A Complete Review of the Paddy Power Online Sportsbook

Paddy Power is another bookmaker with a huge offline presence. Along with operating Ireland’s largest telephone betting service, the bookie has almost 600 shops across the UK and Ireland. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last ten years, I’m sure you’ll have heard of its online platform too, through its rather unique marketing and advertising strategy. Reviewing bookmakers of this size is no small undertaking, so to make things a little more digestible, we’ve split the reviews into different categories below. But even that’s not enough to cover everything. Head to the relevant section on the website for the in-depth reviews of Paddy Power’s mobile app, bonuses and live betting.

Our Rating of Paddy Power
  • Betting Options:around 26,000
  • Sports Markets:over 35
  • Odds Level:up to 96%
  • Licensed By:UK Gambling Commission
Our Overall Rating75/100Good Operator •

Launched in 2000, the online platform has encapsulated the bookie’s philosophy of innovation and fairness to customers, through practically inventing the money back special and offering refunds to losing bets that the bookmaker deemed were lost unjustly. This unique approach has brought great success, with over 1 million regular customers enjoying the fun and laid-back experience of betting with Paddy Power.

All Betting Options in Detail 8

With over 35 sports to choose from, the selection of sports markets here is among the largest available. Along with this, Paddy Power has made a habit of offering interesting and often controversial bets that you won’t find anywhere else. This has got the bookmaker in hot water plenty of times, but at the end of the day, it’s all good fun. The bottom line is that whatever market you’re after, Paddy will almost certainly have you covered.

Sports Markets and Betting Types

As an Irish bookmaker, Paddy Power obviously caters to horse racing fans well. Horse-races from across the globe are featured here and can be handily ordered and sorted based on the event, surface type or by date. There are also close to 100 football competitions to choose from, which is a decent level of coverage from international and domestic fixtures, but is noticeably lagging behind the number of leagues offered by some other operators.

This aside, the betting options for the major sports markets are wide and varied. A typical Premier League football fixture will have around 60 categories of bets, which makes the amount of individual bets available well into the hundreds. All other major sports are also well supplied, with tennis, cricket and horse racing covered as good as anywhere else. Things become a little more inconsistent in-play however. It is of course normal for smaller fixtures to have less in-play betting options, though at times there are very few bets available on smaller in-play events. Some sports fare better than others here, with football generally having an acceptable level of in-play bets, but tennis suffers particularly. However, this is fairly normal across the major sports betting sites as it’s difficult to accommodate some of the smaller fixtures and markets and the bookie can’t be condemned too harshly for this. One further note is that though Asian handicap betting is offered, the fixtures it is available on are very limited.

The Most Popular Markets at Paddy Power
Football (92) Horse racing (82) Tennis (39) Greyhounds (25) Cricket (20)
Premier League Cheltenham Festival US Open English Greyhound Derby International Twenty20
Bundesliga Melbourne Cup French Open Peter Bussey Memorial Pakistan Super League
Capital One Cup Kentucky Derby Wimbledon Irish Greyhound Derby The Ashes
FA Cup Grand National ATP Rio Open Golden Jacket Indian Premier League
Serie A Epsom Oaks Davis Cup Belle Vue County Championship
English Championship UAE Derby Switzerland Futures Best Car Parks Gold Cup Test Matches

I’ve criticised a few bookies for poor design when it comes to displaying betting options and Paddy is definitely guilty of this. With bets that have large outcomes such as correct score markets, all the possible outcomes are listed, which means the page becomes unnecessarily long. I’m sure there are better ways of displaying these bet types, such as a sliding scale, as utilised for the huge range of betting options at Bet365. But this is a small issue; bet types can be accessed by the quick link tabs at the top and betting options can be completely hidden by minimising the tab of the type of bet they fall under. There’s also a useful search function for bets so you can quickly find what you’re looking for.

Being the king of unusual and controversial bets, I expected to see a few more original bets available for the popular sports markets from this bookmaker. In the specials options there are bets like time intervals for goals scored or if a penalty will be scored or missed. Things pick up a bit when it comes to outright betting specials. There are team, transfer and manager specials, plus a load more available for football for example.

In-Play Betting & Live Streaming

Paddy Power was a little late to the game in introducing a cash out function. It has for the most part caught up and is attending to increasing the number of markets and events available for cash out, which has in the past been a little limited.

Multiple Betting Options

I like the system betting capabilities here. All the multiple betting options available based on the selections added to the bet slip will show up automatically, along with the amount of combinations possible for that bet type, once selections are added. You’ll be prompted if any of the selections aren’t possible with multiple bets and asked to accept the recalculated odds. In terms of multiple betting options, there are tons. Heinz, super heinz, lucky 15, 31 and 63, patents, yankee, super yankee or canadian and goliath bets are all present and correct. For betting on horses and greyhounds, there’s also tri-cast and forecast betting available as standard or combined. For long shot accumulator chasers, you can pick up to 20 selections per accumulator.

Goliath bets offer the most selections to be combined with 8, but it’s also possible to continue combining up to 20 selections as doubles. My one gripe here is not so much with the multiple betting options, but more with the bet slip. The bet slip opens in a new window once selections are added, which in my opinion is sub-optimal, especially when trying to keep track of multiple bets or betting in-play.

Bet & Win Limits

Like with most of the bookies reviewed here, the maximum amount that can be won within a 24hour period is determined by which sport is being bet upon. At £1,000,000, the limit for football and horse racing is the largest. For tennis, a maximum of £200,000 can be won. The minimum stake is fairly low at 8p, which makes Paddy particularly accommodating to small stakes players, but the win limits are significantly lower than leaders William Hill and Bet365 here.

Competitive Odds Levels8

Despite having such a great range of markets and bets to choose from, the quality of the pre-match odds here lay towards the lower end of all the reviewed sports betting sites. It’s not that they are not competitive, but there are others out there offering higher odds for all the popular markets. Mostly, the odds are competitive enough where it counts. Football, tennis, snooker, cricket and boxing are all popular betting markets in the UK and the odds for those sports are quite strong. However, horse racing – an extremely popular betting market – is not granted anywhere near as competitive odds. Take a look at the table below for the full rundown.

Odds Levels for the Largest Sports Markets
  • .
  • Basketball92.4 - 95.9%
  • Cricket93.2 - 94.7%
  • Football90.5 - 94.2%
  • Snooker91.5 - 93.7%
  • Tennis92.1 - 93.6%
  • Boxing89.6 - 93.5%
  • Darts91.8 - 92.9%
  • Ice Hockey88.0 - 90.3%
  • Horse racing79.0 - 86.9%
  • ..
  • .....
  • Return to Player(%)

As a bookie that has been so public about how much value it places on offering a great service to punters, I was a little surprised at the results of the tests of the odds levels here. Especially for horse racing, where Paddy started its trade and is extremely active in promoting, the odds here rank among the lower echelons of our reviewed bookies. Granted, the odds across the board are not bad, but the bookmaker is up against some hot competition.

The Online Platform 8

Unsurprisingly for Ireland’s biggest bookmaker, the colour scheme here is a mix of green and white, which gives everything a light feel and is very easy on the eyes. The front page reflects this effect; far from symbolising Paddy’s crazy image, everything is neatly and logically arranged and things don’t feel cramped despite only the centre of the screen being employed. In terms of navigation around the platform, it’s as easy here as any other online platform I’ve encountered. An A-Z listing of the sports markets is on the left side of the screen, while popular markets, in-play and cash out sections can be reached via a useful quick links section that is also on the left side. In the centre of the screen, underneath a banner advertising the bookie’s latest offers, you’ll find a selection of current and upcoming in-play events, on popular markets like football, horse racing and tennis. In-play action is given further attention on the right of the screen, where you can view current events, or select the full schedule from a drop down menu. The fixtures are listed by sport and can be directly accessed from this menu, which makes navigation to specific features even quicker and easier.

Everything else of importance is given similar space and attention. All account information, along with a quick deposit link, can be accessed from the top of the screen, along with links to other sections, such as the help and FAQ section. There are some great features on this platform that are mostly available elsewhere, but are not displayed so prominently and can therefore be difficult to find. The front page has links to a form guide, calculator and also to the bookie’s blog, which is both an informative and hilarious read. These features can be very useful for horse racing and cements the bookie’s claim to be a solid choice for horse racing fans.

Moving into in-play fixtures, things remain crystal clear. I particularly like that the odds are displayed a little larger than usual here, with a yellow background box providing further clarity. Any markets that are available for cash out are highlighted by a cash symbol next to the bet type, which is a nice touch and prevents confusion further down the line. Confirmed bets that are available for cash out will appear on the right hand side of the screen, so you can keep an eye on things as they play out.

This doesn’t apply to the bet slip as a whole however and this is perhaps my biggest gripe with the functionality of this platform. Whether you’re adding selections in-play or pre-match, the bet slip appears in a separate pop up window. This is not a huge issue, but it is slightly annoying and I’m sure the platform could be optimised to display the slip on the main page, as there is certainly enough space. The bet slip inevitably pops up in inconvenient places; blocking bet types or obscuring the in-play infographic, for example. It also makes it more of a hassle to keep tabs on your existing selections while making further selections, as you’re required to re-open the bet slip should you want to view it before making a further selection. Again, this is not a huge issue and some may in-fact prefer this functionality in a bet slip, but I find it inconvenient and there’s a reason why most online platforms have a fully integrated bet slip these days.

How to Place a Bet

Aside from my minor qualms with the bet slip, placing a bet here is as smooth as anywhere else. You can find your selections by either navigating to the relevant sport, league or tournament, or if they are listed on the in-play and upcoming highlights sections on the front page. The first step is to add the selection or selections to the bet slip. Simply click on the odds box of the bet of choice and the bet slip containing the selection will automatically pop up in a new window. Simply repeat this process to continue adding selections or head to the bet slip to complete step two.

The bet slip will display all the selections, together with their odds and any multiple betting options available, should there be more than one selection added. There’s an empty box next to each selection, so go along and enter the stake for the selection in here to complete step two. For multiple bets, simply do the same, but enter the stake next to the multiple bet of choice, rather than the box next to the selection. The stake and potential returns will be listed in bold toward the bottom of the slip, so after you’ve checked the amount is correct and are happy with the potential returns, it’s time to confirm the bet. To do this, hit the big blue box that reads bet now. Once bets are made, they can be viewed in the live bets box that will be ever present on the right side of the screen. Here you can keep tabs on any live bets that are available for cash out.

Important Information About the Company

Paddy Power has a bit of a reputation as the bad boy of betting, having had numerous adverts pulled from the airwaves and getting in trouble for some of the more risqué novelty bets it has offered. Thankfully, the bookmaker’s carefree attitude towards advertising does not apply to its approach towards security of the site and licensing and regulation.

The History of Paddy Power

Formed in 1988 after a merger between three Irish bookmakers, Paddy Power has taken the sports betting world by storm. It now employs more than 5000 people who serve over 1 million customers. The bookie has a strong roster of partnerships, such as being the official betting partner of Arsenal FC. More personal sponsorships and stunts have brought the bookie international notoriety. One particularly amusing example was Danish football star Nicklas Bendtner celebrating a goal in 2012 by showing his Paddy Power underwear, much to the dismay of the official sponsor of Denmark’s national team, Ladbrokes. Things are set to get even bigger in the near future; in February, Paddy Power signed a merger agreement with Betfair and the combined entity – Paddy Power Betfair – will be an even bigger force to be reckoned with.

All About the Paddy Power Business
Company Support Security Player Protection
Name:Paddy Power plc Live Chat:24/7 Encryption:Thawte, 128bit Deposit Limits:adjustable
Head Office:Belfield Office Park, Beaver Row, Clonskeagh, Dublin 4, Ireland Phone:08000 565 275 Licence:000-038939-R-319306-001 Betting Limits:available
CEO:Andy McCue Email: support@paddypower.com Testing Agency:European Sports Security Association (ESSA) Self Exclusion:available
Employees:over 5000 Fax:n/a Audit Organisation:Independent Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS) Child Protection:guaranteed
Registered Players:over 1 million Other:n/a Anti Money Laundering Controls:KYC Partner Organisations:Gamble Aware, Problem Gambling Support, Gamblers Anonymous

Customer Service 7

The customer service is a bit of a mixed bag with this bookmaker. For the most part, those I spoke to were generally helpful and polite, but there were a few less enjoyable occasions. Overall the level of service is good, but that’s once I had managed to get through to an operator. To be honest, the waiting times I experienced here were some of the longest I’ve had with any online bookmaker. On a few occasions, the representative I was speaking to couldn’t answer a question and redirected me to a representative that could, which meant even more waiting for a new operator to respond.

Licensing & Security 8

Paddy Power states that all transactions made at the bookie can be made in total confidence. There’s really no reason at all to doubt this. The online platform is encrypted by 128bit protection from Thawte, so all data sent to and from the site is encrypted and protected. All personal data sent by customers is stored on a secure server that is not connected to the internet and protected by a firewall. This provides superb protection against any attackers attempting to steal the personal or financial information of those registered with the site.

Like many of the bookies reviewed here, Paddy is a member of both the European Sports and Security Association (ESSA) and the Independent Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS). For a punter, seeing the logos of these organisations on bookmakers’ websites can be taken as a sign that the bookie is committed to fair and transparent gambling processes, as well as an extra level of insurance and assistance should you ever have any personal issue with an online operator. The ESSA for example, work towards preventing corruption and bad practice in the sports betting world, while the IBAS offer a dispute resolution platform and fair bet processing, among many other things.

Paddy Power’s headquarters remain in Dublin, Ireland to this day. In regards to licensing, the bookmaker is licensed and regulated by the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission and The UK Gambling Commission for punters located in Great Britain. Perhaps a little surprisingly, Paddy Power seems to take its social responsibilities more seriously than most other operators. On the bookie’s business website, there’s a huge section dedicated to its responsibilities not just in helping with responsible gambling, but in engaging with communities and other groups with integrity and fairness. This is another area where it’s nice to say that although the bookie has a bad boy public image, it is deadly serious in the areas that matter.

A Lot of Bonus Points7

And now onto those extra features which really can make a huge difference to a punter’s experience at an online bookmaker. First up are the live-streaming options. I’ve flagged up in-play betting as a small weakness of this bookie and the live-streaming options here do help things out a little. There are around 30 sporting options a day available to be streamed from around the world, with excellent horse racing coverage on top. While the range is not the biggest, the bookie picks up points due to the fact that the events (other than horse racing) are free to stream for those logged into the online platform. With a number of key betting partnerships and the sponsor of numerous horse racing events, the bookie does well in the sponsorship round too.

Recognition for the operator’s achievements is up next. If this section was about times the bookmaker had gotten in trouble with regulating bodies across different industries, then it would stroll to victory. It is however about awards won for its sportsbook operation and the bookie doesn’t fare quite as well in this area. Despite winning a number of awards, they are mostly in marketing and social media categories, rather than the all-important sports betting and operator of the year categories, which have been won by a number of the competitors here. Next up are extra markets. I think it’s fair to say Paddy Power is king here. It offers betting on politics and financial markets, but always has its own unique take on the standard betting options available. There has been way too many unique novelty bets to mention over the years, so I’m sure you’ll agree that full marks are definitely deserved here.

Last but not least are the bonuses. Aside from a decent sign-up bonus, there are a range of other offers and promotions, both regular and specials. This bookie is definitely a leader when it comes to the number of offers available. On the bookie’s promotions page there is an archive of past specials and paid out specials. You only need to take one look at either to see that full marks are well earned here. There’s also the last man standing competition, which offers punters the chance to win £1000.

Conclusion – An Enjoyable Betting Experience

There are so many positives to betting here. Partial cash out, unique specials and great offers are things you won’t find at many other bookies, while on the whole, the odds, bet types and welcome offer are competitive. The number of sports available rivals even Bet365, while the amount of betting options is in a similar ballpark.

Strengths and Weaknesses of Paddy Power
  • Major Strengths
  • great bet and market coverage
  • Major Weaknesses
  • none
  • Minor Strengths
  • variety of offers & specials
  • top online platform
  • Minor Weaknesses
  • relatively limited cash out markets

However, the pull of these attractions, especially to serious players, is impaired a little by some minor flaws in other areas. A slightly lower amount of cash out markets and specialty bets – for example Asian handicap – only being available on very few fixtures, are two examples. Paddy Power always feels like an operator who is on the move and they’ve shown this constantly through updating and improving features. While they’ve been a little slow to catch up in some areas, in others, such as with money back specials, they set the trends. A good all-round performance that has unfortunately been let down in a few areas, but with a little polishing up, it could be one of the best around.

FAQ

How can I change my payment method?

First head to the ‘my account’ section, then to the deposit section and click on change payment method. If you’re wanting to change card details, then you can add the new card as a new payment type. Note that your balance and outstanding bets must total less than £200 before you can change a payment method.