No Bonus: This is JustBookies’ idea of the best online bookmaker. Bet365 is the top choice if you are looking for a bookmaker for any sports event. Just at the moment they have withdrawn their sports betting welcome bonus for new players (which used to be the biggest of all the bookies’ free bets) but don’t let that put you off. They still have a huge range of ongoing promos, particularly for football and racing. Just one of many examples is the impressive ITV horse racing bonus. If you bet on a winner of any ITV or ITV4 televised horse race at betting odds of 4/1 or greater then you get a free bet on the next ITV race for the same amount. You can keep going with this indefinitely. They also go ‘best odds guaranteed’ on horse racing and dogs. What that means is that if the Starting Price is bigger than the odds you took for your selection then you get the better price. This firm is brilliant for the small punter but in JustBookies’ tests across all the bookies, Bet365 accepted a bigger bet than any of its rivals. There is no delay getting your winnings back either, as their payouts are faster than the competitors too. Choosing a bookmaker is more than just getting bribed by the biggest welcome bonus. Luckily, in the case of Bet365 you win on all counts. Bet365 is widely recognised as the best overall option, as their many industry awards suggest. We do a fair amount of betting with Bet365 ourselves and the Stoke-based customer service is streets ahead. You are always dealing with someone from the UK who is keen to please and has all the answers. Our recommendation for Bet365 is based on years of personal experience betting with them. Our No.1 Rated Bookmaker
Bet £10, Get £60 FREE BET (£30 Sports with extra £30 for Casino): Betfred is an ever-expanding and trusted brand with a good sports betting welcome bonus. If you bet a tenner or more as your first sports bet then Betfred will give you an extra £30 free bet. Make sure that you enter promo code SPORTS60 or MSPORTS60 on the registration form (which should happen automatically when using the link from JustBookies) and bet on a selection at odds of evens or more. You also get a free £30 to use in the casino. Betfred call this offer ‘Bet £10, Get £60.’ They also offer ‘best odds guaranteed’ on horse racing. Betfred is another firm we have bet with regularly. JustBookies is impressed with the excellent customer service, the huge choice of events and their lightning-fast payouts. We have found that they will generally accept a reasonable sized wager, though there is room for improvement. They are also the best firm to place the Scoop 6 bet with. They have the UK monopoly on tote betting and regularly add big bonuses if the Scoop 6 winner placed that wager with Betfred.
Bet £5 & Receive £10 Free Bet: Have you ever wished there was a new and trustworthy bookmaker to try? We know we have. Now there is one and it is called SunBets, the branded betting company of The Sun newspaper. There is a strong team managing this operation and they are serious about making a major impact in the UK market. We have been impressed by their website, choice of betting markets and professionalism. The site is run by Tabcorp – a huge Australian betting company that has especially formed a UK company to operate Sun Bets. Because of that this is a little bit different from your typical British bookies and as a result it is well worth trying out. We think SunBets will quickly make inroads into some of the complacent established betting companies. As for the free bet, it is a tenner when you bet a fiver. Only UK & Ireland can join.
£/€20 RISK FREE BET: Respected Irish-based online bookmakers Paddy Power will give you £/€20 cash as a refund of your first stake if that bet loses. The bad bit about this is that you need to lose to get it. The good bit is that at least they match your initial bet in cash rather than free bet tokens. New customer offer, T&C’s apply, 18+. Paddy Power offers a good, fun betting location, as befits a publically listed company. We like having a bet with these masters of the PR stunt. Our punting experience is that they are right up there with the best.
£10 OFFER: Stan James Bookmakers gives you a £10 free bet when you bet £10. It is not a bad deal and Stan James has built an enviable reputation for integrity. You’ve probably seen their TV adverts featuring an annoying pair of twits unimaginatively called Stan and James. Despite that, this is a large and credible bookie with a good website. One note of caution, from JustBookies’ own personal betting experience, is that Stan James is for smaller recreational sports punters only as they limit bets quicker than a lot of their rivals. If you tend to bet more than £20 at a time on sports then you will be better off with another firm.
Bet £10 Get £30: One of the most recognised brand names in the business thanks to their presence in almost every UK high street, William Hill gives newbies £30 of free bets when you bet a tenner. This is a better offer than their standard bonus for new customers and is exclusive to JustBookies. You need to use promo code C30 to take advantage of it, but that will be entered automatically on their registration form when you click through from us. William Hill give best odds guaranteed on horse & dog racing. They are one of the most successful online bookies for a reason – they keep players happy with a wide range of betting markets, fast payouts and an easy to use website. They have been voted Online Operator of the Year.
£30 Sports + £30 Casino: BetVictor has taken a leaf out of Betfred’s book with their latest free bets’ welcome package. They will give you £30 for sports and another £30 for casino when you bet £10 at evens or higher for your first sports bet with them. Do double check the terms and conditions to ensure that you don’t fall foul of them as there are turnover requirements to earn out the casino part of the offer. BetVictor is an impressive site to use and we really like the simple but comprehensive software they use. One cautionary note is that in JustBookies’ experience BetVictor, previously known as Victor Chandler, is not as good as they used to be at accommodating bigger sports punters. They start off fine and then start restricting players who put a few winners together. It is fairly typical of the feeble UK bookies who want smaller recreational punters rather than sharp action. If you follow horse racing then you may know of the billionaire owner Michael Tabor. He bought out former-owner Victor Chandler’s majority share and now owns BetVictor.
£30 BONUS: Betfair started as a betting exchange where you match bets against other customers. They still have the exchange section but now also have a great traditional fixed odds bookmaker section. They call this ‘Betfair Sportsbook’ to differentiate it from their betting exchange. So in the sportsbook you are betting against Betfair (just like with any other bookmaker), not other people. The sportsbook’s standard new customer bonus is £30. This is given as 3 x £10 free bets when you place a first sportsbook wager of at least a tenner. New customer offer, T&C’s apply, 18+. They also offer enhanced betting odds as a welcome bonus for new customers. For example: They might offer Man Utd at 6/1 instead of at evens to win against Sunderland. If an enhanced price offer like that is currently available then it will show when you click through to Betfair from this page. JustBookies is impressed by their sportsbook, which is better run and takes a bigger bet size than most of the other bookies on this page. Betfair also offer ‘Best Odds Guaranteed’ on all horse racing, so you don’t lose out if you take the odds and that price then drifts to a bigger SP. Their betting exchange section suits more experienced punters and has more volume than any other person-to-person betting site in the world. Once you get comfortable with their sportsbook you can always try out the exchange too and see how you like it. We tend to use a bit of both, cherry picking the best odds for our selections.
£25: BoyleSports is a large Irish-based online bookmakers but they have a deliberately complex free bet offer. They tend to tinker with their free bet promotion often and it never looks as good as first seemed once you read the smallprint. This time is much the same: 1) You must stake a tenner or more initially at odds of 1/2 or higher to get a £5 free bet. 2) Then you get the 50% average (what?!) of your next three qualifying bets up to a maximum of a fiver. They offer that four times. If you jump through all the hoops then you can claim £25 in total as 5 x £5 bonuses. This bookies does offer a good service for punters who bet smaller stakes. This is not a firm with a reputation for accommodating large sports bets, as we discovered for ourselves.
£30 OFFER: Unibet has nearly five million registered clients, mostly in mainland Europe but Unibet is also ideal for UK players. Unibet gives what they describe as a £30 risk free bet to new players, when you deposit at least £10. It applies to your 1st sports bet only. If the bet wins then the bonus does not apply at all. However if the bet loses they will refund the stake up to £30. You then need to ‘play through’ the amount you receive as a bonus x 3. So if your first bet was a tenner and it lost and they gave you £10 then you need to bet £30 in total within 30 days before withdrawing. You need to opt into this on the Unibet registration form and please take a close look at their terms to ensure you get the full benefit. The one advantage is that if you do receive the risk free bet, and then do the 3 x play through requirements, you get to keep the stake they refunded as a freebie as well as any winnings you make. JustBookies thinks Unibet is a decent enough online betting company for smaller-stakes sports punters.
£50: One of the largest bookmaking companies in the world, Ladbrokes gives away £50. They match your first wager up to that amount so long as that bet is for a fiver or more and on a selection at odds of 1/2 or bigger. You must enter F50 in the ‘promo code’ box of the registration form when you join. It may not be the biggest of the bookies free bets but this is a good solid firm as befits their reputation. Ladbrokes offer best odds guaranteed on horse racing. As well as their online betting website, Ladbrokes run a massive chain of high street betting shops and is known as a company to trust. Excellent online site and they have taken three-figure bets from us over a long period of time without any problem.
£20: Stake £/€5+ on your first bet with Coral and receive a free £/€20. This is better than it looks as you only risk a fiver to get twenty. That initial bet has to be on a selection priced at betting odds of 1/2 or bigger. Also they give best odds guaranteed for horse racing and greyhounds. Another great ongoing promo is the extra fiver free you will get on a Friday if you wager £25 or more in total sports bets (at evens or higher) in the first four days of the week (Monday to Thursday). That’s a nice little incentive to stay betting with Coral. This outfit is a major UK brand, after all Coral betting shops have been a mainstay of the British high street for decades. They now have a great online betting site to go with it. A lot of sports betting companies only really want small-stakes bettors, but JustBookies’ tests revealed Coral accept a larger bet than many other UK-facing bookmakers.
£25 BONUS: Totesport was formerly known simply as The Tote. It was once owned by the United Kingdom government but was bought by Betfred. Although you can place a Scoop 6 bet at all major online bookies, it is Totesport (in their ‘Totepool’ section) that is the home of that famous bet and so arguably one of the best places for your Scoop 6 wagers. They offer everything that is available from the traditional online bookmakers and in addition they have pool betting on UK horse racing. Totesport gives best odds guaranteed on horse racing. They offer one of the more typical bookies free bets and that is £25 to new customers as a match of your first bet. A surprisingly good bookmaker.
£/€20 OFFER: Betdaq is the second biggest betting exchange after Betfair. You receive a refund of your first bet of €/£5 or more if it loses, up to a maximum of €/£20. So you can see it works a bit differently from the other bookies free bets. Alternatively they will give you 50% commission back for the first three months. Ordinarily commission is paid at a rate of 3% of your net winnings on each individual sports market. If you already use Betfair betting exchange then it would be worth also having an account with Betdaq.