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Free Betting Offers Explained:
How Do They Actually Work?

Free Betting Offers

When picking a bookmaker, incentives can become extremely appealing – but how do these free bets actually work? Unfortunately, a read of the terms and conditions of these bookmakers reveals that it is not simply free money. Read on to get the ins and outs of free bets, how they work, and how to use them.

How Do Free Bets Work?

Before we get down to how free bets work, let us tackle their types first. 

Generally speaking, the US sportsbooks offer three types of free bets. These include:

  • Bet an amount, get an amount: This is the most common type of free bet where players will have to place a real-money bet first. Afterward, sportsbooks will match the wager with an equal-sized free bet, up to a certain amount.
  • Deposit match free bets: For this type of free bet, instead of relying on the free bet’s size on a gambler’s first bet, it is matched against the size of their first deposit, again up to a predetermined amount.
  • No-deposit free bets: These free bets are given out by the new registrants’ book. They are quite juicy since the player doesn’t need to place a bet of any kind to claim them. Just sign-up and go.

So now that you already know the types of free bets, let’s get to the bottom of how they work. 

Essentially, free bets (or bookmaker bonus bets) are an amount of money that a bookmaker credits to a bettor’s account, enabling them to wager on specific bet types or particular betting markets like 12joker

But free bets differ from regular bets in some ways. Firstly, if your wager in a free bet type loses, you will not lose anything. And secondly, when you win with a free bet, you’ll only receive the profit; unlike a regular bet where the player is required to return the amount wagered (player’s stake) plus the profit.

Is There a Catch?

Typically, there is something of a catch. But most of the time, a player can still use a free bet to their advantage.

Some bookmakers make it effortless for the players to claim free bets and may not even require depositing funds with them first. Others, on the other hand, may need the player to use their free bet funds to place additional bets prior to paying out any winnings.

To qualify for free bets with a bookmaker, players usually have to:

  • Sign up for an account with the bookmaker. Provide and, in some cases, ask you to verify personal details.
  • Register a valid payment method and make a deposit into your personal account
  • Use your funds to place a wager on a sports event–the value of this bet will often determine how much cash you’ll gain for a free bet.

Occasionally, the player may be forbidden to place their qualifying bet on odds under evens. This is done in order to prevent bettors from backing near-predetermined winners.

Thus, before attempting to cash in a free bet, you must ensure that you read the terms and conditions listed with the offer very carefully. Furthermore, the main things to look out for are any geographical restrictions and playthrough requirements.

How To Use Free Bets?

There are numerous ways a player can make a free bet work to their advantage. Some of these options include:

  • Doubling bankroll: This method is the simplest and easiest way to make use of a free bet. If a player already has a bet in mind, it makes sense to place that amount with a bookmaker who offers a free bet. Doing this will effectively double a player’s bankroll.
  • Hedge a wager: If a player gave a bet in mind, they can use their free bet on another possible outcome as a hedge. For instance, one might prefer betting on one team that’s winning a sports event and then use another free bet to back the other team. This simple technique can heighten or even certify the player’s chances of making a profit without spending extra cash.
  • Turning free bets into cash: If a player just wants to turn free bets into money, they can use a technique called “matched betting.” This involves placing a free bet on a specific outcome with a bookmaker and utilizing a betting exchange to wager that the same outcome will not occur. Since the bet was placed for free, the player is guaranteed to profit regardless of the outcome.

Can You Cash Out Free Bets?

As a general rule, no, you cannot cash out free bets. The withdrawal feature is a useful tool for all gamblers to have in their arsenal. However, a free bet is almost always exempt from the other.

Players will have to allow free bets to ride until the final buzzer. This is insignificant because, by nature, gamblers usually swing for the fences slightly more often with free bets–so why not let them ride.

Parting Shots

To wind up, these so-called incentives or free betting offers are a waste of time and money. If a player still wants to see their funds again, they have to spend time learning the exact terms and conditions. At the same time, the poor value odds bookmakers offer (having allured gamblers in with promo offers) will end up costing players more in the long haul.


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