Free Bets: What It Is, How It Works and The Best Free Bet Offers

Lincoln Trembley

Many NZ bookmakers now offer free bets and betting bonuses to entice customers. Free bets usually take the form of betting offers, welcome bonuses and welcome promotions. However, knowing how to access free bets and which ones are the best options can be overwhelming. So we’ve created a list of the top free bet offers to help.

We’ll explain the different types of free bets and how you can use them. And how to activate free bet offers.

Plus, which terms and conditions to look out for before you use your free bets. Check out our list to get started…

Betting Sites with Free Bet Offers

What Exactly is a Free Bet?

A free bet is a deal that you receive from top betting platforms, with virtually all betting platforms offering their own version of free bets, free bet winnings, free bet stake, or their own format of a free bet offer.

With a free bet, you can make a bet without having to use your own cash. If you bet and win, you will still get your winnings and can usually withdraw them as soon as you fulfill the bonus requirements.

Many online betting sites have free bet offers for their players, similar to how an online casino would provide a welcome bonus to new users. The aim is to get new players to register on the platform and start betting.

This usually works since there is no danger of players losing anything – instead, they can win and get massive payouts.

Free bets are ideal for players who are trying out a new betting site or betting for the first time and don’t want to spend money, preferring to get a feel for the flow of the website and the process first.

Using free bets, players can try out the website service and even win real cash without depositing their own money.

What is a Betting Bonus?

Betting offers like bonuses are also available at sports betting platforms, but you will need to deposit to your betting account to access the bonus, unlike online betting free bets. This bonus can help increase your bankroll and allow you to make larger bets than you normally would.

These free bet promotions are great since the larger the amount you wager, the greater the winning potential is.

Many leading online casinos and sportsbooks offer various betting bonuses that players can pick from. However, even though betting site bonuses can be great for players, especially newbies, you must exercise caution before choosing one.

This is because they tend to come with wagering requirements, making it difficult for you to withdraw your winnings.

Therefore, it is best to stick to the platforms we recommend at CasinoCrawlers; all the betting sites we offer are fully licensed and offer bonuses with reasonable wagering requirements.

Types of Sports Betting Offers

Sports betting platforms offer various betting bonuses and free bet offers, but different types have different terms and conditions attached. So, before you settle for any option, you will need to understand the differences between free bet promotions, the best free bet offers, and most importantly, how free bets work.

Fortunately, at CasinoCrawlers, we’re experts in analysing a top-quality free bet offers, sign-up bonuses, bet credits, and all manners of free bet promotions for existing customers and punters making their sign-up deposit.

To break it down further, we’ve listed the main types that you can find online below:

Matched Free Bet

With a matched free bet, betting sites will match a qualifying real money bet with an identical free bet. Sports betting apps will set specific limits (which can vary between sites) for a matched free bet. For example, if you place a $20 bet using the money in your account, you’ll receive a $20 free bet to use on the site.

Risk-Free Bets

Risk-free bets are simple and the safest betting promotion out there, especially if you’re somebody who is placing their first bet. With a risk-free bet, the sportsbook will refund any first eligible wager you lose up to a specific amount.

You will either receive your money back or get site credit to use in other bets.

A promotion including a risk-free bet option provides an excellent way for players to make up for losses when playing at an online casino. However, these bonuses are typically only offered to existing players.

When signing up or playing, take a look at your online betting sites’ terms and conditions to see if they provide a risk-free bet.

Matched Deposit

The matched deposit bonus is one of the most popular bonuses available at online casinos and online sports betting. The casino will match your money up to a specific amount whenever you make a deposit or a bet.

This can help double any deposit you make, allowing you to make larger bets and win more. Most sportsbooks offer a 100% match bonus, while others may offer a slightly lower match bonus.

Like most bonuses in online casinos, this bonus will most likely come with wagering requirements, requiring you to place a bet with real cash.

No Deposit Free Bet

Betting platforms generally have no deposit betting offers, usually when you register on the platform. This type of bonus usually comes in the form of additional cash or free bets online.

These bonuses are great for players who don’t want to make risky bets with their cash and want to instead make large bets without investing a lot of money.

This bonus is available at most sportsbooks and casinos looking to draw in new players.

Making free bets of this manner can help you become accustomed to the rhythm of a platform before making a commitment. As far as a free bet offer goes, this one is really handy.

Profit Boost

This is another betting offer you are more likely to receive after creating an online casino account. The casino increases your earnings by a certain percentage, giving you more money to gamble with.

However, most bookmakers don’t offer this bonus for all sports bets, only specific ones; for example, you may only be able to place bets in listed markets or with certain sports.

With this bonus, you can make larger bets and drastically increase your payouts.

Betting Sign-Up Bonus

The betting sign-up bonus is a reward you receive for signing up at a sports betting site.

As soon as you complete your registration, you can claim a bonus reward that allows you to make a bet on a specific sport. This bonus is great for improving your overall betting experience since it gives you more money to make bets.

Cashback Bonus

Cashback bonuses are also commonly found at online casinos and online sportsbooks. Here, you get back a percentage of the cash you lose while playing at a casino or making sports bets. This is a great way to recoup your losses, especially when experiencing a losing streak.

This bonus is also known as a refund bonus, but the concept remains the same. However, like many popular bonuses today, the cashback bonus may come with wagering requirements, so make sure you understand these before claiming the offer.

Remember that the casino refunds only a stated percentage of what you lose.

Loyalty Free Bets

Casinos hand out loyalty-free bets to bettors who have continuously made bets at their sites. The reward is a way for the casino or betting platform to show appreciation for your patronage and time.

So, when the platform offers you a loyalty-free bet, you can place free bet stakes and potentially win more! Awesome, right?

How many free bets these contain varies from casino to casino, so check the free bet terms when you sign up.

Free Bets for Existing Customers

Most of the bonuses you find on betting platforms are usually only available for new players.

However, this doesn’t mean existing players are left out of the best free bet offers! Sometimes online casinos offer long-term users bonuses in the form of free bets or matched free bets.

The casinos offer these bets to encourage players to keep playing on the platform and not look elsewhere when free bets expire, or they find a more enticing free bet sign-up incentive.

The great part of a free bet is that if you bet for free and win, you keep your winnings. But if you lose, you lose without having to part with any cash.

Some offers can include incentives like free sports bets, 30 in free bets, or matched free bets from other gambling sites.

Bet X Get X in Free Bets

These types of bets are similar to a matched free bet. But they have varying values and usually a minimum wager. For example, you may be offered a bet $20 get $40 offer when visiting a new site. So to access the free bet, you’ll need to make a bet of $20, but you’ll end up with a free bet worth $40.

Enhanced Odds

This type of bonus gives you access to enhanced odds during a specific event or tournament. For example, you place a bet using your own money on the Rugby World Cup. If it’s a winning bet, the money you win over the normal odds is paid out via free bets.

How to Find and Activate Your Betting Bonus

There are tons of betting bonuses, but it may be difficult to claim one if you don't know what you're looking for. CasinoCrawlers understands this problem, which is why we have put together a step-by-step guide that teaches you exactly how to do this with ease.

Estimated time needed: 00:05 Tools needed: CasinoCrawlers' list of best betting bonuses Supply needed: ime
Search our list of casinos with the best betting bonuses
Search our list of casinos with the best betting bonuses Browse our list of casinos with the best sports betting bonus offers and choose an option. They are all licensed and safe to use. Step 1
Register and claim your bonus
Register and claim your bonus Once you have found the ideal option, register and claim your bonus. You will need to provide your name and email to do this. Step 2
Play and win!
Play and win! Wager on your favourite game, and withdraw your earnings if you are lucky enough to win. However, make sure you fulfil wagering requirements before making a payout. Step 3

Pros & Cons of Free Bets and Betting Bonuses

Betting bonuses and free bets come with huge benefits to players. They let you play games for free and win real money that you can keep. However, betting bonuses do have their downsides. So, to ensure these free bets and bonuses are the right choice for you, it is essential to look at the pros and cons, which we've done so below!


  • You can get cashback on lost bets
  • You can make bets without any risk
  • You can win real money without investing
  • Free bets and bonuses can increase your winnings


  • Some bonuses will require you to deposit cash first
  • There are usually wagering requirements attached
  • The bonuses may not work on every sport
  • Some of the bonuses may come with time limits

Sports Free Bets VS. Other Betting Bonuses

Sports free bets offer great value for NZ customers, but there are also other bonuses to look out for when placing your bets. Each has different conditions, so it’s wise to do some research to figure out which ones are right for your betting needs. Some offer better value than others, so let’s take a look at each.

Bonus new customer offers work similarly to free bet offers, but they usually have a higher value. While that sounds appealing, they also typically come with stricter conditions. For example, it can be hard to find any bonus offers that don’t have wagering requirements. And usually, the higher the wagering requirement, the less chance of you ending up with a good deal.

In addition to free bets, some online sites will give you bet credits, casino credits or bonus bets. While bet credits and bonus bets are similar to free bets, casino credits allow you to use your credits on casino games, like pokies.

Free Bet No Deposit VS. Regular Free Bets

A free bet with no deposit sounds like a great deal. But they typically come with high wagering requirements and strict terms and conditions. This is understandable, as essential the bookmaker is giving you the chance to win without them getting anything in return.

Usually, regular free bets give you better terms and conditions. They’re also more readily available, and you can usually use them on a wider range of sports.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Free Bets No Deposit

No deposit-free bets offer advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the top pros and cons to consider before you access any free bet promotions.

Free Bet No Deposit Advantages ✅

Free Bet No Deposit Disadvantages ❌

Always Read the Bonus T&Cs

Many casino or betting site players, especially newbies, make the mistake of accepting a free bet offer without doing their due diligence and reading the T&Cs. This is a huge mistake because a bonus offer may seem enticing initially but comes with various conditions that make it less than appealing.

To ensure your gambling experience remains seamless, you must read the terms and conditions of any casino bonus you claim.

Every casino betting bonus has unique terms and conditions, so you need to ensure you read these so that you don’t make any mistakes and forfeit your winnings.

To help you understand betting promotions better, below are some of the most important terms to consider when checking out the T&Cs.

Stake Not Returned

This condition is that you only get your winnings back when you place a successful free bet. You don’t get the free bet stake back. So if you use a $15 free bet that has odds of 2:0, you’ll only get your $15 back. In comparison, if you were betting with your own money, your payout would be $30.

Minimum Deposit

Every sports betting site and online casino sets its own minimum deposit for accessing bonuses. Usually in New Zealand, the most common amount is $10 deposits. If you try to claim a free bet deposit bonus without having deposited the minimum you won’t be able to get the deposit bonus.

Maximum Bonus

Sites also set maximum deposit bonus amounts. This means there’s a maximum value associated with the size of the bonus you’re eligible to claim. For example, if the maximum bonus is $100 but you make a deposit of $200, you’re still only going to receive a bonus of $100.

Minimum Stake

Just like having to meet a minimum deposit amount to access your free bet, you have to place a minimum stake. This value is usually $10. So if you place a stake below this value you won’t qualify for the free bet bonus.

Wagering Requirements

Often with bonuses and promotions, there are wagering requirements that apply. This means any winnings from your free bets are held until you meet the playthrough requirements. For example, say your free bets came with a 5x wagering requirement, and you won $10. In this case, you’d have to spend an additional $50 of your own money before the winnings from your free bets could be released to you.

Deposit Methods

Depending on the type of payment method you use, you may qualify for different free bets. For example, using a credit or debit card like Mastercard or Visa sometimes offers free bets. Usually, e-wallets don’t allow you to access free bets. That’s because sports betting sites don’t want customers to open multiple e-wallet accounts just to claim their free bets.

Types of Bets

Some free bets come with conditions about where you can place your bets. Some offers are for single events or tournaments. While other conditions can include placing bets on anything other than single events (such as accumulator matches). When placing your bets, make sure you check the terms and conditions to ensure you’re using your free bets for the right type of bet.

Cap on Winnings

This is an important term to look out for when choosing a bonus since many bonuses come attached with a winning cap, meaning you can’t win more than a specific amount on a maximum free bet.

Ideally, you want to claim a free bet offer that has higher winning caps since it means more money for you.

Minimum Odds

At a sports betting platform, you can find the minimum odds in the terms and conditions. Minimum odds are usually attached to free bets and signify that you must bet on specific odds to qualify for the bonus.

Not doing so makes the bonus void.

Specific Events

There are some bonuses you won’t be able to use in every market or sport. These bonuses are typically tied to unique events or sports. For instance, you may find a free bet offer that dictactes that you can only place a bet on English Premier League matches.

Ensure you read the T&Cs, so you don’t go against the free bet terms.

Expiry Dates

Free bets don’t last forever and usually come with a time limit. You need to use them within the specified time limit, or otherwise, after a period of time, you will see your free bets expire. The limits can range from 24 hours to one week, or sometimes even a month.

Make sure you only choose free bets that align with your schedule.

Free Bets for Existing Customers

Free Bets Awarded Weekly

With some sites, the betting offers can change each week. This can be a strategy by the sports site to try to encourage punters back to the site. To see which free bets are on offer. As a player, it can be a great way to shop around for free bets that suit your style of betting. To check out all the weekly free bet offers available to you.

Loyalty Bonuses

Loyalty bonuses work like a free bet club. They’re specifically designed for regular customers, to encourage them to stay local to the site and keep coming back for more. You may be offered free bets if you log on to the site regularly, or after every 10th bet you place. The free bet offers will change depending on the site you use.

Insurance Betting Offers

Insurance refers to accumulator bets, otherwise known as accas. They’re a popular type of bet in football. You combine multiple sections into a single wager and only gain a return if all parts of the bet win. The payout is generally much higher because so is the risk. Some bookmakers will offer insurance on these types of bets that will return your stake if a single leg of the accumulator bet fails. This insurance is returned as free bets rather than cash, so you can’t withdraw it.

The Takeaway: Get a Free Bet or Betting Bonus Now

By now, you’ve probably realised that free bets and free bet offers are easy to use and can improve your overall gambling experience.

Moreover, they offer you the chance to earn a higher payout than you typically would since you can risk more money.

However, if you are serious about getting all the benefits that come with free bets and free bet offers in New Zealand, you need to play on the best platforms like those we recommend on this page.

The best betting websites offer numerous promotions and bonuses that make betting fun. Simply browse our list above and select a site that meets your needs.

If you don’t want to commit to a specific platform, you can keep an eye out for risk-free bets which allow you to play for free without any commitment.

If you win, you can withdraw your earnings; if you don’t win, you lose nothing.

Every betting site offers unique bonuses, and it is crucial to evaluate each platform to determine the most profitable option. We have done the hard work for you; now, all that is left for you to do is navigate the options on our list and choose a betting site that suits your requirements!

Sports Betting Bonuses & Free Bets FAQ

Do I keep the money I win from a free bet?

Yes, you keep any winnings you earn from a free bet. However, they tend to come with wagering requirements you must fulfil to make this possible. If you fail to meet these requirements, you may be unable to keep your money. Read through the terms and conditions beforehand.

Are free bets only for new customers?

No, they are not. Although most free bet offers target new customers, old customers can also claim free bets. These typically come in the form of loyalty-free bets as a reward for constant use of the website and to encourage players to keep making bets.

Can I get free football bets?

Absolutely! Football is a very popular sport that many players like to bet on. Betting platforms understand this and will provide you with free football bets so you can wager on your favourite teams. You can find top casinos offering free football bets on our list.

Where do I find horse racing free bets?

Many sports betting platforms offer horse racing free bets. You can go through the list of our top casinos to find the best casinos offering horse racing free bets. Go through each casino on the list and choose one that best suits you.

Who can get free bets and betting bonuses?

Anybody who is old enough to register and play in an online casino is eligible for free bets and betting bonuses. This is the case regardless of whether they are new players or existing players. Some free bets come as welcome bonuses, while others could be loyalty bonuses.

Can I exchange free bets for real money?

No, you can’t. If you get a free bet, you need to use it to bet on a specific game. But if you win, you can withdraw your earnings – after you have fulfilled the attached wagering requirements. Make sure you read the terms and conditions to be sure.

Which bookmaker has free bets offers?

There are numerous NZ bookmakers that offer free bet offers. We've done the hard work for you by researching the top sites. Check out our recommended list to get started!

Lincoln Trembley
Lincoln Trembley
Betting Expert
28 Articles
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Lincoln is an expert in sports betting. With his skill and passion for trying our new brands in the iGaming industry, he frequently reviews sports betting sites and writes news about sports betting. Being a former sports trader, there’s not much he doesn’t know when it comes to sports betting.

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