What is a Qualifying Bet?

Approved StampA qualifying bet, put simply is a bet you have to make in order to qualify for a bookmaker’s bonus.

It’s a term you will see attached to most bonuses, often alongside ‘qualifying deposit’. In other words, to claim a new customer bonus offered by a bookie, you will need to deposit a certain amount and/or make a bet of a certain value before the bonus is unlocked.

This is done simply to stop people joining a new site, claiming a bonus, and then running away with the cash. Of course, there are many other safeguards put in place to stop that happening, such as minimum odds and wagering requirements.

Qualifying Bet Example

Example Wagering Requirement

Taking a look at a typical new customer offer on the sports betting market. This is a fictional example that combines common terms from current offers:

The deal: Get £20 in Free Bets (4 x £5) when you sign-up and stake £5 on sports

How the deal works:

  1. Players register for a new account, entering all the required personal and financial details.
  2. Players are required to make a deposit in order to place a qualifying bet.
  3. Players then have to place the qualifying bet totaling at least £5, at odds of 1/2 (1.50) or greater.
  4. 4 x £5 Free Bet credits are then registered to the player immediately.
  5. Players have seven days to use their free bet credits.

The qualifying bet is a normal bet, in that it is your choice and the stakes are real. So, any winnings you gain from that bet are all yours, including the returned stake. Although, for the bet to unlock your bonus it must be placed according to the stipulations, hence calling it a ‘qualifying bet’.

In this case, the simple qualifiers are that the best must be to the value of £5 or more, and must be at odds of 1/2 or greater.

Typical Qualifying Bet Rules

Terms and Conditions

As part of the terms and conditions of a bonus or promotion with a sports betting firm, the qualifying bet has its own basic rules.

Those rules will almost certainly be different for every bookmaker on the market in some way, but in general terms they will look something like this:

  • Qualifying bets are usually only needed for new players in order to unlock a bonus, or for existing customers to receive some kind of ongoing promotion.
  • The qualifying bet is crucial; even when all other steps have been followed, not making a proper qualifying bet according to the bookmaker’s terms will result in the bonus not being granted.
  • Qualifying bets have to be made with real money. No other bonuses or free bets can be used to make a qualifying bet in order to unlock a new bonus.
  • Minimum odds will apply, usually anywhere between 1/2 (1.50) and 1/1 (2.00).
  • Accumulators may count as a qualifying bet, though every line in the bet must be at the minimum odds set out and/or there may be an alternative minimum for an acca (such as 1/2 per leg with a min total odds of 2/1).
  • Minimum stakes will apply, usually between £5 and £10.
  • Each-way bets usually can count as qualifying bets (more info below)
  • No pool betting or Tote bets can count as a qualifying bet.
  • Any bet that is subsequently made void cannot count as a qualifying bet.
  • Time limits usually apply, qualifying bets often needing to be placed within 1-2 weeks (or less).
  • Bonuses or free bets are often credited as soon as a qualifying bet is made, or in some cases after the bet has been settled.

Each-Way Qualifying Bets

One of the most common questions bookmakers receive when it comes to qualifying bets surrounds each-way betting.

Often the punter wants to look for some value on their qualifying bet, making each-way betting an appealing proposition.

Each-way bets are often allowed as qualifying bets (but not always). When accepted, your stake will normally be doubled. For example, should the value of the qualifying bet be £5 as it is above, then for an each-way bet to qualify this would need to be £5 each-way, or £10 in total.

This is done because only the win portion of the each-way bet counts as a qualifying bet and the place portion is more of an add on.