Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Online Sports Betting

When it comes to online gambling, sports betting is one of the most popular things to bet on. To bet on sports, however, you do not need to be an experienced bettor, and you only need to know a few fundamentals to get started. This is your ultimate beginner's guide to all things related to online sports betting which will help you get started.

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In This Guide



It is not a secret that sports betting is one of the most profitable and fastest-growing industries in the world. According to the latest financial reports we were able to find, the global sports betting market was valued at over $83 billion back in 2022 and most expect to see its revenues rising quite significantly in the years to come.

The global sports betting industry has made many punters very rich and this should not come up as a surprise considering all the different sports events and activities punters can bet on daily. The popularity of sports betting compares with drinking beer and sports betting is also a very popular topic at different social gatherings since most are huge sports fans.

If you enjoy watching sports, you should be knowledgeable enough to place bets on them. Knowing the sport, teams, and players is a good starting point for becoming a successful sports bettor. Avid sports betting fans know their teams, they invest time and effort to examine the industry, and they test different sports betting strategies to boost their winning odds.

Unlike some other gambling activities you have at your disposal, sports betting has more to do with knowledge and less with luck and this is yet another factor that adds to the activity's overall popularity. Essentially, the more you know about your favorite sports teams, the luckier you may get and the bigger profits you can collect. Essentially, if you enjoy watching sports, trying your luck at sports betting is definitely something to consider.

As you probably know, the iGaming industry houses hundreds of reputable sports betting sites and bookmakers, so you should not have any issues with finding a good place to get started. The best sports betting sites have competitive betting odds and cover a whole range of sports markets, so the options are limitless.

The best sports betting sites also run regular bonuses and promotions in different forms, such as reload bonuses, cashback offers, odds boosts, and free bet bonuses. With this being said, you can enrich your bankroll by taking advantage of these offers and adding more value to your gaming sessions.

The popularity of sports betting has been on the rise even though sports betting in some or all forms is not legal in all parts of the world. Hence, before you start your sports betting sessions, we advise you to familiarize yourself with the local sports betting laws and regulations. Our beginner’s guide to sports betting provides answers to all questions you may have and covers all the basics related to one of the most popular gambling activities.

Bet On the Most Popular Sports Events

Below, we take a look at the most popular sports events you can place real money wagers on at a number of reputable online bookmakers. As briefly discussed at the beginning, all of the most renowned sports betting sites cover a huge variety of sports markets, including:

  • NBA: If you enjoy watching basketball, betting on the biggest NBA events is something to consider and the best bookmakers are not missing the biggest NBA events.
  • NRL: The National Rugby League has also many fans among online sports bettors and the biggest NRL events are commonly covered by renowned sites.
  • AFL: The Australian Football League is also quite popular and if you want to bet on the Brisbane Lions, Melbourne Club, or other teams, you can do so at most bookmakers.
  • UFC: Among many sports markets covered by renowned bookmakers, UFC is commonly one of them, alongside martial arts and boxing.
  • Politics: Often, you will find Politics tabs on the main sports betting menus at renowned bookmakers if you want to bet on the biggest political events.
  • eSports: In recent times, eSports betting is also gaining in popularity. The best sports betting sites cover League of Legends, Dota 2, and other big eSports competitions.
  • Tennis: The biggest tennis events, including the Australian Open, French Open, United States Open, and Wimbledon, are also featured at major sports betting sites.
  • Cricket: Cricket may not be the most popular sport in the world, but most sports betting sites cover the ICC World Test and World Cup events.
  • Soccer: Soccer betting is an unavoidable section at all sports betting sites, and you have an infinite number of betting options no matter which site you join.

Learn About Sports Betting Odds and Different Types of Bets

In the sections that follow, we take a look at different types of bets you can place on your favorite sports and winning odds, so make sure you stay tuned.

In sports betting, betting odds specify the probability of a sports outcome coming true and the potential profits, so examining odds is crucial no matter which sports betting activity you want to engage in. In the sports betting industry, betting odds are generally displayed as European or decimal, British or fractional, or American, depending on what you choose or your chosen online sports betting sites.

American Odds

While the odds are displayed differently, they are the same thing. In American odds, you will see minus and plus signs. In spread betting, plus American odds refers to the favorite, while minus refers to the underdog and this is the most important thing to remember about American odds.

Decimal Odds

Decimal or British odds are mostly used by bookmakers catering to sports betting fans in New Zealand, Canada, and Europe. Just by looking at the numbers, you see which teams are favored and which are considered underdogs. Underdogs are always listed with the higher of the two numbers. To calculate your potential return, multiply your stake with the listed decimal odds.

Fractional Odds

Then, there are European or fractional odds which are widely used in Ireland and the United Kingdom. To calculate your return, you multiply the odds with the stake. A 3/5 favorite has American odds of -167 and decimal odds of 1.6. Now, let’s examine the different types of bets you can place.

Different Types of Bets to Place

There are quite a few different types of sports bets you can place, but the main are:

  • Moneylines: Moneyline betting is the easiest bet you place. You pick a team you believe will win the game and you get a payout if this happens according to the listed odds.
  • Parlays: Parlay betting is also very popular and in the simplest terms, parlay betting involves combining multiple wagers into one big stake.
  • Point spreads: In point spread betting, you bet on much the team favored will win by. Teams listed with a minus sign are considered favorites.
  • Totals: In totals betting, you get a number of points from the sports betting site and this is the number of points the bookmaker thinks will be scored. You bet on the actual number of points being higher or lower than the number given.
  • Teasers: Teasers also combine multiple wagers just like Parlays. However, Teasers can only combine point spreads.
  • Props: Proposition or prop betting involves game and player props and prop bets are not directly associated with the final result of the game.
  • Futures: With futures betting, you bet on future events, such as players winning Most Valuable Player awards, teams winning big tournaments, and similar.

Place Wagers on the Go – The Rising Popularity of Mobile Sports Betting

Engaging in mobile sports betting activities has become increasingly popular and this should not come up as a surprise considering the fact that many sports betting sites have dedicated iOS and Android sports betting apps to accommodate mobile bettors. Speaking of mobile sports betting apps, they have been designed to offer a high-quality sports betting experience on the go to all mobile bettors.

The apps are generally free to download and easy to install and the selection of sports markets is the same as the selection accessible on desktop devices. Mobile bettors can also benefit from generous bonuses and promotions when betting on the go, alongside enjoying all other sports betting perks and benefits as presented to desktop users.

The best sports betting mobile apps work on a wide range of mobile devices that run on Android and iOS operating systems. If you do not want to deal with the hassle of downloading and installing mobile sports betting apps, you can always engage in mobile sports betting sessions directly at the website using your mobile device’s browser.

Learn the Most Popular Sports Betting Terms

Below, we cover some of the most popular terms used by sports betting fans and enthusiasts. Learn these and you will be betting like a pro in no time.

  • Action: wager or bet
  • Sportsbook: a place to engage in sports betting activities
  • Placing a buck: placing a wager of $100
  • Against the spread: the point spread result
  • Edge: having an advantage before placing a wager
  • Even money: winning even money payouts
  • Handle: the amount wagered on a game
  • Live wager: placing bets on events that have already started
  • Juice: commission that sites win on all wagers
  • Handicapping: looking into sports statistics
  • Betting limit: maximum allowed bets
  • Taking the points: placing wagers on underdogs in spreads

Handy Sports Betting Tips and Tricks

Betting wisely is essential, and we believe that these pointers will help you place a more successful wager, regardless of the sport. Here's how you can get more bang for your buck in the long run.

How to Start Your Online Sports Betting Journey?

As a beginner, you may require some direction to get started. Here's a step-by-step guide to getting started with sports betting:

1 Check Our Selection of the Best Sports Betting Sites

You want to start by looking into our selection of the top-rated sports betting sites before you choose your gambling operator.

2 Register for an Account

Once you have found a site that aligns with your betting preferences, follow the presented instructions to register for an account.

3 Make a Deposit

Next, you need to fund your newly created account to be able to make real money wagers. Choose your preferred deposit option, enter the amount you want to deposit, and confirm your deposit request.

4 Examine the Lobby

The next step is to examine your site’s betting lobby. Look into all the different sports markets covered and examine betting odds on the sports events you are interested in.

5 Place your Wager

Once you have found an interesting sports event, place your wager and wait for the game to finish.


If you are new to sports betting, it iseasy to get lost, especially if you're not sure what certain terms mean. But do not worry; we have got you covered with all the jargon you need to know. For more complicated sports betting jargon, please see our glossary section.

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Different Types of Sports Bets

When betting on sports, the key is to understand a few factors: your sport, the odds, and the type of bet that works for you in terms of how much you can afford to lose. Many betting options can make you feel overwhelmed. Below, we briefly examine the most popular sports bets you can place online and offline.

Flat Stakes

A flat stake is typically defined as a single bet with a small portion of your budget. Hence, playing flat stakes is usually recommended to beginner bettors.

Parlay Betting

Parlay Betting involves combining multiple wagers into one and this is why we recommend beginner players to avoid these types of bets at the start of their sports betting journey.

Arbitrage Betting

Sure betting, also known as arbitrage, is a strategy that generates guaranteed profits by betting on all possible outcomes of an event. Needless to say, this requires a big budget.

Matched Betting

Matched betting is a betting strategy used by individuals to profit from free bets and other incentives provided by sports betting sites.

Spread Betting

Spread betting refers to any of several types of wagering on the outcome of an event in which the payout is based on the bet’s accuracy rather than a simple final outcome of the game.


A lay bet is when you bet against an outcome. For example, if you bet Milan to win the Champions League, your lay bet wins if no one else wins, and you lose if Milan wins.

When you bet on the outcome of a sporting event, you are said to be backing that outcome. In most sports, you only have two teams to choose from.

Punters are sports bettors or people who place real money sports wagers.

Bookmakers are places offering sports betting activities. Bookmakers also are called bookies or sportsbooks.

Another type of gambling is sports betting, which involves placing a wager on the outcome of a sporting event. Sports betting has only two outcomes: you either profit based on the bookmaker's odds or you lose your entire wager.

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