When Fred Done and his brother Peter set up a small bookmakers shop nearly five decades ago, there’s no way they could have predicted where they would end up – as one of the world’s leading bookmakers both on the high street and online.
That’s partly down to the fact that they have stuck to old-fashioned values; quality prices, extensive market coverage and great customer service, but also because of their willingness to embrace new technologies and ideas, so you can expect great coupons, ‘mod cons’ like Cash Out and live streaming, and an industry-leading app to download and enjoy. There’s something for everyone at Betfred.
With an eye watering £12.7billion annual turnover in 2017, the brand is getting bigger and better year on year, and their website has just undergone a great re-design, so there’s no better time to sign up than right now.
For many punters, a decent selection of regular and ongoing promotions is the thing that sets one bookmaker apart from the rest, so this is as good a juncture as any to outline the myriad of promos and bonuses that Betfred has to offer:
- Horse Racing Cash Out – This is certainly a promotion not offered by the bulk of bookmakers out there, but Betfred reward horse racing punters whose first couple of legs of a multiple are successful by offering them the opportunity to cash out and protect their winnings.
- Money Back 2nd – Each day Betfred handpicks a selection of races for which the following promo is eligible: simply back any horse and if it finishes second behind the SP favourite your stake will be refunded as a free bet.
- Best Odds Guaranteed – The third in a holy trinity of promotions for horse racing punters, you will always get the best odds courtesy of Betfred whether that’s an early price or the SP, you will be paid at the best rate.
- Acca Insurance – All 5-fold + accumulators will be eligible for Acca Insurance; if one leg lets you down at least you’ll have the consolation of your stake refunded.
- Double Delight & Hat-Trick Heaven – These two promotions reward you when your first goalscorer selection goes on to bag a brace or a treble. Your odds will be doubled or tripled, and this is also available in-play.
- #PickYourPunt – If you’ve had a bright idea for a wager then why not jump on Twitter, tweet @Betfred using the hashtag #PickYourPunt and their team might even price it up for you.
Odds & Markets
We have no qualms about praising the depth of coverage that Betfred brings to the party. Not only can we place a wager or two on sporting encounters from around the globe (Finland Division 2 was listed when we searched), but also the scale of coupons is as strong as anything out there right now. There’s the Totepool, Scoop 6 and then other attractive features like Double Delight and Hat-Trick Heaven mentioned above, all of which are markets not commonly found outside of Betfred.
Now we know what you’re thinking; this is all great, but how do they stack up in terms of their prices? Well, the good news is not too badly, not too badly at all. As ever we took a Premier League football match at random and looked at the numbers. Betfred were joint top-price of the non-mainstream bookmakers for the home team, joint best price of all bookies for the draw and just a fraction behind for the away team. This is a neat composite of their odds overall, which suggests they are never far behind the leaders in terms of best price and next best.
We followed that up with a look at their horse racing prices: could they hang with the other big names? Well, in the race we researched Betfred were best price (whether solely or joint) for four of the ten runners; a hit rate of 40%. That is a very good performance, although a word of caution; these best prices came for horses towards the tail end of the market.
Lastly, we wanted to see how Betfred fared in a big outright market, so we considered their prices for the French Open tennis a month or so prior to the tournament commencing. Of the top ten players in the running, unfortunately, Betfred were only top price for one: Milos Raonic, although a crumb of comfort is that they had priced him up at 80/1 while some of their competitors had the Canadian as short as 45/1. And on a further brighter note, they were only a fraction behind at the head of the market too.
When you tap betfred.com into your chosen device you will be greeted by a full screen betting interface which is playfully laid out and not too overwhelming. You will feel on safe ground almost instantly.
Things feel familiar, with the layout similar but not identical to that of many other mainstream bookmakers. The rule of thirds still applies, but all the Quick Links are down the left hand side of the screen along with a link to an A-Z, and these can whisk you away to the most popular bets of the day. The only thing with this is there is an extra step before you get to you bet unless it is football or horse racing.
We’ve no qualms about the logic of the navigation, it really is one of the easiest sites to find your way around, made even easier with the search function. Markets are always displayed in the centre of the interface and are nice and big, and there isn’t too much of a strain on your scrolling finger. You could always use the dropdown menus to help find your preferred market, although this is a bit of a faff.
Happily, there are no real woes on the mobile site either, and you can even favourite different sports if you like to be on the more obscure markets and want easy access. But if anything, Betfred’s mobile site is more responsive and smart than the traditional web page. There’s even the mobile app to download, which works like a charm by the way, if you want a dedicated betting platform on your device.
The company slogan is ‘you’ll love a bit of Betfred’, and while that is open to interpretation you will certainly enjoy the raft of features available on the website.
- In-Play Betting – At the time of writing this review (your typical Thursday afternoon) there were more than 120 in-play markets available to be plundered, from football and tennis to basketball, cricket, volleyball and handball. At peak sporting hours, this number multiplies considerably.
- Live Streaming – A recent addition to Betfred’s arsenal, punters can now live stream a whole host of action from across the globe. Some events require a minimum spend (UK and Ireland horse racing comes with a £1 minimum stake), while others are ‘on the house’, including greyhounds and ITF and Challenger Tour tennis.
- Cash Out – An industry standard these days, you can cash out your bets when your trigger finger starts to get a little itchy. Available on selected football, horse racing and golf markets, just hit the red circular ‘CO’ button where displayed to take your money and run.
- The Tote – Not sure if this is classed as a feature or not, but the Totepool is certainly a boon for horse racing punters. For those that don’t know the principle of the Tote is simple; you’re still looking to pick out winners, but all of the money staked goes into a prize pool that is then divvied out amongst those who picked a winner.
- Scoop 6 – Simply guess the correct scores in the six headline matches to win £250,000. There are cash-based consolations for four and five scores predicted correctly as well, and all for just a £2 stake.
- Betfred Messenger – Want to place a bet but are a little too busy to get online? Can’t get a 3G/4G/WiFi signal? Not to worry: thanks to Betfred, you can bet via the power of text message. All you need to do is send your Stake-Bet Type-Selection and let them do the rest.
Banking, Payouts & Limits
Betfred is a mainstream UK bookmaker and has thus embraced the idea that many punters want flexibility when it comes to depositing and withdrawing funds. As a result, you will find a multitude of payment options available to you as well as super-fast processing times.
There’s nothing out of the ordinary to worry about here, and all of us – yes, all of us – have at least one of these payment methods available to us. From Visa and MasterCard debit and credit cards to PayPal, Neteller and Skrill, players can even make bank transfers or top up their online accounts with cash at a Betfred betting shop.
The minimum deposit amount accepted depends on the payment method specified, although for most options a £5 minimum is in place. Bank transfers require a minimum deposit of £85, while you can pop into your local Betfred branch and add a minimum of £10 to your kitty.
Remarkably, UK-based punters can wager as little as £0.05p a time with Betfred, but more commonly it will be £0.50p.
As ever, the maximum bet amount is dictated by the payout limits put in place by Betfred, which you can learn about in more detail below.
The payout limit is dictated by the sport wagered upon and its level of competition. Let’s start with football, for example, a limit of £1,000,000 is in place for all of the major European leagues and international matches, £100,000 for the Scottish leagues and £50,000 for ‘minor’ leagues (check the T&Cs for what Betfred believes is minor). There’s a £1 million limit in place for UK & Irish horse racing, £250,000 for ante-post markets and £50,000 for overseas racing, but no limits are in place for the Totepool. All golf betting is subject to a £500,000 limit and most other sports to a £100,000 ceiling.
As a multi-billion pound operation today, it is humbling to retrace the Betfred brand to Salford in 1967, where the brothers Fred and Peter Done opened their first bookmaker’s shop.
Some 50 or so years later, Betfred has more than 1,000 shops located around the UK and a thriving online presence. This comes just a decade after the company paid out early – and wrongly – on Manchester United to win the Premier League, when ultimately Arsenal would pip them to the post. Whoops, indeed.
Unlike many of its competitors, the hub of Betfred’s operation has remained here in the UK – Warrington to be precise. It is clear from their website that they pride themselves on delivering a British-centric service, and their key sponsorships of the World Snooker Championship (which resulted in some epic special bets and bonuses by the way), Haydock Park, and Wembley Stadium is further testament to that aim.
Betfred purchased the ever-popular Tote in 2011 for a deal worth a cool £265m, so the next time you place a wager via this method you’ll know who is in charge. Through this deal Betfred founded the Tote Racing Development Board, an essential panel of esteemed industry experts. Things became a little fractious once this contract ended however.
The company has won a raft of awards in recent years as if to cement their place at the head of the UK betting industry, including Best Innovation in Social Marketing at the EGR Awards and Best Innovation in Mobile Gaming at the mGaming Awards, to name but a few.
The Betfred website is home to a stacked FAQ section that may well hold the answers to your questions. However, if it doesn’t then it’s reassuring to know that their customer support team is on hand around the clock to deal with any queries that you may have. To contact them, use one of the following methods:
- Phone – 0800 028 7747
- Post – The Spectrum, 56-58 Benson Road, Birchwood, WA3 7PQ
- Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Live Chat – via website
- Twitter – @Betfred