Nowadays, virtually every bookmaker offers a special deal upon sign-up. In most cases, you will be eligible for some form of sports free bet. “Deposit £10, get £30 in free bets,” for example. Before you dive right in and use your free bets, it is important to have a good understanding of betting and the different types of bets that are available.
Firstly, let’s explain how odds work. Odds are most commonly displayed in a fractional format. However, all bookmakers give you the option to convert to decimals if you prefer. They are both easy to understand. Let’s say the odds for a horse are 3/1. This means you will get £3 for every £1 you stake. So, if you place £10 on the horse, you will receive £30 if it wins. You also get your stake back on top of this, so you will be returned £40 in total. In decimal format, 3/1 is displayed as ‘4.0’. There are many different betting markets available today. In fact, during Royal Ascot recently, you could bet on the colour of the Queen’s hat each day! For football games, you can bet on everything from the number of corners, to the first goalscorer, to whether a team will win both halves. It is important to be fully aware of the terms of each bet before you use your sports free bet on it.
The ‘half time/full time’ and ‘win both halves’ market is something that often causes confusion. The former means the team should be winning at the end of each half, so if your chosen team wins the first half 1-0, and then the game ends 1-0, you will win your bet. If you backed a team under the ‘win both halves’ market, you would have lost. This is because the team won the first half, but the second half was goalless, so the second half was a draw. If you are interested in using your free bet offers on the horse racing, you will come across the each-way market a lot. An each-way bet is made up of two bets. The first bet is on the horse to win, and the second bet is on the horse to place. Make sure you are aware of the place terms, i.e. how many places are paid out and whether it’s paid out on a basis of 1/4 or 1/5. If you fancy using your UK free bet on a long shot that promises a big return, you could go for a tricast. This involves picking the first three horses in a race. It’s difficult to do, but the returns are huge!
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding regarding the basics of betting. If you are unsure about any market or the terms entailed, hop onto live chat before you place your sports free bet. Most bookmakers have customer service advisors available who will be more than happy to assist you.