One of the most important decisions you face when betting over the internet is which sports betting site or online sportsbook to use. There are hundreds of them on the web, and picking a good one can be something of a challenge. You need to take several factors into account, and make sure that you only use sites that are reputable and trustworthy.
Thankfully there are some very high quality sites available (check out our recommendations here), but you do need to put some thought into deciding which could be right for you and your own personal requirements. You don't necessarily need to find one single option which meets all your requirements, though, as there is no reason at all why you can't use more than one.
In fact, there are a number of advantages to using multiple sportsbooks. We've explained the most significant of these below.
The single biggest advantage of having accounts at more than one sports betting site is the ability to line shop and compare odds. This is something that every bettor should do really, even recreational ones, and it is pretty much essential if you're serious about trying to maximize the money you can make.
The odds and lines on offer for sports betting markets will usually vary from one sportsbook to the next. By shopping around and comparing what is available, you can make sure that you get the best deal every time you place a wager. You might get a slightly better spread on a football match, for example, or better odds on a tennis player to win a tournament.
Occasionally the differences between what sites are offering can be quite substantial, but they are typically quite small. However, even fine margins can have a significant impact on your overall returns in the long run, so there is a definite benefit in comparing what's available. It might even end up being the difference between making a profit and losing money.
Using more than one betting site can also increase the number of betting opportunities available to you. Even though most sites offer comprehensive betting coverage of a wide range of sports, they don't all cover every single event for every single sport. Therefore, if you only use a single site you may well miss out on some potential opportunities.
Sites don't all offer the same betting options either. The main types of bets are typically available at most places, but if you like exotic wagers then you may have to shop around a little bit. Using multiple sportsbooks will enable you to do this with ease.
These points are especially important if you like to bet on a range of different sports, as sportsbooks will usually be particularly good for betting on some sports, but not so good for others. A site that is excellent for betting on soccer may not be so good for betting on golf, for example. Another site may not be great for soccer, but be very good for golf. If you bet on soccer and golf, then it would obviously make sense to have accounts at both of these sites.
A great way to get some extra value from your betting is to take advantage of the bonuses, rewards, and promotions that most betting sites offer to new and regular customers. By splitting your betting activity between multiple sportsbooks you can maximize this extra value, as the more sites you use, the more extra value there is to benefit from. You don't necessarily need to be a very active bettor, and some of the bonuses and rewards available can be very generous.
A word of warning on this approach though – you need to be smart. First, you should make sure that you check all the terms of conditions of the various bonuses and rewards available. There will always be certain rules about what you can and can't do with bonus money, and what you have to do to earn any rewards on offer.
Second, you should always work out where the best value is. For example, you might find a promotion running at one particular site which pays out a big bonus if you do a certain amount of wagering during a specified month. If the bonus is big enough, it may be worth doing all of your betting at that site for the month in question – even if it means sacrificing some rewards from another site.
You may have to spend a bit of time working out how to get the absolute most out of the bonuses and rewards available at sports betting sites, but it will almost certainly prove to be time well spent in the long run.
The advantages we have mentioned above should hopefully have convinced you that it is a good idea to use multiple sportsbooks. The next thing to consider is how many to use.
There is no optimal number really, as it depends on a few different factors. If you can get everything you need from two particular sites, and still get good value from bonuses and rewards, then you should stick with those two. If you feel like you would benefit from using three or four sites, then that's what you should do.
We would generally advise that around five is probably enough to use actively, as the benefits start to get diluted if you use any more than that. You can always have open accounts at some others though, and just use them as and when there is a specific reason to do so.
Regardless of how many sites you choose to use, please make sure that you do always stick to reputable sites. This is a golden rule of online sports betting.