There are several types of free bets you can benefit from at various bookmakers. They differ from bookmaker to bookmaker, but in general they have some common characteristics. Every bookmaker imposes their own terms and conditions for free bets and those conditions change in every new promo campaign. It is impossible to explain you how to take every single of them in one article, but we can give you some general information on what should you be aware of and how to take free bets the best way to make some profit from them.
We must accent that it is not possible to make a living from taking only free bets, but there are some advanced methods you can use to lock in a profit when the opportunity arises. This article is sorted among beginners articles due to the fact that explains the basics of free bets, but will also reveal you some secrets that only advanced bettors know.
How to qualify for a free bet?
First term you should know about is “qualifying bet”. Qualifying bet is a first condition in most promotions that award free bets. Of course, there are some promotions that don't require any sort of qualifying bet to be made (such as no deposit bonus), but those are very rare ones to encounter.
On example, bookmaker A-bet has a promotion where they give 10 EUR free bet if your qualifying bet of 20 EUR on correct score of Arsenal-Manchester United match losses and match ends 0:0. So, first you have to make a qualifying bet to be able to participate in this promotion. Qualifying bets usually have certain conditions like: they must be placed on odds above 2.0 (evens) or in our case it would be that they must not be placed on correct score 0:0 as it is the condition for free bet to be awarded.
To qualify for the free bet all we must do is to place a bet of 20 EUR on correct score other than 0:0. Condition that match must end up 0:0 has usually around 5-10% chance of happening. This is an example of relatively hard to get free bet, but there are some other promotions where chance of qualifying for free bet is much higher. There is always a chance that your qualifying bet wins, in that case you won't get a free bet, but you will profit nicely.
OMG I won a free bet!
Arsenal-Man match surprisingly ended 0:0 and as we placed on correct score 1:1, we lost our qualifying bet and qualified for free bet. Free bets are usually awarded from several minutes from final whistle up to 48 hours after the match ended. Sometimes you have to contact their customer service to claim this free bet or even opt in into the promotion prior to placing a qualifying bet. Really depends on a bookmaker and promotion so the best way is to read with understanding all terms and conditions of a promotion you want to participate in.
Finally we got our 10 EUR free bet and now have to convert it into real money. Every free bet that is awarded usually has some sort of rollover conditions. These conditions can include sports on which they can be placed, types of markets you can play, how high odds must be on which you can place and how many times you must rollover free bet funds. Usually free bets have to be played only once in order to convert into real money that can be withdrawn, but depends on promotion's terms and conditions.
The other fact you should be aware of is that when you rollover (place a bet) your free bet, free bet money is deducted from your possible winnings. So, bookmakers payout only the winnings from free bet not including 10 EUR amount of free bet in a case your free bet wins.
Is there a way to make guaranteed profit from a free bet?
There is a way. To use it, you should have an open account at one of the betting exchanges. The reason is because you want to hedge your free bet. Not only free bet, you can hedge your qualifying bet as well by laying the selection you played on bookmaker that is offering a free bet. Well, you can do the same if you have open account on some other bookmakers by balancing out winnings from betting on other selections of the same market you are originally betting to get the free bet, but laying on betting exchange is much easier way.
On example, we place 20 EUR bet on lowest odds - Arsenal to win 1:0. Then we head to the betting exchange and lay the same selection to win 20 EUR back. Here we need a bit more liability on the betting exchange (7 or 8 x 20 EUR). On this qualifying bet we lose a very small amount of our stakes : commission + small difference in odds. If we win free bet, then we can repeat the process with free bet, but having in mind that free bet amount doesn't return. From this you can usually win around 7 to 8 EUR RISK FREE from 10 EUR free bet. Now, imagine you can repeat this process 10 times a day.
What is matched betting?
Betting for sole purpose of making risk free bets from free bets and locking in a profit is called matched betting. It is called like this because every bet you make, you match it on betting exchange. There is some serious money that can be made if you are a professional in matched betting, you can even make it a secondary job. It is possible because there are dozens of bookmakers that offer various promotions worth of taking. They don't all have free bet promotions every day, but having 50-70 accounts on different bookmakers and taking those promotions as they appear can add up to some good cash at the end of a month.
Unfortunately for the rest of you, some serious money can be made only if you are a citizen of the UK or Ireland because most bookmakers that offer free bets promotions are concentrated to UK market. Still, if you are not from the UK, there are some free bet promotions from time to time at other bookmakers and it is not hard to learn how to make risk free profit from them the way I have described.
If you are from the UK, then there are some free websites that collect information where you can have free bets. There are also some paid sites that do it much better than free sites and money you can make from simply using paid information is much better. Having a paid site also saves a lot of time as you don't need to investigate by yourself where to take free bets, what are the terms and conditions and similar. The best one is Profitaccumulator. With this site, we earned 2000 GBP the first month we joined. It takes some time to learn all the tricks and it is a full time job to earn this kind of money, but certainly worth of giving a try.