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HOW WE ASSESS BOOKMAKERS IN OUR REVIEWS
Our criteria for bookmaker reviews are actually very simple, and are used to make it as easy as possible for you to find the right bookie for you personally. When searching for a bookmaker at Betastic, you can set the filters for your search so that you can find a bookmaker which matches your preferences. The filters account for issues such as the value of the welcome bonus on offer, the availability of good customer service options, what kinds of payment methods are available, the range of sports covered, the value of the odds and many other factors. The search process is very quick and convenient, and you can find the right bookie very easily indeed.
ALWAYS PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THE ODDS
One of the main criteria that we focus on in our online bookmaker reviews is the odds. Odds are central to a bookmaker’s service, as they provide you, the punter, with a good indication of how generous the bookie is likely to be. Odds are designed to show you what the likelihood of an event occurring is. Of course, bookies always adjust odds so that their ‘margin’ – their profit – remains intact whatever the outcome of a sporting contest. Bookies who offer less valuable odds than their rivals do are shaving off more profit for themselves.
So assessing the kind of value that odds offer provides a good insight into what kind of overall mentality lies behind a bookie. Generous odds indicate that a bookie wants to provide good value for its customers. Our evaluation of the odds which are available from bookmakers is therefore an important building block in you constructing an overall picture of a bookie.
HOW WE CHOOSE THE BEST OVERALL BOOKMAKER
Of course, building a complete picture of a bookie takes more than just evaluating the odds. In addition to looking at the value of the odds on offer, you should also consider the range of markets available, and the quality of the live betting service. The quality of the bonus should also be considered, as well as the range of payment methods which can be used at a bookie.
A really important aspect of a bookie’s overall service is the kind of promotional bonuses that they offer to their customers. Good betting site reviews should always give you the full lowdown on what a bookie’s bonus is like.
Bonuses can take a variety of forms these days, ranging from “free” first bets where your stake is refunded as a bonus bet if your first bet at a site loses, to generous 100% matched deposit bonuses. Many bookies also offer new customers bonus bets for signing up, usually in return for a first bet.
We assess the value of a bonus by looking at a number of criteria. These include the overall value of the bonus, what the minimum deposit required is, the wagering requirements that apply to the bonus, and whether or not there is are time limits or any betting limits in place.
HOW WE RANK THE BEST OPERATORS
CUSTOMER SERVICE OPTIONS ARE IMPORTANT
No one wants to use any kind of service where they are not treated well as a customer. That is why the kind of customer service you receive from a bookmaker is so important. In our betting site reviews, we always assess the kind of customer service options which are available to you at a bookie. We look at how easy it is for you to contact a bookie’s customer service team, and also what contact methods are available.
Having a live chat option available, for example, is considered to be hugely positive, especially if it is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. But you should also have alternative methods at your disposal too, so it is important that you can use email or the telephone to contact a bookie if you have query. Bookies should not be hiding from their customers by making it hard for you to get in touch with them.
EXPERIENCED BOOKIES ARE OFTEN BETTER
Of course, if a bookie is well-established then it is more likely that they will have developed some strong customer service over the years. You need to be able to feel that you can rely on your bookie to treat you honestly. You want your winnings to be paid out on time and fairly, and all your bets to be adjudged in an honest and above-board way.
Well-established bookies have procedures and systems in place which allow them to do this. Their systems have often been tested and tried through years of operation, and well-established bookies have often survived in a highly competitive marketplace because of their honesty and reliability – as seen in our 888sport review.
ALWAYS CHECK THE LICENCE
It is also important that a bookie has the correct licences to operate in the UK. The British Gambling Commission is the body which issues licences to the bookies. While the internet means that gambling often crosses international boundaries these days, it is still illegal to gamble using a company which does not have a UK licence.
If a bookie is properly licensed, then they are a reliable and trusted operator. You should always view using an unlicensed bookie as being unsafe as well as illegal, as you will have no legal recourse available to you should anything go wrong. We always look at licences as part of any online bookmaker review we carry out. They are a key issue when considering the all-round quality of service on offer.
EVALUATING BOOKMAKERS – OUR KEY CRITERIA
A BOOKMAKER SHOULD OFFER AN EXTENSIVE RANGE OF MARKETS
Another aspect of service that we evaluate in our bookmaker reviews is the range of markets that a bookie has on offer to their customers. A good bookie should cover a full range of sports, that extends way beyond the mainstream sports such as football, tennis and golf. Good bookies also offer their punters the chance to bet on American sports competitions, such as the NFL, NBA and NHL. It is also helpful if they offer markets on Australian rugby league and the AFL too, as well as Gaelic games from Ireland.
Good bookmakers should also provide plenty of different competitions and leagues on which you can bet. Football is one sport that has a massive multiplicity of leagues from every corner of the world these days. A good bookmaker should offer you the chance to bet on Northern Irish football as well as the English Premier League, on Indian matches as well as Italian, and on women’s football as well as men’s.
The provision of a good range of live betting markets is also considered hugely positive. While some of the betting sites in the UK offer a good range of sports and markets when it comes to live betting, others are very limited in the range they provide. A good range of sports and events for live betting is a sign of a good bookie – take a look at our 32Red review for a good example.
Another important factor to consider when putting together bookmaker reviews is the range of payment methods on offer to you as a customer. As well as debit and credit cards, which are the most convenient payment methods to use, a good bookmaker should also provide customers with the chance to use ewallets, such as PayPal, Skrill or Neteller; this can be seen in our Bet-at-home review. Many bookies also allow their customers to use direct bank transfer and even cheques too. A recent innovation has been that some bookmakers allow their online customers to collect winnings from their high street shops, adding more convenience.
OTHER THINGS WE EVALUATE
Our bookmaker reviews also look to evaluate several other important issues. A bookmaker’s review ratings can depend on many things. One of these factors is the availability of promotional bonuses to established customers. Everyone likes to pick up a welcome bonus when they sign up for an account with a bookie, but it is also nice to be able to pick up additional bonuses once you have had an account with them for a while. These might take the form of price boosts, bonus bet offers, specific sport or event-linked bonuses and VIP clubs.
As well as bonuses, we also look at whether there is a mobile app available, and, if not, whether the bookie has a good website for mobile users. Betting using your phone or tablet is a huge part of the betting industry now, and a company which neglects this aspect of their service will soon find themselves getting left behind by the competition. Live streaming is another important aspect of a bookie’ service we examine, as this can add a great deal of value to their overall offer.
YOUR GUIDE TO CHOOSING A GREAT BOOKMAKER
Picking the right bookmaker is an important part of being a successful sports bettor. Here, we provide you with three clear steps on how you can make the process of choosing the right bookie as simple and straightforward as possible.
The first step in choosing a bookie is to use the search filters at Betastic. The filters allow you to find bookmaker betting reviews on our website which fit with your requirements. You can filter out bookies which have low customer service ratings, for example, or those which do not offer an extensive range of live betting options.
Another important part of identifying the best bookmaker is to find the companies which offer the most valuable bonuses. You want to find a bonus which offers good value, is easy to claim, and does not have restrictive wagering requirements applied to it. The best online bookies will always offer customers plenty of good value when it comes to the bonus for new punters. Again, setting the filters on the Betastic website will allow you to find bookmakers online quickly and easily. For a fair comparison of bonus offers, have a read of our 12bet review and 138.com review.
Once you have filtered through the bookmaker sportsbook reviews on our site using our search function, you should have found one of the betting sites in UK which will suit your needs and requirements. Check on the bookie’s website that it does indeed offer you a good, all-round service, and you should be ready to open an account.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT BOOKMAKER IS A WINNING STRATEGY
Choosing the right bookmaker from the betting sites UK customers can use is a really important part of being a successful punter. If you have chosen a bookie which suits your preferences, you are free to concentrate on picking winners, rather than having to focus on distractions such as struggling to find the right markets.
FAQ’S – YOUR TOP FIVE BETTING QUESTIONS
1. HOW CAN I ENSURE MY BETS WIN?
There is an easy answer to this question: you can’t ensure every bet wins. That does not mean you shouldn’t bet, though. You can give yourself a better chance of success by betting on sports that you know well, and if you take the time to conduct a little research. If you know as much as possible about a sport, you will boost your chances of possibly winning.
2. WHICH IS THE BET WELCOME BONUS?
Most bookmakers offer some kind of welcome bonus to new customers. The best bonuses are those which are easy to understand and offer something tangible, for example some bonus bets. Always check the terms and conditions for a bonus. If the wagering requirements for a bonus seem overly complicated or unfair, avoid using that particular bookie.
3. SHOULD YOU ALWAYS PLACE BIG BETS TO WIN BIG?
Betting using big stakes usually occurs because you have allowed yourself to get greedy. Greed is the enemy of the successful punter. It is far better to place a large range of small stakes bets, rather than one or two huge bets. Small, sensible bets soon add up.
4. DOES A BOOKIE ALWAYS HAVE TO BE LICENSED IN THE UK?
If you are resident in the United Kingdom, then you need to be using a bookmaker which operates under a proper UK licence. If not, you are breaking the law. A bookmaker UK customers can use always needs to have a proper British licence in order for you to use its services in this country.
5. DOES MY CHOICE OF PAYMENT METHOD AFFECT MY BONUSES?
Some bookies do not allow punters who use ewallets, such as Skrill or Neteller, to claim bonuses on their websites. Always check the terms and conditions regarding payment methods before you commit to a bookie.
OUR TOP BOOKMAKER CHOICE – REVEALED!
When it comes to picking the top bookie from our betting sites UK list, we have to say that 888sport is a bookie which offers a great all-round service. The 888sport website is well-designed, with a distinctive orange and black colour scheme, and functions with great speed and intuitive navigation. You can easily browse markets, read the help sections, browse the latest promotions, and manage your account while using the site – all of which are crucial to the overall experience.
There is also an excellent range of markets on offer, with a huge range of sports covered, from football to darts to tennis and many more besides. You can also step into the world of virtual betting with 888sport’s impressive array of virtual sport options, which include football, darts, and instant greyhound options.
A REALLY GOOD 888SPORT WELCOME BONUS
A good betting review of 888sport should also highlight the company’s great promotional offers. New customers at 888sport can claim £30 of bonus bets by placing a qualifying bet of at least £10. There are no wagering requirements attached to the bonus either. 888sport also guarantee their customers the best odds available on UK and Irish horse racing. Other bonuses include odds boosts linked to specific events or leagues and an interesting “4/1 Winner” offer, whereby if you win a bet on a selection at odds of more than 4/1, you receive a £5 bonus bet. Another interesting prospect on the site is the “Up For 8”; a predictor game whereby users attempt to predict the results of eight football matches. Get all eight right and the winner receives £8,000, but even if you don’t go eight-for-eight, you’ll still receive a £1 bonus bet for every match predicted correctly.
Customer support options are also excellent at 888sport. There is an extensive help section which will answer many of the queries that you might have about your account and other issues. You can contact customer services using a live chat function (which is linked directly off many FAQ pages, so if you check there first, it’s easy to ask for extra assistance), via a web form, or even by phone if you prefer.
Another really great feature of 888sport’s all-round service is the range of live betting options that are available. Options for live betting span most sports and the live system is easy and straightforward to use, even for those with little live betting experience.
CHECK OUT THESE OTHER TOP RATED OPERATORS
William Hill are one of the most reputable, well-known, and instantly-recognisable betting brands in the world, so they are definitely worthy of a spotlight here. Known affectionately at “Will Hill”, the brand offer a huge range of sports markets, live betting options, and promotions, the latter of which includes a sign-up offer whereby those who bet £10 at 1/2 or above will receive £30 in extra bets.
The website and app work perfectly, with intuitive design and a simplistic process that makes selecting markets, placing bets, and monitoring an account very straightforward. Customer contact options are very good too, and you can even link your online and offline betting accounts if you also visit William Hill shops in person.
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Another company among betting sites in UK which receives an excellent sportsbook review from us at Betastic is Betfair. This well-established bookie, which has been around since 2000 and is based in London, is the largest internet betting exchange in the world.
The welcome bonus is also very appealing, with up to £100 worth of bonus bets available to be claimed by new customers. Betfair is also an official partner of football giants Arsenal FC and FC Barcelona, highlighting its wide appeal and quality.
In addition to the sportsbook, you can also place wagers on the Betfair betting exchange against other punters, rather than the bookie. This allows you to place lay bets, which opens up a whole new vista of betting strategy for you.
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