There is no better way to find the right bookie than by trying a few out for yourself. At Onlinebetting.org.uk we recommend you keep a few bookmakers in your portfolio to give yourself the best chance of finding the right events, markets, odds and offers each week. If you are going to sample a range of betting sites then you might as well do it by taking advantage of the numerous sign up bonuses and free bets on offer from leading UK betting sites.
Most online bookmakers we list on this site provide a sign up bonus and although many of these deals sound the same there are in fact a range of introductory offers available with very different terms and requirements. Here we will explain the various types of sign up offers available and show you the best free bets around so that you can get the most out of your online bookmaker.
All bookies on this site are fully UK regulated, meaning your money is safe. In addition all bookmaker offers listed here have been tried and tested by us. With so many welcome offers and free bets available why not try more than one? Simply click the free bet or bonus you like on this page to claim, sign up and try them out to find out for yourself? Click more details to read our in depth reviews of each site.
UK Free Bet Offers (Full List)
£30 Free Bet & 30 Free Spins
Excellent Customer Retention
Best Football Odds
Boost Your Own Odds
Bet £25 Weekly Get £5 Free
Use Code 30F
Top Football Prices
Tons of Daily Offers
£10 Sports/£10 Exchange
If 1st Bet Loses
£15 Free Bet, £15 Spins
2 x £10 Free Tokens
£15 Minimum Bonus
4 x £5 Free Bets
Use On 3+ Acca
£1 No Deposit Free Bet
Matched From £10+
Promo Code BDQ10
First 3+ Acca Matched
Valid 14 Days
Free Bets and Sign Up Bonus Explained
There is no such thing as a free lunch, but luckily there is such a thing as a free bet. Competition in online bookmaking is fierce and you can get access to better offers with online bookmakers than with most other things in life.
You will never get these types of offers in betting shops but getting access to sign up bonuses online is easy. Find an offer that you like on here that fits the amount you want to deposit or stake, making sure you read our bookmaker offer summaries clearly first so you understand the terms. Sign up and deposit the appropriate amount to activate the introductory offer or free bet, you may need to enter a code if required. To place your free bet or use your sign up bonus you should select your bet as usual making sure, if necessary, you check the correct box in the bet slip to wager using promotional funds.
Terms vary so please check carefully before you play. Some offers require you to play through your deposit first, often on selections with minimum odds. The free bet or bonus itself may have an expiry and certain bet types and markets may not qualify for the free bet or offer. We explain all of this clearly in our summaries to help you make the right bets.
Punters wager their welcome offer cash in different ways. Effectively you are getting something for nothing and you can decide if you want to throw caution to the wind or go for the safe option. Some will use their free offer to back a selection with high odds and hope it comes in for a big win, if you sign up to enough bookies with this strategy hopefully one of the big bets will come in. Others will exploit the maths with their sign up offer and back a selection using a free bet and then either back against this selection on another sportsbook or lay the same bet on an exchange. This will work as long as you have your maths right.
There is no right or wrong way to use a free bet sign up offer, use it however you want and most importantly enjoy playing with it. Use your introductory sign up offer to try the betting site out, place multiple bets if terms allow on pre-event and in-play markets to get a feel for whether you want to carry on betting with that bookmaker after you have used your offer. After all when you've finished using sign up freebies you will need a bookmaker that fits you for the longer term.
Matched Deposit Sign Up Bonus
This is the best type of sign up offer going, and fortunately many more online bookmakers are going this way.
This type of offer will give you a percentage of your first deposit (sometimes further deposits too), usually 50-100%, up to given maximum amount to play with as bonus cash. The bonus usually does not have to be wagered in one go and you can bet with it as you would bet with normal cash, i.e. you can spend it on most bet types and most markets.
To roll-over any using bonus cash you will generally need to bet on selections above a minimum odds threshold – This means you can't stick the whole bonus on a banker bet at say 1/5 just to get free cash. Most minimum odds are in the region of 1/2+ (1.50).
The bonus cash is often withdrawable but only after both the initial deposit and bonus have been rolled over a few times, this can also be termed the wagering requirement or play through. If, for example, you are given 100% matched deposit sign up bonus and you deposit £50 you will get £50 in bonus cash. If the deposit and bonus amounts needs to be rolled over say three times then you will need to play through £300 worth of bets in total before you can withdraw the bonus as cash. Some terms will state the rollover as the deposit + bonus, others will state it using the bonus amount only. For example, 3x deposit and bonus roll-over is the same as 6x the bonus (if the bonus is 100%).
Welcome bonus cash will generally expire after a given period so be sure to play through your bonus before this happens. Most bonuses don't expire for around 30+ days, although always check. Bonuses also tend to last longer than free bets. Some bonuses come up an upper payment cap, although this should be well in excess of the bonus amount itself.
Free bets are the most common type of sign up offer. Deposit and bet an amount of money, usually both £10, and you will be credited with a single free bet, or several free bet tokens, to play with as you like. Usually the initial qualifying wager for the free bet will require minimum odds to be met, usually 1/2 or Evens+. The free bet will generally need to be wagered in one transaction, unless you are awarded multiple free bets. Either way each individual token must be bet in one go.
You may sign up a bookie who is offering a single £30 free bet and this must be wagered in one go. You could sign up to another bookie also offering £30 in free bets but in this case they are giving three £10 free bets. This is a better offer as you now have the flexibility to place multiple bets or one big bet.
In comparison to bonuses free bets tend to give you a higher percentage reward, usually up to around 300%, and require lower deposits or stakes to get the maximum amount. Conversely bonuses are more flexible and allow you to vary your bets, perhaps giving you more opportunity to win and certainly giving you more opportunity to try out the betting site. Free bets don't tend to have minimum odds themselves, unlike bonus roll-overs, although they can come with maximum odds.
Free bets usually have an expiry and if you do not use the bet by this time the token(s) will be rescinded. Free bets may also have a payment cap that is different from usually maximum payout limits so check in advance if you are punting your whole bet on a 1000/1 shot.
Risk Free Bets
A risk free bet is the lowest value offer for a comparable amount of money, for example a £25 free bet is better than a £25 risk free bet. A risk free bet, sometimes referred to as first bet insurance or money back, will only give you a free bet if your initial stake loses. If you sign up and bet say £25 to get a £25 risk free bet offer then you will only get the free bet if your first £25 cash bet loses. If your first bet wins you will be given no bonus at all.
This doesn't mean to say risk free bets are not worth taking as value is relative to the amount offered. A risk free bet of £50 will give you more winnings overall than a conventional free bet of £10, for this reason risk free bets tend to be of a higher value than free bets. These are the offers that people tend to go for if they have used most other introductory offers, or they just want to bet with that particular bookie
Stakes Returned and Not Returned
A stake is the amount of money that you place on a bet. A conventional cash bet with a stake of £10 at odds of 4/1 will give you £50 if you win, this consists of £40 in winnings with your £10 stake returned. Most free bets and some deposit bonus offers will not your return your bonus stake if your bet wins. In the case of a non-stake returned £10 free bet at odds of 4/1 you will receive £40 in winnings but no return of stake.
It is mainly bonuses that give you your stake returned with winnings. Once you have met the wagering requirement the bonus amount itself, along with any winnings, is returned as cash that you could then withdraw. A free bet will not give you your promotional funds back but your winnings are returned as cash straight away. A bonus will give you the free funds as cash eventually but you will need to bet more to get it as cash.
With some introductory sign up offers you will occasionally see enhanced odds rather than a specific value free bet. These types of offers tend to come in two formats. The first format would be something like 'Treble the odds on your first bet', this type of bet can be wagered on whatever you like within the limits of the terms and will pay you out enhanced winnings.
The second type of enhanced odds sign up offer for new customers will offer specific enhanced odds on a given event or market if you sign up and bet. For example, Arsenal are playing Fulham in the FA cup final, the real odds of Arsenal winning will be fairly short, below evens for sure, an enhanced odds sign up bonus might offer something like 5/1 on Arsenal to win the FA cup if you sign up and bet with them. These types of offers will have a maximum stake but as you are using your own cash to bet with the stake will be returned as cash, although extra winnings will usually be as a free bet or bonus. We feature these offers on our home page if you are interested.
Some bookies do more enhanced price offers than others, Coral are a good example of a bookie that offer regular enhanced odds sign up offers around big events. It can sometimes be more profitable to take an enhanced odds offer around a big event than sign up through the conventional welcome bonus. Quite often with these types of introductory offer if the enhanced odds bet loses you will be given a free bet anyway which makes it a no brainer.
Try to not sign up to all the bookie welcome offers at once. It can be better to wait for big events such as Cheltenham, Ascot, a football cup final, etc., to get the best enhanced terms. We update our offers on onlinebetting.or.uk regularly so check back here for enhanced terms around big sporting events.