What is a Bookmaker?

A bookmaker is an organization that coordinates bettings in a particular game or sport. A bookmaker accepts, stakes, and pays off winning bets for bettors.

For instance, when bettors stake on a sporting event like a football match, they do so with the help and services of a bookmaker. The bookmaker will note and stake the gambler’s bet. In case of a win, money is collected and distributed to the winners at the end of the game.

How Does a Bookmaker Work?

A bookmaker makes a profit by pricing their betting markets such that the odds presented don’t denote the statistical probability of the game’s outcome. Let’s take wagering on a coin toss as an example.

When you wager on a coin toss, statistically it means you have a 50/0 chance (2.0 in decimal odds) on either outcome – heads or tails. So, if you bet 円1,000 you win 円1,000, thus making this a 100% market.

However, for a bookmaker to make money, the market has to be above 100%. Using the same coin toss example, a bookmaker offers odds on heads or tails below 2.0, so that a gambler bets more to win 円1,000.

For instance, an odd of 1.91 would mean the gambler has to stake 円1048 to win £10, making the market 104.7%. As such, the bookmaker makes money from a 4.7% margin.

Differences Between an Offline and Online Bookmaker

For decades, betting was conducted offline through brick and mortar locations. But with the coming of the internet and mobile-optimized bookmaker sites, betting shifted online exponentially. Since then, the gambling industry has not been the same.

Let’s get started with definitions for each.

An online bookmaker entails placing bets through websites and mobile apps for different bookmakers. Online bookmakers are a popular option today since they offer gamblers with a range of advantages.

On the other hand, an offline bookmaker refers to the act where gamblers visit physical locations that house different bookmakers to place their bets. For instance, this may include visiting a bookmaker, horse track, casino, or sportsbook.

When comparing the two types of bookmakers, there are many different aspects that one can use to draw the differences. Here are of the most popular differences between the two kinds of bookmakers.some :

Available Sports to bet on

Offline bookmakers cover only the major skilled and collegiate sports while some of them cover a few major international leagues. As such, bettors are limited to the sports options given and cannot explore the different sports they may wish to bet.

On the contrary, online bookmakers offer nearly every sport you can think about. You can bet any game you feel like, whether it is cricket, horse racing, professional wrestling, basketball, tennis, badminton, and soccer, among many others. With these, wagers are at liberty to bet on whichever sport they obsessively or passionately follow.

Types of bets

Offline bookmakers only take straight betssuch as spreads, totals, and money lines while only a few consider taking teasers and parleys. With these, you may not be able to find any that will accept a prop bet. If you want a wide range of wager types, consider going online.

Online bookmakers offer almost every kind of wagers you can think about. They offer in-depth futures, a dozen team teasers, props, or parlays, among others. This way, you have a clear advantage over the online bookmakers.

When it comes to volumes of sports and types of bets offered, online bookmakers have the biggest advantage over offline bookmakers.

Bonus and Rewards

Online bookmakers always face fierce competition. As a result, most sites have to offer enticing bonuses and rewards to attract and retain existing players. Bonuses offered are unique for different bookmakers, but they range from welcome bonuses, first deposit bonuses, to reload bonuses. Other bookmakers go to an extent of rewarding players with free bets.

On the contrary, offline bookmakers offer no bonuses or reward programs. As such, online bookmakers are more enticing in ensuring the bettor sticks around to enjoy more playing experience.

Deposits and Withdrawals

With offline bookmakers, most bettors don’t ponder on the advantages of having to choose from a variety of deposit options. But with online bookmakers, deposit methods are among the first things a gambler looks out for.

Offline bookmakers often allow deposits either in cash or from major credit cards while online sites allow payments from checks, Bitcoin, PayPal, credit cards, and wire transfers, among others. It becomes so convenient for online gamblers to load their accounts as compared to the offline bettors.

Despite the restricted number of deposit options, however, offline bookmakers have several advantages over online bookmakers when it comes to withdrawals. In offline bookmakers, you can turn in a winning ticket and get instant cash. On the contrary, you have to follow a process to withdraw your winnings when it comes to online bookmakers, which may takes a number of days.

If you prefer lower commissions, higher payouts, bigger bonuses, promotions, and the chance to compare different odds at the comfort of your home, online bookmakers will be your best option.

How to Get Started with an Online Bookmaker and Start Betting?

Are you interested in online sports betting but don’t know how to get started? Well, in this section, we’ll take you through the initial steps to begin betting with online bookmakers.

Online sports betting is perhaps the simplest form of betting that you will ever find in the market. This is because online bookmakers have put up steps and strategies to ensure getting started with them is a seamless process. Check out the steps on how to get started betting on an online bookmaker.

1. Choose your Online Bookmaker

This is probably the first and most important step if you are looking to enjoy the best online sports betting experience. You have to choose a bookmaker from the numerous sites available online. As such, the site you choose will determine how you place your bets and, more importantly, how you get your winnings. This means that you should consider betting at a top-rated online bookmaker from our ranking with a good reputation and license to operate.

2. Open an Account

Now that you have settled on an online bookmaker, opening an account is the next step. Most bookmakers have a ‘Create Account’ or ‘Join Now’ or ‘Sign up’ button displayed somewhere on their homepage. So, you only need to click on it and you will proceed to the registration form, in which you have to fill in the necessary information. Most online bookmakers will ask you to fill in information such as:

  • Full Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Address
  • Email Address

Once you have this information filled, you will then choose your username and password. You will need the username and password to access your account once you open it. So, make sure you don’t forget the details, especially your password.

3. Deposit Money

Once you open your account, proceed to create your profile. You will also require choosing the deposit and withdrawal methods you will be using. After picking the payment option, you can then make your first deposit.

Most sites feature a ‘Deposit’ or ‘Cashier’ button displayed on the command tabs. Clicking on it will lead you to various banking methods available. Some of the banking options you may get include Credit Card, Bank Wire, PayPal, Venus Point, Bitcoin, among others. The deposit is often added to your account and reflects immediately for use.

4. Place Bets

Now that you have funds in your account, you are ready to start placing your bets. The process through which you can place bets varies with the bookmaker you use but the process is more or less the same for most of online bookmakers.

All you need to do is navigate through the site to find your preferred betting market. You can then pick your bets and enter the amount you wish to stake. Most online bookmakers will automatically display your bets whenever you log in.

Most online bookmakers list the different sports covered. By clicking on any of the sports categories, you will move to a list of open betting markets under that sport. Choosing a particular sports event will lead you to the various wagering options that the event has. It is from these options that you will place your bet by clicking on a specific one. The bet slips often show all your bets and the potential payout upon placing the bet, staking, and confirming your bet.

Once you confirm the bet, the amount you enter as a stake will be deducted from your account. Winnings will be credited automatically to your account from where you can withdraw them from or left it for betting.

Types of Bonuses and Offers You Can Get from a Bookmaker

Online bookmakers do all it takes to attract as many gamblers as possible. Ironically, the best way of attraction is by providing bettors with different bonuses and offers. By doing this, the bookmaker exploits the gambler’s desire to get a free bonus after making a deposit or after placing a multi-bet on a particular sporting event.

Whichever way it seems, the entire process should be a win-win for both bookmakers and gamblers. Nonetheless, the bookmaker will be contented to get a new client while the bettor will be happy about the extra funds credited to his or her account to bet with. So, what type of bonuses and offers can you get from online bookmakers?

Welcome Bonus

Also referred to as a deposit bonus, the welcome bonus is the most common type of the bonuses that a majority of online bookmakers offer. You get this bonus once you have created an account and made the first deposit. As such, this bonus is like a reward because it welcomes you to the betting site. More importantly, it helps you get started in your betting experience.

Most bookmakers, however, often tie this bonus with a wagering requirement. As such, you have to play through the entire rewarded amount in a specific number of times under pre-defined odds and minimum stake to be able to withdraw your bonus winnings.

Loyalty Bonuses

A loyalty bonus is another popular promotion bonus that is offered by most online bookmakers. Just like you get points rewards for buying from your favorite retail store or tanking gas at your favorite gas station, betting with the same bookmakers for longer will get you rewarded.

Loyalty bonuses aim at ensuring existing customers continue betting on the site for longer. Unfortunately, not all online bookmakers have loyalty bonus promotions for their players.

Free Bets

These are also popular types of bonuses that online bookmakers offer their players. It comes in some sort of voucher or gift card but used for betting purposes. Regular free bets need to be rolled over, unlike welcome bonuses. If you wager using your free bets and win, you get real money credited into your account.

Reload Bonus

Reload bonus is the most exciting bonus you can get from online bookmakers and is commonly offered by online bookmakers. It is more like a deposit bonus but with the difference that it can’t be regarded as the first bonus but as the following ones. All you need to qualify is make a deposit. With it, a smaller portion, usually of 25-50%, is matched to your deposit.

Risk-free Bets

This bonus is more or less the same as a refund or cashback. It works by placing a bet on a sports event with pre-determined qualifying odds or stake. If you win, you get the winnings but if you lose, a refund is credited to your account as some kind of bonus of cash or free bet. The refund often matches your stake but to a certain amount. Nothing is complicated with risk-free bets, right?

How to Choose the Best Online Bookmaker

Choosing the best online bookmaker is paramount if you are looking to compete in the online world of wagering effectively. But what is there to help you choose the best bookmakers? Well, below are some of the factors that you can consider in choosing your ideal online bookmaker:

Reputation and Licenses

Reputation is crucial in the online betting industry. If the bookmaker has a good reputation, then chances are that it is overall good. Equally, bookmakers that alienate and mistreat their clients have a tainted reputation. Therefore, carry out due diligence on the bookmaker you intend to bet with before you create an account with them. Moreover, check how the customers are reviewing the bookmaker in our recommended online bookmakers ranking.

Moreover, choose bookmakers that are at least licensed by reputable licensing authorities across the world. Dealing with an unlicensed bookmaker will mean risking your money, and in the event of a problem, you have no one to turn to for help.


Consider online bookmakers with high odds so that you can raise your betting bankroll. You can analyze various bookmakers’ margins and find ones with the smallest margins. As such, the amount you will be risking will be commensurate to the winnings. You won’t want to risk too much money for meager winnings!

Available Sports to bet on

Undisputed online leading bookmakers offer a wide range of sports to their clients. A bookmaker that offers various sports and sports events ensures the players have a wide range of choices to make. And without a doubt, no gambler will want to be restricted to a particular sports betting unless he or she has specialized in betting on a specific sport.

Most gamblers often want to get the best deal when it comes to bets. And the more the sports available, the better. If you want more betting markets, consider bookmakers with different available sports on their site.

Available Types of Bets

What types of wagers do you like? Online bookmakers come with nearly every type of bet you can think about. From parlays and multiple team teasers to props and in-depth futures, you will hardly miss your favorite kinds of bets. If you like to explore the types of wagers to get the best to place your bet on, choose a bookmarker that has plenty of them to choose from.

Bonuses and Promotions

Bonuses and promotions, such as the welcome bonus discussed above, offer players a stepping ground to start their betting experience with the bookmaker. Every gambler likes bonuses and promotions and will take advantage of every bonus reward.

However, don’t open an account with bookmakers that are offering weird bonuses like 300% or higher to new customers. In most cases, these are desperate bookmakers facing bankruptcy or out to scam players by enticing them to register with them. Reputable online bookmakers understand that they can’t be operational if they reward players with exorbitant bonuses and offers. As such, consider bookmakers with reasonable bonuses and promotion rewards.

Deposit and Withdrawal Methods

A good number of worldwide recognized banking methods are an indication of a bookmaker’s versatility, stability, reliability, and good reputation. Nearly all bookmakers work with credit and debit card transactions as well as bank transfers. Additionally, others have incorporated modern payment options, most of which are e-wallets like PayPal, NETeller, Skrill, and Ecopayz, among others.

Some bookmakers have even begun supporting cryptocurrency transactions while others are using Bitcoin currency for deposit and withdrawal purposes. When choosing a recommended bookmaker, make sure your preferred payment method is available on their site.

Online Bookmakers on Mobile

Mobile technology has, in a short time, changed sports betting. As a result, online bookmakers have optimized their websites to accommodate mobile users. Top online bookmakers have betting apps for mobile users to help you find odds, place bets, check the scores, and review your winnings/loss right from your smartphone. With an app, it doesn’t matter where you are as long as you have a connection to the internet.

How to Beat Online Bookmakers? Is it Possible to make money from Betting?

Yes, you can beat online bookmakers and make money from betting. However, you have to come up with a strategy that will guide you through your online betting journey. But how can you beat an online bookmaker? Follow the tips below:

  • Matched Betting

You can match bet to become an expert gambler while you make lots of money from your betting. If you master matched betting, it can be risk-free. You can even take advantage of free bets promotions to make a kill from your bets. Regardless of the outcome, make sure you get the most out of these free bets.

  • Value Bettor

A value bettor is an expert in a specific sport or game who knows everything as pertains to the sport. Moreover, value bettors are the oddsmakers at different online bookmakers. You can tap on their knowledge and use it to your advantage.

  • Arbitrage

Arbitrager is the act of finding the difference between odds among different online bookmakers and betting on the outcome to make a profit. For instance, if a bookmaker thinks the home team is going to win, and the other one thinks the away team will win, the price of their odds will be different. If you find their difference too big, bet on both bookmakers of opposite teams. As such, the team that wins the match wins you money!

By following these three tips, you will increase your chances of placing the right bets and making money, but sport betting is still a game of luck so you should be careful and don’t count too much on it to win money. And of course never bet more than you can afford to lose.

Online Bookmakers: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best betting site?

We reviewed and compared the best bookmakers available, you can check our ranking at the top of this article.

Can I get a welcome bonus or a free bet?

Most bookmakers offer a welcome bonus and free bets to new players, you can learn about available bonuses of the betting sites we reviewed in our online bookmakers ranking.

How to register to an online bookmaker?

You just need to pick a betting site, head to their site and fill in the registration form with the required information such as your email address, birth date and password.