Best Free Bets in the UK 2017

They say there’s no such thing as a free lunch. But when it comes to free bets, you might just be in luck. Free bets are an online bookmaker’s most powerful weapon in the fight to entice new customers through their doors, which is great news if you’re looking for a new place to bet. We’ve run the rule over the latest free bet offers from our favourite UK-licensed online bookies to help you choose with confidence. In the table below you'll find our up-to-date ranking of the best offers for new bettors on the market.

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Where to Find the Best Free Bets Offers

Free bets deals are very common, and you can find offered  by bookmakers who are keen to sign up new accounts. 

If you’re familiar with online casinos, free bets are the betting world's equivalent of a sign-up bonus - a little sweetener to encourage you to choose one provider over the next. While free bets are a little less well known they're still widely offered, and they can be used to good effect in getting your new betting account off to a winning start.

Free bets work hand in hand with a range of other promotions and incentives, all designed to get you signing up and betting through a particular sports book. But what are the common free bets and promotions you’ll come across, and what do they mean for your account?

Common Free Bets & Promotions

Matched Free Bets: These are the straight-up free bets promotions you’ve seen offered, either for specific events or for new customers generally. They can be categorised as either stake-returned, or stake-not-returned, depending on the particular restrictions of the offer. So, say you’re betting on an event at Evens at £10.

If your result comes in and you’re playing with real money, you’d win back your stake, plus an Evens return - £10 plus £10 = £20 total back, for your £10 stake. With a stake-returned free bet, this would still be the case - you win your free bet back as £10 cash, alongside your winning £10 bet. If it’s a stake-not-returned bet, you’ll just win back £10, while forfeiting the free bet. It’s worth being sure which you’re playing with to avoid disappointment later down the line, but either way - a free bet is a free bet.

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This is a great example of the nuance of free bet offers. Titanbets's headline free bet amount of £200 is certainly eye-catching, especially for high-rollers seeking to maximize the value of a new member offer. But if you’re betting smaller amounts, Betfair’s offer has many advantages.

For starters, you only need to place one £10 bet to get your hands on free bets worth 3 times as much. To claim your full £200 in free bets from TitanBet you’d have to bet the full amount with your own money first. Another point goes to Betfair for the 3x wagering requirement, compared to the 8x required by TitanBet. Finally, Betfair allows you to place bets at minimum odds of 1/5, which is again more generous than TitanBet’s minimum odds of evens.

Deposit Bonuses:
Some sportsbooks shy away from free bets altogether, preferring instead to offer deposit bonuses more akin to those you’d find at online casinos. So it might be the case that you’re offered a 100% match on your first deposit up to a certain limit, usually £50 or £100. What this means is that you double your money on that first deposit, with the bonus coming in the form of free betting credit.

You can’t usually withdraw this free credit, but you can use it to bet for real money winnings. It will probably also be subject to wagering requirements, but again, this depends on the specific terms and conditions of your offer.

Risk-Free Bets: Sometimes called No-Lose bets, these are another common offer from sportsbooks. They offer to refund losing bets, for example your first bet, or any wagers on a specific promotional event. If you bet on these events and win, happy days. If you lose, there’s no harm done. These offers are rarer than straightforward free bets, but they do crop up from time to time, and can be a decent way to have a flutter without any of the associated risks.

Enhanced Odds: In some cases, sports books will go a step further and offer much better odds on a particular outcome to new customers. In one instance, Coral Sports was offering enhanced odds of 25/1 on any goal to be scored during normal time of February’s Leicester v Derby FA Cup game. The regular odds on that outcome were 1/10. Again, these are promotional only, and usually only apply to some selected bets, but it’s worth checking these out if you want to profit more aggressively from your winning bets.

Price Boosts: These are essentially enhanced odds made available during a short window of time, usually to existing members. It might be the case that you get offered better odds in the final hours before kick-off, or in the fifteen minutes before the race starts. At the time of writing, Ladbrokes Sports was offering a price boost from 14/5 to 16/5 on Darren Bent to “score anytime” for Derby against Leicester. Like enhanced odds, these promotions offer you a better price than you would otherwise be able to get for your pick, so they’re a good thing to look out for when browsing for different promotional offers. 

Bet Bundles: These are combination bets offered at enhanced odds, similar to an accumulator. The difference is these are already pre-packaged by the sportsbook, so in a single bet, you’re effectively taking on a pre-defined accumulator. For example, if the Price Boost above didn’t suit you, on the same day Ladbrokes was also offering 9/1 on Nice, Borussia Dortmund, Juventus and Celta de Vigo all to win their respective games. The advantage here is better odds than you might otherwise get for betting as singles or on the same line as an accumulator - another good promotion sports bettors can take advantage of whenever the opportunity presents.

Free Bet Terms and Conditions

As with all things that look too good to be true, there are always conditions attached when it comes to free bets and other promotional offers. The terms and conditions exist to protect bookmakers against major losses from their free bets. From the gambler’s perspective, you need to know what these common terms and conditions are, and how they affect what you do with your free bets.

Minimum odds are often specified with free bets, in a bid to prevent gamblers from stacking all their free bets on statistical certainties. If you had £20 worth of free bets and you wagered them on a dead-cert, that’s you effectively converting your free bets into cash, at a cost to the bookie. Instead, they set a minimum threshold for odds that must be adhered to in order for free bets to qualify for any winnings. Generally these aren’t set too high, and you’ll see numbers in the region of 1/4 and 1/2 as minimum fractional odds. But it’s important to bear these in mind.

Wagering requirements are another key term, and you are usually required to re-bet your free bet winnings a certain multiple of times before you are eligible for withdrawal. This can range from as little as just 3x, but you won’t be entitled to withdraw until you’ve met this condition.  

There are also some excluded markets and bet types which are not eligible for free bets, as well as void bets that will not be paid out in some circumstances. The exact details of these restrictions depend on the type of free bet promotion you’re claiming, so it’s always worth checking the terms and conditions for yourself so you’re clear on the free bets deal.

All of our recommended sports betting sites offer free bets and signup bonuses, each with their own positive and negative points. Think about the type of free bets offer that will suit you and before you sign up. Our free bet rankings table above features our pick of the best free bets promos from UK-licensed betting sites rated highly by our reviewers. Compare the latest offers and claim your free bet today.

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