There are a number of benefits to placing your sports bets online rather than in a live casino. First, it’s easier to find the best odds because you can compare lines at several online sportsbooks in just a few minutes. Also, online sportsbooks offer new customers deposit bonuses to encourage them to sign up, and special promotions to keep them coming back. Some of these promotions include free bets, free contests, and reduced juice on special events or certain days of the week.
Best Online Sports Betting Sites
These are the best online sportsbooks in the world, based on a number of factors. First, customer information such as home address, phone number, deposit information and email addresses must be kept private and secure. Second, our money needs to be safe. We look for sportsbooks that keep player funds in accounts which are segregated from operating expenses. They shouldn’t be using our money to pay advertising expenses or employee salaries. Once we know our personal information and money are safe, we start looking at a variety of other aspects which include betting options, deposit methods, juice, parlay & teaser odds, live betting, promotions, bonuses, and so on. For sharps, it’s all about the odds, so that’s an important factor in our rankings. For casual bettors looking to have some fun, we look for great promotions, free bets, and contests as well.
Online Sportsbook Deposit Options
Depending on where you live in the world will determine the deposit options available to you. For example, Neteller is not accepted in the US, and some credit cards are not accepted in different countries. Below is some basic information about the most popular deposit options.
Depositing Using a Visa Credit or Visa Debit Card
U.S. Players: Visa credit & debit cards are accepted by all of the online sportsbooks listed above. However, US customers sometimes run into problems getting their Visa deposits processed. If you are based in the US and have had your Visa deposit denied, contact the customer service department before giving up. Most online sportsbooks have alternative processors they can use to manually run your Visa, with a higher success rate than the automated system.
Outside the U.S.: Visa credit and debit cards are accepted by residents of almost every country outside the U.S.. Of course there are certain limitations on countries where online sports betting is illegal.
How About Mastercard?
U.S. Players: While a few online sportsbooks say they accept Mastercard deposits from U.S. bettors, the success rate is much lower than Visa. If you have it, try your Visa credit or debit cards first.
Outside the U.S.: Accepted by handicappers from most countries, at most online sportsbooks.
Neteller Betting Online
Neteller is the most popular online wallet for gambling. It’s easy & free to get a Neteller account, and allows punters to move their money in and out of different sportsbooks very quickly. Neteller is accepted by almost every online sportsbook, but not for US handicappers.
Sports Betting with Moneybookers
While Moneybookers no longer accepts U.S. customers, it’s still a popular deposit method for those outside the United States. Moneybookers works very similar to Neteller, and is accepted by most online sportsbooks.
What Sports Can I Bet On?
Every major online sportsbook offers wagering on:
- NFL Football Betting
- NCAA Football
- NBA Basketball Betting
- NCAA Basketball
- MLB Baseball Betting
- NHL Ice Hockey Betting
- Football/Soccer Betting
- Professional Golf Betting
- WTA, ATP & Grand Slam Tennis Betting
- NASCAR Betting
- Horse Racing Betting
- UFC Fighting Betting
- Boxing Betting
- Moto GP Betting
- Forumula One Betting
Some online sportsbooks also offer:
- Volleyball Betting
- Beach Volleyball
- Rugby Union
- Rugby League
- Australian Rules Football
- Greyhound racing
- Winter sports
- Field Hockey
- Table Tennis (Ping Pong)
- Celebrity, entertainment, business, political prop bets
Some online sportsbooks focus more on US sports, while others put more attention on European or Australian sports. For example, Sportsbook.com offers betting on Asian and European soccer betting, but not cricket or rugby. Bookmakers that do not accept U.S handicappers tend to offer fewer NBA, NFL, and MLB betting.
What Types of Bets Can I Make?
Any kind of bet that can be placed at a live sportsbook can also be placed online. In fact, since the bigger online sportsbooks are so much bigger than any live sportsbook, the online sportsbooks tend to be more creative with their betting options. Some of these include:
- Point Spread (straight bets)
- Totals (over/under)
- Parlays (Accumulators)
- Sweetheart Teasers
- Pleaser Teasers
- Round Robin
- Reverse bets
- Half Time Betting
- Props (proposition bets)
- Live Betting
What is the Minimum Bet Amount?
Most sportsbooks have a minimum bet amount of $1 – $5 online, and $20 – $25 over the phone (if offered). For live betting, most sports betting sites have minimum bet amounts of $1. Since a lot of games that are featured for live betting can offer hundreds of live bets per game, this keeps players more actively betting.
What is the Maximum Bet Amount?
The maximum bet amount that online sportsbooks accept is based on a couple of factors. The sport and type of bet you’re making generally limits bets at $500 – $5,000, but some sportsbooks offer bets over $20,000. For example, Bookmaker.com is known for their high maximum limits, accepting wagers up to $20,000, and even that limit can be increased. If you’re looking for high stakes sports betting, register at Bookmaker.com, then contact the customer service department to have your limits raised above $20,000 per bet. Parlay bets, teasers, and many futures bets get capped at lower amounts because the odds are so high. If someone hits a 10-team parlay at 800/1 odds, the payout can be enough to really hurt a sportsbook. For this reason, parlay bets are usually capped at $500.
Live betting is getting more and more popular every year. Live betting allows handicappers to bet during a game or sporting event, on potentially hundreds of individual outcomes. For example, during an NFL football game, a sportsbook might offer a bet on nearly every play of the game. In MLB baseball, you might be able to bet on every at-bat. Most online sportsbooks offer $1 minimum live bets, and $500 maximum bets. For U.S. bettors, we recommend the Bodog Sportsbook for live betting. They feature live betting for a lot of NFL football games, along with NBA and MLB as well. They also have the best live betting interface in the industry, with no download required.
Types of Bets that Can be Placed Live
- What team will score next?
- Will the next score be a touchdown or field goal?
- Will the next play be a rush or pass?
- Will the next batter strike out, walk, pop out, ground out, get a hit, or a home run?
- Which tennis player will win the next game, or next set?
- Will Tiger Woods eagle, birdie, par, or bogey the next hole?
There is an almost limitless number of live bets that can be placed. It’s all about the creativity of the sportsbook, and their ability to create odds that generate action, while also producing a profit for the book.
Mobile Sports Betting
Since everyone has a mobile phone these days, many online sportsbooks now offer mobile betting. This allows punters to bet while they’re at the game or out & about. Most online sportsbooks that offer mobile sports betting are compatible with iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry, and Windows phones.
Best Mobile Betting Bookmakers/Sportsbooks
- www.Bookmaker.com (US friendly)
Online Sportsbook Bonuses
Online sportsbooks offer bonuses to new players as an incentive to sign up. In order to cash out bonus money, all sportsbooks have some sort of playthrough requirement. Some require players to bet two times their deposit plus bonus amount. Others require handicappers to wager their deposit and bonus 5 or more time.Of course, the more you have to wager, the less likely you are to meet the play-through requirements.
Online Sports Betting Promotions
To keep customers happy, most online sport betting sites offer a number of promotions throughout the year. Some include free contests, others might be free bets, rebates, reduced juice days, double VIP points, and more. Since a lot of promotions are free, be sure to keep an eye on them at each sportsbook you register at.
Free Sports Bets
Some online sportsbooks offer free bets to their customers, usually as an incentive to sign up. Most free bets are in the $10 – $50 range, and standard bonus rollover requirements must be met before any winnings derived from free bets can be cashed out. Every online sportsbook has their own rollover requirements, so check those before placing your free bets.
Is Online Sports Betting Legal?
This depends on where you live. In some countries and regions, online sports betting is illegal, in others it is not, and yet in others, there is a grey area. Most European countries have proven themselves as pro-online gambling. In some places, laws have been put into place, but they are not enforced. To actually make an arrest requires some difficult and expensive steps for policing.
In the United States, there are no laws specifically against online sports betting, although politicians like to pretend there are. They try to convince people that the Interstate Wire Act is a law prohibiting online gambling, but it’s more complicated than that. The Wire Act was written before the invention of the internet, so using it as a bases to claim that online gambling is illegal in the U.S. is inaccurate.
To date, we’ve heard of 0 arrests in the United States as a result of the Wire Act, and we doubt that any cases brought up against a bettor based on this could be won. The truth is, millions of Americans have been betting at online sportsbooks for years, and nothing seems to be happening to anyone. With this said, what you do is at your own risk. A few states have passed laws against online gambling, and anyone looking to participate in it should check their local laws before placing a wager.