Online betting is fiercely competitive and the increase in free games and jackpots from bookies in recent years reflects this. Frankly the companies probably don’t want to offer customers completely free to play games but they have to otherwise the custom would go elsewhere.
As a customer in the UK, one of the most open markets in the world, you can take advantage of these and potentially win cash prizes. With most of these games there is no betting or deposit required to play and the prize is either cash or free bets from which you can possibly win cash.
There are many different types of games now available, some are easier to win with lower value prizes, some are harder to predict but can pay tens of thousands in cash to the winner(s). Whatever type of game you want to play you can find some good options on this page. There is no restriction to playing all the games shown on this page, you simply need to have multiple accounts.
Remember of course that these are incentives and the gambling companies and so you must be over 18, begambleaware.
Best Free Games From UK Bookmakers
Paddy Power - Beat The Drop
Beat the drop by Paddy Power obviously took its inspiration from a well know TV game show. Each day you are given a free entry to beat the drop where you start off with a pot of £5000 in cash and answer a yes / no question about a sporting event. The difference here is you don't have to decide completely either way, you can split your pot between yes and no depending on your confidence. For example, you could throw the whole £5000 pot on one answer or you could split it say £4000 / £1000 or indeed even £2500 / £2500.
You get to pick the questions you answer, with several questions available daily form a range of sports including; football, horse racing, tennis, American football, basketball, etc. Following the result whatever amount you have in the pot for the correct answer continues to the next round. The free standard game requires you to answer 15 consecutive questions, whatever you have at the end of this is yours to keep in cash. You can answer another question as soon as the previous answer is declared.
If you guess wrong and lose the entire pot then Paddy Power give you a new free entry every day. Before you consider it though it is not worth just splitting your pot each time otherwise you would end up with less than 25p.
On special occasions, as part of their loyalty programme or for big events Paddy Power also run special beat the drop games with higher pots (up to £250,000 in the past with 20 questions) or less questions (e.g. answer 10 questions instead of 15).
William Hill - Free or Four
Free Or Four is a prediction game from William Hill for English football matches (usually Saturday 3pm games). The idea is to select six games from the Premier League, other EFL divisions and sometimes the National League where you think the game will produce 3 or 4 goals exactly.
The game is free to play, i.e. not qualifying bets or deposits needed. Make your six predictions, which can be edited up to the start of the game. Get 4/6 right and earn a £1 free bet, 5/6 right gives you a £5 free bet and 6/6 correct gives you £200 free (as eight £25 bet tokens). Each token is valid 30 days and can be used on any sports with no mim/max odds. As usual with free bets you get the winnings in cash but the stake amount is not returned. You can even cash-in these bets minus the free bet stake.
The maximum pool is £1M, if more people win than the maximum prize pool then the top prize may be adjusted down to compensate. For example, if there are 100,000 4/6 winner (=£100,000), 20,000 5/6 winners (=£100,000) then there is £800,000 left. This would mean 4000 people could win £200 with 6/6 correct. If more than 4000 people in this instance get 6/6 correct the prize is adjusted. Using this example if 5000 people get 6/6 correct it would be (800,000/500) = £160 each.
888 Sport - Up For 8
The Up For 8 football prediction game from 888 is the best of both worlds, it has a high top jackpot prize of £8,000 cash for predicting 8 correct results (usually weekend Premier League) but also gives you a £1 free bet for every result you guess correct.
To play you only need to pick the result, win, draw, win, not the correct score. If you get 8/8 you will win, or share, the £8k in cash.
For every correct result you will also get a £1 free bet, e.g. 5/8 would give you a £5 free bet. This is valid for one week and can be used on any sports.
It is worth noting that the 888 terms state: "With respect to eligible players who have yet to make a deposit into their account with 888sport, 888sport reserve the right to restrict such Free Bet Tokens entitlement following 4 Submissions made by such players. This will not affect the cash prize pool; players will still be able to compete for the £8k without making a deposit.", therefore if you want to play each week and receive free bets you may also want to deposit and bet occasionally.
Coral - Football Super Series
Football Super Series, formerly know as Correct 4, is a new game by Coral that rewards you with Free Bets if you guess four correct answers to do with a selected match weekly. This is usually a feature Premier League game.
This is an example of a game that has a low top prize (£50 in cash) but it is far easier to win than other games with higher prizes. It also has consolation prizes, if you miss by one and get three answers right get a £2 free bet and two correct gives a £1 free bet.
While this isn't going to change your life if you do win you are likely to win free bets if you play regularly and the top prize occasionally. There is no limit on how many people can win the top prize either and so the £50 is not split if you do win.
With the rebranding there is also now a monthly £25k jackpot that is won or shared by the player or players who get the most points on the leaderboard. A point is earned for each correct answer you get in each football super series game during the month.
Coral - Smart Money Series
The Coral Smart Money Series is a special game they run surrounding major competitions, such as an international tournament (e.g. Euros, Rugby World Cup, Ashes, etc.) or major race meeting (e.g. Cheltenham, Royal Ascot, etc).
The idea is you guess the answer to 10 questions to do with the event in question, this might be who the winner will be, what stage a certain team will make it to, total number of goals/points/tries, who will be top scorer, etc.
If you get all correct you can win, or share, £100,000 in real cash. You can edit predictions right up until the deadline, which is usually the start of the event.
Ladbrokes - 1 2 Free
The 1, 2, Free football prediction game from Ladbrokes is available to existing customers on mobile. Each week pick the correct score in three selected fixtures, get them all correct and get a £100 in cash.
This is another example of a game that doesn't pay big prizes but that you have far more chance of actually winning. Compare this to Super 6 where you have to guess 6 correct scores, which never happens.
If you get 2/3 correct you will get a £5 free bet and just 1/3 right gives you a £1 free token, meaning you've got a decent chance of winning something each week.
Increasing Your Chances Of Winning Free Games
Bookmakers offer these games and promotions for free because they’re generally difficult to win, the top prizes at least Whenever you think about the world of betting it is important to be honest about its reality: bookies want your money and you want theirs. They try to get your money by enticing you in with a free game offer, hoping that from there you will explore other things on offer on their site and spend real money with them after getting your first taste for free.
Your job is to ensure that you’re the one walking away from the situation feeling happier than they will. This isn’t easy, but one of the best ways of giving yourself a fighting chance is to ensure that you go into the situation having prepared as best you can.
Most free games ask you to predict something and therefore therefor if you do some research and are aware of some general probabilities it can help your guess more accurately. The more accurately your predictions are the more chance you have of getting free bets, cash and what have you from these games. You’ve got to be in it to win it but at the same time most of these games are not random and utilising knowledge can put you at an advantage.
Let’s start by having a look at football, which is one of the most popular sports on the planet. Around 70% of all bets are placed on football so it is no surprise that the most common free prediction games are for football.
If you enter a free football prediction promotion on football without having done any research, if you guess blindly or pick randomly then you are decreasing your chanced of winning, unless you get incredibly fortunate. Luck is involved in all predictions and betting in general, but you can work to make sure that it’s less of a factor for you.
It is virtually impossible to correctly predict the scoreline in a football match whilst the game is being played, let alone before a ball has even been kicked. If you want to stand a chance of winning a prediction game then your best bet is to play the numbers, with the following scorelines being the most common in football matches. The percentage figure is the likelihood of it occurring in a match:
|Correct Score||% Chance Of Full-Time Score|
It might seem counter-intuitive, but there is a higher chance of a match finishing 0-0 than 2-2, yet most of us will steer away from betting on that outcome because we subconsciously don’t want a game to be so boring. The most likely full-time score of any match is 1-0, with the home side winning by that scoreline 9.8% of the time. A bet on a match finishing 1-0 would make sense, depending on the teams playing.
Home Team Winning
The most obviously question that a person would want to ask themselves when thinking about placing a football bet is about how often a home team tends to win their matches. Obviously there is no hard and fast rule on this, given a side that that is competing at the top of the table is more likely to win their home games than one that is fighting it out at the bottom of the league. Even so, it’s information that is useful to have.
Here’s a look at the 2019-2020 season, which should give us an idea of how many home games a team is likely to win. We’ll put them in the finishing order for the Premier League that season, meaning that you’ll be able to see whether they were a top team or one struggling to survive in the English top-flight. It’s also worth remembering that the final part of the campaign was played behind closed doors.
|Team||Number Of Home Games Won||Percentage Of Home Games Won|
|Brighton & Hove Albion||5||26.31%|
|West Ham United||6||31.57%|
It’s easy to see the difference between the team the won the league in 2019-2020, Liverpool, and the side that finished bottom, Norwich City. The former won 94.73% of their home matches, whilst the latter won just 21.05% of theirs. When placing a bet on a football match, therefore, if the home side is a title-challenging one then the likelihood is that they’ll win their game, whilst if they’re relegation fodder then they’ve only got a one in five chance.
Whilst the specific stats used in the football section relate to that sport alone and the Premier League in particular, you can use the same theory regardless of the sport or division that the free games are for. That is to say, if you’re thinking about playing a prediction game that relates specifically to rugby then a bit of research into the likelihood of the home side winning and the most common score will help you in a big way.
The research that you’ll need to do will depend entirely on the sport that the offer is for, as well as the competition that the game is for. If you were to play a game featuring the European Championship or the World Cup, for example, then the sort of information that you’ll need to gather will be entirely different to the Premier League. Likewise, if you’re looking at a promotion on tennis then you’ll want to know how often players win from certain positions.
As an example, here’s some information on the number of times that a player wins from being two sets to love down in the Grand Slam events:
|Grand Slam||Percentage Of 2-0 Down Winners|
Regardless of the sport that you’re looking at or the competition that the promotion is asking you to think about, the watchword of success is always the same: research. The more effort you put in the more likely you are to get something out of the game.
How Can Betting Companies Afford Them?
Free jackpots and games are very much run at a cost to the bookie, the whole point is to encourage loyalty. They hope by giving you free chances to win cash or prizes that it will give you a good feeling about them that might then make you come back to them when you want to bet real cash. Most will even give you the option to bet your own money on the selections you’ve predicted in the game once you submit them.
Therefore the sites providing these games are very much doing so at a loss, and this is one reason you will notice only the bigger, richer and more established companies provide them regularly.
There is nothing stopping a customer having an account with all the sites with free games and playing them, this of course increases your relative chances of winning and costs only your time to play them.
There are some things to bear in mind to get the most out of these games however and we talk more about that further down.
Types Of Games & Prizes Available
Most of the examples you will see are free prediction games. This will be surrounding a football match or competition, a race meeting, NFL game, darts match, etc., pretty much any sporting event with a high enough profile and interest will have a game you can play for free linked to it. Simply guess the answers and if you get all correct you will win, many also offer consolation prizes for guesses that are nearly there.
There are other types of free games available, such as those that test skill, e.g. scoring goals in a virtual football game or requiring you to spin a wheel to see if you get a bonus. These tend to be more transient and are rarely offered permanently, but are certainly worth playing when available.
Below we look at the types of prizes available:
These are the ones that provide the biggest prizes in cash, often above £10,000 and sometimes above £100,000. They are however also the games that are hardest to predict, often requiring things like 6 correct scores, 8 correct results or 10 correct questions linked to a game.
Of course these are difficult to win, the odds often can be as high, or higher, than the prize offered. Therefore, you are unlikely to win, but, they are free to play and if you do win it is your cash to keep.
Bigger jackpot games also tend to provide smaller cash prizes or free bets for getting a set number of predictions right, giving further incentive to play even if you don’t think there is much chance of getting all correct.
Games that pay out in free bets will usually be tiered, they will ask you to make a set number of predictions, say 3 or 4 correct scores, with a top prize of say £100 free bet if you get them all correct. Often there will be smaller free bet prizes for guessing some correct but missing others.
Of course the free bet is not cash, it can only be used on the site in question, but you can win the token for free and then use that token to place a bet where you could win real cash.
Bonuses & Free Spins
Most of the free games linked to the casino side of sites, such as the daily spin the wheel type games, will tend to have one big cash prize and then a series of bonuses and free spins that can be won.
The bonuses and free spins will be linked to the either a specific slot game, series of games or a section such as live casino. These are again not cash and will have wagering requirements, but should you reach those requirements and still have a bonus left it will turn into real cash.
Tickets & Merchandise and Hospitality
These are perhaps the least valuable promotions of the type as the chances of winning are random. Most games that give prizes like this require you to bet on something, but there are a few, every now and again, that are free and simply require you to opt-in.
If it is just a matter of opting-in for a chance to win then it surely makes sense to have a go.
How To Get The Most Out Of Free Games
The first thing is to have an account with all the major operators that provide these games, you can’t play if you are not registered. It is likely you will need to verify any account before you play (to ensure you are over 18 and are who you say you are), but there is generally no need to deposit and bet anything to play the games. Either way you will need to verify an account to withdraw if you do win so you need to do it at some point whatever.
There is a caveat to this. If you do sign up to a site and only use them to play free games they may limit or close your account for bonus abuse. They are private companies, these are their free games and so they can do what they want here.
If you enjoy the free jackpots offered by a site then to guarantee you can play long term you might want to consider making the occasional deposit and bet. These freebies after all are a loyalty incentive and so the betting companies do expect some reciprocation. This isn’t a must, you could sign up and play a free game for as long as they will let you without depositing, but when you do get limited it is very difficult to get it reversed; meaning you could miss out on new future free jackpots.
If you play lots of games it helps to have a reminder for when to play. Some games are daily, others weekly, some are sporadic. Keep a folder of apps or bookmarks to the sites with your favourites for easy entry.
What you should absolutely not do is try to sign up for multiple duplicate accounts, if you do this and are caught (which you are almost guaranteed to be) then your account will be closed and any game winnings forfeited.
There are some games that require you to have deposited at least once to play, if this is the case check your deposit method is valid. For example, lots of sites will restrict access to promotions, and free jackpots, if you fund an account using certain eWallets like Skrill or Neteller or cash vouchers such as PaySafeCard.