In an attempt to attract betting customers to their site, online bookmakers will offer a wide range of promotions. However, undoubtedly one of the most popular are free bets, which can be acquired through consistent betting, or even having been out of the game for an extended period, where bookmakers look to lure you back in with a potentially lucrative bonus. Just how do free bets work though? Also, what are the terms and conditions surrounding their use?
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How Do Free Bets Work?
Free bets tend to be offered to new customers registering with a new bookmaker, however there are provided on other occasions too. Free bets can come in several different forms, with the matched amount perhaps the most utilised by the bookies at present. This means that once customers have deposited a certain amount into their new accounts, the betting platform will provide a free bet, usually of the same amount, however this can sometimes be more, up to a fixed multiplier. Punters are then free to use this bonus free bet on a wide range of markets, in the hope of both meeting the required terms and conditions of the offer and significantly adding to their money pot.
Types of Free Bets
Before you take look to take advantage of the free bets offered by certain bookmakers, it is important to be able to differentiate between the different types. Below are descriptions of some of the most commonly found free bets found online today.
A free matched bet tends to revolve around bookmakers matching the opening bet placed by a customer on their betting platform, however in some cases it can mean that punters will be rewarded with a certain percentage of such wagers. Depending on the bookmaker, this can range from anywhere between a measly 10% and an astounding 300% of the amount used on opening bets. As you can see, such types of bets can significantly alter the kitty of a customer.
No Lose Bets
Despite not being all that common, no lose bets can often act as a bet insurance with a new bookmaker. They simply mean that a free bet will be granted to the customer, if their first bet at the betting platform proves to be unsuccessful. For customers placing losing bets, you can rest assured with certain bookmakers that you are going to receive a percentage, or sometimes even all, of your initial stake back in the form of a free bet. Despite appearing like a generous from of operating, such offers are actually not seen as great value by many. Also commonly known as risk free bets, not a great deal of bookmakers still offer this form of free bet.
Stake Returned & Stake Not Returned Free Bets
Customers taking advantage of this form of free bet will be reimbursed for the stake, up to a certain amount, as well as being paid for any potential winnings from such a wager. Despite representing excellent value, this form of free bet is now very rarely found in the industry, with bookmakers tending to offer stake not returned bets instead. This means that you will get your winnings as usual, but the platform will keep the free bet value.
Free Bet Bundles
Provided to new customers at certain bookmakers following customers making a certain amount of bets, free bet bundles generally increase in size according to the value of the bets being placed. This means that, for example, customers wagering a bundle of £100 will be provided with a free £50 bet, as well as another £50 free bet when a certain number of additional bets totalling that amount have also been placed.
Problems with Free Bets
If free bets were easy to use successfully, then everyone would be doing so. However, like with many things, nothing comes for free in this world, with online betting no different. Despite free bets generally being just that, many require a certain level of deposit by customers before bookmakers will dish them out, while other stipulations mean that using them to the max can often prove extremely difficult. Customers are generally required to wager a certain number of times, whilst meeting a set level of betting odds, before any potential withdrawals can be made.
Upon receiving a free bet in your inbox, it is very easy to simply get started immediately, without taking in the full terms and conditions which follow such offers. Many free bets will have a limited shelf-life, meaning that customers only have a short window in which to take advantage of them.
Taking Advantage of Free Bets
In short, betting customers searching for the best free bets should look to find one that allows them to use it within their favourite markets, giving them a better chance of being successful as a result. Meanwhile, it is vital to look in detail at the terms and conditions surrounding any free bet, as it can sometimes cost you more in the long run if you lose out on bets. Meanwhile, keeping a close eye out for ‘keep stake free bets’ will also prove fruitful, with initial stakes returned, as well as potential winnings. Elsewhere, be sure to use your free bet within the available time frame, as there is nothing worse than missing out on a great opportunity to win big. There are also a range of different betting strategies to use when looking to capitalise on your latest free bet. The following are just a sample of what is on offer:
- The majority of players will look to take out the maximum possible bonus that is provided by the bookmaker, thus giving them the highest possible chance of placing lucrative winning bets. Done by placing a large bet or opening deposit amount, customers who have the funds to spare can take advantage of this strategy, however only if they see the bookmaker as a long-term platform for betting, rather than just a quick-fix.
- Free bets often appear in customer inboxes after a series of bets have been placed using their own money, meaning that this can potentially get you back in the black, or continue a hot streak of wins. Of course, the most likely form of placing winning bets is to minimise the number of selections and wager at minimal odds, however remember that many bookmakers will set certain requirements when issuing free bets. This strategy will be far more beneficial in the long run, rather than throwing away your bonus on a hunch, just because it seems like free cash.
- Meanwhile, those looking to take advantage of an offer revolving around a no-lose bet, should use it wisely. Going for a safe option in this case is unwise, as this is the perfect opportunity to back a selection at long odds. Many of us can make an educated guess surrounding the likelihood of a team or player coming out on top when it is a market in which they are familiar with, however losing customers will still be offered a second chance in with this type of free bet.
- Fininally, those utilising stake not returned bets may be in the minority these days, but there is still a certain way of playing when this if on offer. Going for longer odds is again the way to play it, with potential returns on this type of free bet always being more attractive with long odds, due to the bet type effecting potential pay-outs. Obviously, you are less likely to win this way, however it is certainly a risk worth taking for some players in our opinion.
Unfortunately, there is no guaranteed method of beating the bookies using a free bet. However, following the strategies suggested will see your chances of being successful increased in the long run, with fully researching both the type of bonus and the markets bet upon also needing to be carried out. Check out our other pages for tips and hints in other areas of wagering, whether it be bookmaker bonuses, selecting a bookmaker or placing your first bet.