Best Online Betting Sites 2021
Welcome to the online.casino guide to betting sites 2021. Online sports betting grows with each passing year. More states and countries are regulating internet betting and legitimizing the industry.
As a result, you can enjoy more opportunities to place online wagers than ever before. This guide explains how you can take advantage of these opportunities at international betting sites.
It covers several topics, including the best betting sites, our criteria for selecting these bookmakers, and how to start wagering.
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How we determine the top betting sites
At online.casino we look at several factors behind each sports gambling site to find our top selections. The following aspects shape our choices for the best bookmakers.
Every bookmaker features odds on popular markets, such as the NBA, NFL, NHL, Premier League, UFC, and tennis. However, not every operator does a great job of covering more obscure sports.
Depending on your sports preference, you may want a bookmaker that provides lots of variety. After all, you can’t wager on handball and table tennis everywhere.
Markets are among the biggest focal points in our reviews. We make a strong effort to fill you in on each market that a particular sportsbook covers.
Most online bookmakers offer roughly the same odds on each outcome. However, some excel by featuring slightly better odds than the competition.
This topic is of the utmost importance to you. After all, better odds mean that you have a stronger chance of making money in the long run.
Here’s an example:
- Sportsbook A offers a -135 line on the Miami Dolphins.
- Sportsbook B features a -140 line on the Dolphins.
- You get slightly more value at Sportsbook A.
The above scenario is an isolated example. If a bookmaker continually offers stronger odds on the competition, though, they’re giving you a better chance to win money.
Most operators provide a welcome bonus that’s based on your first deposit. This deal can include a free bet and/or a deposit bonus.
A free bet offers the opportunity to win back losses stemming from a losing first wager. For instance, you might receive a free wager worth up to $30.
A deposit bonus matches a percentage of your initial deposit. For example, a bookmaker might offer a 100% match bonus worth up to $50.
We look at multiple factors when judging a sportsbook’s welcome package:
- Amount of money available – The option to chase more free money is always nice.
- Match percentage on deposit bonuses – Higher match percentages give you a larger bonus for a smaller deposit amount.
- Terms and conditions – Light T&Cs give you a better chance of earning a bonus.
Almost every betting site obtains licensing in one or more jurisdictions. Operators accomplish two main goals when getting a license:
- They gain access to countries/states within the licensing body’s jurisdiction.
- They secure a location to operate from (if necessary).
A sportsbook also gains more trustworthiness through some licenses. For example, approval from the UK Gambling Commission carries much more weight than licensing from Costa Rica.
Some online sportsbooks offer additional features to stand out from the competition. Live streaming, which lets you watch matches directly from a betting site, is one common example.
Other helpful features you’ll find throughout the industry include:
- Cashout (cash out a bet early for more or less than you stake)
- Currency options
- In-depth statistics
- Language options
- Live scores
Most operators don’t offer all of these features, but the best ones provide many of them.
Internet bookmakers develop reputations based on how they treat customers. Top operators maintain a prestigious reputation by offering quality support, fair bonus terms and conditions, and fast payouts.
Fortunately, most operators are aware that their reputation plays a big part in long-term success. They do their best to win bettors over by any means necessary.
However, rogue operators that don’t care about good customer service or quick payouts do exist. These sportsbooks may even be insolvent and use your deposit funds for operational purposes.
You won’t find any scandalous bookmakers among our top picks. In fact, we do our best to warn you about rogue betting sites.
Worthwhile sportsbooks should always treat their customers with respect. They need to employ knowledgeable support reps who can easily handle any issues and questions that may arise.
Of course, we don’t expect every bookmaker and support rep to be perfect. However, we don’t tolerate betting sites that continually let gamblers down either.
Customer service is a big part of our review process. We contact support departments directly with basic questions to see how they respond and treat us.
How to get started with online betting
Internet sportsbooks do their best to offer you an easy introduction to betting. Nevertheless, you may need additional advice when signing up and depositing with internet bookmakers.
Select an online sportsbook
The sports gambling industry offers numerous sites for you to choose from. You may initially be overwhelmed when deciding on one or more operators.
You can always refer to the list on this page for guidance. We’ve spent a considerable amount of time reviewing bookmakers and determining our recommendations.
You might also consider using the information from this guide to make your own selections. This route is more time-consuming, but it can be worthwhile if you find the perfect site.
After choosing a bookmaker, you need to register for an account. Registration is a quick process that shouldn’t take more than a few minutes.
Here are the simple steps you should take to join an internet sportsbook:
- Fill out the required fields.
- Read through the site’s terms and conditions (optional).
- Agree to the T&Cs.
- Submit your account for approval (typically instant).
Depending on your country of residence, you may not be able to join some online bookmakers. Therefore, you should check the list of restricted countries before spending time on the signup process.
Upon finishing registration, you must place a deposit before making bets. You can do so by visiting a site’s banking section.
Once there, you should select a relevant payment method and follow the instructions. If you’re placing a credit card deposit, for example, you must enter your card number and CV2 code.
The operator also prompts you to input the amount you wish to deposit. After entering the appropriate information, you confirm the deposit and wait for your funds to arrive.
Browse available bets
Most sportsbooks feature a wide range of markets and bet types. You should take your time looking over them.
When you’ve found an attractive wager, you can fill out a betting slip along with how much you’d like to risk, then submit the ticket and officially place your bet.
Sports gambling site serve mobile customers in one of two ways:
- Browser-based betting (e.g., with Safari)
- An app
You don’t need to download anything to wager through your internet browser. Instead, you simply complete registration, make a deposit, and place bets via your browser.
You do, however, need to obtain an app when necessary. The download process varies based on whether your smartphone/tablet runs Android or iOS.
The Google Play Store doesn’t allow some countries to download gambling apps. You may need to secure an Android betting app directly from the operator.
In such cases, the sportsbook displays an Android emblem on its homepage. You select this emblem to begin the download process or find the instructions for doing so.
iPad & iPhone betting
The App Store allows gambling products. However, Apple requires operators to use their native programming language.
Provided an online sportsbook meets these requirements, it can offer its app through the App Store.
Depositing at betting sites
The deposit process is largely the same across the bookmaking industry. However, operators differ in terms of banking methods, deposit/cashout limits, and identity verification.
Betting operators vary on how many banking methods they offer. It’s best to choose an online bookmaker that features plenty of options.
More options ensure that you can both deposit and cash out with no trouble. Here are some banking methods available throughout the betting industry:
Minimum & maximum deposits
Internet sportsbooks impose minimum and maximum deposit limits, which differ from one operator to the next.
The minimum deposit at most sportsbooks ranges from $10 to $20. The maximum can lie anywhere between $5,000 and $100,000.
If you’re a high-roller, you may even be able to negotiate higher limits depending on the bookmaker.
You provide personal information upfront when registering for an account. However, this information doesn’t necessarily verify your identity.
Betting sites commonly require you to provide additional identification when cashing out. They may, for instance, ask that you email a photo ID and a recent utility bill.
Their goal is twofold:
- Preventing money laundering and abiding by their jurisdictions’ laws.
- Verifying that you’re indeed the person requesting a cashout from your account.
You typically must provide extra identification upon making your first withdrawal. Depending on the operator, you may also be asked to go through this process at random points in the future.
Sports betting sites offer bonuses to encourage you to sign up and deposit with them. They dangle free bets and/or deposit bonuses.
You qualify for these deals by entering the proper bonus code (if required) upon registering. Afterwards, you must satisfy the terms and conditions before withdrawing the funds. Compared to casino bonuses there offers are usually smaller in size, but with a much lower wagering requirement.
Free bets provide insurance on your first wager at a new sportsbook. They give you an opportunity to earn back potential losses.
Here’s an example:
- A bookmaker offers a free bet worth up to $20.
- You wager and lose $20.
- You can now get this amount back after satisfying T&Cs.
A deposit offer provides a bonus that’s based on your deposit amount. It typically matches a percentage of your deposit.
Here’s an example:
- An internet sportsbook features a 50% match bonus worth up to $200.
- You deposit $150.
- 150 x 0.75 = $75 bonus.
Terms & Conditions
Each betting bonus comes with terms and conditions. Common T&Cs include rollover, minimum odds, and market restrictions.
Rollover refers to how much you must wager before withdrawing a bonus. If you need to satisfy 8x rollover on a $100 bonus, for example, you have to wager $800 overall.
Minimum odds indicate that you must bet at or above specific odds to remain qualified for a bonus. Assuming minimum odds are -160, for instance, then you can’t wager at -165 odds or lower.
Some bookmakers may offer a bonus that only pertains to a specific market, such as esports.
Available bets at online sportsbooks
The internet betting world offers several types of bets. Here are the common wagers that you can make at sportsbooks.
A moneyline is a straight-up bet that handicaps each outcome. It attaches a minus sign to the favorite and a plus sign to the underdog.
Here’s an example:
- Chelsea +145 (betting $100 to win $145)
- Manchester United -120 (betting $120 to win $100)
A point spread uses points to handicap outcomes. The favorite must cover more points, while the underdog receives extra points.
Here’s an example:
- Chicago Bears +3.5 (Bears must lose by 3 points or less)
- Minnesota Vikings -3.5 (Vikings must win by 4 points or more)
Totals (a.k.a. over/under) involves the combined point total of the teams involved in a match. You must wager under or over the total.
Here’s an example:
- Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks
- Over 209.5 (both teams must combine for 210 points or more)
- Under 209.5 (both teams must combine for 209 points or fewer)
An accumulator combines four or more outcomes into a single bet. You need to correctly guess every outcome on the ticket to win.
Here’s an example:
- Manchester United -120
- Chicago Bears +3.5
- Celtics/Knicks – Over 209.5
- Montreal Canadiens -135
- You bet $100
- You stand to win $1,200 if all four outcomes are successful.
Like accumulators, teasers also roll multiple outcomes into a wager. They differ, though, by allowing you to “tease” the odds by a specified number of points.
Here’s an example:
- 6-point teaser (adjust each line six points one way or the other)
- Houston Rockets +4.5 vs. LA Lakers -4.5 (starting line)
- Totals (over) 214.5 / (under) 214.5 (starting line)
- You tease the Rockets at +10.5
- You tease the over at 220.5
- You stand to win $100 for every $110 wagered if both picks are successful
Live bets become available in the middle of matches. They provide an opportunity to get more action after a match has already started.
Here’s an example of a live wager:
- The New York Yankees are playing the Boston Red Sox.
- The game is in the sixth inning.
- A bookmaker offers +175 odds that at least one home run will be hit before the game ends.
Commonly associated with esports, outrights involve choosing the winner of an entire tournament. You must choose one team from a field of options.
Here’s an example:
- A bookmaker offers an outright on the League of Legends “World Championship.”
- They provide a field of 12 teams.
- You choose Team Liquid at +225.
Online Betting Sites FAQ
The legality of internet sports betting differs based on the state and/or country you live in. Therefore, you should always check your local laws on the matter.
Some countries, such as the UK, allow sports gambling on a national scale. You can place online bets in the UK if you’re over 18 years old.
Other nations, like the United States, let individual states decide the fate of betting. New Jersey features legal sports betting, for example, while Utah bans it.
Some countries completely outlaw online wagering, including China, North Korea, and Russia.
Many online sportsbooks offer free wagers when you place your first deposit. You simply need to fund your account with the minimum deposit to qualify.
If you win the first bet, you collect the winnings and carry on. In the case of a loss, you have an opportunity to earn the money back by meeting terms and conditions.
You should read bonus T&Cs before placing a deposit. This way, you know what’s expected to reclaim the losses.
The vast majority of internet sportsbooks feature safe and secure websites. They use Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology to encrypt any information that you exchange with them.
Most sportsbooks also process withdrawals in a timely manner. Prompt payouts indicate that a bookmaker is financially healthy and won’t use your deposit funds for other purposes.
However, some bad apples do exist throughout the industry. You can consult our rankings and reviews to avoid unscrupulous operators.
Credit cards are the fastest way to fund betting accounts. However, they come with a higher rejection rate than any other deposit method.
E-wallets offer relatively quick deposits, too. However, Neteller and Skrill—two of the most popular e-wallets—don’t qualify for bonuses at most sportsbooks.
ACH (eCheck) is yet another fast method of funding your account. Depending on your bank, though, it may not be an option.
Each banking option carries pros and cons that you need to examine to determine which method is best for you.
Under normal circumstances, you can’t cancel a betting slip after submitting it. After all, the odds can change in an instant based on new information coming in.
You’d gain an advantage by submitting and canceling wagers. Bookmakers avoid this problem by making all bets final.
That said, you should double and triple check your betting slips before finalizing them. You especially want to ensure that you don’t accidentally wager too much.
A small minority of sports bettors try taking advantage of bonuses through loopholes. Their goal is to look for generous details that allow them to gain guaranteed profits.
Bookmakers refer to individuals who routinely engage in this process as “bonus abusers.” They sometimes block bonus abusers from withdrawing money for violating terms and conditions.
A bonus abuser stands a better chance of cashing out by using Neteller or Skrill. E-wallets allow gamblers to withdraw funds within 0-24 hours.
As a result, many sportsbooks disqualify Skrill and Neteller deposits from offers. They want more time to review accounts and block cashouts if they suspect bonus abuse.
If you want to win long-term betting profits, you need to beat the bookies. You’ll find this pursuit to be difficult.
Oddsmakers are highly skilled at setting tight lines. Their goal is to ensure that they don’t give one side of a line much—if any—advantage.
Nevertheless, you still have a chance to win in online sports betting—though you must be willing to dedicate a lot of time to this pursuit.
The best sports gamblers have spent years following markets and improving their skills through trial and error.
You can wager on many different markets at internet bookmakers. Everything from sports to politics is available.
Of course, sports offer the most robust market selection. You’ll find dozens of available sports at most bookmakers.
Many operators have done an excellent job at expanding their options to include politics, esports, the Oscars, and more.
You should check out a bookmaker’s markets before depositing, especially if you’re into more obscure sports.