Start betting on your favourite sports at top-rated online sportsbooks. All our recommended sites offer great odds on a range of sports, including horse racing, football and tennis. We’ll show you how these top UK betting sites compare in terms of bonuses, odds, payouts, security and more. We’ll also take you through the fundamentals of online sports betting, covering everything from choosing your bet type to calculating your winnings.
British betting fans enjoy gambling on a huge variety of sports in 2020, but there are some that always prove particularly popular online.
Horse Racing Betting
To say that football betting is popular in the UK would be an understatement. With many local clubs and recurring European and World Cup Competitions, online sportsbooks see a lot of action from fans hoping to place a winning bet on their favourite teams.
Horse Racing Betting
No sport has a richer betting heritage than horse racing. British punters have been piling into classic events like the Epsom Derby or St Leger for centuries! Away from elite thoroughbred flat horse racing, the National Hunt scene also attracts huge betting interest - especially the Cheltenham Festival and Grand National at Aintree.
UK bettors love Wimbledon, but the grass court Grand Slam is just the tip of the iceberg these days. A full betting service is available on all the other majors, as well as ATP and WTA Tours right through from junior challengers to the Tour Finals.
Golf has been a popular sport for centuries in the UK, so it’s no surprise that this also applies in online betting. With numerous competitions and tournaments taking place all around the world, you’ll find plenty of golf events to bet on year-round.
The UK is the home of darts as we know it today and the popularity of darts betting is on the up. Fans enjoy numerous professional and amateur tournaments throughout the year, culminating in the World Championships at the famous Alexandra Palace.
The Advantages of Sports Betting Online
While bookies do still have a presence on the UK high street, more and more punters are now placing their bets online. Below, we’ve picked out a few key factors to explain the ever-growing popularity of online sports betting.
You’ll receive a welcome bonus when you register for an online sportsbook.
Most betting sites will allow some bets to be cashed out early.
Many online exclusive promotions can boost winnings or give extra bonuses not available in betting shops.
The range of events available to bet on is huge, with options from all over the world.
You can place your bets anywhere, anytime, as long as you have an internet connection.
You are truly spoilt for choice when it comes to online betting in the UK, but how do you sift through the huge number of sites out there? To separate the best sports betting sites from the merely average, our team follows a stringent reviewing process, with a focus on the categories listed below.
Range of Sports, Market and Bet Types
The bigger the range of sports you can bet on, the better. It’s important that a sportsbook can cater for a large audience and give bettors the opportunity to wager on all their favourite events. In addition to that, a top betting website will provide various betting options and markets, allowing you to mix up the way you bet depending on the events you’re most interested in.
Bonuses & Promotions
You can expect to receive some form of welcome bonus or free bet offer when joining any sportsbook. We carefully consider the terms and conditions and only recommend those that are truly worth claiming, with clear and straightforward wagering requirements. The best sportsbooks also continue to reward their customers’ loyalty after registration with further betting offers and promotions.
Online bookmakers in the UK score highly when they accept a mix of traditional and more modern options for deposits and withdrawals, such as PayPal or other e-wallet services. It’s essential that these payment methods are all secure, and that both deposits and withdrawals are processed quickly by the sportsbook.
Security & Customer Support
Betting in a safe environment is essential. With any online bookie, we take testing the site security and customer service very seriously. Each site we’ve reviewed has undergone extensive background checks to ensure it is certified and fully licensed by a reputable authority. We’ve also tested the customer support ourselves, to see that a range of contact methods are offered, and that staff are friendly and available to help.
Competitive Odds and Additional Features
You want to get the best deal, so it’s crucial to know how a sportsbook’s odds fare against other similar sites. Other features we also consider are the availability of data to help you decide which are the best bets to place and events streaming once you’ve wagered.
With mobile betting more popular than ever, online sportsbooks simply cannot overlook mobile optimisation. Whether it’s a downloadable betting app or a mobile-optimised website accessible from a browser, we want to see that sportsbooks have made their platforms easy to use across multiple devices, including tablets and mobile phones, on a variety of operating systems.
Rating the Site
If a sportsbook scores highly in each of these categories, then it’ll find its way to our list of the best betting sites for the UK. Our review team regularly update the scores and information about the sites we assess to make sure they are still among the top bookmakers.
When using different sportsbooks, you may have the option to toggle the odds format. This is simply a matter of personal preference in most cases, but your options may also depend on the type of sport you’re betting on. Broadly speaking, you’ll encounter one of the three types of sports betting odds listed below. If you’d like to know more about the different odds formats, visit our sports betting odds page.
The typical format you’ll find at UK sportsbooks is odds displayed as a fraction. For example, if you place a £1 bet at odds of 3/1, then you receive £3 winnings plus your £1 stake back, which is a total return of £4. Fractional odds can also be far more complex than that, for example 15/8, 100/30 or 6/5.
Continental Europe is where decimal odds developed. These are straight numbers expressed as decimals, usually to two decimal places. You’ll also find these at online betting exchanges where you bet against other punters, taking or laying betting prices with one another instead of the fixed odds on a sportsbook. Working through the previous fractional example of 3/1, converting it to decimal, the price expressed this way would be 4.00. To figure out how much you could potentially win, multiply your stake by the odds displayed.
Moneyline Odds (American Odds)
Across the Atlantic in North America, moneyline odds are favoured. These are usually expressed as positive or negative numbers on a range of popular American sports including baseball, basketball and ice hockey. Moneyline odds show you the profit associated with a wager, so don’t forget to add your original stake (just like with fractional odds) when calculating the total returns.
Markets and Bet Types Explained
Betting online has resulted in huge development when it comes to the bet types and range of markets available. The choice of wagers you can place has never been larger for UK punters, so let’s take a look at some of the most popular types of sports bets and markets available.
Each Way Bet
Same Game Multiple
This is the most straightforward type of bet you can place. A single bet involves selecting just one market for one event. By predicting the outcome of that one market correctly, you’ll win the bet. This type of bet keeps things simple, with a win not being dependent on any additional factors or events.
An accumulator is a multiple bet, where you can back different selections from different events, all on the same betting slip. Also known as an acca for short, this combines the odds of each individual selection to give you a large return. Note that all legs must win in order for you to receive a return. You might also see accas consisting of three and two-bet multiples referred to as trebles and doubles.
Each Way Bet
When there are more than two teams or individuals contesting a sports event, notably in horse racing where there are five runners and above, then you can also bet each way. This is in effect two wagers in one. Half of your stake is for the horse to win a race, while the other half is for it to place (usually to finish in the top three). A fraction of the outright win price - depending on how many runners and the type of race - is available on two, three, four and sometimes more places. This means you can receive a return even if the horse you back doesn’t come in first place.
Same Game Multiple
This is essentially an accumulator bet, but all selections are from markets within a single event, rather than multiple events. Combine several selections from that event on your bet slip and the bookie will give you odds based on those selections. As the likelihood of each selection you make occurring can be directly influenced by your other selections, this will be factored into the odds that you’re given. You can be offered some great odds with this type of bet, but it’s important that all of your selections are successful. Losing just one will mean losing the entire bet.
Over and Under
This is as traditional as sports betting gets. You place a bet predicting the outcome of an event (home team to win, away team to win or a draw). If your prediction is correct, you win the bet. As this bet type is fairly straightforward, it’s particularly suited to new bettors.
Over and Under
An over/under bet, also known as a totals bet in some parts of the world, involves correctly predicting the total score of an event. The bookmaker sets a total number of goals/points to be scored by both teams, and bettors predict whether the actual total will be over or under that number. To exclude the option of the bookmaker’s total being correct, they will usually include a half point in the total, e.g. a total of 4.5 goals.
Handicap betting, also known as spread betting, levels the playing field by giving an imagined deficit to the favourite team or player at the start of the game. The team or player with the deficit will have to overcome that in order for a bet placed on them to win. If the favourite wins the event but the deficit is not covered, they will still be the losing team in the eyes of the bookmaker. A handicap bet gives bettors the opportunity to back either the favourite or the underdog.
A correct score bet is a prediction of the exact final score of a match. As this can be quite a tricky bet to predict, you’ll find that the odds are usually quite decent. You’ll find this option available for most points-based sports, with football being a particularly popular choice at UK sports betting sites.
UK Sports Betting Facts
Online sports betting in the UK is now more popular than ever. We’ve noted a few key figures here, to give some insight into what UK gamblers prefer and how often they’re betting.
of the adult population in the UK place at least 1 bet per year
of all UK sports bets are on football
The UK Gambling Commission has granted about
to operate in GB and Northern Ireland
of all tennis bets are placed on in-play markets
How to Calculate Your Winnings from a Wager
The name of the game when betting online is to turn a profit. While you can use a profit calculator to help you do this, it’s also useful to understand how it works. The simplest way to calculate your winnings using fractional odds is to convert them to decimals. It’s not as difficult as it sounds, so let’s work through a couple of examples:
If you bet £8 on a football team to win at odds of 11/4, then for every £4 you put on at that price you receive £11 winnings plus your stake back. The total return on his wager is £30 - in other words £22 of profit, plus the £8 original stake.
How to calculate your return
Convert fractional odds to decimal odds
(11 + 4) ÷ 4 =
Multiply decimal odds by your bet
3.75 x £8 =
Doubles and Up
Multiples and accas are calculated differently to a single bet, as these are a combination of multiple bets. Calculate the first leg of your accumulator as a single, then do the same with the second, third, and so on. Say you’ve backed two horses both to win at 4/1 and 5/1 with a £5 stake. You get predicted returns of £25 from the first leg, then that rolls on the second leg as the stake. This double thus returns a total of £150, with £145 of that being profit.
How to calculate your return
Convert fractional odds to decimal odds for horse 1
(4 + 1) ÷ 1 =
Convert fractional odds to decimal odds for horse 2
(5 + 1) ÷ 1 =
Multiply decimal odds together
5.00 x 6.00 =
30.00 (total odds)
Multiply total odds by your wager
30.00 x £5 =
Free Bet Offers & Promotions
UK sportsbooks are packed full of bonuses and promotions to enhance your online betting experience. Common offers include free bets, sign-up bonuses, no deposit free bets, cashback or moneyback guarantees, cash out offers, enhanced odds, price boosts and even loyalty bonuses. There’s something out there for every type of punter. The table below details all these offers and promotions, so you can choose one that best suits you.
Sign-Up and Welcome Bonuses
These types of offer are for new customers only. It is now an expectation that you receive something for registering a new account with a bookmaker. Alwayss be aware of terms and conditions attached.
So-called 'free bets' are available to both new and existing customers, often when sportsbooks offer a promotion on a leading sports event. Remember, you will not receive your stake back off a free bet bonus token.
This type of promotion is designed to mitigate loss. Acca or fallers insurance are popular examples of this for UK sportsbook customers. This can also overlap with a free bet refund, which you may be offered instead of cashback.
Enhanced Odds/Price Boosts
Extra value can be had on certain bets via this promotion. Usually accompanied by a strict maximum stake, these can either be singles or multiples and are also known as Flash Odds because they’re often only available for a short while.
Most commonly found in the UK as a VIP or Free Bet Club, if you meet the terms by placing a certain number of bets over a specified amount of time, then you qualify for additional bonuses.
Samantha Beckett Head of Bonus and
If a sportsbook isn't offering you a welcome bonus upon registration with the site, then it is not worth signing up! Shop around until you find some worthwhile freebies.
Best Sports Betting Tips
If you’re new to sports betting sites or are just interested in improving your strategy, our simple betting tips can really help to transform your online betting experience.
Sign Up and Receive a Welcome Bonus
Any bookmaker worth their salt will incentivise you to sign up, and they'll most likely use a welcome bonus to do this. Simply register for an account with the sportsbook of your choice, then follow their instructions to qualify for the sign-up offer. This may give you free bets or bonus tokens to use before risking further capital.
Stick to a Budget
Being reckless with your balance is not a good strategy. If you want to be successful long-term, then you need to be sensible and gamble responsibly. That means operating within and sticking to a defined budget. You should never bet more than you can afford to lose - remember, when the fun stops, stop.
Get on Early
It sometimes pays to take an ante-post bet or long-term punt. These do however require patience, as cash out options may or may not be available. Placing wagers as early as possible may also see you get the best of the odds, especially if the traders behind a sportsbook haven’t yet cottoned on to something you’ve realised. Whether it’s a gut feeling, based on what you’ve seen previously or discovered through extensive research, the key is to react quicker than the bookies. Nothing tastes sweeter than beating them at their own game!
While some sportsbooks will do more than others to reward your loyalty as a customer, you are not obliged to place all your bets online with just one firm. Explore your options and open another account elsewhere, especially if they are offering an attractive welcome bonus or promotion on a sport that interests you. Holding multiple accounts is common sense - accessing as much of the market as possible means you’re more likely to get a better deal or price.
Best Betting Apps and Mobile Sites
Sports betting in the digital age is now truly mobile, meaning mobile play is an important part of our criteria when assessing an online sportsbook. All good bookmakers offer free-to-download apps for iOS and Android devices as well as mobile-optimised websites, so you can bet on the go.
Whether you prefer to download a betting app or play using your preferred web browser, you’ll find that both will be fully optimised to suit a smaller screen. Provided you’ve got an internet connection, you can place your sports bets anytime, anyplace, anywhere! Gambling has never been more convenient.
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UK Sports Betting FAQ
Is it legal to wager online in the UK?
Absolutely. The Gambling Commission regulates all kinds of real money wagering in the United Kingdom. This is done through the government's Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) under the Gambling Act of 2005. Of course, you must be aged 18 and over to have a betting account on any British site.
Which sports can I bet on?
There is no limit to the types of sports you can bet on. British sportsbooks accept wagers on anything from football to horse racing, rugby, basketball, tennis and much, much more.
Which sports do British people like to bet on the most?
Football betting is by far the kingpin with British bettors. Horse racing is also a firm favourite at the bookies, with certain events such as the Grand National even attracting thousands of punters who don’t usually bet.
Can I get a sports betting bonus?
You'll be pleased to know that just about all UK wagering sites offer special rewards, bonuses, and promotions to those who have just become members as well as existing members. If you come across a sportsbook without any betting offers, then it's not worth your time.
What is the best UK betting site?
You’ll find a list of the best betting sites in the UK right here on this page. Make sure to check regularly - we update this page to bring you all the most recent information about the best betting sites, as well as the ones to avoid on our blacklist.
How do I place bets into a bet slip?
The format of most sportsbooks is the same. A sports menu, usually listed from A to Z, appears down the left-hand side of the screen. In the middle, meanwhile, are the markets and odds for the sports. Click or tap the price on the bet you like the look of, and it should appear on the betting slip on the right-hand side. Now enter your stake, view potential returns and hit place bet. It’s as easy as that.
How do betting odds work?
Betting odds indicate the likelihood of a particular outcome of an event. From betting odds, you can figure out the payout you could get from a bet you place, should it win. You’ll find betting odds displayed in different formats at different sportsbooks, with common formats being fractional, decimal and moneyline. Regardless of which format you prefer to use, each format will indicate the same potential payout.