What is a Free Bet? Everything You Need to Know

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You can’t get anything for free in this world, can you? Or can you?

It might sound too good to be true, but you can actually make a guaranteed profit by using a free bet at an online sportsbook!

Free bets are a popular promotional tool, offering bettors a unique opportunity to participate in their favorite sports or events without putting their own money on the line.

In this post, we’ll look at everything you need to know about free bets including how they work, the different types available and how you can use them to make a guaranteed profit.


  1. What is a free bet?
  2. How does a free bet work?
  3. How to qualify for a free bet
  4. Different types of free bets
  5. Are there any restrictions on free bets?
  6. Benefits of free bets
  7. How to convert free bets into guaranteed cash
  8. Conclusion

1. What is a Free Bet?

A free bet is a type of promotional offer used by online sportsbooks to encourage people to sign up and use their site and service. Free bets are designed to attract new customers and reward existing bettors for their repeated use of the online sportsbook.

Free bets offer individuals the opportunity to place a bet without risking a cent of their own money. They provide a taste of the betting experience without the financial commitment typically associated with traditional wagers.

Plus, you can guarantee yourself a profit from free bets using a clever technique. Keep reading to find out more about matched betting.


2. How Does a Free Bet Work?

To fully grasp the value of free bets, you need to understand the mechanics behind them. Essentially, a free bet serves as a token or credit extended by sportsbooks to reward or incentivize customers.

Here are a few examples of free bet welcome bonuses from different sportsbooks:

Free bet offers

In the first example above, the individual would need to place a bet of $5 to unlock a free bet worth $150. You might see the first figure (the $5 in our example) called a ‘qualifying bet’. Once you’ve placed your qualifying bet, you should receive the free bet. 

To unlock the free bet, you will need to make sure that you fulfil the specific conditions of the offer. These will be listed in the terms of the offer on the online sportsbook’s site and could mean placing a qualifying bet over a minimum odds requirement or on a certain market.


3. How to Qualify for a Free Bet

Let’s look at a couple of examples of how to unlock a free bet bonus.
  • Sign-up: With some offers, your free bet is unlocked simply by signing up to the sportsbook, and no further action is required.

  • Minimum deposit. This is the minimum amount of money that you will need to deposit into your sportsbook account to qualify for the free bet.

  • Wagering requirements. Some offers come with conditions which must be met before you will be able to claim or withdraw your winnings from a free bet. Examples include a minimum number of bets to be placed or a specific total amount to be wagered.


4. Different Types of Free Bets

Free bets can be awarded to customers at any level of experience or length of custom. For example, ‘Welcome’ or ‘Sign up’ promotions are used to encourage new customers and ‘Reload’ offers are aimed at retaining existing ones. It’s up to the sportsbooks who they choose to give their bonus offers to. 

There are different types of free bet promotions. The ‘bet $x to get $x’ example we looked at above is just one type of free bet offer. Here are a few more:

a) Deposit match

Some sportsbooks will match the value of a new customer's initial deposit and/or wager with a free bet. Depending on the sportsbook, this free bet may be given as credit or a bonus voucher.

b) Risk-free free bet

This type of free bet is usually awarded if your original (qualifying) wager loses. In contrast, some free bets are only awarded if the qualifying bet wins.

Read More: What is an Online Sportsbook?

c) 'No deposit' free bets

Although rare, these highly sought-after free bets are granted without requiring an initial deposit. They serve as an appealing option for those who wish to explore the platform risk-free.

d) Stake not returned

Not technically a type of free bet, but worth knowing: Free bets are usually ‘stake not returned’. This means that when you receive your winnings, the value of the free bet won’t be included in that amount.

Sportsbooks change and update their offers regularly, so always check for specific terms before you place any bets.


5. Are there any Restrictions on Free Bets?

While free bets can bring exciting betting opportunities, it’s important to understand the associated terms and conditions. Each offer comes with its own specific terms, which can mean that there are some restrictions.
  • Expiry dates. If you don’t place your awarded free bet before its expiration date, you will lose out and will no longer be able to use it.

  • Time limitations. You may have to place your free bet on a specific day or within a certain number of hours of receiving it.

  • Markets. Examples of betting markets in basketball include ‘Parlay bets’, ‘Moneyline bets’ and ‘Future bets’.

  • Minimum/maximum amounts. You might also be required to place a wager which is above or below a certain amount of money. Make sure you don’t bet outside these limits.

6. Benefits of Free Bets

Free bets are an awesome perk and come with a range of benefits, including:

  • Increased opportunities. Free bets provide additional chances to place bets, explore different strategies and markets and enhance your overall betting experience.

  • Building confidence. Free bets can provide an opportunity to use a sportsbook, understand odds and experience placing a bet without worrying about risk.

  • Increased earnings. Free bets encourage repeated engagement, which can result in increased profits if your choice wins. However, these profits can be guaranteed with matched betting, which we’ll get into next.

  • Can generate risk-free cash. That’s right! Free bets can be used to generate risk-free money as part of a matched betting strategy…


7. How to Convert Free Bets into Guaranteed Cash

Matched betting (also known as free bet conversion) is a clever technique that involves placing multiple bets on a single event to cover all potential outcomes and unlock a free bet promotion risk-free.

02. How does matched betting work section

Put simply, here's how the matched betting process guarantees you a profit:

  1. Sign up: Register for a sportsbook that offers a free bet welcome promotion.

  2. Place a qualifying bet: Place a bet on a sports team to win a game to unlock the free bet.  This is a 'back bet' because you are backing this team.

  3. Place a hedge/lay bet: Now wager a bet on the opposing team to win the game. By doing this, you have covered all outcomes of the event and unlocked your free bet risk-free.

  4. Repeat the process: Once the sports event has concluded and you have received your free bet, repeat steps 2 and 3 on a different event, using your free bet for one team.

  5. See your winnings: Once the game has finished, you'll be credited with your risk-free winnings on your sportsbook account. This will happen, no matter which team wins the event.

Using specific odds and carefully balanced wagers, calculated by handy tools like a free bet conversion calculator and Dutch Matcher, matched betting offers a simple method for beginners to convert promo offers into guaranteed cash in the $1,000s each month.

Read More: What is Matched Betting? A Beginner's Guide

8. Free Bets: An Overview

Free bets are an awesome asset to make use of in the world of both traditional betting and matched betting.

Understanding the mechanics, different types and benefits of free bets, will provide you with a risk-free way to explore online sportsbooks and make guaranteed profits with free bet conversion.

Ready to try free bet conversion for yourself? Start your ProfitDuel 7-day $1 trial today and supercharge your side hustle game - we've even thrown in a welcome offer worth $100+.

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*DISCLAIMER: We're legally required to state that there is no guarantee of specific results each month. The amount of money that you earn can vary dependant on the time and effort that you commit each month.