Bookmakers have loads of different kinds of betting offers and not all of them are created equal. From free bets to money back offers and plenty more besides, read on as we run through some of the more common betting offers you’ll find detailed on this site from the best betting sites around.
Types of Betting Offers
Free bets have been around as long as online bookies and are designed, pure and simple, to encourage you to open an account. The hope is – from the bookies’ perspective – that you’ll blow the free bet then continue to spend your hard-earned money chasing big wins and generally beefing up their profit margins.
However, if you’re shrewd – or just a bit careful, to be honest – you can use the free bets you can gather from loads of the top bookmakers to make solid profits.
Free bets come in all shapes and sizes from the £10 Stan James free bet to the massive £200 Bet365 deposit bonus. Those two are examples of matched free bets whereby the bookmaker will give you a free bet to the value (or a specified percentage) of the stake of your first bet.
Occasionally we will bring details of no deposit free bets, which – as the name suggests – are free bets for which you don’t need to deposit or bet any of your own money in order to qualify. We love them as they are literally no lose bets!
Other free bets termed “no lose bets” are not quite as good, but are still very much worth getting hold of. These will generally mean that if your first bet with a particular company wins, then great, you’ve won but you don’t get a free bet. Whereas if you lose, the bookie in question will refund your stake – up to some specified maximum – as a free bet.
Things to look out for when deciding whether to make use of a free bet include:
- Minimum odds – Many bookies state that you must wager your initial (qualifying) bet, and usually your free bet too, at certain odds or higher. Common minimum odds are either 1/2 (1.50 in decimal odds) or evens (2.00 in decimal).
- Wagering requirements – Some bookmakers require you to “bet through” either your free bet amount or the combined total of your deposit and free bet a number of times before you withdraw any winnings. Bet365 is notable for having such a requirement (three times the deposit and bonus).
- Time limits – There is usually a limit to the time in which you can qualify for and then use your free bet(s), which can start from the moment you register your account or the time your first bet is placed or settled. Often ranging from seven days to 90, just make sure you don’t go over the limit or you will forfeit the freebie.
- Excluded markets or bet types – Some bookies will state that you can’t use free bets on certain markets or with certain bet types (such as accumulators).
- Void bets – Different bookies have different rules that apply if the event on which you placed your free bet is somehow abandoned or declared void (such as the 1993 Grand National). Most will simply allow you to use the freebie on another market… some are a bit tighter than that and you’ll just lose it (we say boo!).
Free bets are generally available to new customers who are yet to sign up with a particular bookmaker, but increasingly there are sports betting offers flying around that offer free bets for existing customers either for betting on your mobile, for betting on a particular event (often big football, cricket or rugby matches) or for sampling their in-play or live streaming services.
Bookies often have money back promotions either on certain markets (such as Bet365’s Bore Draw Money Back Offer offering refunds of losing bets if a football match ends goalless) or if certain outcomes occur such as a named player wins a given event or tournament, for example they might refund losing Wimbledon bets if Andy Murray wins.
With the growth of mobile gambling in recent years, a few bookmakers are now offering mobile-specific betting offers. These are becoming less common as mobile devices become the default interfaces for online bettors, but occasionally mobile-specific offers still appear.
Whilst you are able to use almost all free bets on whatever sport you like, many betting offers are specific to either certain sports or particular events, with loads of football betting offers being applicable to specific games.
For instance, Betfred’s Double Delight, Hat-Trick Heaven offer is available to existing Betfred customers who place pre-match first goalscorer bets on a specified match.
If your player scores first and then goes on to score a second or third in the match, Betfred will double or treble yours odds respectively, giving you a bumper payout!
Other big events that attract plenty of betting offers, bonuses and promotions include major football tournaments (World Cup, Champions League, FA Cup), the Ashes, the Cheltenham Festival and Grand National (see Horse Racing Betting Offers for more details), and basically any sporting event in which there is a good deal of interest.
Many betting offers fit into more than one category, and the abovementioned Double Delight, Hat-Trick Heaven betting offer is also an example of an enhanced odds offer. Any offers that payout at greater odds than you would expect if certain criteria are met (for example if a certain number of selections in an accumulator bet come in) will fit into this category.
Bookies will also occasionally bring out time-specific enhanced odds betting offers on a strong favourite for a match or event. For instance, Coral offered massively enhanced odds of evens (compared to as little as 1/4 elsewhere) for the highly talented French race horse Sprinter Sacre to win the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in 2013. Of course he won, and cost Coral a big chunk of cash, but it kept a lot of punters happy (including us!) and gained a lot of publicity so the promotion did its job.
Though most of the betting offers featured on this site relate to sports betting, we will also bring you details of a good number of the best casino bonuses and promotions. The world of online casinos is harder to negotiate than that of sports betting as companies can buy off-the-shelf software packages and run a casino with little or no expertise (try doing that with a sportsbook and you’ll be bankrupt within a week!).
As such we’ll bring you offers from only the best and most trusted casinos in the business, which – it should come as no surprise to learn – often come from some of the same companies that have the best sports betting products.
Casino bonuses come in all shapes and sizes, but can include matched bonuses of your first deposit (similar to free bets with bookies, but often worth 150%, 200% or even 300%); reload bonuses on subsequent deposits; prize draws for gadgets, holidays or cold, hard cash; and loads more.
As with the casino bonuses, we will only detail promotions offered by the best bingo sites in the business – and we’ve researched loads of them so we know what we’re talking about.
Bingo bonuses come in similar formats to those found at online casinos, but many bingo sites allow you to sample their games with a no deposit bonus, but we’ll bring you the details of the best in the business so you can choose which take your fancy.