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25.05.2023, 16:39
20.05.2024, 12:37

Sports Betting 101: A Quick and Easy Guide to Getting Started

Sports Betting 101: A Quick and Easy Guide to Getting Started

If you're new to sports betting and want to get started, we have a comprehensive tutorial to guide you. While it won't guarantee instant success, it will give you a solid foundation to begin your sports betting journey. Here are the main steps to start sports betting:

  1. Setting a Budget: Determine a budget for your sports gambling activities. Set aside money you are comfortable with and can afford to lose without affecting your financial stability.
  2. Choosing the Right Sport for Betting: Choose a sport you are familiar with and understand well. This will help you make more informed betting decisions based on your knowledge and experience.
  3. Finding the Right Platform for Your Betting Journey: Select a reputable online bookmaker and create a new account. Ensure that the bookmaker is licensed and offers a secure bet platform.
  4. Understanding Betting Odds: Familiarize yourself with how betting odds are displayed and how they represent the probability of an outcome. Understand the different odds formats such as decimal, fractional, and American.
  5. Mastering Popular Betting Options: Explore the various types of bets available in sports betting, such as moneyline, point spread, over/under, parlays, and more. Understand how each bet works and their potential risks and rewards. Remember, sports betting requires discipline, research, and responsible gambling practices. It's essential to stay informed, make informed decisions, and never bet more than you can afford to lose.

1 – Setting a Budget

Sports betting can be an enjoyable and potentially profitable activity, but it's important to approach it with a realistic mindset. Initially, you will likely experience losses, so setting a budget you can comfortably afford to lose is crucial. While losing money is not guaranteed, it is a common scenario for beginners in sports betting.

Even experienced gamblers may face long-term losses, so limiting your losses to an amount you can afford to let go without significant financial impact is vital. Consider your initial bankroll as an investment in the future or the cost of the entertainment and experience you'll gain from sports betting.

After setting your budget, it's essential to establish a staking plan to manage your bets effectively. The goal is to ensure you don't exhaust your funds too quickly. Even successful bettors experience losing streaks, and reckless bet sizing can quickly deplete your bankroll. There are two key factors to consider when determining your wager amount: the probability of winning and the strength of the bet.

Higher probability bets allow for slightly more significant risk, while bets perceived as excellent can warrant slightly higher stakes. However, as a general rule, it's recommended not to risk more than 5% of your total bankroll on any single bet, regardless of its apparent attractiveness. Implementing proper bankroll management and staking plans is crucial, and you can find more information on these topics on the provided webpage.

2 – Choosing the Right Sport for Betting

Once you've established your budget and staking plan, determining what to bet on is the next important decision. With the many events bookmakers offer, it's crucial to choose wisely.

There isn't a one-size-fits-all answer, as the most suitable event varies for each individual. It's ideal to select a sport and league that you have a good understanding of. Knowing a sport dramatically enhances your ability to identify favourable bets. Additionally, easy access to information about the specific competition is valuable for proper preparation before placing your wagers.

Consider the advantages and disadvantages of different events. Mainstream competitions in popular sports often provide more promotions and higher odds. They also offer readily available information and live broadcasts, enhancing your betting experience.

Popular Sports to Bet On:

  1. Football (Soccer) - The number of soccer leagues available for betting is staggering. It includes all the big leagues in Europe,  major international tournaments, and all sorts of obscure leagues from all over the globe.
  2. Basketball - You can pick between the NBA, college basketball, the top European leagues, and major international events like the Olympics, the FIBA World Cup, EuroBasket, and more.
  3. Tennis - The tennis calendar includes many tournaments for men and women each year, so you will have many opportunities to find good wagers.

Considerations for Choosing the Right Sport in Sports Betting:

  1. Mainstream Challenges: Value bets are often more challenging in mainstream competitions, as bookmakers allocate significant attention and rarely make mistakes with their odds. Beginners may find more opportunities in obscure sports or competitions where bookmakers have less investment.
  2. Explore Niche Sports: Less popular competitions can be favourable for first-time bettors, especially if they possess inside information or extensive knowledge about a specific niche. Utilising your expertise in such competitions can provide an advantage.
  3. Flexibility to Explore: Starting in sports betting doesn't require indefinitely sticking to one league or sport. Trying out different options allows you to discover what works best for you and your betting style.
  4. Importance of Planning: Having a well-defined plan is crucial for beginner bettors. Set goals, develop strategies, and focus on preferred sports to enhance your discipline and organisation in the betting process.

3 – Finding the Right Platform for Your Betting Journey

When starting sports betting, choosing a reliable and reputable bookmaker is crucial. While joining a betting site is typically quick and straightforward, selecting a platform that offers numerous benefits and enhances your overall betting experience is important.

The best online betting sites provide several advantages, including competitive odds, enticing promotions, extensive market options, and a secure environment. To make the right choice, research and explore the top-rated bookmakers available.

The recommended online sportsbooks mentioned above are ideal for beginners. These platforms have established credibility, offer various banking methods, provide diverse betting options, and prioritise user safety. Opting for these top sports betting sites can be highly rewarding.

After selecting a suitable bookmaker, proceed with opening a new account. The registration process typically involves providing basic personal information such as your name, country, and email address and choosing login credentials like a username and password. It only takes a minute to complete, and you'll be ready to embark on your sports betting journey.

Betting sites often provide various offers to enhance your betting experience. Here are some common types of promotions you may encounter:

  1. Welcome Bonuses: These are typically the most lucrative bonuses for your initial deposit. It's essential to take advantage of this offer to maximise your returns.
  2. Reload Bonuses: Some betting sites offer additional bonuses for subsequent deposits after your first deposit. While these bonuses may not be as substantial as welcome offers, they still provide extra value for your money.
  3. Free Bets: You may receive free bets allowing you to wager without risking your money. These can be offered for specific features or popular events such as the Super Bowl, soccer World Cup, March Madness, etc.
  4. Enhanced Odds: Betting sites occasionally offer improved odds for select events for a limited time. This allows you to win more on your successful wagers.
  5. Contests: Many betting sites organise exciting contests related to popular leagues and events. Participating in these contests can add an extra level of excitement to your betting journey.

It's important to carefully review the terms and conditions associated with these offers to understand their requirements and maximise their benefits.

4 – Understanding Betting Odds

Understanding betting odds is crucial for anyone starting with sports betting. While three different formats may seem complex at first, they all serve two primary purposes:

  1. Calculating Returns: Odds indicate the potential payout for a successful bet. They show how much money you would receive if your wager wins.
  2. Assessing Probabilities: Betting odds can also be used to estimate the likelihood of an outcome. Higher odds and potential returns suggest a lower chance of winning.

Now, let's delve into the specifics of each type of betting odds to help you grasp their meaning and significance.

Decimal Odds

Decimal odds are the most straightforward and widely used format in sports betting. They are presented as decimal numbers, such as 3.50 or 1.25.

To calculate your potential return, multiply your initial wager by the decimal odds. For instance, if you bet $10 on a selection with odds of 2.50, your potential return would be $25, resulting in a profit of $15.

This calculation method applies to all decimal odds, always equal to or greater than 1.01.

American Odds

Moneyline or American odds are commonly used in US betting sites and casino sportsbooks. While they may initially appear more complex than decimal odds, they become easier to understand with practice.

Here's a breakdown of how to interpret American odds:

  • Positive American Odds: Positive odds, such as +150 or +300, indicate the potential profit you would make if you wagered $100. For instance, a bet of $100 at odds of +200 would result in a $200 profit, along with your initial wager, for a total return of $300.
  • Negative American Odds: Negative odds, like -150 or -300, represent the amount you need to bet to win $100. For example, if the odds are -200, you would need to potentially bet $200 to win $100.

By understanding these two types of American odds, you can effectively calculate potential returns based on your wagers.

Fractional Odds

Fractional odds, primarily used in the United Kingdom and some other countries, are the third mainstream format in online betting.

Fractional odds are often considered the most complex format and have become less common in recent years. They are typically presented as a ratio of two numbers separated by a slash or a hyphen. Here is an example of how fractional odds appear:

  • 6/1 or 6-1
  • 5/8 or 5-8

Here's a straightforward formula you can use to determine your winnings:

Total Earnings = [Bet * (Odds Numerator/Odds Denominator)] + Bet

To illustrate how this formula works, let's look at a simple example. Suppose you placed a $10 bet on 3/1 odds and were victorious. Here's how you would calculate your total earnings:

[10 * (3/1)] + 10 equals $40, giving you a net profit of $30.

If you find fractional or American odds too tricky to understand, you'll be glad to know that most online betting platforms allow you to switch between these three formats. Choose the one that suits you best.

5 – Mastering Popular Betting Options

We have covered most of the steps for beginners in sports betting, and now let's delve into the different types of betting markets.

Top online bookmakers offer a wide range of options, with over 100 markets for the most popular events. This can be overwhelming for those new to sports betting, so focusing on the most popular wagering options is best.

These popular wagers are available in most sports and follow similar principles. Additionally, many other betting options are variations or combinations of these main wager types.

Here are the most common and mainstream wagers, which are sufficient for beginners looking to get started in sports betting.

Most Common Types of Bets:

  1. Moneyline: Also known as match-winner or match result, this bet involves choosing the winner of an event. In some sports, you may also have the option to bet on a draw as a potential outcome.
  2. Spreads/Handicaps: This popular bet introduces a handicap to one of the sides in the game. You place a wager on which team will win, considering the handicap.
  3. Totals: If you prefer a market not dependent on the event's winner, totals are a great option. The betting site provides a line of overall points scored, and you predict whether the combined score of both teams will be over or under that line.
  4. Futures and Outrights: This category encompasses various markets that allow you to bet on long-term events. For example, you can bet on a particular NBA team to win the championship.

In addition to these common types of bets, another form of sports gambling has gained popularity, which beginners should consider exploring.

Live betting, also known as in-play betting, has become increasingly popular with the rise of online bookmakers. It offers a unique and thrilling opportunity for sports bettors. While many markets available in pre-match betting are still present, live betting introduces new and dynamic options.

One of the critical advantages of live betting is that you can place wagers while the event is in progress. This allows you to assess the game's flow and make more informed decisions based on real-time developments. It adds an exciting layer of engagement and interaction to your sports betting experience.

With live betting, you can leverage changing odds and capitalise on momentum shifts during the event. Additionally, some bookmakers offer exclusive markets and betting options that are specific to live betting.

Suppose you're interested in exploring the world of live betting. In that case, our guide to in-play betting provides valuable insights into different markets, strategies, and tips to maximise your experience and potential returns.


In summary, sports betting can be a thrilling and enjoyable activity during the summer season. By understanding the basics of sports betting, choosing a reliable sportsbook, setting a budget, conducting research, and practising proper bankroll management, beginners can get started on the right foot. Starting with smaller bets, tracking performance, and keeping emotions in check are essential elements of a successful sports betting experience. Above all, remember to have fun and view sports betting as entertainment rather than a guaranteed money-making endeavour. Enjoy the summer and the excitement sports betting brings to your favourite sports events!


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