Everyone likes getting a little extra, and that’s what this section is all about – bonuses and free bets for placing the bets that you were going to place already. There are quite a few different types of bonus and offer, so we’re going to break it down into sections starting with the best betting offers you’re likely to come across – sign up bonuses.
As the name suggests these offers are only available to new customers when you sign up – they’re highly lucrative and usually well worth claiming.
Best Betting Sign Up Offers For 2023
Betting Offers Explained
One of the main lures that bookmakers use to get punters through their doors is the use of free bets. These free bets can work in a number of ways but are essentially designed to offer you a complementary bet when you register a new account. What most people don’t realise is that these bets often come with a long list of terms and conditions put in place by the bookmaker generally to stop people taking advantage of these types of bets.
What you will find is that the range of bets will vary massively from bookmaker to bookmaker. The amount is often something that will have the biggest range and you can expect to get anything between £5 and £200 as a general rule. That being said, bigger is not always better for most users and it’s important to understand which free bets will likely suit you and more importantly, be the easiest to claim.
Types of Free Bet
Whilst many bookmakers may claim that you can get x amount in free bets, there are often a few different types of bets that you need to be aware of. Again, each bet will likely vary quite a lot in terms of what’s on offer, that’s why we have tried to produce this guide to cover as many different types of free bets as possible. What we will say is that with any promotion that a bookmaker is offering, we highly recommend going and looking through their terms and conditions before doing so. Whilst past experiences of terms and conditions for most products are vast, free bets often are much more diluted and using this article as a guide, you should be able to break them down pretty easily.
The most common form of these types of promotions comes in the form of a matched bet. This is where the bookmaker will both match your first deposit amount or your first bet amount and credit your account with the equivalent up to a certain threshold. Even though these are the most popular bet types, they are definitely ones that you should be looking out for as no matter the result of your initial bet, you will still be getting something back from the bookmaker.
The amount you can earn from these types of bets will range massively. Some bookmakers like to throw big offers at punters to get them to sign up and the matched bet is often the best way to do so. You will need to be careful with certain terms and conditions with these types of bets though which is something we will go into more detail later on in this article.
Bet & Get Offers (Bet £5 Get £20 / Bet £10 Get £30)
The traditional matched bet tends to be a like for like amount, such as bet £25 and get a £25 free bet – hence the “matched” part of the name. But more and more sites are offering a series of free bets well in excess of the amount of your qualifying bet. The two most common ones you’ll see are:
- Bet £5 Get £20 – A 400% return on your qualifying bet which awards £20 in free bets for a fiver. Often the £20 is split into a series of smaller bets such as 4 x £5 free bets. We have seen larger offers from time to time as well, such as Bet £5 Get £30.
- Bet £10 Get £30 -Whilst the multiplier of these offers is smaller and the qualifying bet is bigger, the free bet amount is also larger clocking in at £30. Again this is the minimum that these offers tend to come in at and we regularly see Bet £10 Get £40 (or more).
There is, however, normally a slight catch. With these larger return offers you often find that you need to use the free bets on a series of specific types of bet rather than it being a free for all. So you might have to spread your free bet tokens over bets for singles, accas and in play bets. Sometimes a portion of the bet is also earmarked for use in the casino.
Deposit bonuses are slightly rarer within the sports betting industry and are much more popular within the casino and poker worlds. This promotions works by getting a bonus amount for the amount you have deposited and then releasing the bonus in increments the more you play. A quick example you be that someone deposits £100 and for every £10 bet they make, they will be offered a free £10 bet.
Alternatively you could receive the bonus in one go but have to meet certain wagering requirements, such as betting through your deposit and bonus five times before making a withdrawal.
Other Types of Offer
Whilst free bets form the staple of the introductory betting offer, there are a couple of other things you might come across:
The enhanced odds offer started around the 2014 world cup and when through a period of mass popularity a few years ago, particularly on social media. These headline grabbing promotions generally offer super charged odds on a heavy favourite – such as 25/1 for Man City to beat Fulham or 10/1 for Lewis Hamilton to reach the podium – but they are incredibly short lived.
The catch here is that the maximum bet would be limited, after all, no bookie will let you put £10k on either of those wagers. The maximum bet is normally inversely proportional to the size of the odds boost. So a 2/1 bet that becomes 10/1 may have a max bet of £5 whilst a 1/2 banker that is being offered at 30/1 would probably come with a limit of £1.
You’ll also find that the bonus winnings are awarded in free bets rather than cash. So if you bet £5 on a 10/1 offer that was boosted from 2/1 and it won, then you’d receive £15 in cash and the rest in free bets:
- Example 1:
- Bet £5 at 10/1, boosted from 2/1
- Regular payout is £15 (£5 at 2/1)
- Bonus payout is £40 in free bets
- Example 2:
- Bet £1 at 30/1, boosted from 1/2
- Regular payout is £1.50 (£1 at 1/2)
- Bonus payout is £29.50 in free bets
Free spins are more commonly found in the casino but the bookies are aware that plenty of their punters are also partial to a few spins of a fruit machine and it’s not uncommon to see sports betting offers that incorporate free spins. Such offers are usually in addition to the normal bonus, so you may claim a £25 matched bet and also receive 10 free spins as well. Or your Bet £10 Get £30 offer could come with 60 free spins.
You don’t have to redeem this part of the offer if you don’t want to, but they’re there if you fancy it.
Understanding Free Bet Terms & Conditions
Even the thought of terms and conditions can make some peoples head spin, but it’s massively important in the betting industry that you know what’s going on with your bets. Here are some of the more common terms to look out for.
Most bookmakers will set minimum odds that qualifying bets can be used against. This means that’s bets placed outside these odds will not count towards releasing your free bet. An example may be that you need to place your opening bet at odds of 2.00 (evens) or greater to qualify for your free bet. Odds placed at less than this will not qualify and more often than not, void any free bet that you may be entitled to.
One of the ways bookmakers keep you playing at the site and not just take your money and run is by issuing turnover requirements. This is basically an amount that you need to play through before being able to withdraw any winnings from your opening or free bet. Most turnover requirements will be your deposit amount and your free bet amount multiplied by a certain number. This is why we mentioned earlier that the bigger free bet promotions aren’t always the best as they generally come with the largest turnover requirements.
Stake Returned v Stake Not Returned
Some bookmakers will allow you to receive the stake of your free bet back with any winnings that you make. Others will simply remove the stake amount before just returning your net win. If you think a normal winning bet at odds of 10/1 with £10 placed on it would return £110 (£100 net win plus £10 stake) with the stake not returned bet only giving you £100, with the £10 bet taken away.
Betting Offers For Existing Customers
Up to this point we’ve only been discussing new customer bonuses, which can obviously only be claimed once per person – meaning that even if you signed up with every bookie on the page, you’re still going to run out of them eventually.
Thankfully there are still plenty of offers to get your hands on after you’ve signed up including:
- Free Bet Clubs – A growing trend in the bookmaker world is the free bet club. Here you can earn weekly free bets by placing real money wagers within a specific time period. So you might need to place five £10 bets within a week to receive a £10 free bet. These offers are normally run on a weekly basis but we’ve also seen daily and monthly free bets as well.
- Money Back Specials – Place your bet and if something specific happens you’ll a little bit of insurance against your bet losing. For example, if an own goal is scored in a match, a red card is shown or the game ends goal-less. You can also get money back on losing accumulators, normally if only one leg loses.
- Free Bets & Deposit Bonuses – Free bets aren’t limited to new customers, it’s just that the size of the bet you receive is likely to be smaller. If you know where to look you can get usually find free in-play bets when you place a qualifying pre-match bet, free bets when you successfully pick a winning horse at specific odds and even loyalty free bets given out each week.
- Price Boosts – Like their enhanced odds counterparts, price boosts are temporary enhancements to the odds of specific bets. The boosts obviously wont be as big as the new customer ones but does offer extra value, especially if you were going to place that bet anyway. Some betting sites have also started offering odds boost tokens which allow you to boost the odds of a bet of your choice.
- Enhanced Places – This literally can make the difference between winning and losing, and there can be a significant gap between the best and worst bookies for number of places. Some offer a massive seven places on the US Open, whilst others only offer five.
So now you know what’s theoretically up for grabs, where can you find them? Many of these promotions are very short lived and emailed out to eligible accounts, so the best way to find out about them is to sign up and keep an eye on your email.