888 have been about for a long time now. They are widely regarded as one of the longer serving online bookmakers in the industry, so with that experience you should expect to see them offer one of the most stable sportsbooks as a result.
The bookmaker has been able to implement a huge range of improvement over the last few years. They haven’t always been the most innovative in that time, but they have always had a keen eye for both customer service and pricings, two major attributes to becoming one of the best. Our review will have a more in-depth look as to how 888Sport have been able to maintain their status as one of the best bookies in the business.
Like most bookies, football plays a huge role in the foundations that make up 888Sport. It’s the most bet on sport of any within the industry, let alone at this bookmaker, so it’s imperative that this is one of the sections that they need to excel at.
The competition is huge for football betting and what we have found from 888Sport has been their continuous ability to not only maintain, but also improve their current stock. It’s a vital attribute to have for any bookmaker, especially given how saturated the betting industry is these days.
888’S PRICING STRUCTURE
Pricing has always been an area that 888Sport have been a little more erratic at than most bookies. They are able to go from amazing odds for some games, to pretty average for others. Whilst most people are put off by this, we actually see this as a huge positive.
You see, as part of a solid betting strategy, you need to be in a position to utilise a number of different bookmakers at any one time. If you are using just one, then you’re losing on a massive array of value. Whilst 888Sport may be too erratic for pricing when it comes to football to use them and only them, as part of a betting portfolio, they are literally the perfect match. You’re able to grab the prices when they are industry best, but also avoid when they are having a bit of an off day.
Rotherham Vs Shrewsbury: Example
From a match between Rotherham and Shrewsbury in the League 1 Play-Off Final, it shows a pretty good example of what you’ll find from a typical match at 888Sport. You will see that they aren’t best priced for any of the three possible results. But, you’ll also see that they aren’t far away for any of the results.
|888SPORT ODDS||AVERAGE ODDS|
These aren’t necessarily the games that you want to be targeting with 888Sport. You’re not going to get value from the majority of games, so instead, you need to bide your time to make sure you can latch on when the odds are more in your favour, offering one of, if not the best price in the industry. It could literally be 1 game in 10 or even higher than that, but it will pay off to use them this way.
As you would expect from someone like 888Sport, the range of leagues and games on offer is second to none. The bulk is made up from the top European leagues within England, Spain, Italy, Germany and France. But, they also include a plethora of other leagues from slightly lesser nations, such as Bulgaria, Estonia, Norway and even Vietnam. The range of games and the number of markets will drastically reduce as you move your way down.
The market coverage for most games is pretty impressive. The Champions League Final between Liverpool and Real Madrid in 2018 had over 600 markets to choose from – this being several days before the game kicked off, as well. After doing a little more digging, this is actually about as big as you’re going to find from any other bookmaker, so you certainly won’t be left wanting when it comes to coverage.
Each of the matches are linked to a statistics section, as well. This is powered by a third-party host, in the form of Bet Radar. The company are one of the most popular in the industry with dozens of other bookies utilising this software as well. The stats on offer are pretty solid, with information on form, previous results, head to head results, history and specific goal market bets. Is it the best going? No, but it’s pretty solid and will offer a quick base for potential bets if nothing else.
We did like the fact that you were able to quickly jump between live & upcoming games and then straight into outrights for certain leagues and competitions. These bets are often hard to find and lost within hundreds of markets with many bookies, so being able to quickly jump in with 888Sport is a great addition if these are markets that you like to bet on. It’s worth mentioning that this section is really comprehensive in terms of markets coverage as well, taking markets from leagues all over the world.
Champions League Final Markets Example
The Champions League Final is a great game to showcase just what 888Sport are all about. We really enjoyed browsing through the vast array of obscure markets, that you can’t get from most bookies. For example, they include a section called “Match Combinations” which is made up of a number of scenarios to take place during the match. This can range to everything from the distance covered on the pitch to the correct score and everything in between.
Another market that we quickly wanted to mention was that of “Advanced Team stats”. Again, pretty obscure bets that are made up from really niche markets, such as offsides, ball possession percentage, total fouls committed and even specialist extra-time markets, which are in place for the Champions League final obviously, and not for most games. Again, it all highlights that 888Sport are willing to go the extra mile when it comes to markets, which most are going live.
The live betting section at 888Sport is pretty decent. First off, the design of the section isn’t too bad and it’s spaced quite generously, which means it doesn’t look cluttered and also doesn’t look like there is too much going on. You are able to see a long list of games that are taking place, although you can’t sort it by leagues, which is highly annoying. Come Saturday afternoon and you’re scrolling through for games to bet on can become very tedious, especially when English games are mixed with German games and whatever else.
But, it does offer a favourite function, which means once you eventually find the game that you’re looking for, you can click this button and it gets pinned to the top of the screen for you. The overview also highlights games that have had red cards, which is highly underrated as this can have huge effect on the outcome of a game and also open up a ton of markets as a result.
888Sport’s Heat Map
Once you open the game up, we liked that you were still able to see the overview section, but in a reduced area within the left-hand column. The centre section is made up of the betting markets, with the far right including the match centre, live scores and events. Your betting slip is separate and is visible on all pages at the bottom of the screen, which again works well.
Aesthetically, the page is a little drab to be honest. It functions well enough but definitely lacks the style that a lot of bookies are able to exert these days. We did like the heatmap that they have included within the match centre though, giving you a great look at the action areas for that game.
Antepost markets are actually really easy to find on site and are a part of functionality that we have already mentioned. If you head to “Outrights” section within the football section on site, these are essentially your Antepost bets.
They include leagues from all over the world and, as we are building up to a World Cup through the summer months prior to writing this review, a high number of these markets are relating to that. There are a number of group, player, squad, team and team matchup markets that you can choose from. As the domestic seasons start to take hold again, you will be looking at the likes of the league winners, relegation and top 4 finishes as a pretty consistent theme running throughout the bookmaker.
Whilst horse racing has an important role to play on 888Sport, there is no doubt that it plays second fiddle to that of football. In fact, it was once a section of the bookmaker that we advised potential punters to not use and find another bookie for, such was the lack of coverage. We are happy to report though, that this is no longer the case.
888’S HORSE RACING PRICING
The main thing that people are wanting to know regarding this section is about pricing. From our research, we’ve found that 888Sport are about as competitive as it gets. In fact, we were really taken aback as to how far they have come, offering a plethora of best priced horses from a number of races that we were able to test.
The two charts below highlight two different races from the same Lingfield meeting. As you can see, they have a number of horses in each race that they are best price for. Granted, the first screenshot shows that a lot of bookies are all singing from the same hymn sheet, but there are still the likes of Ladbrokes, William Hill and BetVictor – three huge bookmakers, all trailing behind for the same horse
Lingfield Race: Example 1
|888SPORT ODDS||AVERAGE ODDS|
|Against The Odds||11||11|
|Long John Silver||17||19.4|
Lingfield Race: Example 2
|888SPORT ODDS||AVERAGE ODDS|
|Reine Des Miracles||5||5|
|All About The Pace||13||11.7|
Whilst we have only included a couple of examples above, we found this trend to be very consistent. It was really impressive actually and we could easily see why someone would use 888Sport as their one-stop-shop for horse racing betting. We said earlier that football was a little erratic when it comes to pricing, well, horse racing is the exact opposite and is highly consistent.
UK & IRISH RACING
The racing from within UK and Ireland plays a huge roll on site and allows them to provide a quality number of races every day. Pricing usually comes online around 8am, but we have seen them up to 24 hours prior to a meeting starting. For example, a meeting at Goodwood at the time of writing is happening in 24 hours and it has all race marked up and priced. But, this is the only meeting out of 6 for the day to do so, which likely means that it’s dependant on the stature of the race meeting.
Market coverage is pretty basic to be honest. You’ve obviously your win and each way market, then most races are simply made up of a number of combination bets. You’re able to choose if the horse will finish 1st, 2nd or in either of those places. It’s very limited and is one of the few negatives that we have found within the horse racing section.
Best Odds Guaranteed
As a saving grace, 888Sport do offer “Best Odds Guaranteed” on all UK & Irish horse racing. For those that don’t know, it means that if you place a bet at say 5/1 on a horse, but the starting price for that horse is 7/1 and it goes on to win that race, 888Sport will then pay out at the higher odds without you having to do anything. It is worth noting that if you placed the same bet at 5/1 and the starting price shortens, then you will be paid out at the larger price that you originally took. It’s a pretty common betting offer now to be honest, so it’s imperative that you take advantage of it to ensure that you get the maximum return on your bet.
888Sport have teamed up with Timeform to provide their form and tools section. It’s actually a really good tool to have on site and with the majority of races that it’s linked up to, it shows you the recent form from each of the horses in that race. Some info includes the date, course, position, price, distance, race type, going, jockey and the trainer, with a short synopsis on its previous race, as well.
They’ve also included a star rating system for each race. We aren’t entirely sure how the rating system works – maybe a combination of the 888Sport traders and the Timeform info – but each horse’s chances are rated out of stars. It’s probably good for a bit of a guide, but we certainly wouldn’t be going of just this alone for any bets.
International racing coverage is not too bad. They seem to have a lot of South African races on board, but what is frustrating is that you can only see a couple of days ahead, so we’re unable to get a good look at the coming days or weeks racing from abroad.
There are a couple of international fixtures in the Antepost section though from both France and the US, so this section is maybe more in-depth than we are letting on. There are betting international sections going with other bookies as we know there are more meetings than just South Africa on the day of review, so it’s worth bearing that in mind.
The Antepost section is really good at 888Sport. We really liked that races aren’t just in one long list, that isn’t much use to anyone. They are split between different festivals, such as Cheltenham, Royal Ascot and the Grand National. But, they also include things like daily specials and long-term specials, as well, to add a bit more variety to proceedings.
As you’ll have noticed from within this review, there is a lot to like about 888Sport. The design and usability of the site can be added to that list.
It used to be an uninspiring interface that was similar to lots of others out there, but now 888 have launched their own in house platform which makes them more unique and gives them more control over their site and the way it looks and runs. It’s already good but this will make it much easier for them to improve too as years go on.
A lot of whether you like it or not will come down to personal taste, for example some people like a full list of sports without having to go through a menu option first, but no one could argue that the site isnt well built.
Whatever your tastes, there is at least now a clear path to get to whatever bet you are trying to make. Ok its still not the best site for just having a look around and seeing what is going on (you can do this league by league but its a bit of a faff) but if you want to get to anything specific or look at live and upcoming fixtures then it is well set up for that.
888 Casino offer a fantastic game range and you’ll find all types of titles. This ranges from classics like roulette and blackjack, to the latest video slots and a handful of virtual and instant win titles. They also have their own game developer called Dragonfish so there are lots of original titles here too making them more unique.
The games can easily be found from the main homepage thanks to their simple navigation bar. Once you’ve found a game you would like to play simply click the ‘Play Now’ button to open it up.
Again, there is a great range of video slots on offer. One of their most popular categories is the Blueprint Gaming area which features many of the games you’ll find inside UK bookmakers.
One of the most well-known Blueprint Gaming titles on offer is Genie Jackpots which, as the name suggests, carries a large jackpot. At the time of writing the progressive jackpot stands at well over £1 million and counting, but there are others too like Divine Fortune.
There’s also a handful of games from software providers like IGT and Cryptologic, so you certainly won’t have to look far to find a game you’ll enjoy.
The roulette and blackjack offerings are a little disappointing. The games themselves are of high quality but the choice is a bit on the small side.
In the Roulette section of the website you’ll find around ten game variations to choose from. These include European Roulette, American Roulette, 3D Roulette, Low Stakes Roulette, and French Roulette. While it’s nice to see a couple of unusual types in here such as the Low Stakes Roulette and the 3D Roulette, the selection could be improved.
The blackjack offers even less selection with even fewer games on hand. These include American Blackjack, Classic Blackjack and Multi Hand Blackjack.
There are few side bet variations on offer, which is a big shame. This again is an area that 888 Casino can improve on.
While it’s certainly less common to see a wide variety of video poker titles, unlike the roulette and blackjack games, this area comes up trumps with loads of different options.
You’ll find All American Double Up, Jacks or Better, Joker Wild Double Up and Deuces Wild Double Up among others. The games themselves are of very high-quality and there is so much variation that a video poker player could use 888 as their go to site.
It’s been a bit of a mixed bag so far, but 888 Casino offer enough other games to nudge them over the better than average line. Alongside a few extra poker game options you can also find craps which can be tricky to find at other sites.
Scratchcards are available too, although there aren’t hundreds of them, but enough to keep you busy, as well as some bingo, lotto, and keno type games.
Live Dealer Casino
Thankfully, the offerings in the live dealer casino are much better than the table games with loads of roulette and blackjack to play. You’ll also find baccarat, Caribbean stud poker, 3 card poker, Casino Hold ‘Em and Ultimate Texas Hold’ Em. Not to mention the new game show type of games that are all the rage.
All the games are played in custom built studios run by Evolution and they provide the full collection not just a few handpicked tables. So, unlike playing on other online casinos, you will be able to access everything that Evolution offer, even the more niche stuff.
Much like the rest of the website, the live dealer games are quick to load with a responsive interface which is easy to navigate. The games come with a variety of limits allowing players on all budgets to play along.