The Most Common Bonuses at Bookmakers Explained


With one of the biggest sporting events just on the horizon – The World Cup – bookmakers are getting ready for the influx of new bettors. Whether it’s betting on the outright winner or just one of the games, people are sure to be taking a punt during the tournament.

For people who are new to placing bets, the bonuses that are offered for joining can be confusing. We’re going to break down some of the most common bonuses at online bookmakers UK players might find and whether they’re worth claiming. 

Free bet

Probably the simplest bonus that online bookmakers can make, with these types of bonuses they will simply give you a set amount of money to place on any bet. These bonuses are usually tied to a certain amount deposited i.e. deposit €10 and get a €5 free bet.

You can’t simply withdraw the money that’s given to you in the free bet though – it has to be wagered. If you wagered the free €5 in the above example and won €20, then you would be able to withdraw the €20 you had won.

Many people use these free bets on an accumulator as it gives them a chance to win big without putting any of their own money down. If you’re planning on doing this though, make sure you check to see if there’s a maximum withdrawal for any winnings in the terms and conditions.

No deposit bonus

No deposit bonuses are the closest thing you can get to actually being given free money to bet with. With these, you’re given credit into your account to play with as soon as you sign up. Because this is essentially free money given to you, the amounts given aren’t that much – somewhere between €5 and €25 usually.

If you use this free credit to make a bet and win, you can take the winnings, however. In this way, it works very similarly to the free bet bonus, only you don’t need to deposit any money to claim it.

As you can imagine, these types of bonuses are incredibly rare and most often pop up for major events or when a sportsbook is first opening to drive new customers.

Risk-free bet

Risk-free bet bonuses are becoming increasingly common at online sportsbooks and you can find them quite easily. Risk-free bets are quite straightforward – if the bet you place using the bonus loses, you receive something back in return.

The return that’s given to you if your bet doesn’t come in is usually your original stake credited back to your account although some casinos give you a percentage of your stake back.

Deposit Match

A deposit match offer involves the bookmaker matching your deposit in bonus credit up to a certain amount. You’ll often find bonuses of this kind offering a 100% deposit match. So if you deposited €100 with this bonus, you’d get €100 free to bet with a 100% deposit bonus. 

You need to thoroughly read through the terms and conditions when claiming a match deposit bonus as there may only be certain sports you can bet on with the bonus money or other terms.

Enhanced odds

An absolute hit at land-based bookmakers, enhanced odds is easily one of the most common bonuses you’ll find both online and offline. These are incredibly simple to understand – the online bookmaker simply boosts the odds on one of its bets. So an example in the world cup may be boosting the odds of Portugal winning from 4/1 to 7/1.

Some online bookmakers will offer boosted odds only for a player’s first bet or regularly offer it through a loyalty program. Some bookmakers even just offer an enhanced odds bonus every now and again to stay competitive.

You’ll often find these bonuses with a capped maximum stake though to offset the boosted odds. As always, make sure to read through the terms and conditions before you claim this bonus to see what the maximum stake is.


Whether you’re betting on the World Cup or the Senior Football Club Championship, make sure you use this guide and find a great bonus if it’s your first time betting – and have fun!