The Difference Between Free Bets and Bonuses

The Difference Between Free Bets and Bonuses

Most online bookmakers offer new customers a reward when they register an account and either make their first deposit of place their first bet. These rewards usually either come in the form of a free bet or a bonus. It’s important to understand the differences between the two in order to make the most of them and extract maximum profit.

Free Bets

Free bets are one of the most common betting promotions from bookmakers. They are offered to both new and existing customers as a way to initially entice them to register and to continue to bet at the given bookmaker.

When you place a bet using a free bet, the free bet stake is not returned. For example, if you used a £10 free bet on a bet with odds of evens (2.0), you would receive £10 back which is the £20 winnings minus the £10 free bet stake. Similarly, if you placed a £10 bet at odds of 3/1 (4.0), you would receive £30 back if it won rather than the £40 you would if you had placed the bet with your own money.


Bonuses work slightly differently to free bets in that you generally get to keep the value of the bonus as cash. However, to ensure that you can’t simply withdraw the bonus straight away, they usually come with wagering requirements, meaning that you have to place a certain amount of bets before the bonus will be converted into cash which can then be withdrawn.

For example, you may receive a £20 bonus with wagering requirements of x3 for depositing £20 at a bookmaker. This means that you must place £60 worth of bets (3 x £20) before being able to withdraw the bonus and most likely any winnings generated from your bets with the bonus.

Are Free Bets or Bonuses better?

Both free bets and bonuses can be profitable. Extracting a profit from free bets using matched betting is a lot simpler than with bonuses as less bets are usually required given that you only have to wager it once. However, it’s often possible to extract more profit from a bonus. This will depend on factors such as the wagering requirements and whether your initial bet wins or loses. If your initial bet wins, then you will have to complete the wagering but if it loses, you should have made a profit from your lay bet and won’t have to complete the wagering.

By Matchedbets Experts


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