We guess you can agree with us that betting on sports is one of the oldest and most revered forms of gambling. Although the basic concept remains the same, the way people place their bets today is significantly different, especially since you are no longer required to be physically in a betting shop, football stadium or horse racing course to take part in the action. The UK is one of the most betting-friendly countries, and punters have numerous choices in terms of where to place their bets. You can place your bets at betting shops in practically every town, through telephone, and most of all, on betting sites.
Having plenty of options is generally a good thing, but it also creates a bit of confusion. It’s a coin toss between using betting sites or offline bookmakers – yeah you know the ones right on the high street. It’s also difficult to determine if it’s better to use established betting sites or newer brands. One of the most sought after advice is what to look for if you’re trying to choose the best betting sites.
In this guide, we’ll provide you with answers to all these questions. We at bet.xyz are always keen to explore new sports betting sites and offer insight through our betting sites reviews. Considering how many UK betting sites there are out there, we have made it easier for you to pin down the top 10 betting sites. Or at least find one that fits the bill when it comes to providing the right sportsbook platform for new players.
Betting sites landscape
The way people bet online has gradually evolved over the years. Betting sites now offer substantially much more features than they used to in the early days of online betting. The top betting sites in particular just keep improving, and new betting sites continually provide healthy competition. It, therefore, should not come as a surprise that online sports betting is becoming increasingly popular.
Statistics show that millions of punters place their wagers online daily and refuse to bet using other platforms. There are also almost as many people who are reluctant to use sports betting sites. You might be on the fence or a hybrid sports bettor who is happy to use both platforms. Regardless of your stance, we want to make sure that you have all the right platforms at your fingertips. We are your one-stop-shop when it comes to all things sports betting. We assure you that it is not rocket science, but with our help, you will feel confident when selecting betting sites. The adage of knowledge being power holds truth – the more you know, the better your choices. So let’s dig right into the betting sites playground!
You get plenty of perks on betting sites
Betting sites are filled with lots of bonuses and promotions to welcome new players and keep regulars happy too. These bonuses are usually free -play betting credits, extra funds, or free bets. Such bonuses, however, typically come with terms and conditions, so it’s always a good idea to read through them.
Other betting sites offer over and above regular bonuses might include:
- Holiday tickets
- Improved odds on particular events
- Cashback on losses
- Rewards based on how much you wager
- Competitions and Prize draws
- Wagering leaderboards
Unless you are a high roller you are unlikely to get these perks in a bookmaking shop
Betting online is convenient
Imagine, while you are waiting for a league game to start later in the evening, you find out that one of the team’s top strikers has picked up an injury during training and won’t be in the starting line-up. You quickly decide to place your bets on the other side. What to do? Drama and panic aside – just scroll through your iPhone, Android or Windows phone and place your bet online. In a matter of a few seconds, your eyes are glued back on the game and you aren’t faced with the frustrations of having to down a hot pint. Pretty convenient, right?
What are your options if you don’t want to bet online? The answer lies in ‘who you’re going to call? Yes, you can use telephone betting service and pay with Boku—if you can find one that’s open at that time. Or you can take a trip to your local bookies and risk missing the game while meandering through the crowd or dealing with poor signals. Sod’s law can happen anytime.
Chances are high that during a live sporting event, you aren’t always going to want to place bets at the last minute, but even when you have time, why put extra effort at offline bookies?
Whichever way you want to look at it, betting sites offer the most convenient way to place bets. This is one of the main reasons why online betting has gathered so much popularity. You don’t need to leave your house, speak to anyone on the phone, or use cash. You can access your betting account 24/7 from anywhere in the world.
Betting sites are safe and secure
A significant number of people who are sitting on the fence with regards to whether or not to use betting sites are worried that betting online is not secure. This point of view is quite reasonable. Most people who don’t want to signup for new accounts on betting sites usually ask the following questions:
- What if the betting sites disappear with my money?
- How safe are my banking details?
- What guarantee do I have that I will receive my winnings?
As reasonable as these concerns are, they are based more on emotions than on facts. It is highly unlikely that a registered and licensed betting site would disappear with the funds in your account, exploit your banking details, or refuse to pay out your winnings. This is particularly true if you practice due diligence before using a betting site. You should only use betting sites that are licensed and regulated by reputable organisations such as the UK Gambling Commission, such as the ones we at bet.xyz review for your convenience. Having 3rd party recognition from organisations such as eCogra also serves as a useful index of how trustworthy a betting site is. A good alternative is to just stick to our UK betting sites list.
Using online betting sites is easy peasy
Visiting and placing a bet in a casino sportsbook or bookmaking shop can be a formidable task for an inexperienced punter. You cannot immediately tell what all the numbers mean, what your options are, or how to go about placing your bets. In sharp contrast, placing bets on betting sites is relatively easy. You only have to open an account in a few straightforward steps. All you have to do is choose a username and password along with some basic personal information. You are also provided with multiple options to make payments, including PayPal.
You can use the available methods to deposit the amount you want into your account. After your account is up and running, you can just login and find the markets you want to place bets in. You only have to search through the list of sports covered by the site. Click on the applicable sport, and you’ll be presented with all the upcoming events for that sport. If you click on the event, you will view all the available bets. What’s left is to select your prediction and enter your stake. And you’re done! Probably faster than boiling an egg or taking a whiz after 3 pints.
Betting sites offer better odds and lines
The odds that you can find on betting sites are typically better than those that you can find at your local bookmaker. This difference in odds often determines whether you win or lose a bet. Betting online also makes it easier to access an oddschecker, which in turn makes odds comparison quicker and easier. Odds usually vary between sites, and you might find better odds for some events on one website and better odds for another game on the next site. You can open accounts with multiple bookies and compare the odds they are offering before placing a wager. Trying to compare all the available odds before placing a bet can be tricky, but it will be time well spent.
Betting online also opens up doors to a guaranteed form of wagering, called matched betting. This complex system allows bettors to exploit the difference in odds between betting sites to bet on all the outcomes of a game, and still be able to turn a profit. The best matched betting sites make this process a breeze, even for an inexperienced bettor.
Sports betting sites offer variety
Very few local bookmakers provide extensive coverage on all professional sports in different markets. The same cannot be said of betting sites. The best online betting sites cover pretty much every event in every professional sport. If you want to bet on an English premiership soccer match, you can do it in a few clicks on your mobile. If you’re going to bet on an IPL cricket game or horse racing, that’s not a problem either. However unpopular the sport may be, or how obscure the event is, you can always find it on betting sites.
Most UK betting sites also offer variety in terms of the bets that you can make. You can find simple and more exotic bets, such as prop bets. You can sometimes find over 100 different prop bets for special events. This provides players with plenty of room to select how they want to wager. And there is also live betting. Live betting allows punters to place wagers on sporting events after the game has already started. This will enable you to better predict the game’s outcome before deciding where to put your money.
Betting sites bonuses
One advantage that betting sites have over your local bookie is that they offer you a chance to earn more through bonuses and rewards. By choosing to wager on betting sites, you can get hundreds of pounds in welcome bonuses, free bets, deposit bonuses, and VIP loyalty programs. With the right bonus and some luck – you still have to win bets – you can walk away with more than just a few quid.
We’ll cover the most famous of these promotions, namely, the welcome bonus. Betting sites worth their grain of salt cannot avoid the red carpet welcome of this bonus. These days, players simply expect it from any and all sites.
The Internet is filled with countless betting sites, and the number is increasing daily. The years 2017, 2018, and 2019 have seen a lot of new UK betting sites being developed to create innovation and cover some needs that are still not being met. All these sites want you and all your friends to bet on their website. Most punters smile at the thought of freebies and promotions. Betting sites UK, therefore, offer their customers a promo code that provides access to welcome bonus offers.
Players can then have a feel of sportsbook sites without using any money. Sometimes you’ll find free bets being offered in conjunction with no deposit bonus. This sweetens the deal and yes, we’ve got you covered in our sportsbook reviews when it comes to knowing what each online bookie offers new players.
How to choose the right betting site for you
If you are looking for advice on how to spot a good betting site, look no further. Regardless of which sport you want to wager on, what all online punters want is a top-quality betting experience. Only the best sites can provide that experience. At the end of the day, you should have the final word in which betting sites you use. However, we also want to lend a guiding hand, because we understand the frustrations that come from being overwhelmed by the various betting sites options. The following are some of the critical points that you should consider when choosing betting sites.
Legality and Licensing
Let’s be honest, no matter how good a betting site is, if it’s not operating within the law, then it’s bound for destruction. Betting sites that are worth their mettle are, therefore, fully licensed and regulated by a trusted authority. Online gambling laws govern operating conditions, such as jurisdictions where an association is allowed to operate. They also dictate what currencies you can use such as the British Pound for all UK players. All new betting companies in England, for example, have to be licensed by the UK Gambling Commission.
Which sports do they offer?
This one should be pretty obvious to you. Before you shortlist the betting sites, you’ll need to look at the sports and markets you want to focus on. Football is one of the most popular sports and it’s generally easier to come across football betting sites. If you simply want to bet on English Premier League games, it might not be necessary to go for betting sites that provide comprehensive information on an extensive list of games in obscure foreign leagues. If you find a one-stop-shop, you won’t have to move around from site to site. If you want access to softer, lesser-known markets, you can go for betting sites that offer information covering international leagues.
When you are checking out new betting sites, you have to take a look at their sportsbook and see the list of sports that they cover. Some sites will not list a sport unless they have an active wager on it at the time. While other betting sites don’t show sports that are not in season. Even if all the sports you want to bet on are covered, it’s always a good idea to look at more options, as you might want to expand your portfolio down the road.
If you want to watch a game that you have placed a bet on, then you might need to choose betting sites that provide live streaming services. Some big matches are, however, protected by licensing laws and can only be broadcast by official sports news websites. Latest platforms are now incorporating streaming services into their overall packages. If they also have a mobile app, users can follow the progress of their wagers in real-time, with superb picture quality. Players can access live betting while they watch the game, and, therefore, stand to make profits from unlikely scenarios.
Types of bets offered
Players also need to take into account the nature of bets that different betting sites offer. Some of the basic betting opportunities include win-draw-lose outcomes, full-time and half-time variations, the number of goals at various playing times, and a variety of accumulator options. This is the part where we cover the other ways in which you can evaluate a site.
Betting exchange- In as much as it’s in the best interests of betting sites to offer the best possible odds to their customers. However, due to good business sense, they are limited to specific percentages. Betting exchanges, on the other hand, enable punters to place odds against each other. Players can, therefore, receive odds that are as high as another punter is willing to offer.
User Experience – Have you ever visited a website…looked at it for a few minutes… failed to figure it out and just closed the tab? Even if a betting site has all the features and capabilities you are looking for, if it’s difficult to make sense of, you’ll probably close and forget about it forever. The same can be said for a betting site’s mobile version or app. Betting sites should make it easy as possible for new users to get the layout and figure out how to use the features. The main thing, customer support must be closer to a 5-star rating.
Betting site communities – Most betting sites we’ve associated ourselves with have vibrant forums and live chat options to engage users. Communities make it easier for newbies to interact with more experienced players as part of their education process. Experienced players can also get an extra edge by connecting with other punters of their calibre.
Do they have a mobile site? – An increasing number of punters now use their mobile devices to watch matches and place their wagers. It would be more convenient for you in the long term if the site you want to bet with has an excellent mobile platform. It’s even better if they have an app that you can download on the Apple Store or the Google Playstore.
Site speed – While you’re giving several betting sites a spin, before settling for a few, make sure to check out the site speeds. Most betting sites have adequate upload and download speeds, but you’ll occasionally come across very slow ones. What you have to look for is any sign of lagging. Webpages should load quickly and without any delay. If you have to wait for pages to load, that’s usually a bad sign, unless your internet connection is extremely slow.
Banking options – your money your way
Before you can place a bet on betting sites, you’ll need to fund your account. You will also need to be able to quickly move out your winnings at a later date. For these reasons, you will need to look for betting sites that allow you to move your funds in and out of the site easily. In this section, we’ll tell you more about what you should look for when it comes to banking options. You can also check out our sportsbook reviews, as we do cover a section on deposits and withdrawals of our selected sportsbooks.
Most betting sites provide a large selection of banking options, but you just have to make sure. For example, if you prefer banking with Neteller, betting sites that don’t offer it as a banking option aren’t for you. Other payment options include Visa, MasterCard, Wire Transfer, Skrill, Bitcoin, and Paypal. Another aspect to look at is the banking fees. If you don’t shop around for options, a significant amount of your bankroll will be used up in costs. From our experience, banking fees vary from free to significant percentages, so it’s vital to shop around.
The downside of betting sites?
As far as we can tell, there is only one disadvantage to using betting websites to place your wagers—it’s a bit too easy to gamble and some of the wagering requirements can be trying.
Gambling with ease
A significant portion of players ends up spending more than they can afford to lose. Gambling addiction often results in social and economic hardships. Having said that, we still do not think this one disadvantage is enough to outweigh all the advantages we discussed earlier. Punters can still get addicted when using bookmakers shops. On the other hand, the best football betting sites take necessary steps to ensure that their customers are protected from the adverse effects of gambling. The best betting sites continually remind their users of the importance of responsible gambling. They offer tools such as:
- Deposit, wager, and loss limits
- Session limits
Most betting sites also partner with organisations such as GamStop, GamCare and Gamblers Anonymous UK to help customers who might be on the verge of gambling addiction. The same cannot be said of most bookmaker shops. Punters just have to remember to use the right sites —ones that keep them safe while they have the best possible betting experience.
If the talk of betting sites bonus money makes you swoon – yes Oscar Wilde grabbed the keyboard – time for a reality check and it’s a doozie. It’s also one of the downsides of these promotions. Firstly, don’t for a minute think that the betting sites are being charitable. Never forget that these platforms are in business and do everything to make a profit. We’re not saying that these bonuses are bad—far from it. We just need to make it clear that you are unlikely to hit the jackpot using them. That is because all these offers have terms and conditions. Most of the requirements force you to bet using your own money before you can cash out any winnings from the bonus funds.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common requirements that you might come across. The first thing you need to do is check if a particular bonus is cashable. Some bonuses only allow you to withdraw the winnings you make, but not the initial stake. Most, if not all, of the other bonuses, are only cashable once you fulfil what is called wagering requirements. The idea behind wagering requirements is simple. They want you to wager a bonus multiple times before you can withdraw the winnings. For example, if you receive a £200 bonus, with a35x wagering requirement, you’ll need to wager £7000 before you can cash-out your winnings. Our advice, don’t skimp on the terms and conditions.