Online betting is not only a wonderful form of entertainment but also an excellent opportunity for in-the-know bettors and complete novices alike to make huge profits from top sports like football, soccer and horse racing. Whether it’s a simple prediction such as the match result or correctly predicting the first scorer in a basketball game, the list of ways to win is seemingly endless. Not sure where to start? Our beginner’s guide will take you through everything you need to know before you start placing your wagers at a top online betting site.
Beginner’s guide to online betting
Why bet online?
There’s nothing stopping you from heading out onto the high street and placing your bets with a land-based bookie, but the advantages of betting online simply can’t be ignored. There’s the obvious – being able to bet anytime, any place frees you from the confines of the local betting shop, thanks to mobile-friendly betting sites as well as native mobile betting apps. Plus, many of the best online betting sites allow you to bet in-play on a huge number of sports, while you watch the action unfold on high definition live streams. As if that wasn’t enough, the ability to cash-out online puts full control in the hands of the bettor, allowing you to cut your losses early on or claim a win before things take a turn for the worst.
Find the best value
Sure, betting on sport is fun, but we’re all looking for a nice return when putting our hard-earned money on the line. It goes without saying – every bettor is after the best prices available. When comparing, you’ll probably find that most prices on major sports are quite similar, but there are a few features that set the contenders apart from the pretenders. Can you get a bonus on your accumulator? Are there any money back specials or price boosts on offer? There are usually great ways of measuring which betting site offers the best value for bettors.
When comparing prices, the way they’re presented might make them tough to decipher for complete newcomers. Markets aren’t priced like items at a grocery store, but are instead assigned betting odds. Betting odds simply indicate the payout you’ll receive from the bookmakers if your bet is a winner. These odds are usually presented in one of three formats:
- Fractional – Here, your potential winnings are given as a fraction of your stake. For example, odds of 1/1 means that if you place a $5 wager, you’ll receive $5 in winnings and have your original stake returned for a total of $10.
- Decimal – This is simply the multiple of your stake that you’ll receive for a winning bet. So if you place a $10 wager on a market with decimal odds of 2.5, you can expect a $25 return.
- American – American odds are a completely different ball game. The bookmaker’s favourites come with a – or + symbol attached for favourites and underdogs, respectively. The higher the value, the larger the underdog. For instance, a -500 favourite has a better chance of winning than a -200 favourite, while a +100 underdog has a better chance of winning than a +600 underdog.
Online betting markets
The best online betting sites deliver a stellar choice of betting markets for customers. Betting markets are the outcomes available for betting on any given match. We aren’t just talking the number of different sports available to bet on, but also the choice of betting markets within each match, such as the match result, handicap and winning margin markets. While there’s often little to choose between the biggest brands when it comes to major sports like soccer, you’ll find a fair amount of variation in market coverage between betting sites when looking to bet on more obscure sports and competitions.
You can be forgiven for thinking you’re limited to pre-match markets at the top online betting sites. Whilst this used to be the case, live betting is now one of the most important features to consider when choosing a top online betting site. Placing bets during a live game can present more favourable opportunities and odds for bettors, depending on how a game is unfolding.
Compare welcome bonuses
If the prices and market depth on offer aren’t enough to filter the list down to just one, the welcome bonus, also known as sign up bonus, offered to new customers is a great way to make your decision a little easier. Betting sites offer a number of first bet bonuses to attract new customers, including free bets, first bet insurance and matched first deposits. Here, it’s not all about choosing the biggest bonus, but instead, choosing wisely to find a bonus that suits your betting style. Reading the terms and conditions for a specific new customer bonus offer and keeping an eye out for any wagering requirements is a great way of figuring out if a signup bonus is really as enticing as advertised.
Ready to place your bets?
Now we’ve shown you the ropes, you’re sure to have a better idea of what to look out for before signing up at an online bookmaker. Check out our carefully curated list for the premier selection of online sports betting sites available today. With plenty of sports for you to bet on, from football to UFC, we’ve got you covered. Once you’ve picked out one that ticks all your boxes, simply sign up, claim your exclusive welcome bonus and start betting online today!