If you’re after a new bookie to bet with and fancy picking up a few free bets along the way, then this site is for you. We list offers from the best online bookies and betting sites in the UK, all licensed and thoroughly tested by our team of reviewers so that you don’t need to sift through the junk to find the decent promotions.
Betting deals are one of the main ways through which bookies acquire new business. Whilst promises of better odds and snazzy features may sound good in principle, there’s nothing like a juicy free bet or insane odds boost to get the punters through the door.
Best Betting Sites With Sign Up Offers For 2023
Sports Betting Highlights
Saturday 9th December
The early Premier League kick off is Crystal Palace v Liverpool. The Red remain near the top, but have been unconvincing in some games making this a potentially tricky match. There are also two 12.30 kick-offs in the Championship.
3pm’s are Brighton v Burnley, Man United v Bournemouth, Sheffield United v Brentford and Wolves v Nottingham Forest. Erik Tan Hag really needs a win at Old Trafford. Aston Villa v Arsenal is the 5.30 game and calling the winner of this is extremely tough. Rangers v Dundee is the big match in Scotland.
Aintree and Wetherby each host jump racing cards on Saturday, the former’s featuring the Becher Chase. The main action however comes at Sandown Park where the rearranged Fighting Fifth Hurdle becomes the third Grade 1 on the card after the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase and the Tingle Creek.
In rugby’s European Champions Cup Exeter Chiefs, Bath, Cardiff, Saracens and Bristol are all in action while in the cricket it’s the third ODI between the West Indies and England at the Kensington Oval.
Sunday 10th December
There are three intriguing 2pm kick-offs in the Premier League. Everton v Chelsea is hard to call, similarly Fulham v West Ham while Luton v Man City should be a great spectacle. At 4.30, Tottenham v Newcastle is the highlight with both sides’ injury worries stretching them and testing their top 4 credentials.
The Scottish Borders National is the big race at Kelso. This comes after the Welsh Grand National Trial on Saturday on a busy weekend for staying chasers.
Sunday sees the conclusion of the Grant Thornton Invitational on the PGA Tour in Naples, Florida where there is $4 million up for grabs in prize money. Sale, Leicester and Harlequins are all in European rugby action during the day too.
Monday 11th December
There’s a £15,000 handicap hurdle at Ayr in the afternoon as horse racing continues.
Tuesday 12th December
The final round of Champions League group matches settles all groups this week. Man United v Bayern Munich is a real tester, while Arsenal go to PSV Eindhoven already safely through.
There are also six Championship games including Sunderland v Leeds, a big test for the home side after sacking Tony Mowbray.
It’s a 10pm start for the first T20 international in the Caribbean. West Indies v England takes place at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown.
Wednesday 13th December
In the Champions League already doomed Celtic host Feyenoord, but this is all about Group F. If Borussia Dortmund can beat PSG, then Newcastle can still get through with a win against Milan. Newcastle v AC Milan kicks off at 8pm.
At 7.30pm Kempton Park hosts the Listed Wild Flower Stakes, a £50,000 race over a mile and a half.
Thursday 14th December
The top sporting action on Thursday concerns the Europa League and Conference League as all groups are decided.
Friday 15th December
A big racing meeting gets going on Doncaster on Friday, while Cheltenham also features. There’s over £200,000 up for grabs on the first day at Prestbury Park across a seven-race card.
In the evening Nottingham Forest v Tottenham is the major football action at the City Ground. Kick-off is at 8pm.
Bookie Sign Up Offers Explained: What is a New Customer?
The offers shown above are introductory deals that are specifically for new customers only. But what exactly is a new customer?
This might sound like a bit of a daft question, but bear with us and you’ll see what we’re getting at. Taking the term literally a “new customer offer” should be limited to people who are, well, new customers. But it’s not always quite as obvious as you think.
From the simplest perspective if you’ve never even been near the bookies website before, then you can easily call yourself a new customer. But what about someone who has played bingo on a betting site but never placed a sports bet. Are they a new customer from the perspective of the free bet or are they lumped in with the punters who have bet with them for years?
Similarly, what if you sign up with Bookie A for the first time but you’ve previously bet with a site that’s owned by the same group. You’re new to Bookie A but not to “The Group”. Or what if you’ve never bet with Bookie B before, but your wife has?
Generally speaking you’ll find that the definition of a new customer, or rather, which of the ‘new customers’ is eligible for a sign up offer will vary between betting sites but on the whole you’ll find the average bookie on the street follows a similar pattern:
- New Customers Not New Product – Unless the offer refers to the product specifically (eg: “new sports customers”) the default position would be to assume that most sites will only let you claim one welcome offer. So if you’ve already played in the casino and claimed the casino sign up bonus you won’t be able to claim the sports free bet. Having said this, a good number of sites will let you claim multiple bonuses though, so it is worth checking what’s available to you at your existing sites. Just don’t assume you’ll be able to claim a bonus if you’ve already got an account.
- One Per Household – This clause is a real 50-50 split at the moment. Some sites will mark their offers as “one per household” meaning that if your wife/husband/partner or even housemate has already claimed the welcome bonus then you won’t be eligible. This is a term that popped up several years ago, largely to stop husbands signing up again under their wife’s name to have a second crack at the bonus. That applies to about half of the bookies we monitor. The other half realise that multiple people from the same house might want to have separate accounts (especially as you’re not allowed to share them) and treat each person independently, regardless of who else is in the house.
- Brand Not Group – For the majority of sites, you should be able to claim the welcome offer at each brand unless otherwise stated. For example, if you’ve already got an account with Coral you can still sign up with Ladbrokes and claim their introductory betting offer even though Ladbrokes and Coral are owned by the same people. However, this doesn’t apply to 100% of cases and some sites do limit it to one per group, or put additional restrictions in place. If this is the case is should be very well documented on the offer page.
- Dormant Accounts – If you’ve previously held an account with a bookie but had it closed due to dormancy, you’re often not able to reactivate the old account and have to sign up for a new one. However, where do you stand from a welcome bonus perspective? This is slightly trickier as some sites will automatically add the bonus but you might not technically be eligible. In this scenario we would recommend contacting customer support before signing up for a new account as they may be able to reactive your old account. If not, then check if you’re allowed to claim the welcome offer and get it in writing, just to be on the safe side.
Betting Deals Explained
Betting sites like to use lots of jargon and shorthand in their offers. This is all well and good if you’re familiar with them, but if you’re new to betting online there may be a number of terms that you’ve not heard before. To help decipher the code we’ve written a series of guides to the kinds of terminology that you’ll find in the terms of a bookies offer.
The following are the types of bet you might see mentioned in an offer. This could be because they’re excluded from the promotions, or they could be required.
Accumulator / Acca – An accumulator is actually a collection of bets that must all win in order for your wager to pay out. The odds for the acca multiply, meaning that the more legs you have in the acca, the bigger the odds will get. The smallest acca is a double and you can have as many legs as the bookies system can handle.
Permutation Bet – Permutation bets are actually a series of smaller accumulator bets placed in such a way that you don’t need all of your legs to win to receive a payout. For example, you might have a permutation bet with four legs that includes four singles, six doubles, four trebles and one four fold (known as a Lucky 15). Here if any of your four legs wins you’ll at least win the single bets, and the more legs you get correct, the more bets you’ll win.
Exchange Bets – An exchange bet is simply one performed on an exchange, meaning that you’re betting against other punters rather than against a bookie. Unless it’s a specific exchange related offer normally these kinds of bets are excluded from offers as the bookmaker only takes a small cut of the wager, known as the commission.
Pool Bets – Pool bets do come in a few different shapes and sizes but the general jist is always the same. Instead of placing your bet at set odds, all of the wagers go into one big pool at unknown odds. After the event, the winning pool bets will take a share of the pot, proportional to the size of their wager. The more people that bet on the winner, the smaller the pay out (and visa versa).
Cash Out – Cash out is a relatively new concept, although it has been around for a few years. It enables you to ‘cash out’ of your bet and settle it at the current odds (minus a small cut for the bookie). Because this eliminates your stake in the bet, it is almost never allowed in conjunction with offers. Unless, of course, the offer was specifically related to cash out.
In Play – An in play bet is one that is placed after the start of the event and is sometimes referred to as ‘live betting’. So for a football match this would be after kick off. Not all events will have in play markets available as the odds need to constantly react and update to what is happening.
Pre-Match – This is the opposite of an in-play bet, meaning that the wager was placed before kickoff (or the equivalent starting point in another sport). Some offers only apply to pre-match bets, whilst others are meant for in-play betting and sometimes it can be either. There is no hard and fast rule here, it just depends on what the bookie wants you to focus your bets on.
Ante Post – Taking the pre-match idea even further is an ante post bet. These bets are placed well in the future of the event and are most commonly associated with horse racing, although such wagers also exists in other sports for cup and league outright bets. Often these bets are placed before you know who will enter the race or qualify for the tournament, and if your pick doesn’t run or play then your bet is settled as a loser. The flip side is that the odds are usually much larger the further out you are from the start of the event.
Each Way – When you place a bet ‘each way’ or EW you are actually placing two equally sized bets, one to win and one to place. So if you were to bet £10 on a horse each way, the bet would actually cost you £20 – £10 on the horse to win and £10 on the horse to place.
Match Odds – Also known as Win Draw Win (WDW) or Home Draw Away (HDA) this is the most fundamental bet you can place on a football match. There are three options, the home team to win, the match to end in a draw and the away team to win.
Handicap Betting – A handicap bet gives one team an advantage or disadvantage over the other. This usually happens by giving one team or player a positive or negative score at the start, such as +1 or -1. The odds of a handicap bet increase proportionally as you make the wager harder to win.
Asian Handicap Betting – Asian handicap betting works very much in the same way as regular handicap betting, except that the option of a draw is eliminated. The most common type of AH bet is the half point handicap, such as +0.5 or -0.5. There is also the option to place a whole point handicap which essentially works like a handicap version of “draw no bet” as the stake is refunded should there be a tie.
Common Betting Offer Terms
In addition to the various types of bet that could be mentioned in an offer, you may also find some general terms that you might not have heard before.
eWallet – An eWallet is an electronic wallet that some people like to use when depositing and withdrawing at a betting site. Common examples include Neteller and Skrill, although even PayPal could be considered an eWallet. The funds move between your wallet and the betting site, and visa versa, meaning you don’t need to go through your bank or use a debit card. Sometimes you will find that these wallets are excluded from sign up offers, meaning that you will need to make your first deposit with a traditional card.
Paid in Free Bets – If something is ‘paid in free bets’ it means that the payout is not given in cash, but in free bet tokens. So if you won £20 but it was paid in free bets, you would actually have £20 in free bets which you would then need to wager. This generally only applies to offers, most common in enhanced odds deals or in promotions where losing bets are refunded.
Wagering Requirements – Wagering requirements don’t come up a huge amount in relation to free bets, but they do happen from time to time. More commonly you’ll find them in conjunction with casino offers or free spins. When wagering requirements apply it means you need to place a certain number of wagers before your promotional credit (or the winnings from them) is converted into cash.
Minimum Odds / Min Odds – Most offers have a minimum odds for their qualifying bet. This means that the bet you place must be at odds of at least this amount. So if the minimum odds are 1/2, then you can place the bet at 1/2 or anything greater than that (eg: 3/4, evens and so on..).
Evens – Evens refers to even money odds which come up a lot in betting offers, specifically when it comes to minimum odds. Evens is the equivalent of 1/1 in fractional odds and written as 2.0 in decimal.
Bonus Code – Most betting sites don’t really use bonus codes, or when they do they often auto fill the field for you so that you don’t accidentally miss out on a sign up bonus. However, some sites do require a code – such as MYFREEBET – that you need to enter either when registering or when making your first deposit. These are more commonly seen on sites where multiple different offers are available and done as a way to identify which offer you’re wanting to claim. When required this should be clearly stated in the key terms of the offer.
Void Bet – When a bet is made void it is effectively cancelled. This can happen for a couple of reasons, such as the event being cancelled or errors in the odds, and it can have knock on affects for your bets when it does happen. If your qualifying bet is made void then you may not trigger the welcome bonus. Your free bet could also be made void in unlucky circumstances. There are also additional issues when acca-related promotions require a minimum number of legs as a void bet could drop your accumulator below the threshold.
Maximum Withdrawal – For most free bets there won’t be a max withdrawal, but you do regularly see this when a sign up offer comes with a casino bonus or free spins. Here your winnings may be capped to a specific amount, such as £100, to stop you running 10 free spins into £100k. Pay attention to any maximum winning notices and make sure you adjust your bets accordingly.
Bet Settlement – When a bet settles is when the result is officially recorded and the wager deemed a winner (and paid out as such) or marked as a loser. Before this point it is considered an active bet, even if many years have passed since it was first placed. Some free bets are awarded as soon as you make your qualifying bet, but others are only triggered once it settles. If this is the case pay attention to any time limits you may have for the bet to settle, whilst also bearing in mind that if you back an ante post horse in December for the next years Cheltenham Festival, then you’re going to be waiting a while for your free bet.
Qualifying Bet – The qualifying bet is the one you need to place in order to trigger your free bet or bonus. Normally there will be criteria to meet, such as minimum odds or specific markets you need to avoid, and there will almost always be a minimum or fixed amount. If your qualifying bet doesn’t meet this criteria then it won’t be eligible for the welcome bonus. And as most offers only apply to your first bet, if you make an ineligible qualifying bet you may lose out on the offer entirely.
Stake Not Included in Returns – If you see this term it means that the free bet stake doesn’t get paid out with the winnings. Normally when you place a £10 bet at 2/1 odds and it wins you would receive £30 back – the £10 stake plus £20 in winnings. If that £10 was a free bet and the stake was not included in the returns then you would only receive the £20 winnings, and not any of the £10 free bet stake.
Types of Offer
Whilst many sites still offer the classic free bet, there are a few other kinds of offer that you’re going to come across. So whilst we’re going to assume you’re familiar with the concept of free bet, here we’ll cover the ones you may not have heard of before.
Double Odds – A double odds offer can be thought of as roughly equivalent to a free bet that is placed on the same event as your qualifying bet. Meaning that if you place a £25 bet at 3/1 then instead of receiving £75 + your £25 stake (for a total of £100) you would be paid out at 6/1, giving you £150 in winnings plus your £25 stake.
Winnings Boost – Claiming a winnings profit boost offer is similar to double odds, except the payout may be different. Or to put it another way, a double odds offer is effectively a winnings boost of 100%, but you may find offers that offer boosts of different amounts – such as 50%. Some sites offer boosts that vary based on the number of legs in your bet, meaning that a single would receive a 10% profit boost if successful, but a treble would get 50%.
Enhanced Odds – Enhanced odds work by boosting the odds of your first bet. To those of you who are paying attention, this may sound very similar to a winnings boost, as you’ll only get paid out if you win. However whilst winnings boosts tend to be more flexible, enhanced odds are usually for a very specific bet. These bets are normally topical around the big match or race and offer large increases in odds for limited stakes. You may see evens boosted to 10/1 on a £5 max stake or an odds on favourite being boosted to 25/1 for a £1 max bet.
Bet and Get – A relatively recent addition but one that is proving incredibly popular with punters. Here instead of a straight free bet, you receive a bundle of bonuses for placing a qualifying bet. Here the “Bet” portion refers to how much you need to wager to trigger the offer and the “Get” portion is what you’ll receive as a bonus. Often the Get is significantly higher than the Bet, meaning you can find offers such as Bet £10 Get £60. The smaller offers, such as Bet £5 Get £20, are often just for free bets whilst larger offers usually mix in other products. So a Bet £10 Get £40 might include £20 in free bets, a £10 casino bonus and £10 fixed odds lottery token.
Bet Through the Card – BTTC offers are similar to Bet and Get offers in that you place one qualifying bet and then receive a series of bonuses in return, normally free bets. With a Bet Through the Card offer though, the free bets have to be placed on specific events. So you might be required to place a £10 bet on the first race at the Cheltenham Festival which is rewarded with a £10 free bet on every other race at Cheltenham that day.
Betting Offers For Existing Customers
Sign up offers are, by definition, just for new customers. They are normally the most generous type of deal that a bookie offers, and so they tend to get the most attention by punters. The downside is that they can only be claimed once, meaning that once you’ve snagged your initial free bet you can’t go back around for a second go.
For existing customers, most bookies also offer regular and ad hoc promotions. These are known in the business as “retention offers” and are one way in which the site tries to get you to stick with them rather than betting with one of their rivals. Whilst not as headline grabbing as the sign up offers they are still a nice little perk if you were going to place the bet anyway.
Some of these promotions are totally novel and we’ve seen some quirky offerings over the years, but for the most part the offers tend to fit one of a few categories:
Free Bet Club – These are often run weekly, but we’ve also seen monthly and daily versions. The general idea is that you place a series of qualifying bets which are then rewarded with a free bet. For example, you might need to place five £10 real money bets in a calendar week to receive a £10 free bet on the following Monday.
Acca Insurance – This is a very popular offer that awards a free bet if your accumulator loses by one leg. Sometimes you’ll see acca insurance that pays out on multiple losing legs, but these tend to be very large accas and relatively uncommon. Normally there’s a minimum number of legs to qualify, and often they only apply to specific markets or minimum odds. Make sure all of your legs qualify otherwise it won’t count towards the offer, even if you had enough qualifying legs. Void bets can also play havoc with acca insurance as they reduce the number of eligible legs, so stay away from bets that have a higher chance of being made void such as Draw No Bet and First Goalscorer.
Acca Bonuses – A similar concept to acca insurance except that instead of paying out when you lose, they boost the winnings when you win. The additional payout is often given as a bonus and increases with the number of legs. So if you won a three fold you could get a 5% bonus, whilst a 10+ fold might be rewarded with a 50% bonus. As with acca insurance, make sure all of your legs qualify for the offer or you could find yourself missing out.
Lucky Bonuses – Full cover bets, such as Lucky 15’s, are popular with racing punters, although they can be used for a variety of sports. Many people don’t realise that bookies often offer a series of offers on these kinds of bets, possibly because they’re often not included on the promo page and instead end up being buried in the terms and conditions of the bet. There are two types of bonus that are most common that pay out if you only get one winner, or if you get all of the legs correct.
Free Bet if Second – A very simple idea to understand, although different bookies have different rules. The general idea is that you get a free bet if your bet loses but comes second. This is most popular in horse racing but we have seen it in other sports as well, such as golf. Some offers only pay out if you lose to the favourite, whilst others only pay out if you lose by a certain amount (eg: “Beaten by a Head”).
Free Bets For Winners – Some sites offers free bets when you win. For example, if you place a bet on a horse race and your horse wins on the nose, you could get a free bet for the next race. Often this applies to free bets as well, meaning if your bonus bet wins then you get another free bet, and so on. Normally there are minimum odds to stop these kinds of promotions from applying to odds on bankers, around 3/1 or 4/1 seems to be the norm.
Faller Insurance – Specific to horse racing, but an important one during the jumps season. This offer normally pays out free bets if your horse falls during the race. For the purposes of these offers you’ll normally find that “falls” include an unseated rider as well as where the horse has been brought down by another horse. The pedants among us may disagree with this, but when it comes to offers we say the more the merrier.
High Street Bookies
A family business that grew into a global gambling giant, Paddy Power is less prominent on UK high streets than many of its competitors, but they still have 350+ shops in this country plus another 250+ in their native Ireland. Known for their close to the bone sense of humour, Paddy Power are also well loved for their in shop only offers and the atmosphere inside them. They are part of the Flutter Entertainment group of companies, after a merger with Betfair in 2016 and rebranding.
An Irish bookmaker that is still owned by the fan who founded the company back in 1982, BoyleSports has a strong focus on the high street with 300+ shops in their native Ireland and Northern Ireland. As of 2019, the company has also been operating in the UK, with 30+ shops mostly in the Midlands and the North West. BoyleSports betting shops are known for offering levels of comfort beyond what most other bookmakers provide, including sofa style seating for watching live sport.
An absolute giant of the high street, Ladbrokes can still boast 1600+ betting shops across towns and cities throughout the UK and Ireland, despite many closures in recent years. Their easily recognisable red branding is a familiar site up and down the land, and punters especially like them for their racing offerings and football promotions, affectionally referring to the company as 'Laddies'. They are part of the Entain group, who also own Coral.
Founded in Salford, Greater Manchester, Betfred is the only one of the big five bookmakers on the high street that is independently owned, and since opening his first shop in 1966, owner Fred Done has grown his business to over 1,600 shops in the UK. Known as ‘the bonus king’, Betfred are popular for their offers and promotions, and good service has always been one of their key strengths. The company takes an old fashioned approach in many ways, and their expert choice in shop locations is an important part of their success.
In a bid to encourage more people to spend more time in betting shops, Coral’s stores are now a much more high tech affair, and with a coffee shop vibe about them too thanks to a countrywide refit. This from a company dating back to 1926. They only really operate high street outlets in the UK rather than across the water in Ireland, but they have 1,300+ shops taking bets so their presence is definitely felt. The company merged with Ladbrokes in 2016, and is now part of the Entain group.
In operation since 1934, William Hill is one of the most trusted bookmakers in the country, and once boasted the largest fleet of betting shops in the UK, running almost 2,400 stores around 2013/14. This number is now around 1,400+ as online business has taken a larger slice of the pie and new regulations made high street stores less profitable. Now owned by online gambling giant 888, William Hill continues to be one of the biggest betting brands in the UK, and beyond, although any international business under the same name is actually entirely separately owned.
Latest Big Acca Wins
What's this? We love a good acca and we track the biggest wins that the luckiest of punters managed to land. In the table below you can find details of the latest big odds accumulators that have been won.
|01/04/2023||Lucky 31||Horse Racing||£31||14255/1||£441,913|
|26/10/2022||Lucky 15 and 4-fold||Horse Racing||£20.00||12,284/1||£75,038|
|18/06/2022||7-fold||Horse Racing, Each Way Acca||£5.00||122,889/1||£307,464|
Latest Big Money Bets
If big odds aren't your cup of tea, we also track the large money bets that have been placed around the world. These seven figure wagers are enough to make your eyes water!
|06/05/2023||Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale||Angel of Empire to Win Kentucky Derby||£952,188||9/2||Lost||-|
|22/04/2023||Drake||Gervonta Davis to Beat Ryan Garcia||£802,810||4/11||Won||£1,107,878|
|15/03/2023||Tony Bloom||Energumene to Win Champions Chase at Cheltenham||£400,000||7/5||Won||£960,000|
|12/02/2023||Drake||Kansas City Chiefs to Win the Superbowl||£580,000||11/10||Won||£1,005,000|
|27/01/2023||Drake||Kansas Chiefs To Beat Cincinnati Bengals||£916,147||13/15||Won||£1,713,196|
What’s the Difference Between an Online Bookie & a Betting Site?
The term “bookmaker” is pretty clear cut and we’d wager most people know what a bookie is – a person who will take bets on an event and pay out based on specific odds – but is there any difference between an online bookie and a betting site?
By definition a betting site is a website where people can place bets, so fundamentally betting sites are exactly the same as online bookies and the two terms are often used interchangeably. For many people the term “bookie” conjures up images of the traditional high street betting shop, but this doesn’t stop the fact that online only sports betting sites do the same thing, just without the physical premises.
However… there is a subset of punters who would refer to an online casino as a betting site. You can, after all, place a bet on roulette, so the logic is fairly sound. Many casino betting sites will also offer sports betting, just as many online bookies will also have casino games, but that isn’t always the case (personally we’d call a site that offers casino games but not sports betting an online casino rather than a betting site, but each to his own).
So whilst there isn’t really any difference between a betting site and an online bookie, it all depends on who’s talking. But generally speaking if someone is talking about a bookie, it will definitely offers sports betting. And if they’re talking about a betting site then it probably has sports betting, but there is a chance that it doesn’t.