Searching for the best online betting sites? How do people determine what makes certain betting sites the best? Is it because of the odds or something else? Well, it’s more like a combination of factors. The internet is literally flooded with online bookies which is a good and bad thing at the same time. Good because you have a lot of options at your disposal and bad because not all of them are fair (or legal).
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How to Find the Ideal Bookie
Before we begin, let’s all agree that there’s no perfect bookie. Depending on where your preferences lie, you’ll always find something missing, no matter how high-profile your favourite bookie is. Some will miss popular payment options, while others will miss a sport or two. Of course, you should pick one with the fewest disadvantages – there’s no point in picking a bookie with dozens of sports if the odds are a mess.
Online betting, especially on football, has flourished in the past decade. The best football betting sites operate out of Europe thanks to the ever-present popularity of European football. Football is more popular in Europe than in the USA or other parts in the world, where sports such as basketball or horse racing lead the list.
The same goes for the UK. There are many online bookies claiming to be the best betting sites in the UK until you take a peek in their offer. Not all betting sites are good or legal for that matter – there are many scams there out to rob you of your money. So, before you jump up to conclusions and pick an online bookie, read our guide first and see what you should pay attention to.
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What to Consider When Choosing an Online Bookie
There are many factors which constitute a good online betting site. And, we’re not even talking about the odds. Before registering, you need to ensure that the bookie is legal and licensed or else you’re risking your money and more importantly, private data.
Reliability and Safety
As we already mentioned, there are many online bookies that are unsafe to bet at. Some may even claim they’re the among the best online betting sites until you see they have no license. If you want the best betting experience, you need to find a licensed and fully secure bookie.
What does that mean? Well, the best betting sites in the UK have a UK Gambling Commission license, which is the highest governing body covering casinos and sportsbooks. If your pick owns a license issued by the UKGC, you can rest assured its reliable. If the bookie ticks all your other boxes, you should register and start betting.
Bonuses and Free Bets
A bookie can’t be placed among the best betting sites if its bonuses are underwhelming or even worse, non-existent. Everyone wants to get a free bet or some kind of bonus for registering and claim loyalty rewards later. Most online bookies will offer a deposit bonus (or a few), while others will stick to free bets.
Before claiming the bonus, though, you’ll also want to check the terms and conditions. A bonus may be worth thousands, but if its wagering requirements are unreasonable, there’s no reason to claim it. If bonuses and promotions are your deal breaker, you need to pick a sportsbook which has a fair offer.
List of Sports
The number of sports is highly important. Would you pick a bookie that offers football only or go with the one that offers a dozen more sports? Having more options at your disposal is better, even if you’re a punter betting on only one sport. Football fans may profit off bookies with thousands of football matches and markets on offer, but sometimes it’s good to mix things up a little bit.
The best betting sites will always have great football promotions, but so does the competition. More sports mean more special promotions for sports other than football, and you can use them to your advantage.
Of course, bookies that offer football or horse racing only are as rare as a unicorn nowadays, so it’s best to pick a big provider focused on several sports.
The deposit and withdrawal methods should be one of your highest priorities. With betting moving online, you can’t just walk up to a counter and pay in cash anymore. You’ll need to register a profile and link it up with a credit/debit card or internet payment option in order to deposit. The only thing that’s left is to “fill” your account with money you’ll later use to bet.
For a bookie to crack the list of top sportsbooks it has to accept common and more exotic payment methods. This means the Visa-MasterCard combo as well as e-wallets such as Skrill, Neteller, Entropay, etc. If you want to gamble with Bitcoins, you can find a bookie that accepts the cryptocurrency. It’s a brave new world out there regarding payment options and you best take advantage of them all.
The best online betting sites right now have introduced tipping services which are of great help for punters. These tips are written by professional betting experts or publications and can provide useful information that can help you decide on your bets.
Of course, you shouldn’t depend on them all. You should check if the tipping publications or experts were accurate in the past. If they were, chances are they’ll get most bets right. Of course, nothing is certain in the world of sports, but if you can’t decide on a bet, tipping services might help.
Live Betting and Streaming
Live betting (in-play betting) is the latest and greatest achievement of online bookies. Not all have it, though – it’s “reserved” for the best football betting sites around the world. Most football-oriented bookies offer live betting and streaming on hundreds of matches.
Live betting is great if you know what you’re doing. It can be quite profitable too if you become a master at it. While you’re betting on matches that are going live, it’s best to watch them as they go, right? The biggest online bookies will have both options available, and you should pick them over others if live betting is your thing.
If we wrote this article 15 years ago, this factor wouldn’t have mattered. Mobile apps were every tech fan’s dream back then, but they were only making their first steps at the time. Nowadays, though, we can’t imagine our life without apps. There’s an app for this and an app for that, including betting.
In the past, betting was done at home online or by visiting a bookie. Nowadays, everything’s moved on-the-go. Most people use their smartphones and tablets to bet anytime and anywhere, making mobile apps a necessity.
So, while on the prowl for the best betting sites, make sure the bookie has an app. It’s not that big of a deal breaker, but an app offers much better functionality and mobile betting which is as easy as 1-2-3.
Types of Bets
Serious punters know that there are many types of bets. Beginners may only be looking for a site that offers standard 1×2 bets, but experienced punters will need a site that offers different types of bets. Some betting sites will offer accumulators, for example, while others won’t.
The best will offer all or most types of bets as well as a number of markets, and those are the sites you should go for. Trust us – there’s a whole world out there that trumps 1×2 bets. It’s quite a profitable one too.
Online betting is still confusing for most players. Some betting sites are quite confusing to navigate and bet on, so punters have a lot of questions that need quick answers. This makes customer service very important for an online bookie. The good news is that most have realized it, offering 24/7 customer support.
When looking for a new online bookie, make sure they have 24/7 e-mail and telephone support plus a live chat. Live chat is usually the fastest way to get answers to your questions and you should prefer it over any other method.
Last, but not least, the odds. If you’ve placed bets online at different bookies, you know that they can vary. A lot. Top bookmakers in the industry always have the best odds in many markets due to their financial stability.
So, when choosing a new online bookie, compare the odds of your choice with the competition. Only then you can make a good prediction if the bookie should really be your top choice.
Overall User Experience
Finally, you should also find a betting site which makes you looks and feels great too. You need a site that’s easy to navigate and doesn’t look filled to the brim. A simple theme can go a long way functionality-wise than a deluxe look at a bookie that’s trying to cram as much information as possible in the central part.
The same goes for mobile apps – they should have a clean and intuitive design.