The world of sports betting is a fun and exciting one, with hundreds of gambling websites looking to satisfy your gambling needs at any given time. The online gambling industry is enjoying a period of unprecedented growth and the markets are as active as they have ever been. As a result, the sports betting scene is also thriving and operators are offering sports bets left and right.
Entering the sports betting scene is not difficult at all but there are a number of things that you need to become familiar with before you embark on this journey. For your convenience, we have put together this guide, covering just about every important piece of information about sports betting, including bet types, odds types, payment services, promotions, and examples of quality bookmaker websites.
Best Sports Betting Sites
Bovada$25050% Match Bonus
Join Bovada, make your first deposit and instantly receive a 50% Sports Welcome Bonus up to $250.Bovada is one of the most prominent names in the online gambling industry. This is one of the few gambling brands to accept customers from the United States and its sportsbook section offers betting on the most popular sporting events from all over the world. With multiple promotions awaiting you, there is no reason that you should not join Bovada.
- Brand with flawless reputation
- Online since 1994
- Great event coverage
- Superb in-play odds
- Fully mobile compatible
Intertops$1,00050% Sign Up Bonus
The bonus and the deposit need to be rolled over 4x at min. odds of -200 (1.5) before a payout is possible Max. $200 of every bet count towards the rollover.Intertops has been in the online gambling business for more than 20 years and throughout all that time has not failed to provide an top-quality service. Intertops is the sportsbook of choice for thousands of punters worldwide and it gives you the opportunity to claim some worthwhile promotions.
- Great odds
- Multiple bonuses
- Superb customer support
- Over 20 years online
- Trusted US-friendly brand
MyBookie$1,000 Bonus100% Welcome Bonus
A MINIMUM deposit of $100 is required to qualify for the 50% bonus. All deposits lower than $100 will receive a 25% bonus. The maximum bonus per deposit is $1,000. All rollover requirements must be met prior to requesting a payout.MyBookie is one of your best options when it comes to placing bets on your favorite sports team. This gambling website has been online since 2014 and has made a lot of progress since then. Additionally, it also accepts customers from the United States, making it an instant hit.
- Superb on mobile phones
- Great loyalty promotions
- All US sports covered
- Prompt customer support
- Trustworthy brand
BetNow$500100% 1st Deposit Bonus
BetNow is one of the newer online sportsbooks, only opening for business in 2016. However, despite its short existence, it is clear that this gambling website is operated by experienced veterans of the industry. Here you will be treated to a whole slew of promotional offers and a wide variety of betting markets.
- Excellent bonus terms
- Superb mobile app
- Enchanced odds for some events
- Wide variety of markets
- Fast-growing brand
5Dimes$20050% Initial Deposit Bonus
10 bonuses x $10 initially plus $10 bonus each time you bet $200 or more on sports. Bonuses are valid for 30 days.5Dimes has mostly remained unrivalled in all the years that it has been active. Based out of Costa Rica, this sportsbook has always aimed at delivering top-notch service to its customers, while also spoiling them with worthwhile promotions and bonuses.
- Prompt withdrawals
- Betting industry veteran
- Extra deposit bonuses
- Second-to-none odds
- Industry veterans
New customers only. 18+, BeGambleAware.org. Minimum deposit $10. Place any sportsbook bet (except Racing) of $20+ at minimum odds of 1.40 (2/5) to receive your free bets and casino bonus. 35x wagering on casino bonus. Free bet will expire 7 days after opt in. $20 Casino bonus will expire after 30 days of opt-in.Created by a team of sports-betting fans, Unibet Sports brings you a quality experience via a clean, yet sophisticated interface. The online sportsbook offers you more than 4,000 fixtures at competitive odds along with a comprehensive live-streaming service that covers all major leagues in the world. Mobile betting is made possible with two intuitive dedicated apps available for a free download so that punters never miss out the betting action.
- Superb native apps for iOS and Android
- Market diversity and great odds for all major sporting events
- A broad range of live-betting markets
- Live streaming of more than 40,000 events each year
- Clean, easy-to-use interface
New UK and Ireland customers only. Min deposit $10. First deposit matched $30. 1x wagering at odds of 1.75+ to unlock free bet. Credit/Debit card and PayPal deposits only. Full terms apply.Betway is a highly esteemed betting site that went online in 2006. Its reputation is consolidated by its UK and Malta licenses. The operator is also known for its sponsorship of major football club West Ham United. Betway customers are provided with a great selection of betting markets, friendly customer support, and a broad range of deposit and withdrawal options. The operator also accommodates betting on the go with intuitive apps for iOS and Android.
- Over 10 years of experience
- High betting limits
- Prompt and professional support service
- Great odds for more than 30 sports
- Available in 11 languages
bet365Up to $100In Bet Credits
Open Account Offer: Up to $100 in Bet Credits for new customers at bet365. Min deposit $5 and 1x settled bet requirement to release Bet Credits. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.Bet365 is one of the names most of the gambling enthusiasts are familiar with. Founded in 2000, bet365 has grown to one of the most well-liked online betting companies as currently, it enjoys a user base of more than 35 million gamblers. The operator is praised for the quality service it delivers as it allows punters to wager on a host of fan-favorite sports, to make use of several bountiful bonuses, and to enjoy great odds.
- Broad experience on the online gaming scene
- Several bonuses and promotions
- Responsive customer support
- Apps for iOS and Android users
- Advantageous odds
Sign up today and make a $10 deposit and bet with a minimum odds of 4/5 and get a $10 Free Bet to use in our sportsbook when you make your first $10 deposit. You can use your $10 Free Bet to bet on all your favourite sports and enjoy hundreds of games from around the world. Offer expires 14 days after registration. Free Bet Terms and Conditions apply.Launched back in 2010, ComeOn has quickly become one of the best web-based sportsbooks. At ComeOn, punters are spoiled for choice as the operator enables them to wager on almost every imaginable sport, player, or team. Not to mention the fact that patrons of the bookie will enjoy top odds and can benefit from a broad variety of promotional offers.
- Covers a nice range of betting markets
- Accepts numerous prompt and safe payment services
- Reliable gaming operator
- Excellent customer care
- Fully mobile-responsive website
MansionBet$5050% Match Bonus
New customers only. Min Deposit $10. Deposit & bonus amount must be wagered 6 times (min odds 4/5) prior to withdrawing bonus funds and any winnings. Wins from real money bets withdrawable at any time. Bonus on sports betting only. T&Cs apply.MansionBet prides itself on being one of the most frequented sports betting platforms available on the web. The operator has a lot to offer when it comes to betting markets as it has gone all out in order to cover some of the most well-loved sports and sporting events on a global scale. Best of all, punters who sign up for an account at MansionBet can be sure that the atmosphere in which they are placing their bets is fair and secure.
- Vast selection of markets
- Dedicated customer support department
- Mobile responsive website
- In-play betting
- Fast deposit and withdrawal times
William Hill$30Free Bets
New online customers only, min £10/€10/$10 stake, win only, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 3 X £10/€10/$10, 30 day expiry, free bet/payment method/player/country restrictions apply.William Hill is among the most trusted sportsbooks on the internet, providing bettors with an array of sporting events from the world's biggest leagues. The online sportsbook offers some of the best odds for major markets along with prompt payments, decent promotions, and full mobile compatibility for those interested in making punts on the go.
- A long-standing brand that started back in 1934
- A trusted sportsbook licensed in the UK and Gibraltar
- Decent bonuses with clear-cut terms and conditions
- A wide range of secure banking solutions
- Coverage of over 30 sports
Royal Panda$20Free Bet
18+, first deposit only, T&Cs apply. Opt-in required. Deposits with Skrill, PayPal, Neteller and Paysafecard not eligible. Casino bonus: min. $10, max. $100. Bonus/free spins winnings wagering requirement: x35. Max. bonus bet: $5, can vary. Free sports bet: min. deposit and stake $20 (min. odds 2.0). Credited after all qualifying bets settled. begambleaware.orgRoyal Panda is a great virtual sportsbook for both UK bettors and international sports fans. It offers odds on some of the most popular sporting events around the world. Thanks to its mobile application, Royal Panda allows to sporting aficionados to make bets on their favorite sports even while on the go.
- A trustworthy betting site
- Different betting markets covering popular sports
- Live Calendar which shows the upcoming events
- Punters can utilize commonly used and convenient payment solutions
- Easy to contact Customer Support
New customers only. Max one $10 free bet. Qualifying bets must be placed at odds of 2.0 (1/1) or greater, paid as bonus tokens with min odds reg. T&C Apply.Sporting aficionados from different parts of the world will have the chance to enjoy a fruitful and exciting betting experience at Karamba. The virtual sportsbook provides a plethora of betting options which cover major sporting events. This way punters can choose to place money on their favorite team, game or player. With the help of the promotions that Karamba is offering, punters can make everyone’s betting a lot more fruitful.
- Live betting on numerous sports
- Betting markets covering major sporting events
- The website maintains high levels of security
- Punters can make use of great promotions
- Managing one’s bankroll is extremely easy
Bet $10 get a $10 Accumulator Bet. T&Cs apply. New players only. The qualifying bets to claim the Bet must have minimum odds of 3/1 (4.00) or higher before triggering free bets. 18+. BeGambleAware.orgIt is extremely easy to have fun at Mr Green as this interactive bookmaker provides a top-notch betting experience. With a myriad of betting markets, punters enjoy the opportunity to bet on some of the most popular sports around the world. Thanks to the promotions that Mr Green offers, bettors can enjoy enhanced odds and improve their chances of landing great payouts.
- Live betting
- Best odds on UK and Irish racing
- Mr Green accepts secure and easy-to-use payment methods
- Offers a dedicated mobile app
- Provides several contact options
New customers only. Min deposit $10. Max bonus 100% up to $75. Deposit and bonus must be wagered 10x at minimum 1.50 odds. Bonus valid for 30 days. Payment methods and country restrictions apply. T&C apply.Betsson is a sportsbook which strives to offer punters a wonderful betting experience online. Thanks to the wide range of betting markets that this bookmaker is offering, bettors have the chance to choose the sport or team they enjoy the most and place their money on them. Members of Betsson have plenty of various options to boost their betting balance or withdraw their winnings in a fast and secure manner.
- Numerous betting markets
- In-Play betting
- Accepts various hassle-free and safe payment methods
- Properly regulated virtual sportsbook
- Great Customer Support
18+. Minimum deposit $10. Only real money wagering with minimum 1.80 odds qualifies for the promotion. Bonus bet stake is not included in any winnings and winnings are paid in cash. Bonus bets are valid for 7 days and cannot be split. Additional T&C apply.RedBet is one of the prime sports betting websites that you will find on the Internet. This brand has been online since the early 2000s and in that time has developed to become a top gambling venue for punters from all over the globe. With a wide range of betting markets and a great Welcome Bonus, you will have a wonderful time placing bets on your favorite sports.
- More than a decade of experience
- Excellent selection of betting markets
- Data encrypted by SSL software
- Unlimited withdrawals with bank transfers
- 24/7 customer support
New customers only – Minimum deposit of $10 using deposit code 30F - A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least $10 placed on any sports market - Minimum odds of 1/2 (1.5) - Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days - Free bet stakes not included in returns - Deposit balance is available for withdrawal at any time. General deposit method & withdrawal restrictions apply & full T&C’s applyOwned and operated by Cassava Enterprises, 888Sport comes to us courtesy of a known and respected operator. At 888sport, you will have the opportunity to place bets on your favorite teams and players in a moment’s notice. A number of excellent promotions will become available to you once you join the sportsbook, giving you a leg up in your betting sessions.
- In-Play betting
- Long history in the gambling industry
- Dozens of payment solutions supported
- Wide range of sports
- Good mobile support
Betsafe offers regular enhanced odds and boosted accumulator bets to its customers. To take part in these promotions check regularly their website and your email if you already have a registration.One of the most respected gambling websites on the Internet, Betsafe stands miles ahead most of the competition. With wide support for the most popular sports leagues, you will be able to bet on all of the major sporting events with complete ease.
- Trusted and legitimate website
- Wide range of payment services and currencies
- Great customer support 24/7
- Dozens of betting markets
- Licensed by the MGA and UKGC
Matched free bet up to $25 / Dep. & Bet $10 or more / Single bet only on any sport / Min. odds of 1/2 to qualify / T&C apply.Having an extensive experience in the iGaming business, NetBet is a wonderful sportsbook for fans of various popular sports. It provides some of the best odds on major sporting events and thanks to the promotions it has in store, NetBet gives punters a more fruitful and exciting experience. Even if you are constantly on the move, you will be able to make bets with the help of the mobile app of NetBet.
- A reliable virtual sportsbook
- Offers various promotions
- Provides a dedicated mobile application
- Supports various payment options
- Presents punters with a wide range of betting options
New customers only. Get instant $5 for each $50 wagered on sports for the first 7 days. Can be triggered up to 10 times. Odds of 1.80 or higher. Wager-free bonus. T&C apply.If you have a favorite sport, team or player, you can be sure that you will be able to bet on them when you join Bethard. This interactive sportsbook offers a wide range of betting markets covering major sporting events. There is also the option to make bets while on the go via the app of Bethard. If punters wish to make their virtual betting even more fruitful, they can always use the bountiful promotions of the bookmaker.
- A plethora of betting options
- Live betting
- Punters can bet via the mobile app of Bethard
- Bettors can improve their winning chances with the help of promotions
- Making deposits and cashing out winnings is extremely easy
Betting by Country
Of course, before you can actually get down to betting on sporting events you must first understand what each bet stands for and how it works. Any reputable sportsbook will support at least a dozen different betting options, each with its own set of win conditions.
Outright bets are the most common and most basic type of bet there is. When you place an Outright bet, you wager on which team will win the event. A bet on the favored team will have a worse payout ratio than a bet on the underdog. For example:
Team A: 2/1
Team B: ½
The Under/Over markets are some of the most active on the Internet and they are supported for a wide range of sports. Whenever you place an Under or Over bet, you essentially bet on whether or not something will exceed a certain number. For example, you can be on the total number of points in a basketball game and the bet will look something like this:
Over 100.5: 2/1
Under 100.5: ½
Whenever you deal with Under/Over wagers you will notice that you are never presented with whole numbers. The 0.5 is added at the end to avoid a situation where that exact number is the final one and the confusion that comes with it.
Parlay is a complex betting option where you combine multiple smaller bets to form a large one. The reason why you would choose to combine them is that you stand to win much more money from a single parlay bet then from multiple singles. The trick is that all parts of your Parlay have to be successful for you to win the Parlay. So even if you only lose 1 in 4 parts of a Parlay, it would be the same as losing all 4 parts.
Handicap bets are quite diverse and risky, but also have the potential to bring in major profits if you know what you are doing. Basically, whenever you place a Handicap bet you are awarding or deduction points from a particular team for the purposes of the bet. For example, this is a Handicap bet on a soccer game:
Team A (-1) 2/1 | Team B (+1) 1.5/1
Team A (-2) 2.5/1 | Team B (+2) 1.3/1
Team A (-3) 5/1 | Team B (+3) 1.1/1
So, in this scenario Team A is favored to win over Team B. Therefore, for the purposes of the bet, the sportsbook gives you the option to reduce the points of Team A or to increase the points of Team B. After you hypothetical prognosis is applied, if your team wins you also win the bet. The more points that you add to a particular team the more conservative the odds, while the more points that you remove from a team, the more that you stand to win.
Play-In is a betting service supported by the most worthwhile sportsbooks on the Internet. Basically, it allows you to place and cash out bets on a sporting event while it is still being played. A Play-In system offers dynamic odds for a match, based on the current state of the game. So if Team A is doing well in the 5th minute, the sportsbook will offer attractive odds on Team B bets. However, if Team B does turn things around in the 10th minute, then the opposite will happen. While the odds offered to change often, once you have placed a bet the odds will remain locked in until it is resolved. You can cash out a wager before the event concludes but that will come at a reduced payout.
The betting odds are one of the most important aspects of online betting. After all, before you can actually get down to placing bets, you first need to understand the odds and the payout for betting on a particular outcome. In the world of online gambling, there are generally three types of odds that you will encounter and each comes with its own way of presenting the events.
Fractional Odds are primarily used in the United Kingdom but sportsbook operators have also implemented them in their websites. Fractional odds are written with a hyphen or a slash and are read as ‘X to Y’. For example:
Team A: 2-1 or 2/1
Team B: 2-3 or 2/3
The fractional odds only denote the amount that you stand to win when placing this bet. More specifically, a bet $100 on Team A will earn you $200 in winnings for a net balance of $300.
Decimal odds are the prefered type mostly in continental Europe and are usually the favorite when it comes to online sportsbooks. Unlike their fractional counterparts, the decimal odds are written with a colon ( : ). For example:
Team A: 2:1
Team B: 1.3:1
They denote the net sum that you will receive when the bet is settled. More specifically, if you place $100 on Team A, you will receive $200, of which $100 will be profit and $100 – your original bet.
American Odds are somewhat different from the other two types but still serve a similar purpose. They look like this:
Team A: +200
Team B: -300
As you can see, there are symbols before the numbers. The plus (+) symbol indicates the underdog in the matchup and signifies the amount that you stand to win from a $100 bet. On the other hand, the minus (-) signals that this team is favored to win and the number after it is what you will have to wager to win $100.
Bonuses and Promotions Explained
Bonuses and promotions have become an integral part of the online gambling experience and the sports betting scene is ripe with them. These are incentives for punters to register with a particular gambling website over another and provide them with some form of value. This usually comes in the form of bonus money and free bets.
Bonus money can be used to place bets on sporting events of your choice but there is a catch. Before you can withdraw the bonus cash you have to place a certain amount of it in wagers. This is referred to as the wagering or turnover requirement. For sportsbook bonuses, the number of times you have to wager your bonus usually ranges between 3 and 10 times, but these vary widely between the different sportsbooks. There are also usually restrictions on how much you can bet at once and minimum odds at which you have to place your bet for it to count towards the requirement.
Free bets are another promotional incentive available at modern online sportsbooks. They are quite simple to grasp and are a great way for punters to get a foot in the door. Basically, the sportsbook allows the punter to place a free bet of a predetermined value. If they lose the bet, their bankrolls remain intact. However, if they win the bet, the winnings are added to their balance as bonus funds. Bonus funds are subject to a number of conditions before they can be withdrawn.
Online gambling happens exclusively on the Internet and since there is no way for a person to use physical cash there, we have to utilize an online payment service. There are multiple of these supported by the online gambling industry and the most popular ones are available at just about every sportsbook.
Credit cards are some of the most used payment services on the Internet and in the online gambling industry, as well. They allow for instant deposits and, depending on the sportsbook, timely withdrawals. Many gamblers prefer to use their Visa or MasterCard to fund their online bankroll as it is easy and convenient. The process takes a few short seconds and you can get to placing your bets.
The electronic wallet, or eWallet, has become a quite popular service in recent years and it is becoming widely supported by online gambling websites. With an eWallet, punters may make quick and convenient deposits, while also receiving the benefit of the fastest withdrawals in the industry. Indeed, eWallets are the prefered payment service of millions of gamblers all over the world and they are accepted almost universally. Popular services include Skrill, Neteller, PayPal, EntroPay and more.
Traditional banking services are also in high demand and if you do not feel like using an online payment method, many sportsbooks will allow you to fund your bankroll via bank transfer. Granted, this method of payment is quite slow, taking anywhere between 1 and 5 business days for a transaction to clear and withdrawals are no quicker either. Still, they are secure and reliable and just about every sportsbook supports them.
Cryptocurrencies are on the rise, especially in an age where the cost of privacy is high. Cryptocurrencies are online payment services which allow for anonymous transactions at incredibly high speeds. The typical Bitcoin payment takes only a few minutes to process on a normal day, with other similar services being even faster. Among online sportsbooks, Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency, though particular websites also support the likes of Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash and more.
Hallmarks of a Good Sports Betting Website
There are many things to look out for when choosing an online gambling website. For starters, you need to have a look at the customer service that the sportsbook can offer you. There will probably come a time when you will need to have something explained to you or another issue arises. In such events, you need to know that there is someone out there that you can rely on. Top-tier gambling websites will have support staff on standby 24/7 to ensure that you have the best possible experience. A live chat system is usually a telltale sign that a sportsbook has good customer service.
Additionally, you also should look out for some form of government licensing. Online gambling can be a shady business if you have the unfortune to come upon an unscrupulous operator. This is why it is prudent to first look at the certification the website has before you register. A government license indicates that a website is a legitimate business and that it can provide a fair and secure gambling experience. Generally, the most trustworthy websites are licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority, the United Kingdom Gambling Commission, the Government of Curacao, and the Kahnawake Gaming Commission.