Beginners Guide to Sports Betting

Getting into sports betting can be just as confusing as it is exciting. From figuring out how odds work to navigating your way around hundreds of bookies and betting exchanges, it’s not an easy hobby to get started in. We’ve put together a quick guide to get you up and running in sports betting so you can start off your new hobby with – hopefully – a winning streak. 
 
What should I look for in a good bookmaker or betting exchange? 
 
The number one priority when choosing a bookmaker should be the security of your funds and winnings. Look out for a bookmaker with a license issued by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, Malta Gaming Authority or the United Kingdom Gambling Commission and you can rest assured that your money will be safe. 
 
How do I place a bet? 
 
After you’ve chosen your bookie, you’ll first have to register and add some funds to your account using whatever payment methods your chosen site allows – this often means bank or e-wallet transfer. Next, you should decide which sport and match you want to bet on; often, it’s best to start with sports you’re familiar with and expand from there. Once you’ve got your bet slip for the match and checked the odds, you add your stake – the money you want to gamble – and confirm the bet. 
 
How do odds work? 
 
You can’t bet on sports without understanding how odds work, or you might find yourself in for a rough time. Odds can be presented as fractional odds or decimals. Fractional odds, more common with bookmakers, consist of two numbers separated by a slash. The first number is how much you would win if you stake the second number. So, fractional odds of 5/1 means you’ll make $5 profit for every $1 you stake. Decimal odds, which are more common in betting exchanges, give you a multiplier with which to work out your winnings. For example, decimal odds of 7.5 means that you’ll receive your stake multiplied by 7.5 if you win the bet, so a stake of $10 would return $75 dollars, resulting in $65 profit. 
 
What odds should I look out for? 
 
The best way to make money from sports betting is to take advantage of good odds when you see them. Good odds means that the probability of a win is higher in reality than the probability a bookmaker has assigned to that win. If there’s a market you’re more knowledgeable in, use that knowledge to look out for matches where a bookie has underestimated an underdog or overestimated a top team. You’re more likely to find mistakes in smaller markets than in popular ones such as football and horse racing. Looking out for early prices on promising competitors can also be a good way to get the best odds. 
 
Sports betting – when to stop? 
 
The last thing every punter always needs to keep in mind when sports betting is their own frame of mind. If the bet is no longer fun or you’re starting to feel more stress than excitement, it might be time to put the sportsbook down for a little while. Taking a breather when you get too involved is the best way to maintain control when you’re enjoying a gamble. Always remember: when the fun stops, stop.