Free Bets - Explained
There are lots of betting sites with free bets that range from new players bonuses, to loyalty schemes with free bets as existing players bonuses.Free bets are a form of betting bonus that sportsbooks give out to incentivise a new player signup or existing player spending. In most cases, you have to place a standard real money bet and you'll qualify for the free bet through a deal or promotion.
The most common type of free bet is a new player welcome bonus. The goal of a welcome offer is to attract new players to a betting site through a risk free bet. The betting site offers the bonus to newly registered players who deposit the minimum qualifying amount and place a first qualifying bet and they're offered a credit on top of their cash deposit that they can use instead of a real money bet.
The best free bets are often matched to either a deposit value or mirror a bet amount. So you're expected to deposit a certain amount first and the betting site will match that to the value of at least 100%. So you end up with a balance that is double what you started off with. You have the cash that you deposited and you now have the 100% matched bonus.
Are free bets cash?
Free bets are not cash, they are promotional bet credits that sit in a bonus balance pot. You can't withdraw that balance, you have to use it to bet according to the precise terms and conditions of the deal that you agreed to. That means by accepting the promotion and taking the bonus as a bet credit you are bound to the conditions of that offer.
How do you spend free bets?
Once you earn a bonus you have to use it. Most qualifying free bets need to be spent in a short time frame, some are less than 10 days from the moment you received the offer. You'll be limited by odds as well, so you can't pick an almost certain event like a 1/10 market and hope to get all the bonus back if it wins. Terms often state that free bets must be wagered at around evens to stop people abusing short odds favourites for free bets. Find a qualifying betting market and select a bet as normal by adding it to your betslip. The bonus balance is usually available as an option in the betslip instead of your cash balance.
Wagering terms and conditions?
Another condition that supposedly limits bonus abuse of free bets, is a system called wagering. If you accept the bonus amount and start to use that on real bets. You will be expected to adhere to wagering terms. That means placing bets of more than what you earned as a bonus. If the wagering is 3 x the bonus, you have to place bets that total 3 x what you were given. It's aimed at stopping single winning bets from a bonus promotion.
Welcome bonus betting
When you earn a free bet offer, you can use that bonus to bet on selected betting markets as per the terms of the bonus. Bonus betting is the act of punting whereby the bettor uses their bonus balance to make risk free bets and test out a betting site or a betting market without spending their own cash. When you earn a welcome bonus, you get the chance to use whatever bonus has been paid to reduce the risk of losing money. Bonus betting is also a popular form or arbitrage gambling, using a matched betting method or free bet calculator, you can quite often work out where there's enough variance in betting markets to offer you a guaranteed (minimal) profit - these are called value bets.