The Bookies – or Bookmakers – to give them their official title are all fighting for your custom. In order to try and reel you in and gain your custom they offer a vast array of incentives, mainly in the form of a free bet.
With some you will just get the one free bet when you join, with others it can be this and more. For example there is a regular Bet365 £50 Free Bet offer for existing customers on top of their generous Sign Up offer of £200.
Paddy Power is another Bookie who offer regular incentives for existing customers, they quite regularly offer cash back on losing bets, such as money back if your first or last goalscorer bet loses because a game finished 0-0, etc. There are all sorts of offers like this.
Going back to the free bets, and nearly all will offer one of these to new customers. For those Bookies who don’t, it could be that they have withdrawn it for a reason, but it should be worth waiting a few weeks as they will probably go back to offering one at some stage eventually.
There is generally two sorts of sign up Free Bets they offer for new customers. They are the ‘out and out free bet’ no matter what – the real title for this is ‘Free Matched Bet.’ And the ‘free bet, but only if your first bet losses’ offer.
The ‘out and out free bet’ are the ones I prefer. Usually what will happen is the bookie will match your first bet with a free bet to the same value, whether that bet wins, loses or draws. So you basically find out what the maximum bet amount is. For this example’s sake, lets say it is £50. You place your £50 qualifying bet, you then lay it on Betfair (so you don’t lose your £50). The bookie then credits your account with a £50 free bet to do what you want with.
The other sort of offer, the ‘free bet if your first bet losses’ offer is one I’m not to keen on. You can make money from these, but they are not as good as the out and out free bet offers. For this reason I tend to leave these offers alone and wait in the hope that the bookies will change strategy to a ‘Free Matched Bet’ offer, instead.