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Our review process for betting sites UK
Our reviewers are experts in the world of online gambling and betting. And with their vast experience, they know what to look for in a great new sports betting website. But don’t just take our word for it!
Here’s what our experts look for when reviewing betting sites:
Free bets and bonus promotions
As a new customer at an online betting UK site, you can pick up a great introductory bonus. It’s half the fun of shopping around for new bookies! The top sites will offer their new players some of the best bonuses around.
These could be a free bet, to use on an upcoming sports match. Or, if the bookies works with an online casino, you could be offered a great casino bonus. For example, you could pick up some bonus cash, which you can use to play cool table games or live casino games. Or it might be free spins, to use on fun and exciting slots games.
Our reviewers take all these offers into account when vetting a new bookies so we can bring you fresh new sites that offer the best bonuses to new punters.
Number of betting markets
Betting markets are super important when looking at a new bookies online. They give you a variety of odds across all the different sports and events that a bookmaker offers. So you want a bookies that has a high number of betting markets.
As a sports fan, you should look for a site that not only offers your favourite sport. But you also want one that has a huge variety of sports from all over the world. Ice hockey from Finland, Chinese League football and even Japanese Sumo Wrestling all have their role to play in the betting arena. And, even if you have no interest in betting on them yourself, it shows that the site you’re on caters for every taste. And that they’re serious about their markets and taking care of their customers.
Optimized for mobile play
In today’s world of convenience and mobile technology, betting websites have to keep up with the ever-changing demands of their customers. Therefore, all reputable bookies will have a mobile optimised site that you can access on the go.
Mobile play is especially important for bookies who want to offer their punters live streaming and in-play bets. This means customers need to be able to access all the action in an instant. Moreover, a mobile site isn’t seen as a nice touch anymore – it’s an absolute necessity!
With matches and tournaments starting throughout the day, you need to be able to get online in an instant. And the best sites will have an easy-to-use, lightning-fast mobile site for their customers to access any time, any place.
Streaming and live betting
It used to be that you couldn’t place a wager once a game had started. But these days, bettors want to change and add bets throughout their favourite sports matches. And it’s this exciting addition to sports betting that has revolutionised the way we now bet online.
The top betting sites will offer in-play betting, as well as live streaming on all their top games and matches. So in the modern gambling arena you can enjoy the event from start to finish and adjust your bets as you go. With cutting-edge tech and leading software providers making top-notch interactive sites, the online betting world has never been so exciting. Now you can have a slice of the action in the palm of your hand!
Deposit and withdrawal methods
When looking at any new bookies, our experts want to find the most user-friendly sites. And part of offering a great website that’s easy to use is making sure your clients have many ways to deposit and withdraw their cash.
At any great site, you should have a wealth of payment options available to use. This means that you can choose the most convenient one for you. Also, it means you don’t have to worry about payment options, and can get on with enjoying your sports matches and bets.
Therefore, we look for sites that offer a selection of the following payment methods:
- Debit cards: probably the most popular way to pay. Use your debit card to make deposits and withdraw your winnings with a rapid turnaround
- E-wallets: choose between an online account and/or physical card. Great for betting in multiple currencies, with excellent exchange rates. Plus, they’re extra secure and quick to use
- Pay-by-mobile: a fantastic option if you don’t have/want to use your debit card. Add funds to your mobile phone bill. Or deduct money from your pay-as-you-go credit
- Trustly: an innovative platform that provides an extra wall of security between the site and your internet banking. Simple and super easy to use. Plus, no more entering your bank details!
- Bank transfer: an old-school method for the traditionalists. Slower than other methods but very secure and well-loved
Odds and pricing
When it comes to betting, it’s all about the odds! And a great bookmaker will offer their clients the best odds in the market.
As you probably know, bookies always add a margin into their odds. It’s their way of making money! And, while we don’t begrudge them making a small profit, we don’t like to see huge margins added to their odds. As this has an impact on the punters.
Therefore, our experts shop around and look for the best odds and prices out there. Before bringing you lists of the best bookies with the most competitive odds and prices.
New bookmakers in the UK 2022
With the rising popularity of online gaming and gambling, new betting sites are coming out at a rate of knots. But not all of these sites are created equally! That’s why, here at Bet.xyz, our experts work round the clock, carefully vetting and trying out all these new offerings.
You’ve seen the strict criteria we use, so you can be sure that we check these sites rigorously. And they must tick every box for them to be included on our exclusive lists.
We’re dedicated to bringing our clients only the very best from the gambling world. And that means the leading bet sites with the best matches, best odds and best customer service on the market.
Best betting sites for mobile play
As we’ve seen, a great bet site will offer a fantastic mobile site to their clients too. But should you play using your phone’s browser? Or should you download an app?
Let’s take a look at both of these options in a little more detail.
Betting in your mobile browser
A tried and true option. People were using internet browsers quite happily long before apps came along to steal their thunder! There are many web browsers to choose from, and the most popular one is Google Chrome.
Pros of using your phone’s browser:
- Quick, easy and secure
- Doesn’t use up your phone’s memory
- You can save your username and password for quick logins in the future
Cons of using your phone’s browser:
- Sometimes slow to load
- Lack some cool extras that you get with apps
- Can use more of your mobile data than apps
Betting using an app
The best online betting sites will have a dedicated app for their punters to use. But, of course, there are pros and cons to apps, just like anything else.
Pros of using a bookmaker app:
- Lightning-fast access to all matches and odds
- Added extras and push notifications
- Sharp imagery and quicker loading time
Cons of using a bookmaker app:
- Takes up a lot of memory on your phone
- You need to update them regularly
- Apps are more likely to suddenly close
What features great betting companies should have
Gambling sites can be complicated creatures to the uninitiated. It’s not always obvious to know what you should be looking for and the sheer volume of choice can make it seem a little overwhelming.
That’s where we come into our own. We know the business like the back of our hand and there’s nothing that fazes us any more!
We’ll share with you, right now, some of the key factors that you should consider when deciding which site to choose.
Licensed by the UKGC
The UK is world-famous for its love of gambling and also a general passion for sports. The Brits will wager on all kinds of events and luckily there are plenty of places that will facilitate their bets.
Online bookmakers in the United Kingdom are hugely popular and play a big part in the day-to-day culture. But you can’t just start up one of these sites at the drop of a hat. There are plenty of hoops to jump through and obtaining a UKGC licence is just one of them.
The fact that the rules are so stringent only adds to the peace of mind for the punter.
Many other countries outside of the UK are able to use these sites, but it does depend on the laws in each individual area.
Simple and quick sign-up
Nobody wants to be hanging around for days while they wait for a new account to go live. When you want to make a bet, you want to do it now!
Top sites will make it very easy for new players to join the action and it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to get yourself up and running.
Most accounts simply require you to complete a basic form with some details. After that, you can confirm that you are the account holder with a verification email and you’re good to go.
Good welcome offer
The best online bookies will have a smorgasbord of deals waiting for you. There are several fantastic freebies on offer and savvy punters will get their hands on as many as possible. After all, playing for free means no risk to you or your balance.
Some sites may have more than one available, while others will also reward current customers as well as new ones.
The range is broad, and we’ll go into more detail about the individual types a little later.
Plenty of markets to choose from
Betting online shouldn’t be restrictive. We love to see a huge variety of events available for customers to enjoy.
Top sites will account for all tastes. Major sports as well as lesser-known race meetings, for example, are important to some people. Giving players a chance to have a flutter over a grand spectrum shows a real willingness to please their customers. That’s great to see.
Wide choice of payment methods
There’s more than one way to crack an egg! Not everyone favours bank cards or transfers. Getting your cash moving should be simple and convenient so you’ll want to make sure that your chosen site can accommodate your needs.
Online gambling sites UK tend to work with all the main payment companies which is great for their customers.
In general, you should be looking for a choice of e-wallets, debit cards, phone payments and perhaps even some prepaid options such as Paysafecard, for example.
Good selection of in-play betting and streaming
A few years ago it was unheard of to make bets during live play. But now that’s all changed. The advent of in-play wagers has unlocked the door to a wealth of potential for sports betting fans.
With games such as football, for instance, there is such a varied mix of bets on the table and naturally the likelihood of each one occurring changes throughout the course of the match. In-play gambling allows you to assess the game thus far and make a truly informed choice about the outcome of a specific bet. It’s awesome to see an operator that opens up their book to facilitate a variety of these opportunities.
Live streaming on the best betting platforms is another new feature that has seen huge growth over the last decade.
There’s nothing better than seeing the action in real-time so you know exactly what’s happening. This is especially important if you want to take advantage of the in-play features.
There’s a lot of tech packed into the modern-day gambling sites and sometimes you need to reach out and resolve an issue.
On the whole, everything moves in a slick and efficient manner throughout your online experience when placing a bet. However, glitches do occur.
The great thing is that everything is recorded and the site knows exactly what was happening if a technical fault arises. A simple email or live chat can often resolve the problem and get you back to the action in no time.
We like to see as many contact options as possible to give punters reassurance that there is always someone there to help if needed.
Bonuses at UK betting sites
One of the top reasons for going with a new brand is often the bonus deals in play. There are so many great options and this gives punters a fantastic chance to see some winnings come their way.
And the best thing is that you don’t always need to risk your own cash to get hold of these deals. Some of the best betting offers really are money for nothing.
As a new player, you are usually prepared to make a deposit when you sign up for an online sportsbook account. It’s the name of the game and we’re all in it to win it, so to speak.
Imagine if the site said to you that they will match anything you deposit, up to a certain value. You’d probably bite their hand off!
But that’s exactly what happens all the time as these deals are on offer constantly. Check out our list of the very best deposit offers available right now for new customers.
As we’ve seen, new customers can score some top deposit matches, but why can’t existing customers? They can! And that’s exactly what the reload bonus is for.
As a thank you, it’s pretty standard to see a betting operator reward punters for their loyalty throughout the month. In the promo section of your account, you’ll see new bonuses pop up from time to time, and one of these will often be the reload offer.
It’s very simple in that the site will match your deposit, as they do for new customers, but you might only see 50% extra as opposed to 100% extra.
Free bet promotions
One of the best promos is surely a free bet. By simply signing up to a new site you may find a free bet land in your lap. This may be restricted to a certain event or it could be for you to use as you wish.
There will often be fixed rules for the type of flutter you can enjoy if, indeed, you are given some leeway with your bet. It’s likely that you won’t be able to bet on a dead cert which will almost always come in. There needs to be a bit of sport involved!
Acca bet promotions
Acca bets are a favourite for many sports fans. The potential payouts can be huge, but they are extremely difficult to pull off. Not impossible, but super challenging!
This is another bookie favourite when it comes to welcome deals and it involves making lots of little bets across a range of events. Generally, you will have to correctly predict the outcome of perhaps 10 games or races in order to see the winnings.
The odds are against you, but that’s why the payout is so tempting.
Promotions for specific markets
Having a huge range of markets on their books allows the operator to extend offers in many directions.
Keep an eye on the promo section, or even better, sign up for the site’s newsletter and they will tell you when any new deal’s about to drop.
With a big event around the corner, it’s a perfect time for a bookie to offer special bets on a range of different outcomes. It could be something like incredible odds on the javelin final at the Olympics, for example. Something that you wouldn’t ordinarily bet on, but when some cracking odds are in play, you may be tempted.
Online sports can provide so many ways to enjoy a flutter and the bookies know exactly how to draw in an eager crowd. Not all bets will be worth your investment. Although a little research could see you pick up some wins in the most unlikely places.
Biggest sports in the UK for betting
The UK has a strong affiliation with sports in general. There is a long line of top sporting personalities from this area who have proved that they can compete on the world stage and the punters love to get behind them. The public wagers millions of pounds every single day on some of the best sporting attractions across the globe. And many of them are well represented by talent from these shores.
While there is a great deal of interest in some of the smaller sporting niches, the vast majority of the gambling cash at new bet sites is placed on the most popular sports. And it’s easy to get involved in these events which will attract the most vibrant betting activity.
The UK’s connection with football goes back many centuries. Although no nation can sensibly claim to have invented the activity of kicking something with your foot, it is widely regarded that the modern game originated in England back in the 1800s.
Many of the teams that we follow in the UK have their roots firmly planted in small teams that began competing in organised leagues around the late nineteenth century. Some of the names have changed but the passion and connection are still there.
One of the oldest club competitions in this sport is the FA Cup. Hundreds of teams across England have come together since 1871 to contest this trophy. It encompasses 10 levels of English football and this creates a huge amount of interest for the fans. As a result, there is an enormous choice of betting action that takes place every year.
The domestic leagues such as the EPL and Championship also draw a ton of interest from aficionados both in the UK and across the world.
Of course, there are many other leagues and competitions that take place globally. And all of the top football betting sites shown here on this page will give you some terrific gambling action across the majority of them.
Cricket tends to be held in the highest esteem across English speaking countries. Places like India and Australia have a massive fan base – as does the UK. The game has come a long way over the last few years. Interest was waning for a while due to the lengthy matches that took place. 5-day tests can take a toll on both players and supporters. So it was natural that a shorter and more exciting version would come to the forefront.
In New Zealand, back in the 90s, a shortened format was developed. And in England a few years later, the T20 tournament was officially created. Teams compete with just 20 overs per team making the spectacle fast-paced and more enjoyable for a wider audience.
This type of competition was super popular in India and attracted the interest of some huge multinational companies. Large Investments were made in various teams and this also helped boost the betting activity as well. It is now becoming the norm for smaller cricket teams to be backed by large investors just in the same way as football teams are. The next few years will be an interesting time as we watch the various leagues across the world begin to adopt the same philosophy.
Betting markets on the game of cricket may not be as wide and varied as they are in football, for example, but it is certainly beginning to open up. Betting fans who enjoy this game have got some exciting times to look forward to in the near future.
Interest in the esports betting arena is beginning to snowball. Some of the most popular video games ever invented are now enjoying some incredible betting fun. These include games such as CS:GO, DotA and League of Legends.
Bespoke betting options began to emerge a few years ago with new betting sites offering these wagering options. But as the interest has grown, some of the largest betting companies on the planet are now beginning to get involved.
The available markets are fairly limited in comparison to other popular sports. However, this looks set to change. It won’t be long before we see a huge increase in the variety of bet types in this sector.
Horse racing betting
The exact origins of this traditional sport are known. It would be impossible to place an exact time and place on where horses began to run after each other. Although it is often suggested that horses enjoyed healthy competition even as far back as 5000 BC.
The first supposed record of money changing hands in the UK for one of these races was in the 1600s. Although this is extremely difficult to prove. And it is said that even as far back as Roman times they began to saddle horses and challenge them against each other.
But whatever the origins may be, we now find ourselves in a time where horse racing is in abundance. And you can have a flutter on pretty much any race you like. There are some huge events that take place annually across the United Kingdom. It is a hub of exciting race meetings that draw in the crowds from far and wide.
How live streaming works
Live streaming is one of the most fantastic new additions to the UK sports betting niche. Watching all of the action on your laptop or mobile is so much more exciting if you have a bet riding on the event.
For the general public, live streaming in your home can be a costly business. There are several different providers that give you access to various different fixtures. But paying individually for each one is a pricey affair.
And then along came the best bookmakers and their live streaming service! The UK online bookmakers have access to packages that regular sports fans do not. They are able to stream a huge variety of games and races via their website. And if you are having a bet on that fixture, then you can catch all the action for free.
In-play betting – make the games more exciting
You don’t necessarily have to be watching the action in order to enjoy in-play betting. But it sure does make it more exciting!
Live betting opens doors to new betting activity that until recently, we never thought was possible. Instead of placing your wager at the beginning of a game without any knowledge of how the team is going to perform on that day, why not watch for a while and see how they get on? You can then make a much better prediction about the rest of the match.
This type of betting works perfectly with any kind of sport. It is extremely popular with football betting fans. But cricket and horse racing also enjoy some exciting in-play markets as well.
How to bet on sports responsibly
Everyone who enjoys a flutter would like to be an accomplished online sports betting expert. But it doesn’t matter how good you are at predicting the outcome of any sporting activity if you cannot do it responsibly.
The allure of winning cash from a bet is naturally very strong for most people. But nobody gets it right all of the time. Therefore, you need to have a plan while enjoying your hobby. You can’t just go playing for hours on end simply throwing every last penny you have at it. This would be a recipe for disaster.
Set a betting budget
The most important thing to do is decide how much spare cash you can devote to sports betting UK. Without a figure in mind, you will be handing out cash without considering other financial obligations. Set a monthly budget and stick to it rigorously.
Only bet what you can comfortably afford to lose
The money that you devote to your betting activity must be disposable. So in the event that you lose it, it will not be a huge deal and put pressure on your pocket.
Losing money is never a nice feeling. But losing money that should be spent on something else, is even worse.
Self exclude via Gamstop if necessary
If you feel that you are wagering too much and too often, then it is time to take a break. Your first option is to simply walk away and not access your betting account anymore. Although for some people, the temptation is too great and they will not be able to do this. So your next option is to ask your gambling operator to block your account.
If the above action does not result in you ceasing to bet, then you may need to exclude yourself from all other betting websites UK. And this can be done at Gamstop.
Deposit & withdrawal options for betting
Getting money in and out of your sports betting account should be effortless. Unless you get your cash into your balance quickly, you won’t be able to take advantage of the bet that you wish to make. So consider your transaction options carefully.
Debit cards are perhaps the most popular way to perform financial transactions between individuals and businesses. You can get cash from your bank account into your betting account in seconds. Generally, there are no fees for using this product. Although some players prefer to use other methods as they do not wish to share their card details online.
One way to negate the need to tell anyone your card details is to use a digital wallet. There are many products available such as PayPal, for example, that allow you to store your cash electronically and also connect your bank details. You can then pay for any goods or services by simply logging into your e-wallet account at the cashier. This way, your bank details are never exposed to anyone. It is an extremely fast way to move money around and the transaction limits are usually pretty high as well.
Bank transfers are also possible. But those looking to move their cash quickly may want to look at other options. While the transaction limits are high, the time it takes to see the money arrive in your account can be a little impractical.
At the cashier section, you can select this payment method. And at that point, you will see the betting operator’s bank details appear. You only need to enter these into your online banking app and the money will be sent directly to them. You should allow a few days to see transactions complete when using this platform.
Pay by phone
Pay by phone is an interesting option for those not looking to transfer large amounts. The maximum is £10 and you can do this three times in one day. The money can come from your top-up credit or alternatively add it to your monthly bill.
It is fast, free and very convenient. But you may have issues if you are looking to land a welcome bonus. The minimum deposit amount could be more than £10 depending on the deal that you are looking to secure.
Beginner’s tips for sports betting
Getting started with sports betting can seem a little overwhelming at times. Looking at the numbers and figures can make your head spin. But once you get the hang of it, it soon becomes second nature.
Getting your account up and running shouldn’t take long and it all begins with finding the perfect online bookmaker.
Use our recommendations to find bet sites
The easiest way to choose a place to have a flutter is to take a look at our list of online bookmakers on this page. You will see many different brands presenting their latest signup deals. All you need to do is decide which one works best for you and click on the direct link through to the betting website.
When you arrive, look for the registration button and begin the process.
Only bet on sports that you know well
Choosing to place bets on sports that you are unfamiliar with is never a good idea especially in the beginning. Stick to what you know as it will give you a distinct advantage. If you have followed a particular team for some time, then you will know a lot about them. And it will be easier for you to make predictions when they are competing.
You want to make your life as simple as possible when you are first starting out. And placing bets blindly on activities that you have never heard of is never the best way to do this.
Compare bookmakers to find the best odds
When you have decided which event you would like to have a bet on, you need to choose your odds. And if you are only playing at one site, then you will be restricted by one set of prices. It is always a great idea to compare the market across a number of gambling operators. They are generally similar, but you will find some noticeable variations.
Putting your money on an event at a high price obviously means that you stand to win more money if the bet goes your way. So we always recommend that you do your homework and check out a variety of odds at different sports betting sites.
Look for value bets
Looking for value bets can take some skill. All the best sportsbooks need to produce a lot of prices every day. And this gives room for error. While the bookmaker may consider one price to be reasonable, you could think that it is slightly over-the-top. Due to your knowledge of a sport or individual competitor, you may know that there is a higher likelihood of that outcome.
This can present a fantastic opportunity for you to win extra cash.
Make use of available bonuses
Bonuses are there to give you an opportunity to place bets for free and to check out everything that a brand has to offer. It is always worth considering what deals the best gambling sites UK may have available. And while you will see the main offers listed here on this page, you can also visit that website and review the latest promotions. Here, you might find some added extras that are not common knowledge across review sites.
You may also discover promotions that are available on a range of gambling activities. Many top sportsbooks are also involved in other areas such as bingo and casinos as well. Hybrid offers like these create the perfect opportunity to enjoy a great range of gambling fun.
How to know if a sportsbook is secure
Keeping your cash and personal information safe online is a must. The internet is a fantastic place but it does give people with less honourable intentions a place to hide. So you want to keep your data out of their reach at all costs.
The best way to do this is to research a brand’s website before you sign up. There are a few basic checks that you can perform to keep yourself secure while betting online.
Is personal data encrypted via SSL?
The first thing you can do is simply check for a small padlock icon next to the web address. This signifies that a gambling site is using encryption technology.
Any information that transfers between you and another website needs to be done in a coded way. Regular text can be viewed by other people and this is never safe. SSL technology ensures that no one else is able to unscramble your data.
Using a web browser such as Google Chrome will usually give you a heads up. If you are about to enter a website that does not have the required security tech in place, they will fire a warning sign to tell you to consider going back to safety. You should always heed these warnings as they are there to keep you safe while browsing.
Do they have a valid UK license?
Licensing status is essential. In the UK, an operator must have a full UKGC licence to offer its services to the public. And this is true for any type of gambling activity.
Licensing was introduced to keep players safe and to ensure that criminal activity had no place in the online gambling market. The UKGC does a fantastic job securing the interests of the general public. They make it tough for any operators to achieve a licence and even tougher for them to maintain it year after year.
Taking a quick look at the site’s homepage will tell you all you need to know. It should be obvious that there is a UKGC licence number associated with that brand.
Does the bookmaker have a good reputation?
Finally, you can have a quick look around the internet review forums to see what the public think of a brand. Everybody has an opinion, and they are usually happy to publish it across the internet.
Still in doubt? Check out some of our reader’s most frequently asked questions: