Can You Withdraw Free Bets?

Jack Taylor

15 Jan 2019

Updated: 15 Nov 2023

Free bets and bonuses are how we make the majority of our profit in matched betting. They can be confusing at first due to the variety of different terms and conditions that are applied by the bookies.

Some of the most commons questions that we get asked when people are first starting out are:

“Free bets aren’t actually free are they?”


“How do we withdraw cash from a free bet?”

Well the answer to the first question is a bit like the age old “How long is a piece of string?” question. It is really dependant on the individual terms for that free bet. To answer this question we need to look at it from two different points of view:

  1. From a “normal” everyday betting perspective
  2. From a matched betting perspective

Generally speaking, in order to get a free bet from a bookie, you will need to risk some of your own money first - So bet £20 get a £20 free bet for instance.

If we look at this from perspective 1 (normal bettor) then it is most definitely not free as you are risking £20 of real cash to get it. You may win this first bet and be in profit but you may also lose this first bet and be £20 down! So, win or lose, you now have this free bet - but it isn’t a case of just backing a winner with it and walking away with the cash. Bookies are crafty and many will add in wagering terms on free bets, meaning that you may have to wager them/any winnings from them a number of times. When all this is taken into account then it is highly likely that you won’t actually make a penny from that “free” bet and, a lot of the time, actually be £20 worse off!

Let’s now look at it from a matched betting perspective (and this ties in with the 2nd question) - “How do we withdraw cash from a free bet?”

With matched betting we cover all outcomes of events to eliminate the gambling/risk aspect of that initial £20 cash bet. This is completely legal and enables us, as matched bettors, to get around the bookies wagering restrictions and come away with cash. So, by covering all outcomes, we protect our initial £20 cash investment and trigger our £20 free bet reward. We then place our £20 free bet, again covering all outcomes, and turn this into real cash that then becomes withdrawable! Typically speaking, dependant on the amount of wagering of the free bet we will need to do, we can expect to make around £15 - £17 profit - and once our wagering is complete we can then withdraw this straight into our bank!

Remember, matched betting isn't gambling because the outcome of the event is irrelevant. Traditional betting would usually require you to research the latest news, form and tips around that bet (visit Timeform for more information on this), however matched betting does not require this.

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