Why Do Betting Websites UK Offer Free Bets?

Free bets and betting offers might sound too good to be true but they’re really not.

Bookmakers do offer their customers free money, there are terms attached but essentially they will fund your account without too much fuss. You don’t have to do too much, just deposit and have the first bet usually.

Free bets are usually available for longer periods of time, whereas betting offers mostly apply or are on offer during a particular tournament, event, or match.

why do betting sites give free bets

You get free bets to place a bet without risk and get paid out if your bet wins.

The only difference between a free bet and a standard bet is that you don’t have to contribute the money yourself, so if you do win the stake won’t be refunded to you along with your winnings.

Thousands of pounds of free bets are available from brand name high street bookmakers who operate online. Typically you qualify for a free bet when you first open a new account with a bookmaker and place your first bet.

Terms of the free betting site offer

There will be terms attached which due to recent enforcement by the UK Gambling Commission have to be displayed alongside every betting offer. Some bookmakers make it easy to claim free bets and may not even require that you deposit funds but mostly all UK bookmakers may require that you can use your free bet funds after placing an initial bet or a series of bets to qualify before they release it.

To qualify for free bets with a bookmaker…

  1. Sign up for an account with the bookmaker, providing and verifying your personal details.
  2. Register a payment method and make a deposit into your account.
  3. Place a bet on an event, the value of this bet will usually determine how much money you qualify for free betting site offers.
  4. In some cases, you may not be allowed to place your qualifying bet on odds at a minimum of evens. This is to stop people from backing odds on favourites.
  5. Before trying to cash in a free bet, make sure that you read the terms and conditions. Check for any playthrough requirements.

Playthrough requirements

Always check for play-through requirements of the betting site offers before trying to claim the betting site offers. A playthrough requirement will mean that you have to place a series or value of additional bets before any winnings are paid.

The easiest way to determine the value of a free bet is to multiply the free bet by the number of times you need to turn it over or bet its full value, using your own funds.

E.g you’re offered a £50 free bet. If you’re required to turn it over three times before being paid out, you’ll need to bet £150 before any winnings on your free bet are paid out. The terms of play-through requirements differ from bookmaker to bookmaker.

Smart ways you can make free bets work to your advantage. 

  1. Double your bankroll – If you already have a bet in mind, place it with a bookmaker who’ll give you a free bet. You can double your bankroll.
  2. Hedge a bet – if you have a bet in mind, you can use a free bet on another likely outcome as a hedge. E.g you might choose to bet on one team winning a sports event and then use a free bet to back the opposite result or the other team. This simple tactic can increase or even guarantee your chances of making a profit without costing you extra.
  3. Turn the free bet into money – if you simply want to turn a free bet into cash, you can use a tactic called “matched betting”. This involves placing a free bet on a particular outcome with a bookmaker and using a betting exchange to bet that the same outcome won’t occur. Because you placed the bet for free, you’re guaranteed a profit no matter which outcome occurs.

See our list of free bets