This site is all about keeping you informed when it comes to the various bookmakers that are currently in operation. Just because one has been around for years and is now a household name doesn’t necessarily mean that every knows what to expect from them. Paddy Power is a good example of what I’m talking about, being a bookie that’s perhaps one of the best-known by sports fans in terms of name recognition, but how many people know what sort of promotions they commonly offer or how good their coverage is?
Paddy Power is a bookmaker that has made its name with controversial markets, attention grabbing stunts and big payouts, but underneath all that is a company that knows what it’s doing in bringing scores of customers to its shores. On this page I’ll have a look at the sort of thing you can expect if you join up with them, as well as talk about which sport they cover best. I’ll also fill you in on Paddy Power’s history, looking at where the company started and some of those headline grabbing controversial moments.
Being the bookmaking equivalent of a shock-jock is all well and good, but if punters rock up to their shops or websites hoping for loads of different features and they don’t find them then they’ll quickly take their business elsewhere. That’s why the features offered are of such importance and why I tend to put them front and centre of my reviews.
The extent to which In-Play betting has taken over the industry cannot be understated. Some people might like to have the occasional flutter when it comes to big events like the FA Cup Final or the Grand National, but most punters who enjoy placing a bet like the fact that they can now do it whenever they fancy. No longer is betting about specific events as it might have been in the past, with the likelihood of you being able to find an event to bet on at three in the morning as high as at lunchtime on a Saturday. That’s why Paddy Power doesn’t mess about when it comes to their live betting platform.
Head to the sportsbook homepage and you’ll immediately see the most popular In-Play bets of the day, as well as tabs to the Next 5 Races and the Top 5 Bets that other people are placing. On the lefthand side of the page you’ll see a Quick Links menu that includes a shortcut to the In-Play betting section of the site. This is separated out into the various sports that are underway at the point you visit the page, with the ability to look at each one in more depth. Each sport will tell you how many events are underway at that moment, so if you want one with more options then it’s easy to see which one’s for you.
Dropdown menus are a feature of the Paddy Power website, so each individual match within the sport has their own. That’s useful for two reasons, the first of which is that you might want to bet on a specific event. Tennis might be the sport you want, but the WTA tournament in Mumbai might not interest you. Just close it off and you can skip past it really easily. Find the ITF in Valencia, which is the tournament you want to bet on, and click on the dropdown menu to reveal the matches that underway right then. You can add a simple bet, such as the winner of the match, to your betting slip simply by clicking on the odds, or you can see how many other bets are available to you within that match.
The company approaches betting options on each sport differently when it comes to live betting, so the number of options and the sort of markets you’ll be able to bet on will differ from one to another. In tennis, for example, you might have something like the winner of the next set or the correct score in the next game, whilst in football it could be about whether a goal will be scored in the next ten minutes or if both teams are going to score. Sufficed to say, Paddy Power are a match for any of their rivals when it comes to how many options there are for each sport they cover.
It’s hardly a surprise to learn that Paddy Power have an excellent Live Streaming service. Along the top of the homepage you’ll see a link that simply says ‘Watch Live’, taking you to their Live Sport Streaming Centre. Events are separated into what’s live now that you can watch and what’s coming up later in the day, meaning that it’s easy enough to find out if an event you fancy watching is going to be shown. You can expect to see the likes of snooker, badminton and some tennis matches, as well as football, rugby and American Ice Hockey here.
Some of you might be concerned that I haven’t mentioned horse racing there but you needn’t worry. They do indeed show live horse racing but you’ll find the links to those events on the page of the race itself rather than in the Live Sport Streaming Centre. You’ll need to place a bet on the race you want to watch, but when it comes to other sports you can view them for free on Paddy Power. All you have to do is have an account and be logged into it, at which point the stream will start up when you click on it. If you don’t want to watch things happen for some reason then you can enjoy a text or audio commentary on a different page.
Live Streaming and In-Play betting go hand-in-hand with each other, but they both work brilliant with the Cash Out function. After all, what’s the point in watching an event unfold in front of you if you can’t react to what’s happening and respond accordingly? Paddy Power will let you Cash Out your bet if you notice things going south, with the longer you hang on for resulting in you getting more and more money out of them.
As with pretty much all bookmakers, Paddy Power don’t give the Cash Out option on every single bet you’ll place, but you’ll find that a good chunk of them are covered by the offer. You can also Partially Cash Out your bet, if you think things are going sideways on your bet but you can’t be 100% sure. That feature will pay you out on a portion of your bet whilst letting the rest of it ride to the conclusion, or until you decide to Cash Out the remainder. It’s a brilliant feature that Paddy Power does really well.
Cash Card PPlus
Just a quick mention for Paddy Power’s Cash Card PPlus. This is essentially a MasterCard that you can apply for directly from the bookmaker, but there’s a bit of a twist to it that some of you will be interested in.
As soon as you’ve activated your card you can get instant access to your Paddy Power winnings, even being able to withdraw them from a standard high street cash machine. It’s just a little something that makes life a bit easier for Paddy Power customers, so I thought I’d let you know about it.
Football is one of the most bet on sports in the world, so it’s no surprise that Paddy Power have concentrated on making this market about as good as it can possible be. If you’ve ever watched a Premier League or European match on TV then you’ll almost certainly have seen a Paddy Power advert or two, which tells you everything you need to know about just how seriously they take their football coverage.
I’m writing this review at lunchtime on a chilly Friday afternoon in November. It’s not the sort of time that you’d expect to be able to bet on all that much football, with the major matches an leagues not kicking off for another twenty-four hours. Yet here I am looking at odds on a match between CS Performanta Ighiu and FC Unirea Dej in the third division of Romanian football. The first team might sound like a medical term for drugs that enhance how well you play and the second one might sound like a tract infection, but I promise you I haven’t made them up. That just gives you a really clear indication of how in-depth Paddy Power are willing to go with their coverage.
That’s just on the In-Play betting page, though. Click on the ‘Football Betting’ tab and you’ll be taken to a page that promises such a large amount of action that there’s a search function to help you find specific events. There’s a table in the middle of the page that is split up into numerous different tabs, including live matches, your selected matches and the top leagues like the Premier League and the Championship. You can find Quick Links at the top of the page to such sections as individual matches, outrights, specials and different teams.
My only criticism of Paddy Power’s football coverage is that it’s actually quite different to find something random. Other bookies will have a list of all the various divisions from around the world that you can bet on, but Paddy Power haven’t gone for that option. Instead you’ll need to have a really good idea of what you want to bet on, which spoils things for people like me that tend to place bets on something of a whim. If you want to find the full list of things then you’ll need to click on ‘Matches’ and then ‘View All Competitions’. You can do it, it’s just a bit fiddly.
Paddy Power are always excellent when it comes to their odds. They’re there or there abouts with the best in the business for their football coverage. You’re particularly in luck if you’re a Manchester United fan, with Paddy Power’s odds on the Red Devils better than most rival bookmakers, for reasons known only to themselves.
In terms of promotions, Paddy Power have you got covered in all sorts of ways when it comes to the football. There are obvious ones like football Acca Insurance, allowing you to lose one of your legs without losing the bet in its entirety. There are also the likes of the Paddy Power Rewards Club, that see punters receive free bets in exchange for placing a given number of wagers with the company.
Paddy Power declare themselves to be the ‘home of the money back special’, which is largely because they have a whole host of offers designed to appeal to customers that don’t want to lose money if they don’t have to. Perhaps their best football offer is their 2 Up You Win promotion. As the name suggests, your bet will be paid out in full if the side you’ve bet on to win the match takes a 2-0 lead at any point, irrespective of the final score. A decent one for Liverpool supporters, I’d imagine.
Paddy Power is an Irish bookmaker, with the Irish tending to love their horse racing. Little surprise, then, that their coverage of the Sport of Kings is exactly as good as you’d imagine.
A company’s sportsbook homepage can often tell you so much about how much stock they put in certain sports. On Paddy Power’s your eyes will likely be drawn to the mid-section of the page, where you’ll see ‘In-Play Betting’ sitting side-by-side with ‘Next 5 Races’, putting their horse racing coverage in prime position. Horse Racing is also the fifth option on the ‘Quick Links down the righthand side, directly beneath the various football options. Head to the main page and you’ll see exactly how seriously they take things, with coverage split up into different sections depending on geographical location.
You can simply look at the company’s most popular horse racing bets if you want to. Plenty of punters look for a bit more variety than that, however, and the won’t be disappointed when they see the likes of Europe, USA, Australia and South America all getting their own pages. If you want more than just the odds on races then don’t worry, Paddy Power have got you covered there too. Along the top of the Horse Racing page you’ll find links to Tips, the Tote, Future Racing and even a Quick Pick function that does the hard work for you. I’d be reluctant to say that they cover absolutely every horse race you could want to bet on, but I’d be amazed if you struggled to find what you were looking for.
As with the football, Paddy Power’s odds on horse racing are as competitive as you’d expect from such a well-known bookie. They’ve got the best odds on a few horses in most races, whilst the rest are solid enough to mean that you’re unlikely to turn elsewhere for your betting needs. I have to say that they’re not the best bookie I’ve ever come across in terms of consistency, but their prices are rarely so short that I think I should be placing my bets with someone else.
It’s a reflection of how much Paddy Power value horse racing bettors that they’ve got so many brilliant promotions on the sport. The Rewards Club mentioned before can apply to horse races just as much as football matches, so if you’re the sort of person that likes to place a number of bets on the gee-gees then this is one of the main companies to consider doing just that with. They also do their best to match their rivals in terms of standard offers such as Best Odds Guaranteed and the like.
Where they’ll likely catch your interest, though, is in the Money Back Specials that they offer on horse racing bets. If your horse finishes in the places for selected races and the Starting Price favourite wins the race, for example, then you’ll get your money back as a free bet. They’ll also run season specific promotions, such as money back if your horse is beaten by a head in the Flat Racing season, or money back if your horse unseats its rider during the National Hunt calendar. Keep your eyes peeled for regular promotions coming into play, like being paid out on extra places for the big races.
Paddy Power know that not every punter out there wants to be betting on football and horse racing, so they’ve expanded their sportsbook in an impressive fashion as the years have rolled by. Obviously the likes of rugby, cricket and tennis are covered, but then you’d expect that anyway from one of the biggest bookies in the industry. Some of the lesser known sports that they cover include the following:
- Show Jumping
- Motor Racing
If you want to place a bet on something that you readily acknowledge is a little off the beaten track and are struggling to find odds elsewhere then you’d be silly not to look at Paddy Power’s list of sports. They also specialise in Novelty Bets, so a flutter on the likes of the X-Factor, Strictly Come Dancing or what will be the Christmas Number One might well tempt you.
That’s also where some of the company’s more controversial moments have come from, however, with odds on such events as Barack Obama being assassinated or the odds on if and and when Trump will be impeached. Others include the first species to be made extinct after an oil spill or Father Ted becoming the next Pope!
One of the only disappointing aspects of Paddy Power’s coverage of other sports is how rarely there are decent offers on them. They tend to be more seasonal than regular, so you’ll find promotions on golf when the British Open is on, say, or cricket offers when it’s the Ashes. You will find certain promotions that will tickle your fancy, such as your bet being paid out if the NFL team you’ve bet on goes 14 up during a match or getting a free bet if the tennis player you’ve bet on retires after the first set, it’s just that they’re much more rare than football or horse racing offers.
High Street Betting Shops
When Paddy Power was formed back in 1988 it was created by the merger of three different companies, which resulted in the new business having forty shops to its name before a single penny had even been wagered. That’s more than smaller companies ever have, so it’s not exactly a shock to discover that they’re one of the biggest bookmaking chains in Ireland. In fact, by August of 2017 the company had amassed a 30% share of the Irish retail market thanks to its 264 stores in the Republic of Ireland.
In the grand scheme of things it’s entirely fair to say that Paddy Power are merely a drop in the ocean in terms of how many betting shops the company owns. There are just shy of 9,000 betting shops in the United Kingdom at the time of writing, with Ladbrokes owning the lion’s share of these with about 2,400 to their name. William Hill boast a similar number, with Coral completing the list of the ‘Big Three’ bookie thank to their 1,400 shops, give or take. The waters were slightly muddled in 2016 when Ladbrokes and Coral merged to create the country’s biggest bookmaking firm, needing to sell of about four hundred shops. They’re still run as separate companies, though, so I’m happy to talk about them as such.
Paddy Power doesn’t boast even close a similar number of shops as any of these three, with around 350 shops to the company’s name as of April 2017. The 2016 merger of the Dublin-based company with online bookmaker Betfair meant that they combined Paddy Power Betfair became one of the largest bookies on the internet, though it didn’t increase the number of high street shops that they had to their name as Betfair was purely an online entity. They won’t be too bothered about that, however, given that Paddy Power was one of the first bookmakers to understand the power of betting online and via mobile devices.
About Paddy Power
Paddy Power are a genuine behemoth of a bookmaker. The company was formed in Dublin in 1988 when three Irish bookies named Stewart Kenny, John Corcoran and David Power merged their forty shops to create one new business. David was the son of Richard Power, a well-known name in Irish betting circles. It was therefore decided that Power was probably the best name to go with for the new company, given that it was the one that the majority of punters will have heard of. The decision to add ‘Paddy’ to it was simply enough for a group of blokes from the Emerald Isle, as was the decision to choose green as the brand’s colour.
The new company grew and grew, thanks in no small part to the decision to employ an aggressive expansion strategy. By 2001 they owned 33% of the off-course bookmakers in Ireland, up from 8% when the company was formed. They made strong moves into the UK after the turn of the millennium, continuing to strengthen in an incredibly competitive market. In 2015 an agreement was reached with Betfair to merge the two businesses together to create a new company named Paddy Power Betfair. That move was officially completed on the 2nd of February 2016. It’s fair to say that the new company is a force to be reckoned with in the bookmaking world.