Whilst we are not an online sports betting website, we receive a lot of information requests as to what bookmakers are worth joining. We’ve set up this page to offer our visitors some of he trusted online bookmakers we use ourselves.
In the interest of being completely transparent Match preview earns money from these bookmakers if you sign up through the links on our site and lose your bet. From the bookmakers perspective they are sharing a very small percentage of their revenue with us.
If you are concerned about your gambling activity please ensure that you seek advice and also check out BeGambleAware.org.
What is a free bet?
A free bet gives new and existing customers of online bookmakers the chance to have a bet with little to no initial risk.
We should point out that you should always be mindful and cautious of free bet offers and promotions which advertise as being ‘risk free’. In reality it’s only risk free if the free bet they give you is almost like cash and able to be instantly withdrawn, which is highly unlikely.
How do I claim a free bet?
These days pretty much every bookmaker you find will offer you a free bet when initially signing up with them. Upon registering an account a free bet can either be dropped into your account immediately, or it may take the form of a deposit match.
Basic steps to follow:
- Find a bookmaker
- Check the homepage and / or promotions page
- Read the full terms of the free bet promotion
- Sign up for an account – you can see who we recommend here
What types of free bets are there?
Sports Betting companies want your business, so they will come up with new initiatives and ways to incentivise you all of the time. We suggest you don’t just stick to one bookmaker, try a few! The average experienced sports punter tends to own around an average of 10 different accounts and we at Match Preview are pretty much the same. We’re always keen to get a good price, and even though bookmakers trade relatively similar, if you hunt around you can often find slightly better odds. So what free bet types are there?
Bet and Get Free Bet – You’ll have seen these more around sports betting, whereby you get an amount and receive a stated amount as a free bet. For example a Bet £10 Get £10 means just that. If you sign up a new account, make a deposit (checking the terms for their minimum deposit requirement if there is one), and bet £10 you’ll receive a free bet of £10. Probably one of the more simpler promotional offers out there to understand.
Variations and Similar offers:
- Bet £20 and Get 3 x £10 Bets
- Bet £10 on Football and Get a £10 Free Bet on the NBA
Deposit Match Free Bet – These are often used for new customers whereby when initially signing up the sports betting provider will match your first deposit up to a capped amount. For example a 100% Deposit Match up to £100 would entail you making a deposit of say £50, and the bookmaker would match your deposit with a free bet of £50. If you were to deposit £200, your free bet amount would still be a maximum of £100. Make sense? Hit us up on our social platforms if not.
£50 Free Bet – We’ve used £50 as the example amount here, but often when the provider is offering a free bet amount it means that you have an amount to bet with, but the amount they are giving you is not actually free since it is not permitted to withdraw the amount. Essentially you can use the £50 to bet with, but you can only withdraw the winnings attached to the £50 you have been staking with.
50/1 Boosted Odds – These types of offers are often used by tier 1 operators, the big guys out there. They initially look attractive when looking at an odds on favourite of say 1/5 have been boosted to 50/1. How is this possible? Has the bookie completely lost the plot? Absolutely not, and this is why you always need to read the terms, or at least the key terms listed in the advert. These offers have a limited stake requirement when you place for bet, and usually to £1 (unless the bookie has in actual fact lost their mind!). So this is basically a £50 free bet offer since you can only bet £1.
Variations and Similar offers:
- Enhanced Odds Offers
Money back if Nadal Wins the French Open – Okay so we’ve used Nadal as the example here, but these types of offers have been running for a long time now. Paddy Power famously ran with the offer to refund all bets on Wimbledon if Andy Murray won Wimbledon, and guess what, he did! So was this a complete disaster for Paddy Power? Of course not, these bookmakers are just as smart as they are cheeky. Paddy Power stipulated that they would give Money Back… as free bets. So you guessed it, there was a rollover requirement attached too before people could withdraw. It’s a great hook for the bookmaker, and an attractive proposition, but still is only a free bet offer, so technically speaking you are not getting cash back in your pocket!
£50 Win Boost – These are often attractive offers, especially when they land in your inbox right before the match you’re about to bet on is about to start. Make sure you understand the full story though. Often the requirement is a percentage ‘up to £50’ or the amount listed. For example most will be headlined as a £50 or maybe a £100 win boost, but in reality the boost will be something like a 10% win boost up to £50. So for example if you win your bet and your winnings total £25, your win boost free bet credit will only be £2.50.
No Deposit Free Bets – Usually hard to come across in sports betting, but nevertheless they do still exist with some providers. In simple form these offers do not require you to part with any funds to take advantage of the bet. A very attractive way to entice people to use their service, although often there will be a higher rollover requirement attached. The average sports free bet rollover sites at around 2x rollover, where no deposit bets could sit higher than this.
What to look out for in the terms and conditions
Always read, or at least scan for key points in the terms and conditions of all promotions you are interested in taking advantage of. Below is a list of our top free bet terms to look out for.
Rollover Requirement – Sometimes referenced as a turnover or wagering requirement. This means how many times you will need to bet the equivalent free bet stake. For example if you have been credited with a £25 free bet and the rollover requirement is two (2) times (2x), you’ll need to wager £50 before you can withdraw the free bet amount. Also ensure you check the terms to see if you are able to withdraw the free bet amount. Often bookmakers will state ‘stake not returned’ which essentially means that you can only withdraw the winnings that you have amassed as a result of using the free bet stake amount. Then upon making a withdrawal the free bet amount is removed.
Minimum Odds Requirement – Before starting to contribute to the rollover requirement, check if you are required to bet on certain odds. This option is very common with bookmakers and limits their risk from punters just staking on low odds like 1.01. The standard minimum odds requirement for bets to contribute towards free bet and free bonus amounts generally sites between 1.60 and 1.90.
What if I am an existing customer and want a free bet?
Sometimes the basics apply, and the old saying ‘if you don’t ask you don’t get’ rings true here too. If we at Match Preview feel we have justified an additional free bet we’ll jump on to the betting operators live chat and ask. We’ve not yet had anyone say no, and why would they if you’re constantly using them.
You’ll also find that to keep you betting with them, they will send you emails relating to events you’ve bet on offering you a free bet, especially if you’ve been losing a lot lately. remember that whenever you use, their margin increases and contributes to their revenue so it’s in their interest to give you something back.
Can I get a mobile free bet?
Yes. Generally the same promotions co-exist on mobile either through the mobile optimised website and the apps. Sometimes sports betting operators will offer slightly different variations to attract mobile users, for instance a slightly higher offer. This tends to be as mobile players often offer more value for operators due to the nature of you being able to bet when you’re not just by a laptop.