Online betting is stacked with options for punters. The initial decision for a punter is which bookmaker (or bookmakers!) bets are to be placed with.
That leads to decisions. Are all bookmakers the same? Of course not, as there are many variable factors from bookmaker margins, market depth and even account management across them all to consider.
Here we present you with a guide to some of the best UK betting sites in 2019, along with the top five features for each of them.
Bet365 are one of the most recognisable online bookmakers that you are going to come across. They are such a strong performer when it comes to the depth of variety in their sportsbook and value of odds. That, combined with a very straightforward and a user-friendly website makes them a stand-out online betting site. Bet365 are one of the top bookmakers around for Asian Handicap football options as well.
Mean Features of Bet365
● Live Streaming Services – Fantastic streams cover a lot of football from around the world, with other sports like tennis, basketball, snooker and darts thrown in. A funded account or a bet placed within the previous 24 hours will get you access (see the live streaming schedule here).
● Live in-play betting – The amount of live in-play options that can be found at Bet365 are just staggering, including Asian Handicaps.
● 0-0 Bore Draw Insurance – Their long-running 0-0 Bore Draw insurance, which refunds lost stakes on the Half-Time/Full-Time, Correct Score or Scorecast markets is a top feature.
● Racing 4/1 feature – If you land a winner at a price of at least 4/1 odds then you get rewarded with a risk-free bet on the next race to the value of your initial stake.
● Edit A Bet – You can edit a bet at Bet365, for example you have built a five-fold acca and after four legs, you were feeling confident and wanted to add another selection. Changes will, of course, affect the odds.
You will find a well respected and trusted brand in operator Ladbrokes. They have such a long history in UK betting and still maintain a heavy High Street presence. Because of their pull in the market, they can trade with very competitive prices. They have also branched out into providing a betting exchange as well as their traditional sportsbook.
Ladbrokes Main Features
● Betting Exchange – Just the fact that there is an exchange available at Ladbrokes is huge. It’s not a big complicated affair like other exchanges out there, it’s very simple, undaunting and easy to use.
● Getaprice – The Ladbrokes #Getaprice tool allows you to request a price on any bet of your own creation. Tweet the bet that you want to the operator to see if they will price it up!
● Racing – From superb racecards, highly competitive odds and the ability to pick up a couple of extra places and best odds guaranteed, the Ladbrokes racing section comes highly recommended, as you would expect from one of the best UK betting sites.
● Football Markets – If you are a football fan then Ladbrokes will have you covered. It’s not uncommon to find over 150 bets available in on pre-match football markets and not just on the big EPL fixtures either.
● Live Streams – Ladbrokes provides racing streams as well as football, snooker and more. You just need a positive balance or have placed a bet in the previous 24 hours to access a stream.
Founded back in the early 1930s, William Hill are one of the biggest bookmakers not only in the UK but in the World. They just have such a huge presence and that has helped them to build such a recognized and trusted brand. But they wouldn’t survive without a top service, and through their live in-play trading power, their extensive sportsbook and a wealth of quality promotions, they will check a lot of boxes for punters.
William Hill Main Features
● Mobile App – We have to kick off the main William Hill features with their mobile app. It’s just superb in operation, features, promotions and that all-important ease of use for in-play betting.
● Sportsbook Depth – You wouldn’t expect anything less than a blockbuster of a sportsbook from William Hill. Every aspect of it is just stacked with options, value and features
● Cash Out – It is pretty common to find cash out options at online bookmakers, but a difference-maker is just how many markets it is applied to. It’s pretty much everywhere you look at William Hill.
● WHTV – William Hill delivers one of the top streaming services of all online bookmakers. From MLS soccer through to darts, racing and even Major League Baseball, you can tee up live streaming with excellent live in-play betting!
● Golden Goal – A top football betting promotion, where Wiliam Hill payout if your team scores first in a match, no matter what the final result (selected matches only).
Paddy Power have established themselves as sort of the online betting renegade through their cheeky advertising campaigns and publicity stunts. But at the core of everything they do, there is a wonderful service. Paddy Power are also one of the first names you think of when it comes to looking for betting promotions, because they offer a lot to their loyal customers.
Paddy Power Main Features
● Promotions – We can’t just actually pick one promotion out as the best. There are just so many excellent offers that Paddy Power runs daily. Their promos page is well worth a visit.
● Website – The old Paddy Power website used to be so cluttered and busy, but a revamp has brought it more than up to speed. It’s clean, super easy to navigate and use.
● Paddy’s Rewards – Paddy Power rewards its loyal customers. You can place 5 qualifying bets online in a given promotional week and earn a £10 risk-free bet. This can be done every week.
● Beat The Drop – It’s a promotion. Of sorts anyway. Buy a ticket and pick the number of questions you want to answer. You then get a pot of money to bet with and then work your way through questions. Anything you have left at the end of your questions you keep.
● Power Price – This is self-explanatory really. Paddy Power have a dedicated section (across a lot of sports) where they simply offer enhanced odds.
The pioneers of the sports betting exchange. They have made such an innovative impact in the world of online betting. Betfair rolled up and offered something different to the masses, making them one of the best betting sites in the UK and abroad. That’s the ability to Back and Lay. The betting exchange is so extensive and the peer to peer system means that Betfair consistently offer prices that generally beat the traditional bookmakers.
Betfair Main Features
● Betting Platform – Just the fact that you are looking at a betting exchange here is a feature all on its own. They aren’t that common, but Betfair is the leader in terms of customers and the exchange offers such a variety in betting practices.
● Live Streams – There is an abundance of live streams available at Betfair as well, which links up with their incredible in-play service.
● Acca Edge – This Betfair feature allows you to take some control with your acca insurance. Most notably they offer refunds as real cash. You simply take an odds reduction for the insurance of a refund if one leg of a bet loses.
● Traditional Sports Book – Yes, if you like choice then Betfair do also have a traditional sportsbook available to their customers.
● Help and Community – There is such a huge community of punters at Betfair that you can browse their forums for all sorts of valuable information. Betfair’s help section is brilliant too.
BetVictor provide a very trust-worthy, familiar face of betting. They have gone through some branding changes through their long history and the most recent was in 2016 when they took a huge step forward in offering a bigger, better intuitive betting experience. BetVictor provide a very straight forward, solid betting platform that carries so much appeal to punters and generally come out strongly in odds-comparisons.
BetVictor Main Features
● #PriceItUp – This is BetVictor giving their punters the chance to create a bet of their liking. Simply create a bet with their bet builder and get your wager priced up.
● Harry’s Picks Free Bet – Former Spurs manager Harry Redknapp is the face of BetVictor and when you place 5 bets of £2 on sports you get a £1 Free Bet to use on Harry’s Picks at the weekend.
● Acca Insurance – This is a long-standing product that BetVictor have been offering their customers. Get a lost stake refund if a qualifying 5+fold football acca bet loses by just the one leg.
● Website Interface – BetVictor have a stand-out website just because of how clean it is. It’s very easy to read and navigate which allows for efficient, quick betting.
● In-Play Betting – The in-play match interface is a great feature of BetVictor and again is a testament to how well designed the site is. The organisation allows for a very functional service.
Coral are another of the well-established UK bookmakers who built their business on racecourses and in High Street shops. So they are another who have a lot of pulling power in the industry. You can see that reflected in the size of their sportsbook and the number of markets which they offer both pre-event and in-play. There are a lot of features like cash out and live streams to enhance it all.
Coral Main Features
● Bet & Get Club – This is a rewards club available to Coral customers. You have to make a minimum stake amount per week and in return for that loyalty, Coral will serve up a free bet bonus each week.
● Coral Connect – You can link your Coral online account to a Coral Connect card and that will allow you to make direct withdrawals as cash in any Coral high street shop. Maximum cash withdrawal per day is £1,000.
● 100% Treble-Plus Boost – With this Coral promotion, which has been around for a while, you can get a 10% boost on any winning tables and above on ANY Football market. That is up to a £100 free bet per day.
● Build Your Bet – You can create a bet just the way that you want it with the Coral Build Your Bet tool. So if you can’t find the exact one you want, just go and build it yourself. You will pick options from pre-determined markets in one bet.
● Racing – There is a high-quality racing service that Coral provide to their customers, including staples like Best Price Guaranteed and a Rewards 4 Racing club. Their racecards are great and varied, both domestic and international.
Betfred have always delivered that personal approach to their customers. They started from one single High Street shop when Fred and Peter Done opened the shop with some betting winnings they collected when England won the 1966 World Cup. With the rapid growth in the brick and mortar scene, it, of course, had to go online for them. They are now one of the leaders for service and odds. They have become synonymous with sports betting promotions and value.
Betfred Main Features
● #Pick Your Punt – This is the Betfred version of the modern-day popular betting tool, where you piece together a bet of your liking from select markets on a game. It puts you in a bit of control.
● Double Delight Hattrick Heaven – This football betting promotion is easily one of the most famous and popular ones that are out there. If your successful first goalscorer pick in a match goes on to score a second then you get paid double odds. A hattrick returns treble odds!
● Horse Racing Promos – Betfred are big on their promotions and there are few on the horses that add great value like their best odds guaranteed, a one-winner bonus (if only one selection of a Lucky bet wins), percentage payouts on multiples and a free bet for a second-place finish on selected races.
● Totepool – You can dip your toe into the waters of the Totepool as well with Betfred. Including the fantastic Scoop 6 where you name six winning selections to get a share of the jackpot pool.
● In-Play Markets – There is also a high-quality live in-play betting service at Betfred. You can see great stats, track a match with updates and the variety of options at times on big events is just staggering.
Boylesports are one of Ireland’s biggest bookmakers and they have built their reputation on the back of some fantastic odds. When you do odds comparisons, you will generally find that Boyleports are up there among the leading pack. With a sportsbook that just feels that it is bursting at the seams at times, and one of the most extensive reading sections out there, they pack quite the punch do Boylesports.
Boylesports Main Features
● Daily Specials – A great feature of Boylesports is that they throw a lot of enhanced odds out there for customers to take advantage of. There is a high turnover of these daily.
● Acca Loyalty – Boylesports customers can take advantage of an Acca Loyalty program where a free Acca bet can be collected for every 5 qualifying accas which have been placed.
● Acca Insurance – This is another staple of betting with Boylesports. They apply acca insurance to any qualifying 5+ acca that loses by just the one leg. This covers all sports which is a great aspect.
● Apps – Boylesports haven’t held back and haven’t skimped when it comes to developing their apps. Not only are they easy to use, but they give access to all of the great promotions found on the regular site.
● Lotto – If you like a flutter on the Lotto then few bookmakers do it bigger or better than Boylesports do. They have a lot of different draws from around the world to get stuck into.
Got the hunch for a bet? Then Betway is might be a good option to go and check out. That’s just a pun as “the Hunch” is part of their marketing. It is part of a very appealing website that they have running which delivers a great betting platform. It’s simple on the surface, but then you start noticing all the bonuses that you can pick up as well as the impressive true value of the odds in their sportsbook.
Betway Main Features
● Free Bets Bonus – The welcome bonus that Betway delivers is pretty strong because of one key factor. With the free bets that you can collect through their sign-up promotion, you can split those free bet bonuses in any way you like. You aren’t locked into them telling you what to do with them.
● Betway Boost – Betway runs a dedicated section on their website for their many, many boosts. There is a lot of impressive value that can be taken through their enhanced odds section.
● 4 To Score – This is a free predictions game where you have a chance at the jackpot. To be in with a shot of that, you have to pick the correct First Goalscorers in four selected matches that the operator puts out.
● Free Bet Club – Betway are a bookmaker who runs a rewards club. Spend at least £25 on any trebles (or higher) in a week and they will credit you with two £5 Free Bets.
● Esports – Betway has tapped into the growing phenomenon that is esports and deliver a whole wealth of market options for it, as well as a stack of promotions. This is a huge asset of their service if you are into esports.
Unibet have been around for a long time and they have managed to establish themselves as one of the best betting sites in Europe. However, they seem to have done it on the down-low a bit because they aren’t a bookmaker who you will see flashing themselves around through advertising. The reason that they have grown so big both in the UK and in mainland Europe is because of the things that they do well. They have a massive sportsbook. Unibet have always been competitive with odds, plus highly regarded for their quality streaming service.
Unibet Main Features
● Streaming – Let’s just go straight into the live streaming which is one of the leading features that Unibet have up their sleeve. Global football, tennis, cricket, volleyball, badminton and so much more you can find there.
● Live in-play – Unibet is an award-winning site and they were one of the front runners in the early days of live in-play betting. They continue to go very strong with a superb in-play portal backed up by huge market variety.
● Niche Markets – One of the areas in which Unibet have always excelled is in delivering great coverage in the more niche markets out there. Think of things like Surfing, Pesapallo, Trotting and like. So for those who like the lesser supported markets, Unibet makes a great option.
● Mobile App – You can enjoy all of their live streaming on the Unibet mobile app, which is fantastic for being able to bet and watch live. To watch live streams you have to have a funded account or have bet on the event that you want to watch.
● In-Play Free Bet Club – Unibet delivers a free bet club as well where a £10 free bet can be earned every week. Place five or more qualifying bets in a week to collect the bonus at the end of the weekly promotional period.
The black and orange theme/branding that 888Sport has going for them certainly makes them stand out. They have always been seen a little more Euro-centric, but they have what is probably a bigger than expected presence in the UK betting scene. 888Sport are a familiar name and they have a pretty high-quality sportsbook. They are winners of multiple awards in the industry as well. Some of the products they have are wonderfully innovative.
888Sport Main Features
● Up for 8 – This is a prediction game that the operator runs which is a little different from others. Try and pick the outcome of eight football matches to get a jackpot. If you don’t get all eight correct you will still get one free bet for each correct outcome that you have done.
● 4/1 Win-Win – Back a sports selection at 4/1 odds or bigger and if that wins from a minimum of a £10 bet, then 888Sport will reward your effort with a £5 Free Bet. You can get one of those every day as well.
● Racing Bet & Watch – Just throw down a £1 stake on any racing from the UK and Ireland and you can get your eyes on that race through a live stream.
● Bet Builder – If you are feeling a little bit creative with your football betting then you can enjoy the 888Sport Bet Builder. This is where you pick different selections for a given match to get exactly what you want. You can do this in-play as well!
● Instant Betting – When you jump into a live game you will see options for an Instant bet. These are bets with a specific short duration of time, such as a goal being scored in the next minute of a football match.
MoPlay, despite not having a long-established history like some of the industry leaders, have carved out a very good presence for themselves. Both on mobile devices and computers, they have a wonderfully fluid betting platform that just delivers what you need without any hassles. MoPlay is very well designed and are just designed to make things as easy as possible.
MoPlay Main Features
● Easy Instant Cash Out – You can lock down rapid returns on your bets with the Easy Cash Out option. If you are confident that the time is right to pull out the bet you can do so. Their partial cash-out tool is really quick and easy to use and is great on mobile platforms.
● Build Your Bet – Customising a bet can be done at MoPlay with MyPlay. You can choose multiple selections from one game and piece it all together into one unique bet, created by you and for you. You can just play with different options until you are happy to bet your way.
● Club ProMo – This is a great feature of MoPlay because just from your regular betting you can claim a free bet. Step 1 is to just bet £25 on sports from Monday to Sunday and you will collect a £5 free bet on the first week. Step 2 is to carry on and do it for a second consecutive week when you get a £5 free bet play as well as a free spin off chance to win a prize like an odds upgrade or free bet. Repeat steps 1 and 2 to do it all over again.
● Odds Updates – If you look around the MoPlay sportsbook, there are plenty of examples of odds upgrades. It is a nice little feature that can stack up to some great extra value.
● In Play Fast Markets – There is a cool feature in the MoPlay in-play betting called Fast Markets. These are 1-minute windows of betting. You pick something like a throw-in in the next minute of a live football match.
Bwin are a very well established and reputable online bookmaker. It is really easy enough to jump quickly into the things that they have to offer. What they do have to offer is such a wide variety of sports and markets. It is really impressive and because of a well-designed website, you are going to get quick access to all the latest and biggest action, in a one-stop-shop on the homepage.
Bwin Main Features
● 90+ Double Winnings – This is a promotion to keep football punters happy. If there is a goal scored after the 90th minute in a game, then Bwin will pay out double the odds on a qualifying bet. You can get up to £25 free bets (per day) through this innovative promotion.
● Acca Sats – Well, who doesn’t like a free bet? Bwin delivers up another top football offer because if you bet £10 on football accas on a Saturday, the operator will give you a £5 free bet back on your account.
● Mobile – It is always great when you have quick easy access to your betting. With the Bwin mobile app, you get some super-smart shortcuts so that you can get to your selections quickly. It’s fast to select markets and the app is backed up with very impressive access to stats too.
● Bestseller Multi – Not in the mood to create a multi? Well, Bwin have a Bestseller Multi tool available. If you click one it populates your bet slip with the most backed bets by customers. You can tweak if you like or just play it.
● Sports Markets – There is probably no way to stress enough how good the Bwin sportsbook is. It covers the major sports through to the more niche betting markets, and it throws in an absolute ton of live betting and all with an easy dynamic feel.
The branding power that Sky have been able to throw behind their betting platform has really helped them become such a pioneer in the industry. They bought out a smaller online sports betting company back in 2000 and SkyBet grew from there. Skybet are now basically one of the behemoths of the online sports betting industry. It’s top quality service all the way with them.
SkyBet Main Features
● Super 6 – A free to play prediction game, where a huge jackpot can be won from accurately predicting six correct scores.
● Sportsbook – There is just such a massive variety of sports betting opportunities in their sportsbook. It is just a tremendous coverage of the global sporting arena.
● Mobile App – SkyBet’s mobile app takes the user-friendliness of their main website and squashes it down so you have a simple, yet rapid betting service right at your fingertips.
● Sky bet Club – This is a weekly rewards club where you bet £25 or more in a promotional week and get rewarded with a £5 free bet.
● Enhanced Odds – Time and time again Skybet deliver with enhanced odds. It is something they are known for and are great at, and they toss them out there daily.
What makes a good bookmaker or betting site?
Choice is never a bad thing at all, but it can get a little complicated when trying to narrow down so many options. There are just so many places online where you can do your betting, so where do you start? Well, it will be about finding a personal fit for you, down to things like how fast a site operates on your system, and what markets you need.
Here are a few things to look out for;
Sportsbook and Odds
Any online bookmaker that you go to is all about the sportsbook and the odds within it. Forget all the bells and whistles of bonuses and features, at the core of your betting experience, will be the sportsbook.
Are the markets that you need, there? You’ll probably be covered in most aspects if all you bet on is the Premier League. But if you like to dabble on darts, or to sink some snooker bets, does the sportsbook provide plenty of market options?
Maybe it is not even sport that you are looking for. If you fancy a punt on politics or novelty bets, what kind of coverage is offered? Then it’s down to odds. With so many bookies out there, there’s a big competition for odds.
Find a bookmaker who stacks up well consistently on the markets that you need when you do comparisons. Remember, you can always be a customer with more than one bookmaker and that way you can see which of them have the best odds available on the particular bet that you want to place.
Features & Extras
Then the extras on a website that will enhance your betting experience should be taken into consideration. These are things which can make a difference like cash out options, request a bet, bet builders, live streams and so on.
They aren’t necessarily things that are going to make or break your betting experience but they are useful add ons. If you know that you are going to do a lot of live tennis betting then you may want to see what access to tennis streams you can get for example.
Bookmaker bonuses should never be the be-all and end-all of your experience. It shouldn’t be an initial deciding factor in picking out a bookmaker. Remember that a bookmaker’s welcome bonus is just designed to get you hooked on to their service to start with. It’s just a one-off special type of deal.
But there are certainly bonuses around that could mesh well with your regular betting. Think of things like Acca Insurance. If you play a lot of accas and there is a bonus somewhere that affords you insurance if an acca loses by only one leg, then that makes for a good fit. It should be working any viable promotions into your regular betting.
Don’t just find promotions and bet willy-nilly on them just because they are there. Another angle for bonuses are bookmaker loyalty rewards. These have become more and more popular. If you are already hitting the required levels that would get you a free bet, then when not opt-in?
Website & Mobile
Maybe you have an older system that some bookmaker websites will run slower on. Or maybe you are going to do all of your bettings on a mobile device. Take things like website design into consideration when looking for the best UK bookmaker.
You want ease of operation. You don’t want to be struggling around to try and find a betting market on an app for example. Think about things like ease of navigation and how easy it is to load the app and get through to your bet rapidly, especially in the case of live in-play betting.
This is probably the most boring one of the features that should be considered, but very important. Check out what avenues you have at your disposal to contact the bookmaker. Are they open 24/7 hours should you need support? Also, check things like deposit methods and potential fees as well.
The summary of all this is that just do a little due diligence when looking for the best betting sites for you. Go try some on for size, test a few to see what you are most happy with. After all, you are playing with your hard-earned cash. You want it to work the hardest for you in terms of enjoyment and value.
Want to learn more about betting? Checking out our other comprehensive betting guides.