Below you’ll find a list of the best introductory betting offers from a variety of top notch UK bookies. The majority of these welcome bonuses are given as free bets, but there is the occasional deposit bonus thrown in for good measure.
Unlike the lions share of the promotions you see on bestnewsbookies.com, the list of free bets and bonuses in the table are only for new customers – so if you already have an account with one of the betting sites, you can’t claim the offer and you’ll need to pick another.
This page also serves as a list of the bookmakers whose offers we track on the rest of the site – so we actually recommend registering accounts at all of them so that when an offer pops up you can take advantage of it right away. Plus you’ll have all of those tasty free bets to play with!
List of Introductory Free Bets & Betting Bonuses
|Site||Free Bet||Bonus Info||Offers||Bet Now|
|£200||£200 Deposit Bonus!||New Sports Players Receive 10 Free Spins + Up To 100% Acca Bonus|
|£200||First Deposit Matched Up To £200||Bonus can be withdrawn after betting 3x bonus + deposit|
|£20||Bet £5 For A £20 Free Bet||Min odds only 1/5 (1.2), stake not returned with winnings|
|£20||Bet £5, Get £20 plus £5 Every Week||Bet £25 each week for a £5 free bet. Min odds are evens.|
|£25||£25 Deposit Bonus + Betting Loyalty Rewards||Bonus is withdrawable after meeting WR (6x), plus get 10 free spins|
|£30||Bet £10 for a £30 free bet||Min cumulative odds of evens (2.0), stake not included in returns|
|£25||First Bet Matched Up To £25||Min odds evens (2.0), but no min for 4-folds or greater|
|£50||Use code F50 for a 100% match||Min odds 1/2 (1.5), stake not included in winnings|
|£200||£200 Bonus (use code FD100)||Must bet deposit + bonus 5x to withdraw. Min odds 3/5 (1.6).|
|£25||Risk free first bet worth £25||Deposit & bet £5 to £25 and get a free bet if your wager loses|
|£50||Free bet based on value of first deposit||Place bets to the value of the deposit to activate. Min odds 1.75.|
|£25||£25 No Lose Bet||Mobile only, min odds (1/2) 1.5, plus a further £500 in free bets|
|£50||Total of £50 in free bets||Risk free bet up to £25, plus second £25 bonus after 5 more bets.|
|£30||3 x £10 Free Bets (in sportsbook)||Min odds just 1/5 (1.2), must be placed in the sportsbook|
|£10||First Bet Matched up to £10||Min odds 4/5 (1.8), free bet stake not included in winnings|
|£10||£10 matched bet + 10 free spins||Must place £10 single win bet with min odds of evens (2.0)|
|€75||50% deposit match up to €75||Withdrawable after meeting 20x playthrough (min odds 2.0).|
|£50||50% match up to £50||Bet 6x bonus + deposit to withdraw. Min odds 3/5 (1.6).|
|x3||Treble odds on your first bet||Get three times the normal odds for one bet. Max bonus payout £5,000.|
|£20||Risk free bet worth £20||Money back as a free bet if your first wager loses. Min odds 1.4.|
|£50||100% match up to £50||Bet 5x the bonus at odds of 1.5 or more. Bonus is withdrawable.|
|£50||50% bonus up to £50||Use code WELCOME50 and roll deposit over once at 1.6 or more.|
|£30||Bet £10, Get £30 Free||Place a £10 bet at odds of 1/2 or more to qualify.|
For those of you who are unfamiliar with these kinds of offers, we’ve compiled the following handy guide which covers topics such as; the different types of free bets you can claim, common terms and conditions that you should be aware of and (most importantly) how to maximise the value of your bonus.
Free Bet Types
Sign up bonuses at online bookmakers are offered in various forms and it pays to understand exactly what is on offer from the various bookies before you sign up. Here we outline some of the more common free bet types to be found amongst the best bookies in the business.
- Matched Bets – Matched bets are based on the value of the first bet you place with a bookie after opening an account with them. They are usually worth the same as the stake of your initial bet (up to a specified maximum), though some offers will give a percentage of your first bet as a free bet from as little as 10% to as large as 300% on rare occasions.
- Deposit Bonuses – Deposit bonuses are almost similar to matched bets but instead of being based on the value of your first bet, they are given as a percentage of your first deposit after signing up with the bookie. Invariably (though not always) you have to place a real money bet before using the free bet anyway, so check any terms and conditions of specific offers before signing on the dotted line. The main difference between a deposit bonus and a matched bet is that the bonus can be use however you wish – so a £50 bonus could be used to place 10 £5 bets, whereas often a free bet has to be used in it’s entirity in one go (although not always).
- No Lose Bets – No lose bets sound good, and they can be, but really they are a way for the bookies to reduce the number of free bets they dish out. In this case you would only be given a freebie if your first bet loses whereas the abovementioned offers are given to you whether you win or lose your first bet. Again the value of the free bet is generally equal to the stake of your initial (in this case losing) bet up to a specified maximum.
- Bet Bundles – Bet bundles or “bet baskets” refer to free bets that are released incrementally often after you make a certain number of bets. For instance, a bet bundle of £50 might give you a free bet of £25 when you place your first bet of that value with the second £25 being added when you have made three more bets of that amount.
Various other types of betting promotion pop up from time to time as bookies try innovative ways to attract new customers, with mobile specific promotions, bonuses that can be split between sportsbooks and casinos and others. But the above are the most common types of welcome offer you’ll encounter.
Common Terms & Conditions
Whenever you are thinking of signing up with a bookie it is a good idea to check out the small print and especially where the free bets are concerned. Here are some of the more common terms and conditions you should keep your eyes peeled for.
- Minimum Deposits – While free bets are often quoted in terms of the maximum amount available, most bookies will also issue them when you deposit or bet lesser amounts, which is great if you don’t want to risk much of your cash (though see below note in the Making The Most Of Your Free Bet section). If you are planning to make a smaller deposit than the value of the maximum, be sure to check that you are still entitled to a free bet as you wouldn’t want to miss out by being just a little bit under the minimum requirement.
- Minimum Odds – Likewise, check what the minimum odds are for any qualifying bets and the free bets themselves (they are not always the same). If you bet on something at shorter odds than the quoted minimum with your qualifying bet there is a fair chance you have blown your chance of getting a free bet at all, so this is an essential one to check out.
- Wagering Requirements – While free bets appear to be exactly that, some are free-er than others. Some bookies require you to wager the free bet (and sometimes the combined value of the deposit as well) a certain number of times before you are permitted to withdraw any profits. Clearly it is tougher to win a series of bets than a one-off, so check if this requirement exists before piling in. It doesn’t mean you can’t still win a lot of cash, just that you might alter your tactics somewhat.
- Excluded Bet Types – Certain bet types are often excluded for either or both qualifying bets and free bets, such as, for instance, multiple bets or in-play bets. Also note that you are often prevented from combining free bet offers with other promotions or bonuses, so you wouldn’t be able to use your free bet to take advantage of a money back offer on a football match (bookies can be generous, but not THAT generous).
- Stake Returned/Not Returned – Stake returned free bets are great as the bookie will pay back the “stake” value of the free bet with any winnings as if you had put up the cash yourself. Unfortunately these are not as common as they were a few years ago and most are now of the stake not returned variety whereby you are paid the winnings but not the stake itself (so backing an odds-on selection will bring a return that is less than the value of the free bet itself).
Making The Most Of Your Free Bet
So once you’ve got your mitts on the free bets, what should you do with them in order to maximise you chance of winning some cold, hard cash? Well, the answer to that depends on whether your are looking for the best chance of winning something or for the chance to hit a bit win.
The first way to maximise your profits may seem obvious, but it is amazing how many people fail to follow this simple rule: always opt for the maximum amount possible. Clearly there might be financial constraints on this one, but if you have the cash available, be sure to max out the offer; after all you can only get one free bet when you open a betting account so you might as well take as much as you can get.
As most free bets are based on you placing a real money qualifying bet, it is also important to do all you can to ensure you don’t lose that qualifying bet. Statistically, the best way to maximise your chances of winning your qualifying bet is to back something at the minimum odds that are permissible for that particular offer. In this way (if the odds are representative of the chances of that outcome occurring, which they should be with any bookie worth their salt) you will have as good a chance of possible of making the free bet truly free, rather than a means of chasing your loses after blowing the qualifying bet.
With no lose bets, given you only get the freebie if your first bet loses, there is no point playing it safe and you are as well to place your first bet on a long odds selection: if you win, you’ve got a monster profit, if you lose, you get a second bite of the cherry anyway!
As mentioned, stake not returned bets are becoming more and more common so in order to make the most of these you are better offer picking longer odds selections (presuming you win your bet of course!). The longer the odds of your selections with stake not returned free bet, the greater the expected average return will be (as the stake not being returned has less of an overall effect on the value of your winnings). Having said that, this obviously increases the risk of not winning the bet, but if you’ve already won your qualifying bet(s), then why not throw caution to the wind as you’ve got nothing to lose!
Overall, the best way to make use of these introductory offers is to find odds that offer good betting value, which, ultimately, comes down to you doing your homework on the sports on which you want to bet. Whilst that may be easier said than done, at least with a free bet the odds are in your favour.