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Online Betting Sites

Online Betting Sites

The World of Online Betting Sites Explained for Beginners

Bookmakers are some people, companies, or online betting sites that will accept your bets. They are basically betting against you every time when you make a bet. This is why you have to understand first how they make money and how to beat them.

This guide will help you to understand how these online sports betting companies operate and how you can select the best online betting site for you.

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When we make a bet, we must find someone on the other side who is willing to accept our bet. In other words, this means, that they are willing to bet against us.

The definition of a bet is an agreement between at least two parties that a sum of money will be paid by the losers to the party who correctly predicts the outcome of an event.

The simplest agreement is a bet against a friend or between two people. But because the betting market is much more than just betting against friends, we have different types of online betting sites, that are willing to accept our bets. They have different strategies on how they make money.

Online Sportsbook and Bookmaker

Online sportsbooks and bookmakers are now basically the same thing. Both are widely recognized as online betting sites, that accept wagers. But in the core there is a difference between a bookmaker and a sportsbook.


Bookmakers (or short Bookies) accept bets on sporting events. A bookmaker is a person who determines the actual odds before accepting any stakes.


Online sportsbook is a company that takes bets on a larger scale. They offer various betting odds on sporting events. Trusted and legitimate sportsbooks are the most popular places to bet on sports.

Betting Exchange

Betting exchanges are online betting sites that allow bettors to bet directly against each other and set odds by themselves. In other words, these services connect bettors to bet against each other, and then they take small commissions.

Betting broker

Also known as bet broker, bet brokerage, bet agent, or sports broker provides you with a single account that gives you access to multiple bookmakers at the same time. A betting broker is a middleman between you and different bookmakers, where the main idea is to provide you with the best odds available on the market.

Crypto betting sites

Crypto betting sites are the same as traditional bookmakers and sportsbooks, but the difference is that your account balance is held in cryptocurrencies. The most popular are bitcoins.

Blockchain betting sites

The main idea is online betting on a decentralized betting exchange on a blockchain, where payouts are instant and nobody can limit bets. The best odds, full anonymity, and smart contracts are the dream of every sports bettor. The idea is still very young and it will take some time before it becomes popular. Wagerr is one of the first such sites.

How do online sports betting sites make money?

Sportsbooks make money by accepting bets on the marketplace and pricing it in such a way that it doesn’t represent the true probability of the total outcome. This margin between the bets gives bookies an edge over the bettors. They set lines to ensure profit.

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What is a betting exchange and how does it work?

A betting exchange is a site or service, where you can bet against other players. You are not betting against a bookmaker or against a sportsbook, but against another player. The betting exchange takes a small commission from this bet.

Lay and Back

Instead of backing a bet (same as a traditional bet on Red Sox on a sportsbook as an example), you are able to lay a bet on Yankees not to win. This single bet is matched with another bettor on the betting exchange.

They are a great alternative to traditional online sportsbooks and they are gaining in popularity. That’s because their market is a free market and their odds are controlled by the punters. This allows us to find better value and is a big reason why betting exchanges are so popular.

The first problem with betting exchanges is that they are still complex for an average bettor.
Another problem sports bettors face is liquidity, especially for smaller markets. Because if there is no one on the other side who is willing to bet against you (plus the amount you want), the bet will not happen. This is not the case with traditional sportsbooks.

What are sportsbook bonuses and promo codes?

Sign-Up Bonuses are also known as Sportsbook’s Welcome Bonuses or Deposit Bonuses. They will award you if you deposit money, start betting, and usually, it comes with a roll-over requirement. The bigger the deposit, the bigger the award for you.

Promo codes are special codes, that you need to use in order to get a specific bonus.

So what is the business model from sportsbooks?

Invite as many as possible players to bet on sports and then offer unfair odds. Most sports bettors don’t have sports betting skills to beat their margins and this is simply their winning position. The question now is how to attract more and more players, because the competition is big among sportsbooks too.

With bonuses, promo codes, or other sportsbook promotions.

Are sportsbook bonuses worth it?

Sports betting bonuses are an excellent way to increase your bankroll. But they always come with roll-over requirements and they are set so, that you must beat their margins too if you want to win the bonus. This is why many novice bettors without any sports betting skills usually don’t win these bonuses. Most of them don’t read the T&C and rules on how to win these bonuses.

What’s a risk-free bet?

Many online betting sites offer risk-free bets as a Welcome Bonus or promotion to attract new players. A risk-free bet means that Sportsbook will refund the money (up to a certain amount) if you lose the first bet you place.

What is an offshore sportsbook?

Offshore sportsbook is an online betting site located outside of US borders. Offshore sites do not hold licenses to operate in the USA and because of that, some are not secure or do not have player protection measures. But there are some of the best sportsbooks with the best bonuses, best odds, happy players, and are trustworthy for many years. Bovada and Betonline are some of them.

How do I choose a good online betting site?

  • First Step – Decide which sports and markets you want to bet. Once you know your sport to bet, then you can start looking for sportsbooks and other online betting sites, that will offer these events.
  • The second step – Make a research of online betting sites, sportsbooks and exchanges available in your location. Almost every online betting site has some location restrictions, this is something you must check on their sites. They must be trustworthy, reliable and big enough. Small and new bookmakers usually have small limits and very slow payouts, because they don’t have enough liquiity and they can not afford big payouts. Payouts are important, because this is why we bet and becuse of that bigger and well-known betting sites are usually a better choice.
  • Third step – Calculate margins in your sport and betting market. Margins are bookmaker’s commissions and the bigger the commission, the smaller profit for a sports bettor.
  • The Fourth step – Check their bonuses. Almost all sportsbooks and betting sites offer some promotions and bonuses. This can be a deciding factor between two similar bookmakers.
  • The fifth step – Start with small amount and make a first payout to see how fast and reliable they are with payouts.
  • The sixth step – Join mulitple online betting sites to get the best odds for your selected bet.