How Do Free Bets Work?

How to Earn and Use Free Bets: Free Bets Explained

All of the best golf betting sites we feature here at offer new customers a great free bet or welcome bonus when they first join but the question is, how do you get the free bet, how do you use it and what terms and conditions should you be looking out for?

If you fancy a bet on the Open, the USPGA Championship or any other tournament, the easiest way to improve your chances of making a profit is to claim a free bet. Unless you have online or mobile accounts with all of the bookmakers we feature already then you can simply join a new bookie and claim another free bet, automatically swinging the odds in your favour.

Free bets and other welcome offers come in a variety of forms and here we take a look at the major types of freebie you’re likely to come across.

Stake Returned Free Bets

A stake returned freebie is in theory the best type of free bet going. As with just about every type of free bet promotion, you must place a qualifying bet first – the days of no deposit free bets are gone unfortunately – and you will then be granted a free bet. When you place your free bet you get to keep not only the winnings, but also the free bet stake too.

However, the reason we say “in theory” is because most stake returned free bets nowadays have wagering requirements attached, meaning you may need to bet through a certain value before the winnings and free bet stake can be withdrawn.

Stake Not Returned Free Bet

As you may have figured out, this type of offer means the free bet stake is not included with winnings, such that a £25 free bet at evens will return £25, not £50. On the plus side any winnings from your qualifying bet and the free bet itself can be withdrawn instantly in most cases, with no further wagering required. Coral’s £20 free bet is a good example of this, not least because whilst most stake not returned freebies offer a free bet equal to your qualifying bet, at Coral you need place a wager of just £5 in order to claim the £20 bonus.

Enhanced Odds Offers

Increasingly many betting sites offer new customers an alternative to a free bet in the shape of enhanced odds promotions. Bookies such as Coral and 888sport provide a great alternative to the traditional free bet by giving punters huge odds on their first bet. Coral regularly bring out such offers on specific events, usually football and racing but also for the big events. In golf this means to look out for the majors and betting on the US Open, for example, you might get the likes of Rory McIlroy or Jordan Spieth at 15/1 or perhaps even higher.

888 are a little different, and they offer TREBLE ODDS on your first bet, giving you the advantage of being able to effectively select your own promotion. With a maximum enhanced odds payout of £5k you could make some serious cash, although you could also opt for a safer bet, for example backing a three-ball selection at evens but getting paid at 3/1!

Both Coral and 888sport pay their enhanced odds promos in cash, not free bets like Betfair (see our Betfair review) who also offer a similar deal.

Free Bet Terms and Conditions

Free bets and other welcome bonuses, including the enhanced odds offers mentioned above, always have terms and conditions and whilst reading thee may seem like a bore, it’s worth doing so you don’t miss out.

All of the great golf betting sites we feature here are huge, trustworthy companies that we ourselves have bet with for many years. As such, these terms and not there to catch you out and are not to worried about. Below you can see some of the most important terms to be aware of and usually just a quick skim of the bookies’ conditions is enough to ascertain what you need to do in order to claim the free bet.

  • Qualifying bet – you’ll usually need to place a qualifying bet in order to gain the free bet/bonus so check this first
  • Minimum odds – there are usually minimum odds needed for the qualifying bet and any wagering for stake not returned free bets, whilst occasionally there may be minimum odds on the free bet too, whilst there might also be maximum odds
  • Wagering requirements – check if you are required to wager a certain amount before withdrawals are allowed
  • Time – certain time limits may apply, including from when you join to when you first bet, how long you have to complete bonus wagering or how long a free bet remains valid for
  • Exclusions – all of the free bets and offers we feature here are valid for UK and usually Irish customers too unless specified but other countries may be excluded. Also note that certain markets, including frequently in-play bets, may be exclude
  • Enhanced odds – note that with these offers you need to check the maximum stake, maximum bonus winnings, whether winnings are paid cash or free bets and what other freebies you may get (for example Coral offer a £20 free bet if your enhanced odds offer loses)

Placing a Free Bet

In terms of the actual mechanics of placing the free bet, it varies from site to site and offer to offer. In general, with stake not returned free bets you have a free bet token or balance and you can select to use this at the time of bet placement. Stake returned free bets tend to just include the bonus amount in your main balance and you can check on your wagering in your account details.

Enhanced odds offers are different again, with certain bookies requiring you to place your bet at the normal odds (888 and Betfair) whilst others such as Coral have specific enhanced odds welcome markets that are reachable on the homepage or by promotional links (such links will be clear on our site when we highlight these offers in promo posts).

Exactly what you need to do should be quite clear once you reach thee bookies but you may need to read the exact terms and conditions to be sure. Alternatively you can ask live chat customer support, a great service offered by the best golf bookies we deal with.

So, now you know how free bets and welcome bonuses work, and given golf is virtually a 52-week-a-year sport, why not check out the freebies available right now and have a bet on this week’s golf?