Betting for free almost sounds too good to be true, but most bookmakers are now giving you the chance to do exactly that.
Often punters just use free bets to chuck on a random bet, but if you start using them smartly, then you could argue that you bookmaker is practically giving you free cash to keep or play with.
In essence, a free bet is an opportunity to place a bet without the risk of losing any of your own money, and then get paid out the net winnings on your bet if it wins.
How it differs from a cash bet, is that you don’t have to contribute the stake yourself, but that also means that your stake won’t be returned as part of your winnings if your bet is successful. Thousands of pounds of free bets and betting bonuses are regularly given out by sports betting bookmakers, and you often qualify for one as soon as you open up a new customer account with many bookies given welcome packages to first time depositors.
Why Do Bookies Offer Free Bets To Customers?
The main reason for bookmakers offering out free bets is to encourage customers to sign up and keep making deposits into their accounts. Their hope is that by offering you a free bet at the start of your customer journey with them, that you are still around and spending some more money with them in the future. Simply put, they’re hoping to lure you in with a freebie.
What’s The Catch?
Although some bookmakers will offer out free bets as a gesture of goodwill or as part of a publicity campaign, there is normally something you need to do in order to qualify for a free bet. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t be smart in going about getting your hands on one.
Many bookies offer a free bet just for signing up for a new account, while others will want you to make a deposit and place your first bet in cash before they’ll issue the free bet into your account. Some will even ask you to use your free bet funds, before they will allow you to place any more cash bets or allow any winnings to be credited into your account.
To summarise, there are general a few points you many need to do before you will be entitled to a free bet with any bookmaker:
– register a new account with a bookmaker, which usually means you need to verify your personal details such as names, date of birth and address
– add a valid payment method to your account and make your first deposit
– use your own deposited cash to place your first bet on a sports event – sometimes you may have to place your bet at at certain amount in order to get the same amount as a free bet
Some bookmakers may also put a restriction on what odds your first bet must be placed on in order to qualify for the free bet. This is usually around odds of 1/2 or EVS, so that this stops people from sticking money on a big favourite at the Cheltenham Festival, just to be eligible for a free bet.
The best way to know how you can be eligible for a free bet is to double check with your bookmakers terms and conditions listed within the promotional page. Always check the playthrough requirements and any geographical restrictions, and if you still aren’t sure, then just speak to the customer service department at your selected bookmaker.
If you are new to online sports betting, then you probably won’t be aware of the playthrough requirements that are sometimes attached to free bets that are given out by bookmakers. A playthrough requirement means placing a certain amount or value of extra bets before your winnings from the free bet can be paid into your betting account.
If these playthrough rules are applied to your free bet, the easiest method in determining the value of a free bet is to multiply the free bet by the number of times you’re made to turn it over, or bet its full value, using your own funds.
As an example, if you are offered a £100 free bet by your online bookmaker, and you are required to turn it over three times before being paid out, you’ll need to bet £300 before any of your winnings on your free bet will be paid out to you.
The key thing to remember is that all bookmakers have different rules when it comes to playthrough requirements, so if you use a number of online bookies, always check their individual rules when it comes to free bets.
With online sports betting being so popular around the world, many of the bookmakers are now available in a series of different countries. However, some of them may appeal geographical restrictions to the free bets that they offer, meaning that although they operate in the UK and Ireland, the free bets may only be for customers that are registered in Ireland.
If your free bet doesn’t mention anything about geographical restrictions in the terms and conditions, then you should be fine to use it regardless of your location.