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8 Tips for Choosing a Good Sportsbook


The popularity of online sports betting is undoubtedly on the rise, and although there aren’t as many sites to choose from as online casinos, the number available is growing and is still large enough to present players with a wide range of choices. This can make it hard to distinguish one site from another, so here are 8 tips on what to look for when you’re choosing a sportsbook.

1. More than just odds

A good sports book won’t just give you odds on races, fixtures and competitions – it will also give you all the form guides, stats and background information you need to be able place a wager with greater confidence. The best sites feature articles from expert tipsters, race and match replays, discussion forums and a whole range of other resources so that wherever you are in the world, you can be up to date with all the latest news from La Liga or Serie A, MLB or the NBA, as well as local leagues, when you come to make your bets.

Therefore, when you’re looking around for a site to bet with, check out the range and quality of their stats and resources, and choose a sportsbook that gives you plenty of supplementary info as well.

2. Get better odds

Online sports betting is a highly competitive market, and the growing number of players in the industry means that there are always good odds on offer, as well as a greater range of markets than you’re likely to find at a high street bookmaker. Also, the odds tend to be better online because sportsbooks are often a part of larger international operations and therefore they have more room to move when it comes to offering punters value.

The fact that there are now so many online portals and odds comparison websites available also means that it’s very simple to look at the odds being given by a large range of sites on the same event all at the same time, and so this drives competition between sports books, which ultimately means better odds for punters. So before you choose where you’re going to place a bet, take the time to make an odds comparison to see who consistently offers the best value.

3. Play online casino games

A number of leading online sports books also have associated casino sites, which means that you can use a single account for to bet on racing and sports, as well as playing online slots and other casino games. At sites like Betway, for instance, you can enjoy features such as in-play betting and a great range of international horse racing markets, as well as access to a huge selection of Microgaming slots and casino games all with the same username and password. Their sports betting and casino sites can also both be accessed via mobile devices as well.

If you enjoy online games as well as sports betting, it therefore makes sense to look for a site where you can do both conveniently, using the same account, either from your desktop or on the go via a smartphone or tablet, giving you great flexibility and variety.

4. A wide range of bets

One of the biggest draws in online sports betting is the huge range of sports and markets they offer. When you’re choosing a sportsbook, check out the various leagues, competitions and race meetings on which you can get a price, because if you follow a particular sport, or just like to have a punt in some less well-known markets, then a site’s local and international offerings can be a deciding factor in where you choose to play. Essentially, the best sportsbpoks enable you to bet on any match, anywhere in the world, at any time.

You should also be looking at the range of bets a site typically offers as well. There should be markets for single-event betting and parlay (or multi) bets, as well as prop and exotic bets. These should include whole season events, such as who will win a league, who will be top scorer, etc., as well as in-game events, such as who will score first, who’s leading at half time, etc.

A good sports betting site will also offer an extensive range of horse racing markets, covering all meetings from the UK and Ireland, as well as racing from the US and Australia on a regular basis. It’s relatively easy to compare the odds being offered on all race meetings by the different sports books, and so this also creates a more competitive market with better prices for the punter.

5. In-play betting

One of the most exciting developments that has come about through the increased popularity in online sports books is the rise of in-play betting. This is when the odds on offer change during the course of a match to reflect the state of the game, allowing you to place wagers as it progresses.

A variation of this is when you’ve placed a multi-bet and the last leg looks like letting you down; in this situation, some sites will offer you the opportunity to cash out early before the final leg comes to a conclusion. The payout is naturally reduced, but it does give you the chance to salvage something when your multi doesn’t look like coming off.

Both of these factors really enhance the sports betting experience, so when you’re comparing sports book sites, find out if in-play betting is offered and whether you have the option to cash out early on your accumulators.

6. Read the terms and conditions

We’ve all heard stories about errors being made by bookmakers costing punters big payout wins. One of the most famous cases was that of Cliff Bryant from Southampton, who believed he’d won £7.1 million on an accumulator bet, only to find that a mistake by the operator meant that his bet was void, and all he ended up with was £30. Oshane Grant from Bristol also lost out on more than £8000 on a multi-bet made during the 2014 World Cup qualifiers, again because of an error made by the bookmaker in the odds it gave him.

With online betting, this type of human error isn’t able to void a bet you believe you’ve made in good faith.

In addition, the terms and conditions of a sports book should be easily accessible from the site and it pays to read these before you choose where to play. Pay particular attention to the sections dealing with the conditions you have to meet before you can withdraw winnings, such as providing proof of identity and address, as well as the turnover requirements attached to any signup bonus you received, as these can sometimes lead to payouts being delayed or in some cases not made at all.

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