Founded in 2000 as an online betting product, it was only in 2013 when Betfair developed their own sportsbook channel that they became world renowned. This, running conjunction with their Exchange platform, offers punters the complete sports betting experience.
Betfair handles more than ten million transactions each and every day, with licences covering a number of jurisdictions including the UK, Gibraltar, Malta, Italy, Spain, the US, Australia and more.
Whether you want to bet against the bookies or against your peers via the Exchange platform, you will find industry-leading odds and game-changing features that have redefined how sportsbooks go about their business.
Betting Offers & Promotions
The Sign-Up Bonus
If there's one thing we love it's a sign-up bonus that is crystal clear in its intentions, and leaves punters in no doubt about the hoops they need to jump through in order to qualify.
So the Betfair welcome bonus is reassuringly straightforward: place five £10 bets for a £20 free bet.
You can repeat this up to five times for a maximum of £100 in bonuses. The terms are agreeable enough, and the fact that your qualifying bet must be placed at odds of 1/2 is fantastic; often this can be as stingy as evens with some bookmakers. This will need to be placed on a sportsbook market (all are eligible), but do note this key fact before proceeding: Neteller, Skrill and Moneybookers are exempt from this welcome bonus.
Your freebies will be credited within 24 hours of your qualifying bet being settled, and must be used within 30 days of issue.
Betfair are outstanding when it comes to event-specific promotions, for things like football's European Championships and golf's The Open they offer some sublime promos. Surprisingly, they don't offer that many items in the way of ongoing promotions, but there's enough here to warrant a further look.
- Acca Edge - the premise behind Acca Edge is simple: put together an accumulator of three or more legs, and Betfair will offer you slightly adjusted odds in order to 'protect' your coupon from one leg letting you down. If it does, your stake will be refunded.
- Best Odds Guaranteed - don't get stitched up again when betting on the horses thanks to Best Odds Guaranteed. Betfair will pay out winning punters at the very best price: whether that's the SP or the odds you took prior to the meeting.
- Price Rush - we'll cover this in more depth further into this article, but Price Rush is a fantastic promotion that enables punters to eke out further winnings from their successful bets. Betfair scan thousands of markets every day to ensure you are paid at the very best price, so if there is a fluctuation in the Exchange prices then you will benefit via the sportsbook.
- The Colossus (Betfair Pools) - the classic football pools coupon, powered by Colossus Bets, enables punters to nab a cool jackpot prize of £10,000,000! Pick out seven correct scores from the week's selected matches to win the big one, or predict five or six to win some rather handsome consolation prizes.
Odds & Markets
There's more to Betfair than just the bells and whistles that we've come to expect from them. They deliver in the 'meat and potatoes' of sports betting too, by providing decent odds backed by stacks of market opportunities.
Compare and contrast Betfair to any other bookmaker in the key markets and you'll be pleasantly surprised. We did - firstly for a standard win-draw-win football market - and they were joint best price for the home side and the draw; two out of three really ain't bad.
They were a fraction behind as far as Both Teams to Score and Over/Under are concerned, so a word of caution for goals-based punters, and in the Correct Score brackets interestingly enough they were top price for the three main draws: 0-0, 1-1 and 2-2.
Horse racing remains ever popular with punters, and we're happy to report that Betfair has got you covered. Picking a race at random - the 4:25 from Leicester, for what it's worth - we found that Betfair were equal best price for five of the ten runners. That 50% hit rate is as good as anything we've come across during this series of reviews.
Long-term ante-post markets are another good measure of a bookmakers' generosity, and so we picked out golf's US Open to explore further. Here they were top price for seven of the top twenty in the market, and while that number didn't feature the leading stars the likes of Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia, Phil Mickelson and Martin Kaymer - whom offer plenty of value - were amongst the Betfair best priced.
The first thing you'll notice about Betfair's website is that it looks markedly different to most other sportsbooks online. But not to worry: it is actually laid out in a sensible, intuitive way to make your journey around its various pages seamless.
The top menu running horizontally across the screen is your best friend here: it contains everything you will need to manoeuvre your way around the site. Once you've clicked through to 'sport', you'll be greeted with a 'quick links' and featured coupons down the left-hand side of the screen and through the middle a myriad of sporting highlights to peruse. The scrolling banner at the top reveals Betfair's key promotions relating to that day's/week's action too.
Along the right hand side you'll find your betslip plus two other features well worthy of your attention: Enhanced Specials and the Multiple Builder (more on that later).
Users can expect a smooth ride while browsing Betfair's web presence, with rapid bet placement and efficient in-play updates ensuring that punters don't miss a thing.
Add into the mix the fact that the mobile site and app are both broadly based on the desktop version, while being optimised and tweaked for smaller screen sizes, and you can enjoy an easy transition from computer to tablet to phone.
Given that they are responsible for some of the most innovative functions in online sports betting history, it will come as no surprise to learn that Betfair is jam-packed with the kind of features that punters want, rather than mere window dressing.
- In-Play Betting - You'll never be short of options courtesy of Betfair's comprehensive in-play offering. Even on a dreary Monday morning, we had more than a dozen football matches from around the globe (including the Vietnamese Womens League for a sense of scale), 38 tennis options and markets covering cricket, snooker, rugby, basketball and volleyball.
- Cash Out - You may or may not know that it was actually Betfair who originated Cash Out; and now it is a feature offered by any bookmaker worth their salt. They offer the full monty or Partial Cash Out, where you can take a percentage of your winnings right away and leave the rest to run until the end of the event.
- Price Rush - Life is all about getting something for nothing - and the joy that brings - so Betfair's Price Rush is a lovely touch. You may be tempted by their sportsbook prices anyway, but the great news is that they check the odds offered compared to those available on the Exchange and if you could profit further, they will enhance your price using this feature! You don't even need to do anything to qualify; just sit back and enjoy.
- Multiple Builder - What a great tool this is. Simply select the odds you want to back and let Betfair put your accumulator together for you with selections from across the globe. The easiest way to bet....and fast.
Banking, Payouts & Limits
The financial aspects of wagering with Betfair ensure that punters of all circumstances are well looked after. With a minimum bet amount of just £0.10p, right up to a daily payout limit of a cool £1,000,000, players of limited budget and high rollers can rest assured that Betfair has got their back.
All of the standard payment methods are accepted by Betfair, so whichever way you like to move your money around online you are likely to be able to do so here. Debit and credit cards are the most common form of method used, and most of the various Visa and MasterCard types are eligible. Then there's your e-wallet systems too, so PayPal, Skrill and Neteller users can rejoice as they deposit/withdraw in this way, with bank transfers and even postal cheques accepted for those players who like to keep things a little old school.
The minimum deposit amount accepted by Betfair is dependent on the method you use to deposit cash. The general rule of thumb is £10, although PayPal users can pop a fiver in and, for reasons unknown, the minimum deposit for Neteller customers is £12.
The minimum bet accepted by Betfair's sportsbook is £0.10p, although the Exchange does have a bottom limit of £2 in place.
As ever, we'll direct you towards the maximum daily payouts that Betfair allows, rather than a maximum stake amount. Let this be your guide....
The list of payout limits in place at Betfair is as long as your arm, so you should really take the time to click here if that's the kind of thing that concerns you. But for the purposes of this article, here is a few of the key ones to note:
- Horse Racing (UK & Ireland) - £1,000,000
- Horse Racing (Overseas) - £100,000
- Football (major European leagues/tournaments) - £1,000,000
- Football (outside of Europe) - £500,000 or less
- Tennis (ATP and WTA main draws) - £100,000
- Tennis (ATP and WTA qualifying rounds) - £25,000
- Golf - £100,000
- Cricket (International) - £100,000
- Cricket (UK Domestic) - £25,000
One of the true innovators of online sports betting, Betfair was the first to bring many of the contemporary features we expect from a sportsbook to the party, and the first to introduce the world to a betting exchange; where members of the public could essentially bet against one another.
Betfair was founded in the year 2000 by Andrew Black and Edward Wray, and has since purchased a number of sister companies including Timeform. The firm itself was purchased by Paddy Power in February 2016, although in reality it was a merger of the two brands rather than a straightforward acquisition. As such, Betfair retains their independence and continues to operate outside of Paddy's sphere of influence.
Prior to the sale Betfair was the UK's most used bookmaker online and the world's largest betting exchange, with a cool £50 million bet via the platform each and every week. More than one million customers are active on the site too.
The creativity, reliability and dedication that Betfair brings has been recognised with a number of key industry awards. They scooped the 'Best Innovation' gong at the EGR Awards for their work on internet-connected TV apps, and they also picked up the trophies for Best Sports Operator and Best Mobile Product at the same ceremony.
There are two sides to Betfair's business but happily the sportsbook is based right here in the UK in Hammersmith, West London. So, you can expect superb support from a native-tongued customer service representative!
- Freephone - 0344 871 0000
- Post - Icon One, Lytton Way, Stevenage, Hertfordshire, SG1 1AG
- Live Chat - via website
- Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Twitter - @Betfair