A Beginner’s Guide to Sports Betting

A Beginner’s Guide to Sports Betting

If you’re a sports fan you’ll know only too well that familiar feeling of disappointment after spending 90 minutes watching your team play out a lacklustre 0-0 draw.

If football’s not your thing, you needn’t think too hard for similar parallels in other sports as whilst the wonderful world of sports has the propensity to dazzle us and bring us to our feet, it also has the potential to bore us into a catatonic state.

One way to beat this sporting malaise is to combine your passion for sports with the thrills and spills of online betting. Thinking about opening a betting account and wagering on your favourite sport? If so you’re in the right place.

Read on for our complete beginner’s guide to sports betting.

Where can I bet on sports

The world is your oyster when it comes to sports betting. Not only can you go into a bricks and mortar betting shop and place a wager but you can download an app on to you phone and make your first bet in a matter of minutes.

Online it’s important to prioritise your safety and security so before making your first deposit be sure to have carried out the requisite checks. Here are a couple of things to look out for:

  • Customer reviews: These will provide you with a good gauge of the reliability of your chosen provider along with a list of their pros and cons.
  • Licensing: Most countries have regulatory bodies that govern the gambling industry and hand out licences to providers. Before wagering make sure you check with the relevant regulatory body in your country whether the provider you’re choosing has a gambling licence.
  • Security: Whenever you buy anything online, which includes making an online wager, you should look for signs that the organisation you’re exchanging money with is safe and secure. The padlock icon in the URL is one indication that a website is secure, and here is a list of 10 other things to look out for.

Do different sports have different betting rules?

In short, no. Almost every sport in the world can be bet on and most bets centre on predicting an outcome so if the sport you want to bet on has a defined outcome, you can be sure as hell that the betting markets on it will be more or less the same as every other sport.

The only difference is that certain sports may have more popular bets than others, for example in NFL most betting fans like to wager on individual matches.

Whilst in horse racing, gamblers traditionally hedge their bets and make wagers on horses finishing 1st-3rd rather than betting on outright winners.

Useful sport betting terms

Just like everything, sports betting comes with its own unique jargon and dictionary that you will have to learn if you are to really get into it. Here are a few of the most common terms to get you started:

  • Moneyline/Outright: Depending where in the world you are when you read this you will use one or the other of these phrases, both of which mean the same thing. These terms signify a bet where you wager on a specific outcome, for example in a matchup between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, your ‘moneyline/outright’ bet would be either on Nadal to win or Djokovic to win.
  • Spread Bet/Handicap: This is the type of bet that you use to spice up a particularly mundane encounter. In a game between Manchester City and Maidenhead United there would be no fun in backing City to win the game. To add some element of jeopardy you might make a spread bet/handicap wager on them to win by 5+ goals, or back Maidenhead to lose by no more than 3 goals.
  • Parlay/Accumulator: If betting on one individual game just isn’t exciting enough for you, you can look at a full weekend of action and attempt to predict the outcome of every single game. In doing this you decrease your chances of success but also dramatically increase your potential winnings. Which is why parlay/accumulator bets tend to have relatively low wagers and are done more for fun than any overriding ambition to win money.

Understanding odds

We have written a number of articles of this fashion and typically we do like to write out a few examples to try and explain how odds work, but we have found that the best way to help people truly understand odds is to show them.

Which is why we will leave you with these handy tutorials on odds systems, enjoy.

Concluding sports betting for beginners

In conclusion, sports betting offers an exhilarating way to engage with your favourite sports, enhancing the experience and potentially rewarding your knowledge and predictions.

With the vast world of sports at your fingertips, whether it's through traditional betting shops or the convenience of online platforms, you have a multitude of options for placing your wagers.

⚠️ Safety and security should be your paramount concern; always look for customer reviews, proper licensing, and secure websites.

Betting rules are largely consistent across different sports, focusing on predicting outcomes with popular bets varying by sport.

Familiarising yourself with common betting terms like Moneyline/Outright, Spread Bet/Handicap, and Parlay/Accumulator is crucial for a deeper understanding and more enjoyable betting experience.

These terms help you navigate through various betting scenarios, whether it's betting on individual match outcomes, handicapping teams for an added challenge, or combining multiple bets for higher potential rewards but with increased risk.

Understanding odds is key to successful betting. Whilst examples can be helpful, practical tutorials offer the best way to grasp the concept of odds systems.

Embrace these tutorials to improve your betting strategy and decision-making. Always remember, sports betting should be viewed as a form of entertainment rather than a guaranteed income source.

Video on US sports betting odds

Video on Fractional Odds betting

👉 Bet responsibly and enjoy the added thrill it brings to your sports viewing experience.

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