How to Pick the Right Gambling Site
There are several factors that will influence how good your online gambling experience is. The one that will almost certainly have the biggest affect is your choice of gambling site. There are hundreds, maybe even thousands, to choose from, and the standard ranges from very poor to truly excellent. Clearly you want sign up with the places at the higher end of that range, but how do you do that?
Let's take a look at some of your possible options.
- Pick one at random.
- Ask a friend for a recomendation.
- Choose a well-known or well-advertised site.
- Do your own research
Most of these options have at least some merit, and we discuss the pros and cons of each one on this page. We also explain in detail why you should consider a fifth option – using GamblingSites.org. One of the primary purposes of this website is to help our readers find the very best places to bet and play online. This is something we take very seriously, and put a great deal of time and effort into.
We're not the only website that recommends online gambling sites of course. We do believe we do it better than most, if not all, of the others though. Our recommendations are based entirely on our own personal experiences and combination of extensive research and testing. This gives us real insight into exactly what each gambling site has to offer, and it enables us to rank the top destinations in a variety of different categories. This then makes it easier for you to find the right site for your own personal needs.
You'll find details of all the categories we cover further down this page. If you're looking for somewhere to join right now, and you're not really sure exactly what you want, then you should check out the real money gambling sites that we rank as the best overall performers.
Picking a Site at Random
The obvious advantage of picking a site at random is that it's simple and easy to do. There's no shortage of choices, and there's a fair chance that you'll get lucky and pick a good one. Most places are of at least a reasonable standard.
Of course, the problem with this method is that you won't necessarily pick a site that's right for your own personal needs. You might even pick one that's really bad and offers a terrible user experience. This is not a disaster, as you'll find out soon enough if a site is no good for you and can then just move on to another one. You'll have just wasted a bit of time.
There is, however, one major downside to just signing up somewhere at random. There's a chance that you'll end up depositing your money with one of the few rogue sites that operate in the industry, and that can potentially be very damaging. In a worst case scenario your funds might be at risk and your personal details may not be secure. This is simply not something you want to expose yourself too.
Thankfully, the vast majority of gambling sites ARE reputable and trustworthy. The fact that there's even a slight chance of picking one that isn't, though, means you have to be selective in where you join. You must be as certain as you possibly can that you're not signing up with a shady operation that cannot be trusted.
To give you an idea of just how important it is to ensure a site's legitimacy, here's a list of everything that we check when deciding whether a site meets the necessary standards.
You're clearly not going to know that everything listed here is in place if you just pick a site at random. For that reason alone, we strongly recommend putting a bit more thought into where you join.
Asking a Friend for a Recommendation
Asking a friend for a recommendation is a much better option than randomly signing up at the first place you come across. If they've have a good enough experience to make the recommendation, then there's every chance that you too will have a good experience. This is also a very simple option that doesn't require much of your time.
We certainly wouldn't advise you against trusting a friend's recommendation, but it's worth bearing the following two points in mind.
- What's right for your friend may not be right for you.
- There's still no guarantee that the recommendation is completely trustworthy.
So although this is an option worth considering, it's not necessarily the best way to pick a site. There are also a couple of reason why this option may be a complete non-starter for some people.
- They may not have any friends that gamble online.
- They may not feel comfortable asking a friend for a recommendation.
Choosing a Well-known Site
Choosing a site that is very well-known, or one that advertises heavily, seems like a logical way to go. Indeed, there are some benefits to picking a site in this way. The well-known sites do tend to be reputable and trustworthy, and they are generally of a fairly high standard. In the United Kingdom, for example, there are a number of high street bookmakers that are very well-known brands, and they also have good quality online operations.
In some parts of the world, and particularly those where online gambling is not fully regulated, the best sites are not actually that well-known though. In any case, if you're completely new to online gambling then you probably won't be aware of which sites are well-known and which aren't.
We should also point out that the "biggest" sites will not necessarily be the ones that are right for you anyway. You may have noticed that the title of this article is how to pick the right gambling site, and not the best. This is quite deliberate, as what is the best place for one person may not be the best for another. Everyone has their own personal requirements and preferences.
Doing Your Own Research
Carrying out your own research into sites, and then making an informed decision about which one to use, is definitely a good approach. In fact, it's one of the only ways that you can be absolutely sure that your chosen is reputable, trustworthy, AND offers exactly what you need .
The only real downside to this option is that it is very time consuming. As we've already mentioned, there are a lot of sites to choose from. Do you really want to spend your time checking them all out before actually getting to gamble? There's also the fact that a lot of the information you need to know isn't readily available, and some things you can only really be sure about by testing a site out.
There is one relatively easy way to do your own research into what's available though, and that's to read through all our gambling site reviews. We have written very detailed reviews on a number of leading sites, telling you everything you need to know about what they have to offer.
This is your best option by far. We would say that of course, but we're being completely genuine. We take an enormous amount of pride in the fact that we only recommend the very best places to bet and play, and that we make it as easy as possible for our readers to find the places that are entirely suitable for their own personal preferences.
Unlike most other websites that also recommend gambling sites, we don't just select a few places that we think are high quality and promote them as the best. We look very closely at a wide range of different factors, and then rank the best options in several different categories. It is this aspect of what we do that sets us apart.
To start with, we rank the best sites based whereabouts in the world in people live. This is helpful for many reasons, not least the deposit methods available.
We also rank the best sites for specific forms of gambling. Most of the leading sites these days are what we call "all-in-one" gambling sites, as they offer several different types of gambling, but there are still some specialist sites out there. Also, some places are especially good for certain forms of gambling, and not so good for others. If you tend to focus on just one particular gambling activity, then it's important to use a suitable site.
Please note that for many of the above categories we also compile rankings in sub-categories. These sub-categories are all linked from the relevant pages, but here are some examples.
- Football Betting
- Live Betting
- Soccer Betting
- Golf Betting
- Tennis Betting
- Mobile Casino
- Instant Play Casinos
- Mobile Betting
- Poker Sites for Beginners
- Mobile Poker Sites
- Instant Play Poker Sites
- Live Dealer Casinos
- Casinos with Big Jackpots
- Casinos with Best Bonuses
Finally, there are a few categories for people with specific requirements.
Author: Brad Johnson
Updated: February 2016
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