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An Introduction to Sports Betting

Published on: 08/08/2016

The world of sports betting can be quite daunting for the novice. There are so many different ways to bet, so many different types of bets and so much new terminology to learn. A quick glance at a betting website can easily leave your head in a spin if you are a first-time visitor to this environment. A betting shop can also seem like an alien environment if you do not know what you are doing.

Having said all this, it does not take long to get to grips with the basics and once you have learned how to place your first bet, the rest of this intriguing world will soon start to reveal itself to you.

If you intend to bet on any of the really popular sports such as football, golf, tennis, motor racing, American football or baseball, you should not have too much trouble finding your feet. Any assistant in a bookmaker’s shop can show you how to fill out a bet slip and all of the major betting website have simple betting guides to get you started. Fans of less mainstream sports such as snooker, darts, cricket, Aussie rules, ice hockey, or downhill skiing will also find betting options for most of the popular markets.

The amazing things about sports betting is that you can place a wage on just about any outcome you can imagine. Even if your proposition is not listed, you can ask the bookmaker to give you a price. This also extends beyond sport to the world of entertainment and politics, where you can even bet on who will win an Oscar or who will become the next Prime Minister.

With so many betting options available, it makes sense to start with something which you know and love such as your favourite sport. If you are a soccer fan, you can place a simple wager on who will win the Premier League or the Champions League, or who will win a particular match. This way, you can use you extensive knowledge of the sport to make accurate judgements. If you make a bet before the season has actually started, it is known as an Ante-post bet.

As well as betting on the winner of a match or competition, you can try and predict who will score the first or last goal in a match. You can bet on the correct score or how many goals will be scored in a game. You can even bet on which manager will get sacked next or which coach will take over a current vacancy.

Betting exchange websites allow you to bet against other punters on whether an outcome will or will not happen. And live in-play betting gives you the option to place bets after the game has started. So you can try and predict who will get the next corner or penalty, or who will receive the next yellow card.

Football is the most popular sport for betting in the UK but it is not just the Premier League that attracts the interest of British punters - regular punters will bet on matches in different league all over the world.

In America, NFL or American football is the number one sport for gambling, closely followed by baseball and basketball. Other popular sports include ice hockey, golf and tennis. It pays to spend a little time familiarising yourself with some on the terminology used in betting. The odds that are offered on an outcome can be expressed in different formats from one country to another, such as fractions or decimals, so make sure you know how to read odds in one of the popular formats. Most bookmakers websites will allow you change the format that the odd are displayed in to suit your preference.

An example of the different ways in which odds can be displayed:
Fractional: 8/5 (a £5 bet pays an £8 profit)
Decimal: 1.80 (a £1 bet pays a £1.80 profit)

Once you get used to placing straight forward bets, you can move on to more technical stuff such as spread betting and handicapping. Spread betting allows you to bet that the outcome will fall into a certain range, such as over 10.5 corners in a football. You buy or sell points above or under the set value.

Handicap betting aims to even the playing field in a game by giving the weaker team a head start or the stronger team a deficit. Your bet only pays out if it correct after the handicap has been applied to the finals score.

Most bookmakers will allow you to place very small bets, often as little as 10p. This is the best way to start when you are a novice. Only move on to larger sums once you are confident that you know what you are doing and have started to pick winners on a regular basis. You can also take advantage of the free bets that bookmakers use to entice you to open an account.

Published on: 08/08/2016 © Bet Bind