Online Betting » Betting Guide » Sports Betting Guide: Everything You Need to Know about Sports Betting in 2024

Sports Betting Guide: Everything You Need to Know about Sports Betting in 2024

Dave Kuzio
Editor
Fact checked by: Jim Knight
Publish Date: 25.01.2024

When it comes to online sports betting, betting blindly – or with your heart – is never going to end well. While we can’t provide guarantees, we can provide a complete breakdown of how to get the most out of the experience.

For starters, you’ll want to find an online sportsbook that excels in a few key areas, including the kind of markets, odds, and bonuses provided. You’ll then want to review any standout features that help to make the betting process as streamlined and personalised as possible. Fortunately, we’ve done a lot of the hard work for you.

How Sports Betting sites Work: The Key Areas of an Online Sports Betting Site

To get the most out of sports betting online, it is important to get a firm hold of the basics. As you’ll soon see, everything from official licencing to the type of odds and markets provided plays its part in offering the complete sports betting experience.

1. Legitimate licencing and advanced security

First and foremost, we’ll need to have confirmed the legitimacy of any online sports betting site before they can ever feature amongst our list of the best betting sites in May.

Official licencing confirms that a site has been externally audited and deemed safe to operate. However, the addition of the latest encryption technology, adherence to KYC/AML checks, and the potential to add safer gambling limits to your account all play their part.

2. Streams of sports and a wide selection of betting markets

Once we have confirmed all of the above, we’ll be ready to make our way around the available sports, leagues, competitions, and markets. Generally, you would expect to find all major leagues covered, including the NFL, EPL, and NBA. However, the very best online sportsbooks are now beginning to cover everything from kabaddi and lacrosse to esports tournaments and alpine skiing.

Understandably, market availability differs across the board, too. For the most part, you’ll find 1X2s, totals, and spreads are available. However, available markets will follow the calibre of each fixture.

Understanding major markets

You can use this table to help find out more about the kind of markets you would expect to find at a top online sports betting site.

Market TypeOverviewExample
1X2 or MoneylineA straight bet on whether the game will end in a draw or player/team 1 or 2 will win.You could place a bet on Liverpool to beat Everton or the game between Chelsea and Tottenham to end in a draw.
SpreadSimilar to the moneyline; however, the odds have been evened out by a numerical advantage or disadvantage.You could bet on Luton to beat Arsenal with the help of (+2) additional goals.
Total or Over/UnderFocused on the combined total points of a fixture.You could bet on LA Rams vs. LA Chargers to end with over or under 42.5 points.
PropsAny type of wager not based directly on the outcome of a fixture.Betting on the last goalscorer, total number of corners, first player to get a yellow card, etc.
FuturesAny wager that focuses on the group, competition, tournament, or MVP winners placed before the final takes place.A bet on Real Madrid to win the 2024 UEFA Champions League Final.

3. Competitive odds available before and during each game

After establishing that your favourite sports, teams, and leagues are all covered, you’ll want to take time to review the type of odds provided. When comparing the best online sports betting sites, we found that the odds remained competitive, the house edge was fair, and the odds followed the market movement. However, they are also based on a number of additional factors, including stats, news, and current position.

How are odds displayed?

Although some of the best betting sites provide you with a number of additional ways to view your odds, the most common are detailed in this convenient table.

OddsFavouriteUnderdog
FractionalNewcastle (1/2)Everton (9/2)
DecimalChelsea (1.5)Luton (5.5)
AmericanLA Lakers (-200)76ers (+450)

4. Bonuses and promotions released throughout your time online

The bonuses and promotions found at an online sports betting platform can add to the overall experience. However, they do not provide you with a guarantee of walking away with a winning wager. All top betting bonuses will come with fair requirements attached, including a realistic playthrough, a range of eligible markets, and a number of days to complete.

What kind of bonuses will I find?

Bonuses will vary from sportsbook to sportsbook – some may even use a combination of bonuses to help you along the way. In this helpful table, we’ve provided a quick overview of what each major bonus offers.

Market TypeOverviewExample
1X2 or MoneylineA straight bet on whether the game will end in a draw or player/team 1 or 2 will win.You could place a bet on Liverpool to beat Everton or the game between Chelsea and Tottenham to end in a draw.
SpreadSimilar to the moneyline; however, the odds have been evened out by a numerical advantage or disadvantage.You could bet on Luton to beat Arsenal with the help of (+2) additional goals.
Total or Over/UnderFocused on the combined total points of a fixture.You could bet on LA Rams vs. LA Chargers to end with over or under 42.5 points.
PropsAny type of wager not based directly on the outcome of a fixture.Betting on the last goalscorer, total number of corners, first player to get a yellow card, etc.
FuturesAny wager that focuses on the group, competition, tournament, or MVP winners placed before the final takes place.A bet on Real Madrid to win the 2024 UEFA Champions League Final.

5. Competitive odds available before and during each game

After establishing that your favourite sports, teams, and leagues are all covered, you’ll want to take time to review the type of odds provided. When comparing the best online sports betting sites, we found that the odds remained competitive, the house edge was fair, and the odds followed the market movement. However, they are also based on a number of additional factors, including stats, news, and current position.

How are odds displayed?

Although some of the best betting sites provide you with a number of additional ways to view your odds, the most common are detailed in this convenient table.

Odds FormatFavouriteUnderdog
FractionalNewcastle (1/2)Everton (9/2)
DecimalChelsea (1.5)Luton (5.5)
AmericanLA Lakers (-200)76ers (+450)

6. Bonuses and promotions released throughout your time online

The bonuses and promotions found at an online sports betting platform can add to the overall experience. However, they do not provide you with a guarantee of walking away with a winning wager. All top betting bonuses will come with fair requirements attached, including a realistic playthrough, a range of eligible markets, and a number of days to complete.

What kind of bonuses will I find?

Bonuses will vary from sportsbook to sportsbook – some may even use a combination of bonuses to help you along the way. In this helpful table, we’ve provided a quick overview of what each major bonus offers.

BonusOverview
Deposit Match BonusThe deposit match bonus can be found throughout your online experience. However, it is usually used as a welcome offer. As the name suggests, an online sports betting site will match your deposit up to a certain value.
No Deposit BonusThe no deposit bonus can be used at the sign-up stage or as part of a perk for working through the rewards program. A no deposit bonus does not require funds to leave your account. However, you may need to enter a promo code.
Bonus BetsOnline sports betting sites will provide you with bonus bets as an incentive for reaching a certain milestone or for completing a specific task. For instance, you may be expected to deposit and bet £50 throughout the week.
First Bet OfferA first bet offer provides your first online sports betting wager with a little support. In short, if your first bet loses, you’ll be returned your initial bet in the shape of a betting bonus that can then be used across the site.

Our top bonuses in 2024

7. A streamlined registration, simple bet-building, and the option to bet on the go

All of the above features are essential to help create an impressive online sportsbook. However, it can all fall apart at the seams if the usability, accessibility, and overall design are lacking. In our online sports betting reviews, we’ll be sure to detail the experience of working our way around each sports betting site, how you can register, and what it feels like to build your bets.

How does the mobile experience differ?

Many of the newest online betting sites have been working hard to ensure that the desktop and mobile experiences are in sync. In turn, you can transition seamlessly between desktop and mobile play. In this table, you’ll find a few perks and drawbacks of each.

PlatformProsCons
Desktop Site
  • Full betting experience
  • Live streams backed by a powerful device
  • Biggest selection of contact methods
  • Limited to where you can place bets
Mobile Site
  • Ability to access full experience on the go
  • No need to take up storage space
  • Experience optimized for smaller screens
  • Will need to locate secure networks
Mobile App
  • Available to deposit, bet, and withdraw on the go
  • Backed by the latest technology
  • May find specific app-only promotions
  • Not provided by all online bookmaker

8. Watch your wagers unfold, edit your bets in-play, and become a VIP

On first viewing, the idea of online sports betting may seem a little confusing. However, once you’ve made use of our online comparisons, you’ll find that the key to a successful experience is largely down to finding an online gambling platform that suits your requirements.

Live streams, VIP programs, and the edit-a-bet feature may all prove critical to your own betting preferences – fortunately, we’ve covered all of the unique perks of each recommended bookmaker in our reviews, too.

Sports betting comparisons: What to expect from the best sports betting sites in May

Armed with a better understanding of how the world of sports betting online works, it is now time to check out exactly where you can register, redeem top bonuses, and bet on your favourite sports today.

Betway – filter through 50,000 markets at this top sports betting site

Betway sports overview
Betway sports
Betway sports
Betway mobile betting

Betway provides a top online sports betting experience for all types of bettors. Whether new or experienced, you’ll soon find yourself at home thanks to the intuitive tech and simple site design. You can deposit using a range of credible methods, unlock an impressive welcome bonus, and begin searching through an eclectic mix of markets. A simple click on corresponding odds will add any additions to your bet slip. Once submitted, you can follow the progress of your bets, make use of the cash-out feature, and build in-play bets based on the stats and facts provided.

  • 50,000+ betting markets
  • Simple registration process
  • Range of ongoing promotions
  • Dedicated mobile app
  • Withdrawal times vary

Bet 365 – a European powerhouse packed with perks

Bet365
Betway365 bookmaker
Bet365 Sports mobile
Engage in live betting from your phone

Bet365 is an established online sports betting site that has cemented itself as offering one of the most complete betting offerings to date. You’ll find everything from football and basketball to esports and motorsports. Plus, you can enjoy the same great experience through its impressive mobile app. Live streams remain stable, and odds remain competitive throughout, creating an immersive sports betting experience for those looking to wager pre-match or in-play.

Support is also available around the clock, meaning any issues are soon dealt with.

  • Fantastic market coverage
  • Stable streaming service
  • Intuitive mobile app
  • Competitive odds
  • Fewer bonuses and promotions

22Bet – A great choice for those looking for the full experience on the go

22Bet Main
22Bet sportsbook
22Bet sport betting
Bet on your mobile at 22Bet

22Bet is another top online sports betting site that is home to an abundance of great features, top markets, and exciting bonuses. Although the site may appear a little more complex, building bets is a breeze and you can search through a number of sports, including everything from football, basketball, and tennis to all sorts of esports competitions. The mobile app is a real standout, allowing you to take the full experience away with you. You can deposit using a range of credible methods, watch the action unfold through a live stream, and get in contact with live support around the clock, too.

  • Impressive mobile app
  • Huge market coverage
  • Credible payment methods
  • Live support options
  • Website is a little complex for new bettors

Taking things step by step: A handy guide to help you bet on sports online

Although things may differ slightly from sportsbook to sportsbook, the process of registering, redeeming your first bonus, and placing your first bet remains much the same across the board. So, next up, we’ve built a quick step-by-step guide to help walk you through the process.

Online comparisons

You can begin by working your way through our online comparisons. Here, you’ll find all the important details surrounding each online sports betting site to help find an experience that suits your preferences.

Get Started

Once you’ve found an ideal place to bet online, you can head to the website or download the app of your chosen sports betting site.

Check for promo codes

During this stage, you will want to make sure that you enter any promotional codes available. Then, press submit to create your account.

Verify your account

Before you can begin building your bets, you’ll need to verify your identity. Most top online sports betting sites will require a photo ID and a household bill. Some may ask for a selfie, too.

Make your deposit

After verifying your identity, you can head on over to the wallet or cashier section of your online bookmaker. Search through available options before entering details and submitting a qualifying deposit.

Place your bets

With your account now locked and loaded, you can head on over to the sportsbook. Begin filtering through your preferred markets, select corresponding odds to add to your bet slip, enter your stake, and submit. 

Verdict: Make the most of our online comparisons and bet safely on sports today

The hardest part of betting online is finding a suitable online sports betting platform that ticks all of your boxes. Fortunately, we’ve done a lot of the hard work for you and created some authentic comparisons of the very best places to bet online today.

Now you’ve bolstered your own knowledge of what to expect from the best online sportsbooks and how to sign yourself up, you can use our reviews to help find your perfect match. We’ve covered all of the important attributes, including markets, odds, bonuses, and overall user experience. Plus, you’ll find that we’ve highlighted exactly where you can find live streams, VIP programs, and more.

More top betting sites in 2024

Online Sports Betting FAQ

🏆 Can I bet on tournament winners at an online sports betting site?

Depending on the sports betting site you have opted to join, you may have the option of betting on tournament winners, on pre-match markets, and in-play. To save you some time, we’ve added all of this information to our latest sports betting site reviews. 

💰 Is it possible to win money betting on sports?

Online sportsbooks come with no guarantees. However, you can give yourself the best possible head start by making the most of our latest reviews and checking out the odds and bonuses provided by your preferred destination.

📱 Can I bet on sports through a specific app?

Although many online sportsbooks are offering you the chance to unlock the full betting experience through your mobile phone, not all will provide a dedicated app. Instead, you’ll be able to save some storage space and visit through your mobile browser.

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