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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 2021
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.
Still in doubt? Check out some of our reader’s most frequently asked questions: