Free Bets

A detailed guide into how free bets work.

Free Bet and how they work

The phrase "free bets" is one of the buzzwords within betting, but if you're new, you may not have any idea how these bets work.

We're here to guide you on all things related to how free bets work, and how the different types of free bets work.

Canadian beaver explains that you can learn about the types of free bets and how to use them

Top Bookmakers in Canada


  • Unique puck line betting feature
  • Wide range of sports and markets
  • Engaging aesthetic experience.
  • Live streaming not available in Canada
  • Could be considered too casino-like in its design
Our Pick for Puck Line Betting
Play nowGo to website
Website: 888sport.comFounded: 2008
Owner: 888 Holdings PLCHeadquarters: Gibraltar
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Author: Ben Smith Ben Smith

888sport has become one of the go-to bookmakers for sports betting. There are plenty of markets for popular sports in Canada, and odds are well priced across the board.

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  • Mobile version is excellent
  • Personalised betting experience
  • Dedicated sports and casino blog
  • Desktop site is basic compared to mobile
  • Can be too casino-focused
Our Pick for Mobile Betting
Play nowGo to website

19+. T&C Apply. Play Responsibly.

Website: leovegas.comFounded: 2011
Owner: LeoVegas Gaming plcHeadquarters: Stockholm
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Author: Ben Smith Ben Smith

LeoVegas entered the sports betting market in 2016, four years after its exemplary casino product launched. The sportsbook uses the Kambi platform for its front end user interface and wide range of betting markets.

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Royal Panda

  • Outstanding in-play betting experience
  • Great mixture of sports
  • Functions well on desktop and mobile
  • Lack of horse racing betting
  • Odds lower than some major sportsbooks
Royal Panda
Our Pick for Live Betting
Play nowGo to website

19+. T&C Apply. Please play Responsibly.

Website: www.royalpanda.comFounded: 2014
Owner: LeoVegas Gaming plcHeadquarters: Malta
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Author: Ben Smith Ben Smith

Royal Panda, launched in 2014, offers sports betting, casino, and poker. They are highly regarded as an online casino, which has an excellent live betting platform and an array of games.

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  • Bet builders for a range of sports
  • Fantastic live betting platform
  • Combo generator
  • Limited NBA lines
  • No betting app
Our Pick for Combo Generators
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Website: Founded:
Coolbet live betting
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Author: Alex Alex

Coolbet prides itself on being a safe and transparent sportsbook, that offers the best odds in the business. Sporting a fresh design, and several nifty features, Coolbet is expected to continue to make a mark on the Canadian betting scene.

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So, how do Free Bets work?

Free bets can work in a number of different ways, and we're here to explain all of these ways in detail.

Free bets are betting credits that bettors can receive when they meet a certain requirement or complete a certain action.

There are a number of scenarios in which this can occur, which this page will focus on.

Take a look at the table of contents to navigate to the section that interests you.

Free Bet FAQs

Free bets are very simple, but you may still have some questions. Find the answers to the most common queries below.

What is a free bet?

A free bet is a bet that a bettor can place without having to risk their own money. Instead, bettors use a bet credit that has been given to them by a betting site.

Where does the term free bet come from?

It's a phrase coined by early betting shops that caught on in popularity as it meant bettors didn't need to risk their own money.

How do you evaulate free bets?

By looking at their overall value, which can be determined by:

  • How much is offered
  • Terms and conditions attached
  • Qualifying bet
  • Minimum odds

Do free bets require deposits?

In most cases, yes. The majority of free bets involve the bettor placing a qualifying wager in order to unlock the free bet credits.

What can you use free bets on?

Generally, this varies based on who has offered the free bet, but this can be cleared up by looking at the terms and conditions or wagering requirements of the free bet.

Can free bets expire?

Yes, bettors need to use free bet credits before their expiry date, which will be made clear in the terms and conditions of each promotion. Usually, it is 7 days, but sometimes bettors might get 30.

Which type of free bets are best?

It's tricky to say, usually, we measure the best ones as those that are highest in value, lowest in minimum odds, and have the longest validity period.

What is a qualifying bet?

A qualifying bet is a bet that bettors need to place in order to unlock free bet credits.

They're usually determined by a certain amount that need to be wagered, along with a set of minimum odds.

Best Free Betting Sites in Canada

Before learning about how free bets work, we thought that since this is a website about betting sites, we'd list the best ones available in Canada that are free to use.

The sites listed below are free to sign up with, their apps are free to download, and they have the most complete betting platforms in the country.

Below, you can find some of the best sportsbooks available in Canada:

  1. 888sport
  2. LeoVegas
  3. Royal Panda
  4. Coolbet

Best Bookmakers in Canada

  1. Our Pick for Puck Line Betting

  2. Our Pick for Mobile Betting

    19+. T&C Apply. Play Responsibly.

  3. Our Pick for Live Betting

    19+. T&C Apply. Please play Responsibly.

  4. Our Pick for Combo Generators

Best Free Betting Sites in Detail


#1 Bookmaker in Canada

✅ Unique puck line betting feature.

✅ Great user interface.

✅ Wide range of sports and markets.


#2 Bookmaker in Canada

✅ Our no.1 mobile betting pick.

✅ Personalised betting experience.

✅ Dedicated sports blog to help keep you informed.

Royal Panda

#3 Bookmaker in Canada

✅ Our pick for live betting.

✅ Great mobile and desktop functionality.

✅ Plenty of sports to choose from.


#4 Bookmaker in Canada

✅ Lots of bet builders

✅ Great for live betting

✅ Combo generator

Sportsbooks comparisons888sportLeoVegasRoyal PandaCoolbet
Betting variety9/109/108/108/10
Mobile experience7/1010/107/108/10
Payment Options8/108/109/107/10
Betting experience7/108/107/109/10

How free bet offers work

To explain how free bets work, we thought we'd make an analogy with gaming.

Usually with any kind of game, whether it be on a console, PC, mobile, or wherever else, you get rewards for completing tasks or actions. In some games, you may get virtual money allowing you to buy things. In other games, you earn XP points to level up.

In online betting, the same concept applies. When a free bet is on offer, a bettor needs to complete an action in order to receive bet credits.

In most cases, the task is making a qualifying bet or bets, but there are a number of other scenarios in which free bets can appear.

In short however, free bets work a lot like a reward would. A bettor completes an action, and the sportsbook rewards them for it.

Different Free Bet Types

There are a number of different scenarios in which free bets may be presented, which are best categorized by the types below:

  1. Free bet for new players
  2. Free bets for existing customers

Types of free bets

Free bets for new bettors

These free bets are offered to bettors who have just created an account with a specific bookmaker.

Historically, the terms and conditions attached to these are lighter than those attached to others, which is why they've been considered to be popular.

Free bets for exisiting players

These free bets are offered to customers who already have an account at a sportsbook, and are usually saddled with more difficult terms and conditions.

These may follow competitions or could be more regular, such as when a sportsbook offers a stake back as free bet if a parlay leg loses.

Free bet terms

There are a number of terms that are critical to understand if you're wanting to know how free bets work.

  1. Minimum odds
  2. Eligible markets
  3. Wagering requirements
  4. Expiry date

Make Sure youknow these free bet terms

Minimum odds

Both qualifying bets to meet free bet requirements, as well as bet credits that are yielded from qualifying bets may be subject to minimum odds.

These are odds that need to be placed in order for these bets to be considered eligible for these free bets.

Eligible markets

Sportsbooks may decide that only certain sports or betting markets are eligible for a certain free bet.

Read the terms and conditions to get an understanding of what these are.

Wagering requirements

Wagering requirements refer to the number of times a bettor needs to play through an offer for it to become withdrawable.

These requirements are usually not too common with free bets. This kind of information however is contained with a free bet's terms and conditions.

Expiry date

Free bets don't last forever. The expiry date refers to the amount of time the free bet is valid for.