If you’re itching to delve into the world of sports betting, you’re in the right corner! Our comprehensive guide will escort you through the rudiments of sports gambling, ensuring you kickstart your journey with a strong foundation. While we can’t transform you into an overnight sensation, this guide will undoubtedly lay down the fundamentals for you. Here’s a roadmap to guide your first few steps.

Step 1. Budgeting is Key

While the prospect of winning is tantalizing, beginners often face initial setbacks. Thus, it’s wise to set aside a sum that you’re comfortable parting with. Consider this amount as either an investment in learning or the price tag for the entertainment you’re about to embark on. Once this is settled, devising a staking plan is crucial to ensure that you don’t burn through your funds swiftly. A couple of pivotal points to ponder over when placing bets include:

  • Probability of Winning: Naturally, with a higher likelihood of winning, you can be a tad more adventurous with your stake.
  • Value of the Bet: A bet that screams value can tempt you to stake more. However, caution is key. A golden rule to abide by is never to commit more than 5% of your total budget to a single bet, regardless of its allure.

Step 2. Choosing Your Sport

Before diving headfirst into the world of sports betting, a fundamental question arises: What should I bet on? Given the myriad of options provided by bookmakers today, this can feel overwhelming.

Popular Betting Arenas

  • Football: Whether it’s the electrifying NFL or the intense NCAA Division 1, football boasts vast betting opportunities;
  • Basketball: From the iconic NBA to college hoops, European leagues, and international fixtures like the Olympics or the FIBA World Cup, basketball offers a betting bonanza;
  • Soccer: The world’s most beloved sport has an overwhelming number of leagues, from Europe’s elite to the MLS, not forgetting global tournaments and lesser-known leagues worldwide;
  • Baseball: MLB reigns supreme in baseball betting, but there’s also an array of global leagues that catch the bettor’s eye;
  • Tennis: The sport’s calendar is jam-packed with tournaments for both genders, ensuring bettors always have an event to look forward to.

Step 3. Picking the Right Bookmaker

Picking the Right Bookmaker

Numerous online bookmakers are vying for your attention. It’s pivotal to choose one that is reputable, user-friendly, and suits your betting needs. Top 5 Bookmakers to consider:

  • 20Bet: With a welcome bonus of 100% up to €120 and a range of features like live streaming and early cashouts, it’s a prime choice. However, note that it doesn’t cater to US bettors, and crypto deposits don’t qualify for bonuses;
  • Bet365: A respected name in online betting, offering a 15% welcome bonus up to ₹4,000. Their vast sports betting markets and 24/7 support are noteworthy, although they do have fewer promotions compared to other platforms;
  • 22Bet Sports: Distinguishes itself with a wide array of esports markets. Their 100% up to €122 welcome bonus and dedicated mobile apps for both iOS and Android make them stand out. They, however, don’t offer phone support;
  • Betway: Recognized for its excellent esports platform and a welcome bonus of 100% up to $200. They offer odds boosts and early cashouts but have a complex bonus structure for existing users;
  • 888 Sport: A trusted platform, offering a 100% bonus up to $250. They provide live betting options for major sports and frequent promos. However, they may have hidden fees and limit bets for winning players.

Step 4. Understanding Betting Odds

Understanding how odds function is paramount. Before placing any bet, familiarize yourself with how these numbers translate to probabilities and potential returns. Let’s dive into the three primary types of odds and break down their intricacies.

Decimal Odds

  • Hugely popular globally due to their straightforward nature, decimal odds are presented in numerical format like 3.50 or 1.25;
  • How to Use: Multiply your stake with the given odds to determine potential returns. For instance, a $10 bet at 2.50 odds would yield a $25 return, which translates to a profit of $15.

American (Moneyline) Odds

  • A favorite among US-based bettors, these odds can initially appear tricky, but they’re rather intuitive once you grasp their essence;
  • Positive Odds (+): Figures like +150 or +300 show the potential profit on a $100 bet. So, a $100 wager at +200 odds would fetch a $200 profit, totaling $300 with your initial stake;
  • Negative Odds (-): Numbers like -150 or -300 depict how much you need to bet to gain a $100 profit. For instance, with odds of -150, you’d need to stake $150 to potentially win $100.

Fractional Odds

  • Predominantly seen in the UK, these odds are expressed as fractions, such as 6/1 or 5/8, and can seem complex at first;
  • How to Use: Use the formula – Total Payout = [Stake x (Numerator/Denominator)] + Stake. For instance, with a $10 wager on 3/1 odds, your payout is $40, translating to a $30 profit.

Step 5. Choose Betting Options

Dive into the myriad of betting possibilities available. From straightforward win-lose bets to more intricate wagers, getting a grasp of the options will aid in making strategic choices. Let’s untangle the commonly used bets:

  • Moneyline (Match Winner/Result). At the core, this bet is about pinpointing the victor of an event. Some sports also accommodate betting on a draw;
  • Spreads/Handicaps. This bet introduces a pre-determined disadvantage to one team, leveling the playing field. Your task? Predict who emerges victorious considering this handicap;
  • Totals (Over/Under). Sidestep the winner’s circle and focus on cumulative points. Bookmakers set a benchmark for total points, and bettors speculate if the combined score will surpass or fall short of this number;
  • Futures and Outrights. Venturing beyond single events, these wagers allow forecasts on extended outcomes, like betting on a specific NBA team clinching the championship title;
  • The Rising Tide of Live Betting. A contemporary marvel in the betting universe is live or in-play betting. Since the inception of online bookies, this dynamic form of wagering, where bets are placed during an ongoing event, has skyrocketed in popularity.