The UK's Top Online Bookies
We highlight the leading bookmakers in the UK and therefore simplify the choice of bookies for our readers. While every operator likes to claim they’re the best for sports betting, we have carefully reviewed each bookmaker to understand how they perform when it comes to range of markets, competitive odds, in-play betting, cash out, promotions, customer service and payment options.
You will see that for each bookmaker, we have outlined their best feature so you can understand whether this bookie makes any appeal to you on that front. You can also digest their sign-up offer and see whether or not this operator holds a UK gambling license. This is important information as a bookie who is regulated and licensed by the UK Gambling Commission means that they are adhering to the strictest possible gambling regulations.
How we Review the UK’s Best Betting Sites
It’s important for readers to understand that the team at bookmakers.co.uk place sports bets and therefore we understand what customers want from a UK bookmaker when there’s a particular football game or horse race taking place. We also appreciate that while a bookmaker free bet always goes down well, that has to be more substance in order for a punter to keep returning to a betting site.
We have compiled a list of categories which we feel are important when it comes to choosing the right bookmaker for you. Quite simply, all of the bookies featured on this site have to score well for the below sections and we’re confident that you’ll therefore be spoilt for choice when it comes to picking the right bookies.
Here are the bookmaker categories and why we think each one is important:
License – it’s vital that you bet with a bookmaker who holds a license and ideally this should be in the United Kingdom where the Gambling Commission only hand out licenses to operators who can prove that they offer a secure and fair betting service to customers.
Website – a bookmaker website has to perform strongly from a desktop and mobile betting point-of-view. This includes the structure of the site, the ease of navigation and how easy it is to place a bet. The page-loading speeds should be fast and enable customers to place wagers quickly.
Promotions & Offers – we love to see bookies run different promotions on a regular basis. Existing customer offers are important and punters value Accumulator Bonuses, Accumulator Insurance, Money Back Specials, Enhanced Odds, Price Boosts and Early Payouts.
Content & Stats – if a bookmaker can provide lots of content and statistics around a certain sporting event or football league, it allows customers to brush up on the latest information and team news before deciding which way to bet.
Sports variety – there are a huge number of sports being played at a professional level and a good bookmaker will leave no stone unturned to make sure that they cover as many as possible, especially with a good trading team.
Odds & Pricing – for many customers, it’s all about how competitive the odds are. The biggest prices will ensure the largest payout and it’s also the mark of a good bookmaker when they’re prepared to be aggressive about the favourite in a certain betting market.
Range of Markets – some bookies offer hundreds of betting markets when it comes to leading football matches and it’s brilliant for customers to choose the punting angle they want to take. Bookmakers can also differ in terms of type of market.
In-Play Betting – some customers exclusively place live In-Play bets and it’s therefore vital that a bookmaker not only offers this service but covers a variety of sporting events, with the prices needing to be competitive.
Bet Builder or Same Game Multi – a growing trend is for customers to create their own tailored bet and that involves picking different outcomes to happen during the same sporting event. You effectively create your own odds before choosing your stake.
Maximum Stake – customers hate to be limited to a low stake for a bet that they want to place. We therefore love to see bookies have a large maximum stake and stand bets for the biggest possible amounts.
Payment methods – it’s important for bookmakers to move with the times and understand the different payment options that customers want to use. There should not only be a nice variety of payment methods but also speedy ways to deposit and withdraw funds.
Live Streaming – it’s great to not only bet with a bookmaker but also enjoy watching the sporting event live. Many bookmakers have free live streaming and the only requirement is that you need a funded betting account in order to access the live streams on your screen.
Signup process – when signing up with a bookmaker, the process needs to be smooth and seamless. Customers want to get their account set up with a minimum of fuss and there should be an easy way for them to start betting once they have confirmed their ID and funded their account.
Security and Support – security is clearly paramount and a good bookie will have secure processes in place to protect customer data including payment details. There should also be customer support on hand through options like Live Chat to ensure that queries are quickly dealt with.
User Experience – the first time a customer visits the bookmaker is going to have a huge bearing on whether they return to place further bets. With this in mind, a bookie needs to help a customer quickly find a bet which interests them and be able to have a smooth bet slip process where the wager can go through seamlessly.
Cash Out Services – it’s clear that many punters like to enjoy full cash out or partial cash out as part of their overall betting service. It’s therefore not only important for a bookie to offer this but also create value cash out propositions so that customers feel as though they have a reasonable choice.
Accumulator Bonuses and Insurance – those customers who enjoy placing accumulators also like to land something extra on top of their winnings, while it’s even better if there’s a way of getting money back if their Acca is narrowly close to landing.
Money Back Specials – while we all enjoy winning our sports bets, second prize is getting our money back as cash or a free bet. Several bookies still run money back specials and it’s great to have some kind of insurance on sports bets.
Ante-Post Betting – several customers enjoy placing long-term bets and it’s great for a bookmaker to provide a wide range of betting options, enabling punters to get a run for their money at decent odds.
Loyalty Programme – loyalty should always be rewarded by a bookmaker and that might be in the form of a rewards programme or regularly issuing loyal customers with free sports bets on a timely basis.
How to Choose the Best Bookmaker for You
The first point to make is that you can choose more than one online bookmaker. If you’ve not yet opened a betting account with any bookie, then you should try to make a sensible decision on the operator that is going to suit you best from a betting point-of-view. However, it’s completely free to sign up a betting account and you always have the option to change your mind.
We would recommend going through the list of bookmakers on this page and potentially creating a shortlist of the ones that appeal to you the most. This will naturally include the free bet offer that is available with each bookie, although you should also weigh up how competitive the betting odds are for the sports that you enjoy the most.
If you are able to sign up with a handful of online bookmakers, you can take it in turns to place bets and work out for yourself which one is the right option for you. A customer wanting to place accumulators needs to be able to find a football coupon quickly and then populate their bet slip with the Acca selections before choosing their stake.
We would always advise that you read the free bet terms and conditions with each bookie to ensure you know exactly how to claim this sports betting bonus. It might be that you need to make a certain deposit or bet at particular odds in order to benefit from a free bet promotion. You should also work out which bookies have the best mobile betting service if you’re planning to place wagers through your device.
License and Legislation
It’s easy to overlook the legal information although if a customer goes ahead and places bets with either an unlicensed bookmaker or a bookie who holds a license in an overseas territory, there’s always the possibility that your funds won’t be completely protected, while there might also be an issue should you want to make a complaint to a certain operator.
The UK Gambling Commission is regarded as one of the leading regulatory bodies in the world when it comes online gambling and it’s difficult for operators to secure a license to trade to customers in the UK. Therefore, when you open an account with a bookmaker who has a UK gambling license, you can bet with confidence in the knowledge that they will have jumped through several hoops to obtain this certification.
It might be the case that a bookmaker holds licenses in other countries and that’s always a good sign although you should visit each operator website where any licensing information should be clearly displayed, usually near the foot of the homepage. There should also be an “About Us” section where you can find out general company information.
Compare Odds on a Number of Sports
How do you make sure you’re consistently getting the best odds for every betting selection that you make? After all, no bookmaker consistently has the biggest prices and you’ll find that some are stronger than others when it comes to certain sports and markets. It’s therefore imperative that you hold a number of bookmaker accounts to land the biggest value time and again.
Whether you’re betting on football, horse racing or any other sport, you want to make sure that the biggest price is being added to your bet slip. Comparing the latest prices is, therefore, a sensible way forward and you might be surprised that a particular bookie has such big odds about a particular selection.
Sometimes a bookmaker will have a Price Promise for a particular sport while there can also be things like Enhanced Odds, Price Boosts and Best Odds Guaranteed. All of these price-related promotions ensure that you can squeeze extra juice out of a betting selection and know that you’re potentially gaining an edge over the bookmaker in question.
Pick the Best Free Bets and Bonus Offers
It might be tempting to go for the biggest free bet available, although customers should always understand how they qualify for a free bet before they go ahead, sign up with a bookie and make that all-important first deposit. There might be a condition attached to the sort of payment method that you use, with some bookies not accepting e-wallet deposits when it comes to bonuses.
Similarly, new customers might have to make a first deposit for a certain stake in order to be eligible for a free bet and there might also be a rule in terms of the country in which the customer is based. When it comes to placing a qualifying bet, there might be a minimum odds requirement and the same might apply when you actually receive the free bet.
There are also different types of free bets and it might be the case that there are turnover requirements with some of these offers. This might mean you need to bet through a bonus free bet a certain number of times before a withdrawal can be made and you have to also establish whether you get winning as cash or in free bet bonuses.
Here are the main types of free bet that you can receive:
No Deposit Free Bet – getting a free bet without making a deposit might seem really generous but these type of bonuses are pretty rare and any bookie offering this might also hand out a small free bet stake and make the terms and conditions fairly strict.
Deposit Bonus – this is the most common type of free bet, although customers will need to not only make a deposit but usually place a first qualifying bet at a particular price. Once this first bet has been settled, the customer then receives a free bet and this is usually credited within 24 hours.
Bet Credits – some bookies issue bet credits to their customers and this allows a customer to effectively have a free betting balance alongside their real money balance. You often get a 100% deposit match and there’s the chance to keep any of the winnings that you make.
Reload Bonus – once you’ve become an existing customer, there is sometimes the chance to secure a free bet in the form of a reload bonus. A bookie might send you an email inviting you the chance to secure a deposit bonus providing you fund your account within a certain time parameter.
Price Boost – instead of a free bet, a bookie might offer a customer the chance to place a Price Boost and this is sometimes one of the favourites at inflated odds to win a sporting event. The winnings are usually paid out in free bets, but these offers represent the opportunity to get off to a winning start.
Bet Insurance/Cash Back – there are plenty of offers available to new customers where you will get money back if your first bet is on a losing selection. It essentially means you can place a risk-free wager on a sporting event of your choice and you have the win-win situation of either making a profit or getting cash back.
New UK Betting Sites
The UK betting market is highly competitive and you have online bookmakers dominating the landscape who have been around for decades. However, gaps in the market do sometimes open up to new operators and it’s always interesting when a new UK betting site makes a bold appeal to stand out from the crowd and attract new customers.
One of the most appealing factors about a new UK betting site is the fact that a punter can land a new betting bonus or free bet, especially if they have opened accounts with all the established firms and exhausted their options on this front. However, if you’re signing up with a new UK bookie, make sure they hold the relevant UK license.
We always like to see healthy competition and many newcomers have gone on to compete favourably and raise the bar so that all bookmakers follow suit with various innovations and promotions. Quite simply, if a new bookie ticks all the right boxes, then you’ll see them featured on our site.
Betting Tips to Beat the Bookmakers
The general aim for any betting customer is to beat the bookmaker on a long-term basis. While there’s no such thing as a dead cert, there’s always the chance to land a winning bet and secure a profit when it comes to the latest wager.
However, we realise that expert betting tips can go a long way to achieving the aim of making a profit and we have a writer in every corner when it comes to various sports and events. Our experts have been covering sports betting for a long time and have a vast amount of experience.
We will regularly publish the latest betting tips and share our information with readers. Please ensure that you have some kind of staking plan or bankroll management so you can bet sensibly and hopefully grab the value consistently.
- What Betting Sites Offer Free Bets? + −
Most reputable UK betting sites offer new customers free bets and they come in different shapes and sizes. You should always check the free bet terms and conditions in order to qualify for the betting bonus, with bookies sometimes providing more free bets to loyal customers. You usually get a free bet when you make a first deposit and place a first bet.
- Are Betting Sites Legal? + −
Yes, any betting site that is licensed by the UK Gambling Commission is completely legal. That means that any money deposited into your betting account is ring-fenced and that the bookies will abide by fair practice. You can legally place bets on any of the sporting events showcased on the site and you must agree to the overall terms and conditions when signing up.
- How Do I Place A Bet Online? + −
The first step is to open a bookmaker account. You enter personal details and then fund your account by depositing through one of the available payment options. Once your betting account is funded, then you can choose a betting selection and the relevant stake. You are then in a position to place a bet at the available odds and it will be processed.
- How Long Does It Take To Sign Up To Betting Sites? + −
It generally takes a few minutes to sign up an account at a betting site. You need to enter some personal information and ensure you have one of the deposit methods that are listed for that bookie. You might be required to provide additional information to make sure that the bookmaker knows their customers and that might be some kind of proof of ID.
- What Is The Best Betting App In The UK? + −
Many leading UK betting sites have apps available so that customers can download a betting app through iPhone or Android. You can compare the different bookmaker apps and work out which one is the best when it comes to signing in and choosing the right bets for you. When betting through a UK betting site on mobile, there’s often the chance to download the app.
- How Do I Use My Free Bet Offer? + −
Once your free bet has been credited, you should visit the bookmaker and decide on your betting selection. Once this has been added to your bet slip, you can then choose to use your free bet for that particular selection. Please note that free bet stakes are generally not included in any returns and this should be borne in mind when selecting the odds for your free bet offer.