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Football Whispers has looked at the top free bets available to UK residents right now.

Best UK Free Bets at Online Bookmakers

Paddy Power: £20 risk-free bet

(New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using Cards or Apple Pay will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.) 

Get the offer here

Ladbrokes: £20 free bets

(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)

Get the offer here

William Hill: £40 free bets

(New customers who register via Mobile only, min £10 stake, win only, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 4 x £10 (30-day expiry), free bet/payment method/player/country restrictions apply. By entering the Promo code in the box you agree to the full terms and conditions of this promotion as displayed below.)

Get the offer here

Whenever you are gambling online, it is almost certain that at some point, you will come across some promotions that are listed as ‘free bet offers’.

Such offers are some of the most common forms of bonuses for both current and new players, and for the purposes of this post, we will be focusing specifically on how free bets affect sports betting.  Before we continue, we must first identify exactly what a free bet consists of and what it means.

A free bet is basically a bonus in which you then have the opportunity to place a sports wager without technically using your own money. This is obviously a positive thing, yet the requirements you must fulfil before receiving such offers can vary from site-to-site.  Naturally, the best betting brands out there in the UK today tend to have the best free bet offers, but we will be getting to all of that.

For now, let's dive a little deeper into the world of free bets and see how you can make these bonuses work for you.

Where to get the best UK free bet deals, and who can claim them

As we have touched upon above, you can claim free bets from many of the leading sports betting brands in the UK market. While we have constructed a list in the table above that shows you some of the top free bet offers, some of the top brands that you should keep an eye out for include the likes of Ladbrokes, Betfred, Coral, Mr Green, William Hill, bet365, and 888 Sport. Each and every one of these bookmakers have a fantastic reputation in 2020, and they are all licensed and regulated in the UK market.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

While this is all well and good, we need to also stress that there are two kinds of customers who can claim free bet deals. In online sports betting, they are only ever two customer categories - new customers and existing customers.

New customers

To be classified as a new customer on any sports betting site, you must not yet have an open account with the brand in question. On top of this, it is always the case that you must never have held an account with that particular betting brand either, otherwise, you will still be classified as an existing customer when reinstating your account. The good thing about being a new customer is that when you are looking to grab some free bets right off the bat, they are often easier to claim, and they are often larger than the free bets open to existing customers.

Existing customers

From the moment that you have signed up with a betting brand, you are automatically classified as an existing customer. Of course, you can proceed to use the initial welcome bonus in your own time, but once you have burnt through this offer, you can only claim new free bet offers through the main promotions page, and any new player offers are now off-limits.

While this might sound a bit ‘doom and gloom’, we can promise you that the top sites have a whole range of free bet offers that are advertised for existing customers. On some sites, you can even find such offers on a daily basis, but at the very least, you can expect to find one or two reload offers on a weekly basis.

Is the ‘free bet’ actually completely free?

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

We must note that when you see a free bet offer, it is pretty rare that you will not need to spend any of your own money first. This is just the nature of how these offers work, and it is a fact that we all must accept as online sports bettors. With that being said, the online sporting world has gone through some adaptations in recent years, and now these free bets are even easier to claim.

This is largely due to the fact that you now need to spend less of your own money in order to unlock a free bet. This is quite a contrast to how things used to be, where you would need to spend a good amount of money so that a site would reward you with a free bet in the first place. As an example, there are many offers in the UK market today where you could bet as little as £5 or £10 and be rewarded with £20 or even £30 in free sports bets. As you can see, the amount is significantly larger than your initial wager requirement.

With this in mind, you should know that both the amount of money you need to spend initially as well as the total value available in free bets will always be shown in the terms and conditions of an offer. On the subject of terms and conditions, there are further details that you need to be aware of to truly understand the value of an offer. Let's get into these right now.

Important terms and conditions to understand

Whenever you see an offer advertised at an online betting site, there will always be a set of terms and conditions that go hand-in-hand with the offer. This is just a standard practice of the industry, and while it isn't always exciting to read through the small print, it is necessary to truly get a grasp of how valuable the offer actually is. As discussed earlier, there are key details that you absolutely need to understand here, as identified below.

Initial bet requirement

The initial bet requirement is simply the amount of money that you must spend in the sports betting markets before you receive the free bets. Just to reiterate, it is almost always the case where you will need to spend some money on the sports markets before the free bets are credited, and this is usually clearly visible in the terms and conditions.

Minimum odd requirement

You won't always find a minimum odds requirement for a free bet offer, but it is always important to look at the terms and conditions to double-check in order to avoid disappointment.  Basically, if there is a minimum odd requirement in order for you to receive your free bet, you must ensure that when you place your initial wager, that the odds are higher than what is identified in the terms and conditions.

Expiration date

Once you actually receive your free bets, it is pretty rare that they will simply sit in your account forever until you use them. It is almost always the case that the free bets will have some form of time restrictions before they will expire. The good news is that you will typically have a healthy length of time in which to use these free bets, and a fairly standard time frame is anywhere between seven and 30-days.

 

Wagering conditions​

This is somewhat rare concerning free sports bets, however, if you are accessing an offer such as any no deposit free bets, they can occur. If ever you see the term wagering conditions, this means that you will need to spend some of your own money before you can actually cash out the winnings resulting from your free bet. As an example, if you receive a £10 free bet yet there are 5x wagering conditions that apply, you must actually spend £50 of your own money on the site before for the winnings are eligible to then be withdrawn.

Key tips for choosing the top free bet offers

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

Let's face it - it is always a promising sign when you are able to access any of the top free bet offers in the UK market today. However, we do have a few tips for you so that you can follow them in order to get the most value possible. All of this information is provided for you below.

Low initial wager

Generally speaking, you want to try and source new customer free bets that do not require you to spend a boatload of money to begin with. The lower the initial bet requirement in order to unlock the free bets, the better. This is a rule that you should always stick to when looking through free bet offers in the UK.

Maximum return for your first bet

While it is always beneficial to find a free bet offer where the minimum bet requirement is quite low, you still want to make sure that you are getting the most bang for your buck. This is why it's important to check out the number of free bets you can receive compared to the initial bet requirement. Naturally, the greater the number of free bets compared to your initial bet, the more appealing the free bet offer actually is.

Low (ideally zero) wagering restrictions

It isn't all that common to find any wagering conditions assigned to free bet offers for sports, but it is still important to consult the terms and conditions to check that this is the case.  Nobody wants to grab a free bet and then have to spend a ton of their own money to actually withdraw the bonus, which is why this factor is important.

No restrictions on max winnings

Given that you want to try and make the most of your free bet, it is worthwhile to check and see that there are no restrictions placed on how much you can actually win through your bet.  While this restriction can differ depending on the site that you sign up with, it is definitely worth your time to browse through the market and pick out offers where there are no caps on winnings.

No restrictions on sports

Simply put, we all prefer to bet on different sports. That's just a fact of sports betting, therefore you want to try and find offers where you can basically use your free bet on any of the available sports. This effectively means that you can tailor the bonuses and get the maximum enjoyment from it, as you can use the free bet to wager on your favourite sporting events.

Pros and cons of free bets

The good thing about free bets when engaging in online sports betting is that there are far more pros to talk about compared to the cons. With that in mind, we still wanted to take the time to make you aware of what these pros and cons are.

Pros 

  • Gives you a chance to bet without using your own money
  • The free bet itself carries zero risk (unless large wagering restrictions apply)
  • Any winnings could also be considered ‘free cash’ (not guaranteed)
  • Can be used through desktop sites and mobile platforms
  • Plenty of them available

Cons 

  • May encourage you to gamble
  • The qualifying bet isn’t risk-free
  • Account restrictions may occur if you are seen as a bonus abuser

Main types of free bets to consider

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

Not all free bets carry the same format or operate the same way, which is why we’ve shown you some of the more common types of UK free bet deals below.

  • Deposit match

This is where you make your first deposit, and the betting site matches it by a set percentage. This can be anywhere from 25%-100% or more, and the bonus funds received must be wagered according to the terms.

  • Bet X receive Y

Arguably, this is the most common form of a free bet. Basically, you’ll need to place a qualifying wager in order to receive the free bets stated within the offer. As an example, you might see a ‘bet £10 receive £20’ type offer.

  • Risk-free first bet

This is another common type of offer where your first wager is protected by the site. This means that if your bet actually loses, you will be reimbursed by a set percentage of your bet or even the entire value of it.

Football Whispers breaks down the beautiful game with statistical analysis, feature articles and expert betting tips. Please gamble responsibly.