A Beginners Guide to Sports Betting

Sports Betting

Surely, you’ve heard about a friend or acquaintance winning money from a bet on a sports game. Many people have no clue about how it works, and some get a very unrealistic idea from Hollywood, ergo gangster, movies. Making the wrong bet won’t get your fingers broke. And, you don’t have to know someone on the inside in order to win. You just need Lady Luck on your side.

From guessing who will win the next UFC fight to which team will score first in the World Cup, you can place a bet.  If you’re curious about what goes into sports betting, this beginners guide is for you. Rest assured, it’s not as complicated as it may first seem.

In fact, we’ll help you get started quickly and easily with this beginners’ guide to sports betting, in which we:

  • Explain the basics of betting on sports events
  • Define the most important sports betting terms
  • The different types of bets you can make
  • How to read odds and tips before making your first sports wager

Discover the Ins and Out’ of Sports Betting: The Basics

Betting on sports events goes way back. The Greeks, Romans and Aztecs all had some form or another of sports betting. Moving ahead, it continues to be an adrenaline rush for people all around the globe. Not only that, it often brings sports enthusiasts together to liven up an event making it that much more interesting. Add in the money and well let’s be honest, it can be very lucrative indeed.

In this form of gambling, you will place a wager on an outcome of an upcoming sports event. You can wager on a game of hockey, football, pool, horse race or fight (to name a few).  Apart from spread betting or draw no bet wagers, there are two resulting outcomes. You win or you lose.

A bet can not only be placed on the overall results of an event. It can also be placed on a variety of situations that occur during the event itself. For example, predicting a fighter will tap out in the second round, England will beat Germany by 2 goals or a specific player will make a goal.

Basic Sports Betting Terms

Sports Betting

Before you start to call your bets, you should be familiar with a few terms you’ll hear (or see) thrown around.

Sports book/Bookmaker/Bookie/Betting Agency – All terms are used to reference online or offline companies which offer sports betting services.  These establishments allow you to back an outcome.

Betting Exchange - Services which offer a marketplace where the odds are set. You may bet for and against outcomes at an exchange.

Bettor/Punter - Anyone who is placing the bet.

Backing – When you place a bet on an outcome, you are “backing” it.

Lay Bet – Betting against an outcome.

The Bets You Need to Know About

Before you make your first bet on a sports event, you’ll want to be familiar with the primary types of bets. You will see these offered at most of the top sports betting websites and they are the ones that really matter. Before we get started, it’s worth noting that the guidelines and regulations may vary from country to country.

Single Wager – A bet on who will win the event. It’s the simplest bet available. You simply pick the team you think will win, place a wager and cross your fingers that chose the right team, individual or number.

Fixed Odds - You will know the odds of winning when you place the bet. These odds are fixed as soon as the bet has been made.

Multi Bet – Also known as a parlay, this bet involves multiple choices on at least two outcomes of two events. If a minimum of one outcome does not take place, you lose the bet.

“Sports betting continues to be an adrenaline rush for people all around the globe. ”

Tote Bet – These bets are popular at the racetracks. All bets of a specific type are placed together in a pool. The commission for the house is subtracted and the payoff odds are calculated by sharing the pool amongst all winners.

Point Spread Bet – Popular amongst online sports bettors in the US and Canada, you make a wager based upon the difference in score between two teams or players. For example, if the spread is 4 and you bet on the favorite to win, that team or player will have to win by 4 to push or 5 to win.

Over/Under Bet - Based upon the total score of over/under, this line lets you bet on whether or not the total score between the teams or players will go above or below a predetermined amount.

Head to Head – You will wager on one specific competitor to beat another in an event with two or more participants. This bet is most common in golf, The UFC, biking or running events.

Reading the Odds the Right Way

Sports Betting

A sports better can place a bet on any event happening in the world. However, the odds may be listed in different ways depending on the country. Below you’ll find the various formats of the odds used on the top online sports betting sites.

American Odds - Used specifically in the US, you will find that the negative number represents the dollar amount which would need to be wagered to win. The positive number represents the amount which would be won from the wager. Ex - +200/-200

Decimal Odds - Also known as International or European Odds; it is used in Europe, Canada, Australia and South Africa. These odds indicate the total return from a winning bet. Ex. - 3.00

Fractional Odds - Used in the UK and Ireland, they indicate the net return, in fractional form, from a winning bet. Ex. - 4/1

Hong Kong - Used only in Hong Kong, this bet indicates the net return from a winning bet. Ex. - 2.00

When you make a wager on a sports betting website, you will generally see these different formats. You can also find calculators or smartphone apps which determine or convert the odds.

Tips Before you Get Started

Before you make your first sports wager, take these tips into consideration.

  • Do your own research. Read the reviews on online sports betting sites and find one that suits your own needs.
  • Do your homework. Read trends, analyze stats and review past games to ensure there’s value in your bet.
  • Manage your money. Set a budget and stick to it.
  • Stay sober. A drunken sports bet could leave you in the high and dry.
  • Shop around for the best lines. Have a few different online sports betting account and stay up to date with the odds they’re offering.

Make Your First Sports Wager

Now that you have an understanding of how sports betting works, why not give it a try? Take a look at our recommended sports bookers. These are the best available on the web and have the most diverse set of bets. We’ve also ensured you’ll find easy transfer options and extra bonuses so you’re guaranteed to have an incredible experience.

Get ready to have fun. Head to races now!