How We Rate Sport Betting Apps
If you’ve never bet on a smartphone before, you’re in for a treat. Here are some of the main things our reviewers look for when they rate a bookmaker’s mobile betting app:
- Feature-Rich Platform – Mobile betting is no longer the sidekick of the online betting world, so you shouldn’t be expected to put up with a half-baked betting experience. Choosing the right platform is key, as they are by no means all created equal. When evaluating sports gambling apps we are looking for features including: in-play betting, live streaming, easy betting slip management, and cash out.
- Mobile-Only Bonuses – Mobile betting is now the home of not just the best markets, but often the best bonuses too. Even if you plan to bet exclusively on your mobile, you’ll still be in line for whichever welcome bonus the bookie is offering to desktop players. But often you’ll find that mobile signups garner an even more generous offer. From ‘100% matched up to £200’ at Bet365 to ‘bet £10 – get £30’ at Paddy Power, all free betting apps are looking to welcome new members with an enticing sign-up incentive.
- User-Friendly Interface – When you want bet on your phone performance matters. We are often struck by the big differences from one bookie to the next. If you share our experience, you’ll probably find they’re not equally easy to use. How simple is it to navigate the market selection? How quickly can you submit a withdrawal request? How easily can you find relevant specials and promotions? When we rank a site, these are some of the questions we ask to ensure that you experience the best on offer.
- Many Markets – Bonuses, usability, and features are for nothing if a betting site doesn’t offer the sport and market you’re interested in. From top-class football betting down to the lowest leagues in the most far-flung countries, from horse race betting to niche sports like floorball. Everything you can bet on via the desktop site should be available on their app.
Mobile Betting Apps by Type of Sports
Horse Betting Apps
Horse racing is arguably the sport most associated with betting, so it’s crucial to have good coverage of the “Sport of Kings” on an app. There are many important reasons why horse racing is perfect for mobile betting. First of all, racing odds can fluctuate, especially in the few minutes before a race goes off, so you want a handy tool for adjusting your selections.
Secondly, one of the best features of a betting app is that you can get to watch, and react to, a live horse race. Bookies like Paddy Power and Betfair Sport will allow you to watch live racing through an app, usually just requiring you to bet a nominal amount of 50p or £1. In addition to this, you can also watch race replays with the push of a button or get other tools like pre-race simulators.
William Hill arguably equals Betfair and Paddy Power as the best apps for horse racing betting. All three offer the widest range of UK, Irish and international racing events, as well as several markets, like betting without the favourite or distance betting, within each race. Most importantly, all three bookies offer “Best Odds Guaranteed” on UK and Irish racing.
Football Betting Apps
In the UK, football has long since overtaken horse racing as the most popular sport to bet on. For similar reasons, a quality betting app is almost an essential tool for football betting. Again, there has been a shift in emphasis towards live in-play betting on football, with punters looking at changes in momentum to bet on everything from the next scorer to the number of corners in the second half.
Taking the example of the William Hill App, punters get access to a massive range of in-play football markets, but also extras like live streaming, score tracker and Partial Cash Out. Moreover, William Hill customers also use the app for ‘Your Odds’ markets, which allows players to create their own specially tailored selections for football betting.
Most betting sites will have a big focus on football, but the Sky Bet, Betfair and Paddy Power apps rank very highly in our estimation. It’s easy to place bets, odds are updated quickly and there are plenty of football related betting promos for punters to apply to the matches.
Tennis Betting Apps
Tennis betting is, of course, very popular, as tournaments and matches are played around the world almost every day. The Betfair app is always a good option for tennis betting fans, as they have unrivaled coverage of the WTA/ATP Tours. Moreover, Betfair app users can take advantage of an excellent betting promo that offers double the odds if your selection loses the first set but goes on to win the match.
Betfair is probably the pick of the bunch when it comes to apps for tennis betting, but we are also quite impressed with Royal Panda’s coverage, with the app giving you access to lots of stats and cool animations for live events.
Cricket Betting Apps
Even when there is no County Cricket on, or England aren’t engaged in a big Test Series, there will be some top-level cricket happening somewhere in the world. Indeed, punters love to bet on overseas events like the Big Bash League and Indian Premier League, so an app that covers a wide range of cricket events is essential. William Hill’s app is often given great credit for its cricket betting options, including plenty of action from the increasingly popular world of women’s cricket.
While William Hill has the most markets for cricket, our personal favourite is Sky Bet, which often runs a brilliant cricket promotion offering players a £5 free bet when they place 2 x £5 Request a Bets through the app.
Apps vs Mobile Sites
Apps are almost always the best way to get your betting fix on the move, but there is an alternative option if you don’t want to download.
Mobile betting sites, while not offering as seamless mobile experience can still provide a good betting experience. In terms of the key differences, speed and features are the most obvious difference. On the plus side, every betting site will have mobile responsive site meaning that the website responds to the size of the mobile screen, if they haven’t launched an iOS or Android app.
Apps are generally more complete and usable, but require installation and regular updates. Mobile betting sites don’t require any downloading, but sometimes sacrifices are made when it comes to features, functionality and load time.
|Native Apps||Mobile Sites|
|Load quicker than web app||Run on wider range of devices|
|Launched with single tap||Doesn’t use any phone space|
|Notifications of events||Full functionality of desktop site|
Apps and Android Play Store
Until recently Android users couldn’t download betting apps via the official Google Play store. Owing to Google’s policy against gambling related content, developers had to seek out alternative ways to market their apps, with users would have to side-load betting apps via download links to the APK installation files. Fortunately this policy changed in July ’17 with Google permitting betting and casino, making the following announcement
“We allow content, services, and ads that facilitate online gambling, as long as they meet certain requirements. We also allow daily fantasy sports apps that meet certain requirements.”
With every android app on the Play Store having to meet certain privacy and security policies levels, you can be confident that the product you’re using is highly safe and secure.
Free Betting Apps & Free Bets
All betting apps will be free, simply requiring a download from the Apple App Store, Google Play or directly from the bookie’s online site. While in most cases an app is better, allowing for better extras like notifications to your phone/tablet, you can simply access most top bookies through a mobile site without a download. Moreover, you should be able to try out the features of the app without signing up or depositing.
Free Bets on Mobile Betting
A free bet is a popular betting promotion that allow players a risk-free wager on an event. Often, you will be awarded free bets as part of a welcome offer, but they are also regularly awarded as part of promos like Acca Insurance. There isn’t much difference between mobile free bets and those for desktop, although it can be easier to use free bets on an app.
Pay by Mobile Betting Sites
Making deposits through Pay by Mobile has become more popular with punters recently. It simply works by adding the amount to your next phone bill, or debiting from your Pay as You Go credit. All the major UK mobile networks, including 02 and Vodafone, take part in Pay By Mobile, but it’s not available with every bookmaker.
What is the Best Betting App?
Every punter will have different tastes and different expectations for a mobile betting app, so it’s difficult to say which is the best for betting. Some betting apps, like Karamba sport, have slick design and usability that’s a big hit with punters, whereas others, like Betfair, can feel a bit clunky but you get access to lots of betting markets, as well as the ability to lay a bet via the exchange.
Punters appreciate innovation, and some of our recommended apps from William Hill, Paddy Power and Sky Bet are constantly trying to push boundaries to make a better all-round mobile betting experience.
Because sports betting is all about finding the right odds at the right time, it makes sense to use your mobile. Having the ability to check the markets anytime, anywhere is, in our opinion, the best way to stay on top of the game and, if all goes well, beat the bookies.