One of the most important decisions you make when playing online is not the team you are betting on, and certainly not the size of your stake. The key decision is to choose the right online betting company. There are dozens of sports betting companies on the internet and almost all of them offer the same betting services, so how do you decide which one is best for you?
Here are our top 10 tips to consider:
1. What do you want to bet on?
All betting shops allow you to place basic bets - straight bets, totals, betting odds, etc. But not all offer riskier markets such as quarter lines, timelines or event teasers.
Similarly, some will have a much better selection of live betting than others. Each website will offer NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and college sports news. However, many will offer a limited selection of more obscure events such as NASCAR, tennis, golf, UFC, football, cybersport, cricket, rugby, political betting, Oscars, DWTS etc.
When it comes to pivot betting, the differences between bookmakers become even greater. It's much harder to set up these lines, and indeed the book suffers more. For this reason, fewer and fewer sites offer unique betting details or sports futures.
2. Site drift
It is advisable to visit the betting site at different times of the day, analyze their website for performance, check that all the links work and make sure that the site is of high quality. And also whether the rules for bookmakers are indicated, as is done here: https://betting-sider.net/grundlaeggende-regler-for-sportsboeger/.
3. Mobile betting
Although we all love the internet, we can't sit in front of a computer all the time. Check out what other betting options the company offers. Other alternatives might include betting on smartphones and tablets, as well as betting by phone.
See if there are any disadvantages to such bets; often a minimum betting amount or commission is required to place a bet over the phone with an operator.
4. Check bookmaker reviews
What do others say about the bookmaker's office? Just as you should do your research before choosing a team, you should find out as much as you can about your online bookmaker. Read some online bookmaker reviews and learn more about how to choose your first bookmaker.
5. The welcome bonus is not all there is to it
Remember the saying "if it sounds too good to be true..."? Don't open an account with a bookmaker just because they offer the highest welcome bonus.
There are many dubious betting shops that offer 100%, 200% bonuses to new customers. Either small desperate bookmakers on the verge of bankruptcy or scammers. The big bookmakers know that if they give away all their money, they simply won't be able to continue.
Also note that the bigger the welcome bonus, the higher the transfer requirements. This is the number of times you have to risk your deposit and bonus before you will be allowed to withdraw your money. In fact, most professional sports betting players never get the welcome bonus for this reason. (For more information, read "Betting online: explaining sports betting bonuses")
6. There can be no minimum deposit
Find out how much deposit a company needs to open an account. Some allow you to open for as little as $20, while others ask for $100 or more. Beware of higher minimum rates for phone calls: some companies require up to $100. For some players, this may work, but for others, it may not.
7. Additional betting options are important
When choosing a betting company, most people probably think of sports betting first. Remember that there are many alternative betting options that are not necessarily offered by all companies.
These include casinos, poker rooms, racetracks, lotteries and sporting events. Again, the quality of each of these products will vary from provider to provider. Think about what you are looking for in terms of pricing before you commit.
8. The importance of customer service
There is nothing more annoying than sitting and waiting 20 minutes for help. Before opening an account, call the company's customer service, send an email or ask a fake question in the chat room to see how long it will take to get an answer.
This is also a good way to check the quality of customer service. Many of these call centers are located in offshore jurisdictions where English may not be the first language.
9. Get paid to win
Everything else may be perfect, but if you don't get paid when you win, it will all be for nothing. Check the checkout page on your site for withdrawal options, fees and expected payment times. The most common forms of payment at betting shops are Western Union, Money Gram, cheques, bank transfers, rechargeable debit cards and bitcoins.
Related publication: The best European bookmakers
10. It's important to make funding easier
If you plan to use a credit card to fund your account, this is very important. Many online bookmakers have difficulty processing customers' credit cards. Success rates vary, but rarely exceed 40%.
Most also accept Visa cards, but not Mastercard or American Express. When deciding where to play, pick the top 3, so if your credit card is declined in your first choice, you can try a second or third option.