We can probably all agree that finding free bets used to be a lot easier than it is today. You don’t need to spend hours hunting for them, and you don’t have to guess at which is best. Someone’s already done that for you.
Not only did we come up with the 7 best free bet offers, but we also gathered all the information you need to evaluate them. Read below to find out what the pros and cons of these are, as well as what we think makes an excellent free bet offer.
Top 7 Free Bets at UK Bookmakers
Types of Free Bets
In this section, we will look at the various types of bonus bets that can be claimed from free bet sites. The most common type of bet voucher or bonus that customers will encounter is a sign-up bonus free bet. Sign-up offers are awarded when customers open an account and sometimes a promo code is required. There are two main types of sign up bonus bets, ‘deposit to get’ and ‘bet to get’. Check out our guide to the various different types of free bets below.
- Deposit to get: This is when a bookie matches your first deposit with a bonus bet to the same value. E.g. Deposit £30 and get a £30 free bet.
- Bet to get: This is a different type of offer. To claim this free bet you must deposit, make a bet and this activates your free bonus bet. E.g. Bet £10 to get £30 free bet.
- Special Promotions: These free bets are awarded to existing customers as part of promotions or specials. E.g. If one selection in an accumulator lets you down you get a bonus bet that matches your initial stake.
- Loyalty Programmes: Some bookies reward customers with offers and bonuses on a weekly or monthly basis if certain wagering targets are met. E.g. If you bet £50 or more in a week, you will get a £10 free bet.
Another thing that’s become popular with free bet sites in recent times is a staggered release of free bets. This is where players can get, for example, four £5 free bets, but are first given just one free bet and then receive the others after using the free first bet. Notable examples of this would be Betfair’s Bet Bundle free bets for new customers and MansionBet’s UK free bets welcome bonus.
How do I Activate Betting Sites Free Bets?
Some free bet offers are activated just by signing up to a sportsbook, others are activated as part of a welcome package in addition to a deposit bonus, and others require users to place an initial qualifying bet.
When it comes to Deposit Bonuses, however, these are almost exclusively activated by making a deposit that meets a minimum amount (generally around £10), and users may need to avoid certain payment methods (most commonly Skrill and Neteller).
Depending on how a free bet offer is activated, it may be simpler to activate a Deposit Bonus. Then again, the opposite could also be true. This is one of the reasons we tell our readers to always read the terms and conditions before trying to activate any sort of promotion or bonus.
What Should You Know About Free Bets?
So, what should you know about free bets? In the world of online betting free bets are a hot commodity. Well, you might be surprised to learn that there is a lot more to free bet offers than first meets the eye. The first thing to do is to check the terms and conditions. Turnover requirements, wagering requirements and restrictions on odds can apply.
Usually, wagering requirements will apply to any betting sites free bets offers you receive. This is to stop punters from exploiting free bet offers, particularly sign up bonuses. These can include minimum odds for your free bet, turnover requirements before you can access winnings from free bets and also deadlines as to when your free bet is placed. Always read the terms and conditions, because your free bet may not be as ‘free’ as you might expect.
Turnover requirements are implemented by bookmakers as a way to ensure that customers can’t exploit free bet sign up offers and promotions. For example, some bookmakers require you to turn over the value of the bet vouchers in your account before you can withdraw funds. The best free bet sites are the ones that make it as easy as possible for punters to actually USE their free first bet.
Wagering requirements and odds restrictions are other factors to take into consideration. As an example, a bookie might have punters use their £30 in sign up free bets on wagers of odds 1/2 or greater. The minimum stake would be £10 per bonus bet so as you can see, it is always worth checking the terms and conditions.
Are They The Same As Sign-Up Bonuses?
It is fair to say that betting site new customer bonuses are by far the most common source of free first bets. However, not all free bets are free bets for new customers. Loads of bookmakers dish out free bets for existing customers for other reasons, including to reward loyalty and as part of promotional offers. However, wagering and turnover requirements can apply to these types of offers too. Just as with sign up bonus offers, always check the terms and conditions of any free bet offer you get.
What Makes A Good Bonus Bet Offer?
So, what makes a good free bet offer? Well, here at Sportsbetting24 we like to see minimal turnover and wagering requirements when it comes to bonus bet offers. The fewer conditions that are attached to the offer, the better it is for punters.
Some offers require a large amount of account activity to be activated and more often than not these offers are anything but ‘free’. We believe that matched deposit or matched bet free bet offers are often the best for punters to profit from.
Many bonus bet offers stipulate that bets must be placed at minimum odds and this can make it harder to get a return from your bets. Also, some offers are restricted to certain sports (e.g. Horse racing, football, etc.).
To sum up, a good free bet offer has minimal turnover and wagering requirements, can be used on the sport of your choice and the fewer odds and sports restrictions that apply, the better!
No Deposit Free Bets – A Thing of the Past
Back before advertising regulations were tightened in April 2019 and tax laws were changed, bettors were often able to claim no deposit UK free bets. Many bookmakers and casinos ran these no deposit free bet offers to try and attract new customers and they proved extremely popular.
No initial deposit was needed to claim these bets. All you needed to do was sign up to claim the new customer free bets. However, new tax laws implemented in August 2017, and stricter advertising standards by the ASA, meant that many online bookmakers were forced to cease these free bet UK offers. Find out more about why they were restricted below.
Why are they Restricted?
For sportsbooks, it was the tightening of advertising regulations that restricted their ability to offer free bets without deposit. These new laws were implemented by the UK Gambling Commission in April 2019. This mainly came to pass because a small number of bookmakers were less than transparent with the terms and conditions that applied to “free bet no deposit required” offers.
More often than not there would be wagering or turnover requirements that had to be met. Before the new laws came in, bookies didn’t have to clearly display the terms and conditions attached to no deposit offers. Now there are strict rules about the way sign up offers and promotions are displayed and advertised by online betting companies. Once these terms and conditions were made unignorably clear, the offers proved to be much less popular.
That is why these days, most online bookmakers run matched bet or bet to get type sign up promotions. So, while free bet no deposit offers are a thing of the past, we don’t think that is necessarily a bad thing. Bookies have to be more transparent with their offers now, and we have no complaints about that.
Pros and Cons
- Free bets give you the chance to boost your balance with no risks attached
- Sign up bonus bets can be very substantial depending on the betting site
- Promotional bet voucher offers can be excellent too
- Odds restrictions make it harder to win from free bets
- Wagering/turnover requirements must sometimes be met
Free Bets vs Other Betting Bonuses
This is a common question. When getting bonus funds on a betting site, you can generally only spend those bonus funds on placing bets, so how is that different from free bets?
Well, for starters, most bonus bets offers are for set amounts, like “Bet £10, get two £10 bets” offers. There’s no way to earn more than two bet vouchers, and each one is worth exactly £10. The bettor doesn’t have very much control there.
A standard deposit bonus will give you bonus funds that can, barring some restrictions, be used however you like. A standard deposit bonus might look something like “100% of your first deposit up to £100″, meaning that if you meet the minimum qualifying deposit, anywhere between that and £100 will be given to you as bonus funds. There may be restrictions listed in the terms and conditions such as needing to place accas bets, or maybe even a minimum odds restriction, but this still gives bettors more control over their bets than free bets do.
There are some key differences between what is considered to be “standard” in the wagering requirements for free bets and for Deposit Bonuses.
Many Bonus Bet offers don’t even have wagering requirements associated with them, whereas Deposit Bonuses always have wagering requirements. Even when Bonus Bet offers do have wagering requirements, this is usually a multiplier applied to any free bet winnings, meaning that it’s almost impossible to predict how much you might need to wager before redeeming those winnings, as we mentioned above in our section on understanding free bets offers.
When it comes to Deposit Bonus wagering requirements, there’s a lot more variety here. Bettors might have to wager a multiplier of their bonus, or their deposit, or a combination of both. Generally speaking, a good deposit bonus will have a wagering requirement of somewhere between 6 and 10 times their bonus amount, though we’ve seen a number of deposit bonuses with even more difficult requirements.
Should I go for Free Bets or a Deposit Bonus?
This will depend on a few different things, including your own personal taste and betting style. While we can’t make the decision for you, here’s a handy list of things to look out for:
- How much is available in either free bets or bonus funds?
- Looking at the wagering requirements, do you think you can redeem the bonus?
- How many restrictions are placed on the bet vouchers?
- What do you need to do to activate the bonus bets or deposit bonus?
- Are there any payment method restrictions? If so, will this change how you’d normally deposit funds?
Free Bets FAQs
What’s the best free bet offer?
Here at SportsBetting24 we’re quite fond of 888Sport’s free bet sign-up offer. It’s a simple offer that adds a ton of value to new punters and is a great way to start your 888Sport experience. Of course, though, we understand that different punters have different betting styles, which is why we came up with a list of the 7 best free bet offers in the UK. All you need to do is pick which one suits you best.
How do free bets work?
Free bets work in a number of ways depending on the betting site involved. Some require certain wagering requirements such as minimum odds or stake levels for free bets, while turnover requirements must also be met with some bookies. Take a look at our guide to free bets for more information.
How to get free bets?
The main way to get free bets is by opening an account with a betting site and claiming the sign-up bonus free bet. However, existing customers can also get free bets too. Some betting sites run rewards schemes that give customers free bets as a token of appreciation for their loyalty. Other betting sites give free bets as part of promotional offers. We recommend reading our section on the different types of bonus bets for more information.
How to get betting apps with free bets?
Betting on the move via mobile devices is massively popular across the UK and Ireland and there are lots of betting apps with free bets. The vast majority of betting sites have native smartphone apps or web apps that allow you to bet on the go and you can often claim free bets on betting apps. Just download the betting app from your chosen bookie and keep an eye out for any free bet promotions.
Can you withdraw free bet winnings?
It is usually the case with most betting sites that certain requirements must be met before you can withdraw free bet winnings. Read our guide to what makes a good free bet offer for more information. Check the relevant terms and conditions to find out the exact turnover requirements for your free bet.