Online Sports Betting

Online bookmakers have been around since the 90s, but it wasn't until the 21st century that they really began to take over the world, and with good reason! Placing bets on your phone, computer or tablet is quick, easy and hassle-free. Not to mention, it comes with its own set of bonuses such as free money for wagers and live-betting. Really, the only reason why you wouldn't use an online bookmaker as opposed to a physical one would be if you simply don't know which one to turn to. That's where we come in! We're not here to advertise – we're here to provide you with all the information you'll need to make an informed choice about which online bookmaker has the best odds, most markets and best bonuses!

Top 5 Betting Sites

bookies table

Our team of 500+ Internauts has spent years scouring the darkest corners of the world wide web with only one goal in mind – to compile a list of the best betting sites in the world! Now that I think about it, we could've used that time and manpower for something a bit more productive, like advancing space exploration, curing cancer or preventing Michael Bay from ruining any more childhoods, but it doesn't matter! The important thing is that we did the hard work for the sake of our fellow online gamblers everywhere! You're welcome! And yes, you may buy us a drink.

What Makes A Good Bookmaker

But hey, just because we're saying that these sites are good doesn't mean you should just take our word for it. Quite the opposite – different bookmakers work for different people, so ultimately it's up to you and you alone what site you end up going with. It might be one of ours, or even several of them... Or it might end up being something that we, for one reason or another, didn't put in the table above. Either way, it's important to be able to identify what makes a bookmaker worthy of your time, and which one(s) would work best for you. To do this, we've compiled a list of all the things you should be looking out for, such as:

Wide range of markets

Pretty much all online bookmakers allow betting on football games, so if that's exclusively what you're looking for, then a good chunk of the legal bookies will suit you just fine. However, an increasing number of people are starting to become interested in betting on other sports, such as tennis, rugby or the undeniable classic – horse racing. When picking out which bookmaker you'd like to use, it's important to check out just how diverse their list of markets is. And hey, even when you're not looking to bet on absolutely every single sport in the history of the universe, the number of markets a bookmaker offers is generally a good indicator of their overall quality and reliability. If there's a wide range of markets, that means that the bookie has been around for a while and is rather big and influential. And while sometimes there's benefits to supporting the smaller sites, you can't go wrong with the well-established brands.

Wide Range of In-Play Bets

No matter how many markets a bookie has, they're all pretty much useless if a good variety of in-play bets isn't also included in the package. The in-play bets are the real meat of sports betting, giving you plenty of options to bet on anything from the final result to who'd score the third goal. Sites that only have the most basic in-play bets, especially for more popular sports such as football, are generally not worth your attention unless they offer some really good odds. That doesn't mean that you'll always be betting on every single option possible (unless you're an incredibly passionate gambler, in which case you probably don't even need to read this), but it's good to have choices. I mean, who knows, you might go to the site intending to bet on the team you think will win, only to end up betting on something like the last team to score. You never know!

Mobile App

mobile bettingLet's get things straight, guys – it's the 21st century, and technology has evolved to the point where we carry around computers much better than the ones that landed a man on the moon. Not using them for something as simple as sports betting is a crime against engineers everywhere. As such, you should probably stay away from bookmakers that don't offer some kind of mobile version, be it a web app or a downloadable app. Downloadable apps, of course, generally tend to be more user-friendly, but for the most part there's little difference. Web apps are also fun, but if you access the bookmaker's site from your phone and tablet and just see a complete mess, then you're better off staying away. Remember – a bookie with a mobile app is a bookie who cares!

Good Odds

If you're as bad at math as I am, you probably don't care too much about odds and just want to bet on the team you root for rather than on the one that will potentially bring you the most winnings. And that's totally fine, it's cool that you support your team no matter what, but if you want to really start making the most out of sports betting you might want to change your approach just a little bit. What you're looking for is bookies that offer the highest possible odds. Bookmakers generally display the odds like this – number A/number B. The bigger number A is in relation to number B, the higher your earnings if you win! For example, betting on 15/7 will give you more than twice your wager in winnings alone! So if you want to make a big buck from sports betting, keep an eye on those odds!

Live Betting Is An Exciting Way To Engage With The Game

There's nothing more exciting than watching the events you're betting on live as they happen! The thrill of the game rises exponentially when there's actually something substantial on the line. When you've wagered on the result, every goal hits you in the chest, every match point brings you to the edge of your seat and every pistol shot makes you stare at the screen until the race ends without even allowing yourself to blink. It's a whole new level of immersion in sports that goes above and beyond simply rooting for your team! Unfortunately, the only way to experience this amazing sensation is if you bring your TV next to your computer monitor and watch the game while betting... Yes, of course I'm just kidding! In the modern age, most bookmakers allow you to watch the game you're betting on right there on the site!

Of course, not every game can be viewed – depending on the rights, some may be reserved for pay per view, others might be exclusive to certain channels, and a few might not even be available in your region. For the most part, though, if a game is broadcast on TV or online, you'll be able to watch it through the site. Sometimes you're required to have a positive balance on your account in order to watch, just to make sure that the bookmaker's servers aren't clogged by people who want to use them as a free TV channel, but since you're here I'm fairly certain you're feeling ready to bet and not just watch. As the name “Live Betting” implies, you can actually place bets right there while the game is in progress, all without even leaving the window. Keep in mind, though, that the odds will change depending on the game's outcome, so if you're planning to make it big by betting on the winner in the 89th minute then you might want to reconsider your plan!

Be On The Lookout For Bonuses

For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, bonuses are pretty much exactly what it says on the tin – bonus bets and free money that you can receive just for signing up, or as part of a promotion. You can see how these bonuses are invaluable, especially for new players who want to experiment with betting in a risk-free environment. But if there's one thing you absolutely need to know about bonuses, it's that they come in all shapes and sizes! You may encounter lots of different types of bonus offers when browsing bookies, but generally, they tend to belong to one of three categories:

Deposit Bonuses

The name speaks for itself – deposit bonuses are ones where you receive something as a reward for depositing. More often than not, your deposit is matched 100% or 200%, giving you double or triple the amount of cash to play around with. Of course, that doesn't mean you'll be able to deposit a million pounds and get three million to play around with (though if you're seriously considering depositing a million then you're probably a tier or two above online betting), there are certain limits in place, but for the most part you'll be able to get a pretty nice bonus which will allow you to explore more of the sites' options than you could otherwise. Deposit bonuses are more often encountered on casino sites rather than on bookmakers, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be keeping an eye out for one!

Free Bets

This is one of the more common bonuses that online bookies offer, and it's also the simplest one to understand – you sign up and get free money, which you can use to make bets and explore how the site works. Of course, you can't just take your money and run, as enticing as that sounds. You'll have to wager your bonus a certain amount of times before being able to withdraw your winnings, and sometimes there's a limit to just how much you'll be able to earn. Don't expect to get rich from your bonus amount alone is what I'm trying to say. You can think of it as demo mode – a means to test out the various features of the site.

Money-back Specials

This is the perfect bonus for people who want some form of insurance while betting. Rather than a set amount you get when registering or depositing, the money-back special can be received as many times as its conditions are fulfilled. Those conditions vary, but it's usually some variation of “if the game turns out to be extremely disappointing we'll give you your money back”. So if the game ends up being 0-0, or if you miss by a little, at the very least you haven't sustained any losses. Of course, the conditions vary from site to site and sometimes don't apply to all markets or even to all games, so you'll have to really look into the finer print before betting.

Final Words

In the 21st century, betting has been made easier than ever before and, unless someone invents a way to make wagers with your mind, I doubt it's ever going to get any easier than that. If you're passionate about sports and want to take your passion to the next level, using your knowledge, skills and luck to your advantage, then online gambling is most certainly a very viable way to do that. Just make sure to consider all of the options that a bookmaker is offering before signing up with them – you want to be sure that you've found the one that's best for you! While our suggestions are certainly a very good place to start, what works for you is going to be different than what worked for us. Let the search begin!