As free games go on bookmaker’s websites, Beat the Drop is up there with the best.
Bookies have been running offers and promotions for as long as most of us can remember, but in recent years, free to play games where you can win real cash prizes have been introduced, and Beat the Drop is one of Paddy Power’s inventions.
Beat the Drop is a great alternative to a regular betting promotion both for punters and for Paddy Power, because it resets daily, so it gives punters a chance to win cash with no cost and also keeps customers logging into their accounts regularly.
As of July 2023 there had been over 276,000 winners, and although that number will include those who have literally only won pennies as well as those who have won perhaps even 4 figures, still, it’s evidently possible to get some money out of the game if you play it smart, and playing it smart is what this post is going to be about.
There have been a few iterations of Beat the Drop over the years, some free and some paid for, but the current game is free to play with a top prize of £5,000.
How Does Beat the Drop Work?
Beat the Drop is essentially 15 different questions/bets linked together, and instead of betting a new stake each time, you are given £5,000 at the outset that is yours to lose.
At each stage of the game you are given a binary choice question; you can choose whether to bet all of the money on the answer, split it equally to go through to the next round either way, or split it in a different way that better suits your thoughts on the probabilities within the question.
This means that if you can get to the end of the 15 questions with any of the money remaining, it will be transferred to your betting account as withdrawable cash.
Not as free bets, not as bonus money with wagering requirements, but as actual real money.
There are no special entry requirements, anyone with an account can try for the money (provided you haven’t had your account limited for any reason), you just have to find the promotion using either the A-Z menu or by clicking on a Beat the Drop banner on the home page or on the promotions page.
You’ll then see something a little bit like this:
You will be asked a question that relates to one of Paddy Power’s betting markets for an upcoming fixture, and must decide how much of your £5,000 pot you want to risk on your answer using a slider.
In this image the slider has been moved so far over on the right that £4,000 of the £5,000 pot is staked on there not being 3 or more goals in the match in question.
If that turns out to be wrong, there will still be £1,000 in the pot, but there are also 14 more questions to get through. With this in mind, you can play it cautiously or go all in, it’s up to you.
Once you lock in your split, you can still change your mind if you suddenly find out some pertinent information or re-assess:
You can see the button that once said ‘Lock in Your Split’ now says ‘Edit Split’, so just hit that and you can move the slider to a different position.
Once that countdown timer reaches the end of its’ time though, whatever split you have locked in will be what counts once the market you have ‘bet on’ is settled.
But don’t panic; the brilliant thing about Beat the Drop is that if you lose you can start a new game the very next day, and you can even go again straight away if you reach the end and win something.
The next question should be available as soon as your last question has been settled, and you can sometimes change one question for another too, it just depends on markets and prices at the time.
What’s more, if you miss a few days it’s fine, your game is valid for 14 days from the point at which you answer your first question, so if you’re busy for a few days you can get back into it when things settle down. If you don’t finish within this time though, your game will be settled as a loss.
You might end up playing Beat the Drop a fair number of times given that it is free, so if you want to check previous results you can do so.
Your Beat the Drop history can be viewed from a footer bar menu underneath the game itself; just click on BTD History and you will see something like the image above.
You can jump between your current game and any that have been settled previously, and even drill down into how far you got with the questions and what your split was, to perhaps spot any patterns in behaviour that might be holding you back.
Pay to Play
As an aside, Paddy Power have actually added a pay to play version of Beat the Drop that bettors can opt into if they like.
The concept is exactly the same, but instead of being free, it costs £5 to enter.
However, while your pot is dramatically reduced from £5,000 to £100, the big benefit is that you only need to get through 5 questions rather than 15 in order to win.
If you are someone that knows your sports and is used to dong a bit of research before making betting decisions, it could be a fun alternative to regular punting that uses the same skill set and knowledge base.
Just like with the free Beat the Drop, you can split your £100 however you like from one question to the next, and employ the same sorts of strategies.
Be aware though, that you cannot have a free and a paid Beat the Drop game going on at the same time.
Beat the Drop Strategies
Having been around for a while now, Beat the Drop players have had plenty of time to try and outwit the game.
The usual tactics are:
- Equal splits
- Question selection
The most obvious question new players have, is “Can’t I just split the pot equally on each question?” – well you can, but it will win you the princely sum of just 15 pence by the end.
Splitting equally for each question seems like a solid strategy before you do the maths, but the number of questions you need to answer erodes the prize pot to almost nothing by the end.
This is what you get if you split 5,000 equally 15 times:
So it’s not really worth it.
Ideally, you would take the £5,000 as far as possible before you start splitting, but this is difficult.
Even if you had £5,000 left after the first 5 questions and then began to split equally, you would only end up with £4.88 at the end, which is nice since it’s free, but it’s a lot of effort for less than a fiver.
If you want to go for any sort of substantial return you are going to have to be bold at some point, and the earlier the better since that is when you have the biggest chunk of change.
So a good tactic is to go all in on as many questions as possible and only split when you really have no idea. If you lose you can just start again the next day anyway.
Another option, and something you can employ with the tactic above, is to simply wait for a question you like the look of.
Once the event a question is about gets under way, that question will be replaced, so if you come up against something you really don’t have a clue about, you could always hang fire until something more aligned with your interests comes along – just watch out for that 14 day completion limit.
Lastly, you could hedge by making a real bet on the opposite outcome to the one you have picked for the question – this way, if you lose the Beat the Drop game your real bet will win, and if your real bet loses, you will carry that £5,000 through to the next round.
It’s perhaps best not to do this from the start, as it could get quite costly over 15 bets depending on how much you stake, but again, you can use this tactic in conjunction with the others.