Sports Betting Sites
Updated on the 22nd June, 2018.
Our recent update not only means that all information mentioned is current and correct, but that we've also added more information about how to find a sports betting site that suits your wants and needs. We hope that now this guide can serve as the ultimate one-stop page for betting site enthusiasts and those who are looking to get into this type of gaming.
Are you really into live sports? Have you got soft spot for having a flutter on your favorite games? Have you really not tried out playing on sports betting sites yet? We’ve heard it said before that online sports betting sites can be intimidating when you first visit them and don’t get us wrong — we can see where these people are coming from. There are pages and pages full of all kinds of statistics and it can be pretty confusing when you first visit. Yet, the longer you stick with it, the more used to it you become, and you’re soon able to access the dense information with confidence and clarity.
Whether or not you’re already an aficionado at using sports betting sites or are simply a newbie, who’s interested to try them out, this post is designed to make it easy for you to access the world of online betting and improve the experience of those already engaged with it. We’ll not only introduce you to theories surrounding sports betting sites – like what they are and how you can interact with them. We will also inform you as to what kind of sports betting games you’ll find available at these sites, what kinds of sports betting sites UK players can access from their phones or computers and how you can find sites that are right for you.
What attracts players to the best sports betting sites is the freedom that they represent and offer. We’re not only talking about the freedom to wager from anywhere in the world. There is also the freedom to choose to gamble on the sports and games that you really care about, and the freedom to wager in sports betting sites, and their rise to prominence in recent years has transformed the way sports are watched and enjoyed.
We also think it’s well worth noting that one of the biggest steps in the evolution of sports betting sites in recent times has been the rise of mobile. Sure, you could gamble online well before you could on your mobile, but these days you’re able to be in the terraces at a stadium, watching your favourite team, and you can still pull out your smartphone and place a bet. Or, you could be worlds away from the game, on the way to work, at the supermarket, or on holiday, and still have the chance to get in on the action.
If you read on, you’ll be amazed by the sheer range of sports betting games that are available for you to play: not only at the big brand sites, but also at the smaller and more niche sites which cater to those with fringe tastes. We’ll start this introductory guide with an explanation of what sports betting sites are and which are the best betting sites UK, but later we’re going to go into a deeper dive on all the elements you’ll need to know about to get you up to speed quickly. At the end of this guide, you’ll have the confidence to approach these sites with confidence.
What Are the best Sports Betting Sites
Simply put, UK betting sites are websites, which allow their users to place wagers on sports events taking place currently or in the future. In the past, players who wanted to gamble on sporting events used to have to either head down to the game themselves and place a wager at one of the bookmakers’ stands or pay a visit to their local bookies. Now, online betting sites have transformed the way that players gable. Like so many things in life, the internet has made things a lot easier for those looking to have a flutter on their favourite sport and has revolutionised sport betting for the better.
Sports betting sites allow anyone over the age of 18 to place bets on pretty much any sport they want to get involved with. And that age restriction is important; any sports betting sites operating in the UK are required – just like any other gambling operation – to hold a license with the UK Gambling Commission.
Not only does this ensure that all the bets, odds and games offered are fair to players and aren’t designed simply to rip people off, but it also ensures that the sites in question have the required safeguards in place to ensure those, who are underage or at risk don’t have access to gambling. In reality, sports betting sites UK players have access to are some of the most heavily regulated in the world, and that’s all to keep you and other safe.
It’s really easy to think of sports betting sites as simply an extension of the land based betting shops we’re already all so familiar with. And while it’s true that there are many similarities, it’s not exactly useful to think of sports betting sites directly in these terms. Many of the best online sports betting sites have leveraged their unique position as online providers to create brand new features and tools which have changed the way people think about sports betting, and transformed the way people interact with sports betting.
There’s as many different top sports betting sites on the internet as there are stars in the night’s sky, which is why it’s hard to sum them up in one definition. While many are simply low resolution screens full of statistics, others are highly polished sites, which are designed to dazzle and impress you.
On top of this, the sports and fixtures covered by sports betting sites differ from site to site, as do the bonuses, promotions and other rewards you can claim when you sign up and play at the sites. All this means that, although fundamentally you’re just betting on sports, depending on the site you choose to do this on, you could have a vastly different experience from one day to the next. Variety truly is the spice of life!
Online Only Sports Betting Sites
Many of the best betting sites are owned and operated by the same bookies, which you’ll already find having land-based store on your local high street or pitched at sporting events. These are some of the most reputable and biggest sites you’ll find, and their size allows them to offer some of the best odds you’ll find on the internet. However, cyberspace is the great democratiser and breaking up the monopolies which old bookies once held are a younger generation of new betting sites, which exist online only. These new kids on the block have a number of attractive features, which the old guard fail to appreciate.
For instance, many of the best betting websites will allow you to wager on more fringe or niche sports, which are too small or otherwise off the radar of the bigger gambling sites. It might also be the case that you want to wager on games outside the jurisdiction of the older sites. It’s hard to imagine William Hill offering odds on South Korean Beach Volleyball, but rest assured that somewhere there’ll be a site that does.
Finally, it may be the case that you want to use a banking method that’s quite different to those offered at traditional sports betting sites. Perhaps you want to wager with a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin and it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll be able to find a site which allows you to do so! Opening up sports betting to the internet has allowed for an incredible number of new features to find their way onto the sites.
What Games Can You Play?
To be perfectly honest with you, it’s not a matter of what sports you can find at sports betting sites, but which sports you want to find. The little-known truth about online gambling is that if there’s a market for a certain type of gambling, there’ll be some provider or another that will provide that. This means that whichever kind of sport you fancy wagering on, you’re almost guaranteed to find some sports betting sites, which will facilitate that for you.
Obviously, everyone in the UK knows that you can gamble on football online and most also know about sports like rugby, tennis and even snooker taking odds at sports betting sites (basically, any sport that you can find on the telly). The same is true for sports around the world – Americans see American football and hockey on TV and they assume that’s the only thing you can wager on. However, if there’s a professional league of a game, chances are you’ll be able to head online and wager on fixtures.
Yes, there are sports betting sites, which will allow you to wager on volleyball, golf, darts and even – believe it or not – competitive sailing. If there’s a game to be wagered on, there’s be one provider somewhere you can use to bet on it. Of course, the more niche the game is you’re wagering on, the more research you’re going to have to put in to find sports betting sites, which feature it. Moreover, the terms and odds you’ll receive are likely to be less favorable, but still, rest assured that you’ll find it.
You’ll notice a theme running through this guide and that’s research. The more research you’re willing to put in to finding sites that are right for you, the better experience you’re likely to have when you find them. You get out what you put in.
In Game Betting
Not only has the internet revolutionised how you wager on live sports, but it’s made it possible to place bets on your smartphone, tablet or computer. Subsequently, this has also meant that there has been a shift in when you’re able to place bets. We’re not just talking now simply about placing a bet at 1AM on the morning of a big fixture when all bookies have closed. We’re also talking about the ability that sports betting sites have facilitated for users to place bets when the game is already underway, with new betting opportunities arising a the action plays out on the field.
It used to be the case that bookies would require you to have your wagers made a set period of time before the match started. Sure, some bookies – especially those situated at stadiums – would allow you to have a flutter at half time, but on average, the old school situation was bets had to be placed before the game.
Sports betting sites have revolutionised that. Now, at pretty much any time through the progress of the game, players are able to continue placing bets on the outcome of the game, with sports betting sites making great use of the latest betting algorithmic technology updating odds at the speed of light to keep up to date with the latest action on the field.
But this isn’t just a case of you being able to wager during the game. The kinds of wagers you can place have also been revolutionized sports betting sites. Traditional betting would have seen you able to say what the final score would be, who would win, who would score during the game and what the score at half time would be. Yet, other than this, your options were actually relatively limited in terms of what you can actually wager on.
However, with some of the best sports betting websites allowing you to wager during the game, you are now able to bet on things like who is going to score the next goal, what the outcome of a penalty is going to be, and any other minutia which you would never have been able to wager on with traditional bookies.
It’s really amazing the world of opportunities which has been opened up with the introduction and growth of sports betting sites. A lot has to be said for the increased amount of competition online vendors face – as with all things, competition means a race to offer a better service and these new exciting features are a direct result of that race.
Finding New Sports Betting Sites
What’s that? You like the sound of what sports betting sites have to offer and you want to try them out for yourself? Or maybe you’re already a keen user of their services, but are tired of the same old site you’re already using? It’s time you found yourself some new betting sites UK and the good news for you is that we know exactly how to go about doing that exact thing.
There are plenty of reasons, which you might look for a new or simply want to switch sports betting sites. Perhaps you think you could find better odds on the games you care about elsewhere or maybe the games you want to wager on aren’t featured at the site you’re using. Plus, you might have used up all the promotions and bonuses at your current site and want to find some new ones or maybe you simply want to find out if the grass really is greener on the other side. Whatever your reasons, there’s a process you should go through when on the hunt for a new site.
Sure, you should probably only trust sports betting sites, which have the look of being honest and professional. A sure sign that you’re about to get mugged off is a basic looking website which doesn’t function very well. Yet, there’s so much more than simply aesthetics you have to go on when you’re on the hunt for a new sports betting site. For instance, have you check out the games available, the promotions and bonuses the prospective site offer, or the odds they offer on the games you care about?
First and foremost, we’d suggest that the most important thing to look for straight off the bat when assessing whether sports betting sites are for you or not is the types of games that it takes wagers on.
We’re not just talking about the kinds of sport that you can bet on – it goes without saying that that you shouldn’t sign up to a dedicated one of the best football betting sites UK if you’re really into rugby – but the actual fixtures that the site takes wagers on. If you love betting on smaller leagues, you want to make sure they’re covered by any site you’re signing up to, and you want to ensure that international fixture bets are accepted too if you want to wager on these.
In our experience, the best aspect of sports betting sites to interrogate next is the kinds of bonuses and promotions which it offers to players both new and returning. It’s no secret that sites like these use special offers to help entice players to come and play at their sites, but the secret to picking the perfect site for you is making sure that those special offers are working in your favour.
As far as new players go, the most common kinds of welcome bonuses are free bets and deposit matches, while players returning to sports betting sites can expect anything from special odds to match bonuses and prize draws. We’ll go into more detail about the kinds of bonus and promotions you can reasonably expect from these sites below. Yet, take it as a given that as a user, it’s in your interest to milk these special offers for all that they’re worth.
The final, yet really important, aspect of sports betting sites that we’d recommend you look out for are the odds that they offer on the games that they feature. Simply put, the odds on games are all important, as they decide how much you’ll win if your predictions on the games are correct. You might simply be thinking that the bigger the sports betting sites, the better the odds will be for players, and while there is a tiny amount of truth in that, the subject is a little more complicated. For instance, smaller betting sites might be trying to make a name for themselves or attract new players by offering really attractive odds and shopping around could see you making way more money on the same exact bet.
With all the elements of sports betting sites we’ve mentioned above that you should check out before you sign up to a new one, it’s all about comparison. The market is always changing, so although this page serves to highlight the top 10 betting sites around, it’s impossible for us to say here definitively which are the best bonuses to be looking out for, which odds are decent and what spread of games you can reasonably expect from these sites. The fact is, you need to do your research before you sign up to new sites, because the better idea you get about the shape of the industry and what’s on offer, the better deal you can guarantee for yourself. What's more, the best betting site for you may be completely different to what someone else considers to be the top betting websites for them.
Promotions And Bonuses
In the section above, we will talk about the elements of top betting sites, which are important to check out before you sign up to a new one, and one of the key features, which we think you need to take a long hard look at are the bonuses and promotions which the sites offer to both new and returning players.
Those, who are new to the world of online wagering are often surprised to learn that promotions, special offers and bonuses are even a thing at these sites. That’s because it’s the last thing that land-based bookies would ever offer, yet with the increased competition which online gambling creates, sites have to do whatever they can to attract as many players as possible.
So, what kinds of promotions do UK sports betting sites offer to their players? Well, there’s a broad range including things like special odds, VIP schemes, cashback and prize draws, but the two most common forms of bonus at these sites are deposit match bonuses and so called ‘free bets.’
Obviously, we’re hesitant to claim that these bets are actually completely free, given that you usually have to have made a deposit to claim them, but they are bets which in practice cost you nothing to make. Free bets are awarded often as part of a welcome bonus – either before or after you’ve made your first deposit – and allow users to place a bet of a given value on a game of their choice (or sometime a game stipulated by the site). The money you win from these bets is usually considered to be bonus cash and can be played through again on new bets.
The other big bonus that the best sport betting sites offer is deposit match bonuses. These are really simple to get your head around, as they’re merely certain percentages added on top of whatever you’ve deposited. Say that you deposit £10 and the site you’re playing at is offering a 200% deposit bonus –you’ll then have £30 to play with. These are usually capped at about £100 or £200, but often allow for much higher bonuses to be claim. These kinds of bonuses are often part of welcome bonus packages, but can also be used to reward returning players.
A type of promotion, which is exclusively found at sports betting sites, is the idea of a site offering particularly good odds on a specific fixture, league or tournament to players who have fulfilled specific requirements. Say you’ve deposited or wagered the required amount, you may be eligible to use some more favourable odds. Of course, this doesn’t make you more likely to win, but if you do, your rewards will be much higher.
One other kind of promotion it would be silly of us not to mention at sports betting sites is cashback. We’ve all been there: you’re down on your luck, you’ve made some losses, but you still fancy a flutter. Well, sites with cashback offerings will return a certain percentage of what you’ve lost (usually 10%-20%) as bonus cash, so you can keep on playing. Some people view cashback as a cynical way sports betting sites use to ensure players keep returning to their sites even after losing, but they can be a massive boon to casual players who are simply down on their luck.
One of the best places you can find yourself at sports betting sites is part of the VIP scheme. Not every site offers them and those that do have different arrangements as to how to get in and what you’re eligible to receive, but in general, special (usually high spending) players who fit the bill are invited to join. VIP schemes will allow you to claim exclusive bonuses, take part in promotions that no one else will even know about, and claim special and improved odds on all kinds of fixtures. It’s basically an upgraded bonus offering for special players.
How Sports Betting Sites Differ From Online And Mobile Casinos
Seeing as they’re both platforms concerned with online gambling, sports betting sites are often grouped into the same category as online and mobile casinos and indeed are viewed by regulators in similar ways. We thought it would be interesting, then, to take a look at sports betting sites – specifically the sports betting sites UK access and can use – and compare them to online and mobile casinos to see if there are any discernible difference which might make casino players take pause before betting on sport online, or vice versa.
It’s worth pointing out right away that there’s often an awful lot of overlap between sports betting sites on online and mobile casinos. Not only do very many, and an ever-increasing number, casinos allow players to wager on virtual sports betting games, there are many online gambling operations – especially the bigger and more established ones – which bring sports betting and slots and casino gambling all under one umbrella. This kind of site is the perfect one stop shop for players with varied tastes, but understandably, they’re not to everyone’s tastes.
If we’re talking about the standalone sites, however, it is certainly worth pointing out the few differences between a sports betting site and an online casinos. For one thing, the former is based on wagering on the outcome of real life events, rather than the outcome from a random number generator as with the games at online and mobile casinos. In practice, what this means is that while it’s possible to estimate how likely it is to win off the back of any wager at an online or mobile casino, or tell how much of your bankroll you’re likely to have after a given time, bad judgement can see you lose again and again when you’re betting.
There’s also the point that sports betting sites tend to be more suited to those, who can get their heads around statistics. While at casinos you only really need to have a numbers head on you if you’re playing something like poker, it benefits all players at sports betting sites to have at least a basic grasp on the maths they’ll need to be able to decide the risks involved in each bet and ensure they’re not getting ripped off.
Other than this, players who are used to top online sports betting sites may want to try out online and mobile casinos or vice versa. Signing up is very much the same, with different sites lining up to offer you all kinds of bonuses and promotions as a reward for picking their service. Moreover, you’ll have a similar banking experience when you want to deposit and withdraw from the sites. Really, the only difference you’ll notice between the two is the kinds of games you’ll find on offer and how you play them. Once you’ve got your head around this difference, you’re sorted!
Here we are then at the end of our short guide to sports betting sites. Having read this, you should now have a much better grounding in what they are, how you can find new ones to play at, what you should look for when signing up at a new site and the basics of how to use them. If you have any other question, the rest of our site has a plethora of information about the top online betting sites around, which will help you find the perfect gambling situation for you!