An Intro To Sports Betting
Betting on sports is the most popular form of gambling in the UK, with millions of bets placed with British bookmakers every week. Increasingly, many of those bets are being placed with online sportsbooks as punters discover the convenience, flexibility and new possibilities that come with internet betting websites. To help you discover the best betting sites in the UK our review team brings you their verdict on every interesting new online bookie. We also aim to keep you updated on the latest bookmakers betting offers, since we know how important the best betting offers can be when deciding which bookies to join.
Of course, knowing the top betting sites one thing. Knowing how to understand odds, markets and how to place a bet are equally important. So let’s get started.
Generally in the UK, sports betting odds are displayed on a fractional basis and there are many different ways to place bets on different sports.
Let’s first take a look at the way odds are displayed, and then dig a little deeper into different types of bets you can place.
Fractional and decimal odds
Fractional odds – this is possibly harder to explain than it is to understand. The fractional odds will show you how many times the stake you will get back if you win. The odds are displayed as a fraction and the first number represents the winnings if you stake the second figure on the bet. So if the odds are 5/1, for every £1 you stake, you’ll win £5 + get the £1 stake back of course. But this doesn’t mean you can only wager £1, you are welcome to bet more, and will get 5 x whatever you stake. If you stake £2 your odds will still be displayed as 5/1 and you’ll get £10 winnings + your £2 stake. If you are betting on the odds on favourite, the odds will be displayed 1/2, meaning for every £2 you stake, your winnings will be £1 + your stake.
Decimal Odds – these are more popular in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. It’s a fairly simple way to calculate your potential winnings. If you take the decimal figure shown and multiply it by your stake it will show you the total amount you will receive back if you win – your stake and your winnings combined. So if the odds are 5.00 and you bet £1 your will get back £4 winnings + £1. So 5.00 in decimal is equivalent to 4/1 in fractional odds.
Do not worry if you’re finding it all a bit hard to calculate, all sports best betting sites will work out your returns for you and show you clearly in the betting slip your stake and potential returns. It will also all become much clearer once you’ve had a little experience and got to know your sportsbook.
Most top betting sites will let you choose to display the odds fractionally or decimally, so you can bet with whichever system you feel more comfortable.
Multiple Bets and Accumulators
When you place a single bet online, everything is straightforward, and if you win you’ll get your winnings based on the odds displayed. If you are looking for something a bit more exciting you can try double, treble or even five and six fold accumulator bets. This is when you bet on several games and if all the results come in your odds, and therefore returns will be significantly higher, than if you bet on them all independently. However the drawback is if just one of your results doesn’t come in, you will lose the entire bet.
Some sports betting websites will offer you the chance to cash out early, so if you have won 4 out of 5 bets and the 5th one is still to come, they will pay you a lesser return than what you’d get for correctly betting 5, but you remove the risk of losing everything on the 5th game.
Double Bet – The bettor bets on two selections only.
Treble – The bettor bets on three selections.
Accumulator – The bettor bets on four or more selections. Accumulators are often named after the number of selections they contain, for instance, a fivefold or a sixfold accumulators.
Free Bets and Sign-Up Offers
The majority of top betting sites offer free bets or bonuses when you first open an account with them, for the simple reason of giving you a boost when you bet online.
Some bookmaker’s betting offers are activated when you make your first deposit on the site, while others come into effect when you place your first bet online. There are a variety of different betting offers, each with their own specific terms and conditions, so it’s important to know exactly what you’re getting before you sign up.
These are the most common types currently being offered.
Deposit Bonus – Deposit a specified amount of money, make a bet, and get an extra amount as a free betting bonus from the sportsbook. The bonus you receive is usually calculated as a percentage of the amount you first deposit. Free Bets – One of the most common types of offer, these are usually activated once you make your first bet with your own money. They can come in two basic varieties: Stake-Refunded Free Bets, where you receive both the original free stake and your winnings, and Stake-Not-Refunded Free Bets, which return only your winnings and not the stake provided by the bookies.
Matched Bets – This type of free bet is usually directly tied to the value of the first wager you make with your own money. For instance, if the bookmaker has a 100% matched bet offer and you place a first bet of £20, you would receive a bonus of £20 in your account to make your next bet.
Keep in mind that many bonus offers, free bets and refunds come with terms and conditions that will affect what you can do with them. Some incentives are better than others so make sure you thoroughly read the terms and conditions before taking the betting site’s offer, and be sure to bet at the best online betting sites.
Online Betting Apps – What You Need to Know
The move online has been hugely successful for the betting industry, helping them to expand into new markets and introduce innovative and popular features, bringing in a whole new generation of punters. The next step, which is already well under way, is the move to smartphone-first gambling via betting apps. Online betting apps are available from almost every major bookmaker, and should be one of your key considerations when choosing a betting site to join. When we’re judging the best betting apps, here’s what we look for:
- Easy download and setup
- Ability to sign up, deposit and claim bonus via the betting app
- A wide range of sports to bet on
- Live betting featuring all of the markets available on desktop
- Cash out facility
- Intuitive design and a stable user interface
We only recommend the best online betting apps, so check out our reviews, choose your favourite, and start playing on the go today.