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Best Free Bets in the US 2024

Last Updated on February 23, 2024
Fact checked by: Chris A

Looking for a free bet in the US? You’ll find the best American sites with free bets in this article!

Whether you’re preparing for the Super Bowl or just playing at a new betting site, everyone needs a boost from time to time. And there’s no better boost than claiming free bets in the US. Instead of risking your hard-earned money straight away, you can claim this promo and test the waters with house money.

Today’s guide will show you how to do just that. You’ll get an exclusive glimpse into the world of free bets in the USA, coupled with advice from our team. Sounds good?

Awesome, let’s start from the basics.

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What is a Free Bet? 

A free bet is a promotion you’ll see at just about any US sportsbook. The best way to describe it would be as a ‘shortcut’ of sorts. You don’t have to use your own funds, which means the bet is risk-free.

If you win, you can claim your winnings under certain conditions. If not, no harm, no foul. Make a regular deposit and continue playing if you like the betting site. The best part about free bets in the USA is that they come in many shapes and sizes. You won’t be confined to a single format with heavy restrictions and strict rules.

How Do Free Bets Work?

First and foremost, you need an account to claim free bets in the USA. Keep in mind that their main purpose is to attract new players. And without people registering, there’s nothing in it for the sportsbook, right? Certainly. Once you create an account, you can claim your free bet in one of the following ways:

  • Enter a bonus code
  • Make a deposit
  • Opt-in with a few clicks

Bonus codes and opt-ins are the most popular ways to claim this type of promo. Deposit-dependent free bets usually have better conditions, though. However, few players want to deposit immediately, so it’s not the most popular format.

How to Claim Free Bets in the USA

So, it’s your first time meddling with free bets in the USA? No worries, we’ve all been there. To make things easier and fast-track your way to placing bets, follow these steps:

Every week, our team checks US sportsbooks for the latest and greatest free bets. Once we compile a list of contenders, the testing phase begins. Our experts claim the promos and use them as the average player would. While placing bets, we track things such as overall value, risk level, and more. After every last cent has been depleted, Gambla then compares the free bets and ranks them accordingly. You have everything served on a silver platter.

No need to go from site to site and analyze every promo.

Read the Terms & Conditions

Although most players skip this part, we strongly advise you not to do so. The T&C page of the free bet bonus contains all the rules you must follow. Usually, sportsbooks only include the most important or least off-putting details in the main banner or tile.

For instance, at first glance, a $50 free bet might seem like a lot. But when you read the T&C thoroughly, you’ll see that it comes with a $100 cap on winnings and 60x wagering requirements. Betting sites are legally obliged to tell everything in the T&C, so don’t cut corners and claim the free bet.

Claim it

If the promo requires a simple opt-in, click on Claim, and the funds should be credited to your account. This is the easiest way to claim free bets in the USA. Unfortunately, not all sites are willing to prioritize convenience and efficiency. That’s why you might be asked to make a deposit. This option works the same as a classic deposit bonus.

Pick a suitable payment method, confirm the transaction, and the free bet should be credited to your account. Just make sure you see the funds in your balance. There are also bonus codes, but betting sites give them mostly for special occasions.

Start betting

Once the dust has settled, you can actually start strategizing. But don’t get your hopes up about large winnings — free bets in the USA often have heavy restrictions. This is most often the case when the promo doesn’t require a deposit. The sportsbook has to limit you; otherwise, people would be robbing them blind.

Thus, We think you should prioritize having fun or betting on an event that means something to you. It’s just one bet, so who cares? Whether or not you win shouldn’t concern you that much. But if you like the site, make a deposit and start playing seriously.

Illustration of free bets no deposit for US players

Things to Watch Out for with Free Bets at US Sportsbooks

Now that you know how to use free bets in the USA, it’s time to focus on more pressing matters. The truth is not all promos of this type are worth your time. Sure, they may resemble one another when it comes to the main components, but the devil is in the details. That’s why Gambla strongly suggests you vet every free bet, focusing on the following aspects:

Wagering requirements

This is probably everyone’s least favorite part of playing at online betting sites. The purpose of wagering requirements is to protect the bookmaker from ‘lucky winners.’ Players can’t just walk away with winnings from a free bet. To be able to claim those winnings, they have to wager the bonus amount a select number of times.

For instance, 40x wagering requirements on a $5 free bet mean you have to wager $200 (40*5). Generally, it would be best if you stayed away from promos that go over 40x. Even 40x isn’t ideal, but there are ways to work around the requirements and wager the money methodically.

Bonus amount

The amount that the sportsbook gives you depends on several factors. Special occasions come to mind as one of the more important ones. If it’s a big event like the Superbowl or the Kentucky Derby, betting sites tend to be more generous. They know people want to bet more than usual, so they meet the players halfway.

But don’t be fooled by big numbers. If something seems too good to be true, your hunch is probably correct. Considerable amounts usually have heavy restrictions, such as bet limits and caps on overall winnings. Always read the T&C, and be careful.

Eligible markets & sports

Sometimes, free bets aren’t what they seem in terms of availability. The banner on the site might seem like you’ll get total freedom, but that’s rarely the case. Online sportsbooks limit players in terms of which sports they can bet on. Sometimes, these promos will relate to a single event.

This is usually for promotional purposes, such as during the NFL Playoffs. However, betting sites implement these restrictions also to prevent people from exploiting niche sports with next to no movement. So, before using free bets, think about your priorities and whether you’re willing to accept minor limits.

Expiration date

Contrary to popular belief, free bets in the USA aren’t a permanent solution. Since they have an expiry date, you’ll have to be careful about when the promo ends. The exact time and date should be stated in the T&C down to the minute. Even though it doesn’t seem like a big deal, the expiration date can play a big role.

Let’s say you’ve claimed a free bet lasting 48 hours, but Monday Night Football is still four days away. The Gambla team is firmly against short expiration dates. They only cause players to rush and make decisions hastily.

Restrictions

And last but not least, another widely hated aspect of free bets in the USA. It’s the ultimate ace up the sportsbook’s sleeve, and they’re not afraid to use it. Even if the site checks all the other boxes, be wary of its limits. Whether it’s odds, wager amounts, or winnings, you won’t have free reign.

Illustration of top sportsbooks with free bets

What Are the Best Ways to Use Free Bets in the USA?

Most bonuses are focused on financial value, but free bets in the USA aren’t your average bonus. They serve as a precursor to deposit bonuses, cash backs, and other types of promos. So don’t dream about breaking the bank or making a dent in the sportsbook’s bottom line. To ensure you’ll have the most fun possible, try these objectives on for size:

Try out a new sportsbook

Almost every US betting site can be viewed even if you don’t have an account. However, this doesn’t show you the full picture. You need to know how the site works and whether the betting process is smooth. Free bets in the USA are perhaps the best way to accomplish this.

Since you’re playing with house money, you can pick any event and see how the site handles the process. If everything works smoothly and there aren’t any issues, you can move forward and make a deposit. But you wouldn’t be able to know this if you didn’t use the free bet.

Big events

Many bettors don’t place wagers daily. Instead, they view sports betting as fun and reserve it for a special event. Let’s say you and your friends look forward to the NBA Finals. Even though none of you are high-rollers, it can be fun to place money on who’s going to win.

You don’t have to make a large deposit or jump through hoops to do this. Just pick one of our recommended free bets in the USA. They’ll let you enjoy the Super Bowl without making a significant financial pledge.

Experiment with new markets

Everyone starts with the basics, such as 1×2, O/U, and other unavoidable bet types. Nevertheless, playing at betting sites gets even more fun when you try out more complex markets, such as player-specific props. As exciting as their odds are, this also means they’re a much riskier move.

You can focus on exploring and learning new things with free bet promos. And you’ll also be able to enjoy waiting for the games to finish since you don’t have to worry about losing money. Take your time, have fun, and see whether you should add these markets to your main strategy or not.

Illustration of US promo codes for free bets

Tips on How to Use Free Bets in the US

Even though you know the full gist of free bets, you’re still not ready to jump in. Take a look at these tips and apply them to your strategy before starting off:

Don’t Jump the Gun

Free bets may be a great way to reduce risk, but they won’t tell you everything. That’s why it’s a bad idea to immediately follow them up with big deposits. Remember, you’ve placed only one bet. It’s not nearly enough to determine more about the site. Take it easy and make smaller deposits at first. If everything’s okay, you can move on to bigger amounts.

Bigger Isn’t Always Better

The sentence “$200 risk-free bet for new players” sounds quite exciting. Of course, it does, but it’s also a red flag. Think about it for a second. If everyone else is offering $20-50, why would one sportsbook offer such a drastically better deal?

Disappointments Happen

Don’t be sad when you find out its bark is worse than its bite. Remember, the primary purpose of free bets is to test sportsbooks and see if you’ll make a deposit. And this makes disappointments imminent. There will be many situations where the advertising and the content don’t match. But that’s okay; the best was free regardless.

Free Bets vs. Deposit Bonuses: What’s the Better Option? 

In the last couple of years, it’s been hard to decide between deposit bonuses and free bets in the USA.

Players prefer different promos, but these seem to be locked in a stalemate.

So, let’s pit them against one another, shall we?

Feature/type of Promo Free Bets in the US Deposit Bonuses in the US
Costs no money Yes No
Low wagering requirements No Yes
Strict bet limits Yes No
Caps on winnings Yes Yes
Easy to claim Yes Yes

Illustration of comparing free bets in USA

Pros & Cons of Free Bets in the USA 

Pros

  • Risk-free
  • They allow you to test the sportsbook
  • Great for one-time bets and special occasions
  • Lots of different types

Cons

  • Strict limits
  • High wagering requirements
  • Lack of cashout options

Online Free Bets by US state

Frequently Asked Questions About Free Bets in the US

Yes, free bets are fully legal in the States. US sportsbooks are free to offer these promos to new and existing players. Of course, they’re only legal if they don’t involve things such as deceptive advertising and unreasonably restrictive measures. So just be careful and read the Terms & Conditions. Just because the condition of the bonus is legal doesn’t mean it’ll provide value to you.

Can you win money with free bets in the USA?

You can win money with free bets in the USA, but there are several caveats. Many sportsbooks put limits on how much you can bet and win. This protects them from lucky wins on props and players who’d claim their winnings and leave. Watch out for the expiration date, as well as wagering requirements.

Do I really need a free bet to play at a sportsbook?

No, you play without free bets in the USA if you wish to do so. However, it’s a risky venture, especially if you’re starting at a new sportsbook. By claiming a free bet, you’re effectively removing the risk factor from the equation. You can also try new markets or prepare for a special occasion, such as the Super Bowl.

Are free bets a scam?

No, free bets aren’t a scam. They can provide tangible value and make things easier, but not all free bets are created equally. Some have higher wagering requirements or stricter limits, making them more of a burden than a reward. To avoid scams, read the promo’s T&C, and don’t be afraid to pick another deal if the one you first chose doesn’t suit you.

Can I combine free bets with other promos at US betting sites?

Most of the time, you can’t combine free bets with other bonuses. This is an especially risky venture for US sportsbooks. They don’t want players to get free money, so they only allow you to have one promo-active at any given moment. Don’t worry, though; you can always claim another bonus once you spend your free bet.

What’s the best type of free bet?

The best type of free bet is the no-deposit bonus. It doesn’t require you to spend money, and you can leave the betting site if you don’t like it. The conditions and restrictions may not be ideal, but it’s the best way to test a site without taking financial risks.  

What happens if my free bet pushes?

Nothing happens if the bet loses. Since you haven’t won anything, you don’t have to fulfill any wagering requirements. However, some US sportsbooks will offer a ‘second chance’ promo, as a means to sweeten the deal even further.

Can I cash out with free bets?

Most of the time, you can’t cash out with free bets in the USA. This feature is reserved mainly for regular deposits. So, if one leg of your parlay loses, the entire stake goes down, and the promotion is over.

Why do US sportsbooks offer free bets?

Betting sites in the US offer free bets to attract new players. Since there are so many online sportsbooks nowadays, brands want to stand out. And that’s your chance to capitalize on the opportunity and find a deal that’ll sweeten your sports betting sessions.

How do I know if a free bet is legit?

The best way to know if a free bet is legit is to look at the Terms & Conditions. Licensed US sportsbooks must disclose every detail in this document. Reading it should give you the best insight into how the promo works and whether it’s feasible for you. Avoid red flags such as strict limits or short expiration dates.

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