First off, this only works the first time you sign up to one of the bookmakers that is offering free bets, usually when you first deposit an amount into your account.

At the time of writing some offers include:

  • Paddy Power
  • Sky Bet
  • betfair
  • Coral
  • Bet 365

Ok, so how does it actually work. Well you make two sets of bets typically. The first set involves betting to release or activate the free bet money. You will bet for an activity or outcome to be true ( a back bet ) for example; England to win the next World Cup. You then place another bet, with a particular bookmaker ( more later on this ) again against a certain activity or outcome but the opposite of the back bet ( a lay bet ) for example; England will not win the next World Cup

A lay bet essential means any other possibility other than the one bet against.

Matched betting

So what particular bookmaker allows this, well it's typical an exchange and betfair is a good example.

If you're following so far, you will have spotted that so far you have cancelled out the bets by betting against yourself on two different sites, this is matched betting where you are matching your bets.

Once you have activated your free money bets, you do the same process again, but to maximise the returned money (you will get it either on the back or the lay bet) on the second set of betting you look for higher odds.

For a more in-depth guide and a really useful tool for working out what bets (based on football) head over to Save The Student

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