Free bets are often dished out as a sign-up bonus to new customers at online betting sites, and although the way these offers are structured can differ, one of the most common is ‘Bet £10, Get £X Amount of Free Bets’.
It’s a good way for a customer to try a new betting site with very little risk, and equally low risk for the bookmaker, who is getting a £10 deposit and potentially a new customer who will continue to use the brand.
Even if the bettor loses their £10 and makes nothing on the free bets, they have had a bit of fun at a relatively low expense. On the other hand, if the punter wins their £10 bet and also wins some money from the free bets then they are in the minority, while the bookie still hasn’t lost a fortune, and will hope to make that money back as the customer continues to bet with them having had a good initial experience.
With £10 being a common choice for bookie offers since it is an affordable amount for the majority of people, we will run through a few example offers on this page to make sure you feel comfortable with how they work, as well as listing the offers that are currently available.
What is a Bet £10 to get Free Bets Promotion and How Does it Work?
You can see an example of what one of these free bet promotions might look like above, minus our ‘example image’ stamp.
This sort of offer is widely accepted to be one of the best in the industry, and 95% of the time they are only available to new customers.
The bookies are prepared to work harder and risk more to attract new punters than they are to keep existing ones, and because all bookies are pretty much the same in this regard, it’s a tactic that works.
Punters accept that they won’t get this sort of special treatment after the initial sign up, but they will often hop from one bookie to another in order to claim all of the best deals, before eventually settling with a handful of their favourites.
Free bet promotions do still exist once you are a registered customer at an online sportsbook, but they are not usually as readily available or as high value. Bookies might get them out for big events where they want to pull customers away from other brands, but for the most part, free bet offers of this sort of value are a one-off treat.
The concept is simple enough: you make a qualifying bet of the specified amount – £10 in this case – and the bookmaker will then credit your account with free bets worth the promised value.
There are two things to consider here then, the qualifying bet, and the free bet, so let’s look at each element individually.
Getting this bit right is important, because if you don’t, you won’t get the free bet.
It’s not necessarily as simple as just betting the amount that the promotion told you to bet, there may be other terms attached to the qualifying bet in order to trigger the free bet.
The most important thing here is to actually make the bet in the first place.
You will often find that the sign-up free bet promotions will need to be used within perhaps the first month after registering your account, so if you sign up, forget about it, and come back later, you might find that the offer has lapsed.
On top of this, you need to use an accepted payment method. While bookies often have lots of payment options available, their best offers can be restricted to debit card payments, for example, so if you deposit using an ewallet in that situation you will not qualify for the free bets.
Sometimes you will need to make a single £10 bet to get your free bets, and other times you will just need to place £10 worth of bets however you choose – so you could place a £5 bet on the horses and two £2.50 bets on some basketball, for example.
You need to know what you are doing here, because at some bookies, the very first bet you place must be the full amount in order to claim the free bet. If you are supposed to bet £10 but decide to chuck a few quid at something else first, you can end up breaching the terms and therefore no longer qualifying for the free bet.
You will need to see the bet through to its’ conclusion too. Let’s say you make your £10 qualifying bet on a tennis match in order to get your free bets, but you end up cashing it out half way through the event. That may not count as a qualifying £10 bet. If you partially cash out, usually only the portion you left in will count towards qualifying for the free bet.
You may also find that the qualifying bet must be made at odds of 1/5 or greater (for example). So if you made a £10 bet on something so wildly unlikely to lose that the odds were super short, say 1/16, then that bet may not qualify to release the free bets.
We can’t give you specifics here as the terms at each bookie will be different, but these are the sorts of things to look out for.
This is the fun bit, because you stand the chance to win some money from the free bets without having to stump up any of your own cash.
Once the free bets have been credited to your account, you will see an option to use them on your betslip – it’s usually a little button to press or a box to check.
The great thing about this system is that it is automatic, so the option will only be there if you have free bets to use, and you will only be able to use them if the bets you are trying to make are within the free bet terms and conditions.
Yes, there are terms that come with the free bets, you can’t just place them on anything you like.
At the risk of sounding repetitive, precisely what you can and can’t use your free bets on will depend on the bookmaker you are betting with, but in general there are a few things to look out for:
- Minimum odds – To balance their risk and not just essentially hand you free cash, the bookmaker needs the bets you make to at least stand some chance of losing, so you will usually have to use the bets on predictions that have odds of at least 1/2 or around there.
- Markets and bet types – Sometimes certain markets, such as virtual sports, or bet types, such as Bet Builders, are not available to use with free bets. The free bet could even have been given a specific use, such as to be wagered on Premier League football – it just depends.
- Expiration dates – Some free bets have to be used surprisingly quickly, so if you have specific plans for yours do check this before making your qualifying bet. All free bets will expire eventually though, so best to use them sooner rather than later.
- Stake not returned – It’s almost unheard of for the free bet stake to be returned along with any winnings these days. That means that a winning £10 free bet at 2/1 will return a total of £20, not £30.
- Maximum win – You might find the free bet will only pay out up to a certain amount, so will need to factor this in when deciding what to bet on. If the maximum payout is £500, for instance, there’s little point betting on something that is 100/1 as not only is it highly unlikely to win, but even if it does, you’ll only get half the return anyway.
- Cash out – Free bets are not usually available to cash out, otherwise you could place it and cash it out straight away.
You might also find that the free bet amount is credited as a number of smaller bets instead of one big bet. So a £30 free bet might need to wagered in three lots of £20, for example. Other times you might be able to break it up how you like.
Even with these limitations in place, there is an awful lot of freedom with free bets, but understanding the terms is important because you want to get the most out of it, especially since you won’t get an offer as good as this very often.
Do make sure you follow the instructions though; in some cases, such as betting less than the free bet amount when that free bet must be placed in its’ entirety, you can end up forfeiting whatever is left.
Are Free Bets Valid with Other Promotions?
This is one of those questions that doesn’t have a one size fits all answer.
You will find some offers at some bookies that the free bet qualifies for; a very big brand ran a Bore Draw Money Back promotion on football and this applied to free bets, so a free bet made on the Win/Draw/Win market would be credited back to the account if the match ended in a 0-0 draw.
Best Odds Guaranteed on the horse racing will also be applied to bets at some bookmakers.
However, it is much more likely that your free bets will not be useable in conjunction with the other offers the bookmaker might be running, so it’s safer to assume the answer is no until you have checked.
Here is a screenshot of the terms relating to other offers from one big brand bookie with the name of the bookie blurred out:
So let’s say that the bookie is running a 2 Up style promotion, where if you bet on a football team to win the match, and they go 2 goals clear at any point in the game, you are paid out regardless of the end result.
Although you could still use your free bet on that game and even on the same Win/Draw/Win market, the 2 Up promotion would not apply to your bet.
This is because the bet isn’t costing you anything, which means that it is potentially already costing the bookie something, so they aren’t going to give you an even bigger hand up by granting you further promotions on top of the free bets. They have to manage their risk.
The initial £10 bet that you make to qualify for the free bets might be able to benefit from the 2 Up promotion, but not the free bet itself.