If you believe you have what it takes to stick it to the bookies, so why not take advantage of their free ‘welcome’ offers to get off to a flying start? Online bookmakers such as Ladbrokes know there is a huge amount of competition, so they provide newcomers with alluring incentives to join up.
One of the most common is the free ‘Matched Bet’ whereby bookies give you a free bet equal to the amount of your first bet up to £50. In other words, if your first bet is £50 and you use their special code, you’ll receive a £50 Free Bet. But how can you make it count? Continue reading and we’ll reveal to you a few tricks…
Choose Your Bookie Wisely
Aside from the fact that you have to place a bet with your own money to receive the free one, be wary of bookmakers that try to add further strings. Always check the terms and conditions before signing up. You should only choose a bet that is actually FREE with immediate payout upon winning.
For example, the Ladbrokes welcome offer is extremely straightforward. All you have to do is open your account, deposit and place your first bet. You must bet between £5 and £50 and the site will offer you a free bet of the same value as soon as your initial bet is settled. Punters receive the bet regardless of whether their first wager wins or loses.
What you don’t want is a bookmaker that forces you to bet large amounts of your own cash before benefitting from the bonus. One online site asks you to stake four times the £25 bonus before you receive it. In other words, you must bet £100 of your own money! The Ladbrokes bonus does not have any turnover requirements attached and you can withdraw any winnings generated from your free bet right away.
Another obstacle is the odds. Again, Ladbrokes only asks punters to place bets at odds of 1.50 or greater. In contrast, some bookies ask you to bet 2.00 or greater thus increasing the chances of losing on your first bet.
How to Make the Most Out Of Your Free Bet
#1 – Odd-to-Probability Calculations
The real trick is not just picking winners; it is all about getting value for your bets. The majority of professional gamblers win far less than 50% of their bets but still manage to come out on top. One of the keys to this process is to understand the importance of odds-to-probability.
Too many punters place bets without understanding the mathematics involved. You don’t need to be a numbers whizz to get your head around odds. For example, if a team is 8/11 (or 1.72) to win, it means the bookies are suggesting the team has a 58% (roughly) chance of winning. If you believe the team’s chances are above 60%, it becomes a good bet (although you must allow for the bookies’ edge).
Make sure you perform an odds-to-probability calculation before every bet. Begin with your first bet and subsequent free bet to begin your mission to become a successful punter.
#2 – Find Your Niche
Don’t try to become a ‘jack of all trades’ because it won’t work. Before you even place your free bet, do some research and see if you can find an edge in any particular market. It isn’t enough to specialize in a sport; you have to pick a specific aspect of it.
Football is a prime example. A lot of punters try long-odds accumulators that have little chance of winning. It is notoriously difficult to predict the winners of games in professional football leagues correctly.
Perhaps a better way to win is by going off the beaten track and trying to find other winning markets besides Wins and Draws. One punter used statistical software to find gaping holes in the corners market. Bookies were guilty of focusing on the perceived quality of sides rather than analysing their playing styles. For example, a ‘weaker’ side that played with lots of widths would get far more corners against a ‘strong’ side than the bookies expected. This is of course only an example, but you should try and find your own niche.
#3- Avoid the Favourite Long-Shot Bias
There is a huge tendency amongst punters to overvalue long shots and undervalue favourites. In an academic paper by Cain, Law, and Peel, which was published in 2000, they revealed the effect of the favourite long-shot bias in action. Analysis of football games in England and Scotland showed that punters would suffer an ROI loss of under 2% when betting on teams with odds of 1.66 (4/6) or less. However, the ROI loss was 15% when they bet on teams at odds of 5.00 (4/1) or higher.
While punters are often loathing to bet on odds-on favourites, sticking to bets where there is a 70%+ chance of winning is your most likely avenue to long-term profitability. In horse racing, bookies have no problem pricing long shots of 100/1+ because they know there is hardly any chance of winning. All sorts of statistical analysis show that betting on long shots is a losing strategy in the long-term.
We recommend that you begin by researching shorter odds bets to begin with. Up to £50 Free Matched Bet Here enables you to bet at odds as short as 1.50 (1/2) unlike a lot of online bookies that force punters into 50/50 bets from the get-go.
There is absolutely no single ‘guaranteed’ winning strategy, but with a free bet, at least you don’t lose money out of your pocket. Avoid the ‘herd mentality’ and look for value; this action alone places you well above the majority of punters.
Become a winner by starting on the right foot. Claim Up to £50 Free Matched Bet Here
18+. New customers only. Promo code ‘F50’ required. Certain deposit methods excluded. Min £/€5 on win or each-way bet excluding Tote or pools = match max £/€50 free bet. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Bet must be made within 14 days. Free bet valid for 4 days. Free bet stake not returned. Single bets only. Free bet cannot be used on certain markets. T&Cs apply.