With Asian bookies it gets a little more complicated. The list below shows the leading bookies across the Asia region, but note that some only operate in specific countries. Some also offer betting in local currencies, but will also take bets in USD or GBP. The list does show which countries are relevant for each operator.
Note that UK residents are also able to register accounts and bet in GBP with most of these Asian operators.
If you want an Asia facing bookie you probably need to look no further than Bet365, but there are a number of others that perform well.
Recommended Asia Bookies - 188bet & Bet365
188bet in particular are well known in the Asian markets, and they'll accept UK and other European bettors too. They offer the full range of betting options, with particular emphasis on offering asian handicap odds from a reduced margin position (meaning you get better odds).
Others that are not covered in our list here include CMD368.com, Fun88.com, IBCbet.com, Vietbet.com, and W88.com.
Asian punters are well known for having a deep interest in all the European soccer leagues and competitions, so all of these Asia facing operators will be offering the full range of match and tournament bets.
These are the main European market bookies/ bookmakers. Note that a handful of these operate in various APAC region countries too (they're repeated in the table for Asia below where appropriate).
Of these there are a couple which can be recommended highly, although all of the others are big names and trustworthy too. The bottom line for how to choose one (or more) to register with will be down to the bonuses or promotions they offer....and of course if they're offering the best odds in the markets you're interested in.
Best Bookies For Europe/UK
The Bet365 brand is well known, and they're one of the operators who cover multiple markets across pretty much every country in the world where betting is legal.
Their promotions are great value, and on top of the normal welcome bonus you'll also get occasional free reload bonuses (I've had a number of £5 or £10 free bonuses over the years).
Fortunately of course they're not the only bookie. We need plenty of them to keep the competition for business fierce, and to keep those bonuses and promotions flowing.
UK punters are used to betting in an unrestricted and well regulated market, which means they in particular have a much wider choice of which bookies to place bets with. If you live in the UK, you can register an account with pretty much any sportsbook or bookie listed on this page, and place your bets in GBP.
William Hill, Ladbrokes, Corals, The Tote, Betfred, and Bet365 are among the well known UK bookies. The first five of those operating on the high street as well as online.
For anyone UK or Europe based looking for an Asian bookie then 188bet are the recommendation, but many of these to the left will accept a wide range of currencies.
It's unlikely that you haven't heard the terms bookies, bookmakers, or sportsbooks before. Of course they all mean much the same thing - places where you wager on the outcome of a sporting event of some type.
Depending on where you live, and how familiar you are with sports betting in general, you'll recognise some of the well known names in this image....they're all among the leaders in the betting industry.
They all offer chances to bet on a massive range of sports, markets, and events. Many of them actively offering the chance to place arbitrage type bets which are essentially bets that can't lose. The holy grail for any punter!
So if they all mean the same thing, then why the different terminology?
Bookies is obviously a slang type shortening of bookmakers. Throughout Asia and Europe many punters tend to speak of bookies, rather than the more formal sounding bookmakers. For some reason it's the Aussies that tend to use bookmakers more often, while in Canada and the US the punters refer to sportsbooks.
It really doesn't matter. If you want to place a bet on any type of sports you're going to be using one of them. It may not be just sports betting you're looking for, many of these also offer casino games, poker, bingo, and skillgames. One even offer stockmarket style trading on footballers. And there are plenty to choose from.
On this page you'll find a range of respected and trusted betting operators from across the world, broken down into the four main regions - Asia, North America, Europe, and Australia.
Before we get down to the regional lists of bookies, bookmakers, and sportsbooks (it's a mouthful, which is why I called them a collective 'betting operators' above) I just need to remind you that betting or gambling is illegal or restricted heavily in some countries. Not only that but gambling can also become a problem for some people. So there are a few big rules to follow before you try to register at any of these operators:
• Make sure it's legal to do so in the country in which you reside ( rules on this vary from bookie to bookmaker to sportsbook, so always check their individual terms and conditions. You'll find them on each website)
• Visit the responsible gaming page. Read about the types of problems gambling might bring you. And take steps to prevent it happening.
• Watch out for bonus/cashout restrictions and requirements. When you accept a bonus they're not going to let you withdraw it immediately and walk away with free cash. You'll need to place bets equaling a certain times the value of the bonus before being allowed to withdraw. This requirement varies from bookie to bookie - check out the bonus wagering rules.
• Always check that any bonus offers you see in the tables below are current and valid. I aim to keep this page as up to date as possible - and invariably it will be - but there may be times when I'm unable to update.
If you're a US resident you'll be aware of how complex the regulations are around whether you can legally place bets online. The big advice here is to make sure you can do so legally before getting involved.
That said, these sportsbooks all accept registrations from US (and Canadian) residents.
Among them, perhaps the one to focus on is Bovada.lv - a dedicated US facing sportsbook, casino, and poker operator that serves Customers in 47 of the US states (for New York, Washington, and Maryland you'll need to look elsewhere).
Bovada have been going great guns in recent years and currently offer a 50% up to $250 first deposit bonus.
Australian punters have a handful of highly respected bookmakers to choose from, all offering good value promotions.
It's worth noting that these are open to European account holders too, in fact I registered accounts with both IASbet and Luxbet very recently.
The tables above show most of the major bookmakers, but there are a number of others I still need to add to the lists. These include:
For now, the majority of those shown in the tables offer good betting interfaces and a range of valuable promotions. If you're interested in placing bets on the World Cup - particularly in my recommended form of betting on Asian handicaps - then these will do the trick.
How to Find the Best Bookmaker
Sports betting is one of the few ways to get good chances of making along term profit from betting. If you're knowledgeable about any particular sport then there will be some good opportunities likely to come your way.
But it's not all just about making the bets, you need to know where to place them to maximise your profit margins. This is where the skill of choosing the right bookie comes in.
So what constitutes the 'right bookie'?
Trust & Reputation
Clearly you don't want to be doing anything with anybody you don't trust. We all know the power of recommendations when you're looking for a plumber or an electrician, for example. You ask around your friends, and use someone who's had good experiences using the services before.
Fortunately finding sportsbooks or bookmakers you can trust is easy, There are some big name companies who've been around for dozens of years, and even the newer ones are positioned well to give a trusted service. You'll find that all of the bookies listed on this page are fully trustworthy.
What's the point of placing your bets with an operator that offers lower odds on your chosen event than one of their competitors? Every winning bet you place needs to give you the maximum return for your money, otherwise you're leaving money on the table for no reason.
Finding the best odds is an art and a skill you build up through experience. Fortunately there are plenty of odds comparison sites that will help.
Getting Your Money Out
Of course you don't want to be facing withdrawal problems when you try to take out the big pile of cash you've built up with a series of clever bets. It's unlikely that this will ever happen if you use any of the bookies mentioned here. I personally have never had problems withdrawing sometimes very large sums of money.
Where it may be a problem is if you step outside the well known bookies and go to one of the lesser known operators, or if you're living in a jurisdiction where gambling is illegal or restricted. So the best bet is just not to get involved if either of these apply. There really is no reason to bet with anyone other than the major sportsbooks given the range of different operators you have to choose from, and if betting is illegal in the country in which you reside then do not bet!
One other area to consider when thinking about withdrawals is if you've taken a bonus offer on signing up. Remember there are always rules around bonuses which prevent you withdrawing money until you've played through the bonus amount a number of times. This wagering requirement varies from bookmaker to bookmaker, so always check the terms and conditions of any offer. They'll always be published on the website.
Understanding Bookie Bonuses
I've mentioned bookie bonuses a number of times on this page. They're really worth keeping an eye open for, especially when you're registering an account for the first time with a bookmaker you haven't used before. They are probably the single biggest driver for registering a new account, and many punters will register multiple accounts with different sportsbooks just to take advantage of all of the new depositor bonuses.
So let's look at these bonuses in more depth. Generally it's true to say that these are extras you get which act to increase your initial betting bankroll. It's not hard to see why the bookies offer them - they're a great way of attracting and sometimes keeping new Customers.
The most popular type is the first deposit bonus which comes in the form of a free bet or extra money in your account, but there are other types including the refer a friend bonus and of course occasionally you'll get reload bonuses too (extra cash on deposits after your first), plus some bookmakers will give out random bonus amounts to valuable Customers (bet365 are good for this in my experience).
Making sure you get your bonus is normally straightforward. Often it'll just appear in your account after registration, sometimes you'll need to have entered some form of promotional code at the time of registration. All requirements should be clearly spelled out on the website of any bookie your signing up with, so always look carefully to ensure you get it right and understand how that specific bonus gets released to you.
Who Are The Best Bookies?
Finding the best bookmaker for your needs is often in the first instance going to be down to where you live and which ones operate in your region, and possibly those that allow deposits and withdrawals in your local currency. If you want to go with one of the globally focused operators such as Bet365 you're going to get great odds and a wide range of currency options, along with the full range of betting markets.
After you've worked out exactly who is available to you to bet with in your region, the next step will be to check out and compare any bonus offers or promotions they have running. Clearly you'll want to pick the ones with the best offers.
Most bookies will offer betting opportunities across a wide range of sports and different markets within each of those sports, so it's unlikely you'll need to be considering this aspect too deeply. Still, make sure you do check that your favourite sport is definitely covered. With popular sports such as soccer, tennis, golf, and others you're not going to have a problem, but lesser known sports may not always be covered fully.
You may also want get involved in special markets like betting in-play, or even spend the odd dollar playing bingo, slots, or casino games. Many of the major bookmakers do provide all of these options. You may want to watch live sports to follow the progress of your bet. Not every bookie offers this option, but Bet365 are among those that do.
And one other major aspect to consider in choosing a bookie is in the odds they offer. These vary from sportsbook to sportsbook - often not wildly but there can be some major differences. No individual operator always offers the best odds across every sport or even every event within a particular sport.
You'll need to use an odds comparison site to always check who offers the best odds on any event you want to place a bet in. My big interest is in horse racing, and I can tell you that in my experience it's Betvictor who often offer the biggest odds from the morning onwards before races take part (and sometimes from the evening prior to the next day's racing too). Occasionally Bet365 or William Hill will take that honour, but it could just as easily be Skybet, Boylesports, or any of the others.
Let's take a short look at a few of the industry leaders:
It'll be surprising if you haven't heard of Ladbrokes, one of the world leaders in offering truly global betting and gaming solutions. Over 100 years old, they reportedly have an employee base of around 16000 people. They're big! With Ladbrokes you get the chance to play games and bet on sports events in multiple languages and with 17 different currencies.
I've mentioned Bet365 as one of the best higher up on the page. Offering a massive range of betting markets, they also provide poker, casino games, and skillgames too. All in many different languages, and with a wide choice of currencies. They're particularly good for Asian punters, and in my horse race betting experiences they're regularly giving the highest odds on my chosen nags.
Pinnacle are wel known for operating to some of the lowest profit margins in the industry, which results in better odds for you and I. They also accept high value bets, and there have never been any known withdrawal issues. If you're a serious sports bettor, you'll want an account.
I'm Not Keen On The Odds On Offer From My Normal Bookie - Where Else Can I Bet?
The arrival of growth in popularity of betting exchanges over recent years has been nothing short of phenomenal, and with good reason. Whereas when you bet with a bookmaker you're pitching your knowledge against theirs, when you bet on a betting exchange you're betting against other punters. This means that odds on the betting exchanges (especially on outsiders, but almost always on shorter priced selections too) are normally higher. Sometimes drastically higher.
Here's a good example. I fancied an unraced bumper runner to run a good race on its debut. The bookies odds were 40-1 at starting time of the race. Betfair (the world's leading betting exchange) let my fancied runner go off at just over 100-1.
You can see from this example just why you need to consider betting on the exchanges seriously. My £10 bet returned £400 with a 'normal' bookmaker, but on the exchange I got a return of just under a thousand.
Why The Bookmaker Always Wins
None of us can win all the time, no matter how good our knowledge is. The only way you can win all the time is by pure luck. It doesn't happen that way. It doesn't work that way. Any form of gambling comes with risks. Risks of losing money, risks of getting addicted to the pursuit of winning it, or risks of just getting addicted to the adrenalin rush of it. Read my responsible gaming page to learn how to watch out for signs that it might be becoming a problem for you.
But you can make winning bets, and it is possible to win over a period of time. For that you need a good combination of knowledge, a careful approach, a good understanding of how bookies and odds work, and the ability to keep calm and make informed betting decisions.
The reality is though that even if you win and do it regularly (even for big amounts), the sportsbooks themselves always win in the end. Not only because the sad fact is that most money won eventually ends up being bet again and lost, but because bookies work by forming 'books' on all the sporting events they cover. Basically they are setting odds so that whatever the outcome, they'll always finish ahead in the cold light of day.
Sure they may take heavy liabilities on a specific event - especially where they may have gone with higher odds than their competitors - but it all evens out over time. Those heavy losses sometimes work for them by giving good publicity, but they're rare anyway. Bookmaking is a business, and one that's proven itself to be highly lucrative over the years. The saying goes 'you never see a poor bookie!'
The big point to remember with all of this is that even though the bookie always wins, it doesn't necessarily mean that you always lose.
Can You Beat The Bookies - Is There Any Guaranteed Way To Win?
With most traditional forms of betting with book-makers or betting exchanges the answer to this is a resounding no. With maybe one exception, don't ever believe anyone that tells you they have a guaranteed way of consistently winning. Think about it, if it existed then someone would have found it, milked it, and put an end to the business a long time ago. You will be flooded with people telling you they can do it, and 99.9% of them will be either rubbish or fraudsters. The other 0.1% will genuinely be able to provide strong tips which sometimes will win at a good percentage rate - but still they'll never be able to guarantee winning.
So what's this exception that possibly offers a viable way of guaranteeing to beat our bookie friends?
I must admit that I've personally have never tried this, but the theory suggests it has a good chance of working. It's known as no lose betting, or often as arbitrage betting. Basically this means placing two or more bets - with different bookmakers - on the same event, in a way that guarantees a profit whatever the outcome.
Of course it's not easy to do. But there are some arbitrage betting operators who claim to have software that constantly scours the odds of every sportsbook and identifies those rare opportunities where one bookmaker goes significantly higher or lower with their odds than others. When an opportunity like this arises, it may be possible to place a bet in two different places and come out with a profit whatever happens.
There are some risks which are explained on the no lose betting page , so it's not all plain sailing. And often you'll need to be wagering big amounts to make the time and effort worthwhile....and of course the bookies are not in the business of just giving money away. Many restrict this type of betting. They'll watch out for patterns in the betting habits of punters and try to spot if they're playing this game, and when they think you are you'll very quickly have your account terminated.
That said, there are one or two who seem to actively encourage it and make a big point of stating they allow it. Pinnacle sports are a good example.
Of course, the questions 'can you beat the bookies?' and 'can you beat the bookies?' mean two different things. The section above covers the first of them. But can you do it?
The answer to this is yes, but remember there's never going to be any guarantee unless you can master the intricacies of arbitrage betting and make it work. Clever staking and the ability to make a consistent percentage of winning selections is obviously a prerequisite to long term success.
How Easy Is It To Register and Place Bets With Your Chosen Sportsbook?
You'll need to consider the answers to this question from different perspectives - the ease of registering, depositing, and placing bets....and from the perspective of the ease of finding one in the first place.
But we can answer the question all in one go.
Before you register, deposit, and place bets with any online bookmaker you first need to find one. We've already looked at what you need to consider in choosing one - the bonus offers, the legality, the trust factor, whether they're offering best odds, if they'll accept deposits in your local currency. So this part is easy, they're all listed on this page.
So you've found one you like. The next step is to register an account. Simple stuff - name, address, username, password. The normal things you need to enter to register for anything.
Depositing money can be a little more tricky, and of course depends on where you live. To summarise it's easy and no problem in countries where gambling is heavily regulated (like the UK), and more complex in countries where there are restrictions or uncertainty about the true legality. Where that's the case there will most likely be certain methods of depositing that are not open to you. Still there's normally a way round. It'll be explained on the websites of the betting operators, but in any doubt you can normally just contact the relevant support team for advice and help.
Once you've got your money in (hopefully with a juicy free bet bonus to top it up) there may be a small learning curve in how to place bets. This is rarely a complicated task as it's in the bookmaker's interest to make their betting interfaces intuitive and easy to follow.
Once you're experienced in this you'll be able to go to any site and place bets. They're all similar and easy to understand, normally it's as easy as clicking on the bet you want to make, entering the sum of money you want to wager, and then (hopefully) sitting back, waiting for and maybe watching the event, and ultimately seeing the winnings roll into your account.
To finish up this page on sportsbooks and bookies let's take a look at an interesting video presents what could be a complex subject in an easy to follow fashion. It explains just how the bookmakers compile their odds.
Click On The Image For the Full List
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