This post answers the question ‘what is a free bet?’ Free bets are given out by bookmakers to encourage punters to bet with them. And then to keep their custom, encouraging them to stay loyal. After the initial sign up offers, there are many different kind of promotions where punters can qualify for further free bets. These are, ‘refund if your horse comes second’ or ‘get your money back if your player retires early’ offers.

This post will look at:

  • What a free bet is
  • Different types of free bets and bonuses
  • New customer offers
  • Existing customer offers

What is a free bet?

A free bet given by a bookmaker is not the same as someone handing you cash to bet with. Instead, it’s like a token in place of the cash. You get to make a bet and if it wins, you keep the winnings. However, you don’t get the stake back, as you would if you’d used your own cash. These are known as SNR (Stake Not Returned) bets. If the bet loses, you lose nothing.

While this may seem like “having a punt” there are ways you can hedge these bets. In doing so, you can guarantee yourself a profit.

Different types of free bets and bonuses

Bet X get X

Sometimes,bookmakers will ask you to make an initial bet before giving you a free bet. These are known as Bet £X get £X offers.

Risk free bets

Sometimes they will offer a Risk Free bet, this works slightly differently. It means you bet your own money and they will refund you if your bet loses. The refund will usually comes as a free bet token, but can sometimes be cash. The cash refunds are better, but you can still guarantee a return on the token. Keeping around 70% – 90% of the amount offered.

Deposit bonuses

Many bookmakers will offer a bet token in return for you depositing an initial sum with them. They’ll then match that e.g. ‘deposit £25 get £25 free bet’, meaning you have £50 to bet with. These types of offers are also known as “reload bonuses”. Here, the bookmaker will match your deposit, or a percentage of it, with bonus cash.

You can’t withdraw this bonus cash, but the good news is that bets made with this money are like normal cash bets. The stake is returned to you along with any winnings. There are usually terms and conditions attached to this bonus type. An example of terms is how many times you have to “rollover” both your deposit and the bonus before you can make a withdrawal.

‘Rollover’ means you have to make a certain amount, (in £s), of bets. So, if you deposit is £100 and the bonus is £100 with a rollover of x3, deposit and bonus, this means you have to place £600 worth of bets. You do this by “rolling over” the £200 balance. With these types of bets it’s possible to turn between 50% – 90% of the bonus into cash, depending on the rollover sum required. You’re likely to make small losses on each bet, but these will come off the bonus cash and the left over profit is yours!

New customer offers

New customer offers will predominantly be one of the above types. And many people think that that’s the end of bookmaker offers. However, this isn’t true! Bookmakers want to keep your custom and will offer more of these type bets. They will often be more predominant during big sporting events, but can also be found when the sporting season is quiet to encourage further betting.

Existing customer offers

These can come in many different forms, the simplest is ‘loyalty’ bets which are usually of the first and easiest type: Bet £X Get £X. Many bookmakers have free bet ‘clubs’, where you might bet £x per week, and receive a free bet every week!

There are also more regular offers, like acca insurance. With this type of offers you get a free bet, usually to the value of your stake, if only 1 leg of your acca doesn’t win. These can be a regular source of free bets!

There are loads more existing daily and weekly offers available for existing customers. Horse racing free bets and risk free bets are available daily, and then there’s Football during peak season which can be very busy too. Tennis is too, during the Grand Slams –  although any televised sport, or larger sporting event usually has lots of opportunities to bag those free bets.