Dublin-based Paddy Power are easily one of our favourite bookmakers and any punter who likes a bet on horse racing – whether it be for fun or serious profit – should not be without an account.
have become famous for their tantalising refunds and offers at the Cheltenham Festival and punters have been eagerly anticipating an announcement on what this year's concession will be.
The fact that many people who've never had a bet on the horses in their life will have still heard of them is a testament to Paddy Power's often wacky (and sometimes controversial) advertising campaigns – their viral advert showing chavs being 'tranquilised' at the races is almost legendary! But putting all that aside, what really matters to us at CheltenhamFestival.net is their top notch horse racing product.
For starters, there's a £30 free bet waiting for all new customers and while that might not be the biggest bookmaker free bet out there, it's easy to qualify for – more on that below. Once you've registered you will see that they offer all the horse racing markets you'd expect, and a fair few more besides. Their odds are highly competitive too and you often find they are top or joint-top rated when scanning all the bookmakers for the best price available on your selection(s).
What really makes them one of the more punter-friendly bookies out there are their frequent money-back specials and enhanced place terms. We've lost count of the number of times we've had our stakes returned on horses that have finished second in the big race at the weekend, which goes a long way to ease the pain, and they frequently offer an extra place on big races like the Grand National.
You can get an amazing £30 free when you join Paddy Power today via this link.
Paddy Power have been established since 1988 and are currently Ireland’s largest bookmaker, not to mention one of the largest players in the UK. They are fast gaining a reputation for adding real fun to placing a bet, not to mention value with their notoriously early pay-outs to customers and the cashback specials that you may have seen advertised on television.
Although widely respected as a bookmaker, they have something of a controversial opinion within the betting industry due to a number of close-to-the-bone marketing campaigns and their tendency to pay out on outcomes before an event has even been settled. However, this has seen them grow in popularity and it’s refreshing to see a bookmaker stand out from the crowd.
Odds and markets
We've already mentioned their competitive odds and these come with a 'best price' guarantee, meaning you can take a price safe in the knowledge you will get paid out at the SP (starting price) if it's bigger. They price up all races too, although usually not until the morning of the race, unlike bet365 for example. The exception being for the big races when they are often first up ante post and frequently offer enhanced place terms. For example, one quarter the odds down to five places, instead of the usual four. That extra place can mean the difference between winning and losing!
For each individual race market, there are several interesting 'extras' unique to Paddy Power, including a 'Betting W/O' market, which effectively takes the favourite out of the equation, and a 'Place Only' market, which can be for either two, three or four places, depending on how many runners there are in the race.
There's also their popular 'Insurebet' markets, which again depend on the number of race runners, and gives punters the option to take a shorter price in return for having their stake retuned if their selection fails to win, providing it finishes in the designated number of places. Fed up of your horses falling? Take a price in their 'Faller Insurance' market which ensures you get your money back if your horse hits the deck. Can't make your mind what to bet on? Hit the 'Race Predictor' tab to launch a virtual running of the race with the outcome decided by Racing Post experts.
The Paddy Power website is quick, clean and easy-to-use. They have one of the easiest sign-up processes in the industry and finding your bet is a pretty straightforward process. The Irish firm provide humorous editorial to accompany many of their homepage-featured markets, while the theme continues with their entertaining customer emails. However, there’s some serious attention to detail when it comes to the structure of the website, which sees the sports listed in A-Z order in the left-hand menu, with some sports provided in Quick Links above this.Live betting
has a section of its own which can be accessed from the left-hand menu or the live matches that are advertised in the middle of the homepage. It’s a pretty decent offering which highlights odds in red when they are shortening and odds in blue when a team or player is on the drift. There is also a useful panel on the right-hand side which summarises the events that are live now and the ones that are taking place soon. In addition, there is live streaming of many sports available and a novel Last Man Standing competition on the Premier League.
The customer service at Paddy Power is excellent and gets full marks. They are totally transparent by illustrating their support response times on the site and have a 15 second response time for telephone, a 21 second response time for live chat and 36 minutes is the average time that the Irish firm take to respond to your query. Queries are always handled efficiently and the staff there are well-mannered and polite.