The Guide to Bonuses, Promotions and Free Bets
Every bookmaker offers a variety of bonuses, promotions and free bets. Be sure to read the full details on any bonus to fully understand where you’re going to get the most value.
While all bookmakers offer bonuses, they are all geared towards different types of punters. Some large match bonuses can be very lucrative, but require a significant volume of bets to clear. Other bets may provide beginner punters with a completely free bet, or other incentives to get your business.
Be sure to get the bonus best suited to you, and your betting style.
When you sign up a new account with a bookmaker, virtually every single one will offer you a free bet for doing so. There are all sorts of different types of free bet offers with different qualifying factors and rewards.
While free bets offer up some fantastic opportunities to make some cash with minimal risk, it’s important to know the terms of your promotional wager and (this is the big one) knowing how you’re going to get your winnings.
Most online bookmakers require that, before cashing out a free bet, that you wager a certain portion of your free bet winnings. Some sites require you to wager the sum that you won on your free bet before cashing it out some require you to bet double your free bet winnings.
If you opt not to take a free bet, you can generally cash out immediately after winning your first wager.
A free bet is different from a match bet so it’s important to know what type of wager you’re making when you’re trying to redeem your free bet. A match bet is a fairly straightforward promo where you would select a bet and place your qualifying wager on it - let’s say it’s a £25 bet for argument’s sake.
You make a £25 wager at odds of 2.0, and your bookmaker would add an additional £25 to your stake, effectively making it a £50 wager. In this case, if you win your bet, you’ll receive £75 in total as you don’t actually receive back the £25 that the bookmaker chipped in. Basically, you got a £50 profit from a £25 stake at odds of even-money.
Out-and-Out Free Bet
An out-and-out free bet works as follows- you register an account and make your deposit. With most bookmakers, your free bet is already in your account and ready to be wagered. For the most part if you deposit a certain amount you will receive a free bet of that certain amount, and you can redeem your free bet on single selections with odds of even money (2.0) or better.
If your free bet is successful, the profit from it will be credited to your account but you do not receive the free stake.
First-Deposit Match Bonus
More commonly used as an online poker bonus, the first-deposit match bonus is exactly what you’d expect; the bookmaker will match the amount of your first deposit into a new account.
Some promotions will add a multiplier, such as a 200% match (doubling the amount you deposit), up to a limit (often £600). With any big-money offer, such as this, it’s imperative you read the fine print to understand what is required to actually receive your bonus.
Unlike what many people expect, the match bonus money won’t show up in your account immediately after your initial deposit. More often than not you must clear this bonus by wagering. Once you wager enough money in the specified time period, your bonus will be added to your account.
These bonuses are typically geared towards the more active sports betters, rather than the beginners.
In addition to free bets and match bets, bookmakers often have unique or limited time promotions on offer. Be sure to keep an eye on our promotions directory to stay on top of the latest promotions being offered by the UK’s top bookmakers.
For a complete list of free bets and offers, head to our free bet offers page.