Online betting sites have taken over from land-based bookmakers when it comes to the most popular and easiest way to place bets on sporting markets from all over the world, with hundreds of high-quality online bookies and sportsbooks available.
Sports gamblers can opt to strike bets via laptop or mobile devices, with online bookmaker sites catering to the sophisticated modern bettor. Our guide will help you when it comes to finding the best online bookmakers in the UK, choosing the top sports betting sites, understanding what to expect inside online betting sites, and choosing which markets to bet on.
Searching for 'online bookmakers' brings up hundreds of websites offering sportsbook services in the UK, including famous gambling brands as well as smaller, independent ones, and new bookies. While this is great in terms of always having sports betting options, it can also make it tricky when it comes to finding the best online bookmakers in the UK for you – and avoiding those with a low level of service.
One of the best routes to take is to leave the hard work to high-quality bookie review sites such as FreeBets.net. It analyses hundreds of sports betting sites to bring you the best selections, directing you to the safe sites that have excellent betting products.
Review sites can also help you to locate the best sign-up offers and open accounts with brands that have the features that match your betting style and preferences. Big brands are often a safe option when it comes to finding quality sports betting sites, but don't ignore the smaller and newer names – read the reviews and do your research to find the online bookmaker site that's a perfect fit for you. Keep an eye out for bookmakers offering enhanced odds on sign up.
If you are specifically looking for bookmakers offering free bets, Bookmakers.co.uk is a great resource.
When it comes to choosing the right sports betting site in the UK, the decision comes down to a variety of factors, some of which are personal to you and others that are more generic.
In terms of personal choice, you might like the feel and look of a certain brand; maybe you like something clean and simple, or alternatively love a high-octane, adrenalin rush of a site with lots going on visually. Choosing sites with a solid reputation, classy customer service, great sign-up offers, good value odds and a wide range of sporting markets, always makes sense. After all, why limit your options?
Sites like FreeBets.net offer an excellent guide that helps you to get a feel for different online bookmakers and make a decision on which one suits you. When it comes to value, having accounts with more than one online bookie also makes sense, since you can then 'get on' at the best price.
Of course, if you decide the bookie you've gone for isn't right for you after all, you can always close your account or opt to not make a deposit.
The maturity of internet gambling means that online bettors are now treated to sophisticated levels of quality – and no one should accept anything less than a smooth punting experience. After all, there are many excellent options just a click away that you could find offer a better experience. With this in mind, there are several no-brainers when it comes to what makes up a first-class betting operation with bookies in the UK.
Number one should be a welcome bonus and plenty of promotions on a monthly basis, such as free bets or price boosts. Secondly, bookie sites should offer quick payouts, safe banking and a fast and friendly customer service, preferably via live chat, phone and email.
With the basics out of the way, the next essential when it comes to choosing online sports betting sites, is whether their products match your punting profile. The top sites offer a vast range of sporting events from across the globe, but it's essential to check whether they also offer the niche markets that you may be a fan of, such as Esports or live video streams of horse races.
Finally, live in-play betting is a hot trend among modern bettors and it's offered by all high-class online bookmakers. Betting live enables you to cash-out winnings, increase betting options and enhance entertainment levels.
The best bookie sites offer all of the above, while delivering an interface that's fast, smooth and easy to navigate. If a bookie isn't delivering what you want, remember there are always other quality options.
Online sports betting websites increasingly offer global betting markets, with thousands of potential bets to place on any given day. However, the top betting events in the UK are still focused on a select handful of sports, particularly football (notably Premier League, Championship and The Champions League), horse racing, tennis, golf, F1, snooker and darts.
Sports such as football, horse racing and tennis are constantly in the punter's eye, thanks to the continuous flow of daily action and big events, such as the World Cup, Wimbledon, Glorious Goodwood and the Cheltenham Festival. Other sports such as snooker tend to be more 'big event centric', such as The World Snooker Championship.
Football is a massive in-play product and many sites feature live coverage, stats and excellent live betting options in the niche. Similarly, sports such as horse racing and tennis also have a lot of live TV coverage on some sites.
One important point to be aware of, is that some online bookies in the UK do not offer horse racing betting markets, which is a big turn-off for those who bet on the sport regularly. This doesn't make non-racing brands low-quality, since there are some great sportsbooks that don't offer racing, but it does mean they're not a match made in heaven for horse bettors.
The best offers with online bookies in the UK tend to be linked to these key sports, and they offer the most scope for bettors when it comes to regular betting and developing winning strategies.