For this list, we have searched and tested several spread betting platforms that are operating in the United Kingdom.

We opened real accounts and deposited between $4,000 and $8,000 with each of the brokers. We placed real trades in each popular market to get the real spreads.

We also reached out to customer support to solve issues that we hd encountered. Finally, we withdrew our funds to see if there is any issue with the withdrawal process.

We handpick the best spread betting platform based on our trading data and experience as a trader.

What is a Spread Betting?

Spread betting is a derivative product that allows traders to speculate on the price movement of any financial instrument, let it be forex, stocks, indices or commodities.

Similar to any other derivative product, traders do not own the underlying asset of spread betting. They only place bets on whether the price of the underlying asset will go up or down and profit from that.

Financial spread betting was first introduced by the London-based IG Index (a subsidiary of the IG Group) in 1974. In fact, it remains very similar to the original spread betting used in sports.

Spread betting is leveraged trading, meaning traders can take big positions with only a percentage of margin deposits to maximize their profits, but the higher the leverage, the higher the risk.

Spread betting is not legal in most countries, but is very popular in the United Kingdom and is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Some of the advantages of spreading are:

  • It is leveraged
  • Availability of a wide variety of markets
  • Gains are not taxed
  • No additional commissions charged
  • Negative balance protection

How does Spread Betting Work?

In spread betting, traders bet on the per-point market price movement of the underlying asset. The betting amount depends on the traders.

For example, in the case of HSBC share, which is trading at 400p on the stock exchange, spread bettors can either long or short the stock. They can bet £100 on every point movement of the HSBC stock. If the HSBC stock price goes up to 410p, the trader will profit by £1,000 (£100 gained for each point movement, so £100 X 10 = £1,000).

If the bettor (or trader) shorts the HSBC shares and the stock price dips to 395p, then the profit will be £500 (£100 x 5).

But, in the case of the long or short position, the price of HSBC shares price moves in the opposite direction of the bet, the bettor will lose money. For a long position, if the price goes down to 390p, there will be a loss of £1,000 (£100 X 10).

The bettor has to deposit a margin amount with the broker for spread betting. In case of a loss-making bet, if the loss equals the margin amount, the broker will ask the bettor to deposit additional funds, also called the margin call. Else, the position will be closed.

In reality, the broker quotes an offer price (for buying) and a bid price (for selling) for each spread betting instrument. For HSBC shares, the offer price could be 401p, while the bid price could be 399p. The difference of 2p is the spread, and the broker makes a profit from this gap.

Best Spreading Betting Platforms

To select the best spread betting brokers, we tested and reviewed several forex brokers. We opened live accounts and depositing real money with each broker. We also placed real trades in popular markets to get the real picture of the spread and commission, trading platform, deposits and withdrawals conditions, education, and customer service.

  • IG Markets – Best Overall Spread Betting Platform
  • Pepperstone – Best Spread Betting Platform for Beginners
  • OANDA – Best MT4 Spread Betting Platform
  • City Index – Best Spread Betting Platform with Low Spread
  • CMC Markets – Best Spread Betting Forex Trading Platform

Best Overall Spread Betting Platform

We have picked IG Markets as the best overall spread betting platform.

IG Markets is the pioneer of financial spread betting as it invented the product in 1974. The broker offers spread betting under its Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) license.

IG offers spread betting in more than 17,000 markets that include forex, stocks, indices, and commodities. Traders can get maximum leverage of up to 30:1 on major currency pairs, while for company shares a minimum of 20% margin is required.

The broker also makes its fees transparent: with a minimum spread from 0.6 pips for currency pairs to 0.1 points for indices and stocks. It also has excellent customer service that is available around the clock.

Best Spread Betting Platform for Beginners

We have picked Pepperstone as the best spread betting platform for beginners.

Headquartered in Australia, Pepperstone is relatively a new player in the brokerage space and was founded in 2010. It offers a separate spread betting account under its FCA license.

Pepperstone is perfect for new traders because of its extensive learning material on the financial market and spread betting. The broker provides services on MT4, MT5, and cTrader. It promises no dealing desk execution and also has a very good support team to help the traders.

Best MT4 Spread Betting Platform

We have picked OANDA as the best MT4 spread betting platform.

OANDA, which is regulated by the FCA, offers thousands of spread betting markets that range from forex and stocks to indices and commodities. It offers its services on the MT4 platform with some excellent indicators and advanced market analysis tools. The broker offers the MT4 platform on web, desktop and mobile devices.

The spreads offered by the broker are also on the lower side across markets. OANDA is a global broker and is regulated in many countries, but it offers spread betting only in the UK and Ireland.

Best Spread Betting Platform with Low Spread

We have picked City Index as the best spread betting platform with low spread.

When it comes to spreads of spread betting, City Index offers the best services. It spreads on the major currency pairs starts at 0.5 pips. The number is also on the lower side for share CFDs. The broker also highlights that it profits only from spreads on spread betting and does not charge any commission.

City Index is operated by Gain Capital, which is a subsidiary of StoneX. The broker is regulated by the FCA in the UK and it offers spread betting on more than 8,000 global markets.

Best Spread Betting Forex Trading Platform

We have picked CMC Markets as the best spread betting forex trading platform.

CMC Markets is one of the best platforms for spread betting services with forex instruments. It lists 339 currency pairs on its platforms for spread betting, while the total number of markets exceeds 10,000. It offers currency trading services on MT4, which is preferred by most traders. The broker also has no limitations on trading strategies, meaning it allows both hedging and scalping.

CMC Markets is headquartered in London. The FCA regulated broker is already licensed by several other licenses from global regulators. It is also a public company, so it has to disclose its financials every quarter making it a very safe platform.

Spread Betting Platforms List

Apart from the shortlisted platforms, here is a complete list of brokers that offers spread betting services on various markets, which we have tested and reviewed.

Forex BrokerSpread Betting AccountFCA RegulatedTest DetailsBroker Review
FxProYesYes
Deposit Amount: Over €5,000
Total Trade: 15 trades
FxPro Review
ActivTradesYesYesDeposit Amount: Over €5,000
Total Trade: 12 trades
ActivTrades Review
Capital.comYesYesDeposit Amount: Over €3,500
Total Trade: 15 trades
Capital.com Review
PepperstoneYesYesDeposit Amount: Over €6,000
Total Trade: 12 trades
Pepperstone Review
GKFXYesYesDeposit Amount: Over €5,000
Total Trade: 15 trades
GKFX Review
DarwinexYesYesDeposit Amount: Over €5,000
Total Trade: 12 trades
Darwinex Review
IC MarketsYesYesDeposit Amount: Over €5,000
Total Trade: 12 trades
IC Markets Review
ThinkMarketsYesYesDeposit Amount: Over €5,000
Total Trade: 15 trades
ThinkMarkets Review
AvaTradeYesYesDeposit Amount: Over €4,000
Total Trade: 21 trades
AvaTrade Review
CMC MarketsYesYesDeposit Amount: Over €5,000
Total Trade: 12 trades
CMC Markets Review
Vantage FXYesYesDeposit Amount: Over €5,000
Total Trade: 15 trades
Vantage FX Review

FAQ and More on Spread Betting Brokers

Traders usually have many questions related to generic trading-related queries. We tried to pick and answer some of the most important queries related to spread betting brokers.

Spread Betting Platforms in the UK

Spread betting is legal and very popular in the UK and Ireland. These platforms are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, the country’s financial markets regulator. Some of the top spread betting platforms in the UK are:

  • IG Markets
  • CMC Markets
  • City Index
  • ETX Capital

Best Spread Betting Platforms for Beginners

For beginner bettors to enter spread betting, they need to understand both the complex financial marketing and trading techniques. Some of the best spread betting platforms for beginners are:

  • IG Markets
  • Pepperstone
  • Saxo Bank

Best Forex Spread Betting Platforms

Spread betting is very popular with currency pairs as it is leveraged, and gains are not taxed. Some of the best forex spread betting platforms are:

  • CMC Markets
  • Capital.com
  • FxPro
  • Saxo Markets

Spread Betting Platforms with Low Spreads

Spread betting platforms only charge spreads on the markets from traders and there are usually no additional commissions. Some of the spread betting platforms with low spreads are:

  • City Index
  • Pepperstone
  • Darwinex

MT4 Spread Betting Platform

MetaTrader4 or MT4 is the most popular trading platform for trading forex and CFDs, both among retail and professional traders. The top MT4 forex brokers with the lowest spreads are:

  • CMC Markets
  • ActivTrades
  • Markets.com

Author of this review

By George Rossi

Author of this review

I am a well-rounded financial services professional experienced in fundamental and technical analysis, global macroeconomic research, foreign exchange and commodity markets and an independent trader.

Now I am passionate about reviewing and comparing forex brokers.

Everything you find on BrokerTested is based on reliable data and unbiased information. We combine our 10+ years finance experience with readers feedback. Read more about our methodology

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