A great way to attract new customers to an online sports betting site is with free bets. This type of offer is very exciting for any punter because it gives you the chance to place a bet on a sportsbook, but not risk your own money if you lose.

In this guide, we’ll take a close look at what free bets are and where to find them. We’ll also assess the different types of free bets found online and help you understand how they work. In addition, we want to give a good overview of the terms and conditions of this offer. Since it’s so attractive, you must be aware of the most common requirements for placing bets and withdrawing the winnings.

What is a free bet?

When you’re lucky enough to get a free bet, it means that you have the chance to place a wager without using your own funds. Under normal circumstances, you need to add money into your sportsbook account and use that cash to place bets. With a free bet, the sportsbook is basically giving your free money to use to place a bet. If you lose the bet, you don’t lose your own money. But if you win the bet, the winnings are credited into your account.

This generally sounds very ideal, but this type of offer comes with some terms and conditions. Each online sportsbook in the US will have its own rules around how the free bet works on its platform. These rules could be anything from which sports you can use the bonus bet on, to under what circumstances you can withdraw winnings from a free bet.

But, why would a US betting site offer free bets in the first place? Well, one of the most exciting ways online sports betting sites compete with each other is through bonus offers such as free bets. These offers are designed to attract people to their online platforms, make a deposit and place a bet. With regular offers, they hope that the customers will keep coming back. It can be considered an acquisition and retention form of marketing.

How to claim a free bet

Claiming a free bet is not hard if you know where to look. Not all sportsbooks offer these, so the hard part is figuring out which ones have them on offer. You might need a promo code to access one, or you might need to sign up with them for the first time. Either way, we’ll give you a step-by-step guide on the most common way to get the best free bets:

  1. Pick a betting site that offers free bets in our list – Not all sportsbooks offer free bets, so you’ll need to check what type of bonuses they do have. If free bets are included, then click to find out more about the bonus. Some might only be for new sign-ups, and if you already have an account with the online sports betting site, you won’t be able to claim the free bet. That’s why you need to pick the right one so that you get to take advantage of a free bet offer.
  2. Check the sportsbook homepage to see if they have a free bet promotion running – A reliable place to see if there are any free bet offers is to check the online sports betting site itself. It’s one of the most reliable places to find valid promo codes and bonuses that haven’t expired yet. In addition, it’s also a great place to find out the terms and conditions so that you make sure that you actually qualify for the free bet.
  3. Create your account on the betting site – The registration process on US betting sites is very quick and easy. You’ll be asked for basic information such as your name, email, and a secure password. Some sportsbooks will also require you to prove your age and your location. This is to ensure that they are in line with the state’s sports betting laws. A registered, legit sportsbook will make sure to use the latest security features, so, your personal details will be safe.
  4. Use a promo code if needed – During the registration process, you’ll be asked to provide a promo code, if you have one. This request is usually one of the fields you need to fill out when signing up for the sportsbook. If the code is valid, it’ll be accepted by the site and if it’s not, you’ll get a notification that it’s not valid. When this happens, double-check if you entered the promo code correctly. You can also check with the customer service team to see if they can assist you.
  5. Deposit if required – Some sportsbooks may require you to make a deposit before you get your free bet. Others, however, may offer free bets and no deposit bonuses. This means you’ll get your free bet even without adding any cash into your account. But, when you see such an offer, you need to be careful and read the terms and conditions. There may be some very strict rules such as high wagering requirements before you can withdraw your winnings from the free bet.
  6. Receive your free bet bonus – When you’ve successfully completed the above steps, you’ll see your free bet credited into your account. You can then use it to place bets based on the terms and conditions of the bonus.
  7. Start betting for free – Check out the various sports available in the sportsbook and start placing your bets. With the free bet, make sure that you use the right strategy to increase your chances of winning it. Study the sports you want to bet on and make note of the teams’ most recent performances. Avoid unnecessary risks at this point because you want to make sure you win. Signing up with a sportsbook to get a free bet is one of the most common ways of getting one because it’s usually a welcome bonus. However, there are many other ways for you to get free bet bonuses if you’re already signed up with the sportsbook. Alternatively, you can receive a free bet from customer service as a gift, automatically on signing up to the sportsbook, or through an ad.

Different kinds of free bets available in the US

Though the name of the bonus speaks for itself, there are actually a number of different types of free bets. Each sportsbook will explain to you what type of free bet they are offering based on their terms and conditions. We’ll take a close look at each of them below.

  • Risk-free bet – When you have a risk-free bet bonus, you have a chance to place a bet, and if it loses, you keep your stake. It’s a way of ensuring that you keep your account’s cash safe. A great thing about no risk-free bets is that you can afford to be more strategic and daring with your bets. You have the chance to bet on a sport you’ve never wagered on before, for example. This is because you basically have nothing to lose if the bet doesn’t go your way.
  • Cashback free bet – With a cashback free bet, it means that you’ll get your money back in the form of a free bet if the bet loses. Usually, the cashback amount is not infinite. This means that the sportsbook will say something like “10% cashback free bet of up to $100”. That means that if you lose $200, you’ll only get a free bet worth $100 from the sportsbook. This is why you must read the terms and conditions of the cashback free bet. It’ll help you avoid betting more than you can lose if you’re leaning on the free bet cashback as insurance.
  • Stake Not Returned free bet – Normally, when you place a wager, and you win, you’ll get back your stake plus the winnings. However, with a stake not returned free bet, it means that if you place a free bet, and you win, you only get the winnings credited into your account. You need to keep this in mind when you calculate how much you could add to your bankroll with a free bet win. The rules of this bonus will be clearly stated in the terms and conditions, so make sure to read those.
  • Boosted odds free bet – A sportsbook’s odds play a big role in giving punters a good deal in terms of winnings on their bets. Each sportsbook has different odds calculators and so, you want to get the best possible odds from them. That’s why a boosted odds free bet is so valuable. You have the chance to win even more from the free bet. However, this type of bonus is most likely to be limited to a specific game. Make sure you know the rules of the game if you’ve never bet on it before.
  • Matching deposit free bet: If you have a free bet offer that requires you to make a deposit first, then you might get a deposit match bonus free bet. When a sportsbook offers you this, it means that they will give you a free bet that has the same value as your deposit amount. However, this free bet’s value may be up to a certain amount, and so, isn’t infinite. For example, the sportsbook might offer a matching deposit free bet worth up to $20.

Common terms and conditions when betting for free

As mentioned before, each sportsbook will have its own terms and conditions for getting a free bet and what you can do to withdraw winnings from it. You must know what they are so that you meet them in order to enjoy the benefits of betting for free. Make sure you understand the following before you claim your free bet bonus:

  • Wagering requirements: You might need to place several bets worth a certain amount of money before you can withdraw your free bet winnings. Details of these are available in the sportsbook’s terms and conditions.
  • Expiry date: Your free bet is likely to have an expiry date. Make sure to use it during the validity period.
  • Limited sports markets and bets: Chances are that you’ll only be able to use the free bet for specific sports, which limits your choices.


Do free bets expire?

Yes, free bets expire. A free bet offer is most likely to have a requirement to be used within a specific time. The validity period is usually visibly on the banner with information on the free bet offer. If it's not there, check the terms and conditions of the free bet bonus offer. You'll need to make sure that you use the free bet before it expires.

Is there a catch with free bets?

Yes, there is a catch with free bets. There are always terms and conditions as well as wagering requirements when you get free bets. These rules will give you an indication of where and how you can use the free bet. These conditions could be considered a “catch” for this type of bonus.

Will there be a minimum deposit amount to receive my free bet in the US?

Yes, there is likely to be a minimum deposit amount to receive a free bet. Each sportsbook has its own rules for free bet bonuses. The amount will be indicated in the rules of the free bet offer. However, some sportsbooks might offer a free bet as a no deposit bonus.