Free Bets. It’s music to every punter’s ears and individually the two favourite words in the world of betting that in combination sound just too good to be true. That’s because they actually are, in most of the cases for punters who think that bookies will let them play for free, win and take the cash clean away.
If that was the case, then most of the bookies would last too long in the business.
So, how do Free Bets actually work?
Free bets are those little incentives bookmakers offer to new customers as a deposit bonus which vary significantly through the betting landscape. From a £10 free bet, across 3 x £10 bets on your £10 deposit to 100% deposit match up to £200, there are all kinds of little tactics betting operators deploy to sway you their way and make you choose them over the competition.
In addition to sign-up bonus free bets, some of the bookmakers which want to be better than the rest will offer a bonus for signing in for example. Or for simply having a bet. For losing only one selection on your betting slip as well. It is a simple business for the bookmakers which want to make sure you stake with them and will go to extreme lengths to make you stick around.
Still, it is far from a simple business for you. For punters. Unfortunately and regrettably, most of the bettors rarely ever read terms and conditions section and that is the biggest mistake they can make as they are bound to be disappointed in the end without even knowing that they have agreed to be disappointed in the first place. Free Bets are hardly ever free money and will come with a cost that you will have to pay. With your own money, of course.
The very combination of the words FREE and BET is only one of the creative language disguises that betting operators use to wrap the actual meaning of their incentives in colourful paper to take your mind off of the real deal.
Free Bets always seem to be better value than their actual value as they usually require you to bet on unfavourable outcomes and selections that are normally higher than 2.00 betting odds. Furthermore, you will often be required to match the bonus with additional deposits in order to actually get a chance to withdraw your money.
In the end, you will be left spending much more than you initially planned in order to be able to withdraw something that has been advertised as free.
How can you Beat the Bookies to actual cash from Free Bets?
The most efficient way to cash out the free bet in actual money is to create a super bet and work around the bookmaker’s terms and conditions through a betting exchange. The betting exchange is a revolutionary betting model which allows you to take up the role of a bookmaker, place your own bets and, more importantly, lay your selections. You get to compete directly with other punters without the bookies’ involvement.
Betfair have been credited with this revolutionary idea which has been disputed by competitors, but the innovative string from the people at Betfair has forever changed the betting landscape and forced it to evolve at a rapid pace.
So the first thing we need to do is to make sure we have two accounts opened – one with a betting operator of your choice and the other one with a betting exchange.
The next step is to place a bet with your bookmaker and wager the exact opposite bet at your betting exchange. Basically, you will Lay your original bet with another customer at the exchange.
If we take for example of a game between Manchester United and Stoke City, let’s say you deposited £100 on a 100% bonus for an additional £100 in free bets with Bet365, who still very much offer the most lucrative sign-up deal.
Let’s now imagine that the Red Devils will be priced at 1.75 to win the game, which will make your possible return of £350 for the total of £200 in your deposit plus free money. At the same time, you need to do the opposite with the betting exchange, to lay against Manchester United.
It is important to remember that you need to make your liability the same amount to the amount you can profit on the bookmaker’s bet. In this particular case, it is £150 liability – £350 return minus £200 stake.
You will also be required to determine the ‘Backer’s Stake’ which is the amount you get from dividing liability amount with decimal odds minus 1. In this case, it is £193.52.
Manchester United will be available to lay at 1.77 odds and next up is some simple maths to determine the possible scenarios:
If Manchester United wins you will be granted a net profit of £250 plus £100 in free bets, whereas your Lay bet with the exchange will have you lose the £150 liability bet. It puts your balance to zero in the end and although it is unfavourable as an outcome, it is still better than a losing bet.
The best option for you, however, is for Manchester United to draw or lose.
The starting position with the bookmaker is £100 of your money and £100 in free bets which will leave you with £0 of profit in case of a defeat. Still, you will have earned £343.52 with the exchange, minus the £150 liability bet for the profit of £193.52.
The total amount you will have pocketed in this case is £93, which is the majority of the £100 in free bets you have successfully transferred into your exchange account, which is free to be withdrawn at any time.
What this tells us is that you need to keep the Lay bet as close as possible to the bookmaker’s odds, whereas the maximum possible loss with the exchange should also match the amount you would profit from the original bet.