Free Sports Bets: Not All It’s Cracked Up To Be?

free-betsA large draw to online sportsbooks is the promotions.

The deposit bonuses. The cash back. The free bets

Everyone wants something for nothing – especially money.

So they look for a sportsbook offering the biggest bonus.

But that’s a huge mistake. They’re so excited to get a few bucks ‘free’ that they fail to read the terms and conditions – they very thing that tells them their bonus, is in fact, not free.

That doesn’t mean every promotion is bad – far from it.

What it does mean is that more people should educate themselves about casino promotions – especially at the casino they plan to join – so they know what they’re getting themselves into.

And to determine if the casino’s deal is all it’s cracked up to be.

Best Free Bets

Rank Bookmaker Rating Bonus Visit
1 £30 Free Bet Bet NowBetway Review
2 £25 Free Bet Bet NowBetVictor Review

Let’s Look At Free Bets

I want to hammer my last point into your brain – that you should learn how casino promotions work before you sign up.

So let’s look at free bets – what they are and how they work.

A free bet is a standard sportsbook promotion. They’re usually offering one of two things:

1) To give you free money when you sign up. You may or may not have to make a deposit to get that free money. (More on that in a second.)

2) To reimburse you if your bet loses.

At first glance this looks great. Free money – nothing wrong with that!

But then you look at the terms and conditions.

You’ll find out that all sportsbooks have rules for their free bets. It may look something like this:

==> You have to wager the free bet x number of times before you can cash anything out.

Free bets usually have smaller rollover requirements – between 5-10 times. So if the offer is for a free $25 with a 6x rollover, you’d have to wager $150 before you can request a withdrawal.

==> You’re only reimbursed if you lose. If you win – that’s it – you can’t take advantage of the promotion later.

==> You have to wager on specific markets at specific price points. For example, you might be limited to MLB games with odds of 1.80 or higher.

==> You might not be able to cash out the free money. It’s for ‘play’ or betting only.

==> You might have to make a deposit first to be eligible (and that is the case for the ‘risk free’ bets).

Those are the most common terms. Keep in mind each bookie will be different.

But the point – do you see anything free about these free bets?

In every case – Every. Single. Case. – you’ll have to wager money to earn your free bet, or at least the money you won with it. And you’ll be told what to bet on and/or the odds you can take.

For example, ComeOn! has a $25 free bet with a 6x rollover. You have to wager $150 before you can cash out.

BetOnline has a $25 risk free bet, good for live MLB only. It, too, has a 6x rollover. So in this case you have to spend $150 to cash out your winnings, but only if your first bet is on a live MLB game and it’s a loser.

Do you see what I’m getting at?

You’re never going to find a 100% FREE offer. There will be a catch, a price you have to pay before you can cash out. Otherwise your bonus money (and winnings, too) will be voided.

But… Are ALL Offers Bad?

free-bet-offersNo, not bad.

But you’ll quickly find that some offers are better than others. You might also realize that standard bonus offers aren’t for you, and that you’d rather have better odds, cash back or reduced juice.

For example, Carbon Poker offers 50% on your first deposit up to $100. You DO have to make a deposit first (of more than $25). And they DO have some restrictions on the types of bets you can make.

But there’s no rollover. And you can cash out any money you make with the free bet.

So that’s a decent offer. But you won’t come across offers like that very often.

Only YOU Can Decide

Ultimately, only you can decide whether to participate in these offers. Most free bets are small enough that you won’t have to wager more than a couple hundred bucks to complete the requirements.

And if you were going to make a deposit and play anyway – what’s the harm?

But some are much bigger than $25 or $100 – some give away hundreds and even thousands of dollars in ‘free’ bets. They’ll require you to take crappy odds (2.0+) and wager thousands of dollars before you can cash anything out.

Those are the types of bets you want to avoid.

And with the knowledge I just gave you… you’ll be able to.

If you want to know how to best utilize these free bets you can read our article on free bet strategy.