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Free Bets: Best sportsbook free bets for new players

Last Updated on 01/17/2023
Fact checked by: Allan Howe

Whenever the words “free bets” are uttered in online sports betting, players will tend to take notice, primarily because of the word “free.” However, there’s more to these offers than simply getting some quick betting currency.

We’ll take a deep dive into all things free bets, including walking you through how to redeem them, the different types of free bets, going over essential terms and conditions, and highlighting specific offers.

Let’s jump in.

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When legal online sports betting first came onto the scene, the go-to welcome bonus for sportsbooks was the first deposit match. This offer gave players a percentage match on a deposit of up to a certain amount.

Then, as time went on and sportsbooks became more competitive with one another, we started seeing sign up free bets and risk-free bets.

With free bets, you receive a certain amount of money that you can wager, no strings attached. If you win, you keep the winnings; if you lose, well, you really just lose this imaginary amount of money given to you by the sportsbook.

From there, some sportsbooks started offering a small free sports bet to existing players instead of just welcome bonuses.

We’ll dive more into all things free bets and how you can navigate these offers across the entire sports betting spectrum.

How to claim the best free bets

It’s one thing to know what a free bet is, but it’s another to learn about these new customer betting offers and how to claim them.

Below is a step-by-step guide on how to do just that.

  • Check out our comparison table to find the best sportsbooks free bets.
  • You can filter your search by welcome bonuses, brands, and promotions.
  • After you’ve found which has the best free bets for you, download the platforms’ mobile app—chances are it’ll be available for both iOS and Android users on the Apple App and Google Play Store.
  • Open the app and create a new account. Here, you’ll need to provide information such as your name, date of birth, address, email, and last four digits of your social security number. This could also be where you use a bonus or promo code to receive the free bet—check the terms and conditions.
  • Verify your account. Some sportsbooks may ask for a picture of your government-issued ID, and some may only use geolocation software to confirm that you’re physically located within a legal sports betting state.
  • If your offer is a risk-free bet, explore the terms and conditions a bit further. Some may still require a minimum deposit. Follow these.
  • After you’ve sorted out the terms and conditions, it’s time to make your wager using free bets.
  • Find which sport you want to bet on, identify what you want, and add it to the betslip.
  • If you’re using a risk-free bet, the betslip will automatically use it, or there will be some currency/credit you can apply.
  • Wait for the result.

Types of Free Bets

When discussing free bet promotions, it’s essential to know that there are several types of free bets out there on the market today. While some of these may not be available now, they either have been in the past or will be sometime in the future.

Either way, it’s essential to know what each of them is.

Welcome offer free bets

With a welcome offer free bet, you’ll receive a free bet after signing up for a new account. As of January 2022, there aren’t any sportsbooks that offer a straight-up free bet as a welcome bonus; there’s usually something attached to it, like “risk-free” or “bet and get,” which we’ll cover below.

Deposit match free bets

There have been offers in the past that we’ve seen where if you deposit a certain amount of money, you’ll receive a free bet of a certain amount. This may not always be a 1:1. For example, just because you deposit $100 doesn’t mean you’ll receive a $100 free bet.

A standard offer like this would be “deposit $20+ to receive a $5 free bet.”

However, more sportsbooks lately are turning toward “bet and get” offers, which, again, we’ll cover shortly.

Risk-free bets

Risk-free bets are pretty standard for both welcome bonuses and existing player promotions. Numerous sportsbooks like FanDuel, Caesars, and BetRivers offer them.

With risk-free bets, you’ll be able to make your first wager up to a certain amount of money, and if you lose, you’ll receive it back as either a free bet or a site credit.

Bet and Get free bets

As mentioned, a popular promotion that you’ll find for both free betting signup offers and existing players are the “bet and get” offers.

SI Sportsbook has a welcome bonus where if you wager $20, you’ll receive $200 in free bets. This offer requires a promo code “SI200,” a qualifying wager amount ($20), and minimum odds (+120).

Money back free back

These offers are rare but have been seen for a limited time. These are risk-free bets that you make, and instead of getting back a site credit or a free bet, you get your money back. The problem with these from the sportsbook point of view is that you can bet, lose, get your money back and never return to the sportsbook. It’s unclear if we’ll see something like this again unless it’s a limited-time special offer for a new state launch or something similar.

No deposit free bets

A no deposit bonus is receiving site credit simply for creating an account. With a no deposit free bet, it works the same way, only instead of a site credit or bonus funds; you receive a free bet.

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Are Free Bets Really free? What users are saying online about free bets

A term such as “free” in the name of the offer can sometimes cause confusion when it comes to understanding how a free bet offer works.

Above, we looked at the various types of free bets. The most common ones are the standard free bet and risk-free bets.

However, it’s essential to understand what to look for in the terms and conditions of these offers before just reading what the advertisement says and trying to use it.

For example, if a site is advertising a $1,000 risk-free bet, some players may think they can wager on something with -1000 odds and get a quick $100.

While that could be true with some offers, most offers will have minimum odds requirements.

While the SI Sportsbook welcome bonus isn’t what we’re describing here, we mentioned the minimum odds of +120. With some free bets, it could be -200 or something of that sort. So, if you try to use a free bet on something with -201 odds, it won’t work.

Lastly, it’s essential to understand how the payouts on a free bet work.

Let’s say you have a $100 free bet. The minimum odds for the promotion are -200. You find a wager with odds of -120 and use the $100 free bet.

When you put the $100 free bet in the betslip, you saw that the payout would be $183.33. However, after you win, you realize you only have $83.33.

Why?

With free bets, you won’t receive the amount of the free bet back. Instead, you’ll only receive the winnings from a successful wager.

Free bet promos also are a source of angst:

As you can tell from a simple Reddit search, many players run into issues with free and risk-free bets. The problem here is that a lot of times, sportsbooks advertise these promotions. Still, they never delve deeper into the actual terms and conditions. Instead, players see the big, bold letters or “SIGN UP NOW AND RECEIVE A $1,000 RISK-FREE BET” and go to redeem it.

Unfortunately for them, if they read or knew to read the terms and conditions, they’d discover the things we discussed above.

Online sportsbooks could be better at presenting this information, especially when looking to integrate new players into the platform.

Fanduel Pulling $1000 "Risk-Free Promo" - Scam? from sportsbook

What’s the difference between a Free bet and a Risk Free bet

We’ve made mention of risk-free and free bets numerous times already, and other than the word “risk,” there are plenty of differences between these offers.

  • Free Bet: A credit you receive that you can instantly use as long as you follow the terms and conditions. You can use these on a wager, and if you win, you’ll receive the winnings from the bet, not the stake and winnings.
  • Risk-Free Bet: You’ll be required to wager real money at first. If the offer is a $1,000 risk-free bet, you can wager up to $1,000 on a contest within the parameters of the terms and conditions. If you win, you receive your winnings like a typical wager. However, you’ll receive your stake back as a site credit or a free bet if you lose. If it’s a site credit, these could come with wagering requirements, which require you to wager that amount 1x or more in cash before withdrawing. If they’re free bets, you will use them as described above.

Free bets for Existing customers

Cover some of the available free bets in writing. See the example from a competitor here:

BetRivers Free bets

At BetRivers, new sportsbook players will receive a risk-free bet worth up to $500. During your first deposit (minimum $10), you must use promo code “SPORTS” to unlock the offer. After this, you can make a risk-free bet with no minimum odds. So, yes, you could wager $500, not something with -500 odds if you wanted to.

However, if you wager and lose, you’ll receive your bet back as a free bet within 24 hours. You will have 14 days to use the free bet. The free bet you receive back does have minimum odds requirements of -200.

You cannot use the free bet on House Special (boosted odds wagers) or combine them with another promotion.

Fanduel Free bets

FanDuel Sportsbook offers players a $1,000 risk-free bet. This offer used to be more widespread, but it appears FanDuel is whittling down where it’s available. Now, the more widespread offer is based around the NFL Playoffs, where you’ll get $150 in free bets when you wager just $5.

For the risk-free bet, you’ll receive free bets back if you lose. However, this offer has limited information due to its decline in availability.

Instead, we’ll turn to the NFL Playoffs-based offer.

With this offer, you’ll need to make a minimum deposit of $10 and then wager $5 on a game. Within 72 hours, you’ll receive $150 in free bets.

SI Sportsbook Free bets

At SI Sportsbook, you’ll receive $200 in free bets when you wager $20 on a contest with minimum odds of +120. So, it won't be valid if you bet on something with +100 odds. You’ll receive eight free bet tokens for $25 each after the $20 wager is settled, and the free bets expire in seven days.

Tips when claiming Free Bets: Free Bet Restrictions & Terms and Conditions

Expiration Dates

Just because you receive a free bet doesn’t mean you have it until you decide to use it. Sometimes these only last for seven days, and you must use them within that timeframe. Whether it’s a risk-free bet that turns into a free bet or a straight-up free bet, there will be expiration dates for the free bets. As seen by the offers above, seven days is the typical timeline.

Minimum Odds

Always make sure you’re betting on a contest that falls within the minimum odds parameters. While BetRivers doesn’t have any, SI Sportsbook, for example, does.

State Availability & Restrictions

Sometimes, you may see an advertisement about a free bet at a sportsbook that may be available in your state, but the offer itself isn’t valid there. While you may be aware of an offer, this doesn’t mean it’s available in your state. For example, if you’re in New Jersey, FanDuel Sportsbook doesn’t currently offer the $1,000 No Sweat Bet, but it does in Maryland.

Market Restrictions

On top of minimum odds, there may be parameters on what types of bets you can use the free bet on. For example, if parlays are allowed, each leg must be at least -200, or boosted odds bets may not be valid. As mentioned in the BetRivers promotion write-up, you’re unable to use free bets on boosted odds. Additionally, check for parameters surrounding parlays and whether each leg needs to meet the minimum odds requirement. Lastly, there could be restrictions on certain bet types. For example, some offers may be exclusive to live betting.
State regulators in Ohio have gone the extra mile and banned the use of the word "free bet" in marketing. There, the offers are called "bet and get" instead of "free bets"

Minimum Deposit

Just because you’re receiving a free bet doesn’t mean that some online sportsbooks still won’t require a deposit. This also applies to risk-free bets—you may need to deposit anywhere from $10 to $30 to qualify. Even though it’s a free bet, some offers may require a minimum deposit. As noted with the FanDuel “bet and get” offer, you must deposit at least $10 even though you only need to wager $10.

Sports betting markets with Free bets

While free bet promotions for new players don’t typically discriminate based on the sport, some offers are catered toward certain sports or events within that sport.

We’ll look at some below.

NFL Free bets

As seen with the FanDuel Sportsbook welcome offer above, once you deposit at least $10 and wager $5 on an NFL Playoff game, you’ll receive $150 in free bets regardless of the game’s outcome.

NBA Free bets

After browsing around, there aren’t any NBA-specific sports betting free play options. Instead, we’ll look at one of the offers from Tipico Sportsbook.

One of the welcome bonuses Tipico offers is a $350 Protected Bet.

With this offer, you’ll receive a free bet in the amount of your wager, worth up to $350. You will have seven days to opt in and use the Protected Bet. There are no minimum/maximum odds for this offer.

Super Bowl Free bets

At Caesars Sportsbook, new players will receive a risk-free bet welcome bonus worth up to $1,250.

To qualify, you must deposit at least $10 and wager at least $10 within 30 days of creating your account. If you lose, you’ll receive a one-time-use free bet that you must use within 14 days.

March Madness Free bets

PointsBet Sportsbook offers new players a $100 free bet each day over the first five days of having their new account. You’ll receive $500 in free bets, but you must bet with the free bet daily; otherwise, you’ll lose it. You can only use the free bets on fixed odds wagers and must use promo code “WELCOME” during the sign-up process. You will receive each free bet within 24 hours of the previous one settling. You can split each $100 free bet up to four times, generating four $25 free bets on March Madness. There are no minimum odds requirements.

Conclusion - Free bet promotions

Free bets can be a great way to add a little extra money to your bankroll, but they come with many terms and conditions that you need to be aware of. As you saw with the Reddit post examples, these can be confusing for many players, especially those that aren’t as well-versed in free betting sign-up offers or sports betting free play.

There are multiple types of free bets that all have their pros and cons. Still, anytime you can receive a credit from a sportsbook that can turn into money added to your wallet, this is something you should always consider.

Be sure to refer to this resource if you feel stuck or need clarification regarding a free bet offer.

Continue using our tools to find the best free bet offers across all sportsbooks in the United States.

FAQ Free Bets

🤔 What are the best free bets promotions right now?

There are currently a lot of free bet promotions available to sports betting fans. Two of the most popular are offered by SI Sportsbook and FanDuel. SI Sportsbook rewards you with free bets totaling $200, when you sign up and place your first bet of $20. Alternatively, FanDuel gives you a risk free first bet when you join. This means that if your first bet of up to $1000 loses, FanDuel will refund your stake in the form of free bets.

❓Where can I find free bets promo codes?

The best way to find free bet promo codes is to read our operator reviews. These reviews give you the very latest free bet promo codes to use, as well as explaining exactly how to claim them. In most cases, there will be a text box on the sign up or deposit page of operator websites. Simply insert a valid promo code and the free bets are yours.

🥇 What is the best free bets bonus?

Betfred's new customer offer requires you to wager $50 in order to release $250 in free bet funds. Whereas, Bet365 gives you up to $200 in free bets when you make your first bet of $1. It is essential to fully assess all free bet offers and decide which ones are right for you.

🏈 How do I use a free bet bonus in the best possible way?

By betting normally. There can be a temptation to be adventurous when using free bets because you cannot lose any money. However, the sensible approach is to use your free bets in the same way as normal cash bets. This means, looking for value, doing your research, and betting with your head.

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