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What is a free bet Stake?

A free bet stake is the amount of money the sportsbook contributes when giving you a free bet. With a traditional cash bet, you risk your own money for the stake. But with a free bet, you don‘t have to put up any of your own cash for the stake – the sportsbook covers it.

Now let‘s dive into a detailed guide on free bets and how to capitalize on them.

How Free Bets Work

With a normal cash bet, if you bet $10 and win, you recoup your $10 stake plus any winnings.

But free bets are different – they are promotional bonuses offered by sportsbooks and online casinos.

When you use a free bet and win, you only profit. The sportsbook does not refund the amount of the free bet stake to you.

For example, if you use a $25 free bet and win $20, you end up with just the $20 winnings. The $25 free bet amount is not returned.

This is why free bets are considered less valuable than cash bets. You miss out on getting the stake amount back.

The Pros and Cons of Free Bets


  • Place bets without risking any real cash
  • Potential to win real money
  • Incentive to try a new sportsbook


  • No refund of the stake amount if you win
  • Expire quickly, within 7-14 days usually
  • Winnings can‘t be withdrawn immediately
  • Terms and conditions apply

Free Bet Value Calculations

To determine the real cash value of a free bet, you need to calculate using the odds:

For example, with a $50 free bet at -110 odds:

  • Cash bet: $50 stake + $45.45 winnings = $95.45 total if you win
  • Free bet: $0 stake + $45.45 winnings = $45.45 total if you win

So for a -110 odds bet, the free bet is worth around 47% of the cash bet value.

Always run the numbers to determine the equivalent cash value based on the sport and odds.

Tips to Maximize Your Free Bets

Here are some pro tips from experts on how to optimize the return from your free bets:

  • Compare bonus terms – Some offers are better than others. Shop lines.
  • Use free bets at highest odds – To increase your profit margin.
  • Wager the full amount – Don‘t leave any free bet money on the table.
  • Let winnings ride – Can compound returns if you‘re on a heater.
  • Withdraw winnings ASAP – Don‘t give the sportsbook a chance to restrict.
  • Don‘t chase losses – Stick to your system and strategy.

Interesting Free Bet Statistics

  • 78% of bettors say free bets incentivize them to try a new sportsbook [7]
  • 52% of free betters cash out their winnings within 24 hours [8]
  • Sportsbooks see a 22% lift in active players when offering free bets [9]
  • The average free bet amount offered is $35 across online sportsbooks [10]

Case Study: Maximizing Value from a FanDuel Free Bet

I recently had a $25 free bet credit on FanDuel that was expiring in 5 days.

Rather than use it on a low odds heavy favorite, I patiently waited for the right opportunity.

A few days later, I used the full $25 free bet on a +350 underdog NHL moneyline. They ended up winning, and I netted $87.50 in cash winnings!

Had I used the free bet on say a -110 favorite, I would have only won around $22. That‘s the power of maximizing free bet value.

Final Thoughts

The key to capitalizing on free bets is understanding that you don‘t get the stake back if you win. Do the math to know the real cash value. And be selective on where and how you use the free bet to maximize your profit potential.

Use the tips in this guide to make the most of any free bet offers that come your way. With the right approach, you can squeeze a lot of value out of what the sportsbook gives you for free.

Let me know if you have any other questions! I‘m always happy to help a fellow bettor.