Jay Sanin
Last Update:
October 15, 2021
This author was thoroughly tested and approved by the experts at before joining the editorial board to ensure a high content quality.
Author Bio:
Jay is a total online gaming crack and knows every slot developer, operator and game theory by heart. Before becoming an editor he was part of a blackjack card counting group and taught young players how to beat the house. Now he's an ambitioned online editor and writes about new games, legalization of online gaming in the US and much more.
Jay is a total online gaming crack and knows every slot developer, operator and game theory by heart. Before becoming an editor he was part of a blackjack card counting group and taught young players how to beat the house. Now he's an ambitioned online editor and writes about new games, legalization of online gaming in the US and much more.

Betting for Dummies: Getting Started the Easy Way

Today, millions of sports fans place wagers on hundreds of sports games and events every day. This can be quite staggering at first, but no one is born an expert gambler; we all have to learn a few things on our journey to winning big gambling the odds. This is why we have created the ultimate betting guide for dummies to help you get started.

Some quick betting for dummies facts you should know
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  • Gambling is about predicting how likely an event is to end

  • Online sports betting remains the most popular form of gambling

  • There are several different types of wagers

  • Different sports have different systems for odds making

Betting for Dummies: Guidelines and Techniques

The widespread popularity of the internet and the many gambling options offered by online betting websites has led to a renaissance on conventional sports betting. This is breaking the anti-gambling stigma that existed for decades and paving the way for the emergence of a massive, multibillion-dollar legal sports betting industry.

This betting for dummies beginners guide to online sports betting is the definitive tutorial for those who want to start betting on sports. This guide is also a great resource for those who want to gain a better understanding of some gambling terminologies, theories, and strategies.

The concept of sports betting

The primary goal in sports betting is to predict the outcome of a sports game or event and wager money that a particular outcome is going to happen. For example, a common form of football betting involves making wagers on who will win (or lose) the match. If the team you bet on wins, you win money and if they lose, you lose money.

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Common sports betting terms

We will start would start off with some football betting terms:

  • Stake (or 'wager' in America) – This is money or property risked on the result of a bet. In other words, this is the amount of money you stand to lose if you don’t win.
  • Odds – This represents the probability of an event happening and therefore how much you stand to win if the outcome you bet on occurs. For example, a football match with odds of 3/1, means that you will win $3 for every $1 you bet.
  • Fixed Odds – This is the traditional form of betting where you predict a particular match outcome BEFORE it starts and place a wager on it. The payout for a successful wager is then based on those agreed odds.
  • Live betting – Unlike the fixed odds betting which only allows you to place your wagers before an event starts, live betting allows you to place wagers DURING sport event.
  • Accumulator bet – Rather than wagering on a single game, the accumulator allows you to make a series of single bets grouped together. This way, if the individual bets are successful then the odds accumulate together. Accumulator bets are riskier and also more rewarding as each game has to come off increasing the odds dramatically.
  • Half Time/Full Time – This type of bet allows you to predict the outcome of both the first half and the entire game. This way, you could predict that both teams would draw at half time but the home team will end up winning by full time.
  • DNB (Draw No Bet) – This means that if the score is a draw, your bet is considered void and you get your money back.
  • Over/Under – This is a wager on the number of points are goals that will be scored in a particular game. This will normally be over or under a pre-specified number. For example, over 1.5 means that your chosen team must score more than 2 goals for you to win.
  • Favorites and Underdogs – The favorite is the team that is expected to win the game, while the underdog is expected to lose based on previous performance. These terms are assigned by bookmakers to label team odds.
  • Spreads – Spreads level the betting odds between participating teams in sports events. As expected, the team referred to as the underdog gets points beforehand while the team referred to as the favorite always concedes points. For example, in a football match between Manchester United and the Tottenham Spurs, you may come across betting odds such as like United: -2.5 and Spurs: +2.5. In this particular example, 2.5 points are deducted from Manchester United’s score while at the same time 2.5 points will be added to the Tottenham Spurs’ total score. Thanks to this approach, your bet can win even if the game between the two teams ends in a tie.
  • Moneylines – In many sports events in which the number of goals or points is not as high as necessary to use the previously mentioned betting type, sports bettors use popular Moneylines. Moneylines follow the same fundamental principles as other betting types, but in some cases Moneylines come without decimal points. For this reason, you may come across betting odds for the previously mentioned teams as Manchester United: -180 and Tottenham Spurs: +175. This means that you have to invest $180 on Manchester United to scoop $100 if the team wins while playing a bet of $100 on Tottenham Spurs to win will bring you a payout of $175 if the team wins.
  • Totals – In the case of using Totals, bookies generally award points depending on the total number of teams’ points that both teams may score or are expected to score. For instance, a sports match between Tottenham Spurs and Manchester United may come with a total point of 3.50. In this particular case, you have to bet on the teams scoring under or over this figure.
  • Two Way Bets – This allows you two possible outcomes for a single bet. This way, you don't have to guess absolutely correctly and you can, for instance, bet on one team winning or the game ending in a draw, both of those winning the bet for you.
  • Way Bet – This is the classical win, draw, or lose bet used to predict the result of a match at the end of the regular playing time (exceptions are usually clearly stated in the betting Terms and Conditions).
  • Asian Handicap – Asian handicap betting takes the possibility of a draw out of the equation and really only gives the two-win options. This is done by adding points to one of the teams and giving the favorite a handicap, so that the odds would be more close and betting on the favorite to win would make more sense.

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Placing a bet

Before you decide on an outcome to wager on, it is important to do some research on both teams including researching the teams' perceived quality. The quality of the participating teams usually depends on a variety of factors such as:

  • The form of each team’s players.
  • Which team has the home-field advantage.
  • The teams' performance in previous matches.
  • Previous injuries or suspension of key players.
  • How much the two teams can invest in their game.

If you have done your research and are sure of your wager then the next step is placing your bet. There are two main ways that you can place bets on sports games and events, you can either walk into a casino or sportsbook around you. The problem with offline gambling is that even though sports gambling is becoming more popular every day, it is, however, not legal everywhere. So, you may have to check your local policies to see it is legal in your area. The second way is by opening an online betting account from the comfort of your home.

Finding the right online betting site

Sports betting has been a hobby of millions of people worldwide for decades and you can now do it from the comfort of your own home. Our detailed Sports Betting Comparison is the single thing you need to help you be successful with it as links of all the top-rated online bookmakers in the USA, as well as full reviews of each site, can be found right there. Sign up today to get started and make your first deposit to get involved in a true and meaningful way with the world of online sports betting.

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Getting Started as a Punter is Easier than ever
Gambling is easier than you think and this betting for dummies guide is all that you need to get started betting on your favorite sports from football and tennis to horse racing and everything in between. Having a good understanding of the different sports betting types and jargon is a good way to get started gambling. This will help you to avoid common mistakes and win more than you lose in the long term.
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