The best UK Sports Betting Sites & Sportsbooks
Sports betting sites
Online sports betting sites are more commonly known as sportsbooks. Some of these online sports betting sites will be instantly familiar to your average UK citizen since they are owned by some of the most famous high-street bookies going. Others are less famous in the land-based sports betting world, but still hold a high reputation online, as they also offer up casino games to players across the country, and indeed the world.
The basic purpose of a sports betting website is to allow punters to place bets on all their favourite sporting events. Some even go further than that, allow players to wager on casino games like we’ve said, and even permit bets on less conventional oddities, such as politics and television entertainment. Most major sports betting sites have at least a few things in common, though, and in this article, we’ll look at the most common features at those types of online gambling sites.
Sports betting markets
The first thing that most players want to know, and the one thing that really defines a sports book or sports betting site is what selection of bets it carries. These are known as betting markets, and although oddities within the group vary wildly from site to site, most carry the same major worldwide sporting events.
Players will find that the most commonly offered sports betting markets include American football, baseball, basketball, bowls, boxing, cricket, cycling, darts, e-sports, futsal, Gaelic sports, golf, greyhound racing, horse racing, ice hockey, MMA, motorsports, the Olympic Games, rugby league, rugby union, snooker, soccer (football), speedway, tennis, UFC, virtual sports, volleyball, and winter sports. Non-sporting markets include financial bets, politics, and entertainment.
As well as sporting bets, most online sports books will also offer you a selection of side games to play. These include some traditional casino titles such as poker, roulette, blackjack, and baccarat, as well as online slots. Make no mistake about it, though, not all casinos offer up these games.
Players will also find that some online sports books and sports betting sites aren’t limited to being online sites. Some also offer downloadable apps, so that you can always place bets and keep track of your wagers no matter whether you are in the stadium, watching the game in the pub, or at a friend’s place for the big game.
Promotions and bonuses
Promotions and bonuses aren’t quite as straightforward at sports betting sites as they are at casinos. Most of the sports betting sites offer welcome bonuses just like you would expect to find at casinos, and these include giving players the equivalent of a percentage of their deposit as a bonus. Other offers vary, though.
Instead of offering free spins and deposit deals like most casinos, sports betting sites tend to issue special offers around sporting events. If we were to look at football as just one example, one would see that some sports books will have a “money back if there is a no score draw”, or “money back if it goes to extra-time” deal. There can also be special deals on the first to score, and so on and so forth.
Special events are usually listed as promotions and bonuses, although a few other non-tournament related offers can be found at sports books. It is not uncommon for a sports betting site to offer some kind of loyalty deal, which offers players the chance to earn points for bets, and convert those points into real cash over time.
Support, licensing and customisability
Support and banking are straight forward affairs at sports betting sites. Since most of the biggest sports books are global businesses, you can usually find a wealth of currency and banking options at such domains. You are also likely to be able to place bets at a major sports book in a variety of languages and with either Americanised, decimal, or fractional odds. The odds are usually most popular with American, worldwide, and British audiences, respectively.
To ensure that you are playing at a proper, secure and safe sports book, players may wish to look for licensing information. The top sports betting sites are all officially licensed and aren’t shy about letting you know about it. The more reputable sites frequently appear in ads as we’ve said.
One big question you may need to ask yourself before signing up at an online sports betting site is whether you can play there. There are countries in the world which do not permit sports betting at all, let alone a casino which does not have a license to offer its services to players in that country. By and large, that won’t be a problem or most players in the UK, but other aspects should be taken into consideration.
You are going to want to find a sports book which offers your language and currency, has the types of bets you want to place, and isn’t shy about rewarding you with bonuses and promos to boot. There is, however, one other aspect of the modern-day sports betting sites which you may wish to consider.
Live streaming and in-play bets
Live betting, and in-play bets are all the rage at modern sports betting sites. Most of the top sites which carry live streamed footage of the biggest sporting events, so you can keep track of the action in real time. Even sports books which don’t offer live footage still offer in-depth stats centers so you can keep abreast of the situation.
Live in-play bets are the new favourite for sports fans. These bets can be placed before an event starts, or in the middle of it. Some big sports betting sites have even gone as far as to offer players the chance to cash out early. This is extremely handy if you’re side is one-nil up, and you think they’re going to bottle it. Knowing when to cash out, and if you can cash out is important, though.
Generally speaking; if your chosen sports betting site offers all of the above (and many do), you’re in for a superb time wagering on your favourite sports teams and stars.