A Short Introduction to How Betting Online Works

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Betting on horse racing, football or any other big sporting event is a great way to increase the thrill of the experience whilst watching all the action unfold. But placing sports betting online can be a confusing process for new customers and mistakes can mean voiding your bet. This is a guide to how betting works.

If you’ve never placed a bet online before and are not sure where to start, our betting guides will tell you all you need to know.

Let’s start with the bookmakers, who compile and publish odds on a match, race, tournament or any event where they can offer a betting market.

The odds will reflect on how likely the outcome will be. Short odds or odds on — for example, 4/6 favourite — will mean if you stake £6 you’ll get £4 back plus your £6 stake.

Longer odds or odds against — e.g. 6/4 — means you only need to stake £4 to get £10 back.

Betting odds can be displayed as the more traditional “fractional odds” — e.g 1/1 (evens) — or decimal (2.0 evens). If the outcome of an event is 2/1 and it wins, you will win £2 for every £1 bet.

Decimal odds include the total you will win, including your stake. A £1 winning bet at 5.0 returns £5 — this would be displayed as 4/1. You can set how odds are displayed under preferences in your betting account.

Odds and probabilities

How to read and calculate odds and probabilities is obviously necessary number one for any bettor. When it comes to football betting, you may encounter decimal, fractional or US Moneyline odds, depending on your favourite and which precise market you are betting in, but they all just various ways of representing the same chance or percentage. For example, fractional odds of 2/1 and decimal odds of 3.0 both presents a 33.33% likelihood or a probability of .33. For the triumphant sports bettor, switching between different forms of odds, percentages and probabilities becomes second nature.

A Guide to Sports Betting Online

Bookmakers have integrated the traditional shop betting slip into their online platforms. The process involves clicking on a selection that’s auto-placed into an electronic betting slip. Then you can enter your stake in the box and check a box if you wish to bet each way.

It’s far easier to place a sports bet online, including a new UK betting sites. You can do it in the comfort of your home or on the go with a smartphone, and also enjoy the best betting offers in the UK.

  1. Go to your bookmaker website and sign in to your account.
  2. Search for the match or tournament you want to bet on and you’ll be presented with many betting options.
  3. Clicking on your selection automatically opens up a betting slip on your screen.
  4. You can enter the amount of money you wish to stake in a box next to your selection, and it will tell you how much you will win.
  5. Add or remove as many selections you wish to the slip, before clicking “Place Bet”. It will then confirm your bet has been accepted.

It’s a simple process and you will quickly become familiar with it, as the best bookmaker sites are very user friendly.


Traditional Football Betting in a shop

You will usually find pre-printed football coupons in betting shops to make football betting easier. Mark the box next to your selection, enter your stake and then take the coupon to the cashier.

If there are no football coupons …

  1. Write the match teams e.g “Spurs v Man Utd”.
  2. Then write down the type of bet you want to place. It could be “Harry Kane to score first” or “Both teams to score” or Spurs to beat Man Utd or the match to be a draw or any of the many bet options there are.
  3. Write the odds offered on your bet selection.
  4. Write down your stake.
  5. Take it to the cashier.

A physical coupon in-store will only offer a limited number of markets


Placing a Traditional Bet online on Horse Racing or in a Betting Shop

For anyone wondering how to write out a betting slip, horse racing is the easiest place to start. If you go into any betting shop, you can find piles of white betting slips.

Pick up a betting slip and fill in as follows :

  1. Write the name of the racecourse meeting and the time of the race — e.g. “Kempton 14.00” or “Haydock 15.30”.
  2. Write the name of the horse you want to bet on.
  3. If you want to guarantee that you will be paid out at the odds currently on offer for that horse, write them next to the name of the horse.
  4. If you prefer to take the starting price (subject to change), do not write the odds.
  5. Decide the type of bet you want to place: either to win outright or be placed (each way) 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th, depending on the race and the bookmaker and how many runners there are.
  6. Write your stake (the amount you wish to bet), along with the bet you are placing — e.g. “£10 win” or “£5 each way”.
  7. With an each-way bet, half of your stake goes on the horse to win the race, and the other half goes on being placed — so a £5 each way bet will cost you £10.
  8. Present your betting slip to the cashier, to place the bet.
  9. If your selection wins, take your slip back to the cashier

For big races like the Grand National or the Cheltenham Festival, you will usually find pre-printed betting slips.


Placing a Traditional Football Bet in a Betting Shop

You will usually find pre-printed football coupons in betting shops, to make football betting easier. Mark the box next to your selection, enter your stake and then take the coupon to the cashier.

If there are no football coupons:

  1. Write the match teams — e.g. “Spurs v Man Utd”
  2. Then write down the type of bet you want to place. It could be “Harry Kane to score first” or “Both teams to score” or “Spurs to beat Man Utd”, or the match to be a draw — or any of the many bet options there are.
  3. Write the odds offered on your bet selection.
  4. Write down your stake.
  5. Take it to the cashier.

A physical coupon in-store will only offer a limited number of betting markets with different bet options.

Odds vary from bookmaker to bookmaker, so it can pay to shop around and potentially open accounts with multiple bookmakers in order to get the best return on your sports betting online stake.

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