What Is A Free Bet?
Free bets are extremely common in sports betting. Even if you’re new to gambling, you’ve probably seen a bonus that has a free bet reward attached to it.
Basically, with a new bet account offer, you’re given a bonus of a set amount that you can use to place a bet.
The amount that you’re given can’t be broken down into smaller amounts, and your total payout will not include the bonus given to you by the sportsbook, i.e., you only receive the winnings minus the free bet stake used to place your wager.
For example, let’s say that a sportsbook has rewarded you with a $10 free bet.
You can only bet this entire amount at once, meaning that you can’t split this into two $5 bets. Also, on most sportsbooks, you’ll only receive the winnings.
If you place this free bet on an event priced at +100 and you end up winning the wager, you’ll only receive the winnings, which will be $10 in this case.
What To Look For When Choosing New Customer Free Bet Offers?
Before going for a free bet bonus, always consider these crucial factors:
Wagering Requirement – If a bonus has a high wagering requirement, it will be harder for you to convert the bonus into withdrawable cash.
Most free bet bonuses usually have a 1x wagering requirement, meaning that you just need to use the free bet to place a single wager for you to receive the withdrawable winnings.
Some sportsbooks may have higher wagering requirements, so always make sure that you’re going for a bonus with favorable wagering requirements.
Minimum Odds – Most bonuses, including free bets, usually state that the bonus—or the qualifying wager in appropriate circumstances—needs to be placed on a bet that meets certain minimum odds.
Typically, most sportsbooks restrict bettors to odds of -200 or greater. We suggest avoiding bonuses with extreme odds requirements since it will be harder for you to claim your winnings from such bonuses.
Free Bet Validity Period – One crucial thing that seems to be ignored by many bettors is the expiration date of a bonus.
Most sportsbooks will give you seven days to use the free bet funds, though some might give you more time depending on the wagering requirements attached to the bonus.
Always check how long a bonus is valid for as this will not only allow you to plan adequately, but you’ll also be able to gauge whether you can use the funds within the allocated time.
Sportsbook Offering The Free Bet – Always check whether the sportsbook advertising the free bet offer is legal and licensed. Unlicensed sportsbooks can have extremely lucrative offers but they rarely deliver on their promises, not to mention that your money is never safe with such sites.
Different Types Of Free Bets
Thankfully, there are many types of new bet account offers. So bettors can pick their preferred alternative instead of settling for one specific type of bonus.
To help you figure out which one to go for, we are going to discuss the different types of free bets that you’ll find on most sportsbooks.
As the name implies, this type of bonus aims to reduce your risk.
Essentially, with risk-free bets, you’re guaranteed a refund if your bet loses.
The refund can be given as a free bet, site credit, or cash, depending on the terms of the bonus. On the other hand, if your wager wins, you won’t receive any bonus from the sportsbook, but in such a situation, you’ll have the profit from your wager.
Risk-free bets are commonly offered to new customers and the refund usually applies to a bettor’s first-ever wager.
For instance, FanDuel has a $1,000 risk-free welcome offer, meaning that your first wager on the site is insured for up to $1,000. Let’s say that the first wager that you place on FanDuel after signing up on the site is a $500 bet.
If you lose that wager, FanDuel will give you a refund of the same amount in the form of site credit. So it’s almost as if that loss never happened, right?
Matched Bet Bonuses
If you want to increase your stake instead of settling for a potential refund, this type of bonus is perfect for you.
Just like a risk-free bet, you need to make a deposit and place your first bet; however, with a matched bet bonus, you’ll receive a free bet worth the same amount whether your first bet wins or loses.
For instance, if your first wager is a $50 bet, the sportsbook will reward you with a free $50 bet once they settle your first bet.
Matched deposit bonuses are also similar to this bonus offer. The major difference is that your first deposit is the one that is matched in a deposit bonus instead of the stake of your first wager.
Money-Back Free Bets
Just like risk-free bets, money-back free bets are insurance-like as they aim to minimize a bettor’s risk.
With this type of free bet, you’ll receive a full or partial refund—typically in the form of free bets—if your bet loses but meets certain conditions set by the sportsbook.
Here are a few common examples of money-back free bets:
- Money back if you back a soccer team and the game ends 0-0.
- Get a free bet if you back a basketball team and they lose in overtime.
No Deposit Offers
Of all the bonuses we’ve mentioned, none are as unique and highly sought after as betting sites’ free bonus with no deposit.
This is because of one simple reason: you don’t need to make a deposit to receive this bonus.
Essentially, you’re betting using the bookies’ money. And who wouldn’t love to do that?
While no deposit offers are great, the downside is that most sportsbooks usually offer a paltry amount—most no deposit offers are usually between $5 to $25.
It’s also common for such bonuses to have steep playthrough requirements; a sportsbook will not let you walk away scot-free, after all.
So instead of using the funds to place a single wager and withdrawing the winnings, you may have to place several bets for you to withdraw the bonus.
DraftKings previously had a free $25 no deposit bonus that gave bettors the chance to try out the site without requiring a deposit from them.
Other Free Bet Offers
Aside from the four that we’ve mentioned, you can still receive free bets through several other offers.
One common way is by participating in sports-specific promos. For example, during the 2021 NBA playoffs, DraftKings had a 40-1 promo that rewarded new bettors with 8 free bets worth $25 each if their $5 moneyline wager on any of the playoff teams won.
Aside from that, some VIP programs also give bettors the chance to convert loyalty points into free bet credits.
If you’re taking part in a loyalty scheme and you’re interested in free bets, you can check whether your sportsbook has listed free bets as one of the rewards of the loyalty program.
How Free Bet Sign-Up Offers Work
Understanding how free bets work is extremely easy. Keep in mind that the exact specifics of the free bet will depend on the sportsbook and the terms of the offer.
That being said, here are some general things that you need to know regarding free bets. First, if you place a bet using a free bet, your main account balance will remain intact.
But, as we mentioned, you’ll only receive the winnings from the bet and not the stake plus the winnings as you would normally do.
Another thing to keep in mind is that free bets are commonly included in sign-up offers, so the easiest way to get a free bet is by creating a new sports betting account on a sportsbook that has advertised a free bet offer.
If it’s a sign-up bonus, most sportsbooks will give you the free bet once you sign up and deposit a certain amount, while others may require that you enter a valid promo code during the sign-up process.
If you’re wondering why a sportsbook would give free funds to new bettors, it’s simply because they want to earn your loyalty so that you can continue to place sports bets on their site.
Competition in the industry may be stiff, but the easiest way to attract potential customers is by offering them a welcome bonus.
Advantages Of Free Bets
Here are a few advantages of free bets:
- Allow new bettors to test out sportsbooks without investing too much.
- Free bets reduce your risk.
- Free bets increase your bankroll.
Disadvantages Of Free Bets
Though free bets are mostly advantageous to bettors, here are a few disadvantages associated with them:
- A lot of free bets deal with significantly meager amounts.
- Some free bets have extreme playthrough requirements, making them hard to cash in.
- Free bets with a lot of terms and restrictions can be a headache for bettors.
Restrictions Around Betting Offers
As we’ve mentioned in the above section, it’s extremely common for free bets to have a lot of restrictions. Here are a few of the most common restrictions:
- Free bets can’t be split: If you have a free bet of a certain amount, you need to wager it all at once. For example, if you receive a $25 free bet, you can’t break it down into smaller $5 wagers.
- Validity Period: Free bets typically have a 7-day validity period. If you fail to utilize the funds within this period, you’ll end up losing the bonus.
- Maximum win: There may be a maximum amount that your free bet can yield. Always check the terms of the bonus so that you’re aware of the maximum amount that you can win from your free bet.
How To Get Free Bet Offers
The easiest way to get free bet offers is by searching for sportsbooks with welcome offers. During this stage, it’s important to compare welcome offers from different sportsbooks, as this will allow you to settle for the best alternative.
Apart from the amount being offered, you should also consider the playthrough requirements and the validity period of the bonus; all of this is essential in helping you choose the perfect free bet offer.
Once you’ve spotted an attractive welcome offer, you need to sign up on the site by creating a sports betting account. Depending on the sportsbook, you may need to enter a promo code.
After signing up, ensure that you deposit an appropriate amount—keep the limits of the promo in mind. In the case of a risk-free bet, ensure that the odds of your first wager aren’t less than the stated minimum.
Remember, for the sportsbook to credit you with your free bet, you need to meet all of their conditions.
If you’re already a registered bettor and you don’t qualify for a welcome offer, always check the section titled “Promotions” because this is where up-to-date free bet promos for existing bettors are listed by the sportsbook.
What Are The Best Free Bets For Existing Users?
If you’ve already signed up to multiple sportsbooks, here are some free bet offers that are available to existing users at the time of writing:
DraftKings – Get a free bet, worth up to $100, when you refer a friend.
Caesars – Bet $10 on an NFL Playoff game and you’ll receive a $100 free bet.
BetMGM – Get a $10 free bet every week when you place a total of $50 in qualifying wagers during the week.
PointsBet – Get a $20 live free bet when you place a pre-game bet worth $20 or more on select NFL Playoff games.
TwinSpires – If you refer a friend, you can both win a $10 free bet.