Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Best Online Sportsbooks For U.S. Players – June 2024

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Before exploring the best online sportsbooks in the U.S., here are some tips on how to start your selection process.

Know What Kind of Experience You’re Seeking

Before signing up for a sportsbook, it’s important to know how serious you’re going to be about sports betting and what you want to get out of it.

If you’re a more casual sports bettor who just plans to bet occasionally then features like rewards programs, promotions for existing customers and customer service won’t matter as much. If you’re planning to wager more frequently, however, those features are more important.

You’ll also want to make sure the sportsbook has a good variety of bet types and betting markets, competitive odds compared to other sportsbooks and an intuitive interface that makes finding and placing bets quick and easy. Having quick, convenient deposit and withdrawal methods will also be important.

If you’re planning to spend a lot of time on a sportsbook, having a smooth, rewarding experience is critical. Not only will it save you a lot of time in the long run, but it could also save you some money.

Find Out Which Sportsbooks Your State Regulates

Online sports betting is legal in the majority of states, but not all. The first step is making sure whether your state allows sports betting, as some states haven’t legalized it yet or only allow in-person betting.

If it does, your next step is to see which online sportsbooks operate in your state. While larger sportsbooks like FanDuel and DraftKings are available in most legal sports betting states, some sportsbooks are only available in certain states.

Obviously being located in a state where only a handful of sportsbooks are legal makes choosing easier compared to if you were in a state with more than a dozen sportsbooks.

Also make sure you’re of the legal sports betting age. The age limit is 21 in most states, but in some states it’s 18.

Avoid Illegal Offshore Sportsbooks

Before states started legalizing online sports betting, sports bettors often turned to illegal offshore sportsbooks to place their wagers. That’s no longer necessary now that sports betting is legal in many states.

All legal U.S. sportsbooks are regulated and must comply with certain standards in order to operate. They’re obligated to pay out your winnings and have tight security measures in place to protect your personal and financial information.

Many foreign sportsbooks don’t have the same oversight and aren’t subject to the same laws, which makes them less reliable and trustworthy. If you win money at an illegal online sportsbook, you’re not guaranteed to receive your winnings, and it may end up taking much longer for you to receive your payout, if at all.

If you’re a victim of fraud or theft at an offshore sportsbook, there’s usually not much you can do about it because these sportsbooks often operate outside of the U.S. jurisdiction.

Using offshore sportsbooks is risky and could cost you money. Legal, regulated U.S. sportsbooks are much safer and have safeguards to protect their customers.

Make Sure the App is Available for Your Device

In addition to having websites, many online sportsbooks have mobile apps as well. Before picking a sportsbook, check to make sure it has an app for your operating system (iOS or Android) in either the App Store or Google Play Store.

Once you’ve downloaded the app, play around with it to see how it feels. Each sportsbook app has a different interface, functionality, layout and load times, so make sure it feels comfortable and is easy to use. You don’t want an app that’s clunky, laggy or glitchy.

You can usually access a sportsbook via the browser on your desktop or mobile device, but the user experience may not be as smooth.

Compare Promotions and Rewards

One of the most important things to look at when comparing online sportsbooks is the sign-up bonus. Most sportsbooks have welcome offers to entice new customers to sign up, usually offering bonus bets or second-chance wagers if your first bet loses.

It’s imperative to know the difference between these offers, what they mean and the terms and conditions associated with them.

One example is a sportsbook giving you $200 in bonus bets for placing a $5 wager. In this case, the sportsbook is essentially giving you $200 in free site credit just for betting $5.

However, many sportsbooks run a promotion that gives you a bonus bet if your first wager loses. For example, if you wager $100 with your first bet and it loses, the sportsbook may give you a $100 bonus bet so you can try to win your money back.

One offer isn’t necessarily better than the other, but it depends what your goal is. If you want to place several different wagers and explore the sportsbook, it’s usually better to claim a “bet and get” offer with bonus bets. If you’re just looking to sign up so you can wager on one game (i.e., the Super Bowl) but don’t plan on using the sportsbook much in the future, a second-chance bet will usually suffice.

Beyond the welcome offer, it’s also important to evaluate what promotions and rewards sportsbooks have for existing users. One sportsbook might have daily odds boosts that can only be found at their site, while another might give their customers bonus bets and referral bonuses.

Some sportsbooks have strong rewards programs that give users points or bonus bets for every wager they place, whereas other sportsbooks don’t have any type of rewards system.

Again, it depends how often you plan to wager. If you’re someone who bets frequently, then it’s more important to find a sportsbook with daily promotions and a robust loyalty program.

Compare Odds

Odds vary by sportsbook, so it’s important to make sure you’re getting competitive odds on your wagers.

Think of odds like prices. If you can get a gallon of gas for $3.10 at Station A or $3.20 at Station B, you’re better off getting it at Station A.

Odds work the same way. Say you want to place a moneyline wager on the Dallas Cowboys. If one sportsbook has them at -200 odds to win and a different sportsbook has them at -220 to win, you’ll make more money at the first sportsbook.

Differences are usually small, but they add up in the long run, especially if you’re betting with larger unit sizes.

One sportsbook will never have the best odds for every sporting event (otherwise it wouldn’t be as profitable), but it’s worth shopping around to get the best price on an event you want to wager on. It takes a bit of time, but is worth it.

While pregame odds are easy to compare, it’s also worth seeing how odds differ across various markets like live bets, prop bets and parlays. Some sportsbooks have more favorable odds in certain areas, especially live markets where the odds are constantly shifting.

Compare Betting Markets and Bet Types

Another area where sportsbooks differ is the games and bet types they offer.

While most sportsbooks offer standard betting markets (moneyline, spread, total, etc.) on major U.S. sports, there are some areas where sportsbooks can really stand out. One is prop bets, specifically player prop bets. Some sportsbooks have a seemingly endless array of prop bets available for every game, whereas others have more limited selections.

Another area is niche markets and international games. Some sportsbooks have a much broader selection of international sports to wager on, from international soccer matches to darts, snooker, rugby and more.

If you’re a serious bettor or a fan of a certain league, you’ll want to make sure your sportsbook of choice has odds on what you’re looking for.

Look for 24/7 Customer Service

Most online sportsbooks have some form of customer service and often have multiple ways of contacting them, whether it be through phone, email or online chat.

You never know when an issue or question may arise, so ideally the sportsbook will have a 24/7 support option in case you need it on the weekend or late at night. Some sportsbooks are known for being more responsive and available, while others may not offer much beyond pre-written FAQs and support guides.

You can test a sportsbook’s customer service by sending a question to their email/chat or giving them a phone call to see how long it takes to respond.

Consider Payment and Withdrawal Options

A sportsbook should have a variety of methods to deposit and withdraw funds from your account.

These options can vary by state, as some states don’t allow credit cards for sports betting, for instance. However, it should be easy to link your bank account, card info or digital wallet like PayPal or Venmo for quick transactions.

Regulated U.S. sportsbooks protect this information with strong security measures, so you don’t have to worry about your account information getting hacked or stolen.

You’ll also want a sportsbook that processes payments and withdrawals quickly. If you make a deposit, you should be able to use your funds almost immediately. Withdrawals typically take a bit longer, but they should hit your account within 1 to 3 business days.

Most sportsbooks have similar options and processing speeds in this regard, but some take longer than others.

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