Every day we get bombarded by dozens if not hundreds of extravagant remarks by well known and obscure bookmakers. Join today for a grand welcome bonus! Get the best odds here! Watch live streaming for free! Experience coupled with common sense has proven that there are many bad apples in the basket, especially if we take into account those illegitimate bookmakers that are trying to lure us in to get our money. Thankfully, not all betting sites are the same as a few selected bookies have drawn our attention by respecting our interests and by offering high odds or other cool features. Let’s look together at the best bookmakers for 2018.
Bookmakers with the highest odds
This is the essence of sports betting. Higher odds mean that you earn more money each time you win, this is why it’s essential to claim the highest ones possible. I took into account every aspect associated with odds.
- Commission percentage. The lower a bookie’s commission, the higher his odds will be.
- 0% rake events. Some bookies offer certain high profile matches with 0% commission.
- Enhanced odds offers. Enhanced odds, accumulator boosts and every other offer that raises our payout.
Obviously betting exchanges rule in this contest as their odds are commission free, given that they are set from individual bettors. This means that you can trade your bets on Betfair and Matchbook for 0% rake. Now if you’re more into traditional sportsbooks, then you should focus on three brands that have built their entire reputation based on high odds. 1xbet boasts an impressive 98.7% payout while Marathonbet follows closely by with 95.5%. Other honorable mentions include Pinnacle and Bethard at 98%, and Unibet, Betsson & Nordicbet at 97.5% payout.
To sum things up, my top three choices are:
- Betfair. High odds, endless markets, lay betting, UKGC regulated.
- Pinnacle. No limits on your bets, very high odds, withdrawals completed within minutes.
- 1XBet. The highest sportsbook odds, live streaming on almost every match, numerous payments.
Bookmakers with the best bonus offers
Once again I’m splitting this one based on different aspects, as other bookies will entice you with a high welcome bonus while others prefer offering a loyalty program.
Best bookmakers by welcome bonus
The “Yankees” rule here, as US targeting bookmakers can offer extremely high sign up offers due to their vast resources. The first place goes to Betonline with a $2,500 sign up offer with 5Dimes offering a smaller (but easier to rollover bonus) at $520. Bovada comes as third with a $250 welcome bonus that is sure to satisfy sports betting lovers in the USA. If you are a bit weary of the lack of reliability of these bookies, then 10bet is the best place for you, as they combine a £200 welcome bonus with a prestigious license from the UKGC. Other honorable mentions include Bet365, Bwin and b-Bets who offer a 100% Welcome Bonus up to €100 along with high odds and a wealth of different betting markets.
Best bookmakers by promotions
Although it is hard to do justice to each and every bookie, as a great number of them offer various casino promos or bingo bonuses. Given that I focus solely on sportsbooks I took the following aspects into account:
- Reload bonuses. Some bookies will offer a bonus on your 1st deposit of the month or on your 2nd & 3rd ever top ups.
- Cashback Events. Receive a part of your losses or even wagered money during a specific time period or tournament.
- Freebets. These are usually available on selected matches or tournaments. You will have to place a pre match bet to receive a live freebet or something similar.
At the top of my list is Nordicbet who offer a monthly cashback on 25% of your losses and also welcome the greatest sports events with matched freebets. For example, you can usually claim a €10 free bet at every Grand Slam Tournament or at the start of football competitions. Next up is Energybet with their amazing reload bonuses and a one-of-a-kind Europa League and Champions League freebet at the value of €10 on every matchday. An honorable mention has to go to Tipbet who until recently offered the Game of the Day promotion, that gave a cool freebet every day.
Best bookmakers by loyalty program
This one is a bit hard to check with a simple glance, as bookies will usually reward your preference after you have already signed up and made a couple of deposits. With the help of our team of experts we tried and tested each betting site and found the top 3 loyalty programs.
- Betsson. Quite possibly the best loyalty program. You earn loyalty points each time you place a bet (or play at the casino & poker) that can then be exchanged for rewards and cash prizes. What’s the best part? You will get frequent cashbacks even at the starting VIP level.
- Bwin. The former betandwin brand may have changed their name a decade back, but they remained true to their loyal players. Cashbacks, VIP points, tickets to football matches are only a few of the cool features found at the Bwin loyalty program.
- 1xbet. Although mainly known for their high odds and plethora of markets, 1xbet also offer frequent rewards and multiplayer competitions. What’s also bound to please every bettor is a unique birthday bonus that lets you earn a freebet.
Best bookmakers in terms of reliability
Always pick reliable betting sites
Quite possibly the most important factor when picking an online betting site, as reliability and safety cannot be offset by any welcome bonus or high odds. Needless to say, many bookies out there will promise you the sun and the stars in order to lure you into making a deposit and then refuse to give you your winnings. The three most important factors when choosing among the best online betting sites are its Regulatory Authority, Years in the industry and Comments from other players.
- Regulatory Authority. The United Kingdom Gambling Commission is arguably the most well respected regulator in the world due to its strict but fair licensing structure. Practically every betting site licensed in the UK can be expected to honour law abiding players. Other respected regulators include the Gibraltar Licensing Authority and the Malta Gaming Association.
- Years in the industry. A bookie that has managed to stay in the business for a long time is in most cases a good sign in terms of reliability. Especially bookmakers that have been operating for at least a decade can be expected to be trustworthy.
- Player comments. Last but not least, listen to the community. Before you decide to sign up make sure to see what other players have to say about their experience with a bookie, whether it is positive or negative. You can view player comments at our specially dedicated page or perform a simple google search.
Best withdrawal times & most payment methods
Let’s start this one a bit opposite. Suppose you’ve found a betting site that offers high odds and a nice welcome bonus, but won’t accept your preferred payment method. Not much use there, is it? Or let’s say you are wagering on a bookie that will take ages to payout your money, or worse, may require that you present a ton of papers before you can make a withdrawal. There’s absolutely no use bothering with such scam bookmakers.
Thankfully, every bookie on my list is tried and tested in terms of withdrawal times, although I was positively impressed by Goalbet and Pinnacle, as I received my payouts within a few minutes. Concerning payment methods, Pinnacle is once again high on my preference, although Marathonbet and 1xbet’s recent inclusion of Bitcoin is certain to allow more players to join.
Best bookmakers for live betting
Although this might be a bit arbitrary, as the perfect live betting experience differs among punters, I narrowed the most important points down to three. Live streaming, high odds, variety of markets. Bet365 is the absolute king here with countless markets and high definition live streaming from many leagues and sports. 1xbet is following closely by as they surpass many other bookies when it comes to live streaming. The only issue is that a few markets have betting limits where your stake can’t surpass a certain amount.
Best bookmakers for football
This one’s a bit hard to accurately define, as a player may like or dislike a specific bookie for trivial reasons. The vast majority of players prefer Bet365 though due to their many markets, high odds and quantity of asian handicap lines. More professional bettors obviously enjoy trading on Betfair, as it offers the highest possible odds and virtually every soccer competition from around the world.
Best bookmakers for basketball
This one’s a bit more refined as there as some betting sites that focus almost entirely on basketball. A simple odds comparison among our reviewed bookies has shown that Betonline, 24Bettle and Pinnacle rule in the top three. 1xbet, Marathonbet and 18bet follow closely by and also offer top notch live streaming on in-play games.
Best bookmakers for tennis
Tennis is considered as the pro’s choice and it’s no surprise many bookies are trying to limit their losses by placing insane commissions on tennis matches. Odds wise, Beftair and Matchbook are your best choice due to their rake absence. If you are more into traditional bookies though, you can pay a visit at Novibet or Dafabet who offer above average odds combined with quite a few markets.
Best bookmakers for horse racing
Horse races are not only a Brit’s choice nowadays as the elegant sport has managed to earn the respect of other regions in the world as well. Regardless, British bookies remain at the top of their game when it comes to horses as they offer the most markets with quite profitable odds. Bet365, William Hill and BetVictor are amazing choices for your horse racing bets, but 888Sport takes the cake with countless races, good odds and high definition live streaming starting. Just imagine watching the Royal Ascot live while backing your favorite horse to win the day.
Best bookmakers for american sports
The name says it all. American sports attract US bettors, meaning that those betting sites that mainly attract north American punters offer the most markets. This means that 5Dimes, Intertops, Bovada and Betonline usually offer many lines and promos for American Football, MLS, NBA and NHL. What may be more interesting though, is that 888Sport is legally licensed in New Jersey, meaning that you can place your American Sports bets on a safe and secure platform.
Before I wrap things up, I want to thank every member of our community for helping me create this guide, especially those visitors who took the time to complete our live chat survey. Your help has been invaluable. Now to cut to the chase, I took the following aspects into account:
- High payout
- Fast withdrawals
- Variety of markets
- Mobile compatibility
- Good welcome bonus
- Many payment methods
Yours and my first choice is obviously Bet365, as the British bookie is justifiably considered the best betting site in the world. High odds, 100% reliable with virtually no complaints from millions of punters. Betfair is following closely, as during their 20 year journey in online sports betting they have remained the prime destination of professional punters. What’s more, if you prefer betting to trading, you can join their sportsbook with a cool 100% up to €100 welcome bonus. Next is Bwin with their cool layout, high odds, many payment methods and various games besides simply sports betting. Players who register via bookmakers.bet are eligible for a unique welcome bonus designed specifically for our members.
1xbet is the king of sportsbook odds with a 98.7% payout and also hosts the most deposit methods, including many regional ones. If you feel like giving them a shot remember to fill in the promo code 1x_1632 for a one-of-a-kind 100% up to €130 sign up offer. 888Sport is another British bookie that has stood the test of time with their ever expanding markets and cool promos. Their recent inclusion of local payment methods like Boleto, Qiwi, Webmoney and others is sure to attract many new bettors. A lesser known bookie that surprised us is b-Bets who seem to focus on football and basketball punters. They have many daily offers, especially on their casino and despite being relatively new, they are well respected in the betting community.
~ Written & Edited by Eric Fronden, bookmakers.bet Editor in Chief & Head of Content
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