Many sportsbooks offer free bets for new members, but with so many different sports betting sites available today, how can you count on finding the one that provides the best offers? In this article, we shall take you on a tour of the most generous sportsbooks and help you to bag promo codes for the best free bets out there.
T&Cs APPLY, 18+ ONLY
T&Cs APPLY, 18+ ONLY
What Are Free Bets?
This question has a good answer: yes, reputable sportsbooks really do give out free bets as promotions. It makes a win-win situation for everyone concerned. For the bookies, such offers provide a great way to attract customers and foster goodwill, as well as to keep the punters coming back for more. For the players, free bets re, well, free — what more is needed?
How Do Free Bets Work?
Online free bets offers are distinct from other types of sportsbook promotion. Certain promotions will grant you bonus funds that you can use at the sportsbook as you see fit. Meanwhile, free bets can only be used as wagers. Some can be used only on specific sports, although these tend to be seasonal offers rather than the free bets new customer accounts are granted.
The terms and conditions that come with promo codes for free bets will vary from sportsbook to sportsbook. That said, for most bookies, free bets will follow a number of general rules that you can expect to turn up as guidelines no matter which sportsbook you have chosen to join. Here is a quick guide to give you an idea of just how free bets work.
First of all, you can expect your shiny new free bet bonus to come with a time limit. If you do not use your bet within the allotted period, then your bet will expire. In many sportsbooks, the time limit will be seven days; but while this is the general standard, certain bookmakers offer periods of 10 to even 30 days, so check the terms and conditions.
No Cash Out
Your free bet bonus will almost certainly come with a “no cash out” disclaimer. This means that you will be unable to translate the bonus into its equivalent value in cash without placing a book. This rule is standard — it helps prevents unscrupulous punters from claiming a free sport bets no deposit bonus and then running away with it without placing a wager!
Online sportsbook promotions can sometimes vary between states. In some cases, a sportsbook will offer completely different bonuses for different states; in other cases, the distinctions are smaller. The minimum accepted age for players also varies between 18 and 21, depending on the state. When in doubt, check the terms and conditions of your chosen bookmaker.
Minimums, Maximums and Odds
The free bet offers provided by any given vookmaker will almost certainly come with minimums and maximums. In seasonal or “refer a friend” offers, the amount will be fixed. For welcome bonuses, it will likely be more flexible. Often the minimum will be $10, while the maximum will vary between sportsbooks — it could be anywhere from $100 to $2,500.
Types of Free Bets
Free bets come in several different types. In this section of our article on free bets, we shall talk you through the various offers that you can expect from free bets betting sites in order to help you decide which type of bonus best suits you.
No Deposit Free Bets
The first is the no-deposit free bet, which is truly free: these offers do not require the user to deposit funds before claiming the offer.
Typically, players are required simply to sign up for free bets; once they have obtained an account, they will be able to claim the offer. In most cases, this is achieved through promo codes for free bets.
Free Bets Which Require a Deposit
This is different from the no deposit type of offer on the grounds that, as the name suggests, you will be required to make a deposit before you can claim the offer (the size of the deposit depends on the bookmaker).
Some players will argue that for the best free sport bets, no deposit is required, but a deposit bonus is still good value. The size of a deposit free bet will often be flexible so that the more you deposit into your account, the more valuable your free bet offer.
Many bookmakers offer risk-free bets for their members. This means that if you happen to lose your first bet, then you might be able to claim a second bet for free. Whether you can obtain the bonus bet will usually depend on the size of your loss. For example, some bookmakers will only provide a free bet if you lose $10 or more on your risk-free bet.
Risk-free bets are very common as welcome bonuses. From a bookmaker's perspective, the benefit of a risk-free bet is that the player is obliged to wager before they can claim the free bet, meaning that the promotion works on a sort of “one for you, one for me” basis. The good news is that the maximum you stand to gain tends to be quite high.
Seasonal Free Bets
While free bets offers are typically associated with the perks afforded to new members at a bookmaker, certain bookies provide free bets to regular members as well. Generally speaking, these will be associated with seasonal events. For example, you might be able to claim a soccer free bet during the World Cup.
Prize Free Bets
Some free bet offers are presented as a payoff that requires a little gambling beforehand. With promotions of this type, you are required to first bet a certain amount on a game.
If your bet pays off, then your prize will include free bets. Typically, the required betting sum will be small and the potential payout will be large.
In some bookmakers, free bets of this type might be labeled as rewards. But bear in mind that “rewards” as a concept are typically tied to loyalty schemes and VIP clubs. While many bookmakers have such loyalty schemes, there is no guarantee that free bets will be among the perks that they offer.
A number of bookmakers provide “refer-a-friend” promotions. As the name suggests, these are rewards that you are given in exchange for introducing a new friend to the site (you will need to send them a specific invitation). In some cases, your reward is a free bet, usually in the $50-$75 range, although it might be a different form of bonus.
Free Bets for Existing Customers
As we mentioned above, while you are most likely to get a free bet bonus as a perk for signing up, this is not the only way. It is not yet a standard practice for online bookmakers to offer free bets for existing customers. Still, a number of sites do indeed offer such promotions, and the number may very well continue to grow in the future.
When a bookmaker offers free bet promotions for both new members and existing customers, you can expect the two groups to end up with distinct types of free bet bonuses. In case you are interested in what perks you stand to benefit from as a repeat visitor to a sportsbook, here is an overview of how free bets for existing customers differ from those for newcomers.
If you win a free bet bonus as an existing member of a sportsbook, there is a good chance that it will come as a fixed sum. For example, if you fulfill the relevant eligibility requirements, you might find yourself with a free bet bonus that is specifically set at $60 or $75 — with no way to adjust it to make it larger.
This is different from free bet bonuses for new members, which usually have a heavy degree of flexibility. The bookmaker will set the minimum and the maximum, but beyond that, you will be able to adjust the size of the free bet you obtain by adjusting the size of your first real-money wager. Once again, though, different bookmakers will have different rules.
Lack of Risk-Free Bets
Free bet promotions for existing sportsbook members tend not to be of the risk-free variety. This is not necessarily a bad thing. After all, a risk-free bet will, by its nature, require the player to make (and lose) a real-money wager before they are entitled to claim a free bonus.
If a free bet bonus is not risk-free, however, then there will be no need to make a real-money bet. So long as you meet whatever eligibility requirements are attached to the promotion in question, the free bet will be yours to use as you see fit.
As you can see, the two factors outlined above make free bet offers for existing customers a lot more “what you see is what you get” than the welcome bonuses.
The offers for new members tend to look more generous than they actually are. For example, if a bookmaker promises “up to $1,000 in free bets,” then chances are that you will need to wager $1,000 in real money to earn the full bonus. Meanwhile, a $50 free bet for existing members will likely be just that — a $50 free bet for existing members.
Best Betting Sites Offering Free Bets
Here are seven of the top sites for free bets. The offers will be slightly different from site to site, of course, so give this list a look and decide which bookmaker fits your betting style.
As well as seasonal risk-free bets, BetMGM offers new members a risk-free first bet of up to $1,000. This means that if the team that you wagered on loses, you will be given free bets equal to the sum that you bet: wager $1,000, lose $1,000, and earn $1,000 in free bets.
Beyond these free bets, the promotions at BetMGM tend to be tied to particular sports. Many are parlay offers, and you also stand a chance to claim early cash out on certain straight and parlay games. As well as these, BetMGM has its own loyalty scheme, where you can rack up reward points in exchange for additional perks: just the thing for regular customers.
Draft Kings offers what we would call a prize free bet offer. New customers can bet at least $5 on a pre-game Moneyline; if the chosen team wins, the player will be granted $150 in free bets. The bookmaker also offers seasonal risk-free bets.
Other promotions available at Draft Kings include “boost bonuses” and parlays tied to specific sports. At the time of writing, there is also a refer-a-friend bonus, although this earns you up to five 100% profit boosts rather than a free bet.
Draft Kings also has a casino which has its own set of bonuses, so there’s lots on offer.
PointsBet offers new members what it calls the “Second Chance” promotion. To qualify, the player must place a fixed odds bet each day over the course of five days. If one bet loses, the player is entitled to up to $100 in free bets. If all five daily bets lose, the player can claim a total of up to $500 free bets, and free bets at PointsBet have no rollover requirements attached to them.
On top of this, the site has a raft of other promotions. One of these is the innovative “name a bet” system, exclusive to PointsBet, which allows customers to request bets they would like to see via the PointsBet app. Multiple loyalty and reward systems are also in place.
New players at BetRivers are entitled to a straightforward offer. Sign up, and you will be given a risk-free bet of up to $100.
This may sound a little sparse but bear in mind that BetRivers free bets system is just one aspect of a much broader range of promotions. Most of these are tied to specific leagues and organizations, including NFL, NBA and NHL.
BetRivers also has a loyalty system where regular users can obtain VIP status and all of the perks that come with it.
One of the best-known free bets betting sites, Caesars Sportsbook, has a welcome offer it calls “The Full Caesar.” If your first cash wager loses, you will get 100% of your bet back in up to $1,250 worth of free bets. Your first bet (win or lose) also gets you 1,000 reward credits and 1,000 tier credits for the sportsbook's loyalty scheme.
Besides the Full Caesar, the promotions system at Caesars consists of a loyalty system. Dubbed Caesars Rewards, this is tied to 50 physical locations across the United States. Regular players are able to get reduced rates on rooms. This might be a little outside the ordinary for players who expect deposit bonuses, but it can hardly be unwelcome!
At WynnBet, new customers can earn $100 in free bets by placing at least $100 (with odds of at least -120) with their first money bet. The site also offers smaller-scale weekend free bets offers, although the details here vary from state to state.
WynnBet's promotions system extends well beyond its free bets. The details are complicated to summarize because, again, the offers vary between states. As a general rule, however, you can expect to take advantage of parlay bonuses, “one-hour reduced juice” offers, and promotions tied specifically to WynnBet's casino rather than its sportsbook.
Unibet offers a risk-free bet for its new members. As usual, the exact size of the free bet you get in return will depend on how much you lost in your first wager. The minimum is $10, while the maximum is $500.
Once again, Unibet has a raft of other promotions on offer in addition to its free bets. Some will be seasonal, so check the promotions page to see the latest additions. Like a number of the other services discussed above, Unibet includes a casino as well as a sportsbook, meaning that the casino portion of the site will have various promotions of its own.
Conclusion: Finding the Ideal Free Bets
In this article, we have given you a thorough overview of online free bets and covered a variety of topics, from different types of free bet bonuses to the best free bets betting sites.
Personal taste will also play a significant role in deciding which free bet bookmaker is for you. Each punter will have their own distinct betting style and so will have different interests in terms of the structure of a bookmaker and the promotions it offers. So, now that we have given you some suggestions, you should try out these sites — and happy betting!