Free Bets Explained

Whether you are looking for an occasional extra weekend bet or regularly searching for matched betting offers, free bets form a big part of sports betting.

With tons of offers across all the biggest bookmakers, free bets give you the chance to get more value betting with the same stake.

For new customer offers, see our guide on sign-up offers. But you don’t just have to be a new customer to make the most of the many free bets being offered across the market.

Free Bets

What are free bets?

Free bets are promotions offered by bookmakers, which allow you to place an extra bet once you have placed a qualifying bet.
It’s important to note that, in most cases, a bookmaker will not give you a free bet for nothing: free bets usually require a certain bet to be placed first. Once this bet is made, your account will be credited with a free bet on top of the bet you have already placed.

For example: If a bookmaker is offering a £10 free bet on a certain match, you will likely have to place a £10 bet first – ensuring it matches the required criteria. Once it has been placed, you will be credited with your free bet.

Free bets are also non-withdrawable, so they must be used only to bet and cannot simply be taken out at as cash.

What do you need to know?

What you need to know

Every free bet is different and comes with its own terms and conditions. But, across all cases, there are key characteristics that make free bets slightly different from a regular wager.

Firstly, if you win your free bet, you only collect the winnings – and not the stake back itself. A free bet is traditionally only one transaction, too. By this, we mean you cannot take a £20 free bet and place several smaller bets to total £20. It would have to all be staked on one particular selection.

Like free bets offers themselves, terms and conditions will vary across every offer and bookmaker, so it is important to familiarise yourself with the key aspects of your free bet promotion. Offers are usually dependent on specific events and odds. For example, qualifying bets can commonly only apply at a minimum price of 1/2 (1.5).

Cash out: Another rule that tends to apply universally across the betting market is that free bets cannot be cashed out. This means once you place your free bet, that pick will either win or lose and you will not be offered the chance to cash the bet out before the end of the match or

Additionally, free bet offers may require you not to cash out your qualifying bet. So if you bet £10 and immediately cashed out, you would no longer qualify for a free bet offer.

Choose your Free Bet

When will you receive your free bet?

Being awarded a free bet is not always an instantaneous process – but this is no cause for panic. Some free bet offers will require you to ‘opt in,’ although you won’t receive your free bets as soon as you do this.

In some instances, you will be credited as soon as you place your qualifying bet, while others may see you credited after the settlement of your bet.

Another example is Sky Bet’s in-play free bet offer, which requires you to bet in-play in the first half for you to receive your free bet in the second half of a match. However, Sky Bet can actually award you the free bet as soon as you place your original stake.

Most free bets do expire

Another crucial piece of information regarding free bets is that, generally, they do have an expiration date i.e. it can disappear if you don’t use it in time.

For most bookmakers, the standard expiration date on a free bet is seven days. For others, it can be 30 days, although it varies across offers so this is another reason to be sure of your terms and conditions.

Again, though, Sky Bet stands out in the market in this department, having now removed expiry dates from all their free bets.

Free Bets

To give you a feel for the types of free bets that exist – but also show you offers you can take advantage of right now – here are a few examples of the free bet offers currently out there in the market.

888sport – 100% up to £150

Available for all new customers, 888sport offers a 100% up to £150 welcome bonus. This means if you were already planning on betting on a long-odds selection or accumulator, victory would earn you more money with 888.

Enter the promo code: 150Bonus when making your first deposit to claim this offer.

The minimum bet is £10. The full deposit amount must be wagered at least once with cumulative odds of 1.5 or greater. Wagering must be cleared within 60 days.

100% up to £100

*New sig terms: £10 min deposit using promo code “Top100” – The bonus will be applied once the full deposit amount has been wagered at least once with cumulative odds of 1.5 or greater. Wagering must be cleared within 60 days. This offer may not be combined with any other offer. Withdrawal restrictions and Full T&C’s apply

bet365 – Get up to £100 in Bet Credits

With bet365, the more teams you pick, the greater your enhanced odds.

To qualify for this offer, you simply need to make a minimum deposit of £5 (up to £100).

To release your bet credits, you must fulfil the following conditions; you must claim this offer within 30 days of registering your account and at least one selection of at odds of 1/5 (1.20) or greater.

Get up to £100 in Bet Credits
New Customers Only

*Open Account Offer. Up to £100 in Bet Credits for new customers at bet365. Min deposit £5. Bet Credits available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.

Sky Bet – Bet £5, Get £20 in Free Bets

This promotion is only available to individuals aged 18 years and over who have registered as new customers of Sky Betting and Gaming.

New customers must place a minimum of £5 as their first bet on a single or each way bet on any Sky Bet market at odds of 1/1 or greater.

Only your first bet with Sky Bet counts towards this offer. Any subsequent bets will not be eligible.

You must bet a minimum of £5 in a single bet. An accumulation of smaller stakes will not count.

Your free bets will be credited as three £10 free bet tokens.

This offer is not subject to expiry.

Bet £5, Get £20 in Free Bets

18+ only. Max refund £/€10. First bet only. Win singles or win part of each way singles only. Further T&Cs apply.

There are numerous free bets offers available throughout the market, similar to the above, so be sure to take advantage of the best ones while always double checking the terms and conditions.

Bookmakers will usually have a ‘promotions’ page for both new and existing customers – but you can also find the best offers right here on BetCompare.

Best Sports Betting Sites

    Bet £10 Get £30 In Free Bets
    Our Score 10/10

    Min deposit £10 • A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 • Min odds 1/2 (1.5) • Free Bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expires after 7 days • Free Bet stakes not included in returns • Deposit balance is available for withdrawal at any time • Casino Bonus must be claimed within 7 days • To withdraw bonus/related wins, wager bonus amount x40 within 14 days • Withdrawal restrictions & full T&Cs apply

    Bet £10 Get £10 In Free Bets
    Our Score 9.5/10

    *18+. UK Customers (Excluding NI) only. Cash stakes only. Min £10 stake required for initial £5 free bet. Min odds ½. Max £25 in free bets. Subsequent free bets equal 50% average of each 3 qualifying bets. 13 bets required to receive full £25 free bet. Qualifying bet must be placed within 30 days of opening account. Cashed out bets will not qualify towards your average stake. One free bet offer per customer, household or IP address only. Free bet expires after 7 days. Payment method restrictions apply. T&Cs apply ⇓

    Bet £5 Get £20 In Free Bets
    Our Score 9.4/10

    18+ New UK+IRE customers. Paypal and certain deposit types and bet types excluded. Min £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4 x £5 free bets. Free bets valid for 7 days on sports, stake not returned, restrictions apply. T&Cs apply,

    Bet £5, Get £20
    in Free Bets
    Our Score 9.1/10

    18+ Eligible UK+IRE players. Paypal & some deposit & bet types excl. Min first £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4x £5 free bets. Free bets valid for 7 days, stake not returned. No cash-out, restrictions & T&Cs apply.

    Bet £10, Get £30 in Free Bets
    Our Score 8.7/10

    Register and place £10 or more on your first Sports bet at odds of Evens (2.0) or greater, and get £30 in free bets credited to your account within 10 hours of your first bet being settled.

    Get up to £10 in Free Bets
    Our Score 8.5/10

    New customers only. Min Deposit: £10. First deposit matched up to £10. 1 x wagering at odds of 1.75+ to unlock Free Bet. Debit Card & PayPal deposits only. This offer is valid for 7 days from your new account being registered. Terms apply.

    Bet £15, Get £10 Free Bet
    Our Score 8.2/10

    18+, Welcome Bonus: New Players only, 1st Deposit, Min Deposit,: £10, max £10 free bet valid for 14 days, bets must be placed at odds of 1/1 or greater and be settled within 14 days of placement. System bets not eligible. Neteller,Skrill and Paypal not eligible. T&Cs apply

    £40 welcome bonus
    Our Score 8/10

    New Customers only; Min. deposit £15; Bonus amount 100% of deposit up to £50; Wager deposit and bonus 8x within 30 days; 4/5 Min. single odds or 2/5 min. acca selection odds; Max. stake contribution equal to the initial bonus; Certain bet types and payment methods excluded; See full terms; Terms apply; 18+

    Up to £20 Free Bet if Your First Bet Loses
    Our Score 7.8/10

    New Customers Only. First settled bet £/€10 (£10 E/W+) – £/€20 (£20 E/W+) at odds 2.0+ qualifies.. If first settled bet loses, free bet credited within 24 hours of bet settlement, use within 7 days. Stake not returned. Full Terms and Conditions apply

    Bet £10, Get £15
    Our Score 7.8/10

    18+, Welcome Bonus: New Players only, 1st deposit, Min Deposit: £10, max £15 free bet valid for 14 days, bets must be placed at odds of 1/1 or greater and be settled within 14 days of placement. System bets not eligible. Only depositing using specific payment methods. Click to see full T&Cs.

    Bet £10, Get £10 Free Bet
    Our Score 7.7/10

    New Players Only. Minimum stake £10, minimum odds 1.5, stake not returned. 10X wagering the winnings from the free bet. Wagering occurs from real balance first. Wagering requirement is calculated on bonus bets only, wagering starts from real funds. Free bet is valid for 7 Days from issue. Max. conversion: £20. Excluded Skrill deposits. Full T&C’s apply

    Bet £10 And Get A £30 Free Bet
    Our Score 7.6/10
    Bet £10, Get £15 Free Bet
    Our Score 7.5/10

    18+, Welcome Bonus: New Players only, 1st Deposit, Min Deposit: £10, max £15 free bet valid for 14 days, bets must be placed at odds of 1/1 or greater and be settled within 14 days of placement. System bets no eligible.

    100% up to £100
    Our Score 7.5/10

    Valid for new UK customers who have registered from 27/08/2020. Deposit using code SNWEL100. Valid once per customer. Bonus expires after 90 days. 8x turnover at 1.6 minimum odds before withdrawal. Max contribution to turnover requirements per bet is £50. Multiple bets on the same market do not qualify.

    Bet £10 Get £10 In Free Bets
    Our Score 7.5/10

    Valid until further notice | New players after 30.09.2020 | Valid on first Sports bet | Min. dep. £10 req. | Min. £10 wag. on the first bet with min. total odds of 3/4 to qualify | Bet must be settled | Bonus Wag. req.1x on min. 2-fold Acca bets (min. 1/4 odds each selection) with min. final odds of 4/5 | Virtual and cashed out bets do not qualify | One-time offer | Bonuses credited following working day | T&Cs apply | 18+ |

    £10 Free Bet
    Our Score /10

    18+ | UK new customers only | KYC verified | £10 free bet | Min £20 Deposit | Min odds 7/10 (1.70) | Free bet stake not returned | Certain Markets/sports/payment methods restrictions apply | Qualifying bet must be made within 30 days | Free bet valid for 30 days | T&Cs Apply | General Promo Terms Apply