To a beginner, sports betting can be quite tricky. An outsider would think that it would just involve choosing the option that seems most likely and get it over with. But it’s a whole lot more than just that. A first-timer might find themselves feeling incredibly overwhelmed by the onslaught of new information.
While you can certainly figure everything out by yourself, navigating the betting world all alone will inevitably lead to mistakes. And some of them will cost you, quite literally. So here’s a quick guide to help you out.
If you find yourself lost each time you visit a sports betting website, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Everyone needs to start somewhere, which is why we’ve put together this article to help you out.
1. Odds and probabilities
Odds and probabilities form the foundation of sports betting. Although they are both indicative of the likelihood of an event occurring, they aren’t the same thing. To break it down, odds reflect probability. Odds are usually expressed in fractions, and sometimes, in decimal points. The lower the odds, the higher the probability. The higher the odds, the lower the probability.
Here’s an example to illustrate. In a match between Liverpool and Newcastle, the odds of Liverpool winning is 1.25, and the odds of Newcastle winning is 2.50. Since Liverpool has been given the lower number, they have a higher chance or higher probability of winning.
A bookmaker, or the bookie, is someone you place the bet with. They are also in charge of calculating the odds that we just mentioned above. Your main goal is to beat them and win the bet
3. Betting markets
Once you start betting, you would find that there are several types of bets. These are betting markets. Here are some examples of the most popular ones.
- 1X2 – This is your traditional win, draw lose bet. 1 is representative of the home team, X means draw and 2 is the away team. This is what the odds for 1X2 would look like for a match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford would look like.
1 (Manchester United) – 1.80
X (Draw) – 3.60
2 (Chelsea) – 2.50
- Over/Under – This is another popular market. All you have to do is guess whether or not the total number of goals at the end of the will be over or under a certain number that has been predetermined by the bookmaker.
- Both Teams To Score – This one is pretty self-explanatory isn’t it?
Every bookmaker offers its customers with incentives such as bonuses. The most common one is a free bet, where they essentially give you an amount to bet with. This amount, however, is not included in your payout, and only your profits are. First deposit bonuses are also very common.
5. Wagering requirements
To be able to access your bonuses, you need to meet certain wagering requirements. This is the minimum amount of money you need to bet to do so. For example, if there is a $30 wagering requirement to access your first deposit bonus, you would need to stake $30 before you can use your bonus money.
6. Backing and laying
When you back a bet, you put your money on a particular event happening. For instance, you back Germany to win against Brazil. When you lay a bet, you pretty much do the opposite, you bet against a certain event happening. For example, Germany will not win against Brazil.
Tipsters are third-party individuals who provide tips, predictions, and odds on various matches. Their goal is to help you beat the bookie by steering you in the right direction. They’re usually experts at what they do, and have a vast, in-depth knowledge on sports and sports betting.
Also known as vig, juice or margin, vigorish refers to the bookie’s cut. Every bet you make, a part of the stake goes to the bookmaker since they need to make a living too.