Sports betting is a common pastime for millions of people around the world. But with the right information and knowledge, most of them could become much more accurate with a little effort. Online betting in the UK is huge, for example, but the use of strategies and/or fundamental research behind betting is not that common.
The basics of sports betting
Above all, for a beginner, it is important to know how bets work. It can be as complicated or as simple as you want it to be, but now we need to know the basics. This means knowing how odds work, and international odds too.
In the United States, the money line is used, which is a way of showing how much to bet to win $100 or how much you would win for every $100 wagered, depending on whether it is positive or negative. The +200 odds show how much they win if they bet $100, while a negative (favorite) number of -200 would show how much you need to bet to win $100.
The UK uses fractional odds, so 6/1 means for every $1 bet you win $6. Or the 1/4 favorite means you have to bet $4 to win $1.
Finally, it is important to know how the different bets work. There are single/absolute bets where you bet on the winner or one event or competition, or there are double bets where you bet on two events and the odds are multiplied together. Your winnings multiply together, but if just one of the events loses, you lose the entire bet. This logic extends to triples, accumulators, etc.
Trixies, Lucky 15 and Yankees are all bets where multiple bets are placed in this “accumulator” style bet. Thus, a Trixie is made up of four bets containing 3 doubles and 1 treble. So you still get money back if two or three events win – but win all four bets if you guessed all three events correctly.
Place your first bet
It is important to choose the right bookmaker. To inform this decision, you need to pick one that offers betting on your favorite markets, competitive odds, good features, a nice user interface, your preferred payment method, and overall good reviews for things like customer service.
To place your first bet, you must deposit (there will be a minimum deposit amount). This is after registering of course, which may require proof of your address and identity depending on your jurisdiction.
Go to the sports section, choose your games and bet types, use the bet slip if you want an accumulator type bet, enter the stake amount and confirm the bet.
Before looking at how to inform your bets, the amount you bet is by far the most important thing to learn. You want to know more about bankroll management, i.e. how to control your stake according to the account balance (i.e. never bet more than 10% of the account balance in one single bet). And set limits on how much you should deposit weekly or monthly. This can help prevent the emotional pursuit of losses.
Knowing how to place informed bets is impossible to describe generically, as every sport is different. But, first, it pays to watch and be a fan of the sport. Try to avoid betting on international leagues if you have never watched them. Second, some basic stats go a long way. Namely, things like shape. Take Manchester United bottom of the Premier League table the other day, while Arsenal topped the league. It may look like a one-sided game, but that would be ignoring United’s most recent game, where they held Liverpool to a draw and then beat Southampton and Leicester. Form-wise, they looked great, despite their low position in the league.
You can also get tips from the online community that watches the sport. But be careful not to follow so-called tipsters who ask for money in exchange for their recommendations. If they were doing so well, why would they need your money?