Online Gambling and Betting Sites
Online sports betting is going from strength to strength with new sportsbooks launching every month. Punters all around the world enjoy a wager on their favourite sport whether it be a speculative Saturday accumulator on the Premier League or larger stakes betting at the annual Cheltenham Festival.
Every sportsbook is aiming to build their customer base and attract new punters to their all singing all dancing websites.It’s a saturated market and new users who are wishing to place an online wager for the first time can be daunted by the amount of variety and offers available. We’ve put together a helpful guide to betting online.
New Customer Bonuses and Sign-Up Offers
You won’t have escaped the regular flashing images and promotions popping up on your browser attempting to persuade new customers to sign-up to an online sportsbook account.
Every company has their own unique incentive for customers who submit their details and register for an account. Once confirmation is submitted and the first deposit is made, new recruits automatically qualify for these bonuses.
100% or 200% deposit is the most popular bonus available online. Paddy Power are amongst the bookmakers who offer this promotion.
How does it work?
Once you’ve made your first deposit (up to £100), the Sportsbook will match this (100%) or double it (200%) depending on the promotion.
If you make an initial deposit of £50, you will get a free £50 bet.
Wagering requirements do apply. Always check these before signing up. This may require you to bet three times the deposited amount (£50 x 3) before you can withdraw this additional bonus money from your account.
The money provided by the sportsbook is sometimes applied as straightforward credit but may be applied as a series of £10 bets.
Some firms offer different promotions including Sun Bets who require new customers to bet £5 in order to receive a free £10 bet whilst 888Sport will offer new customers triple odds on their first bet. This is a terrific promotion and could boost the balance significantly but it requires selecting a winning first bet in order to take full advantage.
There are plenty of other bonuses available to existing customers but many sportsbooks deliberately target new customers as they aim to acquire their custom and make them feel welcome. It can be a very profitable experience.
If you’re thinking of signing up to a sportsbook during the summer, it could be advisable to hang fire and wait until the start of the new football season or the beginning of a major event (such as World Cup or Wimbledon) as many sportsbooks offer specifically tailored promotions targeting new customers. One recent example was Coral’s 6/1 on any goal to be scored in the opening Premier League fixtures. The maximum bet was £5 but this was a terrific way of starting your new account with a free £30!
Do I get Offers and Promotions once I’ve signed up? Yes!
Although it depends which firms you’ve signed up with. 888Sport offer existing customers regular offers and boosts including free casino bets and a weekly prize wheel which can be spun for varying rewards. Many other firms boost prices of popular bets on big events (such as Champions League, Wimbledon and British Grand Prix).
Many companies will also offer money back promotions for horse racing punters. Sun bets recently ran a promotion offering money back if your first goal-scorer has lost by half time.
Some sportsbooks will offer specific promotions to mobile users or those who bet on niche sports such as greyhound racing or Aussie rules.
Money Back Promotions on Multiples and Accumulators
Every punter dreams of winning big and making their millions on the weekend’s football. Bookmakers capitalise on the accumulator market which is a particularly popular way of betting during the European football season.
A number of sportsbooks now offer money back to punters whose 5-fold accumulators are let down by just a single selection. It is hugely frustrating when just a single team let you down or a 95th minute equaliser scuppers your planned celebrations so you now have the cushion of receiving your stake back. Most sportsbooks now offer this incentive to bettors who select five teams or more.
You decide the odds / Request-a-bet
Another very recent addition to the huge range of sportsbooks promotions is companies handing over control to the punters. A number of firms including Sky Bet and William Hill now offer a service through their social media pages which invite bettors to request a particular punt.
These are often centred around big matches such as UEFA Champions League, IPL contests or even significant boxing bouts. The bets are often reasonably outlandish and consist of three or four different elements. For example – Both Teams to Score, Both Teams to have 5+ corners and a hat-trick to be scored.
Traders will respond with individual odds, often a double or triple figured price.
Sky Bet’s Request-A-Bet service has been extremely popular since its launch and helps get people talking via Twitter and Facebook.
Which sports can I bet on?
The short answer is virtually anything!
The majority of sportsbooks will price up nearly every sport taking place on any given day. Horse racing markets will generally cover all UK and Irish meetings plus South African, Australian and US racecourses. There’s often action from Hong Kong, Germany and occasionally Chile too.
Most football leagues around the world are covered including reserve divisions, Under 20s and pre-season friendlies. There’s GAA, Curling, Sailing, Pool, MMA, Ice Hockey and Futsal all included on the majority of betting consoles.
If you visit a UK based operator such as Sun Bets, you are likely to find a greater range of sports tailored to English sports fans however if you go to Canadian site such as Bodog Sports, prominence is likely to be given to CFL, MLB, NHL and winter sports.
The majority of sportsbooks will also offer special betting on popular TV programs such as Big Brother, I’m a Celebrity and Strictly Come Dancing. Political betting has become popular due to the spate of elections in recent years.
When signing up for an online sportsbook you will often be given a number of preferences. These include deciding how much money you will be allowed to deposit each week and your preferred currency.
You will also be able to set your preferred method of display when it comes to the odds. Most punters prefer to keep it simple opting for fractional – 2/1 or 7/10Some prefer decimal – 3.00 or 1.70 US lines can often be selected – +200 or -170
Each market will come with odds attached but these can fluctuate. If there has been a lot of money for one particular selection, bookmaker begin to panic and often shorten the odds offering less value to punters as they aim to reduce losses.
Key Betting Terms
Odds-on / Odds-against – Odds-on is any price which is shorter than evens. For example 1/2. Odds-against is anything bigger than evens. For example 2/1. Most punters look for value and seek bigger prices.
Multiples – Any bet which consists of more than 1 selection. For example – two horses to win would be classed as a double. If you needed three teams to win, it would be classed as a treble.
Accumulator – A bet which consists of four of more selections. These are extremely popular with football fans each weekend. You would need every single one of these selections to land in order to collect your winnings but the returns can be life-changing.
Ante-Post – A bet which takes place before the tournament/event or race takes place. An ante-post football bet might be Chelsea to win the Premier League whilst horse racing fans might back a horse to win the Grand National four months before the actual event.
Laying – Backing something NOT to win. This is done using Exchanges.
Void – If a bet is cancelled due to the abandonment of an event or at a bookmakers discretion.
Each Way – This is used predominantly in racing. If you bet each way your stake is divided between the selection winning and the selection finishing in the top three. For example £10 on a horse in the 14:30 at Newton Abbot would see £5 placed on it winning and the other £5 on it finishing in the placings. If there are more than 16 runners, each way betting applies to the first four to finish. Placed runners will be calculated at 1/5 of the odds traditionally although some bookmakers vary. Each Way betting is also available on other sports including Formula One outrights.
Mobile Betting and Apps
Mobile betting has become critically important for bookmakers as they target a younger and busier generation of punters. Each company has launched their own unique App which can be downloaded in a variety of ways. The majority are available on iPhone, Android and Blackberry and can be found on the company’s own mobile site or located in the App Store.
Sportsbooks aim to make their App as slick and easy to navigate as possible with a huge emphasis on one or two click betting. Punters want to place their bets quickly and without fuss.
In-Play betting is a very important part of any App with a dedicated section available to on-going contests.
All of the same markets and odds are available on the App and customers will not be penalised for depositing or withdrawing via this method.
Some Apps such as 888Sport have started offering regular promotions and incentives to customers using the mobile App or site offering bonuses relating to their casino or arcade games.
Another recent addition is the ability to follow all of the action via the live streaming service. Nowadays, most online sportsbooks have the rights to show a variety of leagues, competitions and tournaments via their console.
What can I watch?
Football matches including La Liga, Bundesliga, Ligue 1, MLS, Serie A, Russian Premier League and Argentinian Primera Division.
Tennis tournaments including most ATP and WTA events. Some major Grand Slams including the Australian Open.
Major League Baseball, National Hockey League & Aussie Rules.
All you have to do is sign into your account and have a positive balance in order to qualify to follow the action. Some firms will stipulate a bet of at least 50p in the last 24 hours.
Most sportsbooks will also show every UK and Irish horse race for a paltry sum of £1. Place a bet of this value or greater and you will have access to the stream of the contest you’ve wagered on.
These are also available on some mobile Apps and services, always best to check beforehand!
Live In-Play Betting
In-Play betting has become hugely popular over the past couple of years and more punters like to wager mid-event than ever before.
Most sportsbooks will price up several contests and have traders or bots monitoring proceedings and adjusting prices accordingly. The live stats tool is also extremely handy for deciding how to place your next bet.
Most sportsbooks now offer data on the number of shots on/off target and how many corners, cards and even attacks a side has accrued.
There will also be dedicated pages for live betting and this allows punters to make some money if their pre-match bet isn’t going as planned.
Is Betting Online Safe? Yes, perfectly!
Most reputable sites have a team of boffins who are dedicated to ensuring that details are kept safe and the latest software is deployed to prevent hackers from accessing private files.
All of the online sportsbooks want to keep up their reputations and any breach of data would prove an absolute disaster in terms of PR. They will dedicate a huge amount of time to making sure customers feel safe and secure.
If you’re opening your first account, it’s always best to start with a trusted name. Sky Bet or Ladbrokes are two companies who have been trading for many years and have thousands of loyal customers who have never encounters any problems.
There are numerous ways of depositing into your online betting account and punters who don’t feel comfortable giving out card details can opt to credit accounts via Paypal or Skrill.
What else do I need to know?
If you’re worried about addiction, most online sportsbooks will offer self-exclusion and also deposit limits to ensure excess funds are not deposited.
Signing up via PayPal or Skrill is a great idea to keep on top of your finances and ensure huge deposits are not transferred from credit or debit cards.
Most companies will contact you via email or text to offer information about ‘unmissable’ offers or promotions but it is possible to opt out of any communication whatsoever.