How to Bet

How to Bet: A Beginner’s Guide to Online Betting and Sports Gambling

If you’ve never placed a bet before or have never used on online betting site or bookmaker, this is the perfect place to start as we take you through every step of placing a bet. Our “How to bet” guide is a simple, step by step guide to betting so whether you want to bet on football, horse racing or even the X Factor we’ve got everything you need to know.

How to Choose a Betting Site

If you intend to place a bet online or on your mobile you’ll need to join a good online bookmaker first, and we’ve got all of our favourite betting sites along with detailed reviews to let you decide which you think is best.

Joining an online bookie is just like signing up to any other online “shop” in that you enter your details, register a card and make a purchase, only in this case your purchase is a bet.

You’ll need to enter your personal details and a payment method but many bookies have security comparable to banks and financial institutions and certainly as good if not better than many major retail sites.

Some of the best online betting sites are household names such as Coral and Betfred and like any big brand they can be trusted to look after both your personal and financial information.

How to Place a Bet

Once you’ve decided which betting site you like the look of, or which free bet works best for you, and you have joined that particular bookmaker, you’ll need to deposit some money. Whilst some betting sites offer no deposit freebies, they tend to be more common for online casinos but making a deposit into your betting account is very easy.

BetVictor Betslip
BetVictor Betslip

Just go to “My Account” or similar and click on deposit. Enter your card details or select the card you have registered and follow the simple instructions on screen. It really is just like buying anything online and, as mentioned, the security and safety levels are exceptional.

Once you’ve deposited some cash you’ll need to decide what you want to bet on. If you don’t know you could check out our betting tips and offers first or if you already know then simply navigate to that bet on the site.

Whether you’re doing this on your mobile, on a tablet or online, it should be straightforward. Some betting sites may have a search facility, in which case you can enter “Arsenal”, “X Factor” or whatever else you want to bet on. Alternatively most betting sites list the various sports and events along the side and you can filter through to the desired market step by step.

For example, to bet on Everton you may click through via “Football”, “English Football” and then either “Premier League” or perhaps via the date of the game (though most bookies have “quick links” to the Premier League and other top leagues and competitions).

Once you reach the match you will have a choice of betting markets, some of which are listed below. Select your market, for example if you want to bet on Everton to win you would select “Match Odds” (though this is sometimes known as 90 minute betting, 1×2 or a variety of other names).

Next to Everton you will see the odds and if you’re happy with the price just click on it and, depending on the site, a betslip may open on the screen or the bet may be added to the bet slip which is normally located in the top right. Enter your stake and press “OK”, “Place Bets Now” or whatever, and away you go! Well done, you have just placed your first online bet… now let’s hope it’s a winner!

When you place the bet it’s always a good idea to check you have done the following:

  • Have you checked the match is definitely the right one, on the right date?
  • Have you definitely selected the right market and the right team/player/horse?
  • Is your stake correct? (You really don’t want to add an extra zero by accident!)
  • Have you confirmed the bet? Sometimes there may be an extra confirmation screen where you need to click “Yes” or “Confirm” or similar. You can be sure the bet is placed if you get a confirmation message on screen and/or your balance goes down and the bet is showing under the “My Account” section, under pending/open bets.

What Can I Bet On?

These days betting is bigger and better than ever and you can bet on just about any eventuality, from the name of Royal babies to whether or not it will snow on Christmas Day, and from who will win the FA Cup to whether a player will get sent off in a given game. There are so many different betting sites that just about every sport is covered, whilst politics, the weather and television provide yet further betting opportunities.

Different sports and events have different types of bets but here we take a look at some of the main bets you might place at an online or mobile betting site.

  • Outright – An outright bet is a wager on a team or individual to win an overall tournament or event, such as the World Cup, Premier League, Sports Personality of the Year or even Big Brother.
  • Winner – One of the most simple and popular bets, this is a bet on a team or person to win a given match or contest – there can be some crossover with outright betting.
  • Each Way – Each way bets are especially popular in events where picking the winner is very hard, such as golf or horse races with large fields. An each way bet is actually a split bet, with half the stake on the selection to win and half on the selection to “place”, which means finish in the top two, three or four (or more – exact terms will be specified according to the market).
  • Single – A single bet is a bet on one single outcome, such as who will win a boxing match, which horse will win a race or who will win the World Championships. A single can include more than one thing happening, for example England to win 2-1 and Wayne Rooney to score first is a single, as is Liverpool to win and both teams to score. This remains a single because the two “events” are related.
  • Accumulators – An accumulator, of which the simplest form is a double, is a bet where more than one unrelated outcomes are selected in the same bet. So you might back Everton to beat Liverpool and Man City to beat Man United, or you might pick the winners in the 3.10 at Ascot and the 3.25 at Goodwood. With an accumulator, sometimes called an “acca”, all outcomes must win for the bet to return anything and if they do the winnings from each bet roll over onto the next one leading to potentially very large returns from a small bet.
  • Combination Bet – A combination bet is like an accumulator in that it involves various unrelated events but here you don’t need all legs of the bet to win to get a return. For example a Yankee has four selections but totals 11 bets, with all possible doubles and trebles (an acca with three selections) as well as one fourfold accumulator). Here you need at least two selections to win to get a return, whilst a Lucky 15 bet (invented by top online bookie Betfred) is like a Yankee but rather than 11 bets has 15 as it also includes the four singles, meaning just one leg has to win for a return.

How do I Get my Winnings?

Assuming your bet is a winner – and if you followed our betting tips we’re confident it would be – then you’ll need to get your money! This is really simple. Just log in to your online betting account and visit the “My Account” section once again (this is usually accessed in the top left or right of the homepage). Click “Withdrawal” and select the withdrawal method you want – this is normally the same as the card or method used to deposit cash into your account. You can either withdraw your full balance or leave some money to place more bets so select the amount you want to withdraw and click confirm. Within two or three days the money will be back in your account and you can go shopping, get drunk or celebrate however you like!

Details of promotions and bonuses and betting odds quoted are correct at the time of publishing and are subject to change. 18+ Gamble Responsibly.