How To Bet Online in 2024 (UK) - Ultimate Guide for Beginners

Looking to bet online but unsure of where to start? Our betting experts have created an easy to follow guide to betting online in the UK along with how to signup for an account at your favourite bookmaker. We’ve included how odds should be used and how you can claim a free bet offer on signup in most cases.

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Carl Hughes Betting Expert

Updated:May 23, 2024

Best Places to Bet Online for 2024:

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Min. Deposit

£5

Website

Regulated by

MGA, UKGC

Founded

2000

Owner

Bet365 Group Ltd

Offer terms

Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. Registration required. #ad

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Deposit methods

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Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. Registration required. #ad | T&C apply

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Min. Deposit

£10

Website

Regulated by

MGA, UKGC

Founded

1967

Owner

Petfre (Gibraltar) Limited

Offer terms

New customers only. Register (excl. 13/04/24) with WELCOME50. First bet £10+ at Evens (2.0)+ on Sports within 7 days to get Free Bets: £20 In-Play, £20 Acca & 50 x £0.20 (£10) Free Spins on Fishin’ Frenzy within 10 hours of settlement. 7-day expiry. Eligibility & payment exclusions apply. Full T&Cs apply.

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Deposit methods

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New customers only. Register (excl. 13/04/24) with WELCOME50. First bet £10+ at Evens (2.0)+ on Sports within 7 days to get Free Bets: £20 In-Play, £20 Acca & 50 x £0.20 (£10) Free Spins on Fishin’ Frenzy within 10 hours of settlement. 7-day expiry. Eligibility & payment exclusions apply. Full T&Cs apply. | T&C apply

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  • Over 270 branches across the UK and Ireland
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Min. Deposit

£10

Regulated by

MGA, UKGC

Founded

1982

Owner

BoyleSports Counterparty Limited

Offer terms

New UK customers (Excluding NI) only. £20 in FREE Bets (FB) as £10 in sports bets & a £10 casino bonus (CB). Min Deposit £10. Min stake £10. Min odds Evs. FB applied on 1st settlement of any qualifying bet. FB 7-day expiry. 1 FB offer per customer, household & IP address only. Account & Payment restrictions. 14 days to accept £10 CB, then active for 3 days. CB 5x wagering & max redeemable £100. Game restrictions apply. Cashed out/Free Bets won’t apply. 30 days to qualify. 18+. T&Cs apply.

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Deposit methods

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New UK customers (Excluding NI) only. £20 in FREE Bets (FB) as £10 in sports bets & a £10 casino bonus (CB). Min Deposit £10. Min stake £10. Min odds Evs. FB applied on 1st settlement of any qualifying bet. FB 7-day expiry. 1 FB offer per customer, household & IP address only. Account & Payment restrictions. 14 days to accept £10 CB, then active for 3 days. CB 5x wagering & max redeemable £100. Game restrictions apply. Cashed out/Free Bets won’t apply. 30 days to qualify. 18+. T&Cs apply. | T&C apply

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Min. Deposit

£10

Regulated by

MGA, UKGC

Founded

1934

Owner

WHG (International) Limited

Offer terms

18+. Play safe. New customers using Promo code H30 only, Min £10/€10 stake, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 2 x £15/€15, free bets credited after settlement of first qualifying bet, free bets will expire 30 days after the qualifying bet is placed, payment method/player/country restrictions apply.

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Deposit methods

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18+. Play safe. New customers using Promo code H30 only, Min £10/€10 stake, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 2 x £15/€15, free bets credited after settlement of first qualifying bet, free bets will expire 30 days after the qualifying bet is placed, payment method/player/country restrictions apply. | T&C apply

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Coral's Free Bet Offer

Min. Deposit

£5

Website

Regulated by

MGA, UKGC

Founded

1926

Owner

GVC Holdings

Offer terms

18+ Eligible UK+IRE players. Paypal & some deposit & bet types excl. Min first £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4x £5 free bets. Free bets valid for 4 days, stake not returned. No cashout, restrictions + T&Cs apply.

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Deposit methods

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18+ Eligible UK+IRE players. Paypal & some deposit & bet types excl. Min first £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4x £5 free bets. Free bets valid for 4 days, stake not returned. No cashout, restrictions + T&Cs apply. | T&C apply

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Min. Deposit

£5

Regulated by

MGA, UKGC

Founded

1886

Owner

Entain plc

Offer terms

18+ New UK+IRE customers. Paypal and certain deposit types and bet types excluded. Min €5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4 x €5 free bets. Free bets valid for 4 days on sports, stake not returned, restrictions apply. T&Cs apply.

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18+ New UK+IRE customers. Paypal and certain deposit types and bet types excluded. Min €5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4 x €5 free bets. Free bets valid for 4 days on sports, stake not returned, restrictions apply. T&Cs apply. | T&C apply

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  • Competitive odds compared to big brands
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Min. Deposit

£10

Regulated by

MGA, UKGC

Founded

2021

Owner

Playbook Gaming Ltd

Offer terms

18+ New UK customers only. Promo code: BONUS10. Min deposit & single bet £30. Evens (2.0) or above. Bet must be placed same day as deposit. £5 Free bet added after qualifying bet settlement, £5 in Free Spins within 48 hrs. Full T&Cs apply.

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18+ New UK customers only. Promo code: BONUS10. Min deposit & single bet £30. Evens (2.0) or above. Bet must be placed same day as deposit. £5 Free bet added after qualifying bet settlement, £5 in Free Spins within 48 hrs. Full T&Cs apply. | T&C apply

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Min. Deposit

£10

Website

Regulated by

MGA, UKGC

Founded

2015

Owner

Eaton Gate Gaming Limited

Offer terms

New customers & 18+ only. Min. deposit of £10. Qualifying real money bet £10. Awarded as a £30 Surprise Bet. Min odds greater than or equal to 1.5 required. E/W bets excluded. Additional T&Cs apply. begambleaware.org.

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New customers & 18+ only. Min. deposit of £10. Qualifying real money bet £10. Awarded as a £30 Surprise Bet. Min odds greater than or equal to 1.5 required. E/W bets excluded. Additional T&Cs apply. begambleaware.org. | T&C apply

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Min. Deposit

£10

Regulated by

MGA, UKGC

Founded

2022

Owner

Goodwin Racing Limited

Offer terms

New Accounts Only. Min of 3 bets of £10 at odds of evens (2.0+), Valid for 7 days. UK only. Full T&C's apply.

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Deposit methods

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New Accounts Only. Min of 3 bets of £10 at odds of evens (2.0+), Valid for 7 days. UK only. Full T&C's apply. | T&C apply

What does placing a bet online mean?

Betting is extremely popular. Placing bets online is even more so. These days, there are endless possibilities to take advantage of. Punters now have a wide variety of websites to select from, many of which consistently promise the highest odds possible and a free bet welcome bonus or promotion to all new consumers.

When you place a bet online you are putting money down on the outcome of an event in the hopes that you have predicted correctly in order to win some profits. But there are multiple ways a person can place a bet with countless betting industries and markets, not to mention the sheer number of online bookmakers now. 

Understanding odds when placing bets online – Probability value of an outcome

Fractional odd Can be calculated as Chance of this outcome
4/1 1/(4+1) = 0.20 20% chance it will happen
1/1 1/(1+1) = 0.5 50% chance it will happen
2/1 1/(2+1) = 0.33 33% chance it will happen
10/1 1/(10 +1) = 0.09 9% chance it will happen

Any chances where the first number is more than the second number are considered against the bet, and any odds where the first number is less than the second number are considered in favour.

When trying to understand decimal odds, the potential profit you might win actually includes the stake so all you need to do is multiply the odds by the stake in order to find your winnings value. This means that if you had 10.0 odds, and you made a £1 stake, your earnings would be £10 including the stake.

Here is another example: 4.5 odds and you make a £1 bet means if you outcome wins you’d receive £4.50. So when you factor in much larger stakes (£10 instead of £1) you could end up with £45 instead!

Different types of bet to place online

Betting has come a long way from just purchasing an in-person bet on a racecourse. Now you can bet on almost any sport or popular event and we are really spoilt for choice. Here are three popular sporting examples to give you an idea of how you could possibly make a bet online yourself.

Football Bets

Football is easily one of the most popular sports in the UK so it’s no surprise that so many people bet on it too. The team that wins the match, the first goal scorer and how many goals a team wins with, are all typical bets you’ll see on bet slips when placing bets on football matches online.

Horse Racing Bets

Horse racing is another very popular sport in which fans place bets online for. It has a huge fanbase checking into the many races that are held each year and almost every one can be bet on. Whether you are betting for a horse to finish in the top 3 positions or to win the outright race you have many betting markets to choose from.

Cycling Bets

When it comes to cycling, there are similar betting markets to those you would find in horse racing – simply because they are both a form of competitive racing. Some common markets where punters place bets online are winner of the tournament, winner of the race, top 3 positions and sometimes over under on the speed of the competitor.

Best Places to Bet Online:

bet365

Bet 365 is not just a favourite bookmaker in the UK but also the world. They are an extremely popular bookmaker in the betting industry and arguably have the biggest collection of events and booking markets for their customers to bet on. They treat all new customers with a lucrative and generous welcome offer which is often the bets in the industry although they don’t seem to have as many promotions for their existing punters. If you’re looking for a great brand and bookmaker to place bets with online this could very well be the right choice.

bet365's Betting Homepage

bet365’s Betting Homepage

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Pros

dislike

Cons

  • Don’t have many promotions for existing users of their site
  • They are known for restricting winning accounts

Betfred

Betfred has long been a favourite in the betting industry due to their sleek and professional website and great mobile phone app too for users to use. They have a great reputation for being generous with welcome offers even though they have a slightly slower verification process than most of their contenders. They are known for having a great customer support system that runs 24/7 so any issues are able to be resolved.

Some example odds at Betfred (Premier League)

Some example odds at Betfred (Premier League)

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Pros

dislike

Cons

  • They have been known for having withdrawal fees
  • Slower verification process than competitors

BoyleSports

Boyle Sports is another popular brand who have many promotions and offers throughout the year – for both new and existing customers so everyone is in luck. They have some of the most competitive odds in the industry which keeps then attracting customers continuously and their withdrawal fees have a very quick processing time. If you are looking to place bets through online betting sites don’t forget to consider Boyle Sports as they are definitely a strong contender right now.

Boylesport's current Football Betting Markets

Boylesport’s current Football Betting Markets

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Pros

dislike

Cons

  • Some payment methods disqualify you from welcome offers
  • They do not have a live streaming service available

888sport

888 Sport has been around for long enough to earn their rightful reputation as one of the top in the UK betting industry. They have a live streaming service available but it is limited to only a small selection of events. They have probably one of the easiest and simplest website designs out of their competitors and are well known for their dark theme site. With a wide collection of betting markets across a handful of sports and events they are another solid choice when you compare platforms you can start placing bets online on

888sport Football selection

888sport Football selection

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Pros

dislike

Cons

  • The live streaming has limitations
  • Known to lower limits on successful punters

William Hill

William Hill have been around for decades and are one of the best known UK bookmakers. They have a live streaming service that is available on the website but cannot be used on their mobile app. They have always been known to have a large collection of games and events which is perfect if you like choice before placing a bet online. Not only that but they have also been known to allow accumulators to be insured which saves you some loss due to less risk.

Basketball betting at William Hill

Basketball betting at William Hill

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Pros

dislike

Cons

  • They have been unknown to restrict accounts that win too often
  • Don’t have great welcome bonuses
  • They don’t have any live streaming on their mobile app

Coral

They have been around for many years as a number one UK betting brand and they have only improved as time has gone on. They have many sports to choose from so even the obscure and less popular sporting events are covered, although they don’t have the largest selection of markets to place bets on within them. They have a reliable live betting system in place which is great for those who want to bet while the events are still taking place.

Betting on Football at Coral

Betting on Football at Coral

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Pros

dislike

Cons

  • They don’t have the largest selection of betting markets for events
  • Welcome bonus isn’t too exciting in comparison

10Bet

10 Bet is a newer brand on our list but they already have a great reputation and stand high on our list of contenders. One thing that makes them stand out from the competition is that they always have high odds and much quicker payouts than most other sites in our list. If you are facing issues their support team is on hand to fix the situation quite quickly. These features are what make this a great brand which makes up for the fact they don’t have a streaming service.

10Bet's Bet selection

10Bet’s Bet selection

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Pros

dislike

Cons

  • They do not have a live streaming service
  • Much younger site so they don’t have as big of a fanbase yet

Step by step guide on how to place a bet online

We will use Boyle Sports bookmaker as our example for placing a bet online.

BoyleSport's Homepage

BoyleSport’s Homepage

Step #1: Create a new user registration and log in

If you are new to betting and don’t yet have an account with Boyle Sports then you can create one from the homepage at the top right hand corner of the screen. Clicking that will open a two page registration form for you to start inputting your personal information.

From the first page of the registration form you will need to select your title (Mr/Mrs etc) before typing in your first and last name. Make sure these are the same details that match your legal identification. Next, you will need to put in your date of birth to prove you are over the legal gambling age of 18 and your email address as this is what you will use to log in. The country is auto populated by your device location (for example I am a resident and based in the UK) and you will finally need to enter your phone number.

Details required by BoyleSports to place a bet

Details required by BoyleSports to place a bet

Once page one is complete you can confirm and continue to page 2. On this page you will need to enter your postcode which will then allow you to select your residential address from a drop down menu. Next you need to choose your currency (this is usually populated based on location too) before you choose your security question and password that help you keep your account safe. Finally you will need to choose a memorable username and password for you to use when logging into the account.

Once finalised you can click “agree and open account”.

Step #2: Deposit your funds into your account

After creating your account and being logged in you will be sent straight to the home page where you can deposit your funds. In the top right of the screen where the registration button was before, you will now see a red cash button. Click this and you will see the form below appear. Fill this out by entering your debit card information correctly so that you can successfully deposit funds into your account.

Once your account is funded you will be one step closer to learning how to place bets online.

How to quick deposit at BoyleSports

How to quick deposit at BoyleSports

Step #3: Choose a sporting event and find your betting market

What’s great about this website is that the sportsbook is clearly listed on the left side of the homepage. All you need to do is find and click on the sport you want to open that section of the website. We are going to use football for our example since it is so popular.

As you can see in the image below there are multiple football matches available for you to bet on. Now if you look above the decimal buttons on the right hand side, these are the odds for each of the outcomes on this betting market. The betting market in this example is based on booking on a match outcome.

This means you choose to back Team A to win, a tie game, or back Team B to win.

Picking an event to bet on

Picking an event to bet on

Step #4: Create a bet slip and place your bet online

Now you know what your betting market options are on this page, let’s create the best slip. For the example we are going to find the 4th football match down in the list between Portugal and Spain. We want to back Portugal to win the match. So to understand which odds decimals are relating to which team it’s simple really. The first team name in the match is the first decimal on their line. Our example means that Portugal is the “home” team and the 2.45 odds are on value for them winning the match.
(If we were to back Spain for example the odds for that would be 3.25).

So you have your bet and once it’s been clicked it will be added to the bet slip on the right side of the screen. This is where you can play around with your wager. If you want to bet £15 the possible returns if your bet comes true will be £36.75. That’s more than double the value of the original wager!

An example bet slip

An example bet slip

Step #5: Wait for the bet to settle

As with any bet, once it has been placed there is nothing to do until the event is over. When it has completed, you will then be notified whether you have won or not. If you are lucky and your bet has finished then you will be giving the money and profits into your e-wallet. if you are not lucky and your bet has lost then your account will just stay the same.  If you do not have money or profit in your account you’ll be able to withdraw your funds using the same payment method that you deposited your funds into the account to begin with.

So there you have it, that is how you successfully place a bet.

What to look before placing a bet online

You will need to find a bookmaker with the following few traits:

  • Multiple payment methods

You will need to narrow down the options to find the brands with the same payment methods you were hoping to use. The more methods they have, the more opportunities you have to be tand take part since you are not limited to the type of transaction you make.

  • Have a good reputation

As with anything, you don’t want to throw your money at something that has a negative reputation. You will want to go for a bookmaker that is trustworthy and has loyal returning consumers before you place a bet with one online. You wouldn’t just pay for something that had lots of bad press would you? 

  • Correctly licenced

This is connected to being trustworthy and reputable since it means they are doing things the right way. You should never make bets with a bookmaker that doesn’t display their licensing information as this could mean they are not licensed at all. It is a legal requirement for all sports betting sites and bookmakers to be licensed with the UK gambling commission in order to legally operate here in the UK. Make sure you can find this information before you place any bets online.

  • Good odds

You will need to find a betting site that has good odds because betting odds lets you calculate how likely an event is to occur and how much money you will win if your wager is successful. If you have low or “bad” odds then it is likely you won’t make much profit at all if your bet comes in which can seem slightly pointless. However, if the odds probability is too high then it means the chance of your outcome coming true is less likely. When you compare odds between different sites you can decide which has the most appropriate odds value before placing your bets online.

  • Large range of events and markets

Preferably you will pick a brand that has multiple sports and betting markets to choose from. The more selection you have the more chance you have of actually betting on what you want. If you want to bet on the Tour De France cycling tournament but the betting site you visit only covers football and horse racing, it would be a waste of time registering since they don’t have the sport or event you’re after.

Final thoughts on placing a bet online

Now that you have learned the basics of placing a bet online you will be able to successfully place your own bets without any issues. When looking for a bookmaker you really need to focus on picking out the positive points that make a trusted site. By following the tips above you will be able to have a successful betting experience with placing your own bets online – even if your bets don’t always win. Research, choose wisely, and stay safe when it comes to placing wagers on your favourite events online.

About the author

Carl Hughes

Editor

Carl Hughes

Editor

Carl Hughes is a leading expert on sports and casino betting. Carl began his career with a BSc in Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences from the University of Birmingham before working within the industry for some of the bigger names (GVC and Bet365) and has been praised as being "a leading sports betting commentator".