Remember when placing a bet on the football meant heading into the bookie’s and making your way through the smoke-filled atmosphere to grab a betting slip and then try to find something useable to write with? There were always a few characters in there who can be diplomatically described as “interesting” and it’s understandable that first timers used to approach the places with a degree of trepidation. 

Of course, all that has changed today, and the fact that you can place a bet from your phone or laptop without the aggravation or the anthropological drama of a betting shop has definitely opened up the activity to a wider demographic of football fans. In fact, for most, betting on football has got nothing to do with trying to make money through clever predictions. It’s just another way of getting behind the team.  

The biggest complication with online football betting is that there are so many platforms to choose from. There’s no single right answer as to which is best, but here are some factors to think about when making your choice.  

Licence checks 

There are new platforms appearing all the time, and they often provide the sweetest deals as they try to grab some market share for themselves. It’s far easier to set up a fake bookie online than in the real world, though, so if it’s some name you’ve never heard of, do your due diligence. If they are UK based, they will be licensed by the UK Gambling Commission and you would expect the licensing information to be quite prominent on the website, usually near the bottom of the homepage. 

Special promos 

Everyone likes something for nothing, so check out the “free bets” that many online bookies offer as welcome deals. Just be careful and read the small print before you sign up, though. A little like those no deposit bonuses in casinos, there is often a wagering requirement, so it’s worth taking time to read about how to withdraw bonus bet winnings so you’re clear on how the system works.   

Live betting 

Live betting is amazing. Placing bets on a game that’s in progress before your eyes would have been completely impossible before the internet days. It’s something that most, but not all, online platforms offer, and you should definitely give it a try, even if you think you are more of a traditionalist. 

Value added extras 

See what else the platform offers aside from betting. Some have useful tips and guides, while others provide video highlights or even live streams of certain games. Check the terms, of course, but it’s generally going to be far more cost-effective than pay per view or a satellite subscription.  

Payment methods 

Finally, don’t forget this small but important detail. Most sites offer a choice of payment methods, such as debit card, PayPal or Google Pay. Double check your method of choice is available, and then confirm what, if any, fees or commissions it might incur. You’d be surprised how much variation there is between one betting site and the next on this topic.