Best Betting Sites
Predicting sports results and placing bets on the outcome of matches is one of the most popular pastime activities worldwide.
While bettors still enjoy going to land-based facilities, the introduction of online sports betting has made this form of entertainment more accessible. In this guide to the best betting sites, we will cover all the aspects of sports betting, so stay with us as we are ready to fill you in with all the details.
What is a good betting site?
Online sports betting was introduced in the mid-1990s, and today you can place bets on your favourite sports wherever you are, on your desktop or mobile device. Sports bettors are spoilt for choice when it comes to gaming venues offering this form of entertainment on the web. That’s why it is important to know what makes a good betting site, the one worth your time and money.
It all starts with licensing, as you cannot afford to spend your hard-earned cash on a betting site that has not been approved by authorities. Regulatory bodies are there to ensure that operators meet strict industry requirements and adhere to regulations so that their customers can enjoy a safe and fair gaming experience. Some of the jurisdictions where trustworthy regulators operate include the UK, Malta and Curacao.
Other factors that make a sportsbook the good gambling destination are the selection of sports and the bonuses it offers. On this page, you will find betting sites with a wide range of sports and markets, but we will also introduce you to the best bonuses in the market and how betting odds work.
Free bets are the most common sportsbook bonus in the market. Just as its name says, it is free money a bookie gives you and you can use it to place bets without risking your own cash. These offers may be based on the deposit the player makes or be awarded with no deposit required. You can use them to wager on your favourite matches according to the rules set by the operator.
Free Bet No Deposit
A free bet no deposit is an incentive you typically get once you sign up with a betting site. Just as its name says, it does not require a deposit to be added to your account. While these bonuses come in minimal amounts, they will allow you to bet on your favourite sports with no risk involved and keep your winnings once you meet the wagering requirements.
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#ad New UK customers only. Opt in required. 1x per customer. Min. £20 deposit. 1st deposit only. Selected games only. Max. Bonus £50 with 35x wagering and 50 Free Spins at £0.20/spin on Starburst™ with 35x Wagering. Free Spins and Bonus credited once deposit amount has been wagered on slots. Bonus and Free Spins expire 7 days after issue. Game weighting, game, country, currency, player restrictions and terms apply. 18+ BeGambleAware.
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#ad New customers only. 18+, BeGambleAware.org. Min deposit £10. Money back as bonus. Wagering requirements: Sportsbook 3x at min. odds of 1.40 (2/5), Casino 35x. Only one bonus can be used at a time, Sportsbook bonus must be wagered before using the Casino, unless the bonus has been forfeited. Bonus will expire after 7 days of opt-in. T&Cs apply. BeGambleAware.
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Different types of betting
All the betting options may strike you as overwhelming. They include win bets, where you select which side will win, over or under bets, where you try to predict a number of points scored in the game, or handicap bet, allowing you to predict a total number of points the winning side will win the game by. There are also futures, specials, accumulators and more.
American Football Betting
If you are an American football fan, you can place three types of bets on NFL games, including money line or win bets, over/under bets or totals and handicap bets.
Australian Rules Betting
Obviously, Aussie Rules Football is highly popular down under where AFL fans can choose from a variety of markets. Other leagues are available as well with some of the available markets including Head-to-Head, Halftime/Fulltime, Margin and Goalscorer.
In a nutshell, it is betting on awards shows, like the Oscars, where you can place bets on major categories like the Best Actor and Best Actress or the Best Director and Best Picture.
If you like to play badminton, the good news is that you can also place bets on badminton games. Some of the competitions where you can enjoy badminton betting are the Olympics, World Championship and BWF Super Series.
Baseball is a popular sport in the US and its fans can bet on it with the win or money line wager. There are several major baseball events, including World Series, Premier12 World Championship and World Baseball Classic.
Basketball is one of the major sports available on all sportsbooks. There are few betting options punters can choose from, including a point spread, a point total and the spread. The FIBA Basketball World Cup, NBA Finals and the Olympic Games are some of the major events where you can bet on basketball games.
If you want to bet on boxing, pick the side you believe will win or pick a draw. Keep an eye on the major fights and support your favourite boxer.
Chess may not come to your mind when you think of sportsbooks, yet some of them offer odds on this sport. Popular chess events include the Chess World Cup, FIDE Grand Prix and Candidates Tournament.
This sport is particularly popular in India and if you want to bet on cricket, you can play the match betting bet to pick one of three different outcomes.
If you want to bet on cycling, you will have a chance to pick the competitor who you believe will be the outright winner. That means they will win the event like Giro d’Italia or Tour de France across multiple stages.
Again, you can guess the outright winner of an event like the World Championship, but darts betting also offers player specific markets, so study them before you start wagering.
This form of sports betting functions in the same way as betting on traditional sports with odds set by the operators on e-sports and getting paid if you guess the outcomes correctly.
Football is by far the most popular sports when it comes to betting sites. Players can choose from a great variety on betting options, including point spreads, win or money line bets, totals, props, features and more. The FIFA World Cup, UEFA Champions League and Premier League are some of the major events in this niche.
Gaelic Games Betting
Gaelic games is the collective name for ancient Irish sports. They are played under the patronage of the Gaelic Athletic Association and include Gaelic Football, Hurling, Handball, Camogie, Rounders and Ladies Football.
Online sports betting offers a great variety of types of bets when it comes to golf. They include to win bets, versus the field bets, head to head golf bets and more. The PGA Championship is one of the main golf events.
While being frowned upon by many, greyhounds betting is still quite popular. Punters can place their bets to predict which dog will win and which one will be the second. Some of the biggest events include the English Greyhound Derby and East Anglican Cup.
While it may not be huge with punters like football or basketball, handball is still included in the offering at the best sportsbooks. The major events include the Olympics and biannual World Championships for man and women.
Harness Racing Betting
Also known as trotting, this is a form of horse racing with horses racing at a specific trot or pace while pulling a two-wheeled cart known as a sulky. Some of the popular events include the Pegasus World Cup and Ricoh Woodbine Mile.
Horse Racing Betting
When it comes to horse betting, punters can choose from several options including the win bet, place bet, show bet and more. The horse racing events that draw the attention of bettors worldwide include Triple Crown, Breeders Cup and Boutique Meets.
Ice Hockey Betting
This is the most popular sports with North American punters and betting on it resembles baseball betting with the win bet being the most popular one. The Winter Olympic Games and the Stanley Cup are the two biggest events where you can bet on ice hockey games.
Motorsports racing is huge with bettors with the events like the Formula 1 Grand Prix and Daytona 500, also known as the Great American Race, being events that draw attention worldwide. This form of betting uses horse racing elements combining them with sophisticated technology.
Being popular in Commonwealth countries, this ball game resembles basketball. Bettors can wager on netball games taking place within the Netball World Cup to guess which country will win. There is also the Netball Superleague where you can bet on teams from England, Scotland and Wales.
A novelty bet is any bet with which you don’t predict an outcome in a sports event. While they are still a novelty, hence the name, these bets are getting more and more popular as they allow you to wager on events in popular culture like talent contests or guess the gender of a baby to a royal couple, for instance.
The Olympics have been one of the most important sports events where punters can choose a wide variety of sports, including those that are not major ones such as football or basketball.
This is a subcategory of novelty betting where players have an opportunity to win money while guessing who will win elections.
Rugby League Betting
No, it’s not American football. Rugby League is a contact sport where two teams with 13 players compete for 80 minutes. Major events where you can enjoy rugby league betting include the Rugby League World Cup held every four years and the NRL grand final taking place on an annual basis.
Rugby Union Betting
We also have rugby union betting available on the best betting sites. It has been popular across the UK, and the rest of Europe and Asia as well as in Australasia with the most important event being Women’s Rugby World Cup, a quadrennial competition, and the Six Nations Championship.
Bettors who like snooker can try to predict the winner of a tournament with features available on the best betting sites. In this case, we talk about outright market snooker betting. The three most prestigious tournaments when it comes to professional snooker include the World Championship, UK Championship, and the invitational Masters. They are referred to as the Triple Crown.
This is another form of novelty betting where bettors can wager on their favourite movies and TV shows. For instance, you could have wagered on the Game of Thrones in 2019 before the last episode was aired.
Table Tennis Betting
If you like to play or watch table tennis, some of the leading bookies offer you to place your bets on this sport as well. World Table Tennis Championships consist of five events and include both men and woman singles and doubles and mixed doubles.
In tennis betting, you can predict if the favourite will perform as expected or better. There is also the set spread where you bet on how many sets the favourite will win. The popular tennis events include Wimbledon, US Open and Australian Open, to name a few.
Bettors can use their knowledge about MMA to wager on the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and the best international fighters in various disciplines. In 2019 only, 42 UFC events with a total of 516 fights were held.
If you are into volleyball, try with match betting and some of the biggest volleyball events. They include the Olympic Games, World Championships, World Cup or World League/World Grand Prix. You can bet on male and female volleyball matches at these events.
Virtual Sports Betting
These are fixed-odds games operated by the Random Number Generator (RNG) and set by the bookmaker. The outcomes of these games are random and unbiased, like in slot games, for instance. The games are scheduled, just like any other match you can place your bet on.
Winter Sports Betting
Just as their name suggests, these are sports you can wager on during winter months, like ones at the Winter Olympics. There is a variety of winter sports, including skiing where you can bet on individual athletes, ice hockey, curling and more. Make sure to learn all about available betting options for the sport you want to try your luck with before you start wagering real money.
How Do Betting Odds Work?
On betting sites, you can come across three types of betting odds: fractional, decimal and money line odds. The first option is British, the second one European, while the last one is used on US-facing sportsbooks. All these figures stand for the same thing, just presented in a different way.
For instance, fractional odds represent a profit to stake ratio, decimal odds display how much one will win per $1, while money line, also known as American odds, come with the negative or positive sign and indicate how much you need to wager to win $100 or how much you will win per $100.
Calculators – Dutching, Hutching and Hedging
On the web, you can find calculators that can help you calculate a possible profit based on the value of your stake, odds in different formats and the strategy you want to use.
One of these strategies is ditching, which practically means dividing your bet over as many betting selections of an event as possible to make a profit regardless of the result of the match.
With hedging, you place a second bet against the original one when you are unsure that the outcome of an event will earn you a payout. You can hedge a bet thus ensuring you will win regardless of the result.
There is also a so-called hutching bet, which is similar to the previous two. The only difference is that you can bias your wager towards the preferred selection of the event.
Sports betting is fun, but as you can see, it requires a time to get to know all the possibilities it offers. Start with studying betting options and markets to learn all about them before you start wagering your hard-earned money. Then, study odds and make sure to have some knowledge about the sports you want to bet on. That’s what will make a difference as betting on sports is more than gambling, so you cannot rely on sheer luck.
Don’t forget to manage your bankroll and always know how much money you can afford to lose. This is a skill that can turn you into a successful bettor and help you keep within your win and loss limits once you have set them.