Sky Free Bet Club Updates

If you are a poker player who plays frequently on the Sky Poker website then you will know that there is an almost legendary rumour amongst the poker fraternity that players on the site are generally weaker than on others. The reason for this is that a lot Sky Poker players may not actually be interested in poker first and foremost, but many could be fans of another form of betting.

Sports betting for example, is hugely popular and there are many on the Sky Poker site who use their log in details (and funds) to place sports bet on its sister SkyBet site. Indeed, it is this crossover in players which fuels the belief that opponents on Sky Poker tend to be a bit soft compared to other sites.

What this does mean however is that Sky Poker players are also likely to be interested in developments on the SkyBet site too, which is why we brought you news last year of an exciting new promotion, SkyBet’s Free Bet Club.

However, since the end of the football season was reached a few days back, SkyBet have taken time to review this offer and have made some fundamental changes to it and not necessarily for the better if you are a micro or lower stakes gambler.

Before we get into the nitty gritty of the changes, may we remind you that we have an entire library of in-depth Sky betting guides, which might be of use to you whether you use Sky Poker, SkyBet, or any of the Sky betting sites.

The old SkyBet Free Bet Club terms

In the old club you simply had to place a £5 bet on an accumulator that had odds that were greater than 5/1. You had to place the bet before midnight on Sunday each week and when you did, you were given a free bet of £5 to use on any other market.

So long as you placed a bet fitting the criteria shown above each week, you received a free £5 bet. If you missed a bet one week, then you would have to make a £10 bet on an accumulator at odds of 5/1 or more in order to rejoin the club and start receiving free bets.

In this format, although you were restricted to accumulator bets, this was an attractive option for SkyBet and Sky Poker punters, especially those who did not want to bet a large amount each week.

The new SkyBet Free Bet Club terms

As from the 14th May 2014, SkyBet have revamped their Free Bet Club terms and unfortunately, the offer is nowhere near as attractive to lower stakes punters, though conversely, if you are a gambler who spends considerably more than the typical punter on your weekly bets, the new Free Bet Club may work out as a better deal for you.

The new terms start with some good news in that the Free Bet available has doubled in size from £5 to £10, however the bad news is that the amount you have to stake has increased in size by ten times, increasing from £5, to £50 per week.

However, the restriction on bets being placed on accumulators at odds of 5/1 or more has been lifted and instead, all bets on any sport qualify for the offer, provided that they are at odds of even money or better. You can spend your £50 in a single bet, or spread it across several bets, say five £10 bets or 25 £2 bets, provided that all bets are on markets above even money.

Once you have placed your £50 worth of bets before midnight on Sunday, you will receive a free bet of £10 in your account on Monday.

If you miss a week however, you are out of the Free Bet Club and to rejoin you need to spend £75 on bets in order to rejoin the club and start receiving your free bets once again.

Why the change?

It will be interesting to see if this is a permanent change to the Free Bet Club, or whether the £5 acca offer will return in August. Personally, I believe the number of accumulator bets tails off considerably when the football season ends (it is a hugely popular football bet) and as such, SkyBet needed to do something to allow punters to bet on other markets.

Seeing as it is hard to do accumulators in some other sports, removing this restriction made sense, however it exposed SkyBet too too much risk, hence the increase necessary in the size of the qualifying bet to £50.

My guess is that when the football season restarts in August, Sky may review their Free Bet Club terms once again and once again move it to the lower amount to appeal more to the football punters on the SkyBet, Sky Poker, Sky Casino and Sky Bingo sites.

Will the change be popular?

It’s difficult to say whether this new change will be popular with punters or not. Being honest, I cannot see the majority of punters who spend £5 on their weekly acca bet, being tempted to spend ten times that amount every week simply to receive a free bet worth twice as much as the original offer.

As such, I think lower to micro stakes punters may not be tempted to participate in this offer as it stands at present simply because they will not want to wager £50 per week in order to receive back a £10 free bet, which when they use, they will not receive the stake back on if they win.

However, the removal of the restriction to accumulator betting may make this offer far more enticing to punters who do spend more than £50 a week on their betting hobby. In essence, provided that they are not simply trying to ‘buy money’ by backing odds on selections continually, if they can make enough qualifying bets of even money or more over £50 in a week easily, then they will receive an additional £10 for opting in.

Therefore, for these punters, this offer is a good deal.

Remember, as a Sky Poker player, your membership gives you access not only to SkyBet, but also the Sky Vegas (Casino) and Sky Bingo sites and your account can be used to play any of the attractions on any of these sites.

So while poker may be your original intention for joining the Sky brand, check out these other sites from time to time as there can be some excellent offers available, even if this offer, as I believe, doesn’t really cut the mustard for the typical Sky Poker or Sky Bet small stakes punter.

Not a Sky accountholder? Now is a great time to become a member, as new signups can take advantage of a Sky bonus referrer code.