Blue Square Free Bet & Bookmaker Review

STOP PRESS! Loss-maker Blue Square has been closed down and their client list sold to Betfair for a pittance after 10 years of mismanagement by Rank Plc. Join Bet365 instead.

What follows is the review we used to have and should now be ignored:

We don’t even want to think how Blue Square bookmaker came up with such a ridiculous name, but they have done well despite it. That’s because they offer a betting service that is equal if not better than any of their peer group.

The £25 free bet is typically mid-range for the industry but their service to punters is hard to better. Established online before all the traditional high street companies, they stole a march on the opposition and have earned a reputation for their trademark honesty and good service.

While this is not a site for heavy hitting punters as you may run into their betting limits if you wager in hundreds rather than fifties, it does do a great job for the vast majority of the wagering public.

They are quite high-profile in the UK with a noticeable marketing presence within both horse racing and football. I guess while the name is dubious, it does stick in even the most sieve-like of memories.

Blue Square Free Bet

Blue Square offers a free bet of up to £25 to all new customers. All you need to do to qualify is to open an account, deposit £5 or more and place a bet of £5 or more on any sporting event.

Once your first bet has been settled, a free bet token of equal value will be credited to your account and you’ll be offered the option to redeem it the next time you place a bet.

It also offers various weekly, monthly and ongoing money-back offers and promotions. For example, on Saturday mornings at 11:00, football punters can take advantage can take advantage of so-called “XI at 11” offers, a selection of top-priced weekend football bets, available for two hours.

They also operate regular prize draws which allow customers to win free tickets to horse racing meetings, other sporting events, such as the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, and even non-sporting events, such as the X Factor Live Final.

History
Blue Square Bet (as they now like to be known) was one of the early starters online when they launched from scratch in 1999. Back then they only had a handful of staff. Following its acquisition by Rank in 2003, it has now grown to become one of the largest interactive betting services in the UK with almost a million registered customers.

Integrated with Rank Interactive Gaming, and effectively the flagship of Rank’s gaming brands, it offers casino games, poker and slots, as well as sportsbook and is continually striving to broaden its product range. Betting opportunities are available online, via interactive TV, via Wireless Access Protocol (WAP) on mobile devices and, of course, via the good old fashioned telephone.

Sports Covered
Unlike some lesser bookmakers, who cover football, but not much else, Blue Square offers extensive coverage of horse racing, from Great Britain, Ireland and the United States, greyhound racing and many others. Popular American sports such as American football, baseball, basketball and ice hockey are also thoroughly covered, not just in America, but also in Europe and elsewhere, where appropriate.

If you like to mix and match your selections from around the sporting world, you may appreciate their “Coupon Builder” facility. Essentially, Coupon Builder allows you to view all the matches on all the popular coupons, such as football, tennis, cricket, rugby league, rugby union, etc, within the next three days by start time and maximum odds available and build your own coupon accordingly.

Types of Bet Offered
Horse racing betting opportunities include the usual range of win, place only and each-way markets, at board price or Tote price, forecast and tricast markets and a complete selection of ante-post markets.

You can also bet directly into the Tote pools for bets such as the exacta, swinger or trifecta. Conveniently, you can listen to audio commentary on your selected race courtesy of Blue Square Radio or, if you place a bet of £1 or more, watch it live on their TV.

The live video stream becomes active five minutes before the scheduled “off” time, so you have plenty of time to check your colours and the latest betting shows.

Football betting opportunities similarly include the expected home/draw/away, correct score, full-time/half-time and goalscorer markets, plus many others.

Tennis markets include match, correct score, set and handicap markets amongst others. While cricket include match, innings and series markets and various “spot” markets, such as the team to win the toss, the method of first dismissal and so on.

Registration
As the website claims and as this review discovered, registration does only take a few minutes. You just need to follow a simple three-step process, during which you enter your personal details, such as your name, address, date of birth, username and password and your payment options and confirm your account.

During the process, you can specify your chosen currency and opt in or out of receiving details of Blue Square free bets, offers and promotions. Once you’ve confirmed your account, you can deposit funds using most credit and debit cards or by other methods, such as Moneybookers (aka Skrill), Neteller and Ukash. The site allows you to have up to three active payment methods at any one time.

Navigation
There’s nothing particularly innovative about the layout and structure of the website. That said, the interface is highly intuitive and even novice punters should have little trouble finding and placing the bets they want. All the betting opportunities available, such as sports, including live betting, casino games and poker, can be accessed from the simple menu at the top of the home page. Alternatively, sports fans can click on a list of sports, arranged in order of popularity and then alphabetically, down the left hand side of the page.

Clicking on a selection adds it to your betting slip. If you add more than one selection, the various doubles, trebles, accumulators and other multiple bets available are displayed on your betting slip below your selections. To place a bet, select the bet(s) you want from the list, fill in the appropriate stakes and click on the “Place Bet” button. If you enter a mobile phone number when you open your account, you can request to be sent an SMS message when your bet is settled.

Opinion
This online bookmaker may have a silly name but it is a sensible destination for sports betting. We do recommend them in this review. They use the best and number one industry software. They offer every sports event possible and they endeavour to be competitive both with their odds, their bonuses and their standard Blue Square free bet.

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