How to choose the best live UK bookmakers
Live betting, or in-play betting, is a form of gambling that allows you to place bets during a running event, while pre-game betting is simply the action to place a bet on an event before it starts. Live betting is way faster than pre-game betting as the odds can change rapidly, while the markets can be suspended during the action.
Regarding the bookmakers that offer live betting, it can be a thorough task to find the best betting sites in the industry and that’s because the operators are continuously improving the design and features of their website. There are a couple of key factors to consider when searching for the best live UK bookmaker:
Live stats and live streaming
There is a whole world of online bookmakers offering different benefits to attract bettors. All these aspects presented above can tell you if a bookmaker is good enough to make you join or not, but it might take a while to verify all of them.
This is actually our job to do and we have already done it for you, as we have created a list with the best live UK bookmakers. You can also read our bookmaker reviews to check out the features of each bookie we have displayed on our pages.
How we review and rate the top in play bookmakers
First of all, the main factor we take into consideration is the multitude of betting events and markets available. Usually, the best betting sites are the ones that offer a wide range of events such as minor tournaments, competitions or obscure leagues.
Furthermore, a reputable in-play betting bookmaker will offer a diversity of betting markets which gives you the ability to find value when the prices in the regular markets aren’t great.
Secondly, another key factor that might show you the quality of an online bookmaker is the odds competitiveness. It’s not easy to determine the price value when it comes to in-play betting, but we have compared dozens of betting sites according to the odds fluctuations.
Good value odds can play a huge role in your account balance, so it doesn’t matter the sport you bet on, it’s always necessary to compare odds between bookmakers.
Almost every online bookmaker offers live betting stats during an in-play match. For example, if you’re a football fan, then you will be able to see the possession percentage, corners, free kicks, etc. Furthermore, modern betting sites also provide its customers with betting stats for pre-game events and fixtures. Live streaming service is also important because watching a live event can provide you with better knowledge about how the game goes.
Key characteristics for the UK bookies
Probably the most important aspect you want to look for before joining an online bookmaker is the betting licence. All the bookmakers in the UK should have a valid licence from the United Kingdom Gambling Commission. You can check if a bookmaker has a valid licence by visiting the Gambling Commission website.
However, every bookmaker in the United Kingdom is obliged to display their licence details on their website. This Commission’s main objective is to protect customers, so if you want to report something about a bookie, you can do it by contacting the UK Gambling Commission.
The next step is to find out which bookies accept British pounds, although all of the bookmakers that operates on the UK territory should accept Great British Pounds. Furthermore, most popular e-wallets such as PayPal, Skrill, NETELLER, UKASH, accept the pound as currency.
The majority of the UK bookmakers only accept customers from the UK and Ireland and that’s why you will see Euro as a secondary currency on most of the websites.
Another important topic that we want to go through regarding the UK bookmakers is the customer support service. The most reputable bookmakers in the UK will have the customer support services available 24/7 hours a day, seven days a week.
Furthermore, you will be able to get in touch with the customer team through several methods such as sending an email, filling in a contact form on the website, giving them a phone call or just texting in the live chat function. All these contact methods should be visible on each of the betting sites we have listed on our website. In addition, some of the best bookmakers in the UK come with good help files (FAQ section), which can sometimes provide answers to the most frequently asked questions.
Top 5 bookmakers for live betting
Bet365 lead the market when it comes to live betting, or 'In Play' betting as they call it. They have amongst the highest number of sports and events covered and available to bet on, have the most markets per game, the odds are usually competitive and their live streaming service, allowing you to watch along to the game you have bet on is more thorough than most.
Skybet have a huge number of live betting options including horse races where the odds change quickly but it is still possible to get on. They have the option to watch a large number of sports and football and tennis are particularly attractive as there is an 'Opt In' promotion for both tennis and football refunding 10% of your weekly in play losses as cash.
Ladbrokes have a great in play betting system that has a larger than average number of matches covered and crucially the user interface is fantastic. There are live statistics allowing analysis as the game progresses alongside the current betting options and the odds available for each.
BetFred have a great in play product and regularly run bonus promotions linked to this form of betting. Check the promotions page for the latest details and remember to 'opt in' if relevant. Most weeks there is at least one Free bet bonus available for betting in play.
The first to introduce in play betting to the mass market Betfair still have a strong product, live streaming available for all UK and Irish horse racing and a large number of other sports too. They are the only bookmaker to accept Horse racing bets from the moment the tape goes up right through to when the horses have crossed the line, and even after that if there is a stewards enquiry. For maximum flexibility and control of your bets, managing the liability in play then Betfair is up there with the best.
How to make a deposit
After you have registered with an online bookmaker, the next step is to make a deposit on your account. The minimum deposit limit differs from bookmaker to bookmaker, as well as the payment methods, verification process, etc. We provide you with all this info in our bookmaker reviews, but we’re going to explain all the important aspects on how to make a deposit in the following rows.
Some of the online bookmakers listed on our website, which are reputable brands in the UK, will need you to provide them with copies of your ID and a proof of address. This happens because the bookmakers need to comply with the UK Gambling Commission’s regulations regarding money laundering. The best advice is to follow the guidelines as all licensed bookmakers must follow the UKGC regulations.
As for the banking options, almost all of the UK bookmakers on our website accept the most popular payment methods such as debit cards, e-Wallets (PayPal, Skrill, NETELLER, Paysafecard), bank transfers and so on. Bookies will usually return any winnings to the same payment methods used to deposit.
Furthermore, e-Wallets banking options aren’t eligible for most of the bonuses and free bets offered by the bookmakers, but you can find more info by reading through our bookmaker reviews.
The minimum deposit accepted by the online bookmakers is often £5, although some bookies can require at least £10 for a first deposit or the equivalent in other currencies.
The top betting sites are…
Here at Legalbet we have also categorised the top betting sites and their features to make them easier for you to find. They are:
By Sport: Football | Tennis | Boxing | Cricket | Snooker | Golf | UFC | Darts | Greyhound | Rugby | Horse Racing | Basketball | Baseball | Formula 1 | Ice Hockey (NHL) | Volleyball | Cycling
By Payment Systems: PayPal | Skrill | Klarna | Boku | Debit Cards | Apple Pay | Paysafecard | Neteller | Google Pay | Prepaid Cards
By Features: Cash Out | £5 Minimum Deposit | Minimum Bet Sizing | Live Streaming | Betting Exchanges | Safest | Fast Withdrawal | Daily Free Games
By Events: Politics | Superbowl | WWE
By Esports: CS:GO | Dota 2 | League of Legends | PUBG | Valorant | FIFA
Frequently Asked Questions
Live Betting is a fast-paced form of betting, so it’s not exactly the right place for a new bettor. However, there some tips and tricks that might help you understand better the in-play action. It doesn’t matter if it’s live football betting or live golf betting, you still need to watch the entire match or event, as sometimes you can predict the outcome of the game while doing this.
The main idea of live betting is to find a little edge over the bookmaker in order to make a profit in the long term. Then, you need to make sure that you keep track on your bankroll if you’re going to place multiple live bets. Good bankroll management will help you place more bets and increase your winning chances.
Any of the online bookmakers we recommend on our website are licensed, safe and trustworthy. It’s up to your personal taste which bookmaker you choose, but going through our bookmaker reviews, you can make a better decision. Our experts are spending most of their days glued to their laptops in order to analyse the best betting sites and promotional bonuses, so you can have all the best info in one place.
In-play betting bonuses are designed to be used by bettors during a live match or event. Online bookmakers usually offer free bets as live betting bonuses, which are being credited after the customer places a qualifying pre-game bet.
For example, you can receive a £10 in-play bet if you wager £30 on a specific pre-game event set by the bookmaker. Some bookies can also reward their customers with risk-free bets that can be used only on the in-play market.