Pilot Aimee Jones
Last Updated on:
Gaming Specialist of PlayersBest.com CA
Gaming Specialist of PlayersBest.com CA
Speciality: Casino and poker
Favourite Sports: Ice hockey, football (particularly MLS)
One of the things that really amazes me about the world of online betting today is that it’s almost as vast and ever-expanding as the cosmos. That’s something to be celebrated. More choice means you’re more likely to get exactly what you want. It also means if you’re interested in something niche, you’re likely to be able to find it.
The expansion of betting sites is something we have talked a lot about here. But, something is happening at the same time that is just as important. The betting industry is getting bigger, and so are betting sites themselves. What we mean by this is that today, many betting sites can be considered jack-of-all-trades. In other words, they do as much as possible to offer you a galaxy of betting options.
We think there’s still a place for niche betting sites in the gambling galaxy. That said, we have to view the best of the best as those which can do a whole lot of everything. The standard right now really is that high. It means that you don’t have to settle for anything less than exactly what you’re looking for, all in one place.
When we look at an operator today, unless it’s expressly a niche product, we’re putting a huge amount of stock into its ability to do it all. In today’s climate, there’s no reason not to shoot for the stars. Here are just some of the factors we analyze when it comes time to blast off into a new betting site and review their range.
One type of variety we often find that people overlook is the software variety. Quite honestly, we wouldn’t blame you if you’ve never even thought about it. You just head into your favourite betting site, pick the games that you love and play them. It’s kind of like how you never think about the cameraman when watching your favourite films. However, software development is massively important in terms of range.
A wide selection of software developers means more options. That’s not just in terms of sheer numbers, but also in the amount of creativity you’ll find. One software developer with a great reputation can provide you with an enjoyable online experience. A site with several can provide you with a kaleidoscope of betting experiences. You’d be amazed at the number of themes out there, from the down to earth to space-age adventures.
We also give extra credit when all the software developers are clearly advertised. You may think this is just because it makes our analysis easier, and in a way, that’s partly true. However, there is another reason we take this addition so seriously. Being able to choose between individual software developers means you can appreciate their differences much easier. It also allows you to find your favourites. This is especially the case as many software developers specialize in different areas. This handily brings us to our next point…
We’re well aware that this goes hand-in-hand with software developers. We do think though that this is something worth clarifying. Of course, generally speaking, a wide selection of software developers means more variety. With that said, we have occasionally come across exceptions.
There are certain casino sites that don’t make the most of their software developers. What we mean by this is they don’t actually have many games from each. In some situations, a casino with a couple of software developers has more games than one with several times more. This is pretty rare but can happen. And, of course, game variety is also not guaranteed.
Just to be clear, once again, we’re not talking about sheer numbers when it comes to games here. For instance, you could have lots of one type of game. This can often happen with slots. Now, slots are very popular. A lot of people may be happy with this arrangement, but to get top marks in terms of range, we want a lot of everything. That means slots, table games, keno, progressives, the works. We’re also looking for poker and bingo games too, but we’ll cover that in more depth later.
Another thing you may not have considered is the importance of variety when it comes to betting limits. Have you ever been on a betting site and noticed a lot of similar game titles? We’re not talking about slots here, where the different themes alone justify the variety. Take a simple game format though, like blackjack for instance. Sure, there are multiple versions of the game format but you might notice several versions of the same blackjack type. What use does this have?
Well, more game titles mean a wider selection of betting limits to choose from. This means there are games to suit both high rollers and casual players alike. This bet limit could be the difference in two otherwise identical games. Suddenly, those huge game numbers don’t seem so over the top. One game could have several iterations Each one of those several iterations could need several additional options to account for betting limit variety. You can see how many of the best betting sites end up with games in the thousands.
To be clear, getting full marks from us means offering games of all kinds, with betting limits to suit all types of players and budgets.
One of the things we haven’t yet mentioned is the importance of live gaming variety. By this, we mean which games are available for the live casino. Of course, quality remains extremely important here. No one has any interest in poor quality gaming experiences. We don’t know about you, but we would rather spend an afternoon on Pluto.
Quality is, of course, important in everything we talk about here. We thought that the live experience was the best place to bring it up. The reason is that when sites provide live gaming products, it’s often where they are pushed the hardest in terms of their technical ability. So, if there are cracks in their quality, you’ll likely find them here.
To clarify, quality and quantity are both extremely important, here and everywhere else. With that in mind, what counts as a good live casino? For us, it’s as much as we can get. As long as high standards are met, what’s the downside? This means we’re looking for roulette, blackjack, poker and more. That includes left-field options you can find more commonly now than ever. There are full casino game shows for you to enjoy and even board games. So, don’t settle for anything less than a massive amount of excellent options.
Often, we think that people aren’t thinking as broadly as they should when it comes to betting site promotions. What we mean by this is that a good promotional page can expand far beyond the welcome bonus.
Different promotions should serve different purposes. The first is to provide as much value to you as possible. In other words, they should give you as many free spins, funds and prizes as possible. Almost as important though is their ability to highlight various parts of the site.
One of the things we really enjoy is the ability to be led in certain directions by a good bonus. For instance, we have often found some of our favourite casino games because they were part of a promotion. One of the abilities of these bonuses is to shine a spotlight on the things the site excels in. As long as that spotlight is shining somewhere good, you should view that as a positive.
Promotional variety also means bonuses are valuable for different types of players. Ideally, we think there should be bonuses covering all major game types. This means options relevant for slots, table and live games, for instance. On top of that, they should also be useful to as many people as possible. You should find something useful whether you like to bet a little or a lot. Across all games and player demographics, that is the ideal.
A wide variety of customer service options is vital to your online betting experience. In our opinion, the first form of customer service doesn’t come from contacting anyone. We think that it begins with how well the site explains itself. More broadly, it’s in the ease of use of the site in general. Being able to find the information you need in the first place is part of customer service too. It’s in the structure of the pages and in the layout of the products.
A more straightforward version of this would be the Help or FAQ section. This should be the first place you land when you have issues. A good Help or FAQ section can often mean you don’t have to contact the site’s support team at all. This is also relevant to range and variety. The greater range of questions answered, the more successful the site is in this regard.
We then move onto the actual customer service options themselves. Common examples of contact methods include email, phone and live chat. Some other more modern examples include social media and even Skype. More is, of course, better. That said, some are more important than others. We still have no doubt that a live chat feature means more to the majority of you reading this than others.
There’s scope for improvement there too. Some live chat features are more helpful than others. On top of that, some are available for longer hours. A quality 24/7 live chat service remains the gold standard in our opinion.
You can tell a lot from the payment methods that a betting site offers. On a basic level, you can find out if a site is still worth your while. After all, all the games in the world don’t matter if you have no way of funding them.
There’s more to it than that though. Payment methods tell you the demographic of a betting site. That’s not just geographically – which we will get onto in a moment – but generally. For instance, some may be courting a cryptocurrency crowd. Others may keep tradition alive by incorporating high street betting stores. The latter is more common in sportsbooks but it does show that there’s more to see beneath the surface.
Of course, quality is vital here, as always. Only trustworthy payment methods are worth considering. Indeed, untrustworthy options could tell you a lot about the site’s character, and that could be one of those rare bookmaker instances where more is not always better. However, assuming all methods are of quality – not just in terms of their reputation but in fees, transaction times, etc – then the more the merrier.
Additional payment options can only mean that more people are able to use the betting site in the way they want. Whether that’s through credit card, debit card, prepaid cards, bank or wire transfers, popular e-wallets, such as PayPal, Skrill and Neteller, or cryptocurrencies, the more the merrier. That is why at PlayersBest, we always analyze the variety of payment methods, their reliability and their value to different types of players. As we said, more options can only be a positive.
We touched upon this in the last section but want to discuss it briefly here too. Payment methods can often reflect the geographics of a site. In other words, what people can use to fund their accounts is often based on their location.
However, we don’t view this as harshly as some other topics presented here. That’s because the geographical limitations are often beyond the control of the operator. They often have to do with laws and restrictions. A site being available in more locations is, of course, always better here. After all, you can’t enjoy a site no matter how good it is if you are blocked from accessing it. But we do like to keep in mind what is within a site’s control when making comparisons.
At one time, the inclusion of mobile betting was a huge novelty. Today, many people consider it a necessity for a site to even be considered by them. That is understandable, as you may only go online using a phone or tablet. If that is the case, mobile options are vital to your betting experience. Most sites nowadays do, to be fair, work on mobile. However, there’s a great deal of difference between the quality of one to another.
The most basic option is a site that just loads on a mobile browser. This means that it offers an experience that is not properly tailored to mobile devices. It is, therefore usually, subpar to the desktop version. While you could technically say it has the range to be available for mobile players, it is not to the optimal level.
The next step up would be a site dedicated to mobile. This means that you can choose a mobile version of a site, or it loads automatically on the right device. To be fair, many examples of this are excellent.
For me though, the dedicated mobile app done well is always best. It can simply provide a greater variety of mobile experience, including more interactivity, better design, the works. This is something we always look for when considering the range of experiences on offer.
While the focus here is on the casino, we still always make sure to look out for a sportsbook when checking out a betting site’s variety. Like we said at the beginning, betting sites can now do it all. They can travel to the moon and back in terms of content. That means that a lot of people are looking for exactly that. You may not just be on the lookout for a top casino but a top betting operator in general.
For this reason, we not only look for a sportsbook but what the sportsbook offers too. That’s right, everything you have read here pretty much applies to our sports betting analysis. We look out for the market variety and the sports available. We’re looking for valuable promotions and our customer service standards are just the same. Ditto for mobile quality, payment methods and geographics. The focus here is primarily the casino, but the standards for the sportsbook in terms of range are just as high.
Most casino sites also have some kind of poker and bingo offering, especially with the former. You’ll rarely find a casino without a single video poker game nowadays, and more and more sites have bingo games too. Why then have we singled these out and not put their consideration in-game variety with all the rest?
The reason for that is simple. These are games that a lot of people are especially passionate about. So passionate, in fact, that a lot of people choose sites solely dedicated to these games. More commonly, casino sites offer dedicated poker and bingo rooms. These generally go a lot further than the games you find on a standard casino selection. They have more in-depth tournaments and game variety for you to enjoy. For poker players, it can also mean a different standard of competition. In any case, it means more variety.