Online Gambling

Choosing the Right Sportsbook

Now that you know about the different types of bets you can make and how the odds are represented, you should be pretty much ready to get started making real bets online. Of course, in order to do that, you'll first have to find a bookmaker (or bookmakers) to place your bet(s) with.

There's a number of things you should take into consideration when looking at where to wager. We'll start with the most important one:

Make Sure Your Bookmaker is "Solid":

It's not hard to find fly-by-night operations that are all too good at taking money in, but not so good at paying it out. Be sure to find a sportsbook or exchange that has a good reputation, proper licensing, and a solid overall history with bettors. There's nothing worse than getting stiffed on a winning bet.

Some of the ways less-than-reputable sportsbooks will try to entice players include offering lines that are way off the mark when compared to other bookmakers, as well as offering new player promotions that sound too good to be true (and probably are). If you're unsure where to turn, We suggest you check out our top online sportsbooks for a quick list of safe and reliable places to bet.

Make Sure They Having Banking Facilities You Can Use:

Each sportsbook should have details on their site about banking options; that is, how you can make deposits and withdrawals from your account. Depending on where you live and what you'd prefer to use - some may be more accommodating than others. Make sure there are both deposit and withdrawal options that are available and convenient to you.

Make Sure They Offer The Bets You Want:

If you're making straight bets on football you shouldn't have a hard time finding action at pretty much any sportsbook or exchange, but not all will offer the same games, and not all will offer every type of bet. Check out the betting slips before signing up to make sure they've got what you're looking for.

Check Out Their Current Promotions:

Don't be shy about taking some of these places up on the bonuses they offer to new players. There's lots of free bets and other promotions out there to be taken advantage of. Decide how much you'll be depositing and wagering, try to find reputable sportsbooks with the best offers for that money, then enjoy the promotions. Just be sure to read the terms and conditions attached to any bonus first so you know all the rules and requirement beforehand.

Have Accounts With Multiple Books to Get The Best Odds:

Bookmakers set their own odds, which normally start off fairly close to one-another - but depending on who's betting on what and where, the lines can constantly shift before an event. This means you'll often find better odds with one sportsbook at any given time than another, and all other things being equal - you should naturally try to bet where you'll get the best odds on your bet.

Having multiple accounts open and at the ready with a variety of sportsbooks and exchanges allows you to compare the odds beforehand and take advantage of the best bet, wherever it might be at the time.

Signing up accounts:

Signing up an account with an online sportsbook is no different really than signing up at any site that requires personal details; choose to register as a new user (most online sportsbooks are browser based, so unlike online casinos there's no download required before this step), enter the required information (usually your name and address to start, followed by some financial details that are needed before you can transfer money to your account and start betting.) Many sites will require validation of your e-mail address before allowing you to log in as well. Be sure to use accurate details when registering an account to avoid any problems with financial transactions, whether depositing or cashing out a win.

To recap; while there's nothing wrong with using only a single sportsbook - there will normally be some natural variations in odds between different sportsbooks. For that reason, it's often wise to have accounts at more than one venue so you can 'shop around' for the best odds on any given bet.

Funding Your Account:

Unlike most game-orientated sites such as online casinos and poker rooms - sportsbooks don't normally have any type of 'free play' options available for patrons to test their luck. That means if you're going to place a bet it will have to be a real one - and you'll need to have some money in your account to cover the action.

There are a wide variety of methods for funding your account, though they will vary from sportsbook to sportsbook. Some of the most common include:

  • Credit Cards - For most bettors these are the most popular option for making deposits, they're quick, easy, and funding is instant. Depending on your location however, some credit card companies don't allow purchases at gambling venues.
  • Wire Transfers - Most 'regular' bettors don't have quick access to wire transfers, meaning a trip to the bank and some wait time before the wire makes it's way through. For those dealing with large sums of money however, this is the most popular option available, as it allows large sums to be moved, and with limited transfer costs (wires usually have a flat fee associated with each transfer, rather than a percentage of the amount.)
  • Checks - There's the obvious inconvenience of having to get the check to the sportsbook and clear it after that, but asides from that there are marginal costs associated with transferring the money, making it a viable option for those who are willing to plan ahead.
  • E-Wallets - From Neteller to eWalletExpress, there are a number of payment services that allow players to deposit cash to a 'virtual wallet' to be transferred to various merchants accepting that type of payment.

The above methods are the most popular options used, but everything other funding options may be available depending on the sportsbook you've chosen, from e-mail money transfers to Western Union.