All bookies offer new punters a free bet (or free bets) to tempt them to register. Each offer has their own terms and conditions attached, and some are better than others. In the following review we’ll explain how to identify the best betting offers and avoid the pitfalls of online betting.
Betting deals online: What you need to know
Here at Openodds we scour the internet looking for the best sign up bonuses and deals for pre-existing customers. Whether that’s a sports offer or a casino bonus is irrelevant. We’re just interested in getting the best deals for you from the best online bookmakers.
What do you need to look for in a good bookmaker? Well, reliability is key, so it’s important to check out the bottom of the website. That’s where you’ll usually find a bookmaker’s endorsements from reputable entities such as the Maltese Gaming Authority and the UK Gambling Commission. Find these badges and you know you’re somewhere safe.
A great sports betting bonus is also a good starting point. Bookmakers will often try and attract new players with cash boosts for signing up. These offers can be general sporting bonuses that you can use on any sporting bets like who will be the next England manager or who will win Wimbledon?
The best betting deals for new customers discovered
What are the best betting deals for new customers? Use our OpenOdds betting bonus comparison guide to find out. You’ll find a list of all the best bookmakers at your disposal and be able to compare offers and deals from dozens of UK bookmakers. We’ve designed it so you can see all the bonuses at a glance. Click on any of the bonus offers and you’ll be transported to the terms and conditions of that specific bonus.
Take William Hill for example. They give a £20 free welcome bonus to new customers who sign up on their website. Clicking the bonus link brings up our OpenOdds review of the bonus. We start off with an overview of the bookmaker and then launch into the bonus itself. The William Hill bonus breaks down like this:
Deposit and bet £10 and receive £20 as a free bet bonus. To use it you need to add the bonus code F20 when you make your first deposit. Unlike many bonus offers you can use the betting bonus on any sport you like, including eSports. So whether you prefer football, golf, Grand National horse racing or your sport of choice is more technical, you’ll be able to use the great bonus. The bonus can also be used through the William Hill betting apps, so you can bet on the go easily with your mobile. In app betting works best with in-play games, allowing you to keep an eye on shifting odds as you go about your day.
How do betting deals UK work in practice?
With any of the OpenOdds betting deals, UK players can get to know the bookmaker first through our reviews. Each bookmaker has their own speciality. In the UK, a lot of bookmakers focus on the beautiful game.
We’ve already discussed William Hill’s £20 sports betting bonus, but there are plenty of other sites with offers of their own. Betway for example, offers new players £30 free bet that can be spent on any sport. The bonus is one of the best free bets we’ve seen, but can be boosted again by using their “Betway Boost” which increases odds on specific football outcomes.
Imagine you would like to place a bet on both Tottenham and Manchester United at odds of 2/1 each to win their matches on Saturday. Then you notice the Betway boost offer which promises 6/1 if you bet on Tottenham, Manchester United and Chelsea to win. In this case the odds are boosted dramatically and only one extra leg has been added. You combine the Betway Boost with the welcome offer, spending £30 on one bet instead of two separate £15 bets. If it comes up, you’ll win £180 as opposed to around £60 with the original bets.
Make the most of in-play betting options
Let’s imagine that instead of using Betway Boost we decide to bet in-play on the two original matches. We’ve checked the betting sites with cashout options on OpenOdds and have selected another bookmaker, Ladbrokes, to demonstrate.
Ladbrokes has £50 in betting offers. New account holders can benefit by making their first deposit of £5 or more using the promo code F50. You’ll receive 100% of your first bet back for free. While it would be lovely to have free bet offers, no deposit, the small outlay of £5-£50 isn’t too bad.
Instead of betting before the match starts, try betting in-play. Earlier, we were offered odds of 2/1 on Manchester United. But by hanging on until the game has started the odds may fluctuate in your favour. Imagine Man Utd went down 1-0 from a screamer of a free kick in the opening minutes. Those 2/1 odds will stretch wider. How much depends on their opponent. If it’s bottom of the table Crystal Palace, the odds may not change much, perhaps hitting 4/1. But if this was a Manchester derby, the odds will take a bigger hit, perhaps around 7/1. Place your bet later and a £10 wager can make you £50 more just by waiting.
The best betting deals from the best operators
|Max. Wert||Bonus Type||Details||Get the Bonus|
|1||98 / 100||10||Bet £20 and get a £10 free betNew customers only. 18+. T&C’s Apply. begambleaware.org||Novibet bonus|
|18+ | UK new customers only | KYC verified | Max £10 free bet | Min bet £20 | Min odds 7/10 (1.70) | Free bet stake not returned | Certain Markets/sports/payment methods restrictions apply | Qualifying bet must be made within 30 days | Free bet valid for 30 days | T&Cs Apply | General Promo Terms Apply|
|2||97 / 100||30||79.5New customers only. 18+. T&C’s Apply. begambleaware.org||STSbet bonus|
|18+. New depositing players on STSbets.co.uk only. Promotion from 11/02/2020 until further notice. First deposit min. £10. Qualifying bet: min. £10 accumulator bet with at least two selections with min odds of 1/2 (1.50) per selection. Bonus: 50% of the amount of the first bet. Max bonus £40. Min 6x wagering with bonus on min odds of 1/2 (1.50) before withdrawal. Deposit method restrictions. Bonus valid for 7 days. Full T&cs apply. BeGambleAware.org.|
|3||96 / 100||30||£30 FreebetNew customers only. 18+. T&C’s Apply. begambleaware.org||Betway bonus|
|New UK & Ireland customers only. Min Deposit: £10. First deposit matched up to £30. 1 x wagering at odds of 1.75+ to unlock Free Bet. Debit Card & PayPal deposits only. This offer is valid for 7 days from your new account being registered. Terms apply|
|4||92 / 100||30||Bet £10 get £30 free!New customers only. 18+. T&C’s Apply. begambleaware.org||William-Hill bonus|
|New customers using Promo Code P30 only, min £10/€10 stake, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 2 x £15/€15 (30 days expiry), free bet/payment method/player/country restrictions apply. *By entering the Promo code in the box above you agree to the full terms and conditions of this promotion as displayed below.|
|5||89 / 100||20||£20 Risk-Free-BetNew customers only. 18+. T&C’s Apply. begambleaware.org||SBK bonus|
|New customers only. Deposit £20 using Debit Card, bank transfer or Trustly. Up to your first £20 of losses will be refunded as CASH within 24 hours of qualifying bet having been settled.|
|6||87 / 100||100||£100 in bet creditsNew customers only. 18+. T&C’s Apply. begambleaware.org||Bet365 bonus|
|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.|
|7||86 / 100||30||Bet £10 Get £30New customers only. 18+. T&C’s Apply. begambleaware.org||888 bonus|
|New customers only • Max Bet €5 • €10 deposit using promo code • Free bets are granted within 72 hours and expires after 7 days • Free bet stakes not included in returns • Deposit balance is available for withdrawal at any time. withdrawal restrictions & full T&C’s apply.|
|8||82 / 100||10||£10New customers only. 18+. T&C’s Apply. begambleaware.org||Grosvenor bonus|
|9||80 / 100||£30||Stake £10 get £20 in free betsNew customers only. 18+. T&C’s Apply. begambleaware.org||Betfred bonus|
|10||75 / 100||30||£30 in Free BetsNew customers only. 18+. T&C’s Apply. begambleaware.org||PaddyPower bonus|
|New customer offer. Place a single £10 (or £5 e/w) Sports bet in the 13:45 York on Friday, 21st of August and get a £5 free bet for each of the subsequent race. Deposits using Credit/Debit cards or Apple Pay only. Free bets are only valid for the specified race and are awarded when the qualifying bet has been settled. Free bet stakes not returned with winnings. T&Cs apply.|
|11||74 / 100||£10||Up to £10 on first depositNew customers only. 18+. T&C’s Apply. begambleaware.org||Smarkets bonus|
|1. Once the bonus is credited to your account, losses will be refunded up to the bonus amount. 2. You must deposit at least the qualifying deposit of £20 (or currency equivalent) in a single amount with your first deposit to be eligible for the rebate. 3. To withdraw rebated funds, you must bet at least the qualifying deposit on any combination of markets within the promotional period; otherwise rebated funds will be forfeited. 4. Unused bonuses expire after seven days of being credited to a user account and will be removed after this period. 5. Users making their first deposit by Skrill, Neteller, PayPal or a virtual/prepaid card will not qualify for this promotion. 6. The sign up offer is strictly limited to one per individual, family, household address, email address, same payment account number, and shared computer. 7. This promotion cannot be used in conjunction with any other sign-up promotion. 8. Smarkets standard terms for promotions apply.|
|12||72 / 100||30||Get £30 in bonuses!New customers only. 18+. T&C’s Apply. begambleaware.org||BetVictor bonus|
|New Customers only. Deposit and place a £5 qualifying bet at odds of 2.00 or greater within 7 days of opening a new account; excludes cashed out bets. Receive 2x £10 Sports/Virtual Sports Free Bets, valid on set events only at odds 2.00 or greater, expires in 7 days, plus a £10 Casino Bonus, expires in 7 days. Wager the Casino Bonus 35x to withdraw winnings. Payment Cards only. Geographical Restrictions and T&Cs Apply.|
|13||60 / 100||100||100New customers only. 18+. T&C’s Apply. begambleaware.org||Paddy-Power bonus|
|14||0 / 100||20||£20 welcome bonusNew customers only. 18+. T&C’s Apply. begambleaware.org||Betbull bonus|
The best betting deals UK: How to use the payment bonuses perfectly
In search for the best betting deals, UK players will naturally go for the largest free sum. But this is not always best. All betting sites have their own terms and conditions attached to bonuses. Some are simple, some more complicated, but all of them have minimum spends attached and wagering requirements before you can withdraw funds.
We’ve gone a long way to simplifying the decision-making process through our betting comparison guides, but each bettor will have their own site preferences. Things to consider are:
The size of the bonus and how much you need to bet to get it
The betting markets on offer
How is the bookmaker’s reputation?
What are the playthrough requirements?
Does the bookmaker have other games too?
Is in-play betting available?
How is customer support?
Once you’ve prioritised the list above, you need to visit our sports betting comparison table. Bookmakers are scored out of 100, so start at the top of the list (those with the highest scores) and work your way down. For our example, we’ll pick Ladbrokes.
We combined the bonus offer with cash from cashback site, Topcashback. In Ladbrokes’ case, we were given £30.30 cashback for signing up with the bookmaker for the first time.
Click through to the website and register. With Ladbrokes we chose the maximum bonus, £50, (remembering the deposit code) and placed an in-play bet on Stuttgart drawing with Hannover. After the bet was made, we received a £50 free bet to place on any sporting event we liked.
Find out our best bookmakers here
Sport is full of hirings and firings, so it’s nice to find a bit of positivity for a change. Find out which betting site offers the best odds on contenders for the Sports Personality of the Year Award here:
Option 1: Betway
Betway topped our charts as the best UK Betting company in 2017 with an impressive score of 95/100. New sign ups to their website can enjoy a £30 free bet which can be used on any event on Betway Sports.
Formed in 2006, the bookmaker has licences in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Spain, Denmark, Italy and Malta. They’re also accredited by eCOGRA, an international testing agency that ensures that their sports bets are fair and impartial.
As well as special events such as eSports and the Sports Personality of the Year Awards, the bookmaker also has a healthy selection of snooker, tennis, Ladbrokes Trophy horse racing, football, darts and boxing bets. In total, there are over 35 different sports markets. Many of these markets are available on in-play bets. This is swiftly updated to reflect gameplay. No lag or slowly processed bets, allowing you to take advantage of odds boosts in real-time.
Option 2: Betfair
Sign up with Betfair for £10 and you’ll receive £30 to play with. This is great for sports betting markets, particularly larger events such as New Year’s Day racing and World Cup qualifiers. The site also has a great selection of more unusual bets such as Doctor Who betting, whether aliens exist, and who will win the WWE Royal Rumble in January.
The bookmaker has been around for 17 years now, and has quickly ascended to the number 1 spot in betting exchanges, beating off competition from William Hill and Ladbrokes. It could be because they have other betting options besides sports such as poker, arcade games and bingo making them the one-stop-shop for everything gambling. Or maybe it’s because their site is so easy to use. Navigation is simple, and the website is laid out well, making everything easily accessible. Betfair scored an impressive 91/100.
Option 3: MyBet
MyBet has a solid grounding in bookmaking, and was founded in 2003 by Personal Exchange International Ltd. They’re located in Malta, which is one of the most trustworthy territories for iGaming. There was never any concern regarding their safety or reliability.
Players can grab a bonus of up to €100 depending on how much they deposit, allowing flexibility to suit you. There are lots of sports that you can place your bets on. From classic British sports such as cricket, golf, darts and snooker to international sports such as American football and ice hockey, there’s plenty to see.
Payment options are another great boost. Most online bookmakers will have a few payment options, but MyBet have lots. Credit and debit cards, Skrill and Paysafecard are all valid ways of adding to your account. Unusually, they also allow payments and withdrawals by PayPal, allowing fee free transactions for all players.
So what do we think?
We’ve reached the end of our best betting guide. We hope you’ve found it useful in helping you decide which bookmaker to use, and you’ve been inspired to seek out new sites. What have we learned? Firstly, there are lots of bonuses out there for sports betting fans. From 100% bonuses, 200% bonuses and free bets to new sign ups the choices are vast. It’s important then, to consider other benefits. The choice of games on offer, the site’s reputation and whether in-play betting is available will all play a part.