Picking a Sportsbook

Shopping for sports betting websites can sometimes feel like shopping for tampons – it’s confusing for men and we have no idea what features are actually needed. Make the wrong choice and boy will you regret it (OK, your wife won’t yell at you if you choose the wrong sportsbook, but you might not make as much money as you could with a better site). [+]

While no two sports bettors are the same, there are a number of criteria that lend themselves well to picking the right sportsbook based on your style of play. The entire process of joining and making a deposit can take only minutes, but setting yourself up with the right sportsbook can be a decision you’ll enjoy for a long time.



Choosing an Online Sportsbook

Our team of industry experts, professional handicappers, former Vegas sportsbook managers and professional reviewers have narrowed down the most important factors for choosing the right sportsbook to the list below.

While by no means the only factors that you will need to consider, they are some of the primary concerns that new and professional gamers always have. Always remember that online gaming can be fun, but never forget that you’re in it to make money.

Overall Reputation

Reputation in the online gaming industry is key. Differentiating between sportsbooks that will be around in the future and those who simply want you to give them money before they close can be the difference between a successful wagering career and a lost deposit. We have evaluated the leading list of sportsbooks based on client feedback and employee feedback for several years.

Industry insiders, such as those on our research team, know how a sportsbook treats its customers – if they go out of their way to pay quickly, if they’ll always have your back with good account management, if they answer their phones, etc. More importantly, they have let us know which sportsbooks to avoid and which may not be around this time next year.    

Liquidity / Financial Stability

Ever since the U.S. implemented tougher financial restrictions on the online gaming industry, the cream has really risen to the top when it comes to financial stability. Some companies who were not on a solid footing closed almost overnight, while others navigated the trouble waters but emerged as true industry powerhouses.

Assessing the liquidity of an online sportsbook was a key evaluation of ours – we scoured financial statements and when we asked leading sportsbooks for financial sheets, they gave them. Financial stability mainly revolves around deposit and payout acceptance.

We only recommend those websites that have a proven track record of paying out on time and accepting customer deposits through a wide variety of methods. Our recommended sportsbooks will be around for decades to come.

Deposit and Payout Options

There are two times you don’t want to stress as a sports bettor – when you want to deposit before the big game and when you want to take your winnings out. Reputable sportsbooks will offer members a variety of handy methods to fund and make withdrawals. When it comes to making a deposit, the preferred method is always credit cards.

While not a common option for taking money out, almost every sportsbook will offer credit cards as a way to get money in. Other common methods include person-to-person money transfers such as Western Union or MoneyGram, which is often the favorite method to receive a payout. Toss in other methods such as Moneybookers(Skrill) and e-wallets and you’ve got flexibility when it comes to game day.

Bonus Offers and Promotions

When it comes time to promotions and bonuses, bigger isn’t always better. Bonuses carry terms and conditions that can make getting something “free” not free at all. Why? Every bonus features a rollover and max cashout. A rollover is basically the number of times you must bet before you will be eligible to take any money out.

If you hit a big parlay on day one, however, you may regret taking that big bonus. Max cashout is similar to rollover, however certain books may put a limit on how much money you can take out if a bonus is taken. Always look into this, because you may think you struck it rich only to find that you won enough for a train ticket to depressed-ville.

The Top-Rated Sportsbooks



More sports betting tips:

Managing Your Bets

Understanding Bonuses

Comparing Odds

Drinking and Betting