What Cricket Bettors Need to Know About Free Bets
One of the most common draws betting sites use to lure new bettors in – and in many cases distinguish themselves from other books – is to offer promotions.
It’s nothing new. Even brick and mortar casinos do it.
But online casinos and sportsbooks tend to be more generous. And I think that’s because they have so little overhead compared to a brick and mortar book. They can afford to give more away.
Anyway, sportsbooks offer all different kinds of promotions. Deposit bonuses. Rebates. Reduced juice.
They also offer something called a ‘free bet’.
That’s what we’re going to focus on here.
If you already know what a free bet is and how they work, then we’ll just point you in the direction of the sportsbooks with the best offers. You’ll find those below.
There are plenty of other offers though, like Paddy Power has a bet €10, get a €30 free bet, Betfair offers new customers €20 free bet, you can check out the Sky Bet free bet, casinos like Guts, LeoVegas and others have free bets from time to time. The list seems to be quite long so we will stop there.
Everyone else – let’s dive into the mechanics of the free bet, starting with what it is.
What is a Free Bet?
This can be confusing. Free bets can mean something different to each person. So, let me try to clear it up.
Some people look at free bets and think deposit bonus. Not us.
I look at free bets as either:
No Deposit Bets – You’re eligible to create a real money account. You create one and you’re given a free bet of $5 or $10. Sometimes more.
Rebates – You make a bet like normal. If you win, you get nothing. But if you lose the sportsbook will cover your losses. But only on one bet.
This will differ from book to book. How they position the offer may also vary. For example, at 888 Sport they have a $5 free bet every week you place a bet on a pre-match and in-play bet on the same Premier League game on Saturdays.
Do that and they’ll give you a $5 free to use on any in-play market.
In some cases, you can get a free bet when you create a new account at a sportsbook. For example, last year we posted about how 888 was offering a free $10 bet to anyone who created an account to bet on cricket.
And if that’s the only welcome offer they have, then by all means grab it.
However, most sportsbooks have a larger welcome offer. It might be tripling your first bet 3x (888), a $250 bonus (Bovada) or getting reduced juice (5dimes) – but no matter what they are they’re usually a bit more generous than a $5 or $10 bet.
Of course, the rules for a larger bonus will be much harder to complete than the smaller ones.
Before You Claim Your Free Bet, Know This…
All promotions have rules.
Sportsbooks have to, otherwise it’d be too easy to scam them for free cash and then run away. So, they usually put a few rules in place to make sure the odds are in their favor.
Some free bet offers will be like deposit bonuses. You’ll need to wager the free bet and/or the money you win “x” times before you can request a withdrawal.
The good news is that, unlike casinos, the rollover is pretty small. Most of the ones I’ve seen for anything sportsbook related, let alone free bets, are less than 5x. Usually 1-2x.
Rollover requirements aren’t the norm for the free bet offers I see, though.
What I usually see are rules on what you can bet on. For example, take the $5 Premier League offer I mentioned above. You need to place a $10 bet on a pre-match and another $10 on a live bet at odds of 1/2 (1.5) or greater.
Sometimes it’s a specific market.
For example, take another offer from 888. You’ll receive a free bet refund if a late goal downs your bet.
In this case you need to bet at least $5 on the Win-Draw-Win or Correct Score markets on any Premier League, La Liga or Champions League this season.
And if a goal is scored from the 88th minute until the end of regulation, which results in you losing your bet, they reimburse you with a free bet worth up to $25.
So, it just varies.
But one thing is for sure – usually free bets are easy to clear. They’re small, so sportsbooks have much less at stake. And since they determine the markets, min odds, and max amount they can lose, often times you’re at a disadvantage anyway.
That’s the idea behind a free bet.
These are fun little offers that often give you a chance to make a bet risk-free. And a lot of times it’s on markets or at odds you wouldn’t otherwise make.
So feel free to grab them when you can. With cricket picking up steam there should be several free bet offers running so you can try out cricket betting online for the first time. Just check out our list of betting site reviews or picks blog for more details.