How To Use A Free Bet

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The bookmaker free bet is one of the key elements of online sports betting, with most operators allowing new customers to claim a free bet, whilst some betting companies also credit existing players with free bets.  This type of free bet is often related to a specific sport or event.  Customers can enjoy the financial benefits of free bets for major high-profile sporting events that are often  shown live on television.  Operators provide a package of free bets for new customers and current bettors.  The Terms & Conditions have to comply with criteria set and policed by regulatory bodies.  Gambling commissions can issue fines and revoke a licence so free bets must be fair and transparent.

What Is A Bookmaker Free Bet?

The online betting industry is highly competitive. The UK market in particular is dominated by a small number of large trusted operators.  There are many new operators trying to gain some market share in the UK environment. There is little scope for product differentiation. All bookmakers offer similar odds on the same range of sporting events. There are slight variances in the odds value but recreational customers are unlikely to notice. The more shrewd big-staking bettors will gravitate to the firms that offer the best odds and terms.  The quality of a bookmaker’s free bet in terms of value and ease of use is a good incentive for potential new customers to register, deposit funds and bet.

Matched Betting

When bookmakers initially launched free bets some clever gamblers identified a way of making money from the free bets with little risk. They used matched betting techniques to make maximise use of bookmaker free bets.  Matched betting involves using bookmaker incentives in the form of free bets to back both options to guarantee a profit whatever the outcome.  You can also use a free bet to place a back bet and then place a counter lay bet with a betting exchange. 

The mathematics of matched betting can be quite complex. There is a definite procedure with several steps. Each step must be followed categorically in order for bets to be matched.  The emergence of matched betting has created the need for online resources. There are now sites that identify the matched betting opportunities and make the correct calculations. These sites trawl the betting companies to identify the best free bets for matched betting.

Sports And Markets

In theory, you can use a free bet on any sports market. However, some markets are more volatile and speculative than others. You can enjoy regular and small wins from free bets to build up a betting bank.  Some bettors prefer to aim for a significant win from a small stake. Free bets can be used on markets with the potential to produce a high strike rate. Other markets  give customers bigger odds for a winning bet but a lower strike rate.  Some sports are more reliable in terms of form while others can produce a higher proportion of winning outsiders. 

Match Winner

The match winner market is the best option when using a free bet. In football this is a three-way market (Home Win, Draw, Away Win) and the bet produces a high strike rate. There is even better value in head-to-head sports when there is always a definite outcome. Tennis and snooker matches involve two players. One progresses to the next round and the opponent is eliminated. The limited number of outcomes provides a good opportunity to use a free bet.


Bookmakers introduce handicaps to attract two-way business when there is a clear favourite and underdog. The objective is to equalise the probability of both outcomes. Handicaps are usually expressed in half goals or points to eliminate the tie.Typical odds are 10/11 (1,91) for  each outcome. Bettors must achieve a strike rate of about 55% to break even. There are only two possible results so handicaps are a good market for the use of free bets.


Customers can bet on the total number of goals or points in a match. Bookmakers issue odds in bands and this market generally offers three potential outcomes. Bettors can also place wagers on under or over a specified total. These odds are expressed in half goals or points so a tie is not possible. Bookmakers quote 10/11 (1.91) or something similar for totals. Bettors require a strike rate of less than 60% to break even.  The two potential outcomes equate to good use of a free bet.




Types Of Bet

Bookmakers issue a range of bets which provide varying levels of value. A general rule is that a bet with fewer options  is bettor for the customer than others with more permutations. However, exotic bets  provide more potential for a decent win from a small stake but the strike rate is lower. Bettors decide the best use of a free bet based on their preference in terms of potential returns and strike rate. Here are the most common betting types for the implementation of a free bet:



There is only one selection in a single bet. A typical single can be on the winner of a football match after 90 minutes or the winner of a horse race. The odds are low and bettors must achieve a high strike rate. However, the win single is the best way to profit from a free bet.

Doubles And Trebles

Doubles and trebles include two and three selections respectively. Each selection must win for the bet to be successful. The odds for each option are combined to calculate the return. As more selections are added the odds accumulate so a smaller strike rate is required to win over time.


Accumulators are single-line bets with four or more selections. Each option must win for a winning bet.  The odds for each leg are multiplied to arrive at the return. Accumulators offer the potential for jackpot wins when the stake comes from a free bet.

System Bets

System bets combine selections in full cover permutations. One loser does not necessarily mean a losing bet. System bets bring together singles, doubles, trebles and accumulators in one multiple line  bet.  Placing system bets is not the best use of a bookmaker free bet.

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