Matched Free Bets
This is the most common type of free bet and generally applies to new account holders. When a customer opens an account he is required to make a deposit in order to bet. There is generally a minimum deposit required to bet and this is usually £5. For some bookmakers it can be more. The amount of free bet offered is determined by the initial deposit.
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How a matched free bet works
Simply put : - a customer receives free bets that match the amount of the initial deposit. So a customer opens an account and deposits £50 in the new account. There is usually an upper and lower limit to the value of the free bet in the form of what is matched against a deposit. Most companies that offer this type of free bet put a time limit on when the amount can be used.
If a customer has an account that is not active this type of free bet is offered to encourage the customer so start betting again. A customer may have a nil balance in his account and not bet for a while. He will be contacted by the firm, usually by email. They will say that any deposit up to usually £50 will be matched by the company with the same amount for a free bet.
Event specific matched free bets
In some cases a matched free bet is only awarded when the original bet is placed on a specific event. The major televised sporting events attract the most business and bookmakers know there will be huge amounts of turnover on these events. Press and television advertising accompanies these events and competition is at its fiercest.
In some cases matched free bets may be offered on these events but generally it is the less popular events that bookmakers use to offer matched free bets. These offers are time specific and event specific and they are promoted as spend for example £10 and get £10 free.
The terms are expressed as:
- Deposit a certain amount.
- Spend that amount on a particular team or event within a specific time frame.
- Get the amount back within a specific time frame.
For example the matched free bet may be expressed as deposit £5, spend £5 on Manchester United to beat Manchester City on either Saturday or Sunday and get £5 back on Monday whether it is a winning or losing bet.
Conditions of a matched free bet
There will generally be a time limit on when the free bet can be used and if the bet is a winning one the stakes are not included in the returns. In a customer’s account details the free bet will be appear as a separate amount from the existing account balance. Once the free bet expires unused after a certain number of days it will no longer appear in the customer’s account details.
If a free bet is made available through a sportsbook, it usually cannot be used on the following parts of the site:
These elements of a bookmaking site have their own specific free bets and the bets cannot be used across the different types of betting on a website.
If a customer takes advantage of a matched free bet he cannot withdraw the amount before placing the bet. Restrictions are placed on the part of a customer’s balance that is made up of a free bet. Once the free bet is used and it is a winning free bet the winnings will appear in the total account balance and there are no restrictions placed on making withdrawals from this balance.
Advantages of a matched free bet
This type of free bet is transparent and there are generally no hidden rules in the Terms and Conditions. This is the most basic type of free bet and there is no room for ambiguity in the rules. The matched free bet is generally awarded in a short time span as it applies to a specific event.
Once the qualifying event has taken place the customer’s account is updated and the amount is immediately available to be used on an event in a short time frame. With event specific matched free bets the promotion may be complete in a few days as the qualifying event takes place and the matched amount is immediately made available to be used for subsequent bets.
The matched free bet is made available in one transaction and once the qualifying event is over and bets on it have been settled the customer’s account is amended to include the free bet amount. Only one bet has to be placed to receive the free bet so these free bets can be offered regularly by the bookmakers. There is no waiting period for the qualifying bet to be placed or redeemed and that is why this type of free bet is most prevalent.