There are few racecourses around the world that can even come close to Ascot, not just Royal Ascot but all the top level flat and jump racing we see at the course through the year. During Royal Ascot the bookies take a really keen interest and this results in some of the best free bets and bonuses for horse racing you will see throughout the year. Even for other top meetings like British Champions Day you can expect to see more value than usual from both sign up and retention offers. That is what we focus on in this section.
Below we have done the research for you and listed the best welcome promotions for racing from leading UK licensed bookmakers, along with all the key terms you need to know. We try to list a variety of deals that range from £5 up to £100s to suit all types of racing punter whether you just want to bet on one race or a whole meeting.
It is important that you choose the right offer for you and so further down we talk about the different types of promotion available and how to get the best from them. You must be over 18 years old to bet and please gamble responsibly – Be Gamble Aware.
Full List of Free Bets For Ascot
Choosing & Claiming Ascot Free Bets
|Free Bets||Bonuses||Money Back|
|Claim||Claim after placing a qualifying bet, sometimes awarded on bet placement other times on bet settlement||Usually awarded on first deposit, although, often deposit needs to be bet first before bonus can be used||Claim after placing a qualifying bet, if the bet loses get your stake back as cash or a free bet|
|Minimum Odds||Minimum odds apply on the qualifying bet and sometimes on the free bet token too||Minimum odds apply to qualifying deposit and bonus stakes||Minimum odds may apply to qualifying bet but not always|
|Maximum Odds||Sometimes maximum odds for the free bet token(s) but this is rare||No||Sometimes maximum odds for the free bet token(s) if money back awarded as a free bet|
|Maximum Winnings||Occasionally but not common||Most bonuses have a maximum conversion, i.e. the total you can win from the bonus||Occasionally but not common|
|Wagering Required||No||Bonus, or sometimes deposit + bonus amount, will often need to be wagered at least 3x over at minimum odds||No|
|Single Use||Free bets often cannot be split up and must be used on a single line bet||Bonuses can be split into multiple wagers, sometimes maximum stakes / bet may apply||Free bets often cannot be split up and must be used on a single line bet. If money back given as cash use as you see fit|
|Each-Way Bets||Free bets can sometimes be used for an each-way bet but not always||Bonuses can be used for each-way bets||Money back if you lose offers only apply to win bets|
|Multi-Line Bets||No||Yes, bonuses can be used on bets with multiple lines, such as Lucky 15/31/63 bets||No|
|Validity||Usually 3-14 days||Usually 7 days to one month||Usually 3-14 days (if money back as a free bet)|
|Winnings||Cash, free bet stake not returned||Cash once wagering requirements are met, you can also keep the stake as cash in this instance||Cash or free bet token if you lose|
|Amount Free Relative To Stake / Deposit||Anywhere from 50% to 600% usually||Anywhere from 50% to 200% usually||Anywhere from 50% to 100% usually|
Most people reading this page will already have a betting account and will likely have claimed a welcome offer in the past. Not all offers are, however, the same and it is worth thinking about other types of promotions first if you have not used them before. Even if you have use different types of sign up offer each betting site differs in terms, eligibility and requirements and so do not assume because you have claimed a free bet before, for example, that it will be the same terms with a different brand.
The table above summarises the main differences between the three major offer types; free bets, bonuses and money back deals. Try to choose an offer that suits how you want to bet and how you want to be rewarded.
Free Bets, Bonuses Or Money Back?
There is no one offer better than another, it depends what you want to bet on and what you want to get out of an offer. It is important that you do not let the promotion itself dictate how you bet.
First of all think about what you want to bet on and how much you want to stake, whether you want to place one single bet or multiple bets and what the bet types are that you will be placing (win singles, each-way bets, full cover bets like a Lucky 15, etc.).
If you are looking to bet on a couple of races with a horse to win then a free bet offer would be better. If you want to bet on a lot of races across a whole meeting and vary your bet types then a bonus might be more applicable as you can split the deposit and bonus funds – although meeting wagering requirements can often require a lot of further bets. If you just want to place one bet on a bigger race then a money back if you lose type offer might be more suitable, while many of these give money back as free bet some will give money back as cash around big events like Royal Ascot.
One thing to note is that lots of offers now give casino bonuses as part of the reward, this is cross-product selling. If you are not interested in gaming simply avoid them rather than feeling you have to use them. Indeed, you don’t have to use the casino bonus. Let’s take an offer like ‘bet £10 get a £20 free bet and £10 casino bonus’, here you can use the free bet but simply ignore the casino offer. Just because they give it to you doesn’t mean you have to use it.
Generally the higher the offer amount the more you need to deposit and bet or the more hoops you need to jump through. As a rule of thumb the low stakes free bet offers, such as Bet £10 Get A £20 free bet, tend to be be the most straight forward while bigger bonus offers tend to have more requirements. Ultimately whatever you choose you should read the terms first.
Best Offers For Horse Racing
Around bigger events especially there are dedicated horse racing offers that might be better suited to what you want to bet on. Often horse racing specific free bet and bonus offers tend to offer a higher percentage of promotional funds compared to the standard sign up offers. Utilising these makes sense if you only plan bet on horse racing.
There are also some special types of offers you see for specific meetings, if you are looking to bet on one major meeting or even one race or horse then you can find promotions that fit with that:
- Bet through the card offers – The idea here is you place a bet on the first race of a meeting, say £10 minimum, and you then get free bets for the remaining races on the card. Let’s say there are 7 races, you bet £10 on the first and you get a £5 free bet for the other six races (£30 total). This can often give more for free than the typical welcome offer, however, you need to use the free bets on those specific races or you will lose them.
- Enhanced Odds – Often apply to one specific horse that is ‘super boosted’. Let’s say the favourite is 4/11 odds on to win a major race and a bookie is offering 5/1 on them to win with a £10 max stake. Here you will often get the winnings at standard odds in cash and then extra winnings as free bet tokens. Sometimes there are offers that let you boost the odds on any selection.
- Extra Winnings – Sometimes called profit or winnings boosts. These allow you to apply a specific boost to a given selection. This can be useful if you know you want to bet on horse racing but you have’t decided what race or horse you want to back yet. Generally extra winnings are all given in cash.
Read The Terms
No one likes reading small print but if you take the time to at least read the significant terms (that we show under every offer) then it can save you making mistakes that could result in you losing your promo funds or at least not getting the best out of them.
You want to be looking for the following key terms:
- What is the minimum deposit and or stake required?
- What are the minimum odds for the qualifying bet(s)?
- What are the qualifying bet restrictions, e.g. do you have to bet on horse racing to claim or is it open to any sports?
- What are the bet type restrictions, can you only place the qualifying bet or use the rewards on win singles, for example, or any markets?
- How long from registration / deposit do you have to place your qualifying bets?
- Do you need to enter a promo code to claim the offer?
- Is your free bet or bonus awarded on deposit, on bet placement or on bet settlement. If on bet settlement does the bet need to settle within a set period to get the reward?
- How long are the promo funds valid for before they expire?
- Do you need to wager your deposit or promo funds several times to turn these into withdrawable cash?
- Are there any maximum winning limits? If so it makes sense to not place a bet that would exceed this
- If claiming free bets is this one free bet token or is it split into a series of smaller tokens?
- What will happen to qualifying bet stakes or free bet / bonus stakes if your horse doesn’t run?
It is also worth noting that due to UK law you now need to verify your identity and address prior to depositing. Sometimes this is done automatically (e.g. via a soft credit check) but often documents will be requested. You cannot deposit and bet until this is done and so bear that in mind if you want to place your qualifying bets or promo funds on racing on that day.
Think About Retention Offers, Features, Markets & Odds
The reason we have sign up offers is because online betting is a highly competitive industry. These are designed to grab your attention to get you to try their site out over another. It is actually useful to think of welcome offers as a means to try a site out to see if you like it without risking all of your own funds rather than seeing them as a way to win money.
Of course, it is not just offers that sites compete over. Many brands offer a wealth of retention offers (offers for existing customers) and these can be more valuable in the longer term than a welcome offer for regular bettors on horse racing. You will want to be looking for a site that has horse racing offers or regular enhanced prices for all customers. For example, not all sites offer best odds guarantee (which matches the starting price if your fixed odds are lower for bets on the day) and this can have a big effect over time for punters who bet on racing often.
Sites vary massively in the features they offer too. Many have streaming, in-play betting on horse racing, live cash out, race and form data, news and opinion, bet calculators, etc., but many do not. If you want to watch a live race then choose a site with streaming. If you want to cash out your bet after a race has started or bet on a live race then choose a site that offers that.
Likewise market depth is certainly not the same across all sites. Some site offer tote bets, cover bets, choose your places, not to win, full cover bets, etc., and others have very thin racing markets that basically just let you bet on the win or each-way. Ante-post can also be important because not all brands price up markets early and if you want to bet in advance of a race or meeting you need to look for a brand that offers that.
Finally odds are possibly the most important consideration. All bookies have margins on odds, that is how they make money, but margins vary a lot between brands. If you find a site that consistently runs lower margins they will have better odds on average. Choosing a site with even 1% better odds on average can give you more potential value over time than a welcome offer can. You would be better taking a lower value sign up offer and picking a site with better odds value.
Ultimately think about what you want from a racing site then find the sites that fit the bill. Only then choose which one you would like to sign up to based on the offer.
Only Use Licensed Sites
In the UK gambling is licensed. This means operators must have a UKGC gambling license to accept bets from UK customers, no matter where that operator is based. Gambling licenses afford you protections as a customer. This includes protections from harm in the form of responsible gambling procedures but also financial protections and it gives you a route to complain if you think you have been treated unfairly.
Being licensed comes with costs for operators, there is also a 21% point of consumption tax to pay on all bets placed and verification to go through. The result of this can mean that licensed sites have lower offers and lower odds than you might see at an unlicensed site. This might make you tempted to bet with an unlicensed brand.
On balance this is simply not worth it as you have no protection at all if something goes wrong. If they decide not to pay you out, or worse, decide to steal your personal details and sell them on then in most cases there is little you can do as these sites are based in places where UK law cannot get to them.
Would you put your money in a bank that isn’t FCA protected? Would you buy something from an offshore site with no guarantees you would ever receive the product? If the answer is no then you shouldn’t be betting with unlicensed sites either. The risks simply far outweigh the rewards.
You see the warnings everywhere now about ‘betting responsibly’ but take time to think what this actually means. Betting responsibly is not a fixed term, it is not about betting £10 a month or £100 a week it is about betting what you can afford to lose and only gambling for enjoyment, not to win money you need or to chase losses.
The threshold for what is ‘responsible’ from one person to the next is highly variable. The important part is making sure you know what are responsible limits for yourself based on your own personal situation. If gambling is making you feel stressed or anxious, it is affecting your personal relationships or you are betting more than you can afford then walk away for a while. Sites by law have to offer tools such as deposit limits, time outs, activity alerts and self-exclusion. These tools are there for you, not for them, so use them if you need to.
One of the best things to practice is think about the bets you want to place before you visit a site. Place only the bets you intended to place in the first place. Do not be led by offers and don’t be pressured into staking more than you want to just because of a promotion or loyalty club. If you don’t usually play slots and casino games then don’t play them, even if the site gives you a bonus or incentive to do so.
Remember at the end of the day betting sites are private businesses and they make money from our collective loses. We lose collectively because the odds are always, on average, in the bookies favour. Bookies have tools to help you and they do want customers to bet responsibly – they are better off having a customer bet £10 each week for 10 years than one customer bet £1000 just once – but they will also try to push bets on you via offers and enhanced odds. If you have chosen your bets before you go to a site you can avoid being sucked in by this. If they have a special offer or price boost for a horse or race you already decided to bet on then great, if not leave it alone.
Gambling is a leisure industry and by that definition it is a form of entertainment. It is only entertaining if it adds to your enjoyment of something, like a race meeting. If it isn’t entertaining and it is causing harm then there are a multitude of sites out there that can help you, including (but not limited to):
- NHS (either central gambling addiction hubs or via your GP)
- Gordon Moody
Also one of the best things you can do it talk to friends and family. Often it is those we are closest to that understand us the best and can offer us the best advice.