The Top Betting Sites in UK Reviewed – The 10 Best Online Bookmakers Ranking
In this website, we want to bring you the best in British online bookmaking. There are lots of operators to choose from but not all companies are the same and that’s why we want to overlook the mediocrity and offer you the best online bookmakers possible.
As we work through our reviews, we will base our ratings on certain criteria. Maybe you want a bookmaker that brings you the best list of sports or perhaps you’re more concerned with offers and promotions. These and many other factors will be taken into account as we showcase the top betting sites available in the UK.
The Best UK Betting Sites List – Top Bookmakers Online 2021
|#||Bookmaker||Language||Review||Min. stake||Min. odds||Bonus%||Bonus||Sign up|
|*Open Account Offer. Up to £100 in Bet Credits for new customers at bet365. Min deposit £5. Bet Credits available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.|
|Grosvenor||£0.10||-||100%||Odds Boost||Visit site|
*T&C's apply! 18+
How We Determine The Online Bookmakers Rankings and Rating
When we check through the full list of online bookmakers, there are certain points that we are looking for. Firstly, it’s important to understand that we would not recommend any site to you that we haven’t tried ourselves. We put them to the test with registration and assess all aspects as a genuine account holder.
A vital aspect to check is that of licensing. Is the sportsbook licensed and regulated so that it can provide sports betting services to UK customers? We check that vital point, and we look at other specific areas of safety and security while playing online.
Having established those important points, we then move on to consider choice and value. Does the bookmaker cover a good range of sports and is there an interesting selection of markets for each event? Do they provide value with competitive everyday odds and is that value backed up by excellent promotions and bonuses?
Live betting and live streaming are also important and it is helpful if you can access the bookie via a mobile app. The best betting sites will also have a good back up in their customer service and funding options and we check those key elements too.
Legal Sports Betting – What is the Licensing Process
This is a very important area of our reviews. We only want trusted betting sites to be showcased, so that means taking a very close look at the question of licensing. Firstly, it is important to understand that betting is legal in the UK. As long as you are 18 years of age and are not excluded for any other reason, it is OK for you to bet online.
However, we do need to make sure that the sportsbook in question is licensed and regulated and therefore allowed to provide betting services in the UK. In 2014, some new laws laid down by the UK Gambling Commission meant that operators had a change to the tax laws. The tax was now applied at the point of sale rather than the point of origin and that meant that some sportsbooks ceased trading here.
Those that remain have to abide by those laws and they have to be fully regulated by the K Gambling Commission. Their registration number should also appear on the website so that customers can be sure that they conform.
In summary, sports betting is legal in the UK, but it is regulated by the UK Gambling Commission. Only the best betting sites are allowed through and these are the ones that we will be picking up.
Bookmaker Security – Characteristics of Safe Betting Sites
We’re only interested in safe betting sites here, and this is another vital point to consider. Is the sportsbook in question safe to play at and will it make sure that your personal information – including your financial details – are ring-fenced and cannot be compromised?
The top betting sites work with a number of external third parties in order to ensure that they meet these important requirements. In no particular order, there is eCOGRA who stand for fair play and player protection. Thawte are responsible for assessing the secure socket layer (SSL) technology which encrypts and protects data.
Moving on, we have governing bodies such as EGBA – the European Gaming and Betting Association who oversee operations and make sure that they are adhering to regulations.
In the modern-day, sportsbooks are also expected to pay particular attention to the question of responsible gambling. Organisations such as GamStop and, for UK players, BeGambleAware, are there to protect and offer advice for anyone who needs help.
Sportsbooks will work with a number of these organisations, and this is another point that we will assess as we work through our reviews.
Quality of the Site and User Experience Helps Us Bet Quickly and Conveniently
We can give you positive guides to all of our top betting sites, but, on occasions, it can all come down to whether or not you feel comfortable here. Before you sign up with any of the UK bookmakers, just spend some time looking at the site to assess whether you want to play here.
Are your favourite sports easy to find? Once you’ve located those sports, can you find all of the available markets and is the actual betting process a simple one? It isn’t all about the betting procedure so you should also look to locate the cashier and all of the help facilities that exist.
If you are going to be in a long-term relationship – business or otherwise – you simply have to be happy so remember to check on this before you sign up. Obviously, this all comes down to personal choice, but we will guide you in terms of design and navigation as we work through our list of best betting sites.
Betting Promotions and Bonuses – Assessment and Value
There are many ways in which a bookmaker can get onto our list of best betting sites, but it’s fair to say that bonuses and promotions remain a vitally important element. Everybody wants a little extra when they go online and the betting community are no different so what types of free bets and other bonuses are we looking to uncover?
These deals can be listed by the best online betting sites for the life of your account, so the logical place to start is with the welcome offer. Like all bonuses and promotions, these will vary depending on which of our top betting sites you use but they can frequently involve a match on your opening deposit of 50% or 100%. Look out for maximum and minimum amounts along with any rollover requirements that may be attached.
Other welcome deals may release a certain number of free bets when you open and make your first bet. Stake £10 and get £30 in return is quite a common deal and this is one that 888Sport are currently operating. In all instances, check the terms and conditions in full, including minimum odds requirements on the qualifying stake plus the expiry dates for free bet tokens. Validity is an important element too: You should check to see that the offer in question is available in your country, and we will highlight this point.
Free bets can also be given under certain sporting circumstances. Refunds as free bet tokens are common in football correct score betting, but they can crop up anywhere. Operators can also cross over into other areas of their websites so, you may find that you receive a free bet on the sportsbook as well as some free spins to use at the casino.
A new innovation among the sportsbooks is a loyalty club where free bets are awarded when you stake a certain amount during a set period – usually seven days. These are similar to VIP programmes which tend to reward high rollers. Betway are among a growing number of bookies providing free bet clubs right now.
All of the best online bookmakers should be making an effort when it comes to offers and promotions. Among the busiest are the established brands such as William Hill and Ladbrokes who have recognised the need to move with the times and give their customers more value.
As a final point in this section, we will point to any sites that issue promo codes. These are not compulsory, but the top betting sites will publish these, and they are important so we will highlight them where applicable.
Bookies Must Provide Ample Deposit and Withdrawal Options
We touched on this in our introduction to best betting sites so let’s now look at it in closer detail. Having a wide set of funding options is a good sign because it suggests that your chosen bookmaker is flexible in their general approach to customer service.
At a very basic level, you can expect to deposit to and withdraw from the top betting sites using a bank card while others will also allow bank transfers as a method of funding. This allows most of us to get on board, but the best betting sites will go much further by providing a choice of eWallets.
PayPal is a good example of an eWallet, and this is the most popular option among consumers, but they only tend to attach themselves to the more established sportsbooks who have been around for ten, twenty years or more.
Other eWallet providers are more than happy to work with a number of sportsbooks, and the most common of these are Skrill and NETELLER. Other names that you might see include paysafecard, QIWI and Trustly.
These are modern times, and you may also see a number of operators taking Cryptocurrency. Bitcoin is the most popular of these, but operators’ lists can extend to include Litecoin, Ethereum, QTUM and more.
As we work through our guides at GlobusBet, we will tell you exactly what payment methods each operator provides, along with details of transaction times, deposit and withdrawal limits and any fees that may apply.
Mobile Betting Apps of the Best Bookmakers in the UK
Technology is moving all the time, and the best online betting sites are the ones that move with the times. Customers want flexibility and that’s why we will be taking a close look at mobile compatibility. We would expect all operators to have a dedicated mobile betting site, but we need to ask whether or not they have an app.
Apps are the easiest way to access betting companies in the UK, and the vast majority of companies will have them. This isn’t the case 100% of the time however so we will ask whether an app is available and if so, is it provided for both iPhone and Android devices?
Having established this point, there are further questions to ask. What are the minimum software requirements in each case? How does the app compare to the regular mobile betting site and the static portal that you can access via your PC? It should have comparable design and functionality and, because apps will frequently be used to access the fast-moving live betting markets, it should load pages immediately without any delay.
There are a number of great apps around, and some good examples are those provided by 888Sport, Coral and bet365. In each case, those sportsbooks have apps for both Android and iOS. They are free to use and easy to download and they carry the same great functionality and navigation qualities as the main website.
Those are three very good examples, but there are more to consider and we will be looking at each one in greater detail as we work our way through the list of top betting sites.
Live Betting Explained – Bet In-Play with Live Odds
We just mentioned the importance of apps for in-play betting and this is a specific area of gambling that we will be looking at in more detail. Live betting is a huge success story and these days, you cannot be classed among the best betting sites unless you cover it comprehensively.
If you are already involved in these markets, then you will already know about the advantages that they hold. If you’ve yet to take the plunge, you should know that better value can exist in live betting. Markets react to events in the game so, for example, if a football team concedes an early goal, their odds will lengthen but they may still go on to win the match.
Live betting really tests your skills as a sports analyst, and this is another reason why it is so popular. There is another, potential benefit too but it’s one that is only offered by the best betting sites.
Along with live betting comes live streaming, and this is something that you can access via the best online bookies. As the name suggests, this involves the live streaming of a number of events that you can watch via your customer account.
It’s a great way to supplement your live betting as we all like to see our stakes play out, but it’s also a big bonus for pure entertainment purposes. During our reviews of our recommended betting companies, we will tell you which ones offer live streaming and what you need to do in order to access it.
What Sports Do You Like to Bet On?
As UK punters, we have our favourite sports, and we need to know that these betting companies are going to cover them. Statistics show that football is the most popular sport for the betting community, and this is followed by horse racing in second place.
Of course, we should expect all bookies to cover football, or they wouldn’t have much of a business. However, there are cases where even some of the top betting sites are starting to exclude horse racing and greyhounds. Some bookmakers don’t like ‘anything on four legs’ and this is a point that we will pick up on as we work through our reviews.
Aside from those already mentioned, the British betting community also like their tennis, golf, rugby and cricket. There are other sports as well, and we expect the most trusted betting sites to have all the popular events covered, along with some growing niches including cycling, bowls and maybe even chess.
No matter what your sporting preference may be, you need lots of research if you are going to return profits on a regular basis. As for the betting process, just search from the operator’s A to Z menu, find your preference, click on the set of odds that you like and your virtual betting slip will then open.
What is Esports Betting? Does the Bookie Have it on Offer
You may have heard of eSports betting, but what is it exactly? Think of all the video games that you liked to play as a kid and fast forward them into the present day. Maybe you’re still playing some of those games but your recreational hobby is now big business. Titles such as League of Legends, DOTA 2, FIFA and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive are now played competitively by eSports professionals all over the world and there is some seriously big prize money at stake.
At the same time, there are some progressive betting companies who have recognised the growing trend for eSports, and they have attached a number of markets to those titles. The best betting sites take this growing phenomenon very seriously and we will be showcasing those that really stand out.
Betting on these games involves a similar process to traditional sports but it does help if you understand how those titles work. You can bet on the outright winner of a match, but the nature of some games also allows for stakes on which player or team will be ahead at a particular stage.
Does the Bookmaker Provide Betting Options for Virtual Sports?
In many virtual games, the bets that are available will mirror the actual sport that it is looking to replicate. In horse racing, for example, you can stake on the race winner and each-way options too. If it’s a soccer game being played out on the screen, match result, first goal scorer, both teams to score and total goals may also be available.
The betting process is the same and, for many punters, the availability of virtual sports at the best betting sites helps to fill the gap until the next ‘real game’ comes along.
bet365 vs Unibet
up to £100**
- 5/5Variety of sports5/5
- 5/5Sport events coverage5/5
- 4/5Sports markets options5/5
- 5/5Comprehensive bonus scheme4/5
- 5/5Customer support5/5
up to £40
We’ll Talk You Through the List of Markets
Our reviews of the best betting sites will also take into account the number and diversity of betting markets that are made available. All sportsbooks will publish options for the result of a sporting event, but the really shrewd punters know that the value can often lie in the side bets.
If we start with football, the most popular side bet for most betting customers involves individual goal scorers. Who will score the first goal, the last goal and, if we’re looking at the live betting markets, the next goal.
Football is a good example because there could be hundreds of potential markets here, including Total Goals, Winning Margin, Both Teams to Score and many, many more. A good way of assessing how the best betting sites deliver is to look at the number of markets offered and that’s exactly what we’ll do here.
Football is undoubtedly important, but the same principle applies to all sports: We want to assess just how many options are available and our reviews will pick this up.
How Do the Sites Shape up in Terms of Online Betting Odds?
Before heading out and playing at the online bookmakers, it’s important to understand how the systems work. What are the odds and what bets can you use in order to take advantage of them?
All the best online bookies have odds as a way of judging the likely outcome of an event. So, if you have a tennis match with a heavy favourite who is expected to win quite easily, they will carry short odds while their opponent has a longer price. Research into form and strength of the two players, (or teams) in question, will help them to determine those results.
Players will also need to calculate their potential returns: For example, if they are betting on one of those tennis players to win at 2/1 and they stake £10.00, they will win 2x £10 = £20 if they win. In addition, that £10.00 stake will be returned so a total of £30.00 will appear in the betting account.
We have covered types of bets extensively in the previous section, and essentially, these come in two different forms. Match result, or moneyline as it is called in some countries, simply relates to the outcome of the game and who will win it.
Side markets – sometimes known as prop bets are those which can drop in during a match but won’t necessarily have an effect on the final outcome. The first goalscorer betting in football is a very good example of this.
Is There a Wide Choice of Effective Customer Care Facilities?
Our best betting sites should pay particular attention to their customer care facilities, and we will be testing them very closely on this. For most account holders, the preferred method for answering any queries is via live chat and it should certainly be the quickest.
We’ll check to see if our best online bookies have a live chat operator and whether this is available 24/7 or if the hours are restricted. Other alternatives should be provided so we’ll check to see if there is a published email address, a webform and a telephone number. It is acceptable to have some Frequently Asked Questions, but these should be easy to follow and they should be backed up by at least one of those additional customer service facilities.
We’ll Discuss the Future of Sports Betting Such as Innovations
All of the online betting companies that we review will have been established on the internet for some time, but we do like them to move with the times. Innovations can relate to new advances in technology, the introduction of new funding methods or, they can refer to completely new approaches to betting such as cashout.
In our guides to the best online bookmakers, we will assess how each company measures up. For example, are they getting on board with the increase in cryptocurrency users by allowing for funding to be carried out in this way? If so, are the sportsbooks only covering the main providers such as Bitcoin and Litecoin or are the more obscure crypto options also being included?
A lot of the remaining innovations are very technical, and while many of us won’t have a complete understanding as to how they work, it’s important to know whether the operator uses them. We’re talking about Artificial Intelligence which can identify your betting patterns and suggest markets, bets and offers that you may like.
An extension of AI uses machine learning and algorithms which can help the best betting companies to understand their customers a little better. In the modern-day, the best online bookies should also be operating on multiple channels and they should be utilising the power of social networks to reach out to new and existing account holders.
Only the best betting companies will be making use of innovation, and our reviews will help to uncover them.
Online Betting Tips for Advanced Punters
Betting on sports requires skill in terms of doing your research and assessing form and any other stats that can have a bearing on the outcome. There can also be an element of luck involved, but there are a number of experienced bettors who believe in a number of advanced strategies that could turn the odds in their favour.
At a very basic level, you should be aware of advice regarding bankroll management. Your bankroll is the amount of money that you hold in your bookmaker’s account, and that is how much you have to bet with. Opinion may vary on the subject but as a general rule, most players suggest that you shouldn’t play with more than 10% of that bankroll in any one session.
There are a number of these which require more examination than we have room for in this preview, but one of them is arbing. An arb bet occurs when two or more bookmakers list odds for each participant in a sporting event. When the bettor stakes in a certain way, they should be guaranteed a profit no matter what happens.
Similar systems to arbing might include hedging and dutching, which involve making more than one selection in a race. There are no guarantees that a profit will land but the addition of more picks can increase the likelihood of an overall return.
Customers can also use betting systems and predictions that they find across the internet. There are a host of tipsters out there with recommended bets and betting systems, and while no-one will ever be completely foolproof, you can follow a few people and see who enjoys the greatest success over a period of time.
Talking of tipsters, a number of sites now run betting tournaments where the most successful punters can now test their knowledge and skills against like-minded individuals. These are all ways in which you can find a little more entertainment online and we’ll talk you through these are we work through our online bookmaker reviews.
Frequently Asked Questions
📌 Are all of the bookmakers listed licensed to operate in the United Kingdom?
Yes, we only include those operators that are licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission. They must show their UKGC registration number before they make it onto the list.
📌 Do you have first-hand experience of the bookmakers?
Yes, our writers will have completed the signup process and staked at least one bet with the sportsbooks that we review. By doing that we can be more certain of providing an honest and impartial review of the top betting sites.
📌 Do the bookmakers quote for UK Sports?
The bookmakers that we feature on our site will all have a focus for UK bettors so they will typically quote for sites that British punters like. We will provide more details in each individual review.
📌 Can I fund my account using Cryptocurrency?
That depends on which site you are playing with. More and more operators are starting to take Crypto methods including Bitcoin and Litecoin but not everyone is there yet. Once again, we will highlight this point on our individual reviews.
📌 Can I take advantage of offers and promotions?
The vast majority of bookmakers now list bonus offers for new and existing customers. Check each individual review for full details.
📌 What Happens if I need help with my Account?
If you need any assistance at any stage, you should fire over a question to customer services. We will list all the available help options in our reviews of the best betting sites.