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Guide To Online Sports Betting Promotions

One of the great things about online betting in 2022 is the bonus offers and promotions that new and existing punters can snap up. From the chance to make free and risk free bets, to having your first real money deposit automatically doubled, today's online betting bonuses really do make sports gambling more exciting, lucrative, and profitable for British bettors.

In this guide we'll take you through the different types of promotional offers you'll encounter betting online in Britain. Including:

  • Risk free betting and how to get a losing stake returned to you in free bets
  • How to use a bookmaker's free bet welcome bonus to your advantage
  • Why just opening an account will unlock a deposit bonus at UK betting sites

Why Online Bookies Offer Promotions

Sports betting bonuses exist as a way to coax in British gamblers to register for an account at online betting site. They come in many forms in 2022, as competition between a growing number of bookmaker sites and betting exchanges online is fuelling demand for bigger and better promotions. This is something anyone looking to wager on real sports in the UK can take advantage of.

Far from being a flash in the pan, today's sports betting promotions are aimed at keeping betting site members loyal as much as attracting new ones. So once your initial welcome offer has been worked off you won't be short of other promotions to pique your interest and boost your bankroll even further.

In fact, the most experienced British gamblers know that signing up to several betting sites at once is the key to getting the most bonus action in 2022. This is something even the online bookies themselves are aware of when they create their bonus offers.

Learn How Online Betting Odds Work

The Different Types Of Online Bonus

If you're new to the bonuses available at UK sports betting sites, here are the main ones you'll encounter.


Deposit Match

A deposit match bonus is a percentage match on your first real money top-up to your betting account. It can usually only be claimed once, at the point you make your very first cash deposit. There'll usually also be a minimum amount you have to pay in yourself in order to qualify for the offer, but usually this is as low as £10. Some online bookies will match your deposit value 100% - effectively giving you double the money in your bankroll. Others can take their deposit bonuses even higher, sometimes tripling or quadrupling the amount you've invested.


No Deposit Bonus

A deposit free bonus, or no deposit bonus as it's also often called, is when a bookmaker rewards you just for registering for an account. The offer on the table will be available as soon as your new account is confirmed, usually by a link sent to you via email. You won't have to deposit any of your own money to claim this offer, which is why some online gamblers regard these bonuses as risk free. However, their value is usually lower than a deposit match bonus - and they normally have a few T&Cs attached too. So it's worth reading the small print with these ones.


Free Bet Bonus

This is the promotion most commonly associated with UK online sportsbooks. With this offer, you usually have to be a new depositing member to qualify. The bet can take on a value of between £5 to around £25. Though a £10 or £15 free bet is most likely. You'll be able to use your free bet at the bookies, usually after wagering your own real money bet(s) of equal value. Another condition of this type of promo is that you normally only get to keep the winnings generated by the free bet, and not the value of the stake itself.


Risk Free Bet

A risk free bet is a specific type of free bet you'll find at bookies online in Britain. In this scenario you'll have to make a bet funded by your own bankroll. If you win the bet, you'll get to keep your stake and the profit, just as you would do with a run of the mill sports bet. However, if you don't win, the amount of the risk free bet offer will be credited to you, in essence covering you for the stake you made and lost.


Tournament / Sports Promotions

One other common bonus bookmakers like to run online is centred on high-interest sports tournaments and heats. Say, for example, a big boxing fight is coming up. A betting site might offer a free bet bonus specifically on this event. Likewise where popular UK sports tournaments are involved, such as the British Premier League, it's not uncommon for bookies to advertise free accumulator bets to use against these matches. This type of linked promotion is usually open to all account holders, regardless of status.


Making The Most Of Betting Bonuses

It's essential for anyone considering taking advantage of any online promotion to be aware of the offer terms and any wagering requirements required. If you don't study the conditions of these offers in full, you could find yourself caught out by a redemption clause you hadn't allowed for.To help you always make the best of the promotions and offers you'll find at online bookies in Britain, our team here at OnlineBetting.co.uk have pulled together this handy checklist.

Premier League Odds

The Pros And Cons Of Risk Free Bets

Taking up the free bet bonus offers associated with UK sports bookies is a great way to boost your bankroll in 2022, but are there any downsides to risk-free betting? We compare the pros and cons to find out.


  • A bet you can make without using your own bankroll
  • You can keep the winnings you make
  • There's no restrictions in terms of which sport you can bet on
  • If you lose you still get the stake credited to your account
  • You can use the free bet offers to matched bet at several bookies


  • You'll normally have to bet real money to unlock the free bet
  • You may forfeit your winnings if you don't meet wagering requirements
  • The bet may be governed by a minimum odds clause
  • If you win you quite often only get to keep the profit and not the stake
  • The free bet offers could be reversed at any time, jeopardising your bet

Bonus Terms To Be Aware Of

Bigger Isn't Always Better - While it's natural to want to take advantage of the biggest free bet offers you can find online, the terms connected with bigger bonus values often specify more criteria you need to meet. Sometimes impacting the next few bets you make at the bookies, too. So always read the T&Cs before taking up an offer.

Make sure you can meet the wagering requirements - Offers at all online bookies will stipulate some kind of terms, normally involving a wagering requirement on your part. These can be higher for some offers than others, with deposit bonuses typically commanding higher wagering requirements than free bets, so take this into consideration.

How long you have to claim the offer - Every bonus offered at a bookmaker will have a limited redemption time, meaning the length of time you have to claim the offer and also complete any associated terms - such as fulfilling your wagering requirements. If you don't complete these before the offer period expires, you could find yourself unable to draw out any winnings you generated from the bet.