Top 10 Uk Bookmakers

Top Ten Uk Bookmakers

The bookmaker’s ideal world is that you act as a mug punter and do all your betting with them alone. That way you are forced to use whatever possibly poor odds they offer on a particular event.

The shrewder punter however will try and shift consumer buying power to themselves. They will open a selection of bookmaker accounts and that way they can pick and choose who to bet with depending on which outfit is offering best odds on any particular event.

In theory one should have an account with every single bookmaker for maximum choice of odds.

That however can be very cumbersome to manage. Who wants to remember 200 different log ins. Slightly more pragmatic is setting yourself up with semi decent bookmaker choice coverage

Here is our suggested Top 10 Bookmaker Starter pack. All are UK regulated.


Bet 365

Bet 365 really has all the angles covered in terms of customer service, loyalty bonuses, peace of mind, live streaming and the sheer breadth of bets and events covered each and every day.

In the past Bet 365 gained a reputation as a firm that would limit winning punters stakes both harshly and quickly. However in the past 18 months or so they are showing signs of taken a far more ‘Asian’ attitude to winning accounts and it would be no surprise to learn that the firm prefer to follow winning punters bets themselves rather than close accounts. Any issues there are appear to arise when clients back consistently winning horses with Bet 365 and there are few issues associated with punters solely backing football on their site, for example.

If you are new to betting or you only intend to open one betting account then there is no question Bet 365 is the one you want.

Key Benefits:

One of the most generous account opening offers available anywhere for UK residents.

A huge range of sports and racing markets covered. Bet 365 are first for football in terms of their depth leagues and markets covered

Bet 365 offer extensive in-play markets with fantastic free live streaming on a great range of events. Their football streaming is second to none covering league, cup and international games, indeed everything from the key European leagues, to South America, Asia to the most obscure youth football.

Bet 365 reward customer loyalty with lots of money back offers including 0-0 refunds and 4/1+ winner offer on Channel 4 featured horseracing. They also regularly offer £50 matched in play bets on big televised football matches, while regular freebies and bonuses are credited to your account.

The offer of multiple Asian Handicap and under/over lines in their football markets means that Bet 365 are the best of both worlds – the security of a traditional UK booking allied to the dynamism of the best Offshore based firms.



William Hill

When you bet with William Hill you get the reassurance you’d expect as a client of the UK’s largest retail bookie. Hills’ offer best odds guaranteed on all UK and Irish horse racing and great prices on all other sports. Their clear, clean site is one of the best and easiest to use around.

As one of the biggest high street names in betting, Hills occupy that middle of the road ground that offers comfort to newish bettors and sometimes falls foul of these with more exacting standards (especially for customer service) based on their experience with other more niche firms.

The best way to describe William Hill is as a solid all-rounder, they have their faults as all big operations do, but they definitely have their uses too as part of a suite of different bookmakers you should use.

Key Benefits:

Their great marketing claim is that they consistently offer better odds on football than their main competition. True or not, it does mean they are amongst the best value firm for most mainstream bets, never lagging too far behind best price.

William Hill run regular perks and promotions that offer the punter a bit of extra value. In addition to offers for new account openers there are usually promotional perks and upsides available to existing customers as well. The best way to see what is live and current with them is to visit the obvious “promotions” page on their site.

Hills’ offer live streaming of UK and Irish racing as well as Italian Serie A and UEFA Europa League fixtures. Their streaming coverage is improving, as is the spread of in play markets available. If you bet £1 or more on any UK or Irish horse race you can watch the action live on their site.

They offer Best Odds Guaranteed on Horseracing and Greyhounds. That means, that regardless if you take an Early Price, a Board Price or SP then they’ll pay out at the biggest price of the three.

William Hill’s site supports a nice football stats service powered by Opta sports data.




The best way to view to describe Ladbrokes is to consider them as a solid all-rounder who occupy a similar space online to the mainstream bricks and mortar sector they dominate on the high street.

As you’d expect Ladbrokes are all things to all men – as long as your expectations are not too niche.

In terms of coverage, as the UK market leader, Ladbrokes offer amongst the biggest range of betting events in one place online.

However Ladbrokes also lack the depth of different markets offered by more Far East-influenced rivals on football provided by Bet 365, for example.

Online extras include a decent roster of live streamed events, video previews, live scores and results, football form stats, racing pictures and commentary.

Industry-wide, Ladbrokes are renowned for their network of horse racing and football industry contacts. This means that as market makers Ladbrokes are generally well informed and shrewd punters can exploit their inside intelligence. If Ladbrokes offer a significantly shorter price than their bookmaker rivals it usually indicates that they have either had inside information or hold strong reasons to fear the positive chances of a fancied outcome.

Part of this aggressive quest for information is a double edged sword for their clients – and it is the one negative aspect of their offer.

Ladbrokes compilers rarely make massive errors of judgement in a mainstream market and they will also be quick to limit or close down the accounts of customers who consistently show a profit on horseracing in particular.

In addition Ladbrokes are one of the best bookies for extras, these include including video previews, football form lab and stats, racing commentary and Ladbrokes TV which offers their registered customers who are placing a bet with them online pictures.


Key Benefits:

As a secure, quick one stop betting portal, Ladbrokes site is especially straightforward to navigate. An instant chat help facility is always at hand for the inexperienced needing assistance.

Ladbrokes also offers the occasional cash back betting deal on English & European football (for example First/last goal scorer, bore-draw refunds or Red Card offers plus NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB stake-back betting promotions.

Ladbrokes get their market prices up nice and early for events and they settle open bets quickly. It is extremely easy to get money in and out of your account and you can also access your betting deposits and winnings in any of Ladbrokes’ shops in cash.

Labrokes extras are pretty good too. Excellent Horse Racing cards including overview on every race which can help you when searching for a winner. They also offer Best Odds Guaranteed on UK and Irish horse racing from 9am.

Perhaps surprisingly Ladbrokes have a reputation for providing very good Darts coverage with stats and player profiles.

On top of all this Ladbrokes offer competitive sign-up bonuses and a section of daily offers such as enhanced trebles and boosted odds on specific outcomes.

Expect Ladbrokes to be prominent with big event offers for the likes of Cheltenham, Wimbledon, and Royal Ascot.




Established as far back as 1926, the Essex-based bookie is now listed under Gibraltar’s jurisdiction. After Coral merged with the popular UK/Euro bookie Eurobet to form Coral Eurobet, the new company was bought by Gala, a major UK gaming group in 2005 and is now one of Europe’s top betting and gaming companies.

Coral is probably best described as a solid middle of the road operator that provides a similar offer of bets and customer service as its primary high street rivals Ladbrokes and William Hill.

That includes Best Odds Guaranteed on the UK and Ireland’s daily racing. Take an Early Price or Board Price and if the SP is better, Coral will pay you at the greater odds. Additional incentives include a special opening offer  for new customers, a constantly improving live betting offering option

Unsurprisingly, given Coral’s bricks and mortar profile in its historic heartland almost 80% of their custom emanates from UK shores.

Key Benefits:

Coral of excellent UK sports, European football  and horse racing betting coverage delivered in an easy to use format online or by phone. Prices-wise, Coral are generally strong – by no means are they consistently the best price operator, but they are consistently good. As a very secure, with a big corporate backing they are a slick all-round bookmaker with a good reputation.

The downsides, as with many major UK players relate to gripes over limiting of winning accounts, no bonuses for non-UK customers, and their middle of the road offering. It is also a good idea to investigate sending them your ID in advance to avoid an account with money in it being suspended pending receipt of documents. That advice would apply to all bookmakers however and not just Coral.

However, all that said, if you enter into your relationship with Coral bearing the pros in cons in mind you are less likely to be disappointed with a bookie that offers consistent provision via straightforward, internet, call centre and app platforms.




Paddy Power

Next to Bet 365, Paddy Power are probably the most ‘must have’ UK bookies’ account amongst the competition. Consistently good odds, reasonably high staking limits, frequent money back offers, and fast payments of winnings into your bank account are the corner stone of what’s on offer. Beyond the grating advertising gimmicks and ads there’s a very good bookmaker that attracts a loyal customer base  to Paddy Power’s comprehensive coverage of (really all) sports, regular moneyback specials and competitive odds.

Key Benefits: There’s a lot to recommend Paddy Power. In particular, money back specials, betting in running, enhanced odds, live streaming and easy to access mobile betting get most clients votes as major plusses. Best Odds Guaranteed on UK and Irish racing, they keep one eye on good PR and client goodwill at all times with strategic refunds on beaten horses, cashback when certain players score or even, in some cases, if Paddy Power thinks a result was unfair. They also offer free live streaming on their site of over 3,000 sporting events each year.

Paddy Power offer a great range of markets, particularly in their notable niche of excelling with TV specials and novelty markets.

Like Bet 365, their football coverage is strong and is supported by a comprehensive roster of pre match and in running bets available.




Bet Victor


Like Bet 365 and Paddy Power, Bet Victor have really built their niche on the back of their TV ad profile and the overblown two-handers that feature Victor Chandler himself and Paul Kaye’s latest grotesque creation in a serious of improbable scenarios.

As with Paddy Power, the ads may have wheeled the leisure punters in but to the detriment of their reputation as a once serious bookie. Mores the pity because Victor Chandler in their rebranded Bet Victor incarnation have a lot going for them.

With a massive range of markets, prices available as early as 5pm on the day before many races, Bet Victor offer racehorse punters enhanced place terms, best odds guaranteed on UK and Irish racing and the facility to watch all racing in return for betting just £1 per race. Like their better competitors Bet Victor refund of your stake if your horse falls at selected meetings and there’s free video race replays if you missed your race or want to review that impressive victory or crushing defeat at your leisure.

Key Benefits:

Regular special offers on UK horse racing and with the accumulator refund are really what make VC bet stand out from the rest. If you place a 5-fold or more on a Both Teams To Score accumulator and if one leg lets you down BetVictor will give you a free bet up to £25.

The free video replay of horse racing is a unique and very useful offering.

As of 31st May 2014, Oddschecker data from culled across the 2013/14 football season from 17 Oddschecker books revealed BetVictor to be the bookmaker offering better prices, more often, when betting on the sport. The analysis shows that BetVictor topped the bookmaker table, having offered better value on Match Odds markets than the median price across Oddschecker’s panel of bookies, 71% of the time.

More specifically, the Oddschecker data highlighted BetVictor as the best bookmaker to follow for Premier League, Championship, FA Cup, Champions League and Europa League Match Odds betting in particular.

BetVictor tick most of the boxes you’d associate with a mainstream all-round bookmaker. The website functionality is good and clear, the sports coverage is comprehensive and the market coverage and odds offered are usually amongst the top rank of firms.

As a sports bookie BetVictor consistently rate quite highly. Those that want to back horses should note that BetVictor were a 2018 pioneer in the very positive idea of offering racing punters a minimum guaranteed liability on uk horse racing win bets.  As ever some terms apply to this. Their site is the best guide to current precise terms.





As you’d expect of the bookmaking arm of the Sky Sports empire, Skybet are especially keen to maintain a comprehensive presence in markets where events are televised and also in mainstream and novelty markets.

Skybet’s strengths include best odds guaranteed, enhanced odds/places on horses price boost on many other sports, the free bet club offer is a bit fiddly and easy to forget about….but it is free money so can’t be sniffed it. Given their Sky affiliation they have a reputation for excellent customer service as you would perhaps expect. Another consistently impressive facet of their offer is exceptionally prompt withdrawal time that are amongst the best in the industry.


Key Benefits:

Skybet’s website has a modern, fresh look with good functionality.

The sports coverage is good if not exceptional when rated against some.

The live betting offer, good customer service and quick deposits are all major plusses.

Betfair Exchange

There is absolutely no doubt about it, Betfair should be part of every self-respecting bettors’ arsenal. The reason is that with Betfair you now arguably have more control over your betting than ever before. Especially so with Betfair now offering both a traditional sportsbook and the famous exchange that built its reputation.

Placing a bet isn’t the end of your involvement anymore; it’s just the start as you can adjust your position to lock in a profit, back and lay, Bet In-Play and Cash Out as you see fit. You can even bet on multiples even across sports, just as you would in a traditional bookmaker.  The odds on multiple bets are generally middle of the road rather than excellent when it comes to best odds. However offers such as the regular refund of stake offers if you get one loser on a Betfair multiple are typical of the kind of incentives habitually offered by traditional UK bookies.

Key Benefits:

Betfair’s huge range of markets, with some offered not even priced up by traditional bookies, is probably without equal across the board. However, while in theory you should be getting matched to best prices by other punters, right across the spectrum of what’s on offer, you are almost inevitably a prisoner of the available liquidity created by Betfair punters. In many cases you’ll get on what you want at a fair price but certainly not always. Often you’ll be stymied when Betfair’s commission is deducted on your bets or trades.

That said, taken in the round, Betfair’s offer is a very impressive one – despite any gripes or a lingering feeling the exchange is not what it once was.

The challenges for an increasingly corporate entity are to for Betfair tore-establish the excellent levels of liquidity that its loyal punters once enjoyed.

However, the reality of taking bets from other people and the in-built trading options means you can be in profit long before an event has finished or decide to lay off your bet if events aren’t going your way in play.

This level of flexibility above all makes Betfair still worthy of its pre-eminent position in many clients’ thoughts as their go-to betting destination.



Despite being held under Maltese jurisdiction, Unibet are actually the Largest Swedish owned bookmakers in Europe. As you’d expect they are experts within a Scandinavian market that has both football Asian handicaps and live betting as its focus. With regards to European football in particular Unibet are rightly considered a solid bookie with a very respectable name and one of the largest online gambling operators in Europe with over 9 million customers worldwide. Unibet customer support is expressed in a multi-language live chat option, phone contact and email with a preference for the former options.

As a Unibet customer you can watch hundreds of live streamed sports events every month for free. This is backed up by a straightforward live streaming and live betting console which is easy to use.

Unibet are primarily a football bookmaker in terms of their standing relative to other companies and their staking limits are consistently high across Europe’s best known football leagues. In a UK market without the presence of leading Asian firms like Pinnacle and SBO Bet, then Unibet have the potential to become a very important account for many people turned off by the domestic offer in the UK.

Key Benefits:

Unibet is a good all round bookie. Prices are competitive and there’s always a good range of international football betting coverage alongside an offering of the usual supporting cast – rugby, tennis, American sports and the like. They offer a stylish web site where the action is accessible and bets are easily placed. This is especially the case if you take a few minutes to set up a customised view that lists events and odds as you prefer to see them.

As with Bet 365, Unibet will regularly email you info on their latest bonuses, free bets and promotions. They are definitely a firm to keep onside.





Having been operational since 2004, Matchbook was acquired in 2011 by a group of investors with background in the UK sports betting and banking industries. With this new financial backing and a new management focus, Matchbook has set its sights upon realising the significant global potential the site has always arguably possessed. They are sure to be a  name that crops up again and again over the coming months as a result.

Matchbook’s business model is a simple but compelling offer: the best odds, great liquidity, and the lowest commissions. If it can do that it will become a business to rival both Betfair and the Far East Bookmakers such as Pinnacle and SBO, now recently departed from UK shores. This objective, to become a similarly significant player in the European and Asian betting markets, began with Matchbook’s bells and whistles launch of a multi-lingual and multi-currency site, alongside mobile applications, in early 2012.

Matchbook’s management claim that their liquidity allows them  to operate on a reduced commission basis for all customers.

Whereas some betting exchanges have commission levels at anywhere between 3%- 7%, Matchbook trades at a 1% figure for each and every bet and this margin has been dropped even further for events such as The World Cup in Brazil and Wimbledon and also in The Premiership.

And of course even seemingly small margins make a big difference. A swing of 6% in the customer’s favour will clearly improve both profits on each and every winning bet and allow quicker and more aggressive scaling up of stakes. And that is regardless of whether you’re a professional trader or a recreational gambler.

Good support, tutorials and a nice FAQs page creates solid back-up for customers needing help and information. So there is no excuse not to take a tour of Matchbook’s site as a bare minimum.

Being creatures of habit many punters will stick with what they know but a reduction in commission of up to 6% is worthy of investigation and with a good range of deposit and withdrawal methods the process of depositing stakes and withdrawing winnings is straightforward enough.

Once you factor in the competitive odds that are a natural consequence of peer to peer betting and you have three very good reasons to sign up with a Matchbook account today.

Key Benefits:

The primary benefits are summarised quite simply.  Excellent odds generated by other punters on the Matchbook exchange platform, 1% commission that is significantly better than Matchbook’s rivals and good levels of liquidity make Matchbook an extremely dynamic addition to the scene.

NB For uk residents the true commission level will be more like 1.15% because matchbook are forced to collect what is in effect an exchange commission tax from uk residents.