Forget going to a local bookmaker, do it all online! There are so many internet sportsbooks out there, so which ONE do you choose? Well, the answer is simple - don't choose just one!, for reasons we will explain. Check out our comparison of bookies where we rate most popular online bookies according to value, web site design and user friendliness, and incentives to help you choose which ones are right for you!
The Internet has opened up the online gaming market so that sportsbooks must now offer the most competitive odds and deals in order to attract and retain customers. You should think about opening at least two, if not three or more accounts. This way you will be able to shop around for odds when you are looking at placing your bets. It is important to get the best odds in your favour because you will find that they do vary between sportsbooks.
Different sportsbooks make their profits by taking risks on some games, and not taking risks on the others. So, one sportsbook might not be taking risks by not giving generous odds on Newcastle beating Middlesbrough because they think that Newcastle might easily win the game, but will give generous odds on Chelsea beating Arsenal because they think Arsenal might be too strong for Chelsea. If you bet with only one sportsbook all of the time you will get the generous, and not so generous odds (long and short odds) over the long run. So, to always get the best value, open several accounts and make sure you shop around for the best odds. The difference between one bookie offering 3/1 and another offering 4/1 on an outcome might seem small, but if you win you are looking at 20% fewer returns if you have gone with the sportsbook offering 3/1! (for example, £10 at 4/1 returns £50, but £10 at 3/1 returns only £40, 20% less).
Most sportsbooks offer you an incentive to open an account. You will often get a free bet of anything up to £25 which you can usually immediately use to your advantage to build up a little pot so you do not use your own money trying some things out. Check out our strategy on free bets.
Reputable sportsbooks are as safe as your online banking. They use the same level of encryption on transactions and are backed by reputable worldwide companies. If you are not sure, check out the information about the company on the sportsbook's own website and look for any affiliations with professional organisations. As with any website where you are sending confidential information such as bank details, ensure that the URL is https://, not http:// when submitting transactions. https:// indicates that any data being sent is encrypted, and is not easily decipherable by anyone intercepting your transaction. Online banks use this same technology.
Once registered, you do not usually have to deposit any money until you want to place a bet. Almost all sportsbooks have no minimum account balance, however some do have a minimum deposit and withdrawal amount. For example, when you deposit you may be required to deposit a minimum of £10 due to the charges companies have to pay for using credit or debit cards. Deposits are usually performed by debit card, and some sportsbooks accept credit card deposits, and most now accept electronic forms of deposit such as Moneybookers, Neteller, and Paypal. Information such as card numbers is usually provided when you actually want to deposit money, however some sportsbooks ask for this when you register. There are almost always no charges for deposits or withdrawals, and withdrawals are simply credited to the card you deposited money with.