Sports Betting Beginner’s Guide

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If you’re new to online betting, you can be overwhelmed by the terms and nature of the whole industry. This section is here to help guide you through the basics so you can feel more comfortable with jumping online and punting right away! Read through the follow info and take away what applies to you; if you’ve bet with live bookmakers before and are just moving into the world of internet bookies, you’ll be pleased to find it’s not all that different! If you’re completely new, read on!

The Basics

When you bet, you’re staking money on a particular outcome. If you’re right, you win, and you’ll make more money than you originally wagered. If you’re wrong, you’ll lose- some or all of your bet. Since this site is all about sporting events, we’ll be focused on that, but the same applies for casino games as well. In the bookmakers’ arena, however, you may find that you can be on nearly any event you wish, ranging from all sports to politics, or even television events like award shows.

Let’s go over an example for a simple sports bet

You favor Team A to beat out Team B in football game. You bet L100 on them to win (also known as a Straight bet, or a Win bet.) On your wager, there are 2/1 odds (which you can also find expressed as 2.00 in American odds, or 3.00 in decimal odds.) If your Team wins, you’ll get from them L300- you win a L200 profit, and receive back your original L100 bet. If Team B wins, you lose the bet, and therefore your stake.

Outside of a Straight bet, there are plenty of other types of bets you can make, including place bets, lay bets, betting with handicaps and spreads, or finding ways to bet to multiply or alter your overall odds of winning. As you begin, you’ll find that the Win bets are the simplest to understand, but as you move forward, feel free to read into some of the more complicated bets with your profits. Here are some of the most available across bookmakers and betting exchanges:

·        Win bets/ straight bets/ full time result/ match odds- you are betting that an outcome will happen, most often that a team/player will win a competition. Your sportsbook will advertise the odds on their site, which will lock in when you make your bet. If you win, you’ll be paid back into your online account the profit from the odds as well as your original stake. Usually the bet will look something along these lines 9this image courtesy of Ladbrokes) 

Note your choices are to bet on the Home Team, the Away Team or for the two to draw. The odds are directly beside the bet, and will update as you refresh the page according to the most recent odds offered. You choose your bet, type in the amount you wish to wager and place the bet.

·        Place bets – typically race bets are used in racing events, be it cars, horses, dogs, etc. These are bets that your choice will not necessarily win, but rather they will place in the top few (be it first, second, or third place, depending on the bet.) If your choice does come in the top two/three, then you win the bet. If they don’t come in in the top places, you’ll lose. There is no difference for place bets whether they come in first or third; as long as they’re in the top spots, you’ll win. Which brings us to our next type of wager.

·        An Each-Way bet is also usually (not always) a race bet, and is almost a combination between a Place bet and a Win bet. With an Each-Way, if your choice comes in first, you win both sides of your bet: the Win & the Place. If they come in second or third, you’ll lose the Win side of the bet, but save half your loss by winning the Place side. You may see the odds for the two sides of the bet separately, but more often they’ll come looking something like this: “EW L places 1, 2, 3” This means that the Place bet will pay back a quarter of the profit that a Win bet would win you. Usually, you will see that the payouts vary according to the number of competitors, and the number of places that the bet covers- first and second; first, second and third, etc.

·        Lay bets are the reverse of a Win bet; you are betting against a team. It is not the same as betting for the opposing – meaning, betting on a Win for Team A is not synonymous as placing a Lay bet for Team B (though in the end, the result would be the same.) The Lay position is typically taken by the bookmaker, but the development of Betting Exchanges has allowed punters to take up the Lay bets, to counteract other players’ stakes. See more on our Betting Exchanges page.

·        Correct Score bets- these wagers are a guess as to what the final score of the event will be. Correct Score bets typically offer very high odds, offering the possibility of a large payout because your guess will need to be exact. An example would be betting Team A will win 4-2 over Team B.

All Types of Bets

These bets focus only on the second half of an event, usually a sporting game. The wagers are not even available until halftime is called, and can be very exciting as the bets need to be in before the second half starts.

·        Half Time Result – this is like a Win bet but for only the first half of a game. Whoever is in the lead at halftime would be the Half Time Result winner.

·        Half Time/ Full Time bets/ Double result bets- this is a two part wager; you are betting on the outcome of the first half, and then independently, of the full game result as well. For example, you could bet that Team A would be in the lead at halftime, but that Team B will pull through to a Draw result at the final buzzer. Three possible results for both the halftime point, and the end game result- so 9 total possible combinations for the bet.

·        Total Goals/ Under-Over/ Over-Under- this bet is a guess on how many total goals will be scored throughout the game by both teams. Usually sports books will include a half-point as an option to ensure that the bookies don’t have to pay out both sides of the bet with an exact land. For instance, you’ll see an Over-Under bet for 4.5 goals: those who bet Over will win if 5 or more goals are scored; those who bet Under will win with 4 or less goals.

·        Handicaps/ Point Spreads/ Line Betting- handicaps are used to balance out the outcome. Underdogs will be given an extra couple of goals for the purposes of the bet to even out the chances. For instance, if the favorite is set to win by a few goals, the handicap may be set at two [reading Team A (-2) Team B (+2)]. This indicated that a Win bet with a handicap means Team A has to win by at least 2 additional goals than the real score. If the real score is 4-1 (A-B) then once the handicap is applied, the score would be 4-3, and Team A would still win. If, however, the real score was 1-0, after you count in the handicap, the score would be 1-2, and Team B would be considered the winner.

·        Asian Handicaps are included here because they’re becoming more popular throughout online sports betting in the UK. They apply only to football matches, and only to betting on the Home or the Away team; there is no Draw option. There are two Asian handicaps (also used for the purpose of evening out the score between a favourite and an underdog.)

o       Singles are related as a single number next to the odds, but are usually shown as a decimal instead of a fraction. It will probably look something like this:  (courtesy of Ladbrokes) 

In this case, Kyoto Sanga has been granted a half-ball handicap over Shimizu S Pulse. The final score for the game will be adjusted by a half-point. The difference between this kind of handicap and the traditional one is that Asian handicaps can be expressed in half points, and are expressed as a decimal. If a whole number handicap results in a tie, bets will usually be returned to the punter only subtracting a small fee.

o       Double Handicap/ Split Handicap- these handicaps are like making two bets at one time. You might see it presented similarly to this: (again, courtesy of Ladbrokes) 

When placing this bet, you have a wider range of potential win. You might win with the handicap placed the fist way, but draw with the other; win both. Essentially you can read the two handicaps independently of one another. Placing the above example of a bet would get you a single bet with a handicap of 0 (even) and another single bet with a handicap of (.5).

o       Proposition Bets- these bets are specific to a particular happening within a sporting event, or sometimes unrelated to anything else at all. For instance, you can find proposition bets for who will make the first score in a game, or who will win a Grammy Award in the American music industry. Usually, you’ll find proposition bets come with straight odds, like a Win bet does.

The preceding was meant as an introduction to Sports Betting online! Please explore the rest of our site to find more information on more specific topics!