Online Betting » Betting Guide

In-Depth Betting Guides for 2024: Learn Key Topics for Betting Online

Our sports experts have put together a comprehensive betting guide with the aim of helping you choose your first bets. Our betting guide includes all the information you need to start placing educated bets.

Read on for a detailed breakdown of how to read odds, the most popular types of wagers, and our top tips for new bettors. You’ll also find explanations of live betting and common bonus types you might encounter when exploring online betting for the first time.

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A Guide to Betting Odds – What They Mean & How to Read Them

To get you off on the right foot, you’re going to need to understand the odds. Betting odds dictate how much money you can win if you place a winning wager. Learning to read them will help you understand the possible payout and the likelihood of a win.

In this betting guide, we look at the three main types of betting odds that you will come across on online sportsbooks: American, Decimal and Fractional. These odds can represent the same values, but they’re displayed in different ways.

You can see how the same odds are presented in American, Decimal and Fractional below:

American OddsDecimal OddsFractional Odds
+2003.02/1
-2001.50.5/1
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American Odds

American odds (money line odds or “US” odds) are used in American sportsbooks. A “-” sign presents the odds for favourites, while the odds for underdogs are marked with “+”.

If you’re betting on a favourite, the “-” sign will indicate the money you must wager to win $100. On the other hand, while betting on underdogs, the “+” sign indicates how much you’ll win for every $100 wagered.

How to Read American Odds

If a team or player has +300 odds, you will receive $300 if your $100 bet is settled as a win. Ultimately, your total return would be your initial bet of $100 plus $300, making your total winnings worth $400.

Regarding favourites, if a team has -720 odds, you need to wager $720 to win $100. In the event of a winning bet, you would receive your $720 back plus an additional $100, resulting in a total payout of $820.

Decimal Odds

Decimal or European odds represent the winnings you receive for every successful $1 stake. They’re mostly used across Europe and are represented by a decimal number (e.g. 3.0).

How to Read Decimal Odds

If the odds are listed as 1.86, and you place a €100 wager, you’ll get €186 for a winning bet. Your initial wager is included in the total payout. To calculate your profit, simply subtract one from the final odds.

Fractional Odds

Fractional odds are popular in the UK and Ireland. They’re displayed as a fraction (e.g. 10/1), with the numerator (number on the top of the fraction) indicating your potential winnings, and the denominator (number on the bottom) showing the required stake from your side.

How to Read Fractional Odds

You can calculate your potential return by multiplying the numerator by your bet amount and dividing by the denominator.

For example, if you bet £100 on a match with betting odds of 6/2, you’ll receive a payout of £300 if your bet is successful:

(6 x £100) / 2 = £300

Our unbeatable bookmakers

With a solid understanding of odds, we will now move on to types of wagers. There are a huge variety of wagers available on online betting sites. By the time you finish this guide to betting, you will understand the most popular ones and have an idea of which ones you’d like to try first.

Moneyline

The simplest and most popular kind of bets are moneyline bets. All you have to do is pick the player or team you think will win the game. This is a great bet for beginners as it doesn’t require a lot of calculations.

Point Spread / Against The Spread

Point spread betting will give you a chance to win your wager even if you bet on the losing team. The point spread balances the playing field between the two teams and provides bettors with a projected margin of victory in points, goals, runs, etc.

For example, if the Dallas Cowboys win by 24 points to 22, but you bet on the New York Giants with a spread of +3, the Giants’ final score would be counted as 25 and you would win your bet.

You can also bet against the spread for a team to win by a specific number of points.

Over/Under

Online sports betting sites will make predictions, such as the number of points that will be scored in a game, and you can bet on whether the actual total will be over or under this number. If the sportsbook’s prediction matches the actual outcome, your bet will be refunded.

Game & Player Props

Game props and player props are a type of side wager that has nothing to do with the final result of the game. For example, you can predict the number of corner kicks or yellow cards in a soccer match. Player props can include everything from rushing yards to inbounds.

Parlays

Parlays are multiple bets combined into one single wager. These bets are also called accumulators or multis in various countries. For a parlay bet to win – all wagers within it must be settled as a win. These types of bets are exciting because their returns can get extremely high for multiple legs, but are also much riskier than single bets. You can also place a “same-game parlay”: a wager on multiple outcomes of the same match.

Teaser Bets

A teaser bet is a type of parlay bet where you can adjust the point spread of each leg for a reduced or increased payout. This option is useful when you’re one leg short of winning your parlay but are not confident about the outcome. With teaser bets, you can reduce the risk of losing by setting the point spread in your favour for a reduced payout.

Our Live Online Betting Guide

Below, we continue our betting guide by looking at the different elements associated with one of the most popular types of sports betting, live betting.

What is Live Betting?

Unlike pre-match betting, live betting takes place after a game has started. Many online betting sites have adapted their website platforms to allow live betting. You will find pretty much the same types of wagers when you’re betting live, and a few extra.

Let’s take soccer as an example. You can place live bets on anything from the next team to score, the number of penalties, ball possession, and the next red or yellow card. Live betting is especially good for sharp bettors who can efficiently predict what will happen in a match based on its momentum.

Integrated Live Stream

This is a highly convenient feature implemented by major bookmakers, enabling players who prefer live betting to watch the match directly on the page. This allows you to place live bets more easily, as you don’t have to switch between tabs or take your eyes off the screen to follow the action.

Odds Refresh Rate

Online sports betting sites that have a better loading speed and refresh their odds faster than others will always be the superior choice for live betting. When you bet live, a faster odds refresh rate will keep you up-to-date with the most current odds and allow you to take advantage of certain swings in momentum.

Early Cashout

While you’re at the mercy of the teams and players you bet on, some sports betting sites allow you to cash out before the match ends. This can be useful if the game takes an unexpected turn. The sportsbook determines the amount you can cash out, typically as a percentage of your original bet. Remember that, over the long run, early cashout will play against your bankroll. Only consider this if there’s too much at stake.

Online Betting Bonuses

Whether you’re an experienced bettor or a newbie, sports betting bonuses are the first thing that can attract you to sign up at a sportsbook. Here are some of the most common bonuses you’ll come across:

  • Welcome Bonuses: The most common type of bonus offered is a welcome bonus. The sportsbook will match your first deposit up to a certain percentage (e.g. 100%, 200%) to kickstart your betting journey. Remember to read the terms and conditions before claiming.
  • Free Bets: This is your “free lunch” at online sports betting sites. Free bets are risk-free wagers that may be offered as no-deposit bonuses or match bonuses. Note that the free bet is an SNR (stake not returned) bet, meaning you’ll only receive your winnings.
  • Lowered Juice: Sometimes, the site will reduce the juice (vig) on some bets. Lowered juice means that the amount of commission on your bet is reduced, making it more profitable. For example, -110 lines on the NFL may be reduced to -105 NFL lines.
  • Boosted Odds: The sportsbook may offer increased odds for moneyline, point spread, over/under or team/player prop bets to make certain lines more attractive.

An Expert Betting Guide for Beginners Strategies

Our beginner’s betting tips will help you make smart choices when placing your first bets. When you are ready, you can start researching a betting strategy you want to use for future wagers.

Stay Away From Parlays

Compared to single bets, parlays are a bit complicated for beginners. If you combine 7-leg parlays, all of the bets within it must be settled as a win for you to win the parlay. You may want to avoid parlays and place single bets until you have more experience.

Shop Around for the Best Odds

It’s always a good idea to check multiple sportsbooks and see which one offers the best odds for the particular event you want to bet on. Some sites may also offer bonuses or boosted odds for certain events.

Know the Sport

It’s paramount to know the sport you’re betting on and avoid blind bets purely based on luck. Before placing your wager, read our expert betting guides and track the team’s performance and form, notable player injuries, weather conditions, etc.

Always Bet Responsibly

Before you start placing bets, make sure you set yourself appropriate limits. You should only bet money you can afford to lose: there is no way to guarantee wins when betting. Our bankroll management guide can help you find the best strategy for betting within your budget.

Feeling Ready to Bet on Sports Now?

Betting on sports is much more than picking a side or following a gut feeling. Of course, you can still bet on your favourite team and have fun, but remember that thorough research and expert guidance shouldn’t be ignored. Even though there is no magic formula that can help you win when sports betting, we hope that our betting guide helps you place your first bets with confidence and that you enjoy the experience.

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Betting Guides FAQs

❓ What is a betting market?

A betting market is another term for the types of wagers that a sportsbook offers on different events. For example, moneyline or over/under bets.

⭐ What is an “if” bet?

“If” bets allow you to link two to six bets collectively, similar to a parlay. The only distinction is that you must correctly predict the wager to continue with the next one.

➕ What do “+” and “-” mean in sports betting?

A minus sign always refers to a favourite, and a plus sign refers to an underdog, and you will see them primarily when using American odds. There is a more detailed explanation in our online betting guide.

👏 How should a beginner start betting on sports?

First, read our online betting guide. After that, choose a sport you have a genuine interest in, do your research, make the most of bonuses and free bets, and stick to your bankroll.

🎉 How can I make winning bets?

There is no way to guarantee that you will win your wagers – betting always has an element of risk. However, following this betting guide, doing your research, and managing your bankroll will help you make better decisions and enjoy the experience.

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