What Are Free Bets?
Free bets are, in the main, a marketing technique to gain sportsbooks, new customers.
They work much like a lot of retail offers, Buy 1 get 1 free type of offers, only with online gambling the product is bets or money to wager with, so the sportsbooks offer deposit bonuses which are effectively free bets or free wagers as an incentive for you to register with them, deposit money and gamble with them. Depending on the state, these may be referred to as free bets, sign-up bonuses, or bet insurance. But these three terms are not truly interchangeable.
Deposit bonuses are sometimes called free bets. Quite often, free bets are not entirely as free as they seem. In most cases, you must make a deposit or a bet before the actual free bet is credited to your account.
So while technically, it is a free bet to be used with no risk on the bet itself, you may have had to make some spending prior to it being awarded.
Sign-up bonuses, oftentimes, are funds added to your account at the moment you sign-up and or make your first deposit. They do not require you to place a bet before they’re unlocked. And finally, bet insurance allows the sportsbooks to offer you site credit up to 100% on your first wager. This only is applied if you were to lose your first bet, hence the insurance terminology.
What to Look for When Choosing Your Free Bets Offer
You should be fully aware of the terms and conditions of any free bet as mentioned above, however, this handy checklist will ensure that is you have a range of free bets to choose from, you select the right one for you
Do I need to make a deposit?
It is rare to find a no deposit-free bet offer these days, they simply do not provide the sportsbooks with any value and they have been pretty much phased out now. We do have a no deposit free bet page that will list any ongoing offers but they come and go quickly, so you should check regularly for any new offers.
How much do I need to deposit?
This will depend on the type of free bet on offer. It could be a deposit offer with a percentage of the first deposit awarded as a free bet, a matched bet offer, or bet insurance up to 100%
Types of free bets
There is a range of ways you can get free bets from welcome offers when opening a new online sportsbook account.
- Deposit Match
- Bet & Get [First bet match]
- Bet Insurance
- No Deposit Free Bet
They all offer some form of welcome bonus but differ slightly. Here is how they work.
This can work in one of two ways. Either the value of your first deposit into your account is matched with a free bet value award to a maximum amount, or you get a % of the first deposit, again up to a maximum value
First Bet Match
With First bet match, you will be rewarded with either a matched value or percentage amount up to a maximum value, to the stake of the first bet that you place and is settled. This type of matched free bet awards the free bet whether your first settled bet wins or loses.
Sounding like an excellent offer at first glance, bet insurance requires you to make a real money bet, and whether you receive a free bet or not depends on the result of your bet.
If your first bet is a loser, then generally, the value of your bet stake is returned as a free bet
That’s where the 'insurance’ element of the offer comes in. After all, you are risking real money against the chance of it being replaced with bonus funds, not real cash.
However, if your first bet is a winner and you profit, you get no free bet award. Just consider that when seeing bet insurance first bet welcome offers.
Is the free bet limited to a single sport, or event, or can it be used for anything?
It is no good if you like to bet on football but the free bet is not permitted to be used on that sport. Check what sports, events or betting markets the free bet can be used for first.
Is there a rollover requirement?
A rollover requirement can be applied to the value of the free bet value you have been awarded. Not always, but sometimes.
This is more common practice on casino welcome offers with free spins as opposed to sportsbooks.
However, If you do see this within the free bet terms and conditions, to the math required to understand how much you have to bet before the free bet value becomes real cash that you can withdraw from your account.
It will usually be a multiplier of the free bet amount. Be aware that usually, the bigger the offer the greater the rollover requirement is likely to be.
- $50 x 10 would require $500 in stakes to be played before being able to withdraw.
- $100 x 20 equals a huge $2000 in stakes.
You see the difference!. Take time to check this small details before committing to free bets that require a turnover.
Does the free bet have an expiration date?
Free bets can also come with an expiration date—a use-by date if you like.
This can range from 3-30 days. The shorter the date, the less time you have to use the free bet before it is removed from your account.
The date begins exactly when the free bet is credited to your account, and you will get no reminders to use it before it is deleted, so check your free bet balance regularly, as you can also get loyalty free bet awards and never be aware that you have had them before they are removed.
How to Use a Free Bet
Usually, free bets will come with terms and conditions attached.
There may be limited events or betting markets you can use the free bet with.
Another common factor is the price of the bet you want to buy. Often this will come with a minimum price to play.
On occasion, you may have to parlay a minimum number of picks too
Be sure to read and understand the full terms and conditions of any free bet welcome offer before committing to it, so you do not get any unwanted surprises or disappointment.
Free bets can usually be used on any sports you choose. One idea is to choose the right sportsbook for the type of sports you want to bet on. We have a full guide of the best sportsbooks depending on the sport. You can search the articles advising which is best from the sportsbook guides page.
Are there good sign up bonuses for sportsbooks in USA?
If New Jersey is anything to go by then US sports bettors are in for a treat when it comes to no deposit free bet offers. Globally these offers are rare as they are expensive for the sportsbooks. As legal online gambling in the states opens up though, the books are trying to secure players aggressively.
This means great offers and many of the New Jersey betting sites are offering an initial no deposit free bet as well as a further deposit bonus.
Remember, you dont have to live in New Jersey to be able to claim these offers, you just have to be physically located within the state boundaries. So if you are nearby or fancy a trip then you will be able to get access to these amazing offers. Perhaps if you open several accounts and get lucky on your bets, you may even cover the cost of the trip! Check out the latest list of nj sportsbook promos
As legal online gambling spreads across the US we will be providing similar lists of each state. We anticipate that with the large costs of becoming licensed in each state and the aim of the sportsbooks to gain market share quickly, that other states will follow line and there will be many no deposit offers available.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do free bets work?
Usually, you will be able to gamble the value of your free bet on any event and if it wins, you will gain any profit from the wager as real cash.
It is very rare to receive the free bet value back as well. Only the profit f the bet if it is a correct prediction.
How do you use Free Bets?
In most cases, you will find an options to use real money or free bets on the bet coupon once you have made selections and chosen your stake. This could be identified as bonus tokens, bonus funds or free bets depending on the website or betting app. Simply chose the alternative to real money to use bonus funds or free bets. Sometimes, you will be able to use these free bets to part fund your whole stake, but often you will have to have staked only as much as your free bet balance and not part pay for your bet with free bet funds.
What is a risk free bet?
By definition, a risk-free bet is one where you can make a prediction with the potential to win funds without risking any of your own. On occasion, some offers promise a risk-free bet award subject to a prior bet meeting certain qualification. If we split hairs, then it really isn't a risk-free bet as you have had to take a risk with your own money to 'win' the option for a risk-free bet. Also, risk-free bets, are most frequently paid with free bet funds or bonus funds and not real money.
Just be careful in reading the terms and conditions of bets and offers with these descriptions, and understand entirely how the offer works.
Can you withdraw Money from Free Bets?
Sometimes you can sometimes you can't. Not a very good answer I grant you, but when and how you can withdraw real money from free bet use will depend upon the terms and conditions of the free bets themselves, and could be subject to turnover requirements. These rollovers may require you to stake anything between 10 times and even 200 times the value of the free bet before any profit becomes withdrawable cash. If you can find a free bet that offers real cash profit if you win, take it, and take it quickly, those offers do not last long. More details of how turnover requirement on offers work, take a look at our rollover requirements guide