Online gambling UK – a short guide
A pastime with a very long history which dates back to ancient civilisations, gambling is a form of entertainment that involves wagering money or other items of value. Gambling has continued to develop over the years as people started inventing different games, and nowadays it is a licensed and regulated activity in the UK. Although gambling refers to both betting and games of chance, nowadays the term is used more to refer to betting (wagering on the outcomes of future events), whereas games of chance like slots and table games normally fall under the ‘casino’ category. In this article, we’ll be looking at online gambling in particular, to make people more aware of the opportunities and risk and to help them find a secure betting site with a gambling license.
Online gambling sites
Whereas up till a decade or so ago, most gambling took place at land-based bookmakers, in recent years, dozens of online gambling sites have started to dominate the gambling market. These online betting sites make betting easier, more varied and sometimes more rewarding, allowing you to gamble from the comfort of your home, or on the go from your mobile phone.
The typical UK gambling site would consist of a selection of sports or events to bet on (from mainstream sports like football, tennis, basketball and volleyball to more specialized sports like horse racing, greyhound racing and even esports and virtual sports!). Not only do online gambling sites offer odds on the winners of such events, but they also offer a huge selection of other gambling odds for different events that might take place during a game (for example number of goals and half time score in football, or placepot betting in horse racing). Most of them also offer live betting, allowing you to bet on different outcomes during a match. Last but not least, the best betting sites also run regular offers on different sports events which may earn you regular rewards (such as profit boosts, free bets, cashback or sometimes even a sports jackpot!) The below is a screenshot of current offers at Unibet sportsbook.
Online gambling sites allow you to deposit and withdraw with ease via your preferred payment method, and to place your wager within minutes. Most of them also offer a welcome bonus as a way to introduce you to their platform, which could consist of a free bet or cash back on your first bet. If you look at the list of online gambling sites with a UK gambling license below, you’ll also be able to see the sports welcome bonus they offer new UK punters. To claim these offers, all you’ve got to do is click on the links, register and deposit and/or place your first bet on the websites.
Recommended online gambling sites UK
5% cashback up to £20 Min. £20 deposit. Max. cashback £20. Deposits via Skrill or Neteller do not qualify. Wager £400 or more to receive the full Cashback amount. Max Bet is £100. Min. odds per bet is 3/4 (1.75). Cashback is activated by turnover. Bonus money bets do not trigger cashback. Casino bets do not qualify for cashback. Cashback is credited without a turnover requirement. Bonus expires after 30 days.
Types of gambling odds and wagering
As we already mentioned above, a betting site can have multiple gambling odds and bet types for the same event. These are known as betting markets. When you choose a game to bet on at a gambling site, you will first be shown the Outright winner odds (the odds for which team or player will win), with the option of either selecting a different market further down below, or clicking another link to view additional markets. These betting markets differ depending on the sport or event in question. For example, in Basketball you can bet on whether the total points will be odd or even or under or over a specific number, and on whether there will be any overtime. There can be over a hundred betting markets for one event, so you can imagine the sheer variety and gambling opportunities available! In fact, if you aim to become a professional gambler, you will normally focus on these markets, as some of them are less risky and more rewarding than the Outright odds on an event.
How to become a professional gambler
Did you know that there are people who actually pursue gambling as a profession? Are you interested? Well, the first thing you should know is that this requires a lot of time, knowhow and patience.
A professional gambler normally has one specialization: it may be Blackjack, Poker or a specific sport. The key to becoming a professional is focusing and gradually building a strategy. If a professional is focused on local football, this will require him to constantly follow what’s happening, in order to be able to take advantage of changes in momentum and other factors (for example a key player’s recent injury, a recent defeat, past statistics, etc). When it comes to games like poker, a professional gambler also learns to read people and seeing through their Poker face. What's more, a professional gambler also needs to be able to do the maths and learn how to take calculated risks. It's important to be able to decide how much one is ready to lose beforehand, to stick to a budget and bet the correct amounts for that budget.
Ultimately, being a professional gambler is hard work which is not to be taken lightly, and it might require a lot of patience (and a healthy bankroll) to start seeing profits and make an income. That said, given the gambling opportunities on offer nowadays, this is indeed possible as long as the game or betting in question involves a degree of skill and knowledge and is not entirely a game of chance (as in the case of online slots).
As you are probably aware, gambling is an addictive behaviour and some people might require help or support with it. Thankfully, even the betting sites themselves offer gambling help nowadays, by allowing customers to set deposit and wagering limits, and also to self-exclude themselves. Those sites with a gambling license will have a department that takes care of responsible gaming, and if they notice that a customer has been gambling more than he can afford, they might also decide to exclude him.
If you’re seeking gambling help for yourself or for a friend, we suggest you refer to our article about responsible gaming here, or to visit the BeGambleAware website directly – this is where you’ll find a wealth of information and support to address damaging gambling behavior.
Bet with the top gambling sites
There's one more thing you should know if you intend to get into online gambling. Not all gambling sites offer the same gambling odds and markets, so it's always worth shopping around for those odds that would offer you the highest profits if you bet correctly. What's more, not all gambling sites offer the same value for money. Some of them run regular promotions and also have a free bet club in order to reward their customers on a regular basis. For these reasons, we've listed teh top gambling sites below that tick almost all our boxes: they offer a huge selection of markets, they're secure, licensed, have a welcome offer as well as regular betting offers for existing customers. Check them out via the links below if you'd like to play only with the best and enjoy an exceptional gambling experience!