Updated Updated: 2024

Bonus Bets and Sign-up on Sports for The UK | 2020

Top betting bonus for UK punters

Betting bonuses are free, and who doesn’t love free stuff, but free stuff is seldom as free as they appear to be; thus, in order to avoid an “omg what have I done?!” situation or the very common “wait-what?!!” scenarios, it’s always best to read the terms of these free bets and bonuses carefully. And before that, you are advised to read through this thread and understand the difference between common bet bonuses.

Types of betting bonuses

Betting bonuses are very useful especially for newcomers, to experience betting without taking risks with your own money.

Sign-up Bonus bet

The intention behind this bonus is not only bringing new costumers, but it encourages you to start with higher bets if the site gives you 100% credit on your first bet, instead of starting small with a £5 wager, you may start with a £50 to get another £50 credit, so you can place a bet of £100 for £50 only.

Reload Bonus

Some betting sites give you a sign-up bonus, and once you spend it, they may offer you a reload bonus as an encouragement, especially if you lose your first bet. This is not common, but you would see it at times of great events.

UK online bookies offering reload bonuses

Cash Bonuses

Cash bonuses are also granted upon sign up, but are usually smaller, and are not a percentage, they usually sound like: “place your first wager of £5 and receive another 2 x £5 free wagers”.

Currently, there are 0 offers of this type. As you can imagine, these cash bonuses are extremely rare as the bookie is directly giving you cash.

No Deposit Bonuses

No Deposit bonuses are exactly what they claim to be, just sign up and receive a free wager, without having to place any bets. They are most common during major events like FIFA World Cup, NBA championships, Formula 1 events and the Super Bowl.

The Catch: Wagering odds requirement: you may need to wager a certain amount before claiming any winnings from the no deposit bonus, although you may be a professional lucky punter and place wagers from your winnings without having to put any of your own money on the line.

  • The bonus cannot be cashed out for real money (obviously!)
  • The deposit will be liable to minimum odds.

Some other times, your winnings from the bonus should not exceed a certain amount, for instance, if you receive a £5 free, no deposit bonus, with winning limit of £20 and place your £5 for a team to win, if the team has odds of 5/1 and they fortunately win, you will not be able to claim £25, you will only gain £20 because that’s your winning limit.

Currently, there are 0 offers of this type. As you can imagine, these cash bonuses are extremely rare as the bookie is directly giving you cash.

Bonus on Loss / Cashback

Who does not appreciate a pat on the back? After frequent losses, which is very common, a bettor may need a bit of a pick-me-up.

If you are able to find such a betting site, there is a good chance that they will offer you a bonus on the loss incurred on your first wager in the form of a reload bonus. Most of the time, your bonus is calculated as a percentage of your most recent loss. The point here is to keep you motivated and put a smile back on your face if possible.
If you were not keeping track, this bonus is an indication that you have lost more than 70% of your bets by this time and most of which have occurred recently, all while you haven’t been able to make a big win that could cover your loss, hence they do not want you to become demotivated to the point of absolute retreat. They don’t want you searching for luck somewhere else!

Loyalty Bonuses

Loyalty bonuses are the same everywhere, from supermarkets to banks, to sports betting sites, the concept is same, you collect points, and later redeem them for rewards. In the case of online sports betting, the more bets you place, and the higher the number of points you get, and you can redeem them for free bets or bonuses.

UK Online bookies offering loyalty bonuses

High Roller Bonuses

If you are a punter who takes this hobby very seriously (or you are simply rich), and you love the adrenaline rush from betting high, then it would benefit you to look for high roller bonuses, bonuses that grant you a percentage of your high wages, an example is “receive 50% of your wager in free bets for wagers of £1000 or more.

We suggest you look above on the “loyalty bonus” section. Usually, if a bookie is offering a loyalty bonus they also have high roller bonuses.

Enhanced/Boosted odds

In huge sports events such as FIFA World Cup in football, Super Bowl for American football, NBA for basketball, and the Grand National horse race, etc. Bookmakers will take such events as a major marketing campaign by intentionally making the odds extremely high, much higher than the standard odds.

Such exponentially increased odds are called Enhanced or Boosted odds and if you pay attention to the terms attached, you can make great winnings, with smaller bets,

Sometimes though, those odds are only available to new customers. Some other betting sites may allow you to bet high on enhanced odds, but your winnings will be returned to you as a betting bonus in your bookie account, so you can use the winnings to bet on other teams, but you can’t cash in the winnings directly, so again, read the terms and conditions carefully.

Matched betting

If you are into betting but not into loss, you can make good, guaranteed wins without having to take risks, in a skillful, legal procedure called matched betting.

Before that, you need to understand two main terms, so explanations can be made easier and more comprehensible.

A ‘back’ bet

Betting for a certain outcome to happen. For instance, you can bet for England to win, this called a back bet, you will only gain your winnings if England wins, and you lose if England loses or the game ends with a draw. If it comes true, you win the bet and the winnings.
A back bet is found in all betting sites, it is actually what traditional betting is, placing a wager for a certain outcome to happen, you can find it on Bethard such as PaddyPower, William Hill etc.

A ‘lay’ bet

Betting for a certain outcome to not happen, aka betting against a certain outcome, like betting that England will not win is a lay bet, so you receive winnings, not only if England loses, but also if the match ends in a draw. there are very few sites that allow you to place a lay bet, the most popular is Betfair.

Matched betting is achieved when you place a back bet on one site and later place a laying bet on Betfair, or a similar site, so your bets are matched, and the risk of loss is nullified.

But if you are placing bets on both sides then there are no actual wins made, and if the betting sites take a certain commission on each bet, then these online bookies are the only winners in the process, then how are profits made?

Profits are made by hunting for bonuses on betting sites, in fact, if you achieve a sign-up bonus, and place your free back bet, then match it with a lay bet on Betfair, then whatever the outcomes you are the winner.

Important terms and conditions when it comes to betting bonuses

To release any pending funds into your Main Wallet, you need to complete the wagering requirement and minimum for the applicable bonus. Once you have done that, all funds stored in the pending balance for that bonus will be released to your Main Wallet.

Wagering odds requirements

SmartphoneGambler mascot

Before you are able to withdraw any winnings, sometimes you need to meet a certain wagering odds requirement.

These are multipliers that indicate the number of times you need to place a bet equaling the free bet, in order to gain your winning from the free bet.

This may sound complicated, but let’s consider an example for simplification:

If, for example, you are given a £10 bonus from Betfair with a 5x wagering requirement. This means you will have to spend £50 on eligible games on Betfair, before you can withdraw any winnings from the £10.

Any winnings made from the £10 whilst working towards your wagering requirements will be stored in a pending balance until you spend the £50 and meet the wagering requirement. Until then, you will not be able to withdraw cash from your pending balance. But you can spend from the winnings of your bonus wager to work down the wagering requirement.

Wagering requirements for bonuses will only apply to your account if you accept the bonus, no one is forcing any bonuses on you.

And the winning will start going into your pending account from the time a bonus is accepted until you meet the wagering requirement.

Minimum odds

There is a risk taken by bookies in providing bets, and because betting is all about taking risks, bookies expect you to take a well-calculated risk on your free bets, so they give you free bets and bonuses, but only allowing you to bet on higher odds, because higher odds indicate a team that has a less probable chance of winning, so if the minimum odds on a free bet is 1/2, then you can’t bet on a team with odds of 1/3, because of a team with odds of 1/3 as a high chance of winning.


At some point, it will be become possible to withdraw bonus betting winnings. However, it is often the case that these winnings will be tied into wagering requirements which means you have to play with the winnings a set number of times before they come available for withdrawal. Always read the terms and conditions for details about these.

The method by which you can claim bonus bets is simple enough and often follows three steps:

  1. Join a website and make your first deposit to make yourself eligible for the bonus bet
  2. Opt-in to the deal and make a qualifying bet that the bonus bet is eligible for.
  3. If your bet is successful, meet the T&Cs and withdraw.
    It is as simple as that.

Getting a free bonus bet is a matter of finding an online betting venue that offers bonus which is pretty much all of them. Then the next step is to meet the eligibility of the bonus bet deal. Most frequently, this will require you to meet a minimum deposit.

All bonus bets work differently. Often, they will be part of a welcome bonus but they can also be for special events or occasions. The main quality of them though is that they will be bets that can be placed on top of any cash sums you have deposited yourself.

Turns bonus bets into cash requires you to place the bonus bet correctly and you will be paid out cash. As mentioned though, this cash will usually need to be played with a number of times before withdrawing. At which point, it is real cash. This is unless the deal has no wagering requirements, then the winnings will be yours immediately.

Bonus bets can be worth it but it comes down to the T&Cs attached. Those with low wagering requirements, a wide selection of possible odds and no max win are almost always worth it and can see you make a significant profit on your initial investment to the betting venue.