Bookmakers Guide - How we Review Bookmakers for Football Betting

An important aspect of football betting is to find a bookie that suits your needs and can match your expectations. Just as there are many different bookmakers out there, there are also a lot of different aspects to look at when it comes to judging which are good bookmakers for football betting. At the end of the day, choosing the right bookmaker is a personal choice and we're confident that the guides found here will be helpful in your journey towards it.
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  • In this guide, we explain some of the key areas of what online bookmakers offer, as well as offering an insight into how we rate different bookmakers. 

This is a service done primarily as a useful entry point for beginners who want to find highly reputable, and respected online bookmakers to use. But it can also be used as a valuable resource for more experienced punters. Those who may be keen to look for alternative bookmakers for which to use for odds comparison or maybe even switch to one that potentially suits them better. In this guide, we explain some of the things that we look at when rating a football bookie. 

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Honest Reviews

The first important factor in how we judge bookmakers for football is simply by offering honest reviews. All the bookmakers found here on Betfootball are ones we can guarantee will offer some of the best overall betting services and most fun promotions throughout the 2020 edition of the European Championship

What’s important?

It sounds like a straightforward thing, but it can be overlooked. The research we do in looking at the different operators is not to directly compare one with another. It’s seeing how football bookies stand on their own two feet and what they bring to the table for the end-user.

We rate the bookmakers individually by taking a deep dive into not only the big front-end things like the quality of the sportsbook and the overall value of bets but also in sizing up important things on the backend. 

We take an honest look at things like the quality of the customer service, banking options, and help sections, as well as the actual gaming opportunities that are there. The goal is simply to build as complete of a picture as we can for each of the bookmakers for football. That includes how easy the website is to operate in terms of user-friendliness. 

  • Are the sportsbook markets nice and legible? 
  • How well does the bet slip operate?
  • Is the site easy to navigate around to get the markets that you want?

Mobile Platform

Another very important aspect of rating a bookmaker is to look at their mobile platform as well. Betting while on the go allows punters a lot of freedom and that can be done through specific bookmaker apps or just through a mobile browser. So we also look at that crucial service.

We don’t have a bias towards one operator over the other, we simply strive to present quality content and clear information about as many different aspects of the common services of bookmakers for football. By making that information readily available, you as a punter can make the best choices without having to do all that comparison leg-work yourself.


Amount Of Football Bets

A key factor for punters wanting to have a regular flutter on the football is course, variety of football bets. Now, this can mean a couple of different things. The first is going to be what kind of football betting opportunities exist from different competitions.

In this day and age, there is usually a lot of coverage on football markets from all over the world from the English Premier League to the Australian A-League. There are naturally going to be times when for example the Premier League has its quieter moments, either during the week or the off-season.

Bet Variety

Looking at the variety of football bets from different competitions that are presented by a bookmaker is important. That’s because there are times when a punter may well want to still place wagers even during the downtimes of major leagues or even in the very early hours of the morning. Are there a lot of football betting markets during the English summer break for example? Another thing that we take into consideration when looking at the quality of a football bookie is the bet variety.

The way we do this is to look at the number of different bet types on average that a bookmaker will have on matches. Think of things like not only the more common alternative markets for football betting like:

  • Correct Score
  • Halftime/Fulltime
  • Over/Under 2.5 goals
  • Winning Margin
  • Rapid bets

Variety in the number of different football bets is important. It is that variety that helps bettors shop around for the best value options, especially when there is little on offer in a match outright for a game.

Odds for football bets

This is another of the major factors in how we grade bookmakers. The value of odds. Nowadays it is relatively straightforward to go through some kind of odds comparison practice as a punter. That’s where you price up a selection on a football betting market at different bookmakers for football to see which offers the best price.

Doing this enough times can lead to a nice bit of an extra boost from winning bets in the long run. But it is time-consuming and it of course involves opening accounts with more than one of the best football bookies.

Bookmaker Margins

So, a good way to try and cut down a lot of the leg work is to find out the average bookmaker margins that the operators are running with. A bookmaker margin is how much of an extra cut that a bookie is working into odds, for example on an outright market. That may commonly be something around a 4 to 6% margin that a football bookmaker is operating at. 

  • The higher the margin then the less value in the match outright market there is for the punter, just because of how much the bookmaker is taking.

By looking at match outrights and calculating an average bookmaker margin across a few matches, can give an idea of what kind of margins are floating around at a given operator. Again, lower margins equal more value. These margins do change, they are not set in stone from one Premier League match to the next for example. 

The ideal situation is finding a bookmaker with good average margins and who consistently comes up strongly in direct odds comparisons as well. While it’s impractical to think that you are going to get the best odds every single time you place a wager, having a strong average in value is a good way to find the right bookmakers for football.

Football Bookmakers Features

One area in which bookmakers can vary just a little bit is when it comes to features.

Football bets bookmakers are generally going to be presenting pretty much the same markets, with roughly the same odds. But some operate with different features which allow punters to do different things with those markets.

So another aspect that we look for when judging bookmakers is what type of features they have. That can be anything from the increasingly popular bet builders, to naming your odds to how much variety is offered in live betting.


Live in-play betting is such a key modern area of football bookies operations. Those are the dynamic markets that rumble along and change frantically while the play is ongoing. So football bet bookmakers are very competitive in this area, presenting more and more live in-play betting services, some tying it in by offering live sports streams as well.

Other staples of features that we may expect to find at football bookies to push them towards a high rating are things like cash out and enhanced odds opportunities. We look at extra features as being the add-ons that can accentuate the overall quality of the betting experience.


Bonuses for football bets

Most bookmakers will have a lot of football betting bonuses on offer. These can vary greatly in definition from free bets to enhanced odds to bet reward clubs. We do look at what type of betting bonus variety that bookmakers have on offer to give a good honest review. Some bonuses come along that are just match-specific, some are just long-standing offers that you can go back time and time again to use.


An example of a match-specific football bonus is where a free bet will be returned for a lost stake if your selected team scores first but doesn’t win the match. Another example of a football betting bonus could be getting paid out early if, at any stage of the game, your match outright pick opens up a two-goal margin in the match. More commonly there are bonuses at football bookies which are enhanced odds offers or price boosts. 

These are straightforward options where the bookie has raised the odds on a given selection, say a price boost on a certain player to score the opening goal of a game.

It could also be something like an enhanced odds treble that a bookmaker has created that can be backed for extended odds. Another of the common types of football bonuses is accumulator insurances, where a stake may be refunded if only one leg of a qualifying acca losses.

  • We take into consideration the variety of bonuses that bookmakers for football have available on their sites and how that could relate to value for punters.

Payment Options

Another important aspect of judging bookmakers fairly and objectively is looking at payment options. We take a look at what different payment options are available to get funds into an account and what, if any, charges apply. There is also a matter of security and withdrawal times and potential fees. To fully put payment options at bookmakers under the microscope we also look at how deposit restrictions could affect the playing of bonuses.

Customer service and history of complaints

Customer service is often an overlooked aspect when trying to pick out a football bookmaker. But we make sure to take a look at how well the different operators perform in this area. Some main components of customer service that we examine include:

  • Hours of operation
  • Contact methods
  • FAQs and Help Guides

A Summary of Rating the Best Football Bookmakers

Time is precious in the modern world and the purpose of our honest bookmaker reviews is to help punters cut through the chaff to focus on those we feel could offer the best overall experience. There are a lot of small nuanced things, different features, and operations when it comes to the football bets bookmakers offer and how they present them. Those small parts make up a bigger picture.

At the end of the day, as we mentioned at the beginning, it is always a personal choice for the individual to use a certain bookmaker. The information that we have put together through our research is unbiased and comes from the experience of our experts sitting down and browsing and operating the many different sportsbooks that are there. That same information can then be used to help you explore the world of online football betting.