The criteria for how PickASportsbook rates online sportsbooks tend to be the same for each site we review.
There are certain features of an online sportsbook that every sports bettor, no matter if they are a beginner or a sharp, look for and those are the features we try to tackle.
We go through the entire experience of using each sports betting site from the ways in which to sign up, to the ways in which to receive your winnings. Each of those steps in between is also carefully examined and judged from an industry-wide approach.
Each major sportsbook component we review is listed in greater detail below.
Determining The Best Online Sportsbook Bonuses
When determining the best bonuses at online sportsbooks, we don’t just look at the number of dollars each site will give to new members.
That’s because those numbers are oftentimes misleading. While some sportsbooks offer a large welcome bonus, they also come with a large rollover requirement. This means that you will have to play with that bonus amount several times through before you can ever cash out that bonus money.
There are other sites who counter that by offering a small welcome bonus, but have a very low rollover requirement.
We tend to view the sites in the middle as the ones with the best bonuses.
Each sports betting site also tends to have bonuses related to certain sports. Some only have bonuses for major sports and others include more niche sports. Our view when it comes to these is the more the merrier.
We also weigh in how much each sports-related bonus rewards its users. Some only give away a $10 free bet while others may give away $100 in free bets. Again, the larger the better.
An example of an online sportsbook that meets many of these standards is Caesars Sportsbook.
Judging The Online Sportsbook And Betting App Experience
Normally, online sportsbooks have two ways to experience it. From a computer and from a mobile device. Each one is judged separately at PickASportsbook due to the fact that the layout and user interface for each platform can be different.
When it comes to the online computer experience, the sites the look means a lot. Some sites try to mash in all of their promos and lines into one screen at the same time.
We tend to be in favor of the opposite. The less cluttered the online sportsbook’s UI is, the better.
Instead, features such as a search bar to help find particular lines are highly valued. Other factors such as easily readable betting lines on the screen, a bet slip calculator, and an organized layout of each sport are also taken into consideration.
When it comes to the app many of the same factors come into play but are judged a bit more harshly due to the fact that it doesn’t take much to over saturate the screen on a smartphone.
We also take into account the accessibility of a sports betting app and the sports betting app’s overall performance as well. This means looking over aspects related to updating live betting lines or whether or not we notice crashes with the app.
The best sportsbook apps are the ones that organize their lines efficiently, are fast in performance, and can easily be downloaded from an app store.
Ease And Number Of Online Sportsbook Banking Options
The ease and number of online sportsbook banking options available when using an online sportsbook is something we weigh very heavily.
At the end of the day, people bet on sports to win money. So, having a fluid process when depositing and withdrawing your money means everything. There would be no point in sports betting if exchanging funds is overly complicated.
When looking at banking options our view is the more options the better.
This means sports betting sites that have extended options like PayNearMe, PayPal, and their own prepaid card take precedence over other sites who only accept credit/debit cards and online bank transfers. An example would be BetMGM Sportsbook.
Some people aren’t comfortable with giving a gambling site that type of information so having these other banking methods makes sure that the site is more welcoming to bettors of all types which is a major plus.
Sports And Bet Types To Put Money On
Judging this factor is similar to judging the banking options in that the more options there are than the higher we grade the site.
Every site has the five major American sports (Football, Basketball, Baseball, Hockey, Soccer) but certain sites leave out more niche competitions such as darts, cycling, or other international events.
We believe that having more sports to bet on welcomes in more people to use the site and that’s always a good thing.
Having a wide range of bet types follows the same principles.
Certain people are completely new to the world of sports betting so having those basic lines, and presenting them in a way that’s easily digestible, is as highly regarded as when a site offers more complicated betting practices such as teasers and round robins.
Extra Ways To Gamble With Online Sportsbooks
Certain online sportsbooks will include extra ways to gamble if you ever get tired of betting on sports or if the sport that you normally bet on is out of season.
Many of the major online sports betting sites will now include online casino games, poker, and virtual sports betting.
The casino games usually include a wide array of online slots as well as table games like blackjack or roulette. The poker platforms also might have variations of the game and may sometimes include a live dealer.
Virtual sports betting is just a fictional and condensed sports match that has random results each time.
The events usually only last a couple of minutes and the result is based on an algorithm. This makes it impossible to predict and more like a casino game than real sports. The event can still be fun to watch and is a nice addition to any sports betting site.
While these games ultimately are not part of the sportsbook itself, we do value them and the inclusion of these additional gambling types are seen as a huge plus.
The ability to have an entire casino in the palm of your hands is a really cool innovation and most sports bettors only focus on a few sports they have the most expertise on.
These games allow you to win money at any time and therefore add a major benefit to any online sportsbook. PlaySugarHouse is a shining example of this.
Special Features Specific To Each Sports Betting Site
These special features can include things such as loyalty programs, sports pools, contests, live streaming, and boosted odds, to say the least.
Some sites have all of these features while others only have a few.
Different special features are graded higher than others. For example, having live streaming available straight from the site is a huge plus because of the fact that it makes live betting so much easier.
Loyalty programs that reward sports bettors specifically rather than just casino players is also highly valued. It gives an incentive for people to come back.
Things such as contests and boosted odds are nice, but oftentimes for the contests there are very few winners and the sports odds that are boosted are often for betting lines that aren’t too attractive to begin with.
Still, the inclusion of those features at all is appreciated and graded accordingly.
How Accessible Is Customer Service
Customer service for an online sportsbook is an aspect that can be looked over until it is needed the most.
In those desperate scenarios when you’re having trouble receiving your winnings, or feel like you got shorted on your bonus, or made a mistake on a bet, you should have no problem contacting a representative.
However, certain sites will hide their support phone number or will take longer to respond to emails than others.
At PickASportsbook, we believe the faster and more accessible customer service is, the better. This is especially true for those new to sports betting which so many Americans are.
The Big Picture
All in all, most of the sites we review live up to expectations in terms of each aspect we mention here. It’s because of this that the minor details make all the difference when making our final grade.
For each review measure the pros and cons for each site and see which side outweighs the other.
No sportsbook is entirely perfect but some are closer than others to it.
It’s also worth noting that not every site is perfect for everyone. On top of this, the lines and odds offered at one online sportsbook aren’t going to be the same as the lines and odds at another online sportsbook.
That is why it is important to become a member of multiple online sportsbooks. This gives you the ability to shop lines and get the best odds for what you want to bet on. It also gives you access to multiple bonuses and the most features.