Why Free Bets are Not Always a Good Thing

Tuesday, 18th June 2019 7:13pm

There is an old proverb that says: "In a bet there is a fool and a thief".

Here at BetAid, we want to ensure you are neither. This is why we are keen to offer our insights into the world of betting, sharing advice, tips and statistics to stamp out problem gambling for good.

Below, we take a look at ‘free bets’; a type of betting promotion that is responsible for over 65% of betting site registrations.

What are free bets?

Free bets are, as the name suggests, bets that you can place for free, gifted to users by their respective betting providers. Being an attractive prospect for most, free bets are said to give you a chance to try betting products without parting with your own, hard-earned cash. However, when taking a deeper look into free bets, this is far from true, with free bets actually responsible for attracting many people to gambling in the first place.

The most common forms of free bets include:

Matched stake bonus/free bet
Free bet series
First deposit bonuses
First win free bet
Free loss free bet

Matched stake bonus

Matched free bets are a popular type of promotion that almost every sports betting site and online casino promotes. Basically, the provider will offer a £5, £10, £20 or even £100 free bet when the user spends the same amount with them. Where this may sound like a great way to start your betting journey on the front foot, what it actually does is ensures you are spending with them and spending the amount they want you to.

Plus, these are never just a free for all. Minimum odds usually apply.

Free bet series

A betting provider will want to lock you into them for as long as possible, seeing you spend with their business on a regular basis. This is the thinking behind a free bet series, a free bet set-up that is on-going and based over a long period of time. These can range from week-long promotions to deals that span over months on end. An example of a free bet series would be depositing £10 every week to get a free £10 to bet with on the weekend's sport.

First deposit bonus

With so many betting sites out there and new providers popping up daily, competition is fierce in the betting market. This is why gambling businesses are doing all they can to position themselves as the provider of choice. One way they are enticing new people on board is with first deposit bonuses.

Making customers feel safe and that they have nothing to lose, first deposit bonus deals can be rather deceptive.

Translated as percentages, first deposit bonuses usually come in the form of 100% or 50%.

For instance, if you make a deposit of £100 and the deal is a 50% bonus, you will be able to bet with £150 with that betting provider. You will be asked to wager winnings through a number of times, heightening the chance of coming unstuck and placing a losing bet or bets.

First win free bet

A free betting bonus for winning a bet sounds ideal, right? But, when you put some thought into it, it is not a hugely lucrative deal. This is because winning bets are not a given and are more often than not the result of many failed attempts to turn a profit. So, in order to get that first bet win bonus, you may have had to lose twice as much, making the whole process financially draining on you, the bettor.

First loss free bet

A first loss free bet is, as its name suggests, a bonus awarded to a gambler when they experience their first loss. Though it may go a short way in reimbursing you for your losses, such promotions actually provide gamblers with a false sense of security, giving them the mindset that losing isn’t the end of the world.

Just think, if you know you are going to get a kickback if your bet doesn’t come in, you may be willing to take more risks, spend more and generally become more reckless with your account.

The T’s and C’s

If you do have to claim a free bet of any kind, we urge you to read the T’s and C’s before opting in to any type of promotion. It is important that you do this for each free bet you claim and for each site you visit, with requirements differing from brand to brand. And, if you are experiencing issues with gambling and wish to retract from a promotion or get some clarity on a deal, be sure to contact the site’s customer service team via telephone, email or Live Chat.

Are you experiencing problems with gambling?

If you are concerned that your relationship with gambling is becoming unhealthy, then you have landed on the right website. This is because at BetAid, we are a responsible gambling resource facility, giving our users all the information and support they need to prevent a gambling addiction from forming and combating issues should they arise.