There are many different kinds of bonuses to pick from. Free bet offers are some of the most exciting and popular, and bettors can find these available on many of the most popular sportsbooks. Let’s explore what they are, how they work, and why they are so intriguing.
Free Bets - Detailed Free Bets Guide and How Free Bets Work
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What is a Free Bet
Betting bonuses and promotions can be a little complicated, but some are simpler than others. In the case of a free bet, it is one of the most simple bonuses you will find.
If you are wondering, what is a free bet? The answer is exactly what it sounds like: it is a bet that is free, where bettors don’t have to assume any of the risks but can still receive the reward.
An example would be a free bet of $5 on an Eagles-Rams NFL game. Bettors would get a free $5 to bet on the game and receive the winnings if their bet cashes.
How Free Bets Work?
Free bets are mostly simple, but there are additional wrinkles to using them that can complicate them slightly. It largely depends on the sportsbook. Overall, though, they are highly advantageous to bettors that use them. Let’s start our deep dive into free bet offers and explore how exactly they work, looking from the perspective of bettors trying to use them.
Advantages of free bets
As we’ve mentioned, free bet offers are great for bettors because they are risk-free bets where bettors can receive the payouts without taking on the risk. So if a sportsbook offers $5 free bets on NHL games, bettors can use that to get real cash prizes. An online free bet can be used according to your preferences. Some bettors prefer to throw them at wild parlays that can pay out massive prizes without taking on any real risk themselves. Others prefer to use them to try and cash safe bets to score some quick extra winnings. How you can use a free bet mostly depends on the sportsbook.
Many sportsbooks will have free bet offers that are conditional. What this means is that bettors don’t necessarily receive the free bet without taking a required action. This action can be one of several different things:
- Bettors may need to sign up and deposit a certain amount to receive the free bet.
- They might need to bet a certain amount in real money on a specific sport or league to receive the free bet.
- They might need to deposit a certain amount with a specific payment method.
It just depends on the sportsbook and the free bet offer.
Keeping in mind the conditions to receive a free bet is important. It isn’t always worth it to take steps to get the bet. Some sportsbooks will have free bet bonuses that pay out in complicated ways or require bettors to take too many steps to receive them. Always read the terms of a free bet offer, so you are sure you are getting something valuable.
Typically, free bet offers are the kind of bonus that is best for bettors. The simplicity of these promos, and the lack of risk for bettors, means it is easy to get value.
The disadvantages of free bets
While free bets are highly advantageous to bettors, that doesn’t mean they don’t come with some downsides as well. Sportsbooks are not in the business of making things too easy on bettors, so many free bet sites still find ways to ensure bettors do not profit greatly from these offers. Let’s look at some of the core disadvantages of free bets.
- Expiry Date: Many free bet bonuses will include expiry dates. There are two different kinds of expiry dates. The first is an expiry date to claim the bonus, meaning if you don’t claim the bonus within a set period, it disappears. The second is to use the bonus once claimed. If you claim the bonus and don’t use it, it will disappear.
- Minimum Odds: Many operators will include minimum odds for their free bets. That means you can’t just use the free bets for any kind of bet that you want. Minimum odds limit the minimum acceptable odds for a bet. Sportsbooks do this to ensure bettors are using their free bet for higher-risk bets, so they are less likely to be paid out in cash.
- Multiples or Singles Only Free Bets: Another restriction you will likely find is multiples or singles-only free bets. These restrict the kind of bet bettors can make with their free bet. If it is multiples only, bettors can only make bets on higher-risk parlays. Winning these is less likely, but means a higher payout. Other offers are singles only, meaning bettors can only place bets on a single line. These have lower payouts but are less risky.
- Free Bet Winnings Have Rollovers: Some free bet offers require a rollover on winnings. Rollovers mean you can’t withdraw the winning from a bet until you have wagered a certain amount. Rollovers are typically a multiple of the offer. So if it is a free bet of $10, with a rollover rate of 8x, you must bet $80 to be eligible to withdraw any winnings from the bet.
- Not Exchangeable for Real Money: Free bets are not exchangeable for money. When you claim a free bet, you can’t withdraw that money instead of betting it. It is money for betting only, and thus your bet must follow the sportsbook terms.
- High Barriers to Acquiring Free Bet: Some sportsbooks will have extremely high barriers that restrict how bettors claim these offers. For example, an offer with high barriers would be: bet $100 on baseball parlays in a week to receive a $5 free bet. Unless you love baseball parlays, it might not be worth it for you to take steps to acquire this offer.
Free bet Dictionary
- Minimum Odds: Minimum odds are the lowest possible odds you are allowed to stake your free bet on. For example, if a sportsbook has free bets on minimum odds of +100, that means bettors must place bets on odds of +100 or higher.
- Eligible Markets: Eligible markets are the markets where bettors are allowed to use their free bets on. If eligible markets are NHL moneylines, you can only use your free bet for NHL win-or-lose bets.
- Wagering Requirement: Wagering requirements are the rules that govern how you bet. Sportsbooks will set different requirements for bettors. For example, requirements would be that one must bet $25 on NFL games to receive a $10 free bet.
- Expiry Date: Expiry dates are the date that dictates when you can no longer use the bonus. If free bet sites set an expiry date of December 31st, the offer must be claimed and used by then.
- Single Bet: A Single Bet is a bet on a single outcome. Some free bet offers will only allow single bets.
- Multiple or Parlay Bet: Multiple or parlay bets are when bettors tie multiple bets into one, with each outcome needing to occur for the bet to cash. Some sportsbooks only allow multiple bets with their free bets.
Types of free bets
Free bets are not a uniform thing. There are many different kinds, largely depending on both the user and the bookmaker. Understanding the different kinds of bets and what they provide is important to ensure you get the maximum amount of value from them. Bettors will have several kinds to choose from. These can include ones for new users, ones for existing users, and ones for specific events.
Let’s look at some of the types of free bet offers you are most likely to find in your typical sportsbook.
- Matched Free Bets: Matched free bets are when a sportsbook matches a bettor’s action with free bets. Matched free bets typically come from deposits. These will occur when bettors deposit a certain amount and receive a percentage of that amount back in the form of matched free bets.
- No Deposit Free Bets: No-Deposit free bets are when bettors receive free bets without the need for any deposit. This is one of the best free bet offers because bettors don’t necessarily need to take a specific action; they are just rewarded for being a user of the website.
- Reload Bonuses: Reload bonuses are a kind of free bet bonus that rewards bettors for reloading their account, which just means depositing. Reload free bet bonuses are often based on the day. For example, deposit $100 or more on Fridays, and receive a $15 free bet.
- Risk-Free Bets: Risk-free bets are a type of betting offer where bettors receive a risk-free bet up to a certain amount. That means instead of giving bettors money for a free bet, bettors make a bet with the knowledge that if it doesn’t hit, they will receive the amount staked on the bet returned back. Risk-free bets are often limited to a specific amount.
- Qualifying Free Bets: Qualifying free bets are when bettors receive a free bet offer for following a specific action. Typically, that action will require bettors to bet a certain amount of real money on a specific sport, game, or market. An example would be receiving a $20 free bet for staking $50+ on an NFL parlay.
- In-Play Bonuses: In-play bonuses are when bettors receive a free bet that can only be used on games that are already underway. This means that bettors can specifically use that free bet offer to place wagers on live games.
- Money-Back Specials: Money-back specials are essentially the same as risk-free bets. Bettors that lose a bet will receive the money that they have staked returned to them. Money-back specials will pay out the winnings from eligible in cash but return the losing bet to users, so it is really a win-win.
- Loyalty Free Bets: Loyalty free bets reward bettors for their loyalty. This is a bonus that is given out to bettors that have been consistent users or spent a certain amount of money on an operator. They are rewarded with a free bet they can use.
Free Bet Offers for New Customers
There are some free bet offers that are designed specifically for new customers. Many sportsbooks use bonuses as a way to incentivize bettors to sign up with their websites. Free bets are one of the most common types of bonus offers that are offered to bettors to try and provide motivation to get bettors to sign up and deposit. There are several different kinds of free bets that sportsbooks will use specifically to appeal to new users. Let’s look at some of the free bet offers you can expect an operator to provide for new customers.
- First Deposit Matched Free Bet: This is the most common free bet offer to new users. This will provide a free bet for new customers that is equivalent to the amount of their first deposit up to an extent. An example of this would be a 100% Matched Deposit of Up to $200 in Free Bets. That means if bettors deposit $200, they’ll get an additional $200 in free bets.
- Bet X Get Y in Free Bets: This offer provides a free bet for new customers that is contingent on them taking a certain action, betting a specified amount. An example of this would be a bonus that specifies: Bet $100 in Your First Week of Opening an Account to Receive a $70 Free Bet.
- No-Deposit Free Bets: No-deposit free bets are when bettors don’t need to deposit at all to receive their free bet. Instead, they receive a free bet offer simply by signing up for an operator. These will typically be smaller offers because sportsbooks can’t give away too much money.
- Risk-Free Bets: Risk-free bets are bets where the sportsbook will return the amount staked if bettors lose. Many free bet sites will have risk-free bet offers for new users. These can be things like a $100 Risk-Free Bet for New Bettors.
Free Bet Offers for Existing Customers
Free bet bonuses are not just for new users. Most sportsbooks will provide free bets for existing customers as well. Many of the different kinds of free bets are specifically targeted to users that are already on the website. Let’s look at some of the most common types of risk-free bets available to existing customers.
- Reload Bonus: Only existing users can access a reload bonus. This is an offer that rewards bettors for reloading, or re-depositing, their accounts. The reward comes in the form of free bets. Typically, it rewards bettors that reload a certain amount or more on a specific day of the week.
- Loyalty Free Bets: Loyalty free bets are also only for existing bettors, particularly those that have made a lot of bets with a sportsbook. It is a bonus that rewards bettors for being loyal by giving them free bet offers. This commonly coincides with a loyalty program, where bettors earn points that can be exchanged for rewards for every bet they make.
- Qualifying Free Bets: Most free bet bonuses for new users won’t be qualifying free bet offers, as they try to be vaguer to appeal to the broadest amount of bettors possible. Qualifying free bet offers are a type of bonus where bettors only receive the free bet if they follow a specific course of action, like betting on a certain game or market.
- In-Play Free Bets: Similar to qualifying free bets, in-play free bets are most commonly offered to existing users because they are specific. They can only be used to place bets on live sporting events.
Betting Sites Promotions
How to Claim Free Bet Offers
Claiming a free bet offer should not pose much of a challenge to the average sportsbook user, although it does depend on the type of free bet. Generally speaking, the steps you need to take are very straightforward.
First, you find the free bet site you want to use. We’ll explain more about how to do that later on. Then, you browse their free bet offers to find the one that works best for you. From there, click on the offer, and read the terms and conditions. These should determine whether it is worth using or not. Follow the instructions on the terms and conditions, and you should receive the offer.
If you are choosing a free bet offer that is dependent on you being a new user, like a free bet welcome bonus with a matched deposit in the form of a free bet, you will have to sign up. This is a process that takes about three minutes and requires personal information like your name, phone number, address, and more.
You will also have to deposit to receive your free bet bonus unless it is a no-deposit bonus. Depositing to receive a free bet for new customers is easy and fast. It is nerve-wracking for some because entering your payment info can feel scary, but if you are using a trusted sportsbook, there is no cause for concern.
Claiming a free bet bonus mostly requires bettors to read the terms and conditions of the bonus and follow the instructions they lay out. It is a process that can be done within ten minutes if you haven’t created an account and deposited before, and if you have, it can be done nearly instantly.
How to Pick the Best Free Bet Sites?
Picking a sportsbook is never easy because of the sheer amount of options available to the average bettor. However, if you have set your sights on free bets as one of the defining things you are searching for in an operator, then you can narrow it down accordingly.
There are many sportsbooks that specialize in promotions, with an array of offers that are constantly rotating throughout the year. If you have decided that free bet offers are the key thing you are looking for, then seeking out sportsbooks that specialize in promotions makes sense.
You can find every sportsbook available on an operator by clicking on their Bonus/Promo tab. Browsing the selection and reading about these offers will help you determine what their free bet offers are.
The other key factor here should be safety. Look at the licensing an operator has, read about what cybersecurity they provide users, and look at online reviews from other bettors. This will show you whether they are an operator that can be trusted or not.
Finding the Right Free Bet for You
Finding the best free bet offers requires bettors to understand what exactly they are looking for. We’ve touched on many of the different kinds of free bets that will be available on the typical sportsbook, and each of these should appeal to different kinds of bettors.
If you are someone that is looking for a free bet for signing up, finding a welcome offer that provides a matched deposit in free bets to new customers might be the best decision. If you are already a committed user of one sportsbook, finding existing free bet offers on that website is a good call. Almost every sportsbook will have free bet bonuses at some point or another.
The key thing bettors need to do when finding free bet offers is read the terms and conditions. This will show you the nitty-gritty of what the free bet provides, so you can make the most informed decision possible on whether it is right for you.
Free Bets Strategy
Free bets may seem like a no-lose for bettors, and most of the time, the risk is very small. But the goal with free bets isn’t just to not lose; it is to win. There have been bettors that have leveraged free bets to incredible results, winning thousands on small offers. While there is still an element of luck that is present with free bets, there are decisions you can make and strategies you can use to secure winnings. Let’s look at some free bet tips that will give you the opportunity to win big using these bonuses.
- Decide Your Risk Factor: There are several options bettors can choose from when it comes to how they use their free bet offers. Some bettors prefer to make high-risk, high-reward bets; others prefer to use them to try and secure a higher likelihood of a win with a smaller payout. Determine for yourself the level of risk you want to take.
- Read Wagering Requirements Carefully: While your own risk factor is an important element in this, another important element is the risk factor that sportsbooks allow users to take. Some operators will only let users make high-risk bets, setting minimum odds of +200 or more. Others will not let users make risky bets, setting maximum odds of +100. It is dependent on their wagering requirements, so read them carefully.
- Make Some Hail Maries: The way I prefer to use free bets is as risk-free hail maries. While this strategy won’t be for everyone, it is how I prefer to use these bonuses. If the wagering requirements aren’t strict, I use free bet offers for my crazy parlays that have a slim likelihood of winning. This way, I am betting with house money.
- Don’t Go Out of Your Way Too Much: If there are actions you need to take in order to get a free bet, make sure they are actions you are comfortable taking and are worth your money. For example, if a sportsbook rewards $100 on cricket bets in a week with $5 in free bets on cricket, and you aren’t a cricket fan, avoid this offer. But if the requirements are something you might be considering doing regardless, then it is worth engaging.
Free bets Step by step guide
- Step One: Find the Free Bet Website You Want to Use
- Step Two: Browse their Bonuses to Find the Free Bet Offer You are Interested in Engaging With. Click on it.
- Step Three: Read the Terms and Conditions. Follow the Instructions on Them to Receive the Bonus Offer.
Free Bet Terms and Conditions
As we’ve mentioned throughout, while free bets are generous promotions that can provide bettors with rewards, they typically are not just free money. Every bonus offer will have terms and conditions that dictate how the bonus can be used and impact the value bettors receive. Free bet sites will often have terms that impact their bonuses.
We’ve discussed some of the free bet terms and conditions bettors should be aware of, but let’s run through some of them one more time.
- Bet Limits: Bet Limits are the maximum or minimum you can bet on a single bet. If you have $100 in Free Bets with a Bet Limit of $5, your maximum bet is $5.
- Minimum Odds: Minimum Odds are the lowest odds you can place a bet on with your free bet money. For example, a sportsbook could have minimum odds of +100.
- Eligible Markets: Eligible Markets are the markets that bettors are allowed to use their free bets on. A lot of operators restrict free bets to only specific sports or games.
- Rollover Rate: The Rollover Rate is how many times over you need to spend money to be eligible to withdraw. Some free bet bonuses will require a rollover rate to withdraw winnings from a free bet.
- Qualifying Bet: A Qualifying Bet is a bet that qualifies for a bonus. Some free bets will have eligible markets and minimum odds for a bet to count as a qualifying bet. Some will require bettors to make a certain number of qualifying bets before they can make free bets.
Ultimately, these terms and conditions don’t make free bets harmful. They are just instructions that show bettors what they need to do to access these promotions. Reading them carefully will help bettors understand exactly what they are receiving.
Are free bets really free?
That depends on your definition of free. For the most part, free bets are a bonus offer that provides a completely free bet to bettors, but there are some circumstances that make them not exactly “free."
For example, many free bets require bettors to deposit a certain amount, place a certain number of qualifying bets, or fulfill a rollover rate to be eligible to withdraw their free bet money. In this case, the free bet isn’t exactly free. However, there are examples of completely free bets, like the no-deposit bonus or a risk-free bet where the money is returned as cash.
Most free bets will require bettors to take a certain action to receive them.
How to Withdraw Free Bet Winnings?
This is a situation that is dependent on the sportsbook you are using. Some will require you to fulfill a rollover rate. However, for the majority of sportsbooks, withdrawing your free bet winnings is easy. You simply need to click on your payment account, input how much you want to withdraw and enter your payment details.
Canadian Sports Betting Legislation
We’ve mentioned terms and conditions, but the biggest terms to consider are the law. The legality of sports betting is something many who haven’t bet before are concerned with. If you are a Canadian sports bettor, you have nothing to worry about as long as you are using the right website.
Sports betting is legal across Canada, as recent laws have been passed that allow provinces to control and regulate the industry. So far, only Ontario has fully implemented these laws. But others like British Columbia, Alberta, and Quebec are expected to soon follow.
Even in provinces where sports betting isn’t controlled and regulated, bettors are still allowed to use offshore betting sites without any fear of legal trouble. These include all the biggest operators and free bet sites that one would want to use anyways.
Popular Sports to Bet Online
We’ve explained to you that betting is legal for Canadians, so you’re probably wondering which sports you can throw down bets on. Betting online is exceedingly popular amongst Canadians, and your options are not limited.
There are many different sports that Canadian bettors can choose to bet on online. You will find online free bet offers for nearly every sport imaginable. Some of the most popular sports for Canadian bettors include hockey, football, baseball, basketball, and soccer, but you can find niche sport offerings on every sport imaginable. These include things like water polo, rugby, Gaelic hurling, cricket, Futsal, and much more.
Other Types of Sports Betting Bonuses for Bettors
Free bet offers aren’t the only bonus you’ll find in the typical sportsbook. There are often many other types of offers for bettors that you can find on the average betting site. Let’s look at some of the other types of bonuses that sportsbooks typically offer their users.
- Matched Deposit Welcome Bonus: This is the most common bonus type that you will see in nearly every sportsbook. It is an offer that you receive for signing up with a new sportsbook and depositing for the first time. The sportsbook matches what you deposit into your account up to a certain amount, so bettors can receive double the funds.
- Parlay Boosts: Parlay boosts are when operators boost winnings on parlays up to a certain amount. Typically, they will boost parlays by a scaled amount that depends on how many legs there are to the parlay. It is a fun bonus ideal for parlay bettors.
- Reload Bonuses: These are bonuses that are for established users of an operator. They reward bettors for re-depositing into their accounts. They most often come in the form of a matched deposit.
- Loyalty Bonuses: Loyalty bonuses are for bettors that have been using a sportsbook for a while. They reward bettors with points for making bets, and these points can be exchanged for cash prizes.
- You Lead, You Win Bonuses: With you lead, you win bonuses, sportsbooks will pay bets out as wins if the team you bet on leads by a certain margin, even if they blow that lead later.
- Loss Refund Bonuses: Loss refund bonuses provide refunds up to a certain percentage on specific bets. This limits risk but still allows for the same reward.
Free Bet FAQs
Can You Withdraw Money From A Free Bet?
The answer to this is no. Free bets aren’t free money. You can’t withdraw a free bet before using it. However, what you can do is withdraw the winnings from a free bet unless a sportsbook has a restriction that requires you to meet a rollover. Most don’t have this restriction.
What Is a No Deposit Free Bet?
A no-deposit free bet is quite a rare thing because it is truly a no-strings-attached free bet. You don’t have to deposit or fulfill any sort of qualifications to receive this free bet. A no-deposit free bet is the ideal option but is hard to find.
Can You Cash Out a Free Bet?
No. This would be something that directly negatively impacts the sportsbook because bettors would just cash out their free bets straight away to get free money. While most terms depend on the operator, this is a condition you will likely see on all free bet offers.
Do Free Bets Expire?
Yes. Free bet bonuses are often for a limited time only, so they will expire if you don’t claim and use them. There are also many free bet offers that are based on certain sporting events, so if the sporting event happens, the bonus will have then expired.
Are Free Bets Offers for New Customers Only?
No! There are free bet offers that are specifically designed for new customers, like free bet welcome bonuses. However, there are also many free bet offers that make no distinction in this regard, so any bettor can claim them.
Cameron Kozinets is a 2020 graduate from the University of Southern California’s Journalism program. He is an avid sports fan and bettor, whose favorite teams include the Toronto Raptors, and the Chicago Bears. Cameron has been writing about and following sports since the age of 10, when he first fell in love with the NFL and NBA.
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