Internet betting is an increasingly popular pastime with hundreds of websites offering online gambling services, so which online bookmaker should you choose?

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How to Choose a bookmaker you can trust

With so many online bookmakers to choose from, it is important you can trust your bookmaker before you decide to give out personal details and deposit your own money online.

Best free bets research the bona fides of all the bookmakers listed on its website to ensure your financial transactions will be handled safely and securely by companies that are properly regulated by the relevant gambling authorities.

You will want to know that your bookmaker will treat you fairly should you ever have cause to dispute a decision. Best free bets only lists bookmakers with good, very good or excellent customer service and our recommended bookmakers understand the value of keeping customers satisfied. However, you’ll feel more assured knowing an independent body will review your case and make an enforceable judgement. In the UK, all reliable bookmakers will be affiliated to IBAS (Independent Betting Adjudication Service) and will abide by any decision they make in a customer dispute.

Deposits and Withdrawals

Understand your deposit and withdrawal options and more important what fees you may be liable to pay. You’ll need to know the minimum/maximium deposit and withdrawal amounts will suit your needs and, along with fees, details vary among the plethora of payment services available.

Transactions with a debit card or credit card are most popular as there are no charges, minimum transactions are low. Card companies will permit deposits and withdrawals as low as £5 (although some online bookmakers may insist on higher amounts)) with single payments of up £20,000 allowed.

Online bookmakers have an obligation to comply with money laundering regulations and sometimes you will be asked by your online bookmaker to provide details to assist in compliance with those regulations.

Offers and Promotions

Internet gambling is a very competitive business and online bookmakers have some great free bet offers to attract new customers, so of course you should consider the value of the various free bet offers available and we recommend you consider holding an account with more than one bookmaker.

Generally, your first free bet is a one-time offer and you should look out for other offers being promoted by online bookmakers and consider if they suit your betting needs (a bonus on greyhound bets will be of no interest to football bettors). Offers and bonuses will vary from sport to sport and from bookmaker to bookmaker, so it will prove worthwhile to find online bookmakers promoting offers for your favourite sports or events.

Having accounts with more than one online bookmaker, not only gives more free bets, but will give you more opportunities of getting better returns on your winning bets or consolation refunds on losing bets.

Betting Odds and Markets

Not all online bookmakers are equal, you may be surprised by the vast range of betting markets offered by some online bookmakers and disappointed to find other online bookmakers don’t offer odds for UK horse racing.

Also, given the competitive environment, bookmakers’ odds will vary meaning it could pay to shop around for the best price on your selection and it will pay to hold an account with an online bookmaker prepared to regularly offer stand out odds.

If you prefer to bet multiples, for example trebles, yankee bets etc, then it may not be practical to shop around and compare the odds for each selection, you’ll want to know that your bookmaker offers odds at small profit margins which should provide you with better value on your investment.

The bookmaker reviews at best free bets will give you a good overview of what to expect from the online bookmakers recommended on this website.

Terms and Conditions

Before registering with an online bookmaker, you should take a look at the terms and conditions. We’ve previously mentioned deposits and withdrawals but some other important considerations are:

  • Minimum stake amounts
  • Maximum winnings or payout limits
  • Rules for the individual bet you place, especially rules that make bets void. 

Find out more information in best free bets’ Betting Guide

How to get free bets

How to open an online betting account

Bet types explained

Betting terminology (A-Z)


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