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How to Choose an Online Bookmaker

While it’s become incredibly easy in recent years to sign up to virtually any online bookmaker, it’s important to make sure that the sites you play at offer the type of wagering you enjoy the most.

Every online bookmaker has its own strengths and weaknesses, and many of them try to tailor their offerings to specific types of punters.

For instance, some sites go above and beyond the call of duty to offer up the best odds on horse racing, while others will provide the ability to bet directly into American pools. Some sites will offer enhanced odds on horse racing and other sites will provide money back based on certain criteria.

Choosing your Type of Bookmaker

If you are looking for a general site, and don’t have any specific types of wagering in mind, it makes sense to stick to the big-name sites offering an all-things-to-all-people approach. On the plus side, it’s hard to go wrong: you’re guaranteed to get a good selection of markets and access to some solid deposit bonuses with all big European bookmakers.

Some punters are focused exclusively on getting the absolute best price at all times. If you’re looking for outstanding odds on mainstream events, like football and horse racing, you would do well to register at a betting exchange like Betfair. The open nature of a betting exchange puts the onus on players to offer prices superior to what you’ll find with a standard bookie.

Live betting is commonplace at nearly every major bookmaker these days, and all of the live betting formats work a little differently. They generally aren’t particularly complicated, but some are definitely easier to use than others.

Additionally, certain sites will delay your live bets for a few seconds just to make sure you aren’t capitalizing on inside information. Some sites offer a 10 second delay and some offer 15 so it’s worth poking around a bit if you like to bet live.

A number of sites actively target punters from specific geographic locations, and will generally go above and beyond the call of duty to provide extensive odds or markets and special promotions.

As an example, if you are an Englishman looking to have a bet on ice hockey you’ll probably find better odds, and more interesting markets, at a Scandinavian betting site. If you’re a fan of Irish point-to-point racing then you will find more options on an Irish-facing site.

Since the odds offered for the same bets on the same matches can vary from bookmaker to bookmaker, it’s typically a good idea to register at several online bookies, allowing you to float between them ensuring you always find the bet you want, at the best price.

If you’re a fan of betting on English football teams in international competition or the Champions League, try registering at a non-English site; where their prices will remain stronger due to the lower betting volume.

Our Bookmaker Suggestions

Our suggestion for a novice punter is to open up three different types of accounts:

  • A traditional bookmaker that offers plenty of markets and solid odds. Suggested: Bet365
  • An online betting exchange to ensure access to the best prices. Suggested: Betfair
  • A site that offers plenty of money-back specials and promotions. Suggested: William Hill

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