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Sports Betting Guide – How to Bet on Sports Online

Sports Betting Guide – How to Bet on Sports Online
Table of Contents

Welcome to the ultimate sports betting guide! Whether you’re a novice or an experienced bettor, this guide is designed to provide you with the essential information and resources needed to place sports bets online.

Here, we’ll explain the basics of online sports betting, such as odds and sports bet types, discuss the advantages of betting online compared to in-person betting, and provide tips and strategies to ensure you maximise your chances of success. We’ll also take a look at the different types of bonuses and promotions available and advise you on choosing the best betting platforms for your needs.

At the end of our guide, you’ll also find a sports betting glossary to check any unfamiliar terms.

There are multiple sports betting guides on the web, so if you’re new to the gambling world, it’s very easy to get overwhelmed and confused with the amount of information available out there. Our guide is laconic and to the point, so if you’re ready to learn everything there is to know about sports betting, let’s get started!

Getting Started With Online Sports Betting

Many people all over the world are finding that online sports betting is an increasingly popular form of entertainment.

Online sports betting is becoming an increasingly popular form of entertainment for many people around the world. Whether you’re a casual bettor or a skilled gambler, the potential rewards and excitement of betting on sports online can be hard to resist.

Besides, you don’t need much in order to start betting on sports online, except following a few pretty straightforward steps:

But before you jump in, it’s important that you understand the basics of online sports betting and learn how to ensure yourself a safe online wagering experience.

The Essentials of Sports Betting

The Essentials of Sports Betting
To be a great sports bettor, you must first grasp the odds and different forms of sports bets.

In order to become a successful sports bettor, you need to develop a thorough understanding of the odds and sports bet types – for starters. And even before that, let’s answer the most crucial questions regarding sports betting.

The legality of sports betting varies from country to country, and in some parts of the world, it is still prohibited. In the US, for example, in-person sports betting is legal in about half of the states, though most of them have yet to regulate its online format.

In Europe, the laws and regulations around sports betting vary significantly between countries, but a number of countries, including Sweden, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, and Finland, have legalised and implemented appropriate regulations to ensure a safe and secure gaming experience.

When it comes to Great Britain, online sports betting here is legal, regulated, and is one of the best ways to get in on the action. This is because all operators that accept UK players must possess a valid gambling license issued by the UK Gambling Commission, which serves as proof of their legitimacy and trustworthiness.

Remember. There are different rules and regulations all over the world regarding sports betting, so make sure you familiarize yourself with those that apply to your jurisdiction before placing any bets – no matter whether it’s online or offline.

The Mechanics of Sports Betting

So, how does sports betting work?

Sports betting is a form of gambling in which individuals wager money on the outcome of a sporting event. Sports bettors can make bets on individual games, teams, players, or outcomes, such as the winner of a tournament or the number of points scored.

To begin the process, sports bettors must select a sportsbook or bookmaker, which is an organization that offers betting services to sports bettors. The sportsbook sets the odds for each game, which determines how much a customer can win if their prediction is correct. Generally, the higher the risk of the bet, the higher the potential payout, and vice versa.

Once sports bettor has made their selections, they will place their bets with the bookmaker and wait for the results to be posted. If their bet wins, they will receive their winnings from the bookmaker according to the odds. In some cases, bettors may also be able to place live bets during the course of a game and receive their winnings immediately if they win.

Advantages of Betting Online

When it comes to sports betting, there are many advantages to betting online as opposed to using turning to brick-and-mortar sportsbooks. Here are some of the most prominent benefits of placing your bets online:

Sports Betting Odds Explained

Sports betting odds are a set of numbers used by online sportsbooks to represent the likelihood of a certain outcome occurring in a sporting event. They are typically expressed in European (decimal), British (fractional), or American (money line) formats, with decimal being the most common, and they indicate the amount a bettor stands to win if they place a wager on that particular outcome.

Sports Betting Odds Explained
Betting odds are classified into three types: Fractional (British), Decimal (European) and Money Line (American)

Betting odds are determined by bookmakers who assess the probability of each potential outcome in a sporting event and assign a numerical value to it. When oddsmakers release a betting line for the upcoming game, the first thing they do is decide which one of the teams should be the favourite and which one – the underdog. This is done by factoring in a variety of variables, such as team performance, weather conditions, and players’ form.

For instance, American odds are centred around winning or wagering $100 on a given bet, with odds represented by a plus (-) and minus (+) sign to indicate the favourite and underdog, respectively. To illustrate, +200 indicates the amount of potential winnings if wagering $100, while -200 signifies how much a bettor needs to wager to win $100.

When establishing their odds, bookmakers will also factor in what is known as the vigorish, “vig” for short, or “juice” in slang. This is essentially the house edge, i.e., the cut or amount charged by a sportsbook for taking a bet, and is designed to ensure that the bookmaker makes a profit regardless of the outcome.

The vigorish is typically 4.55% of all money wagered, charged on both the winning and losing sides of a bet; however, the winner pays for both. As a result, the total vigorish paid by the winner is 9.1% of the wager amount.

To understand betting odds, it helps to understand how payouts work. When you place a wager, most bookmakers will give you an odds multiplier, determining how much you stand to win should your bet prove successful. The higher the odds multiplier, the more you stand to win.

For example, British – fractional or traditional – odds are typically written with a slash (/) or hyphen (-), as in 4/1 (or four-to-one). This means that for every pound you stake, you stand to win four pounds should your predictions come true, and you also receive your pound back (i.e., the amount you wagered). This way, you receive your sports wager (£1) in addition to the profit (£4), resulting in a total payout of £5.

Note that when reading fractional betting odds, you must always remember that the right-hand side of the fraction (the denominator) is what you will have to stake in order to win the left-hand side of the fraction (the numerator).

When it comes to decimal odds, they represent the amount of money you will win for every unit staked. So, if a bet has decimal odds of 3.00, this means that for every one-unit bet, you stand to win three units should your prediction come true. In other words, if you stake £10 on a bet with odds of 3.00, you stand to win £30 in total.

When choosing who you want to bet on, always make sure to compare the odds and calculate potential winnings on individual bets to determine the most lucrative option.

You can use our online odds calculator to convert your odds to American, Decimal, or Fractional notation.

Basic Probability and the Concept of Expected Value

Now that you know how to read the odds, it’s important to understand the concept of probability and expected value to be able to determine which bets will generate profits. So, what is it?

Probability is the measure of how likely something is to happen, expressed as a fraction or percentage. For example, if you flip a coin, the probability of it landing on heads is 1/2 or 50% since there are two possible outcomes – heads or tails – and just one of them is heads.

When betting on sports, it’s vital to consider the probability of a given outcome occurring as it helps you determine whether or not a bet offers value.

Expected Value (EV), in its turn, is a measure of what a bettor can expect to win or lose per bet placed on the same odds over and over again. A positive expected value (+EV) indicates profits over time, while a negative expected value (-EV) implies losses.

To calculate the expected value for betting, you can use a fairly simple formula:

(amount won per bet Xprobability of winning) – (amount lost per betX probability of losing) = EV

For instance, if you want to bet £10 on the coin landing on heads at offered odds of 2.15, your calculations will be the following:

(11.50 X 0.5) – (10 X 0.5) = 0.75

This shows an EV of 0.75, meaning that you can expect an average profit of 75p for each £10 wagered on heads.

The key to becoming a successful sports bettor is to identify these value bets, i.e., those that offer better odds than what would be expected from a true reflection of the respective team’s chances of winning.

For any particular wager, our expected value calculator (EV calculator) calculates your profit margin over the sportsbook.

Types of Sports Bets Explained

The variety and scope of sports betting markets available to bettors online are almost limitless. Depending on your preferences, you can bet on individual players, teams, matches, or entire tournaments, as well as a range of props and futures bets.

Here is a quick breakdown of the sports bet types:

Moneyline Bet

A moneyline bet is a type of bet in which the bettor chooses a team to win the game outright. The payout for this type of bet depends on the moneyline odds assigned to each team, with the favorite typically paying out less than the underdog.

Moneyline bets, also referred to as straight bets, are popular among novice and seasoned sports bettors alike, as they offer a straightforward way to make a wager on a particular outcome.

Point Spread

A point spread is a type of bet on the margin of victory in a game, meaning that a stronger team is given a disadvantage against its opponent depending on the point spread assigned to the game. For example, if Team A is given a 5-point spread, then it means that it must win by more than 5 points/runs/goals in order to cover the spread so that you can cash your bet.

Point spreads are used to even out the odds between two teams, making it fair for both sides.


An over/under or total bets involve predicting whether the total number of points scored by both teams in a game will be over or under a certain number set by the bookmaker. This means bettors wager that the actual number will be higher or lower than this prediction.

Over/under bets offer an alternative way to wager on sports games, as you don’t need to predict the final score of a match – just a feeling whether there will be more or fewer combined points scored than a quoted value will be enough.

Parlay Bet

A parlay bet is a type of bet that combines two or more bets into one larger bet. However, in such a case, the bettor must correctly predict the outcome of all of their bets to win the entire parlay.

Parlay bets have larger payouts than traditional single bets, but they also come with more risk due to the fact that all wagers must be correct in order to win.

Our free parlay calculator, calculates your possible profits based on your picks.

Futures Bet

A futures bet is a type of wager that is placed on an event that will take place in the future – in several days, weeks, or months of competition and, consequently, pays out in the future.

Futures bets are usually placed on big sporting events, such as betting on which team will win the Super Bowl or which player will win an MVP award at the end of the season or a championship. These bets can be made long before the event takes place, giving bettors a chance to lock in their wagers early.

Live Betting

A live bet is a type of wager that allows bettors to make bets during a live sporting event. With live betting, bettors can make wagers as the game unfolds, giving them a chance to capitalize on changing odds throughout the course of the game.

Live bets are becoming increasingly popular as it offers bettors more ways to engage with their favorite sports.

Prop Bets

A prop bet is a type of wager that is based on an event happening within a game. These bets can be placed on anything from which of the two teams will score first to how many points a certain player will score in a game.

Prop bets are popular among experienced bettors who are looking for a more creative way to make a wager on a game.

How to Pick the Right Sports Betting Site

How to Pick the Right Sports Betting Site
Choosing the correct platform for online sports betting businesses is critical. There are various online gaming sites, but not all of them can be trusted.

When it comes to online sports betting sites, choosing the right platform is essential. There are numerous gambling sites on the internet, but not all of them can be trusted. It is important to consider a few key factors when selecting a reliable online sports betting site:

These are just some of the key aspects to consider safety-wise when choosing an online sportsbook. However, you also want to ensure that the platform meets your needs and individual preferences in terms of the overall betting experience. To narrow down your search, ask yourself the following questions:

Whichever sportsbook you decide on, remember to always check the terms and conditions on deposits and withdrawals before signing up. With a little research and effort, you can find the right sports betting site for you.

Sports Betting Bonuses

The best online sportsbooks often offer bonuses and promotions to attract new bettors and reward existing ones. These bonuses are typically expressed as a percentage of the funds deposited into your account, e.g., a 50% match bonus up to £500. But it’s important to remember that they come with certain requirements that must be met before you can withdraw any winnings.

Bonuses also come in different forms, such as free bets, enhanced odds, and money-back specials. Free bets are usually awarded after you place a qualifying bet and are expressed as a percentage of the stake or as a fixed amount.

Enhanced odds, on the other hand, increase the potential winnings from a given bet. So, if you place a bet at odds of 3.00, for example, the bookmaker may enhance them to 5.00 on selected markets or a specific game.

Money-back specials are usually available at specific events or markets, and they offer a refund of your stake if your bet doesn’t come in. For instance, a bookmaker may offer a money-back special on a football match that ended in a draw for players who placed point spreads.

These bonuses and promotions can be incredibly valuable, as they can improve odds, so they should not be overlooked when choosing an online sportsbook.

Account Limits and Wagering Requirements

When you create an account at an online sportsbook, it’s important to familiarize yourself with their limits and wagering requirements.

Most bookmakers impose limits on the amount of money you can bet in a single day, week, or month. It’s crucial that you keep track of these limits, as exceeding them could result in your account being suspended or even closed.

Additionally, some bookmakers may require that you meet certain wagering requirements before you can withdraw any winnings. These are typically expressed as a multiple of the bonus amount, and they vary from one bookmaker to another.

For instance, a bookmaker may specify that you must wager 10x the bonus amount before you can make a withdrawal. This means that if you receive a bonus of £100, you must place bets worth £1,000 before you can withdraw any winnings.

It’s important to pay attention to these requirements, as failing to meet them could result in your bonus and any associated winnings being forfeited.

How to Place a Sports Bet

How to Place a Sports Bet
To begin, open an account with a reputable online sportsbook and deposit funds using your favorite payment method.

Finally! Now that you know all the essential information, let’s place some bets!

You can revisit the three steps at the begging of our guide, but now that you’re aware of the numerous nuances, you can approach them carefully.

And that’s it! You’re now ready to start betting on sports online.

Tips for Beginners to Sports Betting

Tips for Beginners to Sports Betting
To effectively manage your sports betting activities, it is essential to adhere to a set budget, conduct thorough research on teams and players, and utilise the promotions offered by online sportsbooks.

Now that you know the basics of sports betting, let’s take a look at some tips to help ensure you maximize your chances of success:

Bankroll Management

Bankroll Management
Effective bankroll management is a critical skill that will allow you to avoid costly mistakes while also maximizing your winnings.

Effective bankroll management is an invaluable skill that will help you avoid making costly mistakes and maximize your winnings.

When it comes to setting up your gambling budget, you need to decide how much money you can realistically afford to lose without putting yourself in financial distress.

You should also divide your bankroll into smaller chunks, setting a separate amount for each bet you make. When it comes to determining a bet amount, the golden rule is to never wager more than 5% of your bankroll on a single bet. This will help ensure that you don’t risk too much of your bankroll on any single bet.

It’s also important to diversify your bets. Many novice bettors make the mistake of wagering all their money on a single bet; however, this can be incredibly risky and is not recommended. Instead, try to spread various bets across different sports and markets. This will help reduce the risk of losing all your money on one bet.

Setting win and loss limits is also an important part of effective bankroll management. This means deciding in advance how much money you are willing to win or lose on any given bet. Once you’ve reached your limit, it’s time to quit – no matter how tempting it might be to keep going.

Another vital thing is to avoid asking for money from others and especially for credit or lines of credit from sportsbooks. This type of borrowing can be incredibly dangerous, as it can lead to spiralling debt.

If you feel you cannot resist the urge to place a bet even when you don’t have the money for it, it can be a sign of a gambling problem. Take a break from betting activities and consider looking for help from your loved ones or a support group.

Always remember that sports betting should be viewed as entertainment and not as a source of income. Don’t expect to get rich quickly and never bet more than you can afford to lose.

Common Sports Betting Mistakes

Common Sports Betting Mistakes
It is critical to wager responsibly and avoid making frequent mistakes that can result in losses or even compromise your personal information.

Sports betting can be a fun and exciting way to add an extra element of competition when watching sports. However, it’s important to bet responsibly and avoid making common mistakes that can lead to losses or even put your personal information at risk. Some of the most common mistakes you should be aware of include:

By following these guidelines, you can minimize common mistakes and bet responsibly. Make sure to do your research, exercise self-control, and understand the risks associated with sports betting before getting started.

Glossary: Essential Sports Betting Terminology

As a part of our Sports Betting Guide, here are some essential terms and concepts related to sports betting:

Action – a bet or wager;

Bet – a wager placed on a sporting event;

Bankroll – the total amount of money allocated for sports betting;

Betting exchange – an online platform where bettors can wager against each other rather than against a bookmaker.

Betting line – the odds or point spread set by the bookmaker on a given sporting event.

Betting markets – the various types of bets available on a given sporting event.

Bookmaker – an individual or company that takes bets on sports events; a synonym of a sportsbook.

Edge – the advantage a bettor has before a bet is placed;

Favourite – a team or individual likely to win a particular game or event; sometimes, also referred to as chalk;

Handle – the total amount of money wagered on a game;

Handicapping – researching sports statistics to identify potential winners;

In-game wagers – bets made after a game started; applicable to live betting;

Limit – the maximum allowed wager on a single bet;

Lock – a huge favourite;

Long shot – a huge underdog;

Money line – a type of betting odds expressed as a ratio of money wagered;

Odds – a numerical expression that indicates the likelihood of a certain outcome occurring;

Oddsmaker – someone who sets the betting lines on games; a synonym of linemaker;

Off the board – a game bettors can not wager on;

Pick ’em – a game with no favourite or underdog;

Point spread – a number used by bookmakers to handicap one team over another;

Push – occurs when neither team covers the spread, i.e., no one wins the bet, and all wagers are refunded to bettors;

Sharp – a professional sports bettor;

Underdog – a team or individual unlikely to win a particular game or event;

Vigorish (or vig) – a fee charged by a bookmaker for taking a bet; also called juice in slang;

Wager – an act of betting a sum of money on the outcome of a game; a synonym of stakes.

Feel free to revisit this section whenever you need some clarification. This way, you’ll understand the process better and will make more informed betting decisions.


Sports betting can be a fun and exciting way to make money, whether you’re a horse racing fan or want to bet on an NFL game. However, it is important to understand what the right wager amount is for you and your level of risk tolerance before placing any bets.

For this reason, it is advisable to research the teams and players you are betting on and familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations of the sport. Hopefully, our guide provided valuable insights into how sports betting works and how to make the most out of your betting experience.

Additionally, it is important to remember that legal sports gambling is, first and foremost, gambling, meaning that it can lead to financial losses if not done responsibly. Keep researching your favourite teams, stay on top of the statistics, and you’ll be able to make accurate predictions more often. Good luck, and gamble responsibly!

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