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Betting Guides

Betting on the outcome of events has given rise to an entire sports betting industry that has flourished for centuries in land-based operators. More recently, betting has become a popular pastime online as well, with countless companies – both those who already took bets in brick-and-mortar shops and new brands that specialize in internet operations – offering up a vast array of wagering options.

No matter your sport of choice, we can help guide you through the process of opening an account and placing real money bets on events around the world.

Best Online Bookmakers – October 2022

4.6/5
Rated by 219 users
Claimed by 239 people this week
Get up to €50 in Bet Credits
Terms and conditions: Terms and Conditions apply. – Terms apply
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Payment Options

VISA
Master Card
eWallet
Maestro

Average Payout Speed

0 – 24 Hours

Currencies

  • EUR
  • GBP
  • SEK
  • World's favourite online betting company
  • 24/7 chat and phone support
  • Mobile app for both iOS and Android
  • Large selection of banking options
  • Wide range of sports to choose from
  • Few promotions for existing users
4.5/5
Rated by 312 users
Claimed by 206 people this week
Welcome Bonus up to €50
Terms and conditions: New Customers only; Min. deposit £15 (no Skrill/Neteller); Bonus amount is 100% of deposit up to £50; Welcome offers are limited to one per person, family, household address, email address, telephone number, same payment account number (e.g. debit or credit card, Skrill and etc.), shared electronic device (e.g. school, public library, workplace, mobile phone) and shared IP; Wager the qualifying deposit and bonus amount 8x within 30 days to convert bonus winnings into real money; Wagers must be on min. odds of 4/5 on singles or acca bets with min. odds of 2/5 per selection to qualify; Max. stake contribution to wagering requirement is the value of your bonus; Certain bet types are excluded; See full terms; Terms apply; 18+ – Terms apply
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Payment Options

Bank Wire
EcoPayz
Master Card
Neteller
Paysafecard
Skrill
Ukash
+1

Average Payout Speed

0 – 24 Hours

Currencies

  • EUR
  • GBP
  • NOK
  • UKGC, MGA and SGA gaming licenses
  • No deposit/withdrawal fees whatsoever
  • Incredible VIP program (The Ten Club)
  • Standalone app for iOS and Android
  • 24/7 customer support via live chat
  • No live streaming service
4.83/5
Rated by 143 users
Claimed by 165 people this week
Bet €10 Get €30 + €10 Casino Bonus
Terms and conditions: Min deposit €10 • A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least €10 • Min odds 1/2 (1.50) • Free Bets are credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days • Free Bet stakes are not included in returns • Casino Bonus must be claimed within 7 days, wins are capped at €500 • To withdraw bonus/related wins, you must wager the bonus amount up to 40 times its value within 14 days • Casino Bonus expires after 60 days • Casino Bonus can be used on selected games in casino only • Restrictions apply to withdrawals, payment methods & countries – Terms apply
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Payment Options

VISA
Master Card
Bank Transfer
Bank Wire
Bitcoin
Citadel
Instadebit
+8

Average Payout Speed

0 – 24 Hours

Currencies

  • CAD
  • EUR
  • GBP
  • Best odds guaranteed on horse racing
  • Regular promotions and free bets
  • One of the most trusted betting sites
  • Live in-play betting and cash-out feature
  • Competitive odds and fast payouts
  • Drastically lowers limits on sharp bettors
4.5/5
Rated by 413 users
Claimed by 179 people this week
28% Up to 988MYR
Terms and conditions: Terms and Conditions apply. – Terms apply
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Payment Options

Bank Transfer
Delta
Master Card
Neteller
Skrill
VISA
Visa Electron

Average Payout Speed

0 – 24 Hours

Currencies

  • USD
  • Various Asian languages and currencies
  • Huge range of football betting markets
  • Competitive odds for all sporting events
  • Nice welcome bonuses and loyalty offers
  • Numerous country restrictions
  • No live streaming service
4.79/5
Rated by 671 users
Claimed by 139 people this week
100% up to €122
Terms and conditions: Register and deposit at least €1. Get 100% matched bonus, up to €122. Bonus amount must be wagered 5x via accumulator bets. Min 3+ selection, min odds 1.40. Rollover must be completed within seven days. Withdrawals unavailable until rollover completed. – Terms apply
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Payment Options

Neteller
Skrill
Siru

Average Payout Speed

0 – 24 Hours

Currencies

  • EUR
  • USD
  • AED
  • Available in over 30 languages
  • Over 1000 events offered every day
  • Extensive list of banking methods
  • 24/7 customer service support
  • Cryptocurrency accepted
  • Lack of live streaming
4.5/5
Rated by 413 users
Claimed by 93 people this week
50% Up To $1000
Terms and conditions: Terms and Conditions apply. – Terms apply
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Payment Options

Bank Wire
Bitcoin
Cheque
Discover
Master Card
Neteller
Skrill
+1

Average Payout Speed

0 – 24 Hours

Currencies

  • USD
  • Accepts players from all over the world
  • Known for their live betting offers
  • Lots of secure banking options
  • Great bonuses and promotions
  • High fees for some deposit options
  • Support agents are often slow to reply
4.5/5
Rated by 215 users
Claimed by 86 people this week
Get up to €/$30 in Free Bets
Terms and conditions: Min Deposit: €/$10; First deposit matched up to €/$30; 1x wagering at odds of 1.75+ to unlock Free Bet; Credit Card, Debit Card & PayPal deposits only. – Terms apply
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Payment Options

Neteller
Skrill
EcoPayz

Average Payout Speed

0 – 24 Hours

Currencies

  • USD
  • GBP
  • CAD
  • Licenced in both the UK and Malta
  • Generous welcome bonus for new users
  • Promotions for major sporting events
  • Free-to-play prediction games
  • Excellent customer service and security
  • Limited payment options
4.5/5
Rated by 232 users
Claimed by 122 people this week
15% up to $600
Terms and conditions: Terms and Conditions apply. – Terms apply
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Payment Options

Amex
Bank Wire
Bitcoin
Cheque
Master Card
Neteller
VISA

Average Payout Speed

0 – 24 Hours

Currencies

  • BPS
  • CAD
  • EUR
  • Popular book that accepts large max bets
  • Huge focus on football and basketball
  • High-spec live in-play platform available
  • Downloadable client for Windows & Mac
  • Odds are not amazing on non-US sports
  • User interface could be improved
4.5/5
Rated by 289 users
Claimed by 74 people this week
Bet £10 Get £20 in Free Bets
Terms and conditions: New UK customers (Excluding NI) only. Mobile exclusive. Min stake £10. Min odds Evs. Free bet applied on 1st settlement of any qualifying bet. 30 days to qualify. Free bets expire in 7 days. Cashed out/Free Bets won’t apply. Payment method restrictions. 1 Free Bet offer per customer, household & IP Address only. 18+.  – Terms apply
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Payment Options

Cheque
Clickandbuy
Ekonto
Euteller
Giropay
Ideal
Instadebit
+12

Average Payout Speed

0 – 24 Hours

Currencies

  • CZK
  • EUR
  • NOK
  • High-street bookmaker in Ireland
  • Nice site with very easy navigation
  • Popular for horse racing and greyhounds
  • Great range of Gaelic games markets
  • Site can be buggy on some browsers
  • Customer support is poor
4.5/5
Rated by 415 users
Claimed by 57 people this week
100% up to €100
Terms and conditions: Terms and Conditions apply. – Terms apply
Show More Details Show Less Details

Payment Options

VISA
Master Card
Skrill
Neteller

Average Payout Speed

0 – 24 Hours

Currencies

  • Get big cash prizes as a VIP customer
  • Access the site in 17 languages
  • Live odds change via colour-coded boxes
  • Explore in-depth sports rules on the site
  • No live streaming service
  • Long list of restricted countries

Where/How to Bet

Almost everyone has, at some time in their lives, placed a friendly wager with a friend over the outcome of a game they’ve played or been watching on television. Maybe the winner gets a drink, or the loser has to pay for dinner, or some other small reward goes to the victor. Regardless, given that these kinds of bets have existed for as long as anyone can remember, it seems safe to say that it’s only human nature to bet on the outcome of events.

For most of history, people who have wanted to bet on the outcome of sporting events did so through some sort of physical, real world bookmaker. In some parts of the world, this can mean a shop you walk right into to place your bets; in other cases, it may be a casino, or something a bet less scrupulous, such as a local “bookie” who takes bets illegally.

Today, however, there are also hundreds of options for betting on sports over the internet.

Online bookmakers exist around the world, in a variety of types: there are completely regulated firms that operate only in certain markets, and offshore companies that are willing to take bets from around the globe.

One of the biggest challenges of playing at online betting sites is finding a site that you are comfortable with: one that offers the odds you want while also being reputable and trustworthy. Thankfully, there are countless sites that have built up excellent reputations over the years. If you need help in finding one that works for you, we’ve collected our picks for the best places to bet on sports online.

Concept image of sports betting app

Funding Your Account

A common question we see time and time again from people new to online gambling is how they can get money into (and out of) their sports betting accounts. The truth here is that there are more options than ever for players to deal with their banking issues, even if cases where you may not have an obvious route to transferring money over the internet.

Let’s start with the basics. Many users find credit cards – particularly Visa and Mastercard products – to be a simple and easy way to make deposits, since they’re used for all sorts of transactions every day.

Bank transfer systems are always popular as well, as are e-wallets: solutions such as Skrill and Neteller that allow gamblers to make deposits, cash out, and hold their funds in a secure place all from one account.

Prepaid options give players the potential to get around using more traditional financial instruments (and potentially even pay in cash), while some parts of the world even allow billing to your mobile phone.

Of course, these are only broad categories; each of these areas include many different specific options that each have their own advantages and peculiarities. Precisely what is available to you will depend largely on where you live and what resources you personally have at your disposal.

Perhaps the best news we can give is that the vast majority of these methods come with absolutely no fees for players. In fact, many sites will offer players bonuses on their initial deposits, giving you even more money with which to place bets on your favourite teams and sports.

Understanding Odds

One of the more confusing aspects of the betting site industry is that not everyone expresses their odds in the same way. In fact, there are several major systems around the world that are widely used by various bookies, as well as others that are less common but still enjoy regional popularity.

Let’s start with perhaps the most logical and widespread option: decimal odds. In this system, the odds displayed show how much you will walk away with (as a multiple of your original bet) should you win the bet. For instance, if a $1 bet would pay out $2 in winnings, the decimal payout would be listed at 3.00 – the total you would have after a successful wager.

Some bookmakers instead work in fractional odds, which also have a pretty clear logic to them. In this system, the amount you stand to win is expressed as a fraction of your initial bet. In the same example as we used above, if a $1 bet would pay out $2 in winnings, the fractional odds would be 2/1.

Next up are US odds. Things can get a little confusing here, as the system is always based on a $100 (or 100 unit) bet. A positive number shows how much you would win on that $100; a negative number shows how much you would have to wager in order to win $100 instead. In other words, if you would have to bet $3 to win $1 on a heavy favourite, the odds here would be -300; for a $1 that would win $2, the odds would be +200.

After this come some Asian systems that are less widely used, but are still important to know for players who want to shop around for the best value at many different sites or bookmakers. Hong Kong odds are identical to the decimal system, except that they express the potential winnings rather than also including the initial stake – so that $1 bet to win $2 would be listed at 2.00.

Indonesian odds are the same as Hong Kong unless you stand to win less than your stake because you bet on a favorite; in that case, they use negative numbers, as in US betting.

There’s also Malaysian (or Malay) odds, which require a bit more explanation and a bit of math to figure out. Regardless of which system you prefer, the nice thing about online betting sites is that they generally allow you to express the odds in whatever format you are most comfortable with, ensuring you won’t be confused by a strange layout you’re unfamiliar with.

Football, smartphone and betting odds blended together

Types of Bets

On the surface, wagering on sports may seem simple. You just pick which team or player will win the game or match, and you earn money if you’re correct, right?

That’s certainly one way to make a bet, but it is hardly the only one. This type of wagering, where only the winner matters, is often known as money line gambling. The payouts are adjusted based on the odds of any particular competitor winning the competition, so that some outcomes offer much larger potential prizes than others.

This is fair and intuitive, but not always attractive to punters: betting on a heavy favourite can be boring and offer little in the way of rewards even if you are right in your prediction. That’s why many sporting competitions around the world can also be bet on through spread betting.

The point spread is essentially a handicap given to the weaker team in order to make it approximately equally likely that both sides will win the bet.

For example, a basketball team might be listed as -6.5 favourites over their opponent. If you bet on the favourite, the team must win by at least seven points for you to also win, while a bet on the underdog will pay out even if they lose by as much as six points. The advantage here is that both sides can pay out at about even money odds.

Other betting types mostly play with these two formulas. For instance, teasers give bettors even better point spreads, only at lower odds to make up for the more favourable terms. Accumulators (or parlays) are a way to string together multiple bets: if all of your choices win, you’ll earn a huge payday, but one loss along the way will cost you your stake.

It’s also possible to make plenty of bets that aren’t tied to the winner of an event. The popular totals (or over/under) bets are based on the combined score of the two teams. Many proposition bets can be made on smaller aspects of a game or match, such as who will score first.

Finally, in-play betting can allow you to bet on small portions of a competition while it is happening: for instance, there are even micro-bets based on a single game in tennis or an over in cricket. On the other end of the spectrum, futures allow you to wager on the outcome of an entire league or tournament, predicting the overall winner rather than betting on a single match.

What Sports to Bet On

If you’ve ever wondered what sports you can bet on, the answer is simple: almost without exception, anything you can think of is available for betting, especially on the internet. Whether we’re talking about the world’s largest competitions or the most obscure regional sports, someone will be willing to take your bets on it.

Of course, some athletic events are more popular than others amongst bettors. Football (soccer) is not only the world’s most popular sport, but also the one people like to wager on the most. Basketball, American football, cricket, baseball and rugby are also popular targets for those who enjoy team sports, while tennis, the UFC, and boxing may be the most common ways of betting on individual pursuits.

If you’re not a fan of wagering on your fellow human beings, horse racing also remains a popular pastime.

One thing you might not expect is that you can even bet on events that wouldn’t traditionally be defined as “athletic.”

For as long as people have been betting on the internet, there have been wagers placed on the outcomes of political races, as well as award shows and various other entertainment-based outcomes.

More recently, the emerging world of esports – competitive video and computer games – has grown to the size and stature that attracts real money bets from gamblers around the world.

Sports betting icons popping out of smartphone

Finding Value

One of the most alluring aspects of sports betting is the fact that it’s actually possible for players to win in the long run. There is no mathematical reason why the game is guaranteed to provide a particular payout over the long run, unlike in slots or table games. Smart players can – and frequently do – show a profit throughout their betting careers.

That said, it isn’t as easy as it sounds to find value in these bets. While there’s no guarantee for the bookmakers, they do tilt their odds in their favour using what is known as the overround (or, more popularly, as the “vig”).

Essentially, this means that after the bookies figure out how likely each bet is to win, they offer odds that are slightly worse than this. That means that if the bookmakers are right on the money about the actual probabilities of an event, they really will win consistently in the long run.

Luckily for players, betting sites – even with all of their expertise – aren’t perfect. There are times when it is possible to find spots where your perception of the odds is very different from the bookmakers. If you’re right and they’re wrong, something that can particularly happen in more niche competitions, then it may be you that holds the edge over the house.

Of course, there are other possibilities for finding value as well. One popular option is arbitrage betting, where players make bets at multiple sites that are offering different odds – different enough that they can lock in a small profit no matter what side wins.

On a larger scale, this is usually why serious bettors have accounts at several sites: they can pick and choose the best odds on each bet they want to make, ensuring they find the maximum value on each bet they make.

Betting in the US

Despite the fact that Americans are just crazy about both gambling and sports, the United States remains one of the more difficult place from which to actually place bets on athletic competitions. There are a number of reasons for this.

Most notably, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) made it illegal for states to regulate sports betting, though four states with previously existing laws were allowed to continue their operations (though only Nevada had, and still has, full betting sites). Other laws, like the Wire Act and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) have made setting up online gambling operations in the US virtually impossible as well.

However, that doesn’t mean that Americans are out of luck. Numerous offshore bookmakers are happy to take bets from the USA, and players are not breaking the law simply by placing wagers. And because these sites offer far more bets, far more security, and far more accountability than your local bookie, they are increasingly becoming a popular way for US citizens to place bets on baseball, football, basketball and dozens of other sports.

Sports betting slip and $100 bill

Security

Another major concern for many bettors is the security of online gambling sites, including sports betting operations. One of the great things about the kinds of reputable companies we recommend to our readers is that they are fully vetted in a number of different ways.

In terms of player safety, the best sites are all licensed and regulated by various organizations around the world who provide oversight and protections for consumers, allowing you to know that your funds are in safe hands and that you won’t be cheated.

In addition, these websites use the same state of the art encryption standards that are put into place by major financial institutions and top e-commerce sites, so you can rest assured that you won’t have to deal with worries about identity theft or fraud.

Finally, we only recommend betting sites that have a longstanding reputation of quality service to players. By doing so, we can be assured that we won’t be sending you to “fly by night” operations that may seem great today, but which may prove to be unsafe months or years from now.

FAQs

Can I bet on sports in my country?

While the rules and regulations that apply are different in every nation, the answer to this question is virtually always yes! The main differences between nations are just how many sites are willing to do business there; in regulated countries, only those with a license typically compete, while in places like the United States, some brands stay out for fear of legal consequences from the government. There are even a small number of nations (such as some Islamic nations in the Middle East) where simply placing bets may be illegal. However, even here a fair number of websites exist that are happy to take bets from players.

Is sports betting available on mobile devices?

Just as in the rest of the gaming industry, the trend towards increased use of mobile phones and tablets is quickly taking place among sports bettors as well. In fact, this segment of the industry was one of the first to start offering mobile betting many years ago, and players frequently place their wagers while on the go, sometimes even while attending the very events they plan to bet on.

Is my favorite sport available for wagering?

Once again, the answer her is yes, as the online gaming industry offers up betting on just about anything you could possibly imagine. As you’d expect, all of the world’s major sports are covered, but so is almost everything else. We’ve seen betting on the most obscure of sporting contests, even those with limited regional or niche appeal. Handball, darts, curling, chess – even these are rare to find at betting sites, at least when major world championships or Olympic competitions are taking place.

Are there any bonuses offered to players?

While bookmakers aren’t as eager to offer up bonuses to their players as casinos and poker rooms are, there are still plenty of promotions that are designed to entice customers to sign up for accounts, deposit funds, or place bets on certain events. These can take the form of traditional bonuses that offer matches on deposits (usually for much smaller percentages than casino promotions), or special offers like guaranteed cash back on losses if certain events occur, such as 0-0 draws in football.