Where and how to claim the best bookmaker bonuses in the UK? Which free bets & bookies sign up offers are most suitable for you and why welcome bonuses for new and existing customers are different? Keep reading to learn more about the main types of welcome bonuses from licensed UK betting sites. Let’s go!
Bookie Sign Up Offers & Free Bets List
Betting, in one version or another, has been around for thousands of years now. Even organized sports betting as we know it has spent quite some time in the spotlight, at least a few centuries, but nobody could have predicted the surge in popularity it knew after being acquainted with the Internet. In a very simple explanation, the Internet removed the need to either be in a physical gambling shop or at a sports venue – you could now perform your favourite activity from the comfort of your own home.
Or recently, from wherever you want, across any device, as long as you have an internet connection. This bloom also meant that lots of new betting sites have opened their doors – but hasn’t the overall number of customers remained the same? Nowadays, lots of bookmakers have a global presence, but you don’t really see any place with the concentration of the UK. There are literally hundreds of bookmakers competing over the same customers in UK, which is a daunting task. And their main weapon is quite straightforward: the bookmakers sign up bonuses.
What bookie bonuses are and how to choose the best betting sites
What are bookmaker bonuses, you might ask? These represent sums of money which attract all kinds of people, for a very simple reason: they are free, although certain terms and conditions apply. While nobody is simply handing away free money in the industry, customers might receive access to smaller or larger sums of money, sometimes just for opening a betting account.
With so many betting sites to choose from, the industry has somewhat shifted towards a „bonus-frenzy”, where all new customers simply choose the broker who gives them the most free money. But this money isn’t that easy to quantify, sometimes. How do you compare a no deposit bonus to a deposit bonus, a free bet, or an enhanced bet?
Betting offers explained – Main types of welcome bonuses
If those terms are somewhat confusing, we feel the need to explain the main types of betting offers a bookmaker can give you. First of all, we want to make a clear separation between welcome bonuses and other bonuses. Although they might be the same in form or value, remember that welcome bonuses are only valid when a new user signs up to an online betting site.
These bonuses are usually very transparent, while other bonuses might be given on a case-by-case basis: either a bookmaker wants to encourage betting on a particular sporting event, or a player has rolled enough money into his account, or other conditions. Welcome bonuses are also, comparatively, higher than bonuses for existing customers – but that’s not a rule of thumb. Here are the main types of bonuses you should be acquainted to:
Deposit bonuses have been the standard in the casino industry for a good number of years and have since moved towards the betting industry as well. They are typically tied to a deposit a customer makes – either a first deposit, second deposit, or any deposit. They work very straightforward, too: the bookmaker will give the customer a bonus amounting to anywhere between 50% or 200% of the sum of money which the latter deposited in his account, up to a limit. This limit has been introduced in order to not necessarily cater to the whales of the betting industry, which usually deposit large sums of money into their accounts. These deposit bonuses are typically the highest value and the most common in the betting market.
No deposit bonuses
No-deposit bonuses are, in a way, the most convenient bonuses in the industry. They are sums of money which are given away by brokers in the form of bonus money, usually for completing a task: either opening an account, doing some social media work, or other trivial things. The size of this bonus is usually quite small and has some harsh conditions to transform the bonus money into real money (more on that later), but the appeal of free money cannot really be underestimated. It has strongly decreased in popularity in recent years, since the retention of customers using it is not very high.
Free bets aren’t that popular outside the UK but are almost a standard rule for the bookies on the islands. These work exactly how the name suggests: you place a bet amounting a certain sum (usually decided by the bookmaker). If it’s a winner, you keep your winnings, no questions asked. But if the bet turns out to be a loser, the bookmaker will refund your wager, and you’ll walk away without losing money. These free bets aren’t usually very high in value (usually between £5 or £20) but can be used in creative ways to get a lot of value out of them. They’re a staple in the betting industry and should be used as much as possible.
Enhanced odds are the last kind of classic bonus which we want to cover today. Of course, there are many other kinds of bonuses which betting sites give away, but they’re usually not standard and should be analyzed on a case-by-case basis. Enhanced odds are everywhere nowadays, since they’re so easy to use: for a sporting event of their choice, a bookmaker can choose to increase the odds of a team from normal odds (around 2.00 – 3.00) to 10 or 15, just to encourage people to bet on that team. The winnings usually come in the form of bonus money but are still welcome. This bonus is mostly seen around big sporting events, such as cup finals or derbies.
Real money vs bonus money: Which one to choose
We mentioned bonus money a lot in the previous paragraphs, and we feel like we need to explain the concept a little better, to make sure everyone understands bonuses. In order to understand bookmaker bonuses and how they work, you need to understand the difference between real money and bonus money. Real money is the money you can withdraw at any time from your account.
Bonus money can be used to place bets and wagers but cannot be withdrawn until certain conditions are met. These conditions are usually detailed for every bonus very clearly, and can come in various forms: playthrough conditions (a sum which has to be bet, usually a multiplier of a bonus), a timestamp, certain odds, etc. How good a bonus is depends a lot on these terms and conditions. Which brings us to our next point:
How to find the best new customer offers
Which is the best bonus? This is a question we receive quite a lot, and isn’t easy to answer by any means. The best bonus might be different in the eyes of different customers, especially depending on the sums they want to use in sports betting. Let us explain. For a customer who wants to open a new account using £200-£300, a £10 free bet won’t do much as welcome bonus.
He will be looking for a first deposit bonus of 100% or more, with a high limit. On the other hand, when it comes to customers who only want to take advantage of a welcome bonus, depositing £10-£20, the same free bet might be very valuable – especially if they have betting experience and can use it to its full extent. For newer players, however, deposit or no deposit bonuses tend to fare better in the long run than free bets.
Another question we get a lot is why do online bookmakers offers these bonuses – since it does look like they’re essentially handing away free money. There are two reasons which you must remember every time to choose to use a bonus. First and foremost, these people have done their math – even if an initial bonus is worth £100 in bonus money, you have to look at what you have left when you fulfilled the terms and conditions of the bonus, if you ever managed to do so.
If you’re just left with £10, then that’s the value of the bonus, not the £100 you initially had – which, at the end of the day, are just pixels on a screen. Second, remember that most customers, if they truly like a broker, end up depositing money even after the bonuses, and playing through it. It works on the same principle as clickbait: get the customer in, and then he’ll start reading (in this case, paying).
About terms and conditions of bookmaker bonuses
That being said, there are a couple of things you should definitely know when claiming bonuses with a bookmaker, or choosing a bookmaker based on these bonuses. Usually, bonuses come with a set of instructions which you must follow in order to receive the money. Some are very simple and automatic, while others are more complicated – so make sure you read this information carefully.
Second, if you plan on choosing your bookmaker based on the quality of the welcome bonus, make sure you also look at other things. Things like the number of betting markets they offer, the quality of their customer support, many options to deposit/withdraw money, or the quality of their odds can have lasting effects on your long-term happiness, and should also be considered – apart from the obvious welcome bonus. But speaking about that welcome bonus, make sure to fully understand it.
This means giving the terms and conditions of the bonus a good read, and highlight things as: playthrough conditions (if you receive a 100% deposit bonus, for example, typical conditions involve placing bets amounting between 25 or 35 times the initial bonus), timestamp (bookmakers usually have a time requirement for the playthrough), odds (qualifying bets for the playthrough condition must be placed on certain odds, usually over 1,5 or 1,8), and other such things. The quality of the bonus is heavily dictated by the quality of these conditions, so make sure you understand them perfectly.
All in all, the entire article can be summed up in a single sentence: bookmaker bonuses are an excellent tool for beginner and expert bettors alike, if they are understood correctly and used to their full extent. Bookmakers don’t simply give away free money out of the goodness of their heart, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t use these bonuses to enhance our betting experience, and score some much-needed profits.