Finding things to bet on is an old hobby of mankind: Even the cavemen were doing that. Sports betting is the modern practice of this old hobby of ours – every day, dozens of sports events happen on a global level, and it is possible to place a bet for each and every one of them.
You can even make a good profit if you know what you are doing: There are players out there who make a living with these bets.
However, learning how sports betting works is of crucial importance: If you play blindly, you will only lose. And this is why we have prepared this sports bet guide. Below, you can find everything you need to know about online sports betting.
This online betting guide is mostly for beginners but will be useful for veterans too: This is one of the most comprehensive bet guides you can find and we have a suggestion for every player, beginner or not. Let’s start, we have a lot to talk about!
Learn Sports Betting Basics First
This is a betting guide for beginners, so we really need to start from scratch. Each sports event will have a particular outcome: One of the teams/players will win and the other one will lose. Placing money on one of these outcomes is the most basic version of sports bets.
But lots of things can happen in a sports event: In a football match, for example, multiple goals can be scored, there may or may not be a penalty shoot, or some of the players may be forced to leave the game. When you think of it, there are dozens of things that can happen in a sports event – and it is possible to place money for each and every one of them too.
The “person” that accepts your bets is called the “bookmaker”. Since we are talking about online sports betting, this “person” will be a website. You deposit money on one of these outcomes first, wait for the event to end, and if you are lucky enough, get paid accordingly.
Now, the bookmaker decides how big your prize will be: It will offer different odds to you for different outcomes, and it is your job to find the best ones. As can be guessed, simple outcomes pay less but complex possibilities pay more. So, what kind of betting options are available to you?
Guide To Sports Betting Types: Which Options Are Available?
Let’s continue this guide to betting by explaining the basic betting types. Know that types of sports betting are not limited to the ones listed below: Each sports event includes dozens of possibilities and you can place a wager on each and every one of them. However, we can still give you a general bet types/straight wagers list, in order to show you what to expect.
- Straight Bets: Outcomes with only two possibilities. For example, betting on which team will win a match is a straight bet: Other than winning and losing, there is no other possibility/outcome.
- Combination Bets: You can place different bet types on a single coupon. For example, placing three straight bets for three different matches on a single coupon is a combination bet. Such bets pay more, but all of your picks must win.
- Exotic Bets: Outcomes with multiple possibilities. For example, betting on how many goals will be scored in a football match is an exotic bet – there are lots of possibilities in this scenario. Exotic bets pay the most, but they are also the hardest ones to win.
- Handicap Bets: Each sports event has a favorite team/player and an underdog. This type of bets gives a “handicap” to the underdog and offer various possibilities based on this scenario. For example, a sample football handicap bet will look like this: “Team X -1”. This means that team X is the favorite and they must win the match by more than one goal. Handicap bets pay more, but they are tricky to win.
Top 10 Recommended Bookmakers for Online Sports Betting:
How Do You Bet On Sports?
So, since you have learned the basics, let’s answer the obvious question: How to do sports betting? Since this is a betting starter guide, we will explain it step by step:
- Find an online bookmaker that is legal and reputable. We highly recommend picking one of or suggested websites – we already confirmed that they offer the best possible betting online sports betting
- Become a member and pick one of the sports categories. For example, football.
- Once you click on the football category, all matches you can place a bet will be listed. Pick one.
- After that, you will see a list of all the betting options for that particular match. By clicking on these options, you can see the odds. Again, pick one of the options.
- Deposit the required amount for that bet and finalize the process: That’s how do you bet.
Of course, you also need to learn about analyzing odds and what do they mean: So, let’s continue with that topic.
Guide To Betting Odds: Everything You Need To Know
You don’t need to read a separate sports betting odds guide to learn how do they work. Betting odds look complex at first sight, but they are actually pretty easy to understand once you learn how to read them. Here is the short version of the betting odds guide and everything you need to know:
- There are two main systems to display the odds. The first one is called “decimal system” and it is used in Europe. It looks like these: 1.10, 9.20, 8.50, etc. The other one is called “fractional system” and looks like these: 8/1, 4/1, 5/2, etc. Fractional odds are used in the United States.
- Both of these systems show how much you will going to win for that bet. They display this information differently, but the ultimate purpose of betting odds is to show your potential winnings.
- If the odd is displayed as a decimal, you need to use this formula to calculate the payout: (odds x stake) – stake = winning. Here is a simple example: We assume you are betting 10 EUR and the decimal odd is 9.0. So, the formula will be (9 x 10) – 10, which results in 80. This bet will pay 80 EUR if you place a 10 EUR bet.
- If the odd is displayed as fractional, there is no need for a formula. The numbers in the fraction show how much you will win according to your bet amount. 4/1, for example, means that by placing a 1 EUR bet, you can win 4 EUR. Or, 1/4 means that placing a 4 EUR bet will give you a chance to win 1 EUR. In this regard, fractional odds are easier to understand.
Here is a practical example, we will use football betting info for it. Let’s say you visited a bookmaker to see the odds for the upcoming Ajax – Manchester United game and want to place a straight bet on who will win the match. It will look like this:
- Manchester – 1.20
- Ajax – 1.80
This means the possibility of Manchester United winning the match has the odds of 1.20. So, if you deposit 10 EUR, you can win 2 EUR. Your total payout will be 12 EUR – the bookmaker will pay your initial wager (10 EUR) first, then the prize (2 EUR). Ajax offers better odds: If you place a 10 EUR bet to this match and win, the payout will be 8 EUR.
It does not sound that complex now, right? Betting odds are one of the most important things to keep track of: Each bookmaker will offer different rates and picking the best one for your bet can increase the payout. So, if you are wondering how to make sports bets, the first thing you need to learn is analyzing the odds. Explaining how do they work is the most important part of every guide to betting on sports and now you know it: Always look for the best odds before placing a bet.
Beat The Bookies Tips: How Do Bookmakers Make Money?
Since this is a beginner’s guide to sports betting, let’s answer the obvious question so you can understand how online betting sites work. These sites make thousands of Euros every day. This is surprising for beginners: Online bookmakers distribute hundreds of thousands of Euros each month, and yet, they still make amazing profits.
So, what is their secret? The answer is surprisingly simple, but you cannot “guess” it. First of all, let’s start by stating that betting sites don’t like “gambling”. A professional online bookie will always make money regardless of the outcome of a possibility. So, for example, it doesn’t matter which team wins a match or which one loses: The betting site will always generate an income from it.
You’re confused, aren’t you? The secret to betting sites lies in their odds and house edge. They set both to their favor. The house edge indicates how much a betting site will earn from you. It always has a percentage value and determines how much you will lose. Let’s give an example: If the house edge rate of a bet is 4%, you will leave 4 EUR of every 100 EUR you invest to the betting site.
The Return on Investment (ROI / RTP) ratio is the opposite: It shows what your loss will be in the long run. Let’s go back to the above example: If the RTP rate of a bet is 96%, you will be able to get back 96 EUR out of every 100 EUR you invest. In other words, your loss will be a maximum of 4 EUR. RTP and house edge rates are inversely proportional to each other: If one increases, the other decreases. A bettor has to choose bets with a low house edge rate, so he can earn more revenue. But no matter how low this ratio is, it will never be “zero”.
This is the secret of the phrase “the bookmaker always wins”: Indeed, no matter how lucky you are, the betting site always wins in the long run. And this is the most important sports betting advice we can give to you: Even if you win, you won’t be able to beat the bookie.
Understanding Sport Betting: Why Bookies Always Win
If our above explanations sound too technical, let’s continue to give more sports betting information with an example and show how betting sites make money from you. Let’s assume we’re playing a heads/tails game. There are only 2 of us and we bet 1 EUR at each throw. The house edge rate of such a bet is zero. Because the odds are equal to each other and your chance to win is literally 50%. Betting sites do not work like this.
Now, imagine that you are playing this game on a betting site: The site offers you to pay 1.10 EUR for the possibility of “heads”. So, if the result of the throw is “heads”, you’ll earn 10 cents more, how nice! However, in order to qualify for this prize, you must raise the stake to 1.20 EUR. If you win, you will receive 2.30 EUR. In other words, the site will pay both your initial bet (1.20 EUR) and your prize (1.10 EUR).
Now, things got interesting, right? Most players only focus on the potential winnings of 2.30 EUR and accept such a bid blindly. The more conscious ones ask the following question: “Why do I have to deposit 1.20 EUR to win 1.10 EUR?” The answer to this question is the “secret” of betting sites.
Let’s continue by explaining how the odds are calculated for a football match, as this will explain the subject better. Let’s assume that a betting site is preparing to accept bets for the Ajax-Manchester football match. To determine the odds to be offered to players, first, the bookmaker calculates the “real odds”. Betting sites also determine the probability of an outcome using real-world data first.
This data is quite extensive and the scope of the research is extremely wide: The performances of the players, the qualification of the coach, the state of the field where the match will be played… In this respect, betting sites determine which team is more likely to win the match, by working like players, and find out odds picks consensus scores.
Of course, they have access to a much larger pool of data and can perform healthier analyzes than us. (This used to take quite a long time back in the day, and done by “manual labor”. Nowadays, data analysis is done with computer software and is completed in a very short time.)
As a result of these analyzes, for example, the following table will be created:
Probability Of The Outcome
They also analyze betting trends power rankings and picks consensus scores standings, as players do. This is a simplified table of course, but it is the result of long and detailed research. But the most important thing in this table is located in the third column. Have you noticed that the total of the figures in the third column is 100?
So, the house edge is exactly zero: This is similar to the heads/tails game mentioned above and this does not guarantee a profit for the bookmaker. Therefore, what the bookie has to do is to reach a sum higher than 100, and keep the difference as his house edge. So, the actual odds offered to players will be:
Probability Of The Outcome
So, what happened now? Let’s sum up the numbers in the third column once again: The result is 112. The bookmaker added its own house edge rate (12%) to all possibilities and reduced the odds. Right now, regardless of the outcome of the match, it will win 12 EUR on each 100 EUR bet.
And the players will be able to win 88 EUR for each deposit of 100 EUR they make. (If you make a 100 EUR bet and win, the bookie will pay you 188 EUR back; 100 EUR for the initial wager, 88 EUR for the prize.) So, the RTP rate of this bet is 88%, and its house edge is 12%. And that’s why the sports betting sites always win.
Of course, this is a simplified example and the real calculations are more complex than that. But it will still give you an idea about online sports betting how it works. The bookie will always make a profit but this does not mean that you cannot win something.
You too can make a profit, if you know what to do and what to bet on. Let’s continue with some online sports betting tips to show you how.
Basic Tips For Sports Betting
Since this is a betting beginners guide, we will start with simple and basic sports gambling tips. To find out tips and top betting tactics for advanced players, keep reading: They will be listed right below this section.
1) Comply With Your Budget. Sports betting is an exciting business, and once you start winning, you think your chances will never turn. This way of thinking causes you to risk more and more money. This is a mistake: Even the most professional bettor in the world will eventually lose. Therefore, set a budget for yourself and don’t go outside of it whether you win or lose. Even if you know all the info betting online, this won’t guarantee a winning – always stay within the boundaries of your budget.
2) Choose Reliable Places. Just play at reliable betting sites. In this respect, the basic rule is that if an odd seems too good to be true, it is not true. Don’t be fooled by ads and bonuses: Choose reputable, licensed, and trusted sports betting sites. If you can’t get your money when you win, the highest odds do not matter.
3) Pay Attention to Licenses. Reputable betting sites have electronic gaming licenses. These licenses indicate that the site is subject to an audit mechanism. Therefore, use only licensed betting sites to play sports bets. You can see the license information of an online bookmaker by looking at the bottom of the main page: Logos of the licensors are placed here. In addition, do not forget to validate the license too, by clicking on its logo.
4) Play Small. You may want to bet large amounts because of attracting high odds, but large amounts can result in huge losses. Remember rule number 1 and always choose small amounts that don’t exceed your budget. Never place money that may cause you to go bankrupt. Again, respect to your budget.
5) Stay Away If You Don’t Know It. Rugby, cricket, table tennis … There are many types of sports you can bet on and you’ve never heard of before. Do not bet on any type of sport that you do not know. Likewise, avoid exotic betting types (teaser, spread, handicap, etc.) if you have never heard them before. Simple bets are the best option for beginners. While exotic bets pay more, they are also more complex: Even understanding them will require expertise.
6) Live Betting Is Risky. Live sports betting can be extremely lucrative. Most beginners, however, lack the necessary self-control. Try to avoid live betting until you are able to approach sports bets professionally. This type of bets is not suitable for you, if you act with your emotions. You may lose large amounts of money in a couple of minutes. Live bets online should be played only after you gain the necessary self-control.
7) Make Your Plans Long-Term. It’s everyone’s dream to get rich with a single bet on sports, but you need to think long-term to make money from sports betting. Approach betting like a business: You won’t be a millionaire in a month or two, no matter which business you are in. This also applies to sports betting too: You are playing for the long run, not “short and sweet” winnings. Such a thing does not exist.
8) Do Not Hesitate To Take A Break. You don’t have to play every day or every week. If you feel that betting is beginning to affect your life, feel free to take a break. Doing so will also enable you to plan new betting strategies. Yes, you must approach betting sports like a business, but every business owner takes a break from now and then. Do the same thing.
Advanced Betting Tips And Guide: Play Like A Pro
So, how about some online betting guide hot tips for advanced players? This article is also a betting tips and guide for advanced players too, and we have some recommendations to share with them too. Without further due, here are the betting guide tips for professional bettors section of our article.
1) Use a betting strategy. Using a sports betting strategy is of crucial importance, no matter what your experience level is. But if you are playing sports bets as a living, you need to start looking for money management strategies first. Doing so will allow you to manage your budget more efficiently and create new opportunities for different types sport betting. We already have a couple of betting strategy guides for this, make sure to check them all.
2) Read the bet guide for today. This is a term that means “do your research on a daily basis”. Before placing a bet, make sure to visit all of the sports betting articles about it, and take a look at betting tips sites like us. You do not need to read a betting for beginners guide anymore but this does not mean that no research is needed. On the contrary, you need to work even more. Read all of the betting guide for today articles and find out which options are the best.
3) Compare the odds. Finding the best odds for a particular event will be tricky and hard. But it is also mandatory, if you want to get the best out of sports bets. Become a member of a couple of reputable online bookmakers and compare their odds before placing your bet. Pick the best one – you do not need to stick with a single bookie. And here is a hint, daily betting guides usually list the odds of all major bookies, so you can check them without wasting any time.
4) Use a mobile app. We are not talking about a betting guide app: You must be able to bet from your mobile devices. Using the native application of an online bookie will give you several advantages in lots of things. First, you can easily see all the bets today’s betting options easily. Moreover, this info can be acquired via push notifications. Second, you will be able to play anytime and anywhere: This is especially important for live betting. Use mobile applications to place your bets: It will be more practical and you will catch lots of opportunities.
5) Find an easy to wager website. All online bookmakers use a different design and some of these are not practical at all. Make sure the website design of your bookie does not give you any trouble. You must be able to see all the odds and types of wagers easily. In this regard, the website must load fast too: Nobody likes to wait just to see a particular betting option. Test the website with your desktop and mobile devices and make sure that it is fast, practical, and problem free on different platforms.
6) Use sports betting bonuses. Clever players know that using the right betting bonuses will always give them an advantage. Take advantage of different promotions (such as welcome bonus, bet now deposit bonus, cashback bonus, etc.) and double your starting capital or get a refund for your losses. Refer to our other betting online guides to learn more about these bonuses, we examined each and every one of them in detail.
FAQ About Learning Sports Betting
Read Our Sports Betting Guide Beginner, Play Like A Pro!
After reading this online sport betting guide, you are ready to play like a pro. However, remember that this guide for betting is for beginners mostly, and there are still lots of things to learn, such as advanced sports betting strategies. Luckily, we have an online betting guide for these topics too, so make sure to visit our betting guides section and read them all. All it is left is finding a reputable online bookmaker, and we can help you in this regard too: Pick one of our recommended online bookies and grab your bonuses to start your adventure in style. Good luck out there!