Types of Bets
There are several types of free bet promotions you’ll run into at top Canadian sportsbooks. Here’s an explanation of what kind of bets you’ll most often receive at betting sites.
No-Deposit Free Bets
No-deposit free bets are the most difficult sports betting promotion to find. When you find one, you better move quickly because it’ll be gone soon.
No-deposit free bet is an entirely free bet you can make at an online sportsbook. These bets are genuinely free, as in you don’t need to deposit anything to make a real-money paying bet. Therefore, it’s no surprise the value of these free bets is usually minimal. Most of the time you get to bet $5. However, you can, of course, win up to thousands if you bet right.
If you win with your no-deposit bet, you can’t withdraw your winnings immediately. Before you can cash out your funds, you need to first “play it through” a certain number of times (this system is shared by all sports betting sites. For example, a $5 free bet with a 15x wagering requirement means you need to wager a total of (15×5$) $75 before you can cash out.
Typically matched free bets (see below) have much more lenient rules and are favored by serious Canadian bettors. No-deposit bets are really only good for testing a new sportsbook.
Deposit Match Free Bets
Deposit at a sports betting site offering a deposit match bonus, and you’ll receive the amount of your deposit in free bets.
Deposit matching is by far the most valuable kind of sports betting bonus you can get. Where a free bet you get without depositing might give you $5 extra, a deposit match can put $100 or $200 extra in your account – and it does that with much easier cash out rules too!
Typically you’ll receive your deposit match free bets with the first deposit you make at a gambling site. They are a so-called “sign-up bonus”. They most often double your money, so deposit $50 to get $50 in bets for a total of $100, for example.
These bonuses are really worth going for. Money-wise they are bigger than any other sports promotion you’ll come across on Canada-friendly betting sites. They usually also sport ultra-low playthrough requirements, sometimes as low as 3x, so you can clear the bonus for cashing out with just a few well-placed bets.
Place a real-money bet, receive extra bets from the sportsbook as a thank you.
Extra bets are a more and more common promotion. They are in style somewhere between no-deposit free bets and deposit match ups. Basically, you’re required to make a small real-money bet ($10 or $20 most often) and as a thank you the sports book site gives you free bets.
Typical example of this is the always popular Mr Green gambling site. Wager $20 at Mr Green sportsbook and you’ll receive two $10 bets as a thank you. These bets are completely free extras; however, you do need to make a deposit and wager money to get them (good thing Mr Green supports Canadian banking methods for easy deposits and cashouts!).
Rules & Regulations
Every sports betting promotion comes with a set of rules and regulations that state what you can and can’t do with your free bet.
Here’s free bet rules, terms and conditions in a nutshell:
- No Splitting
You can’t split free bets. If you receive, for example, $20 then you need to bet $20 on a single market
- Minimum odds
There’s usually 1.5 minimum odds you have to meet
- Maximum win
The maximum tends to be in the tens of thousands, so it’s not something to worry about
- Time limit
Free bets have strict time limits. Usually, you only have seven days to use a free bet token you’ve received so use it before it’s gone!
Top Tips for Gratis Bets
- Deposit match-ups are the best
They are worth a lot more money and have easier clearing rules than no-deposit free bets. While you might want to test a new betting site with a no-deposit bonus, for any serious money making you need match-ups.
- Loyalty promos for the win!
Bet at any online sports book for a while, and you’ll start receiving loyalty promos and other goodies to your email. You’ll often receive risk-free bets and free bets, especially around big events like NHL finals, World Cup, NFL Super Bowl, eSports events etc., etc.
- Sign up at Betway
If there’s one site every free bet fan should sign up at, it’s Betway. They have free bet promotions running pretty much every day of the year. As of writing this in April 2019, you get a $10 free bet every week you wager $25 or more. And on top of that, you’ll receive all event specific bets they hand out!
Do I really get paid if my bet wins?
You do. You get paid on your sports betting bonuses, including free bets, as long as you remember to follow the rules. In the case of free bets, the most important thing for you to do is to remember the wagering requirement and meet it before cashing out. If you accidentally try to cash out too early, no big deal – just keep wagering until you’ve bet the limit.
Am I limited by the sport?
Account opening offers can be usually bet on any sport. You can use your free bet at some UFC betting site or get one from a normal sportsbook and bet on MBL, NHL, NBA or whatever you prefer. Loyalty rewards are a different thing. They usually have something to do with a current sports event and are usually tied to that specific match and its pre-match betting markets.
Do I get free bets on mobile too?
All bonuses you get at online betting sites are exactly the same regardless of what device you’re on. So it doesn’t matter if you’re cashing in on a free bet promotion with your PC or mobile phone, you’ll receive your bet just the same. Most sites nowadays are optimized for Android phones and the iPhone.
Can a free bet be used for live betting?
This depends on the promotion your taking advantage of, but usually, in-play betting is not allowed. While you can place the free wager on any pre-match market, most sites exclude live betting from these promotions.
Best Free Bet Site for Canadians 2019
There’s no contest here. Betway is by far the most generous sports betting site when it comes to handing out free bets.
While you rarely get a no-deposit free bet at Betway, they have you more than covered with all other kinds of free bets. You get one just for wagering $25 per week. You get one when there’s an exciting sporting event (usually for $10). You just keep receiving them as fast as you can bet them!
Betway is a legit, long time betting site. It works well on your phone too (not all betting sites do), so placing a wager on the go is easy. Read our full Betway review here.