To take advantage of free sporting bets you will first need to understand the odds that are offered – here is a guide as to what these, normally decimal-based odds mean.
The Changing Face of Free Sporting Odds
The ‘traditional’ way for bookmakers to provide odds for their punters is for fractions to be used, and the high-street based companies will continue to provide this for their customers.
For example, a bookies’ offer of 7/1 may be offered, which would mean that for every £1 you put on that bet you get £7 back, plus your original stake (if you win of course!).
The online bookmakers have the option to offer much more precise, decimal odds which allow for much more flexible in-play betting. This is the preferred way of betting for most of the online sports betting community and is the way that Betfair offers its free sporting odds.
So, how does it work? Well, consider that the decimal odds for an ‘evens’ bet (1/1) is 2.0. Anything less than that value means that the bet is ‘odds on’. So, for every £1 put on a bet of 2.0 you’d get another £1 back.
Or, if the bet had a value of 3.5, then for every £1 bet the reward would be a profit of £2.50.
For more information, read the section entitled ‘Understanding Betfair – An Introduction’.
Maximising the Free Sporting Odds Offered
Firstly, make sure you read the terms and conditions of the free bet. If a bookmakers has stated that £50 of free bets are available when you open an account that could mean a few things:
• A free bet of £50 that is available when you put a bet on of that value first – just make sure that you put the full £50 bet on the first bet, as most bookies will give the free bet ‘up to’ the value advertised.
• Cashback when you have put a number of bets on – the terms and conditions may ask you to put on a number of bets, each of certain minimum odds, before they credit your account.
• Staggered awards of £10 in five separate blocks – certain bookmakers will offer this as a way to retain customers as long as possible, i.e. a £10 free bet every five bets of the same value.
As stated above, make sure that you read the terms and conditions to understand the free sporting odds that are required to be bet at as a minimum.
Most bookies ask that the bets put on to activate the free bet are at a minimum of 2.0, but this can fluctuate from company to company. And lets face it, if you are simply after a profit from the company why risk your free money by putting a bet on at higher odds than that??