Sign up for an out of this world adventure
When we’re analysing and comparing sites, we like to begin where you would. We think the best way of understanding your experience is by having that same experience. Plus, you can’t reach the moon if you don’t have somewhere to launch from. For betting sites, this is, of course, the sign-up process.
When it comes to how this process handles, first and foremost is ease of use. This should not be a stressful process. All the information that you need should be clear and obvious: email, username, password, address, all the usual stuff. Factors that can make it smooth flying for you are well-presented forms, and predictive addresses. You know the ones – it’s where you type in your postcode and it guesses the rest for you.
The most important thing here in terms of handling is everything working as it should. We can’t tell you the amount of times we’ve put in the correct information for it to fail for no discernable reason. Naturally, this is not ideal. Having customer service on hand at this point is also vital, as is having clear terms and conditions to accept.
We also appreciate when operators allow you to choose contact and preferred payment methods at this time. Many also have the inclusion of betting limits. We think betting limits should always be available and it’s inclusion at this stage is ideal. The best registration forms should only take a couple of minutes, and be stress-free.
Banking options that don’t take light-years
We weren’t sure whether to put this as part of the sign-up analysis, as banking can be part of that process. However, it’s often left as an option or is completed afterwards. In any case, there’s plenty to consider here. The first is whether it works. In other words, if I deposit money, will it get added to my player account with ease? The same goes for withdrawals. This may seem really basic, but you’d be surprised by how many functional issues can arise.
Assuming it does, was the funding process as easy as it should be? Just like the registration, banking should be a no-brainer. Part of this includes speed. Banking options simply working isn’t enough. They need to do so in a way that is considered reasonable for that method. Obviously, we don’t know which banking method you prefer, and some banking methods take longer than others. This is especially the case when it comes to withdrawals. So, we’re looking for methods to work quickly within their limitations.
It’s also important that the handling remains consistent across methods. Now, part of this also comes from research. We can’t reasonably have the experience of hundreds of thousands of people when it comes to banking. We are just a small team in the infinite cosmos, after all. So, we spend time looking to see how other people rate their experience. This is true of all our analysis generally. However, because of its importance, we especially look out for any banking complaints.
Also important is how well the banking options are explained. Things working well is vital, but so is understanding how they work in the first place.
Mission support from reliable customer service
Progressing from our previous point with the grace and poise of a shooting star is customer service. That’s because part of customer service is how easy a site is to understand. It’s an often overlooked part of ease of use. What we mean by this is does the site explain itself well generally? We gave the example of banking before, but there’s plenty more.
The most direct example of this is the Help section. It’s something you shouldn’t overlook either. A good Help section can mean you don’t actually need to contact customer service at all. And that’s the ideal. How customer service is handled begins here.
Moving onto the actual customer support options, this commonly includes live chat, email and phone. Sometimes it can include social media as well. In any case, checking how this works is simple. We contact them and see not only how long it takes to respond, but assess the quality of the responses as well. For many of you reading, your ideal is around the clock live chat at a high standard. We consider that extremely important as well. However, it’s important to check everything because people do have different preferences.
Research is also vital here, to see if others had similar experiences. In summary, we check out the explanations found throughout the site, the Help section and the contact options. Alongside research, this provides us with a very good idea of how well customer service works.
An aesthetic design that eclipses the competition
In terms of functionality, you may think that aesthetic design doesn’t matter much. We disagree. Aesthetics are a big part of how well the site provides its experience. However, this is tricky. We may have different tastes. There’s no right or wrong in that regard. It’s just a difference in opinion. The looks of a site are, therefore, more subjective than other factors here. The true answer is a mystery, out there in the ever-expanding unknown.
That said, the aesthetic design does have a goal. A certain site design is aiming to provide a certain experience. Therefore, we base our assessment on how well this is pulled off. If a casino has a late-night Vegas feel, how effectively that atmosphere is created does impact how the experience is handled. You may or may not like this atmosphere, nonetheless, we do think there’s merit in how well it achieved its goal.
Furthermore, the looks of a site have another big impact: structure. So, the design of a site in terms of what you can see is more than just looks. It sets the layout for everything. This is a huge part of your site experience and a huge part of how well the site works in general. Many times we’ve had a graphically ambitious site be a structural mess. This means you can’t find what you’re looking for easily. It’s not something to be overlooked for any handling comparison. Looks are important, but useability is more important.
Smooth technical design to launch you into your online experience
When it comes to handling comparisons, this is where it all comes together. When we talk about technical design, it’s essentially what makes the site function. It’s how and why everything works. So, when it comes to handling, there’s nothing more important than the technical side of a betting site.
For that reason, we’re actually going to break this down into several points:
Site links that don’t lead to a black hole
Let’s start with something fairly straightforward and that’s links. Before we begin though, we’d like to point out some consistent technical threads. Things like slowdown, stutters or technical issues of any kind are always noted. This can happen during any check, such as registration, for instance. We thought we’d bring it up here, as links are a common place for such issues to occur. We want betting sites to run as smooth as butter. They should be as steady and as reliable as the turning of the sun. So, any issues are noted and considered by handling in general.
Otherwise, links are very simple. We want them to work! Broken links are a clear handling flaw. So are links that go to dead pages, or the wrong pages. Slow loading times are also an issue, but not as severe. This also ties into what we were discussing before about structure. Links are what pull a site all together. If they are well formatted and logically laid-out, that really helps with the structure. And as mentioned, structure is a huge part of how well a site practically operates.
For instance, say you are on a casino homepage. From here, you want to get to the live casino. If you can immediately see and click a relevant link, that’s ideal. If you have to search around several pages, your experience is made worse. This is a really simple example. As we’re sure you can appreciate, betting sites are much more complicated than that. But it does show you how easily your experience can be made worse with poorly placed links. Ideally, we want links that tie the site together logically and work without a hitch.
A cosmos of world-class games
Next up are the game themselves. This one is almost self-explanatory. You know a good casino game from a bad one within moments. It should operate smoothly and be well-designed. You can check out which software developers are used for this as an overview as well. If a site only uses world-class software providers, the chances of them handling badly is very slim.
Consistency is, of course, vital here as well. We don’t base our opinions on the best games available. We base it on the overall quality of the game library on the site. Obviously, we don’t know what games you prefer. So, it’s important for us to treat them all equally, from the tables to the roulette and slots, and much more in between.
Live products that don’t crash land
In terms of how a site handles, this is often the greatest test. It’s where sites push their technical limits. Think of other games as the test drive and this as the shuttle launch in terms of complexity. Having interactive casino games is hugely complex. We still find it amazing that they’re so commonly available. We’re even more amazed when it works so smoothly. Due to how tough this can be on a site, this is where things like slowdown are most likely.
This is actually a tricky one at times. Sometimes issues can be down to slow internet connections. That’s why we always test multiple times and at the highest standards possible. If there is an issue, we want to know where the problem lies. Research is, therefore, once again a really important element. If we have an issue but no one else does, perhaps more tests are in order. If we have a flawless performance but others regularly encounter issues, perhaps we got lucky. Through testing multiple games and multiple times with research, an accurate idea is very much achievable.
Everything running well is so important here. Often the games that are available live are fast-paced. You may miss out on chances to win should a stutter or a slowdown occur – a huge handling mishap. This is especially the case with sports betting.
While our focus is casino sites, many of you reading this will also be interested in sports betting. With that in mind, we’d be remiss not to mention how vital the live functionality is there, especially when we add live streaming into the mix. This is one of the few areas where poor handling could actually cost you money if you can’t react in time.
Mobile performance you can rely on, no matter which planet you’re on
One area that can bring down the functionality of a betting site is its mobile offering. This is obviously very important in today’s climate. Many people reading this will solely access their operator via a mobile or tablet device. Despite this, there can be a discrepancy between the desktop and mobile quality. This ranges from variety to functionality.
Just to be clear, our standards remain exactly the same across all platforms. All the things that we’ve discussed as being important for handling comparison remain true when shrunk down to the smaller screen. We expect a solid structure, quality design, responsive customer service, logical working links and a smooth technical experience.
There are actually some additional things to take into account too. This includes whether the app download works quickly and easily. In terms of mobile apps, there can also be additional functionalities. There could be touch screen interfaces, for instance. Obviously, we want this to work as well as possible in terms of functionality. We are at a place now where mobile standards are as high as desktop standards – and we expect nothing less.
The discovery of any other site specialities
We briefly mentioned the sportsbook because it seemed so relevant to the live experience. But it is important to point out that we are not solely focused on how the site handles the casino offering. It is our key focus, no doubt, but we are well aware that a lot of you like other things too.
It could be a sportsbook, or dedicated poker or bingo pages. They are considered and analysed to the same standard as everything else in our handling comparisons. The more a site does well, the better we rate it. It really is as simple as that.
Putting it all together on the same wavelength
That final point seems like the perfect one to make clear that none of this is done in a vacuum. We understand that a betting site is a complete experience. So, part of the handling comparison is about how well each of these elements work individually, but another is how well they all work together.
Is there a consistent flow across different parts of the site, for instance? And is the quality you find reliable throughout? A lot of different things make up a betting site. They all have to work well together to create a great one.