Around about the middle of last year I started off an experiment to try and see if using a bookmakers account was workable for your average stakes, winning punter.
So I opened a Bet365 account and deposited £200, in return they gave me a free £200 bonus. So far so good.
In order to keep my bonus I did have to turn over my £200 within 90 days and as I was betting with £10 stakes I had to make 20 bets in 90 days.
There is a lot of talk about bookies and especially Bet 365 restricting accounts for anybody that wins and probably that is the case if you are betting big stakes. But I think that when you are first starting out that bookmakers can be better than Betfair. Especially if you are betting favourites where the Betfair prices aren't much better than bookmakers SP and early prices will often beat Betfair SP.
And of course Betfair will take 5% commission on your winnings if you are a small stakes bettor.
So let's look at the advantages.
Bonuses. Bet365 will give a £200 matched deposit bonus, they have also sent me a couple of bonuses along the way, just £5 bets but I've had two of those in the last 6 months. A bonus like this can be a big help when you are starting out and will double your starting bank if you are starting with £200 or less.
Best Odds Guarantees. With a BOG bookmaker you can take the morning price and if the horse drifts and SP is bigger your bet will be settled at SP. If the horse shortens then you have the early price.
First past the post payouts. Bet 365 will pay out on the first past the post horse even if it is disqualified in a stewards enquiry. They will also pay out on the official winner if the stewards change the result.
No commission deducted.
Restricted accounts? The account I opened has been used to follow one particular tipster with £10 stakes, the balance now sits at just over £1,000 with no restrictions yet. If they do restrict this account then I'll just move the balance elsewhere, until then I'll enjoy the benefits.
The Bet365 sign up bonus is not currently available
Taunton 3.10 Tornado in Milan – each way bet – 5/1 Will Hill