Betfred are one of the oldest bookmakers in the industry. They have been about since the 60s and are one of few that still occupy a reasonably healthy position both on the high street and online, making them one of most recognisable brands.
The site has been able to attract thousands of visitors through their virtual doors every day and with it have a commanding position within the industry. What’s been impressive to see from Betfred has been their ability to not only adapt to online betting, but also their ability to thrive in a modernised online world.
Like so many betting sites, football plays a huge role in how Betfred has been formulated. The site offers a plethora of markets and matches, with it creating plenty of new betting opportunities that have now been copied in some form by the majority of bookies, such has been the success of these ventures.
We’ve spent a good while testing Betfred’s betting structure against the market and have found mixed results if we are being totally honest. We’ve found numerous examples of the bookmaker struggling with some matches and then being great with other markets.
BETFRED ODDS COMPARED TO OTHERS
One of things that we have touched upon with other bookies has been the fact that being an erratic bookmaker isn’t always a bad thing when it comes to pricing. The example below from a Champions League final highlights how good they can be, being best price with a win market and not too far away with either the draw or the other team to win.
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The main problem that we found is consistency with their odds structure. It’s not terrible by any means, but when you compare it with the best, they do tend to fall behind from what we would call an “all-round” bookmaker when it comes to pricing. The example below with a game between Rotherham and Shrewsbury is a classic example of this.
As you can see, the odds on offer aren’t bad by any means, being just behind the best prices in the industry, but the fact that this is pretty common for the vast majority of markets we tested, does highlight that it’s something could be improved.
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We feel that whilst Betfred would be a good addition to a betting portfolio, we do feel that if you were to simply use the bookmaker on their own, with no backups, you would be losing out on a fair amount of value as a result.
Whilst pricing could be improved, there are few better when it comes to providing a different range of betting markets to choose from. Betfred have been pioneers when it comes to creating new markets, introducing lines such as Goals Galore and Double Delight / Hattrick Heaven. These are essentially list-type bets, which allow punters to choose from a wide range of games to form bets within the Both Teams to Score market and the first goalscorer market, respectively.
The games all have a good base behind them in terms of the number of markets on offer. They have a number of markets that are almost classed as promotions (although technically are called concessions), such as the two mentioned above, offering up better odds and more importantly, better value than the majority of bookies in the industry.
Whilst the range isn’t huge for a lot of games, they are diverse, which we have come to the conclusion is more important. You see, you can head to any bookmaker and trawl through hundreds of betting markets, but the bottom line is that the majority will be offering pretty much the same as each other.
Betfred is a little different in that they think outside the box. A good example would be markets, such as how a game would be won (normal time, extra time, penalties), a huge range of handicap markets, specific goal markets score and assist markets, and a whole host of variations of these.
One of their latest features is that of #PickYourPunt. This is where you send a Tweet to Betfred to formulate your own bet. They then send these selections to their traders who in turn create a price for you. The range of games can be quite limited though, such is the response, but you can see all bets within the markets for that match. It’s actually quite entertaining to look through these bet types to see what people come up with.
Some of the longer priced bets include the likes of naming players to score, naming player to get red carded, a missed penalty and then a team to win on penalties. This was priced at 500/1. If you were looking at true value for these bets, they are actually pretty poor value, but can still be lucrative if you are able to carve out the right events for the match still.
The in-play betting section on site has actually reasonably recently been revamped, and it was much needed. You’re able to single out football as your sport to bet on, which takes away a lot of the clutter on the page. You then work through the league you want and then the match you want to bet on.
The page gives you a quick overview of the games currently taking place and then the betting odds for those matches. Unfortunately, you can’t choose anything other than the match result market, with many offering a selection here.
Once into the game though you get to see a number of different markets to bet on and also a range of events and statistics for that match. It’s pretty basic compared to most, but the basics are better than none and the design of this section is actually quite nice.
The racing section at Betfred plays second fiddle only to that of football. The sport is massively important to the bookmaker and was in fact the sport that triggered the start of the brand over 50 years ago now.
Just like football, we are starting our research within the pricing section, as we feel this is the most important. Betfred are really competitive when it comes to pricing and we feel they are much stronger with horse racing than they are for football on the whole.
PRICING STRUCTURE COMPARED
We’ve been able to test numerous markets and found a pretty consistent pattern amongst their odds. What you will see is that they like to get a good foothold with the favourites in a race. This is the absolute jackpot for punters as it’s where the majority of the money goes. Mid-range favourites, priced around 3/1 through to 6/1 tend to be a real sweet spot and we’ve seen them as much as 20% better than some of their closest rivals for these types of prices.
As you move down the list, they do tend to fall away a little. They are never bad though – far from it – but we see much fewer best prices for these types of horses than that of the favourites. We think this occurs on too many occasions to be more than just a coincidence, so it’s worth pointing out.
Another point we wanted to briefly mention is that cash out betting is available on the majority of their horse races, as well. A lot of bookmakers fail to offer this on the smaller meetings, but Betfred seem to offer it on all meetings, which is great.
UK & IRISH RACING
You’re usually going to be able to get prices the night before for the next day’s racing at Betfred. This is pretty good, as many bookies won’t open these markets until the morning of the race and keep them technically as Antepost for that reason.
Why this is good for the punter is that it means they are often able to take advantage of odds earlier in what would essentially still be Antepost markets. No one really knows the going for the following days racing (although it can be predicted) and the majority of line-ups still aren’t nailed on confirmed, especially for smaller meetings. Taking advantage of these early prices can create some huge value as a result and something that we would urge our readers to both consider and take advantage of.
The market coverage is pretty average if we are being honest with you, especially compared with someone like Betfair where there are as many as 8 different markets to choose from each and every race. With Betfred though, you get the Win and Each Way, along with the Forecast and Tricast. That’s really all there is to it, unfortunately.
The racecard is one of the more different we have seen in how it is laid out. It shows you the name of the horse, silks, number and then the price like normal, plus some basic form, horse and jockey. There is more detail and some analysis available but you have to select a different tab to get to it instead of it being built into the racecard. Nothing wrong here, just a bit different.
They do include the Best Odds Guaranteed (BOG) promotion on site for all UK and Irish races too. Basically, this offer means that if you back a horse at a certain price and it goes on to win, if the Starting Price is higher than the odds you took, Betfred will pay out at the higher odds.
The international coverage on site is very good. They take bets for races from all over the world, including Australia, USA, France and South Africa. A lot of the meetings are covered in great depth as well, which is an added bonus and something that punters who are looking to bet on these types of races will enjoy.
The Antepost section is another very good part of the horse racing section at Betfred. There are a huge number of races to choose from and not just ones that are made up within the UK and Ireland.
The markets include a good number of horses to choose from as well, which is often something that lets a lot of these types of markets down for bookmakers. Pricing is pretty erratic, but again, that’s not something that is uncommon given that most bookies are guessing as to how they might perform and can’t even confirm line-ups as a result.
For all the good that Betfred offer when it comes to innovative markets and a solid pricing structure, so much of their good work is undone due to the lack of usability on the site. The first thing that will grab you is the dated design. They have made a few tweaks to it over the years, but they still use check boxes and some other outdated feeling mechanics and it’s all very 2005.
The next thing that is frustrating is the menu system. They use drop down menus, which means that the site doesn’t have any HUB pages for any of the sports really. It’s a mess as sometimes you just want to click on a sport and see what’s happening. You’re not necessarily homing in on a specific market, which is pretty much all the drop-down menus allow you to do.
Another point is that often when there are a lot of markets, the page seems to move and jump about quite a lot. A big game like a Champions League final would have a huge number of markets to choose from, but the page is constantly jumping, which is frustrating and makes it almost unusable.
The saving grace for the site is the mobile app. It’s so much more intuitive to use and gets away without the need for any drop-down menus. It really is crazy just how much better the mobile site is compared to the online site. If it wasn’t for this, it would be tough to recommend them as a decent bookmaker.
The most frustrating thing about all this is that you’d probably forgive a bookmaker that had only been in the industry for a few years and were still trying to find their feet. But, Betfred have been about for over 50 years and they have been online for well over a decade with turnover reaching into the billions, not millions.
Betfred offers a fantastic selection of games, these can be found amongst several different tabs on the website. You’ll see Casino, Live Casino, Games, Vegas and Virtual Sports at the top of every page on the site. Each tab allows you access to games from different software providers and the different stake limits.
Being PlayTech powered there is a huge range of their titles on offer, including their huge series of Age of the Gods slots andnthe jackpots built into them. The video slots category is by far the most impressive on the site.
Whether you’re looking to head back in history to Ancient Rome and play the exciting Centurion with a host of different bonus rounds, or simply want to relax to a classic like Slots ‘O Gold, you’ll find hundreds of video slots to choose between.
If you’re feeling lucky, then why not take a spin on the roulette wheel for the chance to hit a lucrative 35/1 shot? This site has a number of different variations of this classic casino game. They’ve designed their roulette games so that both experienced players and those with no experience can play, how do they do this?
Well, all their games, thanks to PlayTech, have a ‘?’ button, which, when clicked, shows you simplified game rules. This lets you instantly see the odds of the game as well as a simple ‘how to play’ guide. You’ll find multiple variations from American Roulette and French Roulette, to European Roulette and Multi-Wheel Roulette so there’s plenty of choice to pick from.
The blackjack selection is also one of the most impressive aspects of the site. You’ll find different variations under each of the navigation menu tabs. This gives you the chance to play both classic blackjack, the type you’re probably familiar with, as well as more obscure versions, which you won’t find in land based casinos.
The regular versions include Blackjack, Blackjack Pro and Pontoon. The unusual games include Blackjack 5-Hand, Blackjack Surrender and Perfect Blackjack.
What’s more, loads of the Blackjack games offer side bets, allowing you to increase your chances of winning bigger amounts. This can transform what is normally an even money game into what could be as high as a 50/1 game, even more if you play the jackpot variation.
UK focused online casinos are usually somewhat lacking when it comes to video poker. This is because, despite the game having an extremely low house edge when played correctly, it never really caught on in the UK like it did in the United States of America.
However, that hasn’t stopped Betfred from offering a range of video poker titles and you’ll find a handful of different variations to choose from. You can play classic versions such as Jacks or Better 50 Lines or Joker Poker. You could also try something a little different and combine your video poker gaming with a Medieval theme in the Jacks or Better: 10 Line variation, where the game is based on knights duelling in the 1500’s
The other games can largely be split up into two categories; scratch games and virtuals. Scratch games are essentially on screen scratch cards, much like the ones you’d purchase in your local shop or bookies. Simply select your stake, and either scratch the card with your mouse or use the auto scratch function to have it done for you. Scratch games include the Kong Scratch, Blackjack Scratch Cards as well as others.
The virtual games are a series of virtual sporting events that you can bet on, and watch, just seconds after placing your bets. It’s like a cross between a casino game and a sports bet and you’ll find new events starting every minute or so. There’s never any waiting around for games to start, or worse, the dreaded ‘called off’ announcement when the pitch is waterlogged.
If you’re sat there thinking, sure, casino games sound great but I want to be in with a chance of winning the big bucks, you’ll want to head over to their progressive jackpot section. These are the titles where you can win huge sums of money from a single spin and there are over 50 available.
The Age of the Gods series are a good place to start, with tiered jackpot amounts that drop more frequently the lower the amount. The pot spans lots of different games too so you won’t get bored chasing the cash because you can try all the different games.
Jackpot Giant is probably the biggest attraction and it’s not hard to see why with the jackpot regularly reaching a staggering £5 million. Go check it out, you can even play for fun first, so you don’t have to bet your money straight away.
Betfred runs on the iPoker network, the world’s largest poker network. This links up hundreds of other similar sites, allowing you to play against players on multiple networks. This is highly beneficial when playing tournaments as it allows you to play far larger fields so you can win substantially larger amounts of money.
A variety of different games are featured for you to enjoy, including Texas Hold’em, Pot limit Omaha and Stud Poker. You can also play Omaha Hi/Lo in certain games which is an unusual yet exciting version of poker not found in many other gaming rooms.
If you’re looking to play cash games, you’ll be spoilt for choice. A cash game is where you buy in with actual money, and you stake the money in real-time. If you win pots, you’ll see your account balance grow, and if you lose pots it will decline. If you get low on chips you can easily re-buy using the quick deposit option.
If you’re looking to play tournaments, Betfred host a wide selection each day for you to choose from. Buy-ins differ from a few cents right the way up to $1000 tournaments. The type you play is completely up to you. Some tournaments get 100 runners and others get 10,000 so there is a huge amount of variety when it comes to picking a suitable game.