There’s no denying that bookies and free bets go together like bees and honey. And whilst most bookmakers will liberally hand out bonuses to their customer base, it’s widely accepted that the best free bet offers tend to go to new customers.
On this page you’ll find a big list of free bets, all aimed at UK punters. We’ve split the list into two parts. The first is dedicated to bookmaker sign up offers which can only be claimed once per bookie when registering. The second section focuses on free bets for existing customers which covers the free bet clubs that many bookies run (plus a few other decent promotions chucked in for good measure).
Bookie Sign Up Offers
|Up to £100 in Bet Credits|
|Open Account Offer. Up to £100 in Bet Credits for new customers at bet365. Min deposit £5 and 1x settled bet requirement to release Bet Credits. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.|
|Bet £5 Get £20|
|18+. UK+IRE only. Min first bet £5 at odds 1/2 or more. Tote and Pool excluded. Must be placed within 14 days of account reg. £20 credited as 4 x £5 free bets. Not valid with Cash Out. Free bet valid for 4 days. Free bet stake not returned. T&Cs apply.|
* We mentioned at the top of the page that these free bets were aimed at new customers from the UK.
Free Bets For Existing Customers
This next section mainly looks at free bet clubs which can be claimed by existing customers. Whilst the amount and frequency of these offers varies from bookie to bookie, the general concept is the same. You’ll need to place a series of real money bets in a week or month and then you’re then rewarded for your loyalty with some free bets.
For example: Place five £10 bets in a calendar week and receive a £10 free bet.
What’s The Catch?
Whilst the term “free bets” is used to lure in the punters, unfortunately you they aren’t always quite as “free” as they may appear. A lot of them come with certain terms and conditions that you will need to adhere to in order to get your money.
The best advice we can give is to make sure you are aware of what you need to do in order to get your free bet. Basically, make sure you are familiar with the terms of the offer that you want to take advantage of.
The good thing to note is that these offers are way more transparent and way easier to get to grips with than they used to be. The Gambling Commission has had a crackdown in recent years to make sure that punters are easily able to see how each promotion works. This doesn’t include dozens of page of tiny text to read through either!
Whilst each offer or free bet will be different from another, here are a few key terms that you need to look out for and that are pretty common with most promotions.
What you’re going to find with most free bet offers is that you get a matched bet to use. For example, this might be along the lines of bet £10 and get £10 free.
A lot of the free bets that you see will be “up to”. So, the offer might be bet £10 and get £10 free, but if you only bet £5 then you will only get a £5 free bet.
Given that these offers are ones that you can only claim once per account, we recommend taking the full amount where possible. Most will be between £10 and £50, so should be within most people’s budget to claim these. Plus, we want to maximise anything free that we can get off the bookies whilst we can!
A lot of the promotions will come with minimum set odds that your bet needs to be. For example, it might state that your bet needs to be at odds of 5/1 or greater in order to trigger your free bet.
The odds that you need to wager at will vary with each bookmaker. As a punter you are looking to get the lowest odds possible as this means a greater chance of clearing your free bet and also for getting a return on your original stake.
For example, if a bookmaker offer you a Bet £10 and Get £10 free bet offer, would you rather take the minimum odds of the “bet” part of the offer at 1/2 or 10/1?
The answer should be 1/2. This is be because at 1/2 you have a much better chance of getting a return from your original stake than at odds of 10/1. This means that the money that you are getting for free is lower variance and whilst the amounts still are the same, the actual total is “easier” with the lower odds on offer.
When you are trying to claim your free bet, a good bit of advice is to not necessarily go down the typical bet or market that you would normally bet on. For example, if you were a keen accumulator bettor, then the odds for your typical bet would likely be on average higher than someone who placed singles.
So, when clearing the free bet you need to try and take the lowest odds that the terms will allow you on an outcome or market that you think has the best chance. An accumulator bettor would be far better off taking a 1/2 single bet over their usual 10/1 accumulator bet, if only for triggering your free bet, which you can then use as you like.
Stake Returned v Stake Not-Returned (SR v SNR)
Once your free bet has been triggered and is now in your account, there are a number of things that you need to be aware of. One of the most common is that of the stake returned or stake not returned.
Although uncommon with most modern-day free bet offers, there are still some bookies that will offer you stake back should you win with your free bet.
For example, you have a £10 free bet to use. You place a bet at even money with the £10 bet and that bet wins. If the bookmakers offer is stake returned then you get the £10 free bet back as cash, along with the winnings, in this case £10, for a total of £20.
The majority of bookies will have their offer set as stake not returned. So, in the same example, if your bet wins, then you would only get the £10 profit and not the £10 free bet stake as well.
As you can see, the difference in the returns can be huge, especially if you are betting at lower odds. A stake returned could literally double your money, as it would have in the above example.
Given that a lot of bookmakers will give you a free bet of between £10 to £100, getting a stake returned deal can make a big difference. If you do manage to get an offer like this then we would recommend that you shorten the price of the bet that you are putting on and use some of the value in the stake returned feature to allows you to gain a bigger edge from the bookmaker.
Next up on the list is the wagering requirements. This basically means the amount that you need to wager in order to either trigger your free bet or to release the funds. To be honest, this is much more apparent with casino bonuses, but you will from time to time find a few free bet offers that require this as well.
For example, the bookmaker might state that you get a £50 free bet when you deposit and bet just £10. But, on top of that you need to wager £50 of your own money in order to withdraw the free bet or any winnings from that free bet.
This means that you need place £50 worth of bets on your account as their wagering requirement. Now, there are multiple ways you can do this. If your first bet wins then you can keep betting with your winnings until you eventually wager £50 or more. You can deposit more money and then simply place a single £50 bet or you if your bet loses you can deposit and keep chipping away at your free bet.
The dream is to find an offer that has no wager requirements, which is actually pretty common for a lot of free bet offers these days. As mentioned, this is much more widespread for casino bonuses.
Excluded Bets and Markets
We’ve spoken a number of times in this article already about triggers for getting your funds, such as deposit and bet “x” amount. You will find that a lot of free bet offers will exclude certain bets and markets from these triggers, so you need to be aware of this.
Common markets that are excluded:
- “Lucky” bets
- Bonus bets
With this it means that if you bet on any of these markets or use these bet types then you won’t qualify for your free bet. You need to be really careful here as if you indivertibly place your first bet on an excluded market then some bookies will revoke any free bet whereas others will just revoke that bet and your first qualify bet will trigger the offer. If in doubt, get in touch with support prior to placing your bet.
Many offers are going to come with a host of exclusions to work through meaning that not all players can claim each of the offers. If you are from the UK and live in the UK, then it’s likely that you are going to be eligible for pretty much all the offers we have on OnlineBookies.uk.com.
Where you are located is often the biggest sticking point for a lot of exclusions. These days each territory has their own licenses which means that they can and can’t accept players from certain places around the world. Because of how these people bank with the bookmaker, it means that they can’t always be tracked as securely as they would like, so the promotions are stopped.
It’s also worth noting that all promotions will be subject to one per account holder. So, you can’t claim the same welcome bonus for your betting account multiple times. It’s also worth noting that you can’t just open up multiple accounts under different names as this will essentially be fraud and will be flagged with payment methods or addresses.
A lot of bookies will ban multiple offers to the same IP address as well. So, if you live in a block of flats or you have a roommate that has already claimed the offer then there is a good chance that the bookmaker will not allow you to claim the offer. However, if you can prove that you live with the person and that you are indeed both separate people, then often this exclusion can be lifted.
Usage Time Frame
Once your free bet is issued to your account you will likely have a certain amount of time to use that free bet before it expires. The time frame can range, but expect between 7 to 30 days after opening your account. If you fail to use it within this time frame then the free bet will be removed. When this happens, this won’t be reversed by the bookmaker, so use it or lose it!
The time frame that the bookmaker sets will either be for the bet to be settled by that time or for the bet to placed by that time. These are two very different things!
For example, if you need to have to placed, then you can virtually bet on any accepted market and just let it ride. But if it needs to be settled then the market will need to have closed by the time the bet expires. So, if you had a free bet with a 30 day expiry and bet needing be settled, you wouldn’t be able to bet on someone to win the Premier League at the start of the season as the bet market wouldn’t have been settled prior to the expiry date on your free bet.
Most bookmakers will limit the deposit options that you can use to claim a free bet. The most common methods that are pretty much universally accepted are credit and debit cards. This is because the bookmaker knows they need to be registered in your name at your stipulated address.
Payment methods such as e-wallets and cheques are two common processes that are banned from most free bet promotions. This is because that in the past, e-wallet payments especially, has been easy to fraudulently use to gain multiple free bet offers given that they are anonymous payment methods for the most part. So, the likes of Neteller, Skrill, PayPal, Paysafecard and others are likely going to be banned from these offers.
The crack down on fraudulent accounts in the betting industry is rapidly growing and as a result, they will require you to send in proof of who you say you are. These forms of ID are usually along the lines of photo ID (passport, driver’s license etc.) and a utility bill for proof of address.
Whilst these can be a pain, a bookmaker will likely only ask for them when you come to withdraw your money. This means that the initial withdrawal process can take longer than it should.
Our advice to have these at hand and ready to go as soon as you sign up. You can contact most bookmakers to see first if they need them and if they do, get it cleared as soon as you open your account. This will mean that you are going to be able to process your withdrawal much faster and easier. Remember, you will only need to do this once.
MORT IMPORTANT: Read the T’s and C’s
We’ve stated this already but as you can see from this article, there can be a lot of moving parts and variables that you need to meet in order to get your free bet. It may not seem worth it, but actually, most of this is common sense and by just taking the time to read through the terms and conditions before you take on the free bet offer, it will save you a lot of headaches in clearing the amount and maximising your value.
The good thing these days is that a lot of bookmaker’s T’s and C’s for free bets are much more straight forward than they used to be. You don’t have to sift through dozens of pages to work out what’s going on and it’s all pretty straightforward.