- Betting Sites
The best betting sites offer their players plenty - whether as a new or existing customer. Generally, it’s the bonuses that draw people in, but there are some bonuses that may seem better than others. The no deposit betting bonus is one of them.
Bettors love the option of being able to bet but without having to deposit first. Whilst it’s a type of bonus that rarely occurs - keeping your eye out for new betting sites, in particular, is worthwhile as they’re more likely to tempt you in with this type of bonus.
We walk you through the best no deposit bonus betting sites as well as explain what a no deposit bonus consists of within sports betting. We go even further, to give you some great examples of the best no deposit bonuses and the nuances between these and casino no deposit bonuses.
Above, we’ve listed all of the best betting sites for no deposit bonuses in the UK. It doesn’t necessarily mean they have them active right now, but it’s fair to say that, historically, they’ve offered them to betting customers.
When new no deposit bonuses are offered, we’ll add them to the list so that you have the best choice of betting sites to choose from.
On top of these online betting sites being the best for no deposit bonuses, it’s fair to say that all of these bookies listed are great in other ways too. We review all of the best betting sites and look at things like bonuses, betting markets, mobile betting, payment methods and the overall product to give a trustworthy and unbiased view. You can rest assured that those listed above meet all of the criteria of a great online bookmaker.
With so many sports betting bonuses on offer these days, it’s easy to get little confused between them and which one may benefit you the most.
A no deposit bonus is, very simply, a bonus given to you without you having to trigger it by depositing cash or making a bet first. There would generally be two different types of no deposit bonus. One that attracts new customers and one designed more for existing customers - to keep them betting.
It’s easy to think that all bonuses and free bonus bets only have benefits to them, with no downside. And, of course, they do have plenty of benefits generally. But, the reality is that there are negatives to some no deposit bonuses too and a lot depends on how you intend to bet at the betting site.
If you’re more interested in finding a solid betting site where you can just get on and focus on your sports betting, then this sort of bonus mechanic probably isn’t for you. However, we’ve listed out the benefits and negatives to no deposit betting bonuses below.
With heightened regulation in the UK for the online betting industry, bonuses and advertising have been under massive scrutiny. As most bonuses have terms and conditions attached to them, it’s vital that a betting site details these clearly and concisely.
It’s because of this that the no deposit bonus doesn’t tend to happen as much in sports betting as it does with online casinos. Ultimately there would always be a little catch - maybe it was unrealistic wagering requirements for example.
Also, online betting sites have realised that these types of bonuses just aren’t particularly profitable to them, compared to bonuses that require a customer action like a deposit or a bet. This is in part due to the bonus hunting sports betting customers who don’t go on to be long term players. All-in-all, this is why you don’t see as many no deposit bonuses at online betting sites in the UK.
They’ve not totally disappeared, but the preference is for boosted prices and boosted odds to give you extra value. If you were to look anywhere, we’d suggest that new betting sites would be the best place to start. It’s a massively competitive industry, and new bookies will look to do what they can to draw you in.
The first type of no deposit bonus for sports betting is the new customer offer. This is designed to draw you into the betting site based on its generosity, with the idea being that you may stay and continue to bet with this firm.
An example of this may be a sports betting site giving you a free £5 to bet with on a certain market. It’s unlikely that this would ever be more than £10, and, sadly, it’s unlikely that you’ll get many of these bonuses at all really for reasons discussed earlier.
There’s a good chance that new betting sites may offer this down the line, to remain competitive but betting sites are more interested in punters who want to bet rather than just take freebies. So this is why they offer more lucrative matched deposit or bet and get bonuses.
This isn’t a no deposit bonus, but it’s probably the closest you will get to it in the modern climate of sports betting. This betting promotion is known as a Risk-Free offer, where a betting site will give you the chance to make a bet and if it loses, return your stakes as completely withdrawable cash. So, yes, you need to make a deposit, but ultimately it’s still a chance to try the site without the worry of losing money.
Paddy Power have a recent example of this with a welcome offer of a £10 Risk-Free bet on any sports market. Why is this more prevalent for bookies? Well, it means even if they give your cash back, it’s still in your account and therefore you have to go in and withdraw it. So be aware of this and if you want to withdraw it, make sure you do.
The other side of the coin is the no deposit bonus for existing customers. Again, it’s nowhere near as prevalent as it has been in the past, but on occasion, a bookie will offer it.
Rather than attracting new customers, the idea here is to help retain their existing punters and try to keep their business rather than seeing them go to another bookie.
What you’ll likely find with existing customer no deposit bonuses is that they’ll be very low-level stakes and often positioned around a specific event. As an example, Ladbrokes gave every single customer a free £1 bet for every day of the 2019 Cheltenham Festival. There was no deposit necessary and no further requirements on the bet, meaning it was a totally free bet with no deposit necessary.
The only other type of no deposit bonus that you’ll come across on occasion is one which gives you a free bet for sports betting, which will require a deposit, but then also provide some free spins in their online casino product which won’t require a further deposit. If you love sports betting but also love online casino, then this could be the best type of bonus and betting site for you.
Much like the Paddy Power example above of a Risk-Free bet, the more modern way of giving a no deposit bonus is likely to be for existing customers and will see a ‘cash back’ bonus or risk-free bonus for a specific event.
So if a betting site wants to do a big push on the NBA for example, they may offer a free £5 bet with no initial requirements needed.
Other new styles of promotions which require no deposit can be seen in the form of the ‘Cash Drop’ bonuses. These are often significant amounts and ran as a huge promotion with plenty of fanfare around them. Paddy Power are again great these.
The crux of this bonus is that they will drop a pre-determined amount of cash (often as much as £10k) into a customer’s account at a particular time. If they are online and play with or activate the cash, they can keep it. If they don’t activate it within a set period (often an hour), they will remove the cash and ‘Drop’ it into another player’s account. This continues until the cash has been taken.
As mentioned above, if ever there will be a no deposit bonus offered, it is likely to be around a major sporting event. Why? Because it’s a great way to activate or reactivate betting players within a bookie. So if you only love betting on the biggest football betting markets, or tennis betting on the Major tournaments, then keep your eyes peeled for these bonuses. Three key examples are the Cheltenham Festival, the Grand National and football World Cup betting.
The Cheltenham Festival is the biggest week of horse racing betting in the UK sporting calendar. Spread over four days, the online betting sites are queueing up to win your custom, whether a new or existing customer.
You will often find small stakes Cheltenham no deposit bonuses and no deposit free bets offered every single day of the festival. These may be £1 per customer like Ladbrokes did in 2019 or you may get lucky and have a one-off no deposit bonus to a slightly higher value.
The Grand National is the worlds richest horse race with £1million to be won by the successful horse. UK punters will also be trying to win as much and, again, online betting sites will be falling over themselves to attract you to their sites.
Any Grand National no deposit bonus will be small stakes for sure, and there may be other better offers on the table. However, for casual punters or complete newbie punters - of which many betting on the Grand National are, these Grand National no deposit free bets will be perfect.
When the football World Cup comes around all of the best betting sites will want you betting with them for the six-week duration. So you may find no deposit bonuses on offer throughout the tournament alongside the usual matched deposit bonuses and ‘bet and get’ bonuses. It’s at times like this you may find the aforementioned ‘Cash Drops’.
With No Deposit bonuses being at a premium, it’s worth knowing what else could be out there for you. Check out our bonus page to see the best in sports betting bonuses and where we talk in great detail about different types. However, below is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of alternative betting bonuses, when compared to no deposit bonuses.
A matched deposit bonus is where a betting site will ask you to make a deposit, and they will match it with bonus cash or bonus tokens to a certain percentage value. Often this will be matched at 100% of the deposit. So if the offer is 100% up to £100, you could deposit £100 into your account and get an extra £100 added in bonus cash. Of course, some T&Cs will apply so be aware of these.
Bet and Get bonuses are popular these days with many of the best online betting sites. The premise is that a bonus is triggered by a bet, rather than a deposit. So, for example, a welcome offer may be bet £10, get £30. Once you make your qualifying bet of £10 in this example, and the bet is settled, they would give you £30 in bonus bets for you to use on sports betting markets.
These are where you will be offered the chance to make a bet - say £10 on any sports market - and if it loses, they would return your money as cash or as a bonus bet. Be very aware of which one it is as the implications are very different. If they return as cash, then you can withdraw it back to your bank, if they return it as a bonus bet then you would need to bet it with them to see if you win.
Whilst the welcome bonuses and existing customer bonuses will largely be the same across desktop and mobile, you may find that some new betting sites will try to encourage you to download their mobile betting apps.
The way they may do this is by offering a no deposit free bet for mobile app use only. Again, it’s not the most common of practice these days, but it has been seen. It makes more sense too as it’s seen as a good way to get your business via a mobile device, while you get a no deposit bonus. Essentially win-win for all concerned.