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Bookmakers Promotions | Free Bets & Bonus Betting Details - © detailblick - Fotolia.com

On our Betting Bonus page you can always find an up-to-date list of the currently valid bookmaker bonuses. In this list you can read in a short and easy way how to get and make use of those new customer offers and other online betting welcome bonuses.

Bookmaker offers are commonplace in online betting. They are tools that the operators use to attract new customers. But what are they exactly and what do they involve? How do you choose from so many different options? It can be a very competitive market and that leaves players with a lot of choices to make.

There are different factors which we have looked at to determine which the best of the bookie offers. What kind of things are important when it comes to selecting a new customer offer? We will explore that topic in more detail below, but some of the key factors are value and just what you are going to get out of the deal.

Please note that all ratings are based on our personal experience.

*Wagering and T&Cs Apply / T&C’s Apply on betting offers, 18+. Please Gamble Responsibly.

Best bookmaker offers for new customers in the UK

We want to get into as much detail as possible about new customer offers and welcome bonuses because it’s an important area of online betting. Our seasoned experts have taken a look at different areas including the overall value of a new customer promotion, what it takes to trigger and active them, and whether it is real cash or bonus bets that you are receiving.

Please note that all ratings are based on our personal experience.
New Customer Offers, T&C’s Apply, 18+. Please Gamble Responsibly. See details directly at each bookmaker’s website. The bonus amounts are resp. maximum amounts. See details directly at the respective bookmaker’s website.

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What is a bookmaker sign up offer?

Think about walking down the street and you see a big banner in a shop window telling you about the latest great sales offer that you can find inside. That’s the equivalent of what a bookmaker offer is, although it’s not a sale, it is some kind of bonus that they are going to be offering to you. What kind of bonus?

That will vary depending on what bookmaker you look at. Not all bookie offers are the same and that’s important to remember. Even if you have to very similar welcome bonus offers that you’re looking at, say two different bookmakers offering a £10 free bet, the terms and conditions of those two offers may be very different. So it is always good to be armed with as much information as possible when looking at bookmaker sign up offers.

It is important to remember also that a bookmaker offer is just that. It is a one time, a one-off promotion that you are going to use. It’s not something that really should be looked at and used to judge the overall quality of a bookmaker. Just because a bookmaker may have a £10 Free Bet as a welcome bonus and another one has a £50 Free Bet as a welcome bonus, doesn’t mean that the latter is any better.

*Wagering and T&Cs Apply / T&C’s Apply on betting offers, 18+. Please Gamble Responsibly.

When it comes to online betting itself, it is going to be odds and overall service that counts, not the welcome bonus.

Types of bookmaker offers

There is just not a one size fits all kind of deal when it comes to the types of bookmaker offers that you are going to find. Look around and you will find plenty of different ones all fighting to grab your attention. Here is a look at some of the most common types of bookmaker offers that you can expect to see as a welcome bonus.

Free Bet Offer

This in itself can be represented in many different ways. A free bet welcome bonus offer, is the bookmaker giving you a free bet back in certain circumstances. The way that happens can be through different types of offers which we explore below. The most common one is simply a bet and-get type of deal. You open an account with a bookmaker place your first bet, say of £5 and the bookie offers returns a £20 free bet.

Lost Stake Refund

An alternative way that a bookmaker will offer a free bet as a welcome bonus is through a lost stake refund. An example of this is opening an account with an operator and then you place a first qualifying bet on the account. If that account loses, then the bookmaker will return a free bet (usually a betting bonus cash, not real cash) to you to account for your loss. That is a form of a bookie bonus free bet offer too.

Matched Deposit

Some bookie offers for sign up are not any more complicated than just making an initial deposit on your account. With offers like this, note that you may need a bonus code used when you sign up to take advantage of a sign-up bonus such as this. But you simply hit the required initial deposit amount. When you do the bookmaker will just match the value of your initial deposit (up to a maximum sum). In some instances, the deposit-match may only get initiated when you have settled your first bet on the account.

That is a basic overview of the types of different bookmaker deals that you can find when you are starting an account with one. But there are other factors that you want to think about. It is so important not to just kept swept up into a deal which looks so appealing. Again, remember these are just one-time offers to qualifying players.

What to look for when choosing a bookmaker new customer offer

So what are the things which you should be looking for when it comes to choosing a bookmaker new customer offer? Here again, there are different areas upon which you can focus on. Basically with any kind of offer that you are going to look at with any bookmaker, always make sure that you understand the offer fully.

Check out those terms and conditions and while that doesn’t sound like a lot of fun, it is worth a quick pause to scan through the key points. Key points can include things like the minimum and maximum stake, the time in which you have to place the bet after opening the account, valid markets and whether or not you need to opt-in.

Free bet v real cash

There is a big, big difference between the two things. Some bookmakers, although granted not very often, will offer real cash from certain bonuses. That’s simple enough, the real cash gets credit to your account and you can just carry on as normal. However, if you are given free bets as a bonus reward then these will come with some strings attached.

You may have to use a free bet bonus from a welcome offer all in one go, for example. You may only have 7 days in which to use the free bet before it expires. There could also be turnover options on the free bet before you can pull out winnings. Little things like that make a big difference. Reads the terms and stay informed.

What stake is involved?

Check to see what the stake is that is involved in a bookie promotion. For example, a bookmaker may have 25/1 odds on Brazil to win the World Cup which would look a phenomenal offer. However, it is more likely than not, that the stake on such a promotion would be limited to just £1. So it would mean that if it won, that would be a £25 free bet that you picked up.

Other options in bookmaker sign up offers including placing a qualifying stake to get a set amount of free bet back. A £5 stake for example in a bookmaker welcome offer may return £40 in free bets. The thing to double-check and make sure of is the qualifying terms of the bet. It will likely not qualify below a certain odds-threshold and it may not qualify if struck on certain markets.

Check everything. Do your due diligence only so that you don’t miss out on a deal. The initial staking part of a bookmaker bonus is so important. Note that most welcome bonus offers that bookmakers have will be based on the very first bet on the account. Meaning that the first bet has to tick all the qualification terms boxes to trigger the bonus.

Expiration period

Another factor to consider in bookmaker offers is time restrictions. There will be time limitations on completing welcome bonus offers from bookies. Once you have registered a new account then you are only going to have a certain amount of time within which to fulfill the details of the bonus offer itself.

This, for example, could be that you have to settle your first bet on the account within seven days of activating your new account. Then on the other end of things, if you have received free bets from a bookmaker sign up bonus they will only be valid for a certain amount of time.

You will probably have to play through them fairly quickly which means that you need to use them up and meet any turnover requirements in a certain period before releasing any funds from winnings. That is commonly playing through the entire value of the bet bonus.

Bookmaker Services

It’s been touched upon already, but always remember that the bonuses are there to hook players into signing up. They say very little about what kind of services are on offer (things like account management, customer service, odds etc) that the operator is going to have. So treat them at face value for what they are.

Can they offer a nice little bit of value to punters? Sure. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with these bookie offers like sign up bonuses at all. If they are on a site that you were already considering sign up for, and if the welcome bonus is something that you are happy completing, then it is just going to be exactly what it is intended to be, a bonus.

Next major sports events

Major sports events come thick and fast. You can pretty much plan out your entire calendar year by them. There’s a sequence of the EFL Cup Final, then the final day of the Premier League and then the FA Cup Final for example. After all, that important domestic action in England has been settled, attention is turned to the big UEFA competitions, the Europa League and Champions League Finals.

Some of the major horse racing events of the year include the Cheltenham Festival, which is the first big festival in a calendar year. The big focus there on the Gold Cup. Other highlights include the Grand National, Royal Ascot, Glorious Goodwood and the Ebor Festival. Horse racing continues all year round and is one of the biggest, most supported sports in betting.

Some of the big championship action in the UK from other sports includes the brilliant fortnight of Wimbledon tennis, the hard-hitting action of the Six Nations Rugby, the British Open major golf tournament, the snooker Masters and the Snooker World Championships plus the Darts World Championships and Premier League.

These all provide tremendous betting opportunities for punters. What they also do is provide bookmakers with the opportunity to produce welcome sign up offers. That’s because they know whenever a big tournament is coming up, say the UEFA European Championships, then more people are likely to be looking for betting opportunities. So that is when operators may change things up and offer event-specific welcome bonuses to try and get those new customers in.

Bookmaker offers for existing customers

Bookmakers sign up offers are a small percentage of the actual bookie offers that are out there. Once you have registered an account with a bookmaker, whether or not you have completed a welcome bonus, you will still have access to bookmakers offers for existing customers. These are generally where the better value in betting offers are usually found.

The type of bookmaker offers that just sit there, often quietly in the background are great ones to explore. The ideal situation is finding a bookie offer than just slots naturally in with your natural betting habits.

Say your favouirte football betting market is the First Goalscorer. So if a bookmaker has a long-standing promotion running on the First Goalscorer market where they offer lost stake refunds if your bet loses but the team your selection plays for, wins, then that’s a great match for you.

Here we take a look at some popular types of bookmakers offers for existing customers

Enhanced Odds

There are very popular bookie offers. You will be able to find versions of them in welcome bonus offers, but bookmakers will regularly roll out price boosts on select market options. These can be anything from straight-up odds offered above what the industry standard is and you just get paid out in cash if the bet wins, or enhanced odds specials.

Enhanced odds specials may crop up on something like a specific match. Think of Harry Kane to score first for England in their first match of the World Cup. Some of the bookmakers offers will probably be attached to bonus free bets for the rewards paid out above whatever the regulated market price is on that particular selection. Just always check any enhanced odds terms.

Insurance-type Bonuses

A popular staple of betting bonuses at bookmakers are things like Bet365’s 0-0 bore draw insurance. The bookmaker will refund a lost stake if you have placed a bet in a selected market covered by the promotion, and the game ends up in a 0-0 draw. This is the perfect example of a free bet offer.

Another popular insurance-type bonus is on accumulators. Acca’s are played because punters like the thought of getting a big win for a relatively low-risk stake. However, they are frustrating beasts to handle, especially when one loses by just the one leg. You will find bookmakers that offer Acca Insurance, where they will refund your lost stake if an acca does indeed is let down by one leg only.

Payout Without Winning

Another popular feature of bonuses for existing players is getting paid out as a winner even without the bet necessarily winning. An example of this is William Hill’s Golden Goal promotion where you will be paid out as a winner if your team scores first in a match (selected matches only), regardless if they go on to lose or draw.

One that bonuses like this, and the majority of sports betting bonuses will be one per customer and for the first bet struck on that particular market. Again, always be sure of what you are looking at by taking a look at the key terms and conditions of anything that is offered by a bookmaker.

At the end of the day, bookmakers will get creative with their offers and one of the best things that you can do is look around and check out different bookies to see if they have promotions that match what you would regularly bet on. Remember you can also have an account at more than one bookmaker if you want to add that bit of variety and options to your betting arsenal.

Best Bookmakers in the UK

For a conclusion to our look at new customer offers, let’s turn to the bookmakers themselves. You are going to be using their services and having an idea of the best bookmakers in the UK could be a good starting point to get you up and running if you are looking for places to go and do your wagering.

Our experienced bettors have scoured the services of many of the different bookmakers out there and taken into consideration different factors about welcome bonuses and so much more. The best bookmaker has to be defined by having scored highly in many different areas such as bonuses, mobile services, customer service, website quality and extensiveness of the sportsbook.

Welcome bonuses are part and parcel of our research as well. Those include the overall value to the end-user, how easy it is to complete a particular offer and the type of bonus that it is. With all that in mind, here is a list of the best bookmakers.


The operator continues to be a stand out performer for online betting. It’s not really that they have a lot of extra features to make them stand out from the crowd, it’s all based on the quality of their sportsbook and their odds within it. They are extremely strong in those areas, which naturally makes them one of our top tips.

The features that they do have, notably a plethora of live streaming, superb cash out options, a bet builder along with some quality long-standing promotions like their acca bonuses, it forms a very strong package. It’s an easy website to get around, it’s stacked with market variety and just gets a high rating from us.


They are the pioneers of the betting exchange and they continue to innovate and excel. Granted a betting exchange may take a little time to get used to if all that you have ever done is betting through a traditional sportsbook, but even that is made easy by Betfair. There’s a fantastic community and help section to get you up and running quickly.

Then there is the odds, which many find beats a lot of traditional bookmarks. That is because there is no bookmaker margins, instead, you pay commissions on winning bets. There are so many great features at Betfair as well, like their Acca Edge and quality live streaming, plus they do have a traditional sportsbook as well.


Although 22bet are relatively new compared to some of the other bookies on this list, they get high marks from us. They have produced a superb website and we were more than pleasantly surprised at how well their odds stood up against other bookmakers in comparison tests. That makes a very strong case for them to be considered to use. They may not embellish their services with a lot of promotions and bonuses, but at the heart of the services, there is an extremely strong sportsbook with a very highly rated in-play section.


Ladbrokes are very well known in the betting world and that is because of them having a long history in the industry. To this day they remain one of the most recognisable names on the high street. That makes them a very strong industry leader and they are very strong with their market odds. They are able to provide a very extensive sportsbook as well and in reviewing the best bookmakers in the UK, we liked how Ladbrokes ranked for their variety and value in their bookmaker offers.