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How to Choose an Online Sportsbook

By: TJ Masterline
Date: Feb 15, 2015
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Sports bettors today have their choice of hundreds of different online sportsbooks to select from. Naturally, some are very good, while others should be avoided at all costs. With so many sportsbooks out there, a bettor should some time and find the one that suits them the best, based on their preference of play. When looking for an online sportsbook there are give primary details a prospective customer should look for: financial status, wagering ease, ease of making deposits and withdraws, betting options, and bonus programs. Of these five, obviously financial status is by far the most important, as it doesn't matter how many bonuses a sportsbook will give you or how many betting options are available if they don't pay you when you win. Financial Status

A sportsbooks' ability, and willingness, to pay off winners is by far the most important thing a prospective customer should look for. While it can difficult to find out the bottom line of a sportsbooks' financial standing, there are certain things to look for. The number of years in business is a good starting place. A sportsbook that doesn't pay off its losses will soon become known in the sports betting world and will have trouble adding customers.

Prospective customers can also look at various independent sportsbook rating sites, such as Sportsbook Review, to get additional input on a particular sportsbook, and don't hesitate to check out of some of the posting by sports gamblers on the forums. Many sports bettors have common tales of good sportsbooks and poor sportsbooks. Also, don't be afraid to ask other sports bettors where they play and if they are happy with their sportsbook.

Wagering Ease Wagering ease doesn't have quite the importance it did several years ago, when there were some extremely difficult to use web sites out there. The majority of sportsbooks have simple, easy to use software for you to make your wagers. Most sportsbooks will let you take a "test drive" of their site before you sign up for an account, so spend a few minutes and make sure you're comfortable with the betting process. Betting Options Betting options is probably the second most important aspect of choosing a sportsbook, trailing just financial status. Having an account with a sportsbook that doesn't offer lines on what you would like to bet is simply a waste of time and money. College totals are a big part of my handicapping, so it would be pointless for me to use somebody like sportsbook.com, which just offers totals on televised college basketball games. Again, most sportsbooks will let you see odds on the games they are accepting wagers on, so explore the web site before making a deposit. If you want to wager on European hockey games and the sportsbook you are looking at joining doesn't accept wagers on European hockey, it is easy to find another that will. Depending on how much you wager on a game, betting limits would also fall under the betting options category, as a $2,200 a game college basketball player wouldn't be wise to open an account at sportsbook, which has a $500 limit on NCAA basketball games, while Olympic will take the entire $2,200, which is their limit.

Likewise, the same would hold true for smaller bettors, who could possibly run into the reverse problem of not wagering enough to meet the sportsbook's minimum wager. Bonus Programs This is one of the most important factors for a number of bettors, who like the concept of free money, which is never a bad thing. Nearly every sportsbook will offer some sort of incentive for new customers, which in many cases is 20-percent of your initial deposit, and the majority of places will add 10-percent to any additional deposits. Some restrictions may apply, such as bonuses are only given on non-credit card deposits, so be sure to read the fine print with any sportsbook.

The process of selecting an online sportsbook isn't always an easy one, but by spending a few minutes before signing up, a sports bettor can save a great deal of aggravation down the road. Don't be afraid to ask others who they bet with and if they would recommend them to somebody else, and more importantly, spend some time looking into a sportsbook's willingness to pay. If a sportsbook has a history of non-payment, it is unlikely to change in the change in the future. TJ Masterline

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