Our Top Rankings for UK Online Gamblers

The United Kingdom has a long tradition of legal gambling. Housie and chemmy once enjoyed immense popularity, and it was common to see people getting dressed in their finest for a night out at a bingo club.

Of course, there have been sweeping changes over the years, with modern gaming establishments and operators emphasizing convenience over elegance. The advent of online gambling in the UK also presents a unique set of difficulties, as the European nation is a coveted prize for most Internet gaming operators.

  • Safe, secure and regulated UK gambling websites.
  • Top-quality odds and excellent game selection.
  • More entertainment than you’ll know what to do with.

Our Top Recommended Uk Gambling Sites

Visit Site

Rating 3.5/5


up to $1,600

  • Reclaimable welcome bonus
  • Significant jackpots
  • Long-standing industry brand
Visit Site

Rating 4/5


up to $200

  • Reliable game play
  • Excellent reputation
  • Solid software partners
Visit Site

Rating 4/5


up to $300

  • Clever alternate reality theme
  • Solid live chat customer service
  • Low bonus rollover requirements
Visit Site

Rating 4/5


up to C$500

  • Game selection if first-rate
  • Bitcoin gambling supported
  • Heaven for slots players

Selecting the Best UK Gambling Sites

We start this overview on UK online gambling with a look at choosing the best sites for a reason. This decision stands above all others in importance when it comes to gambling online in the United Kingdom. If you fail to get this right, you can’t expect to have a positive experience with your online gambling.

On the other hand, if you do choose correctly, you can concentrate on your bets and your games because everything else will fall into place quite nicely. We’ve provided you with a list of the sites that we recommend above all else for gambling online in the UK. If you start there, you really can’t go wrong.

You might be wondering how it is that we came to that list. Our experts looked for certain qualities that are essential to the gambling experience, whether it’s an online casino or a sportsbook. Read on to find out what we mean.

The Qualities of the Top UK Gambling Sites

Top UK Gambling Sites
When you decide to gamble online in the UK, you have to go through a process like everybody else. It’s not just about being able to gamble with no other worries. You have to sign up, deposit money, request money, look for bonuses, pick out games and bets with the right odds, and deal with anything else that comes up.

The best UK gambling sites will help you every step of the way with this process. Sometimes it will be an active role with actual representatives assisting. And other times it will merely be the structure and technical makeup of the site itself that makes things easy for you.

What are the qualities then that stand out when it comes to UK betting sites? Consider this a Top Ten list of the must-haves that will make your experience a wonderful one when you choose the top sites.

Safe Betting Practices

If you’re going to gamble for real money in the United Kingdom, you’re going to have to put real money at stake. You’ll also have to surrender some personal information as well. That means that you have to choose a site that takes great care to protect this information.

First of all, you have to choose a site with a reputation of being trustworthy and not trying to scam its customers. But you also have to look for sites that have the proper software to keep your information free from hackers. With all of this in place as a foundation, you can begin your online betting with a feeling of comfort.

Reputation of Excellence with Other Bettors

If you were going to sign up for some sort of service that you didn’t know too much about, you’d probably rely on the word of others. Online gambling sites in the UK provide a service, which is why you should do the same kind of research. Reviews from other bettors play a big part in us choosing the top UK gambling sites.

We don’t trust the reviews that are found on the sites themselves, because they can easily be manipulated. Instead, we go right to the source and seek out the impartial, honest reviews of folks who know their stuff. If they feel good about these sites, chances are you as well.

Variety in Games and Markets

If we’re talking about UK online sportsbooks, variety shows up in a couple of different ways. The site should allow you to wager on many different sports. And within those sports, you should have access to many different types of bets.

When it comes to online casinos, you should be looking for many different types of games. That can mean different slot machines themes, several different varieties of the top table games, or even specialty games that you might not even be able to find in brick-and-mortar casinos. You should feel like you could play something different every day at the site and it will never grow stale.

Fair Odds

In terms of online sportsbooks, fair odds can only occur if the site keeps its takeout low for each bet that’s made. The more that they take out, the less likely that you’ll be able to find value. You should be looking for sites with sports odds that are similar to the national standard for each game or event.

Online casinos should try to provide games with as low a house edge as possible. We know that some games (blackjack, video poker) will provide better return to player than others (slots) on average. But within each of those groups of games, the overall winning opportunities should be on a par with what you can get at live casinos.

Big Bonuses

We’re going to explore bonuses in-depth in one of the sections below. But for now, suffice it to say that bonuses are a must-have if you want to strengthen your gambling bottom line. They help to fight against the house edge we just mentioned.

Remember that online casinos offer these robust bonuses as a way of separating themselves from the competition. Take advantage of them as much as possible. And choose the sites that offer both the widest range of bonuses and keep the restrictions on collecting them low.

Versatility of Banking Options

Again, we’re going to dive a little deeper into this subject below. But you need to know at the moment that this is an area that novice gamblers often overlook when choosing a site. And it can come back to haunt them down the line.

Just as you might have a preferred way of paying for things in your daily life because of cost-efficiency or convenience, so too should you have a preference for your online gambling. Sites that keep your options limited might end up prohibiting you from using the payment or payback method of your choice. And that can ultimately end up costing you in many ways.

Reliably Fast Payback

Part of the equation on fast payback from UK gambling sites depends on the method of withdrawal that you use. That goes back to having many banking options that you can choose. That’s just another reason to stress banking methods when making your choice of UK gambling sites.

But it’s also crucial that the site itself features a solid process for taking your withdrawal requests and responding to them. You can expect that the best sites will make it a priority to act as quickly as possible when you request money from your betting account. That will speed along the process of receiving your winnings.

Mobile Gambling

UK Mobile Gaming
Maybe you’re one of the lucky few who has a job or a life that allows them to part themselves in front of your home computer all day. That would make mobile gambling less important to you. But for the rest of us who spend a lot of our lives on the go, we need mobile gambling as part of the menu at UK gambling sites to maximize our experience.

Luckily, the sites that we’ve recommended all have mobile options that bring everything that their sites offer to your phone or mobile device. They might go about in different ways – some with a mobile app and some with a version of the site for mobile that you can access through a browser. But the bottom line is that they all let you gamble from anywhere you might be.

Site Functionality

You’ll often have to navigate a gambling site in a hurry to make a bet that’s time-sensitive (especially if you’re betting on sports.) That’s why it’s so important that sites make this easy for you. They should have it set up that every move that you make seems to come intuitively to you.

On top of that, sites should have operating systems and game software in place to ensure that there aren’t any glitches ruining the experience. Glitches can frustrate you in a hurry, especially if they interfere with your bets or games. This is one of the reasons it’s important to consider long-running sites over newer ones: The veteran sites will have already worked all those kinks out.

Fine Customer Service

If you’re new to online gambling in the UK, you might feel a bit at sea upon trying it out for the first time. But choosing a site with solid customer service will help you overcome that. The site’s representatives will walk you through anything you need to know along the way.

Customer service from online gambling sites also comes into play when something seems to go wrong (or at least you think something has gone wrong.) If the site representatives react quickly and solve the issue quickly, these problems can be just little bumps in the road. But if they don’t, they can turn into huge obstacles.

Is it Legal to Gamble Online in the UK?

In our opinion – although we’re not lawyers and this information is only for entertainment purposes – online gambling is legal within the United Kingdom. Players should feel free to sign-up with any casino, sportsbook, or card room that’s willing to accept their business, and they can do so without fear of government prosecution.

The Gambling Act 2005

Passed into law by the UK Parliament, this significant piece of legislation was meant to extend to all forms of gambling. The Gambling Commission was brought into existence, and the ability to license different types of gambling was taken away from the magistrates’ courts.

Futher Info:This was also the first law to attempt to regulate online gambling in the UK. The newly-created Gambling Commission was given the responsibility of licensing and overseeing Internet gaming operations, as well as levying fines and possibly revoking licenses. Whitelisted jurisdictions such as the Isle of Man were initially exempted from having to obtain a license.

Remote gambling was also defined. According to the legislation, it involves any form of gambling where the participant uses a remote form of communication such as radio, television, telephone, or the Internet.

Gambling (Licensing & Advertising) Act 2014

The legislation was meant to complement the 2005 Gambling Act. One of the most notable changes was that all online gambling services with equipment or remote gambling facilities in the UK would be required to obtain a license (even those on the former white list). A 15% tax on the gross profits of wagers placed in the UK was also added, a move that caused several virtual casinos to abandon the market or launch court cases.

The other major area of the legislation involved gambling advertising. Under the new rules, a site can only advertise their services to residents of the UK if they’re licensed by the Gambling Commission. Children (15 and under) and young people (16 or 17) are prohibited from appearing in gambling-related marketing materials, and those 18 to 24 may only play a significant role in material displayed at locations where betting takes place.

In the case of advertising for free bets and bonuses, casinos are required to be forthcoming about elements such as withdrawal and wagering requirements. Even in the case of a tiny pop-up banner, these details must be no more than one click away and clearly labeled as such.

Most Popular Forms of Online Gambling in the UK

The Gambling Commission conducts a survey four times a year, asking questions about gaming habits to 4,000 individuals who are representative of the country’s various demographics. In the following list, we’ll look at the popularity of games among those who claim to wager one day per month.

    In-person casino games – 50%

  • Online lottery – 48%
  • Scratchcards – 44%
  • Online spread betting – 41%
  • Poker at pub or card room – 40%
  • In-person lottery – 39%
  • Online casino games – 37%
  • Virtual gaming machine at a bookmaker – 37%
  • Slot machines – 35%
  • Online football pools – 33%
  • Virtual dog or horse racing online – 33%
  • Online slot machines and instant wins – 31%
  • Online bingo – 30%
  • Online National Lottery draws – 28%
  • Private betting – 28%
  • In-person bingo – 28%
  • In-person National Lottery draws – 25%
  • in-person spread betting – 25%
  • In-person football pools – 24%
  • Virtual dog or horse racing at a land-based location – 6%

The popularity of various forms of gambling in the United Kingdom varies depending on how many times the subject wagers per month. While the numbers above represent casual players, they look quite different for those who gamble once per week. In this case, in-person spread betting and football pools are the most popular, while online wagering on virtual dog and horse racing is third. An online lottery other than the state-run contest was second on the above list, but it falls to 12th among more serious punters.

Note:When the focus shifts to those who gamble at least two times a week, the results are once again different. Online casino games are tied for the top spot with land-based wagering on virtual animal racing, while online spread betting beats the in-person version 23% to 13%. Other Internet gaming options to make the top 10 include bingo, football pools, and slots.

If you’re wondering what these percentages mean in terms of real-world numbers, let’s use online sports betting as an example: the total number of Internet bettors in the UK is more than 2.1 million, and those who wager on sporting events are estimated to generate more than 650 million pounds in annual revenue for virtual bookmakers.

Gamblers in the United Kingdom

In addition to the research presented above, the Gambling Commission also conducts several studies each year to determine who’s gambling across the nation. Participants are asked if they’ve gambled in the previous month, and the data is compiled to determine results for the calendar year.

The following percentages were based on 2013 research:

  • 55% of participants admitted to gambling at least once during the year.
  • 60% of males admitted to gambling during the year.
  • 50% of females participants confirmed that they had gambled during the year.
  • 46% of participants aged 18 to 24 had gambled.

The first percentage in the above list is especially telling, as it indicates that more than half the population of the United Kingdom engages in some form of gambling during the year. While this pales to the obsessive level of devotion shown by Australians, it still marks the UK as a country that loves its games of chance.

Banking Options for UK Gambling Sites

As we mentioned above, you’ll likely find it very important that a site features a method of funding that you find convenient and economical. Most sites will feature a page called something like “banking” that details all of the ways that you can pay or get paid. If you check this page out before signing up, it can save you a lot of trouble.

Most sites, even the lesser ones, will feature certain standard methods of deposit and withdrawal. But the best UK gambling sites go beyond that and give you options galore. Here are some of the payment methods you should consider:

  • Credit cards: Credit cards are pretty much the standby method that just about every site allows. While they might be convenient, they can also be costly. High interest fees for cards that you can’t afford to pay off every month can do a number on your potential winnings.
  • Debit cards: The good news about debit cards, in terms of their usage for online gambling, is that they come with little to no fees in most cases. But the bad news is that they are usually tied to the bank account that people use for everyday purposes. As a result, you have to be careful about how much you use them for gambling.
  • e-Wallets: Companies like PayPal can be very useful for online gambling. The best ones have been proven safe, make paying and getting paid convenient, and keep settlement times low. If there’s a drawback to them, it’s that you have to involve another party in your gambling activities, which some people might not be keen to do.
  • Prepaid cards: Not all websites for gambling in the UK will accept these cards, so you should double-check. But if you can use them, they can be helpful in that they keep your bank account separate from your gambling. And you get to control the size of your deposits before exposing the money to the site, which helps to maintain a budget.
  • Cryptocurrency: Digital coins like Bitcoin have become all the rage among online gamblers, and understandably so. They keep out third parties, generally engender low fees and quick settlement times, and offer both privacy and transparency for transactions. The only drawback is that the price of the coins tends to fluctuate at a much more volatile level than standard currencies like the Pound, Dollar, or Euro.

You might find other banking methods available depending on what sites you choose. In any case, what you should be seeking is the opportunity to be flexible with how you pay and get paid. Sites that provide that can prove extremely valuable to you.

UK Gambling Sites Bonuses and Promotions

We briefly mentioned in the section about the qualities of the best UK betting sites how important it was to use bonuses to help out your chances of making a profit. Doing that requires finding the sites that provide both a wide variety of perks and making sure that the ones they do provide have some impact. How do you measure that?

Well, here are some of the key factors to consider when choosing bonuses:

  • The size of the bonus compared to your deposit obligation
  • The minimum and maximum deposit available for the bonuses
  • The rollover betting requirements
  • The amount of time you have to meet the rollovers
  • The maximum amount of money you can win with your bonus bets
  • The games you can play or bets you can make within the bonus

We mentioned the term “rollovers” above. What are we talking about? Well, a rollover is a requirement that you have to meet before you can collect any winnings attached to your bonus amount.

Tip:The rollover is usually expressed as a multiplier, such as “10x.” You would multiply this amount by either the bonus amount or the bonus amount added to the deposit amount to see the amount you must bet to collect the bonus. Read up on the terms and conditions of the site to find out how they calculate these rollovers.

Rollovers are a necessary evil in the world of UK online gambling, as they prevent sites from being fleeced by customers who would simply collect the bonuses and never gamble. But you should still strongly consider activating any bonuses that are available to you. Here are some of the top options you can find at UK gambling sites:

  • Deposit bonuses: You would have a certain percentage of your bonus awarded to you by the sites. Deposit bonuses usually come into play when you sign up. They’re known as “Welcome” bonuses, but they can also be applied for other account “reloads” when you’ve already been with the site a while.
  • Free spins or games: You receive some sort of no-risk option. In online casinos, this might mean free spins on an online slot or free hands of blackjack. With online sportsbooks in the UK, you might be able to make certain bets on a game or match and not put anything at stake (although you can still win something in return.)
  • Rebates: In the case of these bonuses, you would receive a small percentage back on any losses you might have accrued in a certain period of time. This type of bonus usually comes to loyal gamblers who bet a certain amount. It can help to ease the blow of a rough patch.
  • Insurance: Let’s say that you’ve made an “accumulator” bet that requires you to get everything right or lose the entire amount you wagered. Insurance bonuses would help you to break this fall by earning something even if you don’t get everything right.
  • Odds boosts: These bonuses usually are part of the sports gambling landscape. An underdog might receive more points or goals on a handicap bet. You’d still win the same amount, but you’d have a greatly increased chance of winning.
  • VIP programs: These bonuses act in much the same manner as the club card programs found at top brick-and-mortar casinos. The more that you play, the more perks you receive. Perks that you can earn from UK gambling site VIP programs include free bets, invitations to special tournaments or contests, and even cashback.

Finding out about the bonuses offered by UK betting sites will help you to determine which site is for you. Don’t forget to check out those terms and conditions. Some bonuses might be better suited to you than others based on your frequency of wagering and the amount that you generally put at stake.

Gambling Help UK

Online gambling can prove to be entertaining, exciting, and lucrative. But we like to be honest with our readers, which is why we must tell you that it’s not for everyone. This is certainly the case if you’re someone who struggles with an addictive personality or impulse control.

After all, you’ll be putting real money on the line at these online casinos. And losing that money can have major consequences in your daily life. Many people turn out to be problem gamblers, and those people should be very wary of trying out even the most reliable UK betting sites.

How do you know if you’re a problem gambler? Think about the following signs:

  • You find yourself thinking of betting an inordinate amount of the time
  • Your gambling habits are starting to interfere with your work life or your relationships with family and friends
  • You find yourself “chasing losses”, which means that you’re betting increasing amounts over and over to break even from previous losses
  • You are dipping into the money that you would use for staples like food and shelter to fund your online gambling
  • You have a difficult time stopping when asked or needed

As we mentioned, you should try to remove yourself from any type of gambling environment, including online betting sites, if you start to resemble any of the examples above. But if you have a hard time doing that, there are resources available that can surely help you out. Consider the following:

  • GamCare: All of the information that they offer on their website is free and it pertains to problem gambling. This is the organization that runs the national problem gambling hell line (0808 8020 133.) if you call that number, it’s an excellent step towards getting the help you need.
  • The National Centre for Behavioural Addictions: This is a larger group that tends to all possible addictions. But they feature sub-groupings devoted to both gaming and gambling addictions.
  • Gamblers Anonymous UK: These groups, which you can hook up with throughout the United Kingdom, allow you to meet others with the same problems who are looking for help. You can also get involved with 12-step programs that will set you on the right path to beating an addiction to online gambling or gambling in general.

There will also be resources available on a local level if you choose to go that route. The bottom line is that you should seek some sort of help at the first signs of addiction. If you aren’t a problem gambler yourself but know someone who is, don’t be afraid to look into these programs and organizations yourself.

Why Choose Online Gambling over Physical Casinos

Over 130 brick-and-mortar casinos are operating in Great Britain alone, and a flourishing sportsbook scene exists as well. Why then would you consider online gambling sites over going to an actual gambling establishment in person? Here are some of the few top reasons why online gambling might be the way to go.


Once you’ve gambled online, either on sports or on casino games, you might wonder why you would bother going to a gambling establishment and dealing with all the hassle. When you gamble online, there isn’t any traffic to get to the casino. You don’t have to deal with unfavorable weather conditions to get there.

And you also don’t have to muscle your way through crowds to get to your favorite slot machine, for just one example. All you have to do is log on to the website (or app, if you’re doing mobile gambling) and get rolling. That kind of convenience is what usually hooks people to do all their gambling online in the UK.


Brick-and-mortar casinos in the UK do indeed offer perks to their clientele. Most of them are of the VIP variety, which means that you get rewarded based on how much you play. But introductory offers to rank-and-file gamblers tend to be a bit meager.

But online gambling sites don’t have to worry about the overhead that live casinos tend to have. And these online sites also have to top their competitors in terms of bonuses, because they know that gamblers are looking for more oomph from their betting investment. As a result, you can expect your gambling bonus offers to be much more robust at the top gambling sites.


When you go into a physical UK casino, you’re limited to what they can provide in the space available. That might mean a limited amount of slot machines and table games. It also might mean that you don’t find either your favorite game or the version of a game that provides you with the best odds.

But digital space in online gambling sites is essentially limitless. You’ll find the games you want with no problems, or else you can just surf to another site and find them there. When you can pick and choose what you want to play, rather than have it chosen for you, your chances of winning will rise.


For a lot of people, gambling is a bit of a sensitive subject. They might enjoy doing it, but they don’t like the fact that other people know they’re doing it. Or it might be a case of wanting to concentrate on what they’re doing without the distractions of other people all around.

Important:If you’re gambling online at a top UK betting site, only you will know your gambling habits and how much you’re spending. You can also take your time and play games at your own pace without any distractions. It’s the ideal environment for optimum play.

There are some reasons why some might choose to play in a live casino rather than online. It can come down to personal preference, but mostly choosing the in-person experience over online comes down to the following factors:

  • You might like the social experience of the casino. Maybe you like to go with friends and families and enjoy the thrills of gambling together. And a live casino can provide you with that.
  • There are amenities available to you when you’re out at a physical casino. For example, you can have drinks, get something to eat, or even take in a show. Those possibilities are not a part of the online gambling experience.
  • Some people just like the casino environment. It can be a rush when you win and are surrounded by people. You might also like the personal touch of dealing with actual people administering the games (although, as you’ll find out when we talk in the next section about online casinos, you can now get that experience from them as well.)

UK Online Casinos

Online casinos bring the games that you can find in regular casinos to you in a digital format. You can play them on your computer screen. Or, if you choose a site with a mobile option, you can play them on your phone, tablet, or whatever portable connected device you might have in your possession.

The way the games are played, from the rules to the odds you have of winning, essentially remains the same. You can win real money from these online casinos as well. By funding a gambling account, you can use that account to make bets on various games.

Let’s take a look at some of the games you can expect to play in online casinos in the UK:

  • Slot machines: We call them slot machines, but in the online gambling world, they’re just visual representations of video slots. You can set the reels spinning by just clicking on some icons or touching the screen. Online slots are ideal if you want to score big winnings in a hurry with a small bet, especially if the site you’re using offers progressive jackpots.
  • Video poker: Consider slot machines to be a combination of slot machines and table games. You still get the aspect of the luck of the spin as you would in a slot machine. But there is also a strategic element to video poker, not to mention the fact that overall payback is one of the highest of all casino games.
  • Blackjack: Also known as 21, you’ll be trying to beat the dealer in reaching as close as you can to that magic number without going over. UK gambling sites offer variations of blackjack that allow you to find rules, such as insurance and surrender, that will help your chances. Blackjack stands as one of the most popular games because of the high average payback and the opportunity it affords to use strategy.
  • Roulette: Gamblers like roulette for the flexibility it provides. You can play it as an even-money type game by betting on nearly half the board, as with odd/even or red/black bets. Or you can bet on just one number and increase the potential profit in a big way.
  • Baccarat: Since James Bond played blackjack so famously, the UK faithful have a soft spot for this game. Play it straight and enjoy the low house edge. Or make some side bets to try to boost your chances of a quick, significant score.

Many other casino games will pop up at the top gambling sites in the UK. On top of that, most of the top sites now offer you the chance to play so-called “live casino” games. How do these games work?

Instead of the deals, rolls, and spins taking place in an automated fashion, you’ll see an actual human being on your screen facilitating the action. Streaming technology allows this to happen. You make your bets and your choices via your mouse or your touchscreen, and they’ll get that information and administer the action.

Many people enjoy this type of action because it does include the best of both worlds. You get the convenience of playing online. But you also get the interaction and human touch that will make it feel as if you’re actually in the casino.

UK Poker Betting Sites

While you can consider poker a casino game, it stands apart from the rest of the typical games when it comes to the online sphere. Some UK sites focus on nothing but poker. And not all of the casino sites include it (at least not multi-player, tournament-style poker) as part of their offerings, because of the technical requirements.

With a poker betting site, you will play against others who also have accounts at the site in either cash games or tournaments. You can peruse the menu for the style of play you want (e,g. Hold’em, Omaha, etc.) and your preferred betting limits. The site will then display when tournaments or cash games are starting up if you want to join.

What do you get out of poker betting sites? Here are some of the following reasons you might choose to play at one of these sites:

  • You’ll have a much easier time finding a table (albeit a digital one) to your liking. The top UK betting sites offer many different types of games and keep them coming at all times. If you go to a casino, you might struggle to get on a table that fits what you’re seeking.
  • You can play with a lot less pressure. If you’re a newcomer to the game, you might worry about upsetting players right in front of you who have more experience just because you don’t know the protocol. That’s less of a factor when you’re only playing against them in a digital format and the interaction can be limited if you choose.
  • You’ll find more bonuses just for playing poker. At physical casinos, you usually have to play poker a lot to earn VIP rewards. But you’ll usually start getting bonuses the second you sign on at a top poker site in the United Kingdom.

We must admit that there are some advantages to playing against others in person in an actual poker room that you should consider. They are:

  • If you’re an experienced player and taking on a table in person, you can take advantage of your ability to read faces. You can tell based on body language who is bluffing and who isn’t. That possibility wouldn’t be available to you if you were playing online.
  • You might be interested in sharing some camaraderie with your fellow players. If you’re playing online, you won’t be able to do that. Although we would suggest that winning big will tend to overcome any worries you might have about making friends.

What specific qualities should you be looking for from a poker betting site? Here are a few:

  • A wide range of ways to play. You’ll want both cash games and tournaments, but you’ll also want the possibility to try other styles other than just Hold’em, which is the most popular style of play worldwide. Having more options makes it likely that you’ll find the mode of play that fits your strengths as a player.
  • Smooth game play. This comes back to the need to choose a technically sound site. Because of all the steps that occur in a round of poker, you’ll need to be able to follow everything smoothly or else it could hurt your chances to win.
  • Bonuses that are specific to poker. Maybe some sites will let you enter tournaments for free as a perk. Or else you can get money added to your account when you deposit specifically for poker.

UK Sportsbooks

The United Kingdom has long enjoyed a tradition of citizens betting on sports. Bookmakers have always been a part of the landscape, laying down odds on the top sports and enticing the public to make wagers on the action. That practice has now largely become the province of online sports betting sites, which offer excellent convenience.

The idea behind online sportsbooks in the UK is pretty simple. You sign up with a site and fund an account. After that, you’ll use money from that account to bet on different games and matches as offered by the online bookmakers.

What are some of the bets offered by UK online sports betting sites? Take a look at a few of the most popular:

  • Win bets: You simply have to bet on which team will win in a game or match between two. This is the easiest bet to understand and a good starting point for those who are new to UK online sports betting sites. And, if you pick an underdog, you can often make a good profit on a small bet.
  • Handicaps: In this type of bet, the oddsmakers will impose some sort of handicap on the favorite in a contest to make it more even. For example, in a soccer match between two teams, the favorite might be giving 1 ½ goals to the underdog to even it out. You’ll find handicap betting available in most sports where two sides are pitted against each other in some way.
  • Accumulators: An accumulator bet requires you to make a series of selections under the banner of a single wager. The only way that you win is if you get every part of the bet right. To compensate you for the difficulty of this bet, oddsmakers at top UK gambling sites will offer you lucrative odds.
  • Points: In a points bet, also known as on over/under, you’ll be trying to judge the score of a game or match, rather than who wins it. The oddsmakers will set a total amount of goals or points. You have to decide If the actual final score of both teams combined will go over or under that number.
  • Prop bets: Prop bets, a term that is short for “proposition bets,” refers to wagers created by UK oddsmakers for specific events. These bets usually have something to do with the action other than what’s covered by other wagers. For example, a common prop bet would be to speculate on the statistical performance of an individual player in a game.
  • Futures bets: Futures bets require you to speculate on some event well in advance of it happening. For example, you might try to pick the winner of the Premier League in soccer before the season begins. Because of all the variables involved with picking so far in advance, it’s a difficult wager to win, but you can score a big profit if you do win.

UK Sportsbooks Live Betting

When you think of all the bets listed above, you might think of them in terms of wagers made before the action begins. But did you know that you can make wagers on UK sporting events after they’ve started via top UK sports betting sites. This is a process known as live betting (or in-game betting.)

Futher Info:Although it’s a relatively recent innovation among top gambling sites, live sports betting has risen in popularity in a hurry. You can make most of the bets listed above as part of a live betting menu. The odds will keep changing as the action progresses to reflect what’s happening.

If you choose, you can limit your wagers only to live betting, which would allow you to base all your bets based on the game action you can see with your own eyes. Or you could use live bets as a way of complimenting the wagers that you’ve already made. In any case, you should check out the live betting options at top UK gambling sites to see if they have the wagers you want to make.

UK Sportsbooks Betting Odds

You might see the odds for the various sports bets you can make listed in different ways for each site that you visit. Some UK sports betting sites might even give you the choice of how you want to see the odds. In any case, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with each method so that you know how to read them and see how much you’ll get paid back for any given sports bet you want to make.

Fractional Odds

This might be the method with which most UK sports bettors are most familiar. It’s a system used often in horse racing (more on that in a moment), which people in various parts of the United Kingdom have been betting for hundreds of years. You’ll see two numbers with a dash in between, like so:

  • 10-1

The dash reads as the word “to,” so that example means that your odds are 10 to 1. As far as the numbers, the first is your potential profit and the second is your base bet. In this case the odds are telling you that you are going to win £10 for every one that you bet.

Decimal Odds

Decimal odds at top UK betting sites are simply a single number that represents how much money you’ll return depending on a bet of a single British pound (or another unit of currency.) The key to understanding this is that this number doesn’t represent the profit. It represents what you’ll get back from the site if you win, a number that includes the amount of your original bet.

For example, look at the following decimal odds:

  • 1.2

This should not be read as 1.2 to 1. Instead, it’s telling you that a 1-unit bet will return you .2 of profit. The 1 that you bet is also returned to you. Hence, 1 plus .2 is 1.2.

American Odds

American odds are so-named because it is the system most popular in the United States. It’s a bit more involved because it not only involves a number, known as the moneyline, of at least 100, but it also includes either a plus sign or minus sign that will affect how those odds are read. In this case, let’s look at the game odds of two teams playing each other to illustrate how it works:

  • Team One: +250
  • Team Two: -200

To read American odds (or moneyline odds, as they’re also known), you have to remember the following:

  • The plus indicates you have to bet £100 to win the amount listed in profit
  • The minus indicates you have to bet the amount listed to win £100 in profit

Thus, in the example above, we know that a £100 bet will earn £250 in profit if Team One wins. A bet of £200 will bring £100 in profit on Team Two. To reduce the American odds so that you can see how much you’ll be getting per single unit bet, simply divide the moneyline numbers by 100 and apply the same rules to the plus and minus.

Pari-Mutuel Odds vs. Fixed Odds at UK Sports Betting Sites

Pari-mutuel odds generally only come into play at top UK sportsbooks online when you’re wagering on the sport of horse racing. Most other sports use the fixed odds format for online wagers. The key difference is what happens when you make you make your bet.

With fixed bet odds, your odds freeze the moment that you make the wager. Even if something happens to drastically change the odds for everybody else who bets after you, your odds will stay the same. Hence the term “fixed odds.

But with pari-mutuel bets in horse racing, your odds won’t be set until all bets are in. Then, and only then, will they be determined based on what other people have been betting on the race. For example:

  • You bet on a horse to win at odds of 7-2 ten minutes before a race begins
  • In the interim between when you bet and the start of the race, a surge from the betting public drives down the odds of the horse you picked originally
  • After all bets are counted, your horse odds have dropped to 2-1. Those are the odds at which you will get paid if your horse wins.

How to Get Started at UK Gambling Sites

  1. Choose the site that you want to use. We talked to you above about the criteria you should use to choose the site, and we also gave you our list of our most recommended UK sports betting sites.
  2. Sign up. There is usually a link on each betting website’s main page that says something like “Sign Up” or “Join.” Click on that and answer the questions asked of you, and keep in mind that you also might have to confirm your account through text or e-mail.
  3. Deposit into your account. You’ll go to the banking page and choose from among the deposit methods offered to you. Once you’ve chosen, simply enter the necessary data and decide how much you’re going to be depositing.
  4. Activated the bonuses you have coming to you. You should get one just for signing up, and you might be eligible for others depending on what you’re going to be betting. Simply opt in, or, if need be, enter a promo code to get the bonus.
  5. Start betting. Look for the casino, poker, or sportsbook tab, depending on your area of interest. Use the money from your account as a bankroll.
  6. Collect winnings. You can make a request to cash in money from your betting account when you need or want them. Follow the process for this request as laid out by the site.

Tips for Betting at UK Gambling Sites

  • Bet with a budget. Don’t overextend yourself by betting more than you can afford. Decide how you want to bet per event or per period of time and don’t go above that amount for any reason,
  • Cash out winnings periodically. It can be easy to get carried away and try to milk the most out of a winning streak whenever possible. But your luck can change quickly, which is why you should consider banking what you’ve won now and again so that you don’t lose it back.
  • Choose sports bets and casino games based on your gambling preference. You would choose differently if you want to win a lot on a small wager than someone who’d rather build winnings with lower-risk bets over a long period. Identify your betting profile first and that will help you select your bets.
  • Bet what you know. You might be excited by all that United Kingdom gambling sites have to offer when you sign up. Stick to what sports or casino games you fully understand at first before branching out as you go.
  • Use your bonuses. Even if you don’t meet the betting rollover requirements, there won’t be any penalty for you. If you plan on wagering often, you’ll hit those minimums and benefit from the freebies offered by the sites.


Jim Beviglia
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About Jim Beviglia
Jim Beviglia has been a gambling writer at LegitGamblingSites.com since 2018. During that time, he’s written just about every type of article related to gambling, including reviews of betting sites, guides to popular casino games, betting tips on both casino and sports betting, sports and casino blog posts, and game picks. In addition to online gambling, one of Jim’s other major interests is music. He has been doing freelance work for various music sites and magazines for two decades. Among his outlets past and present are American Songwriter, VinylMePlease, Treble, and The Bluegrass Situation. Jim has also written five books on music that were published by Rowman & Littlefield.