Guide to the top bookmakers 


If you are involved in betting, and it is part of your life on a daily basis, you’re obviously having a great time. But there is one part of the equation that, if it were gone, would mean that betting would be non-existent as a pastime. And that’s the bookmakers.


The bookies need to be there for us to feed our passion, and in this article we will look at some of the top bookies in the UK, and tell you a little bit about their background and their importance to the everyday bettor. It’s a fairly comprehensive list of the best of the best and we hope it gives you an insight into the environment out there.

William Hill

William Hill has long been known as the key bookmaker on the high street. The company has made a big splash online too, and has generally been seen as a very fair site to be involved with.

The company has over 2,000 betting shops across the UK, and this makes them a big deal. On top of that, it also has a very comprehensive online betting presence, which covers all sports and types of  bet.

One key thing about William Hill that is perhaps not understood by many punters is that they offer some of the best odds, even at smaller events, and they stick by them too.


With early 2,000 shops countrywide, Ladbrokes is up there with William Hill for legendary status. It also has a number of excellent options, which makes it a very big player in betting overall.

If Ladbrokes has any specialism it would be overseas football, which it has really made a huge impact on in recent years. This particular market is one that provides plenty of action and fun for the bettor, and also has a lot variety too. If you’re into this market, they are worth getting to know.


A big player, not as big as Ladbrokes or William Hill (1,600 shops nationwide) but still big enough to offer a pretty slick betting experience to it’s customers. Coral is getting bigger too,and their online presence is attractive and covers a lot of different games and types of betting.

They also have an excellent online betting slip that shows more information than  you could possibly ever need about each bet you place. It’s comprehensive and effective,and makes for  a much more satisfying experience for all bettors.

Paddy Power

More of an online presence than anything else, this bookie is absolutely stark raving bonkers, or at least that is what it likes you to think. It is well known for being the bookmaker that likes to encourage bets on all sorts of crazy stuff, but it also has an exceptional focus on sport hat means it can offer a wide range of sports events to bet on.

As an indicator of just how mad the company can get as regards the kind of bets you can place with them, recent single football and rugby matches have had as many as 80 different bets available.The company is serious about betting, and encourages punters to bet on as many elements as possible during a match or event. We like the fun aspect the company brings to betting in general, and you would be hard pressed to find anyone who isn’t charmed by the approach Paddy Power takes. A fun company that obviously loves betting in all it’s forms.


This is a purely online concern, and has already made a name for itself since it started out, with high quality betting opportunities and  a focus on ensuring that punters feel they are dealing with a professional, glossy operation. The company has invested millions in making sure that it’s entire operation always looks sophisticated and as close to what people really want to see when they visit an online betting environment.

Their speciality has always been live matches, for which they have a reputation for delivering quick data and plenty of opportunities to get involved with in-play. This makes it the perfect venue for anyone who is into football betting for example, or even tennis betting, where odds can change in a second.

We like them because they offer a wide range of bets and events, and they always do their best to handle their customer service concerns as quickly as possible. A very professional operation indeed.


Betfred has always been a high quality source of betting action,and it has made a name for itself as an independent bookie. This means it likes to think it is truly independent and able to do things its own way.

We didn’t get that feeling when we looked at the site, but we did see a pretty fun place that tended to treat it’s punters with a sense of humour and a genuine warmth towards them.

Most of the major sporting events and types of sports are covered, and there is a nice spread here. There are also plenty of different kinds of bets here too that make for plenty of variety and excitement.

We found the homepage screen a little complicated at first, but once you have become familiar with how the site works, it is easy to navigate around and place a bet quickly.

All of the above bookies mentioned in this article are experienced and have strong reputations for quality, and perhaps more importantly having a focus on fair prices and looking after customers.

If we were to stick our neck out here we would suggest that you don’t look at too many other bookies, especially if you are just starting out. You’re in safe hands here.

Remember that bookies are only as good as you feel they are. Take the time to get to know all the bookies and you should find that you discover one that you feel comfortable with.