Horse racing may be considered the ultimate betting sport not to mention the perfect day out but online bookmakers have differing opinions. Yes, they sponsor the bulk of racing including as many major races as they can get their hands on – the Grand National and Epsom Derby are rare exceptions – and its horseracing that has the prime real-estate found on their home pages.

But the truth is horse racing is simple window dressing. The latest figures provided by bookmakers themselves – primarily when announcing their quarterly results for the benefit of investors – show it is ‘in-play’ sports betting which generates the most profits.

Check the Terms

Of course, there are limited opportunities to bet on horses ‘in-play’ or ‘mid-race’ but such is the quick nature of horse racing the bulk of in-play betting takes place on football, tennis, rugby, and golf.

And that’s interesting as most free bet offers, particularly no deposit free bets and new customer free bet offers, cannot be used for in-play sports betting.  Consequently, be sure to use your no deposit free bet as specified in the terms and conditions laid out by the bookmaker you are using.

Thereafter consider why online bookmakers don’t like you using free bets on live sporting events which are underway and consider if you can profit from their lead. The most obvious conclusion has to be how simply punters can turn a free bet into free money.

In-Play & Cash-Out

You see the advent of ‘in-play’ betting was quickly followed by another innovation, the ‘cash-out’, which is a simple way of closing down your bets and making off with the money.  That money could be profits or, in a good old fashioned ‘cut your losses and run’ scenario, losses. 

All major betting firms allow you to bet in-play on the biggest sporting events, particularly televised football, darts, snooker et-al, and most of their straight-forward betting markets such as win-draw-loss or handicap are always accompanied with cash-out offers (either for full bet stakes of partial bet stakes). 

Stick Or Twist?

It normally takes just a simple click to quit while ahead or cut your losses and one must suspect bookmakers have mixed emotions in allowing punters to have more control over their bets.

Then again, recall 2016 when Leicester won the English Premier League? That very same ‘cash out’ button saved many bookmakers a lot of money when fans of the Foxes got cold feet before their side lifted the league championship trophy. 

A case in point was the Warwickshire punter who had placed a £50 pre-season wager on the side at 5,000/1. He stood to win a cool £250,000 but opted to ‘cash out’ at the start of March netting £72,000.