
Pros & Cons of Betting Bonuses
- Betting bonuses can be an excellent way to boost your profits with minimal risk.
- Some UK betting sites offer massive bonuses to attract new customers.
- Bonuses come in different types, making it easy to find one that fits you and your betting style.
- Event-specific bonuses and promotions make your favourite tournaments even more fun.
- Wagering requirements can make some online betting offers too expensive to redeem.
- Odds restrictions can make it more difficult to redeem your bonus without changing how you bet.
- Bonus terms and conditions are not always written in clear, easy-to-understand language.
Why Betting Bonuses aren’t for Everyone
Like we mentioned above, plenty of punters have walked away from betting bonuses without managing to redeem them, and being less than happy about it. While bonuses are clearly popular, they may not be best for every single punter out there.
Betting sites always include a set of criteria for punters to redeem their bonuses and make them withdrawable, as we mentioned above in our guide to understanding bonus terms and conditions. One of the biggest drawbacks of this, though, is the almost universal restrictions on payment methods.
While plenty of punters in the UK use PayPal for sports betting (take a look at our page on PayPal for betting sites for more information), the vast majority of bookmakers do not allow deposits from e-wallets to qualify for bonus activation. Luckily, though, once that qualifying deposit goes through, you’ll be free to use e-wallets for future deposits.
Payment method restrictions are probably the least significant restrictions when it comes to betting bonuses, though. For enthusiastic bettors, bonus wagering requirements are generally achievable and realistic. But what if you don’t bet all that regularly?
If you’re the kind of punter who only places one bet a week, or even less, then it’s extremely unlikely that any betting bonuses other than risk-free bets are going to work out for you.
Even though the UK Gambling Commission tightened regulations about clearly displaying bonus terms and conditions, some bookmakers continue to use language which is difficult to understand. This is why many casual punters activate bonuses without being aware of what’s required of them.
Once again, we recommend always reading the terms and conditions in full before activating any bonuses.
Betting Bonuses FAQs
What is a betting bonus?
A betting bonus is when a betting site offers new customers free bets, or finds some other way to add value to new or existing users’ betting experience. Betting bonuses can come in different forms, and we recommend looking at our section on types of bookie offers to learn more about what’s out there.
Which bet offers best odds?
In our opinion, the best bets are the ones that benefit from an odds boost or enhanced odds. This is when bookies boost the profit that punters can make from a winning bet. Take a look at our section on enhanced odds bet offers above to learn more about how these work.
Are sportsbook bonuses worth it?
Betting bonuses are definitely worthwhile for enthusiastic punters. Betting bonuses can add tons of value to your betting experience. We recommend taking a look at our list of the best betting offers in the UK above. These are some of the best bookmaker offers out there, so you’re likely to find a betting deal that suits you.
Can I withdraw bonus bet winnings?
Yes, you can withdraw bonus bet winnings, but usually only after redeeming them. Every betting deal and bookmaker offer comes with fine print, and we recommend taking a look at our guide to understanding betting bonus terms and conditions to better understand exactly what that fine print means.
What is a risk free bet?
Risk-free bets, or bet insurance, is a kind of betting offer where the bookie refunds your stake if your bet loses. It’s one of the more recent additions to the betting bonus world, and you can read more about risk-free bet offers above.
How to get new customer offers on betting sites?
Claiming new customer bet offers is actually really simple. All you need to do is follow our 5-step guide to claiming your betting bonus. Depending on the bookie and the offer, you could be up and running in anywhere between 5 and 15 minutes!
What are cash back betting offers?
Cash back betting offers are just another name for deposit match bonuses. As we describe in our section on deposit match bookmaker offers above, this is when a bookie gives you all or part of your first deposit back as bonus funds.
Which betting sites offer bonuses when you register?
Most bookies feature new customer bet offers, and we recommend taking a look at our list of the 7 best betting sites that offer bonuses above to take a look at the top options. Each of those bookmakers offers bonuses that have passed through our expert reviewers’ strict standards, so you can’t go wrong.
Which betting site has the best offers?
We’re quite partial to 888Sport’s new customer free bets offer. It’s simple, and has achievable wagering requirements. However, every punter is different. We recommend taking a look at our checklist for choosing the best online betting offers to help you make up your own mind about which betting bonus is best for you.