Free Bets

Sport BetFree bets are one of the most common forms of betting deal, particularly when it comes to new customers.

The general principle is pretty straight forward, you place a bet with your own money and then you receive one (or more) free bet tokens which can be used to place further bets.

The first incarnation of the free bet tended to offer a pound-for-pound match, meaning that if you deposited and bet £25, you’d receive £25 in free bets.

However this has changed over the years and it’s now not uncommon to find offers where you bet £5 or £10 but receive £20 or £30 in free bets.

They are all different though, as you can see from the list below.

Best Free Bets For April, 2024

Parimatch have an offer that's specific to football - place a £10 bet on football at odds of evens or more. You'll then receive a total of £30 in bonuses, made up of £20 in free bets (4 x £5) and a £10 slot bonus.

  1. Register, deposit and opt in
  2. Place a £10 bet on football with odds of evens or more
  3. Receive £30 in bonuses made up of:
    1. Four £5 free bets
    2. £10 slots bonus
18+ New Customers Only. Opt in and bet £10 on football (odds 2.00+) within 7 days. No cash-out. Get 4x£5 Free Bets for set markets and a £10 Slot Bonus for Big Bass Splash, 30x wagering, to withdraw max £250. Rewards expire in 20 days. Selected payment methods only. T&Cs apply, see below. begambleaware.org | Please gamble responsibly #ad

Betfred have one of the biggest offers in the business, with £50 in bonuses up for grabs when you deposit £10. You'll need to place a bet of £10 or more at odds of evens or greater to claim, after which you'll receive £20 worth of in play free bets, £20 for an acca and £10 in free spins.

  1. Sign up and deposit £10 or more
  2. Place your first bet of £10+ at evens or greater
  3. Receive £50 in bonuses made up of:
    1. £20 in play free bet
    2. £20 accumulator free bet
    3. £10 free spins (50 x 20p)
New customers only. Register (excl. 13/04/24) with WELCOME50. First bet £10+ at Evens (2.0)+ on Sports within 7 days to get Free Bets: £20 In-Play, £20 Acca & 50 x £0.20 (£10) Free Spins on Fishin’ Frenzy within 10 hours of settlement. 7-day expiry. Eligibility & payment exclusions apply. Full T&Cs apply. #ad

Unibet are giving you a second bite at the cherry with their welcome offer. Deposit £10 or more and place a bet and if it loses, you'll get your money back as a bonus (max £50). The minimum odds are low here as well, just 2/5. Plus you'll also receive a £10 casino bonus, win or lose.

  1. Sign up and deposit £10+
  2. Place your first bet at odds of 2/5 or more
  3. If your bet loses, you'll receive a bonus worth up to £40
  4. Win or lose, you'll also receive a £10 casino bonus
18+. BeGambleAware.org. New customers only. Min Dep £10. Debit cards only. Opt in for bonus funds. Wagering, sportsbook 3x at min. odds of 1.40 (2/5), casino 50x. Sports bonus must be wagered before using the casino bonus. Valid for 7 days. Geographical Restrictions and T&Cs Apply. #ad

BetVictor are a long established bookie who have fully transitioned from the high street to online. Their online product is excellent though, so clearly the focused approach is working for them. If you fancy giving them a try there's £30 in bonuses waiting for you when you sign up, deposit and bet £10.

  1. Register and opt in to the promotion
  2. Bet £10 at odds of Evens or more
  3. Receive six £5 free bets
18+ New customers only. Opt in, bet £10 at odds 2.00+ within 7 days, no cashout. Get 6x £5 Free Bets, set events at odds 2.00+. 7 day bonus expiry. Debit Card / Apple Pay payments only. Click for T&Cs. Please Gamble Responsibly. #ad

BoyleSports have £20 in free bets on offer for new customers who sign up and bet £10 or more at odds of evens or greater. The free bet will be credited after your bet settles, so maybe don't make it on the winner of the 2030 World Cup.

  1. Sign up and deposit £10 or more
  2. Place a bet of £10+ at odds of evens or greater
  3. Receive £20 in free bets once you bet settles
New UK customers (Excluding NI) only. Mobile exclusive. Min Deposit £10. Min stake £10. Min odds Evs. Free bet applied on 1st settlement of any qualifying bet. 30 days to qualify. Free bets expire in 7 days. Cashed out/Free Bets won’t apply. Account & Payment method restrictions apply. 1 Free Bet offer per customer, household & IP Address only. 18+. T&Cs apply. T&Cs apply #ad

Betway have two parts to their welcome offer. The first is for a matched bet which you'll receive if your first acca loses (min three legs), the minimum bet is £5 and the maximum is £30. The second part is for 100 free spins on Gold Blitz (100 x 10p spins). Both the free bet and spins will be credited after your first bet settles.

  1. Sign up and make a deposit
  2. Place a £5+ accumulator with 3+ legs on football or horse racing
  3. If your acca loses, receive a free bet for the same amount (max £30)
  4. Win or lose, you'll receive 100 free spins worth £10
New UK customers only. Min Stake: £5. Maximum Free Bet: £30. First bet on a Football or Horse Racing multiple with 3+ selections. Overall odds: 3.00 (2/1) or higher. Free Bets available upon settlement of the qualifying bet. 100 Free Spins on Gold Blitz (£0.10 per spin) credited on settlement of qualifying Acca bet. No wagering requirements on free spin winnings. Debit Card deposit only (exclusions apply). This offer is valid 7 days from the new account being registered. 18+ BeGambleAware.org. Bet the Responsible Way. Full terms apply. #ad
bet365
Bet £10 & Get £30 in Free Bets
Bet £10 & Get £30 in Free Bets for new customers at bet365.Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. Registration required #ad

The Pools have a welcome off that's a little unusual in that it isn't just for when you sign up. New customers can get a £10 free bet by placing two £10 accumulators, and you can repeat this process every week to keep getting free bets.

  1. Sign up and make a deposit
  2. Place 2 x £10 accumulators with 4+ legs
  3. Receive a £10 free bet the following Monday
  4. Repeat once per week
18+, UK only. Place a minimum 2x £10 pre-match 4 leg acca cash bet where odds accumulate to 3.0 (2/1) or more and get a £10 bonus funds to use on multiples (3 or more selection, min odds per selection 1.5 (1/2)). Cashed Out, Asian Handicaps, Draw no Bet wagers or bets with void legs do not qualify for this promotion. Free Bet credited every Monday by 12pm. Maximum 1 free bet per customer per week available from this promotion. Full T&C's apply. #ad

This offer is about as simple as it gets. Get double odds on your first bet - this can be any bet, at any odds and on any sport. So if you place a bet at 2/1 and it wins, it will get settled at 4/1. Go for a bigger bet at 10/1 and it will be settled at 20/1, and so on. This offer applies to your first bet, up to a maximum of £10.

  1. Sign up and make a deposit (min deposit is £5)
  2. Place a bet worth up to £10
  3. If your bet wins, get paid out at double the normal odds
New customers. Max £10(Exc PayPal). 100% Odds Boost token. Full T&Cs apply. 18+. Begambleaware.org. #ad

QuinnBet base your bonus on your activity on your first day betting with them. You can bet on any sport or market, provided that the odds are evens or more. If you end the day at a loss then you'll receive a 50% bonus back as a free bet (max £35). If you end up a winner you can still get a £5 free bet. Win or lose, you'll also receive 10 free spins.

  1. Sign up, deposit and start betting
  2. Place at least three bets with minimum odds of evens or more
  3. Your bonus is based on the net position of your account at the end of the day:
    1. Net Loss - Receive 50% back as a free bet up to £35 + 10 free spins
    2. Net Win - Receive a £5 free bet + 10 free spins
We've enhanced our Sportsbook Welcome Offer, giving new UK customers the opportunity to get 50% back as a Free Bet up to £35 plus 10 Free Spins! T&Cs apply | 18+ New UK Customers Only | BeGambleAware.org #ad

The Big Free Bet FAQ

In this section we’ll answer some of the questions that punters often ask, covering everything from who has the best free bets through to what happens if your bet is voided.

Which Betting Sites Offer Free Bets?

Free Bet Bookie Sites

Pretty much all of them, although that doesn’t mean that they’re all equal. We would hazard a guess that well over 95% of UK betting sites on the web will offer a new customer offer of some sort, be it a free bet, enhanced odds deal or deposit bonus.

Not all of the offers will be good though, some have overly complicated terms attached, weird rules or are just poor value for money. It’s normally pretty obvious which are the better offers but pay close attention to the more random bookies that you’ve never heard of before as these are the ones that often have the worst promotions.

That’s not to say that all small bookies have bad deals, not in the slightest, just that you probably want to really make sure you know what an offer entails before claiming (which you should be doing anyway!).

One thing you’ll notice from the list above is that all of the free bets are worth claiming. This is because we hand pick which deals go onto the site and we simply exclude those that we don’t think are very good.

Do You Only Get Free Bets When You Sign Up With a Bookie?

Free Bet Example

Example of existing customer free bet promotion. Not a current offer.

No, but this answer comes with a pretty big “but”.

It is completely true to say that existing customers also get offered free bets and other kinds of bonus, but it’s also true to say that they won’t be as generous as the one you were able to claim when you first signed up.

The reason for this is simple economics.

They dangle the highest value promotions in front of new customers in hopes of attracting them and getting them to sign up, but they often cost the bookie money – which clearly isn’t a viable long term option. So once you’re signed up you can still get free bets, but they tend to be a little more modest.

Some would perhaps argue that this isn’t fair, but in reality if offers had to be the same for new and existing customers then the reality is that new customer offers would simply be reduced in value.

Why Do Betting Sites Offer Free Bets?

Attract New CustomersWe’ve touched on the answer to this in the previous question, but essentially it’s a way of attracting new business.

By offering introductory betting offers they’re able to draw in new customers who they hope will be wowed by their website, service and odds and stick around for the long term.

The betting industry in the UK is a big money operation and there are some huge companies with very deep pockets jostling for market share, which is why you can find some very generous offers.

Whether this will continue long term is yet to be seen but the value of the offers we’re seeing at the moment is excellent.

How Do Free Bets Work?

How Free Bets Work

There are a few different kinds of welcome offer that you’ll come across which will work in different ways, but for the purposes for this question we’re going to specifically look at a free bet.

Normally when you claim a free bet offer you’ll go through a pretty standard process:

  1. Register for a new account – pay attention to any bonus codes or special landing pages you are required to use in order to claim the bonus. If this is the case it will be clearly marked in the terms.
  2. Make a deposit with your own money – debit card is generally the easiest and fastest option here, it’s also the one that is normally preferred by the sites with the welcome bonuses. In fact, many ewallets such as neteller and skrill are often excluded from sign up bonuses.
  3. Place a qualifying bet – the details of this will be clearly marked in the terms. In most cases it’s a straight sports bet with minimum odds (often 1/2 or evens). Sometimes the offer will require a specific type of bet to be placed, such as an acca or btts but if this is the case it will be listed in the offer terms.
  4. Receive your free bet(s) – sometimes you will receive your free bet as soon as the qualifying bet has been placed, other times you need to wait until it has settled. If if is the latter then you probably want to pick a bet on an event that’s not too far into the future.
  5. Place your free bet – with your free bet firmly in hand you can now go and place it on a bet of your choice. But don’t wait around for too long, most free bets only have a limited time to use them in after which they expire.

That’s normally the long and short of it. If your bet loses then that ends the process, although if it wins there are a couple of different ways it gets paid out depending on whether the stake is returned or not. Some of the worst offers that we were talking about earlier might add a wagering requirement to a free bet, and whilst this is relatively uncommon at the moment it’s worth bearing in mind.

How Do You Use a Free Bet?

Use Free BetThe actual process of using a free bet will vary by site.

Some will pop up with a little message to tell you that you have a bet you can place whilst others just have a little checkbox on the bet slip that says “use free bet”.

Generally speaking though all you need to do is go to place a bet as normal and then opt to use the free bet token instead of your own money.

If nothing shows up, try checking the promotions section of your account to see if there are any special requirements such as needing to opt in to the offer.

Do Any Betting Sites Give Free Bets Without a Deposit?

Man Laughing and PointingThat would be a hard no.

Previously there has been the odd site that has tried this, but we can count the number of times we’ve seen it on one hand.

And that’s after losing a couple of fingers in a tractor accident.

Often the amount you need to deposit is minimal and starts at just £5, but you’re unlikely to find many reputable UK licensed sites that offer no deposit free bets.

You do get no deposit offers for other products, this is most common in the casino sections of the sites where you can regularly find free spins.

What Does “Free Bet Stake Not Returned” Mean?

Money Disappearing

This is a very common term but one that often catches people out when they first start using free bets.

Essentially what this means is that the free bet stake isn’t returned with the winnings of the bet, meaning that regardless of whether your bet wins or loses, the free bet portion will vanish.

  • Stake Returned – You bet £10 at evens using a free bet. If the bet wins you’ll receive £20 back: £10 in winnings and the £10 bet stake.
  • Stake Not Returned – Again you bet £10 at evens using a free bet. If the bet wins you’ll receive £10 back made up of only the winnings. The free bet stake vanishes.

It’s pretend money in other words, although you can use it once to potentially win realy money.

Another way to think of it is that the free bet has a nominal value of £0, meaning that whilst it allows you to place a bet of £10 (or whatever the value of the bet is) it doesn’t itself have any value.

Which is fair enough, considering the fact that it’s a free bet.

What Happens If You Win With a Free Bet?

Winning a Free BetThe purpose of a free bet, as their name suggests, is to give you a free wager on a sport. If this bet loses then it’s the same as if you had placed the bet with real money, it will simply be lost. But what about when you win?

If your chosen selection comes in then you’ll be paid out according to the offer terms, with the most important factor being whether the free bet stake is included in the returns or not. We discuss this in the above question above if you’re not familiar with the term.

With most betting sites what you then receive – regardless of whether it includes the free bet stake or not – is the same as any other cash in your account. So you can withdraw it, bet with it or move it to another product on offer by the bookie.

In some cases you might find wagering requirements attached which means you need to rollover the bonus funds (or in rare cases, the winnings from them) a certain number of times before you are able to withdraw. Thankfully this is quite rare for a free bet and tends to apply more to larger deposit bonuses.

What Are Maximum Winnings?

Free Bet WinningsMaximum winnings are as they sound, a limit to how much you can win.

Because you have a say in what wager you’re able to place with your free bet this isn’t so much of an issue for the free bet portion of any welcome offer, as you could just make sure you picked something that had odds below the maximum. Meaning that from a sports perspective it isn’t a common term.

However, where you could see it is where an offer comes with a casino element. For example, if you bet £10 for a £20 free bet and a £10 casino bonus there’s normally no maximum winnings on the free bet, but there could be on the casino bonus. In this scenario – where you’re not necessarily in control of the payout value of a slot spin – it can be a little trickier to avoid and sometimes you might find you win more than is permitted by the offer.

In this scenario the additional winnings will be removed when you make a withdrawal. For example, if you have a £10 casino bonus with a £100 maximum win but you win £200 then you’ll be able to withdraw the first £100 but the remaining £100 will be forfeited.

When this clause exists we’ve found that normally the maximum win is around 10x the bonus amount, but not all offers have it.

What is a Qualifying Bet?

Qualifying Bet

We’ve used the term “qualifying bet” a few times in previous answers, which refers to the bet you need to place in order to receive your free bet. Most free bets will be triggered by the placing of a real money bet, and this is what we call the qualifying bet – because it’s what qualifies you for the offer.

There are a couple of bits to watch out for with these as it’s not a case of slapping down any old wager willy nilly, normally there will be criteria it needs to meet:

  1. Bet Size – All qualifying bets will have a minimum amount, often £5 or £10 but can be more depending on the offer. Your bet will normally need to be equal or greater than this, meaning that if you need to place a £10 bet but you want to bet £20, that should be fine. Occasionally you will see sites that require a set bet amount to be placed, but normally this relates to enhanced odds related offers rather than free bets.
  2. Minimum Odds – Most will also require minimum odds. So if it says odds of evens or more then you’ll need to place it on something that is at least evens, but can be greater if you want. So that 50/1 longshot in the 2:15 at Kempton is also fine.
  3. Betting Market – Some offers won’t specify a type of bet, meaning you can place it on whatever you like (provided it’s not excluded – see point #4 below). Other might restrict it to a specific sport – such as football or racing – or a particular bet type such as singles only, or only in play bets.
  4. Excluded Bets – The final thing to consider are whether anything is excluded. Whilst you might see an offer that doesn’t specify a specific bet type it could still have some bets that are excluded, normally things like totepool bets or bets linked to jackpots aren’t allowed unless the sign up offer is specifically aimed at those markets.

The exact rules you need to follow will be in the terms of the offer which we list alongside every free bet, so it’s generally pretty simple to follow.

As long as you make sure your qualifying bet ticks all of the relevant boxes you should be good to go.