Methodology – How We Rate Bookmakers

Our bank of betting experts has pooled their combined experience to provide all the current betting information on this site. We perform rigorous testing of every online betting site we visit, and most importantly, it is all done from an unbiased perspective. 

Our goal is to present the most transparent, relevant, and accurate information about bookmakers, whether they are long-standing operators or new to the scene – we look at them all the same way. 

All the research that our experts undertake is based on some essential foundations:


First and foremost, we don’t go any further with a review of a betting site’s services unless they are fully licensed and regulated. Not only do we look for information such as the licence number issued by the Gambling Commission, but we follow through to look at the licencing and company details. If they are not licensed, we won’t even consider reviewing them for player safety.

Safety & Security

The next area which we look at is the security of the site. For any betting site to get fully licensed and regulated, it has to meet specific technical standards. Things like 128-bit Secure Socket Layer encryption to how the bookmaker collects your data and what they do with it are all massively important things. 

Even though we expect them to be there, we still check. To further study this area, we also research online for anything like news reports about data breaches.

Payment Methods

This is an area of online betting which can vary greatly. At any of the listed betting sites, you will find debit card deposits and bank transfers. But from there, it will be down to the individual bookmaker as to what other payment options they approve. 

It’s common to see payment methods and minimum deposit payment amounts vary between bookmakers. We prefer to see various payment options as that can help punters, but it’s not necessarily a detractor if a betting site doesn’t have that.

Our experienced betting experts generally recommend sticking to a debit card for the most part, anyway, when it comes to online deposits. While the method is a little slower for withdrawals, having the backing of an actual banking institution gives us extra peace of mind and security. But we understand it’s not for everyone, and some players may prefer an e-wallet solution like Skrill or Paypal.

We check it all out to know exactly what to do, where on a site to go to make a payment and how to add more than one option if we so desire. Payment restrictions also apply to welcome bonus offers at online betting sites, so we check that out as well. 

Withdrawal Methods

There are standards that betting sites have to follow for withdrawals. Part of that is operating a closed-loop system, meaning withdrawals must return to the funding source where possible. This is a security measure in the fight against money laundering.

But not all payment options used are available for withdrawals, however. When it’s not, it can delay the process of cashing out, so we advise fully understanding the options at your chosen site. 

We check what withdrawal methods are available, the expected speed of processing times, and whether options like Fast Transfers are available. Other essential aspects are withdrawal fees and minimum amounts. Checking independent customer reviews for real withdrawal experiences is also a step we take to gain the fullest picture possible.

Account verification, a requirement set out by the Gambling Commission’s Know Your Customer rules, needs to be completed before the first withdrawal on an account or within a set period of opening one. 

We look at how easy and secure it is to send personal documents over for verification, ideally through an online document uploader and how long a bookie will take to verify your info.

Customer Support

The quality of customer support is another crucial element of an online betting experience that we examine. We investigate the different channels of support that are available during operating hours and what those operating hours are – ideally 24/7.

The ease of access to a customer support member is essential. We don’t enjoy having to click around five different pages to find a link that will finally open a live chat. We also are not fond of dealing with unhelpful chatbots that keep cycling us back to FAQ pages.

Having used plenty of customer support tools, we understand that having access to good customer service offers peace of mind. We want to know what factors like the speed of receiving responses via email or a live chat are and how knowledgeable the person on the other end of the line is.

We also tie in any Knowledge Base and Frequently Asked Question sections. Those are significant, too, because we expect to see standard information about things like payments and account verification listed and easy to find.


The value of sports betting odds is something that is not overlooked. There is not one bookmaker that beats the rest on every single betting opportunity. But some do commonly rise to the top when comparing odds, which, in our opinion, is one of the best ways to judge bookmakers. 

We check for bookie margins on major markets like the Premier League and horse racing to get a solid overall picture of the odds. In our experience, you can find bookmakers that are better for value in some sporting regions.

For odds, we also check for the frequency of enhanced odds offers and bet boosts that can be used to improve prices further.

Responsible Gambling

Any form of gambling comes with risk. Bookmakers play a significant role in making Responsible Gambling tools available to address this issue. We look at how easy it is to set up things like bet and deposit limits or to enter a self-exclusion if necessary. Some tools can be set manually – others will require the help of a betting site’s support team. We scan to see what other links to support services are available.

Choice of Sports Markets

Some sports are naturally more popular than others. For the UK and Irish betting scenes, the big two are football and horse racing. So bookmakers push those perhaps more than others because that’s where the key interest is. 

But we like to see what the actual depth of sports coverage at betting sites is. We understand that not every punter is the same and that someone may be more interested in picking up darts betting coverage than the last racing.

Choice of Betting Markets

Along with the range of available sports comes market variety. There may well be tennis listed at a betting site, but are they covering all the week’s tournaments, including lower-tiered events?

Are the latest snooker matches from the World Championships going in-play at a particular bookmaker? Are there frame handicaps? Winning Margin bets? Totals? These are all angles to size up when looking at the choice of betting markets. 

Online betting has seen more and more markets become mainstream, things like Over/Under, Both Teams To Score and Half Time/Full in football, while Fast Markets have crept into in-play betting as well. 

Some bookmakers address this better than others. Having an abundance of markets doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s the best value inside, so as with most things, there’s a balance to find. 

Mobile App

While any betting site can be accessed through a mobile browser, many punters, including ourselves, prefer apps. They are generally easier to use on smaller screens because of their specific design and function. Options like 2-FA and biometric login bolster security. 

However, the functionality and user-friendliness of mobile betting apps are essential as well. We understand the need for them to operate quickly, even during live in-play events with streaming, because that all ties into convenience.

The Bet & Watch option for live events is where a mobile betting app can shine. But you also want it to do the basics well, like having the bet slip handle smoothly and having ready access to customer support. Other key features of betting apps we check for are navigation, features, and exclusive promotions.

Design & User Experience

Visiting a site that is not so easy on the eye or is inhibited by poor menu design isn’t going to give you the best experience, even if the odds on the platform are strong. The bookmakers (or bookmakers) you opt for are the ones that you are going to keep going back to.

If you are frustrated by poor navigation tools every time, then enjoyment will wane quickly. So, it’s advisable to find user-friendly sites that aren’t busy and distracting while having that balance of market value and features.

We don’t undervalue the importance of user experience as end-users. It’s our time and money we are inputting, and we want to use platforms that will make things go smoothly.

Sign-Up Offer

An online betting experience at any bookmaker shouldn’t be defined by just the welcome bonus offer. Most bookmakers have a sign-up promo running to attract new players, which has become an essential component for players. 

A good promotion can make it feel like you are getting off on the right foot, and there are indeed incentives that can be grabbed from them.

We dive into this much-varied area to determine which promotions provide the best value and which fall short. The most essential aspect of welcome bonus offers is understanding the terms and conditions attached to them.

Regular Promotions

This is arguably a far more indispensable area than the one-time sign-up bonuses. We like betting sites that have bonuses that regularly give back to players. Our experts prefer to look at the range of long-standing promotions before even looking at the sign-up offer.

Regular promotions can deliver a good punch of value to your day-to-day betting. It could be through existing customer offers like Acca Insurance, Best Odds Guaranteed, Racing Money Back Specials and Enhanced Odds, or even rewards clubs. Some bookies go heavy-handed with such promos – others, not so much.


Available features are another essential area. Bookmakers are continuously pushing for innovation and to break the mould with the next big thing. First, it was in-play betting and live-streaming.

More recently, it has been the addition and expansion of Cash Out and Partial Cash out availability on markets, which remain some of the best features of all, in our opinion. Then Bet Builders became the newest sensation where punters can create same-game multis.

Features can add to an overall online betting experience and are worth considering when choosing bookies. From the quality of statistics presented during live in-play betting, 1-click betting, group bets, tipster and free-to-play prediction games, features are part and parcel of the modern online betting experience.

Customer Reviews

The internet is a sounding board for many people to unleash their compliments or gripes anonymously. Whether that’s through social media or on dedicated review platforms like Trustpilot and the App Store, it’s easy to find reviews from actual customers.

We look at these as well because we like to use the information to try to verify for ourselves if those issues still exist or are well-founded. Current customer reviews, straight from the horse’s mouth, are great a well of information. 

Why You Can Trust Us

Every member of our team takes sports betting seriously. Many have years of online betting experience, which equates to having personally visited bookmakers, signed up for accounts and placed bets.

After all, we are punters, too and want to achieve the best possible online experience. Thanks to our experience, we know what to look for and how to spot exciting new trustworthy sportsbooks. But we don’t rely solely on our personal experiences either. 

Our team simply aggregates the real-world experiences of playing at betting sites, combined with essential things like Gambling Commission licensing and reviews from customers at sites that have no vested interest in promoting a bookmaker.

It’s our goal always to present factual, transparent information to pass on to our readers. Our hope at the end of the day is that our knowledge, experience, and even mistakes we have made help punters get a fair, enjoyable and safe online betting experience.