Some Advice If You’re Seeking A Free Horse Racing Bet

Last updated & tested: 2019-06-09

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Are any horse racing free bets truly free? They’re few and far between. A free horse racing bet with no deposit, for example, would meet the UK Gambling Commission’s definition of the term. The industry at large, however, seems to use this phrase for any bonus token they award to your betting account. It’s not truly free if you’ve had to place cash bets in order to receive it, but debating the semantics is dull.

 

As long as you’re aware that when we (and many other outfits) refer to a free horse racing bet, you will like as not have to risk capital to get it, then that’s the main thing. Even if a free horse bet and no deposit needed to get it are a rare thing these days, there are so many promotions out there you can take advantage of to pick up bonuses along the way. You may have risked your own money to qualify for that offer, but your next bet will be on the bookmaker. One thing that’s important to remember with a so-called free horse racing bet though, is that you won’t receive your stake back if winning off it. Being frank about the downsides of bonuses is something many bookies want to avoid or gloss over, but it’s another important thing to remember. This page is all about making you aware of what free horse racing bets and bonuses are available and how to make them work for you. To that end, we’ve asked our expert gamblers to draw on all their experience and provide guidance and advice on this important topic.

 

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The three types of free horse racing bets on offer

First thing’s first, you need to be aware that in general terms there are three different sorts of horse racing free bets and bonuses available. Bookmakers want to appeal to the broadest audience possible and, in order to do that, the incentives to bet they provide must reflect the types of gambler that places wagers through their online service. Let’s look at these three different varieties now:

Bonuses awarded to losers

We’ve never met anybody who likes to lose. Bookmakers love them of course, but even they will furnish punters that were unfortunate with second chances in certain scenarios. Mitigating your losses by getting money back or bonus tokens by way of consolation is one of the popular offers run by many leading bookies. A horse that falls in a selected jumps race that meets the terms and conditions specified on a sportsbook can see your stake returned to you in cash or as a bonus token if your fancy takes a tumble. On the Flat, meanwhile, a narrow margin of defeat (a length or less) can also be cause for you to receive a loser’s bonus. Backing a horse that is second to the favourite in selected daily races is another popular promotion run by bookmakers, while acca insurance is there for any lovers of multiple bets when one leg lets you down.

Bonuses awarded to winners

On other occasions, you receive more than just your winnings for winning. Unlike bonuses awarded to losers that are designed to soften the blow and give you the chance to win your money back when you’ve been unlucky, this alternative scenario is largely reserved for when your horse has a big winning margin. Certain bookies have selected races each day these apply to, so if your fancy bolts up and earns victory in style, you can benefit from additional bonuses. Bookmakers can be crafty with this, though. They may choose handicaps or the most competitive races on a card which makes a winner by the required minimum distance less likely.

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Incentive driven bonuses

The sense of taking a sporting interest is no longer seen as incentive enough on its own to place a bet. Now, it’s a perfectly reasonable expectation to be rewarded for signing up to a sportsbook and getting something in return for creating an account. In an ideal world, the very best bookies would hand out a free horse racing bet with no deposit, but it’d be naive to expect that in reality. On top of giving new customers something for joining, however, the issue of rewarding loyalty remains high on bookmakers’ agendas. This has led to the creative of VIP or “Free Bet” Clubs. Again, there’s nothing free about the bonuses you receive; but, if you like to bet regularly, then getting additional tokens if you pass a certain threshold every week is most welcome. We’ll discuss all the individual types of betting offers in this section below in more detail.

Promotions that offer horse racing free bets and bonuses

We’ve touched on these briefly when categorising the three main types of free horse racing bet on offer online. Specific promotions attached to certain sports, or ones that are applicable across the board can be rewarding from a bonus perspective. Each of these offers, rather than being grouped together as above, are well worth looking at separately in detail, so you can see how these can work for you:

Fallers’ insurance

This promotion is pretty self-explanatory and only applies to National Hunt races over hurdles or fences. That includes Cross Country races, but not bumpers. Bookies will usually specify a minimum number of runners must go to post, so don’t expect it to be available on events with small fields. Fallers’ insurance is where the horse you back takes a tumble, is brought down by another horse that fell in front of it or unseats the rider as a result. This doesn’t apply to horses who are pulled up, even if hampered in clearing an obstacle. Bonus tokens awarded will have a cap, so be aware if you’re lumping a big bet on you may only get up to £20 back.

 

Second to the SP favourite

Sometimes bookmakers give you incentive to take the favourite on. Their motives for doing this are another matter entirely, as it may just be they believe the market leader is a good thing and want to avoid taking a hammering on it. Getting a bonus on losing bets if beaten by the favourite is common during big racing festivals like Royal Ascot or Cheltenham. Some bookies run along a theme, perhaps running this promotion for the first race of the card each day, or for all events screened on terrestrial TV.

The main international horse races

This is almost the opposite of when you get a free horse racing bet for winning by over a certain margin. If the horse you fancy loses by a length or less, then consolation bonuses are winging their way to your account. As with other promotions where the blow is softened, there are specific terms and conditions attached. A minimum number of horses must run to qualify. This can be very useful in ultra-competitive handicaps where horses finish in a heap.

Acca insurance and bonus winnings

When it comes to placing multiples, we arguably see the bookies at their most generous with free horse racing bets. If one leg lets you down of an accumulator, and there will be a minimum odds requirement (either for individual selections or the combined price) for these, then you can get a bonus to try again. Better still, some bookies will even award you additional tokens if massive multiples like lucky 31s and goliaths come off. They increase the percentage of the extra bonus depending on how many legs the bet has. Bookmakers can of course afford to do this, because the degree of difficulty picking out so many winners is huge.

Additional winnings bonuses

We’ve mentioned this a fair bit already, but some firms are prepared to give you additional rewards for when the horse you fancy finishes first in style. There will again be a minimum winning margin and number of horses running in the race but, if the one you’re on bolts up, it’s always worth checking to see if you’ve been credited with a bonus. Notable examples of this at William Hill with their 2 Clear (for the Flat) and High 5 (for jumps) offers, and Betway, who provide additional all-weather winnings over a certain distance.

VIP or “Free Bet” clubs

Rewarding customer loyalty and regular betting is becoming more and more prevalent among the bookies. After all, if you’re prepared to keep gambling with a firm, then they can’t just take that for granted in case a rival comes in with a tempting offer to take your business elsewhere. This is where VIP or “Free Bet” clubs come in. They work like this. You place a certain number of bets or cumulative amount of money up to a threshold each week, and then receive bonus tokens as a thank you. The aim is usually to get you to engage with the lower quality horse racing that invariably takes place on weekdays outside of the big festivals, leaving you with bonuses to play with on weekends when the calibre of horses on display is likely to be higher. Betway, Coral and Paddy Power are just some high-profile examples of bookmakers that offer a “Free Bet” club.

New customer offers

The ultimate sign up promotion would provide a free horse bet and no deposit required. Chances are though you’ll have to put some cash into your account when joining a sportsbook. There is every reason to do so, though, as bonuses aplenty are on offer for new customers. Each bookmaker differs and will probably switch from their regular promotion to specific ones tailored for horse racing during the festivals. If there’s a hot favourite in the Ascot Gold Cup or Queen Mother Champion Chase, then a massive price boost that would never be available on the sportsbook to all is one type of new customer offer. Another increasingly popular promotion is betting through the card. Sign up and stake on the first race at a certain course on Saturdays and you’ll receive bonuses to bet on all the other events there that follow. Remember, there is such a thing as a right time to add another bookmaker to the list of ones you bet with. By taking them up on a new customer offer, you are forsaking all other future similar promotions. That means it needs to be special and on something that you have strong views or agree with from a betting perspective.

 

Bookmaker Our
Test
Result
New Customer Bonus Test Review Website
1100 / 100£30MoPlay
Review
T&Cs apply, 18+
299 / 100Claim your £25 bonus with bonus code OPENODDSNovibet
Review
T&Cs apply, 18+
398 / 100£30 FreebetBetway
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T&Cs apply, 18+
498 / 100Bet £10 Get £30888
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597 / 100Matched bet of up to £30Coral
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T&Cs apply, 18+
18+. UK+IRE only. Paypal & some deposit & bet types excl. Min first bet £10 a odds 1/2 or more. Tote and Pool excluded. Must be placed within 14 days of account reg. £30 credited as 3 x £10 free bets. Not valid with CashOut. Free bet valid for 7 days. Free bet stake not returned. 18+ T&Cs Apply."
696 / 100Bet £50 and Get £50Betfair
Review
T&Cs apply, 18+
795 / 100£30 insuranceGenting-Bet
Review
T&Cs apply, 18+
£30 First Bet Insurance: New customers only. Qualifying period ends 23:59 GMT on 31/12/19. A qualifying bet is a losing first settled real money single bet of at least £/€10 or more (at odds of evens (2.0) or greater (or a multiple where each selection is at odds of 2/5 (1.4) or more. Only losing win single part of an E/W bet will qualify. Free bet equal to your qualifying stake(Max £/€30) will be credited within 24 hours of qualifying bet settling and must be used within 14 days. Free bet stake not included in returns. Terms and conditions apply, 18+.
894 / 100£100 in bet creditsBet365
Review
T&Cs apply, 18+
New Customers only. Up to £100 in Bet Credits. Sign up, deposit £5 or more to your account and bet365 will match your qualifying deposit in Bet Credits when you place qualifying bets to the same value and they are settled. Min odds/bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. T&Cs, time limits & exclusions apply.
994 / 10010Mobilebet
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T&Cs apply, 18+
1093 / 100Bet £10 get £5 free!William-Hill
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