I think you’ll agree with me when I say that learning a new skill like betting on sports is super exciting! It can make you some money, and it changes the way you watch the games. All of a sudden, the game means a lot more. It’s more exciting, too.
The good news is that learning how to bet on sports is actually a lot simpler than you might have thought. While I – nor anyone else – can guarantee that you’ll suddenly learn how to win all the time, learning the ropes is just a matter of grasping the basics, picking the right sportsbook, and picking up a few tips and tricks.
Today, I’m here to help. In this article, I’m going to show you how to bet on sports the easy way. We’ll take a look at the basics, we’ll check out how to pick a sports betting site that’s right for you, and we’ll take a look at some tips and tricks. And we’ll do it all together.
Ready? Let’s go.
What do I mean by ‘the basics’?
By ‘basics,’ I mean understanding the general rules of sports gambling – how you place a bet, and what the markets mean.
Let’s start with the wager. When you place a wager, you’re suddenly in competition with the other party – which, in our example, is the betting site. If you wager on, say, an NFL team to win, the bookmaker accepts the wager. If your team wins, you collect. If your team loses, the bookmaker keeps your wager.
What types of wagers are there? Numerous, but we’ll cover these later. For now, let’s rewind a bit …
See, before the money is involved, a wager is simply a selection, which is what you are betting on. For example, if you choose an NFL team to win, this is your selection. It only becomes a wager once you’ve staked money.
Staked money! Now we’re talking. So, what’s a stake? A stake is the amount of cash you’ve placed on a wager. Once you’ve staked a wager, that money is no longer yours – at least for now.
While the bet is “on” the money is temporarily in the hands of the bookmaker until an outcome has been decided. If you win the bet, your stake plus any profit is returned to you. If you lose the bet, the bookmaker collects the stake.
Most betting sites have minimum and maximum stakes. The minimum stake is often as low as $0.50 but can be as high as $2,000+.
Now, before you choose a selection and place a wager with a stake, you need to weigh up the odds. These will tell you how much you’ll win if your bet comes through, as well as whether or not a bet has real value.
They vary according to the probability of a specific outcome. For example, let’s say the LA Lakers are playing the Chicago Bulls tonight. Going off the current form, the odds for the Lakers to win outright would be low because they’re the clear favorites. They’re expected to win.
If, on the other hand, you decide to bet on the Bulls to win, the numbers will be much higher. When they’re low, your chances of winning increase. But when the odds are so low, bettors often stake much higher amounts in order to make a decent profit. Otherwise, there’s no value. On the flip side, high ones mean you don’t have to stake too much in order to turn a good profit. The chances of the bet coming through, though, are slimmer.
Lastly, once the outcome has been decided comes the payout. If your bet “comes through,” the bookmaker returns your stake to you and adds on the profit. If it doesn’t, the bookmaker keeps your stake.
The general rule of thumb is that if there are some sports that people love to watch, then most likely you can bet on these as well. A whole different story is that if betting on those sports is legal in your state or country. Fortunately, online betting makes it quite easy for everyone to bet on various sports.
Here are some of our most popular betting tutorials for different sports::
Moreover, most online betting sites go even further can let you bet basically on everything, for example on NBA players or presidential elections.
Now that you’ve got a rudimentary understanding of the basics, let’s have a look at the type of bets you can place:
This is a bet you place before the sporting event has begun. For example, you might have the Lakers to beat the Bulls
In-game betting is otherwise known as live betting. As the action progresses, the markets and odds change. For example, in a soccer match, “under 3.5 goals” might have really high odds at the start. But if the game reaches the halfway mark and is still 0-0, they will plummet dramatically
For point spreads, the bookmaker will post a spread before a game begins. Your task is to decide whether the outcome will be higher or lower. The amount you win or lose is determined by how higher or lower the outcome is, and all you’re concerned about is the point spread
There are, of course, many more types, but we don’t have room to discuss them all here. For now, these 3 are the main types that you need to know.
I’ve got some good news and some bad news.
The bad news is that there are a lot of sportsbooks out there, and some are actually outright scam’s.
The good news is that, with a bit of diligent research, it’s possible to pick a sportsbook that’s right for you. In fact, we’ve got a few guides on our website that will help you out. Go check ‘em!
Other than that, here are some tips:
In this section, I want to share with you a number of tips and tricks that will help you bet on sports:
You must make it a rule to only bet on sports that you understand inside and out. The more you know about a sport, the more success you’ll have when betting on sporting events.
The best sports bettors only bet on games and sports they understand. A huge soccer fan will make better soccer betting decisions than someone who only watches it now and then. Knowing more about them just gives you that competitive edge over the bookmaker as it will allow you to find the value bet that lots of people miss.
It will also prevent you from making terrible errors of judgment and losing all your money.
The easiest way to learn more about sports? Watch more of them! Subscribe to ESPN. Hey, it’s fun, right?!
A lot of people believe in something called “beginners luck.”
Beginner’s luck is when a gambler wins the first time they place a bet. Then, they win the second and third time, too. They then get too confident and cocky and start playing bigger wagers – and eventually lose all their money.
When you’re feeling your way into sports betting, I can’t over-stress how important it is that you start with small amounts. Even if you win a few times, build up your stakes gradually and only ever stake, say, 3% of your total bankroll max.
The thing with betting is that no one wins all the time. Even the pro gamblers who bet for a living lose sometimes. So it’s crucial that you go into this with realistic expectations and understand that everyone loses.
The key is to bet for fun. If you no longer bet for fun but instead see betting as an actual income, you may lose your head, as well as all your money. You also develop a gambling problem. Just remember that you will win some, but you will also lose some. Don’t get carried away regardless of the outcome, but make sure betting is for entertainment purposes only.
Many bettors have placed wagers after a few beers. But for many bettors, this is their number one downfall.
Betting while under the influence of drink or drugs is the easiest way to lose your money. You’ll become over-confident and place wagers you ordinarily would have avoided.
Only bet when you’re sober and thinking clearly.
It’s common for a bettor to get the “urge” to place a bet when they know they really shouldn’t. It’s late, it’s time for bed, but a game has just started … and the odds on a particular bet look too good to miss out on,
This happens a lot: We see attractive odds and start to calculate how much we’d win if we staked X amount.
Wow! It’s a lot!
So we place the bet.
But there’s a catch …
Attractive numbers are a temptation that needs to be avoided unless we’re thinking rationally.
The best thing to do is to stay as disciplined as possible. This means only betting on sports you know, and sticking to markets that you understand, and which you know generally work out in your favor. It also means sticking within the limits of your bankroll and not placing bets, which you know in your heart are high-risk.
Sports betting is a lot of fun – but only when you know what you’re doing and can finesse the sports betting market. The next step is to absorb the information in this article and then find sportsbooks that suit you.
Not sure which site to use? Make sure to check out our review guides!
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