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How to Maximise Value from Bookmaker Free Bet Offers: A Practical Guide

Sports betting” (CC BY 2.0) by Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar

There are so many bookmaker offers touted around online, on television and even within magazines and newspapers that it would be plain silly not to take full advantage of them. If you’re looking for a great way to get some extra funds to bet with on your favourite sporting events, then taking advantage of new customer free bet bonuses could be your solution.

When you sign up to a new bookmaker, you’ll often receive a free bonus for making your first deposit and/or a free bet. It’s not quite as easy as withdrawing this free bet back into your bank account, however. The majority of bookies don’t let you withdraw your bonus money until you have bet the full amount of the bonus a number of times at specified minimum odds. That’s why we’re breaking down all the specifics to make sure you can maximise the return of these bonuses to you.

On rare occasions, such as high-profile sporting events such as the Grand National for example, some bookies may choose to offer no-deposit free bets to new and existing customers but by and large, these are few and far between.

Let’s take a look in greater detail at the different types of free bets provided by online bookmakers today:

  • Matched free bets
    Generally, the most common form of free bet, particularly for new customers, matched free bets require a new user to make a deposit into their betting account in order and place a bet with it to receive their free bet. For instance, the latest William Hill free bet offer requires an initial £10 deposit and bet to be placed on any market to qualify for three £10 free bets. This particular deal basically means you’ll get a 300% bonus on your own £10 bet – a pretty good deal especially if you manage to win your qualifying bet.
  • No-deposit free bets
    These are widely regarded as the holy grail of free bets among online sports punters. No-deposit free bets mean new and existing customers are essentially given free money to place a bet on any market they wish. A no-deposit free bet doesn’t mean the funds can be withdrawn back into your bank account, though. They must be staked through the bookmaker before you can withdraw any winnings from it.

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  • Formatted free bets
    Some bookmakers opt to provide new customers with free bets that are only unlocked providing specific conditions have been met. These are known as formatted free bets. Usually, an initial deposit and bet must be placed to unlock the first stage of a formatted free bet. The process is then repeated until the full amount of the free bet has been given. For example, a bookmaker may advertise £200 worth of free bets, staged with four lots of £50 free bets awarded providing specific conditions have been met.
  • Qualifying free bets
    If you know your stuff you can make some good money from bookies’ qualifying free bets. These tend to be associated with specific events or matches, such as televised Premier League fixtures. For instance, a bookmaker might run an offer stating ‘earn a free £10 bet if Player X scores the first goal’. Note: You’ll only qualify for this free bet if you’ve had a bet on the match itself, but if you know which players are in form it’s possible to make a nice profit from these sometimes.