Learn About Free Bets

What is a free bet and bookmaker bonus?

Most of the major bookmakers offer free bets and different types of bonus deals nowadays, to encourage new customers to sign up for accounts and to maintain their existing customer base. This means that canny customers can shop around a few different bookies to take advantage of the best bonuses on offer.

There are heaps of different kinds of bonus deals on offer and our free online betting school is one of the best places to start learning about betting and gaming in casinos or with bingo companies. Check out the following summaries to learn about free bets and the different types of bonus deals available.

Bookmaker bonus and free bets

Some of the different free bets you can access with national and global sports bookmakers include:

  • Initial bonus

Some bookies offer an initial welcome bonus which is added to your balance once you've registered your account and made your first deposit. In general, these types of free bets are promoted as a percentage based on the total initial deposit made, and there will be a maximum allowable amount. For example, when a bookmaker advertises a 50% welcome bonus on deposits up to £200, you will receive an additional £100 in bonus if you make the maximum allowable deposit of £200.

There will be terms and conditions related to this welcome bonus. For example, the bookie will generally state that a minimum number of bets must be placed using the welcome bonus before any withdrawal can be made. Different bookies will have varying terms and conditions, so it's well worth checking these thoroughly prior to setting up an account.

  • Matched stake bonus

One common free bet offered by a lot of bookmakers is the matched stake bonus. This means that when you place your bet the bookie matches it, effectively doubling the amount you wager. This can also be quite a common welcome bonus with bookmakers.

Effectively, if you place a £50 sports bet of any kind, with a matched stake bonus your bookie will increase your bet to £100. Bookmakers will generally place a number of restrictions on offers like this: the total amount wagered may be limited to minimum amounts of around £2, with maximum bets of £25 or £50. The bookie may also restrict minimum odds wagered to around 1.5 or 2.0.

  • Series of free bets

Another common bonus offered by bookmakers is the free bet series. With this type of bonus, you're not limited to making just one bet but can take advantage of a number of free bets. One example of this might be that if an existing customer bets £100, they are entitled to five or more free bets. Very often this type of free bet will have date restrictions and need to be used by a set date, as this encourages customers to keep returning to the bookmaker's site.

  • Bonus for winning first bets

Another one of the typical free bets provided by bookmakers is the winning first bet bonus. This kind of bonus only becomes available if the first bet placed with the bookie is a winner. It's very often the case that higher bonuses are rewarded when winning bets are placed at longer odds.

Common terms and conditions relating to free bets

The terms and conditions for free bets will vary between bookmakers and depend on the type of free bets that are offered. It's often the case that the bookies providing the most generous bonus and free bet options qualify their deals with heaps of restrictions. Bookmakers offering smaller bonuses may well have fewer restrictions on the deals offered.

Types of restrictions

Some of the common restrictions relating to free bets include:

  • minimum odds requirements. These are quite common restrictions where bets could be limited to minimum odds of 1.2 to 2.0 in order to qualify.
  • sports or league limitations may be applied, limiting customers to betting on particular sports, like football or tennis, or leagues, like the Premier League only.

You should take time to check over the terms and conditions of all your free bets and bonus deal offers to avoid any disappointment.

Taking advantage of our free online betting school means you're advised of all the conditions surrounding free bets in advance, so you know how much you need to wager before you can make a withdrawal. Check out our current listing of free bets to find the best bonus deals to suit your gaming requirements.

Casino bonus deals

We bring you all the latest information on welcome bonus deals at online casinos, including free spins promotions. Gaming with online casinos provides all the excitement of land-based casinos, plus a huge variety of fantastic welcome bonuses. Some of these casino welcome deals give massive bonuses to new customers, as well as loads of free spins on slots.

About online casinos

You can play a wide range of games in online casinos, including poker, all the popular slots, and different types of roulette and blackjack. If you enjoy a flutter on the tables, check out our advice and learn all about gaming at casinos and the bonus deals available.

Regular online casino players, particularly VIP members, will find that they can also access seasonal bonuses and free slots play.

Check out our list of casino welcome bonus deals to find out more.


Online bingo sites are always offering welcome bonus deals for new players and these tend to beat any other bonus deals available to regular members.

About online bingo sites

Bingo can be a fun and exciting way to game without losing too much cash. Different bingo sites offer themed play, to make the visitor experience as rewarding as possible. You can also access slots on most of these sites. Interacting with other players via instant chat is another benefit of bingo sites, making them a great social activity.