Paddy Power and William Hill are two of the biggest brands in sports betting.
William Hill is one of the oldest bookmakers in the UK and one of the most recognizable international betting brands. Meanwhile, Paddy Power is a relative newcomer to the sports betting scene.
Both bookies deliver a good betting experience, ranging from feature packed websites, specials offers and in-depth coverage of a large number of sports.
This can make it tough to choose between the two bookies if you're new to sports betting and haven't dived into what both bookies have to offer.
In this article we explain why we think William Hill is the better bet if you're new to sports betting. While Paddy Power has a clear edge in some departments, William Hill delivers a much better betting experience in some critical areas.
Keep reading to find out how William Hill and Paddy Power stack up in key areas of the online sports betting experience.
While William Hill is fast approaching its centenary, Paddy Power started its operations in 1988 when three major Irish bookies merged their operations.
Despite an aggressive growth strategy by Paddy Power, William Hill continues to dominate in the UK high street betting shops department.
It has been online that Paddy Power has challenged the dominance of William Hill and other major British bookmakers, thanks to its emphasis on special offers, strong marketing and irreverent humour.
Both bookies are licensed to offer their services in countries across the globe, and Paddy Power has been growing steadily, recently merging its operations with Betfair, the world's most popular betting exchange.
Paddy Power and William Hill both cover around 30 sporting codes on their websites.
William Hill slightly edges Paddy Power when it comes to number of sporting codes covered, with additional sports covered including handball, futsal and water polo.
When it comes to depth of sports coverage, you'll find the two bookies vary sport by sport. However, Paddy covers more locations and tournaments than William Hill for major sports like Football.
With William Hill covering more sports than Paddy Power and the latter providing on average more depth for high profile sports; this round of the Paddy Power vs William Hill comparison ends in a tie.
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How many markets are offered on events is always going to differ depending on both the sport covered and the bookie you're looking at.
As a novice punter, having additional markets available for fringe sports or events isn't going to have a big influence on your betting experience, so we'll focus on the major sports here.
When it comes to football William Hill tends, on average, to offer more slightly more substantial market coverage than Paddy Power, particularly when it comes to handicap markets.
When it comes to horse racing there's little to choose between the two with the same staple markets on offer, and slightly different emphasis on special markets.
All told there's not much separating Paddy Power and William Hill in terms of available markets, and certainly not enough to score the bookies differently in this department.
PP: 9 WH: 9
If you're serious about sports betting you need to get the best odds as often as possible. This will ensure that you get the highest possible returns when your bets win.
All bookies charge an overround, which you can think of as their 'cut' of every winning bet. The overround shrinks odds so that they effectively understate he probability of the selection winning.
The higher the overround on a selection, the lower the odds on offer will be, and the lower the payout on winning bets. Differences between the overrounds of two bookies can therefore have a big impact on how much you win at a bookie over the long term.
To get an idea of the overrounds of William Hill and Paddy Power we calculated the overround for a selection of future match betting markets for the FIFA World Cup.
For the first 20 matches of the tournament William Hill averaged an overround 5.92%, which is within the normal range for bookie overrounds. By contrast for 15 of these matches that Paddy Power was offering odds on the overround was a whopping 13.77%.
This means Paddy Power takes almost double the cut William Hill takes on these matches and deducts an unusually high overround by any standards. Which means William Hill wins this round easily.
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The best way to assess the relative merits of the Paddy Power and William Hill apps is to gauge the reactions of large numbers of users on these apps.
- Apple App Store: 4,6 stars 100,000+ ratings
- Google Play: 4.4 stars 20,000 + ratings
- Apple App Store: 4,7 stars 150,000+ ratings
- Google Play: 4.5 stars 24,000 + ratings
When it comes to user ratings for its betting app Paddy Power slightly outperforms William Hill on both Android devices and iOS devices.
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Offers & Promotions
Paddy Power has pushed online special offers and promotions harder than any of its competitors, and the brand is now renowned for offering extra value to its customers, particularly with money-back specials.
You'll benefit from some pretty amazing specials at Paddy Power, with these updated on virtually a daily basis. Racing specials in particular place Paddy ahead of the chasing pack.
With that said, William Hill has worked hard to provide extra value to its punters, and currently offers regular place specials on racing and other big events, and various odds or payout boosters on ACCAs.
While William Hill's selection of special offers and promotions is more than adequate, Paddy Power is still the bookie to go to if you're looking for betting specials on major sports events and racing in particular.
No punter wants to run into issues when depositing funds into their bookie account. Being unable to use a specific payment option can easily be a deal-breaker when choosing bookies.
William Hill makes it very easy to deposit into your account, with over 40 payment options including Mastercard, VISA, Maestro debit cards and online payment portals including PayPal, Skrill and Neteller.
Most of these payment options will be cleared instantly by William Hill, excepting bank, cheque and Western Union payments.
Paddy Power also covers the major payment providers, with VISA and Mastercard, PayPal, Neteller and Skrill all available, along with rapid bank transfers, cash card payments and Paysafecard payments
Importantly William Hill makes it much easier to quickly find out whether or not your payment option is accepted, and what processing times and limits apply, without having to first open an account.
This, combined with a larger selection of payment methods makes William Hill the better option if you have concerns about payment options, clearance times and deposit limits.
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License & Security
Both William Hill and Paddy Power are licensed to operate by major international regulatory bodies.
William Hill's UK-based activities are licensed by the UK's Gambling Commission while its international activities are licensed by the government of Gibraltar.
Paddy Power is licensed and regulated by the Malta Gaming Authority
With double the exposure to regulatory bodies, William Hill is subjected to more scrutiny of its activities, which may be reassuring for punters who want to ensure their bookmaker adheres to fair gaming practices and business ethics.
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Both William Hill and Paddy Power offer a variety of live betting markets to their users, as you would expect from top bookies.
William Hill tends to place more emphasis on these markets than its rival, however, with live markets prominently featured on the home page.
William Hill also offers live betting coverage of a wider selection of sports than Paddy Power, reflecting its broader general cover of different sporting codes.
With similar coverage of major sports, it's the attention given to more fringe sports that edge this one for William Hill.
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Live streaming is something that tends to separate the major bookmakers from the pretenders, and both William Hill and Paddy Power deliver in this department.
William Hill's WHTV is probably the best-known bookie live streaming channel, offering logged in customers access to live horseracing, greyhound racing, football, tennis, basketball and more.
Meanwhile, Paddy Power offers live streaming of mobile in-play events including football, tennis and golf.
Given that both bookies will give you live stream access for just signing up, and that both cover major sporting events, there's no reason to pick one over the other when it comes to live streams.
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The comparison between William Hill and Paddy Power gets particularly interesting when it comes to special features, as both bookies are major innovators in the industry.
William Hill is not averse to trying new things, which includes its now defunct tipster community, the #your odds request service and daily bonus drop amongst others.
Paddy Power is no different, with its most recent innovation coming in the form of its Fantasy leagues where you can pick fantasy teams for NFL, football, NBA and golf at any point in the season.
Which bookie's approach to innovation will appeal to you most will be up to your specific tastes and preferences. With both delivering in this department this round is a tie.
PP: 9 WH: 9
If there is one department where Paddy Power beats William Hill hands down, it is the usability of its website and betting markets.
Paddy Power makes it super-simple to drill down to sports, events and markets that interest you. It is also very easy to get an overview of what is available in terms of markets for any given sport.
By contrast finding sports events, tournaments and markets on William Hill can be a headache, which means you won't always find what you're looking for - even if William Hill has it.
That's not to say you won't know what to do or where to go when you're on William Hill. However, as a new punter you'll probably prefer browsing a website that makes it very easy for you to find what you're after.
PP:9 WH: 7
As a new user you're going to want your bookie to be responsive if you run into problems with account setup, deposits or withdrawals.
William Hill and Paddy Power both offer live chat to their customers, which is the gold standard for responsive, accessible customer service.
To rate the quality of customer service, we looked at Trustpilot, where customers tend to go and vent when they have problems with an online brand.
William Hill has a Trustpilot rating of 2.9. This casts a long shadow over Paddy Power's rating of 1.3 with over 70% of Paddy Power's respondents submitting negative reviews.
To make matters worse, Paddy Power has responded to none of its negative reviews on Trustpilot, which compounds the negative signal sent from this platform.
That makes this round a rout in favour of William Hill, which not only offers responsive customer service, but a rating that is excellent by Trustpilot standards.
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The casinos offered by online bookies are effectively outsourced to 3rd party software providers that determine the game selection, designs and more.
Both Paddy Power and William Hill run Playtech casino software. This means the game selection and gaming experience will be excellent, and largely identical, for both bookies.
The two bookies also share pooled jackpots with other betting providers on the Playtech network, which means that popular slots and games will carry the same substantial jackpots.
There's therefore nothing to separate William Hill and Paddy Power when it comes to casino offerings, and they both score highly thanks to the quality of Playtech's casino software.
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Major bookies do not tend to operate their own poker rooms, instead preferring to refer their players to shared networks where more players, games and bigger prizes are available.
This is the case for both Paddy Power and William Hill, who are both part of the iPoker network, one of the largest online poker networks in the world.
The iPoker network is operated by Playtech, who also supply the software used to run poker games on the network.
With both bookies outsourcing their poker department to Playtech, there's nothing to separate the two when it comes to their online poker service.
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As is the case with casino and poker games, major bookies rarely take on the hassle of running their own bingo communities or software.
Instead, this is outsourced to 3rd party software providers including (you guessed it) Playtech.
Both Paddy Power and William Hill are signed up to the full Playtech bundle, which means both use Playtech bingo software and both refer players to the large bingo player pool operated by Playtech.
This has significant benefits for both bookies as their bingo players can access more games more often, and benefit from the big jackpots generated by the large player pool.
So, if you're in need of a bingo fix, both Paddy Power and William Hill will more than deliver, and you can flip a coin to decide which one to go with.
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Casino games offered outside the casino portal at William Hill and Paddy Power run off the same Playtech software used to power the main casino.
With both bookies outsourcing their casino games to Playtech, this means you're in for a Playtech casino experience irrespective of which bookie you go with for Vegas/games betting.
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William Hill and Paddy Power are of similar strength in many areas we considered for this comparison, and Paddy Power's excellent specials and great app and website were highlights for the Irish brand as it scored a respectable 133 points in our evaluation.
However, William Hill emerged as a clear winner on 141 points. More importantly, William Hill is much stronger in parts of the betting experience that will really impact you in the long run.
- offering a significantly lower overround than Paddy Power on sampled football match markets, which translates into bigger profits for William Hill punters when they win
- scoring significantly higher on Trustpilot than Paddy Power, indicating superior customer support and business ethics.
There's therefore no doubt that William Hill is the option to go with if you're weighing a choice between the two. While Paddy Power does offer some fantastic money back specials, this extra value seems to be subsidized by the lower odds on offer - which will have a far bigger impact on your long-term profits. So, if you're serious about sports betting, sign up with William Hill.
Open an account with William Hill now