Difference Between Free Bets and Free Spins

You don’t need to have a master’s degree in psychology to conclude that everyone likes to get something for free. 

That’s a part of human nature and we are all aware of it. Online gaming providers are aware of this too, so it’s no wonder they use it as a way to get to new customers. 

Whether it’s about bookies or online casinos, every operator will offer you some kind of promotion where you can win something without wagering your money.

Some of the most common types of promotions are free bets and free spins. These two terms sound similar and, indeed, they are pretty similar. In both cases, the principle is the same – you get a chance to win money for free. 

However, they refer to different types of online gaming. Free bets refer to bookmakers, while free spins are part of online casino promotions.

One of the things they have in common is that both of them sound really amazing, though both of them come with certain limitations that make them not as great as they sound at first. 

So, let’s take a quick look at the main characteristics of each type of promotion.

Free Bets

As it was just mentioned, free bets are a type of promotion used by bookmakers. They usually refer to sports betting but are also common in the world of horse racing. 

Essentially, free bets are all about giving players an opportunity to win money without spending their own.

For example, a new bettor can be awarded with a certain free bet sum, which can be placed on any or specific games that are in the bookie’s offer. It’s a risk that the bookmaker is taking in order to attract new players.

Disadvantages of Free Bets

However, the risk isn’t as high as it may seem at first. For example, there is usually a limit regarding the max sum a bettor can win. 

The second thing that should be considered is that, in most, cases players don’t win anything, because of their bad prediction of a certain outcome. 

The third and probably most important thing is that, even if a bettor wins, the stake remains in the house, while only the profit goes to the player.

So, if you get a free bet of $5 and place it on a game where the odds are 3/4 (1.75 in decimal odds), the payout would normally be $8.75, which includes a $5 stake plus a $3.75 win. 

In the case of free bets, the stake remains in the house, so you only get $3.75.

Even if you eventually win the prize, there is still a thing called turnover requirements. 

This means that you must bet a certain amount of money before you become eligible to withdraw your winnings from free bets. Essentially, this works in the same way as wagering requirements in online casinos.

Free Spins

While free bets belong to the world of sports betting, free spins are part of the online casino world. 

They are one of the most common types of promotions and just like free bets, they are mostly used as a way to attract new players.

So, once a new player registers on a certain online casino website, he will get several free spins to play slot machines. 

Instead of getting free money, players will get a certain number of free rounds to play but with chances to win real money.

Disadvantages of Free Spins

There is no such thing as free lunch, so free spins also come with various restrictions and limitations. For example, a max winning sum is always restricted and that’s the money you’ll get, no matter the prize.

Even if you win something, there is a thing called the wagering requirement, which works in the same way as the turnover requirement in the case of free bets. 

So, you must wager a required amount of money before being allowed to withdraw what you’ve won through free spins.

Free spins are usually time-restricted, so you must use all of them in a certain period. Once the promotion expires, free spins will be deleted, whether you use them or not.

Another thing to keep in mind is that free spins usually work with a specific selection of slot machines. There is a big chance that you won’t be able to use them for your favorite game.


As you can see, free spins and free bets have a lot of things in common. They are pretty much the same strategy used by different subjects. 

In both cases, it’s a method of attracting new players and in both cases, things aren’t as amazing as they may seem.

Both come with a lot of limitations, especially if you win something. 

So, the same piece of advice would work in both cases – make sure to check the terms and conditions and evaluate the promotion offer before accepting it.

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