Free Bets and Welcome Bonuses
Moreover, some bettors prefer to take a free bet and so here we details the best free bets and fixed bonuses bookies offer to their new customers, be they free bets, welcome bonuses, risk free bets or permanent enhanced odds deals.
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Free Bets Explained
Free bets, enhanced odds offers and other welcome bonuses are used by bookies as marketing to attract new customers and also to get more media and social media coverage for their sites and brand. It is an undeniable fact that bookmakers LOSE MONEY on these promotions and the obvious outcome for us the punters is that we can MAKE MONEY from them!
With all of the best betting sites around offering new customers some form of free bet or offer it makes sense to join several bookmakers, especially given that bookies have different odds too, meaning that in order to get the very best odds possible and the best betting value (link to Value betting, odds and probability) it is essential to have more than one betting account.
By claiming free bets, enhanced odds or other forms of welcome bonus from each site you give yourself a great opportunity to make some very easy cash but if you’re unsure about how a free bet works or what you’d need to do, check out our free bet FAQ below…
Free Bet and Welcome Offers FAQ
- How do I claim a free bet? – claiming a free bet is easy. Just click on the bookie name on this site, enter your personal details and then place a bet. Usually that will trigger your freebie, although terms and conditions vary from site to site. We’ll list the key facts and the terms to look out for on our bookie review page and it really is very easy.
- How much do I have to bet and can I lose money? – just about every free bet and welcome bonus these days will require that you place a bet with your own money in order to get the freebie. This will range from as little as £1 (though usually at least £5) to a lot, lot more. You can lose money but with some bookies offering a £20 free bet for just a £5 risk, the odds are very much in your favour.
- Can I withdraw the free bet money? – the free bet is exactly that – a free bet. As such you have to wager it and you can’t just withdraw it as cash.
- Can I withdraw the winnings? – there are two main types of free bet, stake returned and stake not returned. With the latter, anything you win above the stake is usually yours to withdraw with no wagering required. However, with stake returned free bets you get to keep the free bet AND the winnings, but there are usually wagering requirements.
- What are free bet/bonus wagering requirements? – before you can withdraw the bonus value or sometimes the winnings too, you have to wager a certain amount with a bookie. The wagering with all our featured betting sites is fair and this still gives you a great chance to profit, still tips the odds in your favour but just gives the bookie a little protection.
- Is a stake returned free bet better than a stake not returned free bet? – as a general rule, all things being equal, a stake returned free bet is better, however, these days there are not any stake returned free bets that don’t feature a rollover/free bet wagering and as such there isn’t really too much difference between them.
- Can I place my bets at any odds? – most bookies have a minimum odds requirement on either the qualifying bet, the free bet or the bonus rollover betting, or sometimes a combination of them. This is often quite low, say 1/2 (1.50 for those that prefer decimal betting odds) but this varies. Some bookmakers may also have maximum odds on their free bets.
- Are enhanced odds offers better than free bets? – we have a full post dedicated to the enhanced odds versus free bets question. That said, although it depends on a few factors, increasingly we feel that enhanced odds give a better return overall.
- How should I choose a free bet? – there are lots of factors to consider, such as the size of the free bet, the wagering needed, the minimum odds, the maximum odds or win and perhaps most importantly of all, whether or not the site in question is trustworthy and reputable, as well as what their odds are like. All this info can be found in our bookmaker reviews.
- Can I choose between a free bet or an enhanced odds deal? – some bookies offer free bets, some offer amazing enhanced odds and some offer both. Usually if a bookie has an enhanced odds offer as a one-off for a big football match or perhaps a huge horse race they will still also give you the choice of claiming the standard free bet too – if you prefer.
- Can I claim the best odds AND a free bet? – you might think that’s being greedy but many of our partner betting sites feature a deal which includes both enhanced odds AND a free bet too. The free bet is either an additional extra or in some cases is only granted if your first bet at massive odds loses but either way you get at least two bites of the cherry!
- Can I claim the welcome bonus more than once? – whether you take the boosted betting odds or the free bet, these deals are welcome bonuses, meaning you can only claim them when you first join the bookie in question. However, given there are so many different betting sites out there you should still have plenty of freebies to choose from!