Choosing the best sportsbook is not an easy task, but it is worth investigating. Having an excellent bookmaker to operate with is a decisive factor in obtaining good results when betting. However, excellent our forecasts or our ability to identify trades or arbitrations may be, without a right house that offers us competitive odds and provides us with an effective platform to settle our positions, we can hardly be profitable.
However, not all bookmakers are the same or offer the same services or with the same quality. Although it is convenient to be registered in different bookmakers, unfortunately, we are human, and the number that we can monitor at the same time cannot be very high.
Following the evolution of live odds on more than 3 or 4 betting websites simultaneously becomes difficult, so it is advisable to choose carefully from the broad offer that will better facilitate our work and offer us better opportunities to win in the long run.
This article will review the primary factors and criteria to consider when selecting a bookmaker to operate with. These criteria are very diverse, and the weight that each of us gives will make us choose one or the other as the best online bookmaker, according to our needs and preferences. Anyway, a first list could include the following points:
Simply put, the relationship between odds and probability is the fundamental factor that governs bets’ profitability. The spread is nothing more than the global discrepancy between the probabilities of all the possible outcomes of a potential event. They define the margin or commission that the broker is applying to us when trading.
Therefore, we will be interested in the sites we work with to apply spreads as low as possible so that the odds they offer us are more favorable. In general, online bookmakers use spreads ranging between 5% and 8% for highly liquid events, such as football bets related to EPL matches. Between 7% and 10% for medium popularity matches those of the England Championship League. Other sports less followed and with tighter markets can suffer much higher margins and limitations on the bet.
Variety of Events and Types of Bets
In general, all bookmakers tend to coincide in offering bets on the most popular events within their catalogue, such as football bets on results of the most followed international leagues, tennis bets on the most prestigious tournaments, NBA basketball bets. or other international competitions, etc. However, when it comes to sports not so prevalent as cycling, darts, or hockey, things change. Some houses are very extensive and can offer up to 70 or 80 different sports, and others specialize in 15 or 20 different modalities.
Alternatively, even in most sports, there can be significant differences in the alternative markets offered, such as bets on the number of corners taken, scorers, yellow cards, goals scored, or fouls called. In general, these alternative markets are usually not very liquid. Still, they offer the possibility to the bettor of a level of specialization capable of competing with the big players’ statistical arsenal in the sector.
Thus, our selection of the bookmaker will largely depend on whether we will specialize in any of these minority sports or alternative markets or whether we intend to remain in very liquid markets followed by the public. If we are going to work practically on popular bets, we will have them at almost any operator.
Still, if we opt for specialization, it is advisable to choose the bookmaker with great care. As a general rule, a wide variety of sports and alternative markets shows the house’s commitment to these types of bets and is a good indicator of the depth and liquidity of the markets they offer.
Another indicator of the level is usually the diversity of handicaps and varied bets such as double chance, etc., that they offer. These types of options are often highly valued when designing complex betting strategies.
Bonuses and Promotions
The betting bonuses and promotions offered by online houses, properly used, can be an excellent means of improving our profitability and obtaining profits with relatively little effort. Each bookmaker uses its marketing and advertising budget differently, and there are houses more likely to offer promotions than others.
Following strategies to better take advantage of welcome bonuses, take advantage of periodic promotions and arbitrate promotion fees is part of the armor of resources that every good bettor must apply in their operations. And again, it goes without saying that being subscribed to multiple houses will facilitate access to these possibilities.
Live betting strategies are an excellent opportunity to make good betting profits due to the large variations in odds that occur throughout sporting events. Therefore, every bettor who is going to dedicate himself seriously to this field should consider the possibility of making live bets as fundamental.
Fortunately, this aspect is quite well covered by most internet bookmakers, as practically all offer this possibility. However, there are differences in the computer platform, response speed, and the system’s blocking times while important events occur in the matches.
Generally, operators put great effort into learning about all these relevant events as quickly as possible and avoid losing money by blocking the platform. Simultaneously, penalties, dangerous fouls, red cards are taken, or something is about to the scored goal. This is not an aspect in which experience with different houses should guide us in establishing our positions with the most agile ones and allowing us to enter and exit more easily.
Also, the user interface is a fundamental factor while placing direct bets. A click can be the difference between closing a coverage that assures us a profit or that does not get processed, and we lose our bet. Also, the clarity when presenting the information can make us win or lose those tenths of a second that sometimes allow us to place the bet, or that the system prevents us.
Many bookmakers offer the possibility of watching live the matches in which we are allowed to bet. For the recreational bettor, this can certainly be an incentive to become a bookmaker customer, but it is certainly not a critical factor. It is true that when it comes to betting live, following the event is practically mandatory, but fortunately, there are many alternative means to follow the events. Many footballs, tennis, and other sports matches are offered free-to-air and pay TVs to provide reasonable fees for more professionally engaged players.
Alternatively, the quality of streaming is not usually too high, and houses are interested in the signal reaching the user with a little delay to accommodate the fees when relevant events happen. And since you watch football matches online, it is not difficult to find football broadcasts on the Internet on many web pages – although the legality of these broadcasts is, in many cases, highly doubtful.
Consequently, many betting sites are ceasing to offer this possibility, reversing their budget to provide bigger and better promotions and bonuses to their users—to measure, in our opinion, the most sensible.
Payment and refund methods
Due to the unjustified, and lousy reputation that the world of gambling has historically had, the large electronic payment companies have looked relatively poorly at online bookmakers. For this reason, many of them have traditionally been reluctant to provide their services without demanding very high commissions from betting websites if they lend themselves to it.
This has caused that the most common means of payment and reimbursement are electronic wallets such as Neteller, or Skrill, which charge their services to the end customer, instead of the electronic commerce that has the payment gateway. However, some houses – especially the largest and dedicated to recreational bettors’ mass-market – allow transfer and refund of funds with a Master or Visa card.
This is an aspect often undervalued by recreational bettors but of vital importance in trading. The means of payment and reimbursement can mean an additional 1 or 2% commission when withdrawing our winnings. If we add these commissions to some spreads of the order of 7-8%, we will need to systematically find a value of 10% in all our bets not to lose money and exceed it to be profitable. You have to be an excellent forecaster to estimate the probabilities of events 10% better than a bookmaker in a sustained way over time.
Seriousness, prestige, and professionalism of the bookmaker
There are many online bookmakers. It is relatively easy to organize an internet platform to place bets, which has filled the operators’ network. Relatively low costs and the enormous open market facilitate this process, to which a not inconsiderable number of operators have joined who prioritize quick profit over long-term work.
Unfortunately, some of these operators display a level of professionalism and seriousness below what would be desirable, which is why negative experiences abound from users who have suffered unethical practices, even some that border on the crime of fraud. This is a great temptation for those seeking immediate earnings and little interest in making a name for themselves.
Indeed, betting does not have a good reputation in general. Still, in countries like England and Spain, this is a respected and respected profession, with runners whose history dates back to the 19th century.
Safe Gaming License
Generally, every country’s law requires betting houses to have a special license to operate within the national territory. The so-called Safe Gambling License, granted by the Ministry of Finance, must be displayed on the betting websites’ main page.
Although the Government’s intention is fundamentally tributary and aimed at forcing houses to pay taxes in the country, applying for this license forces them to comply with the regulation. Online houses that want to operate with a user must do so through a domain on a mandatory basis.
Although it is not a guarantee of seriousness and professionalism, this Safe Gaming License has had the consequence that the number of online operators has been consolidated. Their number has been reduced, and virtually the largest houses have the incredible brand image – and benefits.
Furthermore, this regulation has forced to have an identified representative on whom legal action can be taken, thus facilitating transparency and the possibility of filing claims. Of course, this is all positive from a consumer point of view. This reduction in the number of operators has been against the competition. It is no longer possible to find too many differences in the odds between the operators and the spreads fatten against the users’ profitability.
Graphical interface and ease of use
Having an environment that facilitates the operation is critical in the use of any computer application. Today’s users require clear user interfaces, clean, easily understood messages, and the necessary information at hand but avoiding overload with irrelevant data.
Luckily, the most prestigious bookmakers put a lot of effort into facilitating their websites’ usability since a pleasant user experience encourages the operation and prevents bettors from moving to other houses. In general, today’s interfaces are graphical, with clear visual information, and allow easy access to the most common options when betting.
Thus, selecting the best bookmaker will be a decision in which the subjective assessment that each of us gives to these factors must be taken into account. While some will prefer Betfair, Bet365, BetKing for trade, others will choose Bwin, 1xBet, Melbet, and Bet9ja for its live betting platform; others will be attracted to Sportybert, and WinnersGoldenBet work. No two bettors are the same, and the specialization that excellence demands will undoubtedly make some prefer some houses over others.