BetFair

Sports Interaction

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Although it began life in the United Kingdom, BetFair is the largest, richest and most populated gambling site in the world. It is hard to find anything wrong with this site, and it seems that finding its faults would just be nitpicking, but they do exist. First though, we’ll look at the reasons why BetFair got to where it is today, and what it has grown into since its relatively humble beginnings as a betting exchange.

Something Different

A betting exchange is a little different to a sports book in that players can “lay” and “place” bets. A “place” is just like a standard bet on a sports book. A “lay” is where you play the role of a sports book, offering odds on an event to other BetFair members. From the very beginning this created a highly competitive system, where the users did their best to outdo other sports books and then to outdo each other, ending up with a system where nearly all markets offer better odds than most sports books.

The beauty of BetFair is not just in its uniqueness, but in the fact that all of this works. We have never had issues with BetFair and we have been playing for a number of years. The software is relatively simple and it works flawlessly. Extra features include In-Play betting and a Cash-Out option, and these have since become common across the industry. That’s not all that BetFair has on offer though, as its early success allowed it to become something much more very early on.

Everything in One Place

BetFair is more than just a betting exchange or a sports book, which is one of the many things we love about it. We’re not just sports fans here, gambling is our game and if there is an opportunity to risk some money for the promise of a substantial win, then we’re up for it. This is why we prefer BetFair to other sites, because here we can win something on the sports book or the exchange, and use those winnings to do everything from playing a hand or two or poker, a round or two of bingo, or several spins on the slot machines (of which there are many). BetFair also has exchange games, where you can bet on the outcomes of everything form blackjack to poker, without actually playing the games yourself, and there is a casino (separate from the slot machines, which are located in the BetFair Arcade) where players can play roulette, craps and much more.

BetFair also like to be pioneers in this industry. They like to be the first and they have always liked to be the best. This has led them to introducing games such as backgammon, with professional tournaments available based around this age-old game of chance and skill.

Thanks to BetFair points, which you earn for every bet you place, every hand you play or every spin you make, you can also win big in the regular promotions that they run. These tally up your points over a given period, with everything from cash prizes to holidays on offer. You have probably seen these sort of promotions before on sports books or online casinos, but on BetFair they run across the entire site, increasing your chances of earning points and winning prizes.

The amount of BetFair points that you have will also dictate BetFair’s cut. This is typically a tiny amount that they take from bets placed on the exchange, never enough to off-set the improved odds you are getting by betting on their exchange as opposed to another sports book, but if you collect more points then you can make it even smaller.

The Downsides

Nothing is perfect, and BetFair is no different. It isn’t as bad as many of the others we have used and if anything BetFair is the site that has the fewest flaws, but there are some areas that could use improvement. One of these is the customer service. There is a good chance that you will never encounter these, as your only run-in with them will be if you have a problem, and BetFair spent millions on an automated and flawless system that ensured there would be few problems and little need for customer service staff.

If you do use need them though you may discover, like we did, that they are not the most helpful. Nor are they the most knowledgable. As the BetFair exchange works differently from a sports book, with players making and taking bets from other players and BetFair merely taking a percentage, then there is no “Free Bet” system. We don’t have an issue with this as far as new member bonuses go, because it is nothing more than a gimmick and BetFair has so much more on offer in terms of odds. The fact that there is no complementary bets is annoying though, as many sites usually throw these at frustrated customers in order to appease them, but BetFair don’t, which serves to create more frustration. They do have a sports book these days, and you’d think they would be willing to offer free bets on that sports book, but they do not.

Other than this, the only thing we would suggest is that they update their Exchange Games, as these have pretty much stayed the same since their inception. They could also do with a more compatible poker room, the one they used to have was compatible with Mac and other operating systems, but then they changed it and the current one only works on Windows.

Our Review

All of the downsides aside, BetFair is still by far the best gambling site out there. It isn’t the best poker room, nor is it the best place to play bingo or blackjack, but collectively it is brilliant and singularly it does have the best betting exchange and arcade. As a website that is available all over the world, including here in Canada, it is a must for all gamblers.

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