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Everything You Need to Know About Online Sports Betting in 2024

Mike McKean
Editor
Fact checked by: Dave Kuzio
Last Updated on 13.07.2024

The world of online sports betting has exploded in popularity over the past few years. With more legalised territories and the adoption of technology worldwide, more and more people are choosing to bet on sports online.

With so many changes to the world of sports betting, there may be questions about how to maximise the experience. Luckily, our expert team is on hand to help guide you. This page will tell you everything you need to know including getting started, what to look out for and making the most of the modern world of online sports betting.

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Discover The Best Online Sports Betting Sites for 2024

Introduction to Online Sports Betting

As with many industries, the world of sports betting is increasingly moving online. Customers are used to being able to access products and services in an instant, comparing their options and making an informed decision about where to go.

Online sports betting has increased in popularity over the past 25 years or so. With internet-enabled devices now the norm for many, it’s never been easier to place a wager from your device. There are still many factors to consider though, from trust and security to legalisation and best practices.

Legalisation of Sports Betting

Of course the major factor in whether or not one can place bets online is the legal status in the country or region in question. Many places now offer fully legalised, regulated online sports betting. The major advantage here is that you have systems and rules in place to oversee the industry, ensuring fair and honest practices are adhered to and customer protections are in place.

Betting has always been relatively popular as a pass time so with the development of technology, many governments and states have moved to add it into the number of recreational activities available to residents. It’s important to check the legality and status wherever you are before getting involved.

Understanding Odds and Betting Types

If you’re relatively new to the world of online sports betting, it can be something of an intimidating place to get started. Many sites offer hundreds of markets on popular events and odds can be displayed in different ways. Here’s a quick look at how to read the odds in popular formats:

  • Fractional Odds: Mainly used in the UK. To understand fractional odds, the first number in the fraction is the amount you stand to win if you bet the second number, excluding your stake. For example, a £1 bet at 5/1 odds would return £6 in total (£5 plus £1 stake).
  • Decimal Odds: Decimal odds are popular in Europe and on betting exchanges. They are usually easier for new bettors to understand as there is a simple formula of multiplying your stake by the decimal to find the total return including the stake. For example, a Є1 bet at 3.50 odds would return Є3.50.
  • American Odds: As the name would suggest, this odds format is most popular in the US. The odds will be presented as a positive or negative number, with +100 being the Even money line. For example a $1 bet at +650 would return $7.50 ($6.50 profit and the original $1 stake).

Choosing the Best Online Sports Betting Sites

With hundreds of potential options for betting online, it’s never been more important to select a site, or sites, that meet your specific requirements. Every sportsbook listed on this site has undergone a rigorous review process to ensure that they meet the highest quality standards. They must also hold at least one trusted iGaming licence for this review process to be undertaken.

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Key Features of Top-Rated Sportsbooks

Not everyone is looking for the same specific features when it comes to online betting. For example, if your focus is on Premier League football, you probably don’t mind if your chosen site offers the best odds on hockey or snooker. However, if you want to bet with a specific payment method such as an e-wallet, choosing a site that accepts it and offers bonuses could be an important factor. Here’s a look at what our experts consider as key features at online betting sites in 2024.

  1. Top-notch safety and security measures
  2. Competitive odds with low house edge or margin
  3. A range of trusted payment methods
  4. Fair and honest bonuses or promotions with realistic T&Cs
  5. A wide variety of markets and sports available to bet on
  6. Robust responsible gambling tools
  7. Helpful customer service
  8. A dedicated app or site that is optimised for mobile as well as desktop users
  9. Instant deposits and fast withdrawals

While not an exhaustive list, this should give some idea of the various topics that the best online sports betting sites excel at in order for them to be ranked highly. These form the foundation of our online betting site reviews.

Top Betting Sites for 2024

How to Maximise Your Sports Betting Experience Online

There are many different tools, strategies and approaches when it comes to betting on sports online and new ones are being developed all the time. However, it’s important to keep the foundations in place first and foremost. Here are some basic topics to keep in mind before you place your next sports bet.

Responsible Betting Practices

Above all, sports betting should be done in a safe and responsible way. Setting a budget of funds that you can afford to lose and sticking to it will help ensure that the process remains fun. Any trusted sports betting platform should offer the opportunity for players to set deposit limits, opt for a time out or exclude themselves completely from further activity.

Expert Tips for Successful Sports Betting

Our team has decades of experience in the world of online sports betting between them. Here are some of their top tips for aiming to turn a profit over the medium and long term.

  • Compare odds between different sites for maximum value. Don’t always settle for the first price you see.
  • Explore the full range of markets available, sometimes the niche ones can be where the value lies.
  • Take advantage of bonuses or promotions. In the competitive world of online sports betting, brands will reward new customers and loyalty too.
  • Manage your bankroll correctly. In most cases, risking between 1 and 5% of your bankroll will help to mitigate the chances of over staking.
  • Specialise in specific sports, competitions or market types. This should make it easier to identify when good bets present themselves.

Common Mistakes to Avoid in Online Sports Betting

As with any industry there are mistakes to be aware of when betting on sports online. With the bookmakers able to set the odds, bettors need to be aware of the common pitfalls that can hamper them over time.

Avoiding Risk of Ruin

Managing a bankroll effectively is one of the most common issues sports bettors face. While it may not be glamorous to adjust your stakes so that no more than 5% of the total is being wagered on a specific outcome, it should help minimise the “risk of ruin” where a bettor loses their full betting bank. This is especially important if your betting style is focused around longshots where it could be a while between winning picks. Of course, if a bettor is building up a larger bankroll over time, then they can increase the stakes accordingly within this range if they feel comfortable doing so.

Being Insensitive to Price

Online sports betting is a game of probabilities, that’s why we have odds which dedicated the implied probability of an outcome occurring. Given this underlying factor, bettors should always have these figures in their mind when sizing up a bet. If something looked like a good bet at 3/1 (4.0) is it still the case at 2/1 (3.0) or 6/4 (2.50)? Being able to profit long term is often underpinned by the ability to accurately estimate probabilities and avoid betting when the odds aren’t favourable.

Understanding Sports Betting Bonuses and Promotions

With a highly competitive sports betting market comes the opportunity to leverage the advantages of becoming – or remaining – a customer. A lot of this upside comes through betting bonuses and promotions. But not all offers are created equally. Having a good understanding of the key terms and conditions to look for will help filter out the genuinely valuable promotions from those that might not appeal based on your betting style.

Welcome Bonuses – What to Look For

One of the main ways that sports betting sites look to stand out and attract players is through their sign up bonuses and rewards. These can offer an additional bankroll boost, especially if used correctly.

Look for offers that have minimal wagering requirements in order to turn promotional funds into withdrawable funds and flexible timescales. For example, a huge matched deposit offer may seem like a good bonus, but if it has 10x wagering or can only be used on a specific market or sport in a short space of time, this may prove extremely unlikely to yield a positive return.

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No-Deposit Bonuses – Do They Still Exist?

In some regions no deposit bonuses are still available in the world of online sports betting. In others, such as the UK, these types of bonuses are more likely to be reserved for the casino side of the industry. Keep in mind that some bookmakers may still offer a no deposit bonus as a form of loyalty reward too. As long as you’re playing within your limits then taking advantage of these can be a good idea.

Free Bets and How to Use Them Wisely

Typically free bets don’t include the original stake in your return. So while they are still valuable it may make sense to take chances on longer odds as a result of this, depending on your betting approach. They still need to be good value bets though, rather than betting on outsiders for the sake of doing so.

Of course this may reduce your chances of winning more frequently, but selecting longer odds outcomes could prove to be the best strategy in the long term. Remember that free bets also come with expiry dates, so don’t let them lapse and disappear from your account in the process.

Sports Betting on Mobile Devices

While desktop and laptops may have dominated the early days of the online sports betting era, it’s certainly mobile devices that are a major factor for many bettors these days. With added security features such as biometrics for logging in and authorising deposits, plus the flexibility to bet on the go, having a top class app can be a game changer for sports betting brands. Many new sports betting platforms may even choose to prioritise mobile betting on this basis.

With this in mind, let’s examine what makes a great online betting app stand out from the crowd.

User Interface and Mobile Experience

With a smaller screen size it’s crucial that the top betting apps are optimised for different devices. Users should still be able to get around the site, finding their chosen bets and placing them with ease. The app shouldn’t be slow or spend time loading the various different markets or pages. It should feel as seamless as the desktop version with good organisation and overall functionality.

App Security and Trustworthiness

Of course one of the key factors when using any betting app is that your personal and financial information remain secure throughout. Thankfully with tools like encryption and the added benefit of Touch or FaceID tools, using a mobile app could prove even more secure than a desktop site.

Special Features and Mobile-Exclusive Offers

Being rewarded for downloading an app is always a nice touch. While not a common occurrence, some bookmakers may make certain bonuses or features exclusive to their mobile app. For example, several big name betting apps now include voice search to help users navigate to their chosen market or selection. Others may offer a free bet promotion that is only available to those betting via the app rather than on desktop.

Payment Options and Financial Security

Knowing your money and financial details are secure is a key topic for online sports bettors. Unlike betting in person in a shop or at a racetrack, there is no physical exchange of money in order to stake a bet. Financial security is non-negotiable when it comes to betting on sports online.

Thankfully, there are dozens of trusted online betting payment methods for players to choose from. These methods often allow for instant deposits while withdrawal speeds are getting better all the time, some of them are now down to just a few minutes in some cases.

Deposit and Withdrawal Methods

With so many methods to pick from, here’s a quick reference guide to help you decide which type may suit you best.

Payment Method Pros Cons
E-wallets (Skrill, PayPal, Neteller etc) No need to share bank details with the site. Instant transactions Not always accepted for bonuses or promotions
Debit Cards Widely accepted and valid for bonuses Requires financial information to be held by the bookmaker
Prepaid cards Easier to manage a budget Not usually available for withdrawals
Cryptocurrencies Anonymity and instant transactions Can be complicated to set up
Bank Transfers No third party account required for authorisation Can be very slow and not always available at every site

Getting Help: Customer Support and Resources

While betting on sports online is usually a straightforward process, questions or issues can sometimes come up. That’s why it’s important that sites offer customer support channels that are capable of resolving any queries in a timely and professional manner.

Accessing 24/7 Customer Service

Live chat has become a staple of the online sports betting industry in recent years. With events running round the clock, the support teams need to be available whenever they are required. Not every site will offer 24/7 live chat, with some relying on email in some instances, but speaking to a live chat operative is usually the first port of call wherever possible.

Agents should be polite, knowledgeable and able to respond to even the most complex questions with clarity. Not only does this allow customers to avoid waiting around for resolutions but it should also build trust between the brand and their customers.

Educational Resources for Bettors

While it’s probably not the primary reason for joining a bookmaker, the ability to learn more about specific topics is an appealing one. The world of online sports betting is evolving so resources such as blogs which contain educational content can be a real bonus for those who want to develop their understanding of the subject. Our sports betting strategies could be another area of interest too.

The Future of Online Sports Betting

Having seen the sector rise rapidly in popularity over the past decade, the landscape could look very different in another 10 years’ time.

We are certainly in the age of personalisation when it comes to betting on sports. Many sites offer customers the chance to build bets specific to them and this is unlikely to slow down. More markets, better functionality and the ability to craft the kind of experience you want when sports betting are surely trends that are here to stay. The use of statistics continues to prove extremely popular with many brands now adopting specific markets around certain stat lines in many different sports.

The growing popularity of live betting could also be an area for further development as customers are connected wherever they go. Live streaming is now a common feature with top-tier brands who can provide it as part of their service. With advances in virtual reality, perhaps one day we’ll be able to place bets and take a virtual seat in the stands to cheer on the selections, following specific players around the field or being able to see real-time stats overlaying the action.

Conclusion

The world of online sports betting continues to grow at a fast pace. In such a competitive marketplace it’s vital to ensure that players understand the number of options available to them. An important part of this is selecting the right sportsbook for their needs and ensuring sports betting remains a fun, enjoyable activity. Thankfully, all of the sites you will see referenced on this page are fully licenced and secure betting platforms. Wherever you choose to place your next sports bet online, be sure to do so within the laws and regulations of wherever you are based.

FAQs on Online Sports Betting

Many countries and states now offer fully licenced online sports betting. These include the United Kingdom, many states in the USA, Nigeria and Australia.

How Do You Make Money with Online Sports Betting?

There is no sure-fire way to make money betting on sports online. However, a good foundation would be a solid understanding of value, probabilities and bankroll management.

How Does Online Betting Work with Sports?

Usually, an online bookmaker will set the odds on a range of outcomes across different sports and events. This then allows players to browse the options and place a bet when they see a bet that is attractive to them.

How to Get Started with Online Sports Betting?

Picking a licenced and reputable online sports betting site is an important first step. Always select a platform that holds at least one trusted iGaming licence.

What Are the Best Online Sports Betting Sites?

The best sports betting sites will depend where you are based but global brands like bet365, Unibet and William Hill have built up trusted reputations over several decades of operations online.

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