Betting Basics

Types Of Free Bets

Practically every online bookmaker offers a free bet or bonus as an incentive to attract new custom or encourage existing customers to bet again. Bookies promotions come in many different forms, but one thing is certain, without them matched betting would simply not exist! Below you will find a complete list of all the different bookmakers offers; below we have outlined their differences - free bets, deposit bonuses, post-wager bonuses and first bet refund offers.

What is a free bet?

A ‘ free bet ‘ is an introductory incentive offered by online bookmakers to encourage new members to join them. For example, the free bet offer maybe ‘ bet £25 with us and we will give you a £25 free bet ‘. Since free bets can’t be withdrawn until you actually bet with them, free bet offers normally consist of two bets, the first with your own cash to qualify for the free bet and the second with the free bet itself. Bookies free bets can be broken down into two types of free bet, stake returned free bets (SR Free Bets) and stake-not-returned free bets (SNR free bets). Both free bet types normally require a qualifying bet of equivalent value to be made with your own money before the free bet is credited to your bookmaker account.

What is a stake returned free bet (SR Free Bet)?

The same as placing a bet with your own cash , when you bet with a stake returned free bet, both the free bet stake (the free bet amount) and the winnings from the bet are returned to you if your free bet wins.


For example if you placed a £10 SR free bet at odds of 4.00, you would make
£10 x 4.00 = £40

What is a stake not returned free bet (SNR Free Bet) ?

Unlike the above, when you bet with a SNR free bet, only the free bet winnings are returned to you if your free bet wins, excluding the actual free bet stake

For example if you placed a £10 SNR free bet at odds of 4.00, you would make

(£10 x 4.00 = £40) - £10 Free Bet Stake = £30

What is a deposit bonus?

Unlike free bets, deposit bonuses are credited as cash, awarded as a bonus % based on your first deposit amount. For example, receive a 100% bonus on your first deposit up to £100. Normally the bonus is added to your balance after depositing, occasionally however a qualifying bet must be placed first. Naturally bookmakers will not allow you to just withdraw this free bonus, so to prevent this they attach terms, and these come in the form of ‘wagering requirements’.

Wagering simply refers to the total amount that you must bet (deposit + Bonus) in the bookmaker before the bonus can be withdrawn.

For example a bookmaker may offer a 100% deposit bonus up to £100, the bonus and deposit must then be wagered 3 x before the bonus can be withdrawn

Starting balance = Deposit £100 + Bonus £100 = £200

Wagering Requirement = Deposit £100 + Bonus £100 x 3 = £600

Note, wagering requirements do not have to be completed in one go, they can be completed in any number of bets at any bet amount as long as the total bets placed meets the set wagering requirement.

What is a post wager deposit bonus?

A post wager deposit bonus is similar to a normal deposit bonus; the bonus amount that you receive is based on a % of your first deposit amount, for example, receive a 100% bonus up to £100. The difference is deposit bonuses are credited instantly whereas post wager deposit bonuses are not. The post wager bonus is only credited after you have met the set wagering requirement. This means you need to bet a certain amount in total before the bonus is released, once it’s released it can then be instantly withdrawn.

For example, receive a 100% bonus up to £100 based on your first deposit, the deposit amount must be turned over 5x before the bonus will be released

Starting Balance = Deposit £100

Wagering Requirement - Deposit £100 x 5 = £500

This means you must bet £500 in total in the bookmaker before the £100 bonus is credited to your account. This can be made up of one or a series of bets, if you lose your initial deposit, simply re deposit and bet again until wagering is complete

Note, wagering requirements do not have to be completed in one go, they can be completed in any number of bets at any bet amount as long as the total bets placed meets the set wagering requirement.

What is a first bet refund offer?

A first bet refund offer is inherently risk free to begin with, if your first bet with the bookmaker loses, the bookie will refund your stake, if your first bet wins, you get to keep your winnings. The potential refund amount is stated on the bookmaker’s website and will be based on your first deposit & bet amount. For example, 188Bet offer a £25 first bet refund, if your first £25 bet loses they will refund your stake, if your bet wins you keep the winnings.

Free Bet Terms & Conditions

Naturally online bookmakers don’t want to give away free cash for nothing; if they did one may argue business suicide. To ensure that customers don’t get too much of an easy deal, bookmakers will often add terms & conditions to their free bets or bonuses. These come in different forms and we will outline these below. By all means don’t let this put you off as we take everything into consideration, and when we say everything we mean it!

What are minimum odds?

These are the minimum odds that your first bet must be placed at or above in the bookmaker in order to qualify for a particular free bet or bonus. This information is displayed in the free bet terms and conditions on the bookmaker’s website (We also show all minimum odds on our free bet table).

For example, in order to qualify for the £25 free bet your first £25 bet must be placed at odds of 2.00 or above

What does partner friendly mean?

Some bookmakers only offer one free bet per household, if the bookmaker is partner friendly it simply means that all members of the household can open an account with that particular bookmaker and still qualify for the free bet. This information can be found in our free bets table.

What are existing customer offers?

Existing customer offers are offers that are available to existing customers i.e. those that already hold an account with the bookmaker. These come in the form of reload bonuses, loyalty programs and unique offers based around various sporting events

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