As esports betting continues to grow in popularity, an increasing number of bookmakers are looking to attract punters to their sites. One way of doing this is to offer an esports free bet bonus to new customers who sign up for an account with them. However, finding the best free bets can be tricky if you are new to the workings of esports betting sites.
In this article, we will take a closer look at the whole concept of an esports free bet bonus and how you can go about finding one that suits you. We also provide you with some free bet tips on making the best use of any esports free bet bonuses you manage to secure.
Types of esports free bet bonuses you’ll find
There are several different types of betting bonuses that bookmakers offer to customers. Some of these are only available for new customers, but established customers can also claim other bonuses. Here are a few of the types of bonuses that you may see being offered by various online bookies.
1. Extra bet welcome bonus
This is perhaps the most common type of bonus offered to punters, and we will examine this in greater detail later in the article. But you are basically given an extra bet by the bookie to use as you see fit. Certain conditions may be attached to turning any wins your extra bets generate into actual cash.
2. Matched deposit welcome bonus
This type of welcome bonus is less common for sportsbooks but is still very popular with online casinos. After you have made your first deposit in your new betting account, the bookie will give you the same amount of bonus credit. There are often very restrictive wagering requirements attached to this type of bonus that must be met before it can be turned into real cash.
3. Accumulator refund
Accumulators are a type of bet where you combine several match bets onto one coupon, with the odds being added together. It is popular with punters who like to bet on football, but it also lends itself to esports betting, especially when you are betting on favorites in the early rounds of tournaments like the DreamHack esports event. Bookies will often refund a bettor’s stake if one leg of their accumulator loses as a bonus bet.
4. No lose bet
This is pretty self-explanatory. Some bookies offer a bonus to new and established customers, allowing them to place one bet with no risk. The bookie will award the punter an extra bet if the bet is lost. If the bet wins, the bookie does not award any bonus but simply pays out the winnings from the bet.
5. Odds boosts
Odds boosts are a nice bonus to pick up, and they tend to be offered to all of a bookie’s customers who like to bet on a particular sport or event. In an esports context, a bookie might boost the odds on bets on one tournament or a particular team. Betway, for example, sponsors the esports team Ninjas in Pajamas, so they might boost the odds on matches involving them.
What are esports free bets?
So, what are esports free bets, and how can you claim one? Well, what you will find if you begin to cast your eye over the various bookies that offer esports markets is that there are not many esports-specific bonuses. Instead, you will be able to pick up the general sports betting welcome bonuses if you sign up for an account. This means that you need to be looking for a bookie who offers a good range of esports markets.
Some mainstream bookies, like Betway and Bet365, have started to offer a fine range of esports markets, and you can also usually pick up a decent sports betting bonus from mainstream bookies of this type. There are also plenty of esports-specific bookmakers out there now, and many of their offers can be a little variable in quality, so you need to use your judgment when it comes to picking up bonuses from this type of bookie.
When a bookie says something is ‘free,’ it is important to know that it is not literally what it appears to be on the surface. You will be awarded some extra bets as part of a welcome bonus if you deposit money in your account and place the first bet. So you still need to spend money to get a bet, as nothing is free in betting. Always remember this when judging which bonus suits you best.
Tips on betting with an esports free bet bonus
Once you have claimed an esports free bet bonus, you need to use it to place some bets. Betting is not simply a case of picking out your favourite esports teams and simply betting randomly with no plan. You need to have formulated a strong strategy and then make sure you stick to it if you want to enjoy some success when betting with your esports free bets.
Some of the proven esports betting tips are discussed below:
1. Remember that greed is the esports bettor’s enemy
Many inexperienced punters seem to think that placing big bets on long odds markets is guaranteed to bring them the big wins they crave. This could not be further from reality. Long odds are there to tell you that something is unlikely to happen, not that you will be guaranteed success. If you are betting on esports, you do not want to waste your time and money betting on long odds bets. Instead, place plenty of small bets at sensible odds, and combine them into accumulators if you want to boost the esport odds. If you do this, you are less likely to waste the esports free bet bonus you have been awarded and much less likely to lose money and end up chasing your losses. Never become greedy when betting, as it can lead to disaster.
2. Always research and never rely on pure chance
Research might not seem like something that would be associated with esports betting, especially if you are a newcomer to gambling. However, research is vital if you want to make the most of any esports free bet tips you might have read about. To bet successfully, you must study the form of teams and players. You need to know about recent results and the track record of a certain player or team against certain opponents.
It also pays to focus on one or two specific esports rather than trying to bet on everything that’s out there. Focusing on one or two games, such as CS:GO or League of Legends, will mean you can pick up more useful information without spreading yourself too thinly. If you narrow your focus to a small number of specific teams, you can soon find yourself becoming an expert.
This kind of expert knowledge is invaluable when betting, and it can significantly boost your chances of placing more successful bets. The more knowledge you have about the attributes and abilities of a team, as well as the kind of form they are in, the more winning bets will come your way.
3. If you get angry, stop betting and step back
Anger and frustration are emotions that we all experience when betting, and they provide you with a good signal that it is time to stop and do something else. All punters will experience a run of losses from time to time – this is just part of betting. You are bound to be disappointed if the esports free bet tips you picked up did not work, and you have lost money.
But it is important that you recognize that losing is not the end of the world, and you do not need to make things worse by chasing your losses with more and bigger bets. If you begin to feel angry and frustrated, you will not be making good decisions about which markets you should be betting on. This is likely to result in poor decisions and more losses, which is not a situation you want to be in. When anger and frustration take over, it is time to stop.
What to look out for in an esports free bets bonus
In this section, we’ll briefly discuss what you should have in mind before settling for any of the esports free bet bonus offers that esports betting platforms dangle to new customers. So before you sign up at that online bookmaker, here are a few things to look out for.
Minimum deposit requirements
It is common to find bookmakers that insert a minimum deposit requirement into the terms that apply to their welcome bonuses. They’ll mandate you to make an initial, qualifying deposit to make you eligible to claim their bonus. So your potential bookmaker may request that you make an initial deposit of $10 before you can get their bonus of $20. In essence, they match your deposit by a percentage increment. And in most cases, they’ll only give you this bonus after you have placed a specific bet, usually amounting to this minimum deposit.
Maximum bonus amount
So you’ve just signed up for an esports betting site before going on to make a deposit of $50, only to get a welcome bonus of $5 in return. This situation can be disappointing if you have been promised much better or know that you can get a better offer elsewhere. So you must check for any specific terms and conditions attached to your bookmaker’s bonus offer before signing up. Most of them will put a limit on how much bonus you can get, and this amount is fixed, regardless of how much you deposit.
Validity of bonus
Some bookmakers give you a bonus, only to take it away before you use it. So if your bookmaker gives you a bonus offer, check out the timeframe for this bonus to remain valid so you can know when to use it. The validity of your bonus may go from a couple of days to a week and maybe even longer, depending on the bookmaker. And if you don’t use it before the time expires, you’ll be unable to roll it back. So before you sign up to any esports betting platform, you can get information about how long their bonuses typically last.
Utility of bonus
If your bonus money can not book you a bet at the biggest esports games, tournaments, or markets, it should be a significant turnoff, but only if you have high expectations. Nowadays, bookmakers give out bonuses that can get you a number of free spins at the casinos. Others may lock out the most popular markets, leaving you to settle for exhibitions. A good esports bonus should be capable of being used to bet on the regular gaming options, from outright matchwinners at ESL matches to tournament winners at the Intel Extreme Masters.
You may have seen a bookmaker asking users to roll over their bonus over several bets before they can withdraw winnings from the initial bonus. Or perhaps you’ve seen one that requires you to place a specific number of bets over a specified number of days using your bonus and any winnings from it. This can be quite the tall order, even for the luckiest punters. For the best betting experience, look for a bookmaker that does not place excessive wagering requirements on your esports bonuses, making it difficult to withdraw the winnings made using these bonuses.
Best betting sites with esports free bets & bonus offers
Here, we discuss some of the most popular bonus offers that some esports betting platforms offer to new players:
BetUK offers up to £30 in Free Bets in exchange for a minimum £10 bet, but this offer is strictly for new users of its mobile betting platform. You have only 7 days to claim this bonus, during which time you must have placed your bet at a minimum wager of £10 and a minimum odd of 1.5.
When any of the bets are voided, cashed out, or partially cashed out, they’ll not count. You must endeavor to use these free bets on a minimum of four selections at a minimum odds of 1.3.
This renowned bookmaker gives new users a free bet package when they satisfy the wagering requirements. As soon as you meet this qualifying bet requirement, these free bets are transferred to your Bet365 account as bet credits that you can use to place bets. This deposit bonus may come with other terms and conditions selected at the bookmaker’s discretion, so it helps to get a good look at them. They may include a minimum odd count, some exceptions for your payment, and bet options.
This bookmaker offers its new users £30 in free bets and a minimum of £10 in casino bonus. However, these bonus offers can only be claimed after the user must have placed a “qualifying bet” of at least £/€/$10. The £30 free bet package is received as soon as you make the qualifying bet.
However, this free bet will expire in 7 days, which is the same as the casino bonus. And when you hit a winning ticket using any of these bonuses, you’ll have to bet on the bonus 40 times in the next 14 days to be able to make any withdrawal.
When you place a £/€10 bet, Kwiff doubles this deposit and offers it to you as a welcome bonus. The chief condition qualifying you for this bonus is for your bet coupon to have games with minimum odds of 1.5. This bonus offer is credited into your account after the first 48 hours of you placing the qualifying bet. You may search further for any other extra terms and conditions.
Paddy Power gives its new customers a cashback offer for bets of £20. As long as you’ve just signed up to this bookmaker, you can get back your first £20 bet if you lose it on any gaming market.
While there are certain terms and conditions that may come into play, there is, however, one very important one. You only qualify for this offer when you make your deposit using a card.
When you sign up to Virgin bet and make a minimum deposit of £10 before going on to stake on a coupon of bets with a minimum esports odds of 1.5, all within 14 days of signing up, you automatically qualify for a bonus offer. This bonus offers 2 non-withdrawable free bet tokens worth £10 that will expire after seven days.
Tote presents its new users with a cashback offer that gives you credit in return for a minimum bet, regardless of the game you bet on. This credit can be redeemed for a bet to be used strictly for racing bets, for the UK and Irish placepot bets.
The first racing pool bet you include in your bet slip qualifies you for this credit. So virtual bets, football bets, and other popular betting markets will not count if you wish to tow this path.
Utilising your esports free bets: Esports titles to bet on
These are some of the esports titles that online bookmakers will offer players the opportunity to bet on. We’ll start off with the three most popular titles: CS:GO, Dota 2 and League of Legends, followed by some other titles.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
CSGO, or Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, is a first-person shooter game whose main theme is preventing an opposition—a five-player team, from planting a bomb. You can also play for or choose the attacking team that intends to plant this bomb. From popular CS2 tournaments like the ESL Pro League and the Intel Extreme Masters, players and teams deploy strategies to come out tops to the delight or despair of the punters.
In this game, you get to bet on the success or failure of any of the two teams in accomplishing their goal, which is either planting or preventing a bomb. The betting markets and CS2 odds include the traditional match winner, map winner, and handicap odds.
Dota 2, a MOBA game, is one of the most visible titles in the gaming scene, and esports betting enthusiasts are warming up to its vast potential as a money-spinning outlet. In this game, the players select a team of five from a strong selection of Heroes, as they are known. These Heroes join forces with other team members to protect their “Ancient”—their power base, from the advances and attacks of the opposing team.
Punters in Dota 2 betting sites can choose a direct winner from any of the teams, that is, the first team to destroy the other’s “Ancient. They can also put their money on the first team to either make the first kill, draw the first blood, or come out tops in a Dota tournament.
League of Legends
In this game, a team of Champions battle each other to destroy the other team’s Nexus. Towers are destroyed, dragons are slain on either side, along with other in-game actions leading up to the winner of each round or the battle. You can bet on the first team to either draw first blood, register 10 kills, destroy a tower, or win a certain number of rounds over the biggest LoL tournaments.
The biggest League of Legends matchups can be found in tournaments like the Intel Extreme Masters and the KeSPA Cup. And in these esports tournaments, punters go all out for their choice teams while putting their money on the line.
Call of Duty
Call of Duty is a first-person shooter franchise game with a passionate fan base. The battle is won over some of the biggest modes, like Hardpoint, Capture the Flag, and Search and Destroy. And in premier CoD tournaments like the Call of Duty League (CDL), the best teams in the business battle against each other for the grand prizes. But if you’re not one of those handling the consoles, you can join in the action by placing some bets on Call of Duty. You can bet on the matchwinner, the map winner, the total maps in the match, and other markets that revolve around the maps.
In this game, a team of three battles against 19 other similar teams battling to come out tops on a shrinking remote island. From tournaments like the popular Twitchcon and the FACEIT pro series, in Apex Legends betting punters put their money on the teams to make the most kills and ultimately win the match. You can get closer to a winning ticket with every point earned from your selected team making a kill. And then there is the match odds and map odds option for those that want to bet on the bigger picture when they bet on Apex Legends.
If you’ve ever tried your hands at soccer games, you’d most likely have had a game of FIFA. In esports FIFA Betting, you get the chance to bet on your favourite team winning against another over a game of football. The most popular markets you’ll find are the traditional matchpoints, where you bet on a match’s outright winner or loser. You can also bet on a straight draw or the results of each half. You can switch things up by giving your team a one-goal advantage in a betting market known as a handicap. These are just a few of the many markets you can find while betting on the biggest teams in the biggest leagues and tournaments in FIFA.
Other notable mentions include Valorant betting and PUBG gambling, and they have very similar markets.
Betting markets to spend your esports free bets on
So if you’re also wondering which betting markets you’ll be able to use your esports free bets on, here we examine some of the most popular sports betting markets you will come across on an esports betting site:
- First Tower: This is very popular in esports games like League of Legends. It awards the matchpoint to the team that is first to destroy a tower in opposition territory.
- First Blood: In this esports betting market, any of the opposing teams that register the first recognised attack leading to a loss of a team member on the part of the opposition is declared the winner of the bet. Whether it is a swordfight in LoL or even a gunfight in Call of Duty, the team that draws the first blood wins the bet.
- First to make a number of kills: While some bookmakers go for 10 kills, others raise the bar much higher than that. So when you bet on the first team to register 10 kills in an esport match, you will lose the bet if the other team achieves this feat faster than yours.
- 1st Round Winner: In this case, the winner is declared after the first round, and your bet is won or lost after this result is announced.
- Winner of a number of Rounds: Here, you win your bet if your chosen team wins a specific number of rounds before the opposing team. It may take 9 rounds for your team to get up to five winning rounds. And when they do, you can tick that bet on your match betting coupon.
- Matchwinner: This is the traditional esports betting market where you bet on the team that will be declared the winner of a match. Whether it is a game of soccer, a battle of the strongest heroes and witches, or any major tournament in esports, the team that comes out tops at the end of everything is the winner. And the punter that bets on that team shares in the victory.
- Map winner: In games that use maps to differentiate each stage of gameplay, bets can be placed on which of the two teams slugging it out will come out tops at the end of the map.
- Overall Tournament/Event Winner: Whether it is the FIXIT Pro series, the Intel Extreme Masters cup or other major tournaments, punters bet on any of the competing teams to be declared the event’s overall winner.
- Handicap: Punters that give an opposing team a handicap give their team an advantage that places them on the winning side from the get-go. Whether it is a goal handicap in FIFA or a map handicap in Rocket League, you will win the bet if the game is declared a tie at the end of the match for the former or after a number of maps for the latter.
- Correct Score: In esport titles like FIFA, you can predict the correct scores at the end of a half or the final whistle and win big while at it. In battleground games, the bookmaker sums up the points awarded to both teams and awards winners of bets placed on the correctly predicted point haul at the end of a round, map, or event.
- Odd/Even Maps: In this case, punters bet on the figure corresponding to the number of maps that a team wins in an event. They can bet on this figure being an odd number or even number, and they make their winning if the map haul tallies with the figure they wager on.
- Total Maps Over and Under: Here, you can bet on the minimum or maximum number of maps you expect your team to win during a match. You get to choose an upper limit or a lower limit in the number of maps your team wins, above or beyond which your bets will be lost or won respectively.
How to pick the best site for your esports free bets
Here are some tips to have in mind while looking for an esport betting site:
- The number of esports titles available: While you can always look out for big esports betting options like Call Of Duty, Dota 2, and League of Legends in your online bookmaker, to name a few, you should also be able to place esports bets on the popular names as they could offer you a less complicated path to winning.
- Bonuses and promotional offers: This is perhaps the biggest draw that online sportsbooks have for their customers. These bonuses go from sign-up/Welcome bonuses to bonus bets, deposit and no-deposit bonuses, and they can sometimes be unlocked with a free bonus code or promo code. However, some of these esports betting bonus offers may come with certain wagering requirements. Then some may even require you to roll over your bonus a number of times for a number of markets.
- Restricted countries: An esports betting site may not have any esports betting offers to people in your area due to the local betting laws. Their absence in your region’s betting scene might result from a logistics or expansion problem. So if you find out that your online sportsbook is unable in your current location, you may have to look elsewhere.
- Available odds and markets: Whether you are more interested in Tennis, football, or even hockey, or your strong point is on the other side of casino games or live esports betting, good online sportsbooks should have you covered. And if you’re the type that is always looking at markets and odds that no one else is familiar with, you should be catered to by your bookmaker. Some esports betting sites are getting creative with their markets. So instead of the all-too-familiar match point odds and other traditional markets, they’re going out of their way to create other options for gamers to explore.
- Licensing status: Whether it is a license from the UK gambling commission, Malta, or Curacao gaming authority, the best esports betting site will take their licensing very seriously. These regulatory bodies have a database of betting operators that they give a seal of approval. And the bookies that make their list must have ticked a lot of boxes, making them good enough to make the cut. So if your esports betting site does not have enough to make it to their good books, you should be very careful about every move you make on their platform.
- Available payment options: Esports betting platforms are known to be very flexible and efficient with their payment platforms. Whether they accept payment in fiat currency or cryptocurrency, they employ nearly the same effective measures to make deposits and withdrawals as smooth and seamless as possible. So if you wish to fund your bets from your regular account using a card, you can process it with relative ease. And if you opt for payment using coins from your e-wallet, the quality of the service will not drop a notch.
What is a promo code?
A promo code is a key with which you can unlock a free bet or promotional offer on an esports betting site. In some cases, the bookmakers may provide this code themselves, or they can give it to a third-party website to help them promote their platform. When you sign up for a betting site, you can type a bonus code into the space provided and get the bonus offer attached to the code.
Is esports betting legal?
Esports betting is legal in some countries and illegal in others. So before you register on any esports betting website, check that their operations are legal in your city, county or country. Regulatory agencies like the UK Gambling Commission or the Malta Gaming Authority rank among the most visible players in the international gambling regulation and licensing scene.
Can I make an esports bet with crypto?
Yes, you can make an esport bet using any cryptocurrency your bookmaker supports. Provided the bookmaker supports it you can make deposits and withdraw winnings in Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, or any other cryptocurrency.
Is esports betting safe?
Your esports betting experience will be much better if you choose to bet with bookmakers who are licensed and regulated by a reputable, high-standards regulatory body. Always check to ensure that bookmakers maintain responsible gambling and security measures. From the multilayered encryption to the strict user verification that they use, they pull all the stops to guarantee the safety of your funds.
As can be seen from this article, the actual concepts behind your typical esports free bets are very simple. If you are familiar with other forms of sports betting, then you should find betting on esports to have no real significant differences. You still need good sporting knowledge and judgment to succeed.
But finding the right esports free bet bonus is an important part of finding the right bookie and enjoying your betting. Always look for a generous bonus but also one that meets your needs. Avoid restrictive wagering requirements, and seek out esports-specific bonuses wherever possible.