How do Free Bets Work on FanDuel?

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Ray BelkoraSeptember 22, 2022 at 10:20 PM

What is a Free Bet?

One of the best ways to be successful on FanDuel is by taking advantage of promotions that often result in users being awarded free bets. 

Whether it’s sign up bonuses or daily/weekly promotions, making sure you’re participating in mathematically profitable promotions can provide a big boost to your bankroll. 

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In order to maximize your potential of cashing in on these promotions, you’ll have to understand how free bets work and how to make the most money possible when using them. 

A free bet means that the sportsbook covers the stake of your bet. In other words, if the bet loses, it comes at no cost to your bankroll. 

On the other hand, if the bet wins, the user receives the winnings in their account balance. It’s crucial to realize that if and when the bet wins, the free bet stake is not returned. For example, if a $5 free bet is placed on a winning bet with +100 odds, the $5 in winnings will be credited to your account balance instead of the $5 stake and $5 winnings on a normal wager.

How do Free Bets Work on FanDuel?

FanDuel is one of the sportsbooks that uses free bets the most as a way to draw players to their sportsbook through promotions like Dinger Tuesday, risk-free same-game parlays, and “bet and get.”

While Dinger Tuesday is done for the 2022 baseball season, the premise of it was that if a user placed a $25 bet on any specific player to hit a home run, the user would get a $5 free bet for a home run hit by any player in the game. If there were 3 home runs hit in the given game, the user would get a $15 free bet. 

FanDuel often offers “risk-free” same-game parlays for primetime or notable games in every sport. Usually capped at around $10, this type of promotion allows users to place a same-game parlay and if it loses get their stake back in the form of a free bet. 

Bet and gets are similar. They often involve parlays and are generally specific to a certain sport. For example, FanDuel might offer a $10 free bet when you place a $20 college football parlay. These free bets are given out no matter the result of the initial wager. 

As always, be sure to opt into the promotion before placing the bet to make sure your account will be credited with the free bet. 

Can Free Bets be Withdrawn?

Free bets can not be withdrawn for cash, however, if the free bet wins then those winnings will be able to be withdrawn. 

Free bets also can have expiration dates or other restrictions attached, so be sure to read the terms and conditions of the promotion and free bet.

How to Use a Free Bet: Free Bet Conversion Strategies

The way to get the best value out of a free bet is to place it on a straight bet with long odds or a parlay with long odds. 

As mentioned earlier, you do not get your stake back on a free bet. For example, if the Chargers are -295 favorites against the Jaguars and a $10 free bet is placed on the Chargers, if it wins the free bet would only turn into $3.39. Turning a $10 free bet into barely more than $3 is not an efficient use of it. 

Let’s go over the math in more detail to show the point with a $25 free bet. 

Remember that the formula to calculate positive expected value (EV) is: Expected Value: EV = Implied Probability x Payout x Stake.

  • -500 odds, $25 free bet expected value = 5/6 x 1/5 x $25 = $4.17
  • -200 odds, $25 free bet expected value = 2/3 x 1/2 x $25 = $8.33
  • +200 odds, $25 free bet expected value = 1/3 x 2 x $25 = $16.67
  • +500 odds, $25 free bet expected value = 1/6 x 5 x $25 = $20.83

I know this looks intimidating, but the short version of the above is that the longer the odds means the higher the expected value of the free bet

There is also a way to convert a percentage of that free bet into real cash by hedging your bet and placing a wager on the opposite side of the bet. Fortunately, OddsJam has a free bet conversion tool that will provide you with opportunities such as this.

Please refer to the screenshot below. 

In the top right of this screenshot, I have specifically filtered the page to show opportunities on FanDuel where I can convert a free bet into cash. Then, the page will show you all of these opportunities, sorted by conversion percentage from high to low.

For this exercise, I will use the top betting opportunity to explain how it all works. As you can see, the play is on Stone Garrett to hit a home run. Let’s pretend that I have a $100 free bet in this scenario.

The free bet conversion page has a calculator that will do all the math for you. Here is what everything means.

Free Play Amount: This is the dollar amount of your free bet. In this example, it was $100.

Free Play Line — Player Home Runs: Stone Garrett Over 0.5 +560: This is the bet that you will place your free bet on at FanDuel.

Hedge Line — Player Home Runs: Stone Garrett Under 0.5 -600: This is the other side of the bet that you will place (not using a free bet).

So, if he hits a home run, you would win $560 (keep in mind you don’t get your stake back with a free bet), and you would lose the hedge bet of $480.

Your profit would be: $560 – $480 = $80

If the other side wins because he does not hit a home run, then you would profit $80 when your $480 stake at -600 wins and returns $560. Because there was no stake on the free play amount, your profit remains at $80.

So, all-in-all, no matter what happens you would have converted this $100 free bet into $80.

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