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Is There Such A Thing As A Risk Free Bet?

Charlie Mullan for Bookies.com

Charlie Mullan  | 7 mins

Is There Such A Thing As A Risk Free Bet?

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What Are Risk Free Bets?

When we see the words risk free bet, our eyes light up because we see that as free money to bet with. Are we right to think this? We are, because free bets are bets paid for by the bookmaker who is making the offer. However, in life, there is a saying that you don't get anything for free. Risk free bets come with a number of conditions that have to be met before the free bets are made available. These conditions differ from one bookmakers to another so don’t think all risk free bets are the same.

To access a risk free sports bet, a qualifying bet usually has to be placed and these are usually straightforward enough. If you place a bet to the value set out by the bookie and it loses, then they will make sure the next time you place a normal bet or a lay bet, it won't cost you a penny. Some sports betting sites have a matched bet offer which is when the bookmaker offers you free bet promotions to the same value as the amount you initially wagered, up to a certain amount.

Sports betting has become so competitive that bookmakers will promote their own individual betting offer to make sure you choose them to bet with rather than choose one of their rivals. As a bettor, you, the punter, should be made to feel welcome with an online sportsbook and a generous welcome bonus or a risk free bet offer should make you feel wanted.

You really want these free bets to be as risk free as possible, but no bet is risk free. There are bets that are likely to happen and these will be reflected in the reduced odds being offered. We all like to think that our knowledge in football betting will turn the majority of bets into winning ones.

However, it only takes one goal or one red card to bust an accumulator or turn a winning bet into a losing one. It’s worth keeping a record of your bets as you might see a trend of which bets win and which don’t. This might help you keep your account in the black and not in the red.

Are There Many Risk Free Bets Available?

If you do your homework and have time to check out a number of leading bookmakers, you might come across a risk free bet offer or two. All the bettor has to do is sign up to a betting site, make a deposit and place a bet. The risk free aspect comes after the bet is settled. If it wins, you get to keep the winnings.

If the bet loses, the free bet stake initially placed will be returned to your account as cash or as a free bet. There will be a limit as to how much these risk free bets can be made up to. Make sure you stay below this amount otherwise the free bets will not be returned. Don’t think that all sportsbook will follow the same guidelines when dealing with risk free bets so be sure to check out how each bookmaker deals with them.

As bookmakers battle it out for new customers, you might find more and more risk free bets being offered to you. Don’t feel you have to stay loyal to just one online betting company. Use free bets to open multiple accounts and take advantage of as many incentives as you possibly can.

How to Minimise Risks

Every bet placed on a betting exchange carries a degree of risk. It’s up to you to decide how much risk you want to attach to your sports betting. The easiest way to minimise risk when visiting an online sportsbook is to back the favourites and hope the contest goes to form.

However, if you are familiar with sports betting, you will know any winnings will be relatively lower than going for the underdog to overcome the odds to win. Check with the sportsbook on their betting app to see if they have placed a cap on the minimum odds with which you have to deal with. If the minimum odds allowed at 4/6, then your risk free bet will have to be placed on a match or contest with greater odds than that.

Fortune favours the brave is a phrase that springs to mind and if you are brave enough to explore the markets and make selections with better prices than the minimum odds limit, then your bravery will be rewarded if the bet lands.

Anyone who backed Leicester City to win the 2015/16 Premier League title at odds of 5,000/1 were very well rewarded. However, hindsight is a wonderful thing and few would have tipped the Foxes to finish top of the table ahead of Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea, who won the title the season before and after Leicester did.

Horse racing is a tricky sport to bet on as your bet relies on your chosen horse to behave itself during the race and not get boxed in by other horses. One bettor made headlines this year when he put together his horse racing accumulator. It was a 5x bets accumulator and he stood to win over £500,000 after his first four selections won their races.

The bet came down to Envoi Allen winning his Marsh Novice Chase at Cheltenham with odds of 9/2. Offered £250,000 by Betfair, the wise bettor decided to cash out which was a great decision as Envoi Allen fell early in the race. Had the bettor not cashed out, he risked losing everything.

If you know a team is struggling to name a strong team because of injury or suspensions, then these sort of matches are the ones you should be focusing on especially if they are playing a strong team. No team is guaranteed to win any game, but if circumstances are working in their favour, these are as close as you will get as long as their attitude is right and they approach the game properly.

Why Do Sportsbooks Offer Risk Free Bets?

Risk free bets were initially offered by online sports betting sites as a reward for their existing customers to thank them for their loyalty. Every so often, the punter will receive notification that a free bet would be with them shortly to use on the markets highlighted by the bookmaker. They help make the punter feel wanted and might just persuade them to stay with the online betting company. Like we said before, have multiple accounts open elsewhere so you can cash in on numerous free bets.

The incentive then evolved to become a way of welcoming new customers to their online betting site who hope that the offer is enough to persuade them to make their sportsbook the only sportsbook they visit. Like any appealing offer, there are two sides to them. Sports betting companies want your money and you want to win money from them.

The longer you stay with an online betting site, the more free bets you might receive but they might not be as frequent. But when they come your way, be sure to make the most of them as they can be a great way to beat the bookies. Each free bet offer can be used only once, so use it wisely either on a stand-alone bet or on an accumulator. There may not be any restrictions as to the sports you can bet on, so why not try a multi-sport accumulator if you fancy your chances across a number of your favourite sports.

What’s The Best Way To Use A Risk Free Bet?

Remember, no sports bet is ever guaranteed to win otherwise we’d all be rich. However, risk free bets can help boost the funds in your online betting account, if it is done properly. It’s worth studying the sites that offer risk free bets to see how they are offered. If there is a limit as to how much the bookmaker is prepared to refund, then bet the maximum amount and make sure that is done on one standalone wager.

Another thing to remember is that any free bet is not your money yet, so take a chance with it. If there is a bet that stands out with pretty decent odds and you feel confident it might land, then use the free bet on that particular wager. If you win, then the winnings will ensure you will have plenty of funds to plan further bets as you strive to boost your funds rather than depositing more of your money into your online account.

Old and new betting sites may only be prepared to refund a small amount if the free bet loses, and if that is the case, then there is no point betting more than this amount as you will only get back the amount agreed by the sportsbook. Risk free bets can add a bit of fun to betting as they might encourage you to consider bets you wouldn’t normally think about. They may also entice you to take a chance or two and back a few higher priced bets.

Some people regard risk free bets as a way of betting with someone else’s money and therefore they can afford to be a little bit more daring with their selections. Bet settlement is usually quick which allows you to continue your hot streak. The final point to remember about risk free bets is that no bet is guaranteed and every bet can lose. The key is to find the right bets that have lower risk.

About the Author

Charlie Mullan for Bookies.com
Charlie Mullan
UK-based stats man Charlie Mullan brings previous expertise from the Press Association, DraftKings, Betfair, SportPesa, Hull Daily Mail and more where he has crunched soccer data for many seasons, creating content to support odds providers and market makers in the European betting industry. Charlie has more than a decade of experience using in-depth stats to make informed picks across the biggest games in the EPL and European soccer leagues.