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Bookmaker bonuses and free bets FAQs: answered!


Feb 9, 2023

In order to get the most out of your betting, you need to fully understand the potential and limitations of bonuses and free bets. These are your chances to pick up free value, possibly free money, but it’s also important to know if you’re overestimating some of the terms. Betting sign up offers are the most well-known, so let’s start with them.

How do I claim a sign-up bonus?

The first step when signing at a company because of a lucrative offer is to read the terms and conditions. This should not only help you understand how to claim it, but it will let you know of any limitations. There are different types of sign up bonuses, but one of the most common is to receive a free bet after depositing and betting some of your own money.

For example, Coral currently claims “Get £20 free bet when you bet £5”. In order to know how to claim this, you must read the small print, because it clearly states that your £5 bet must have a minimum odds of 1/2. If it’s shorter than this, you will not qualify.

How does my free bet work?

In the above example, you will simply receive 1x £5 free bet – this cannot be divided into 5 lots of £1 bets, for example. Furthermore, depending on the free bet, you may not receive back your stake in the scenario that you win your bet. So, a £5 free bet on Chelsea to win with odds of 2/1 will mean that you receive £10 winnings, but not the £5 stake (if it was a normal bet, you would receive £15). So, winning a 1/1 bet essentially means winning £5 cash in exchange for the free bet.

Cash, here, highlights an important detail: you can withdraw cash. You cannot withdraw a free bet, as it’s kind of like a voucher or credit.

Can I withdraw my winnings from a bonus bet?

This depends. You likely can if it doesn’t say in the T&Cs, but some (mostly casinos) will state that the bonus money that you receive (i.e. “receive £30 free when you sign up) will require you to bet your £30 a certain amount of times. For example, you may have to bet the equivalent of four times the amount of the bonus money in order to validate it for withdrawing – sometimes with minimum odds requirements too.

So, in the example of 4x, you would need to make £120 worth of bets to make any winnings you have left valid for withdrawal from your £30 free bonus money. Fortunately, these bets can be spread over time.

Do bonuses expire?

Perhaps not all, but most bonuses and free bets will have an expiry date. This means that the bonus must be exercised (i.e. a bet placed using the free bet credit) before a given date. If it expires, it will be removed totally from your account.

How do I gain help when you’re unsure?

Use the Live Chat feature. Customer service is paramount to your choice of bookmakers, so if you have a bad experience, don’t hesitate to move to a company that is willing to assist you with your queries.

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