Sports Betting Beginners Guide

Welcome to the Sports Betting Beginners Guide, which is set to take you from a being a betting novice into an experienced punter.

People have been placing wagers on sporting events for millennia with records showing that the Ancient Greeks took sports betting seriously as did the Ancient Romans. Human beings tend to enjoy making predictions on the probable outcomes of sporting events and ‘putting money where their mouths are’. It takes just 2 people with opposing opinions prepared to place a money wager to create a sports bet where the winner is the person who predicted the outcome correctly. Betting between individual people still takes place but sports-betting has evolved into a respectable global multi-billion dollar industry employing many thousands of people in a professional capacity.

The bona fide bookmakers work within a highly regulated business environment controlled strictly by national gambling commissions put in place by individual governments. It is important for sports betting fans to register online with reputable sports betting companies offering the safest and most technologically advanced sports betting platforms. We have partnered with a number of excellent online bookmakers whom we recommend without any reservations whatsoever. Their safe and discreet online sports betting services are available to users on personal computers at home and through free apps for all types of mobile devices with money transaction security guaranteed.


We trust these bookies, and so can you!

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Why Do Bookmakers Exist?

The bookmaker is the third party in the betting process acting as an agent for people wanting to bet on the outcome of a sports event that will have two or more possible outcomes. The ‘bookmaker’ name was ‘born’ when many years ago men acting as sports betting intermediaries wrote down the sports bets made by individuals in a large hard bound book whilst standing at a race track or near the place where the event was to take place. He would refer to each bet and pay the punter accordingly when the event was over. The bookmaker obviously wanted to earn some money for his services and introduced the concept of odds to attract people to bet, especially on ‘outsiders’ in the field. He would offer a higher possible return for bets made on less likely outcomes and a lower return on bets made on more predictable outcomes or nobody would bother to bet on the ‘underdogs’.

A sports book can only balance if money is wagered on more than one outcome in a sporting event. If we all want to bet on one outcome where will the money come from to pay us on our successful bet and who would be stupid enough to offer odds for such a bet? An extreme example makes this clear for everybody: If only one man is standing as a candidate in a presidential election there can’t be a betting process on the outcome of the election as it is obvious that the only candidate will win. A bookmaker could try to create a variety of alternative betting markets with odds given on the chance of a successful assassination before the election was held, but he probably wouldn’t be around long enough to collect the bets or pay out!


What are odds and why are they offered?

The bookmaker is in business to earn a living as a commission agent taking bets from unlimited numbers of sports bettors and paying out money to people who make winning bets. He sets the odds on each sport betting market in such a way that he gets a commission from everybody who makes a bet. The more people he can get to bet on ‘different’ outcomes the more money he can make as a profit for himself.

The odds reflect the ‘chance’ or the percentage probability of an outcome occurring and the size of the odds determine the amount that a punter will get back in addition to his stake when placing a successful wager on an outcome.

‘Fixed odds bet’ is when the punter predicts an outcome to an event and wagers a fixed amount of money against the bookmaker’s money. The odds show how much the punter will win from the bookmaker if his prediction is correct.

‘Short odds’ is the term used to describe odds which are low such as 2/1 and will not bring a high return to the bettor if his bet wins.

Long odds are exactly the opposite of short odds with the punter getting a large return from his winning bet because the odds were big such as 30/1.

‘Odds on’ describes the odds when the bettor will stake more money than he will receive if he wins his bet. The odds appear to be reversed with the punter who bets £10 at 10/4 getting only £4 return on his wager plus his stake of £10.

‘Even Money’ indicates that the bookmaker will return to the bettor the equivalent of the amount he staked. 1/1 means he will get £1 if he stakes £1 and wins.


Fractional odds and decimal odds

Bookmakers in the UK have traditionally quoted ‘Fractional odds’ on betting markets. 4/1 odds convey to the bettor that he has a 20% chance of winning his bet and an 80% chance of losing. In other words, for each 1 time that he wins he will lose 4 times. If a punter wagers £10 at 4/1 odds and he wins his bet, he will receive £50 of which £10 is his stake.

Decimal odds tend to be used in Europe where bookmakers express chance as a percentage and divide it into 100 to calculate the odds. If the bookmaker thinks there is a 20% chance of a horse winning a race he will divide 100 by 20 which gives odds of 5.0. If a punter wagers £10 and wins his bet he will receive £50 because his stake is multiplied by the decimal odds.

Odds on the same sports betting markets vary significantly between bookmakers and we have selected those bookmakers who give the best odds across the full range of sports. Some bookmakers deliberately choose to become ‘specialists’ covering certain high profile sports intensively as well as other sports normally. They cut their own profit margins on those specially selected sports betting markets in order to offer higher odds than their competitors with the aim of making more money on the overall volume of bets.

A very large number of bookmakers operate online and it is a laborious process to go through all of them in order to find the best odds on every sporting event. We at do the ‘trawling’ and we have partnered with several reputable bookmakers who offer consistently competitive odds across all sports. We also point out the bookmakers who offer enhanced odds on specific sports at different times ensuring that our readers know exactly where to bet on those sporting events.


Advantages of Online Betting

The introduction of regulated betting shops in the early 1960’s in the UK saw the growth of the industry but it was the online gaming and sports betting revolution that began in the mid-1990’s which had the biggest impact on sports betting. Today there are many online bookmakers offering a safe sports betting service and we have selected the bookmakers that we consider to offer the best overall service to be our partners.

Betting online gets you better odds because you can compare bookmakers and even register accounts with several of them permitting you to place your bets at the best odds every day on any of your chosen sport betting platforms.

Betting online is safe when you choose to register with reputable companies such as the ones that we recommend. Large sports betting companies are meticulous about their online security and use world class encryption methods to protect their customers’ financial transactions.

Betting online is simple when you take a little time to read the comprehensive explanations offered by your chosen online bookmaker on how to use the sports book to your full advantage. Step by step instructions are given in plain language on how to place any type of bet and a customer support service is instantly available with live chat.

Betting online is convenient as you can bet from the privacy of your own home without heading for the bricks and mortar shop on the high street and you can bet at any time of the day or night as the online bookmaker never closes his doors.

Betting online offers plenty of banking options with customers able to choose from credit cards, debit cards, bank transfer, and a variety of electronic wallet options to deposit and withdraw funds from their accounts.

Betting Online can be done on the move by downloading the secure free apps to your mobile device from your selected online bookmaker.

Betting Online has the advantage of bonuses and rewards for customers. All of our bookmaker partners offer an attractive welcome bonus and multiple bonus opportunities over several sports betting markets daily. The special offers boost the customer’s sport betting bankroll and give plenty of free bet opportunities.

Betting online allows you to bet live in play giving you the opportunity of betting on a wider range of markets whilst you watch the event unfold. All of our partner bookmakers offer live betting in play and cash out features allowing you to stop your bet and lock in your profit before the end of the event.

Betting online gives the opportunity to watch events streamed live for free at any of our recommended bookmakers. Tens of thousands of events are streamed live and can be watched as long as the customers have funds in their accounts or have placed a minimal bet in the last 24 hours. The picture quality is outstanding and the commentary exciting allowing customers to place their bets live in play as they watch events unfold.

Betting online gives you access to the Betfair Exchange which offers a totally different type of sports betting. Customers can bet against things happening during a sporting event as well as betting that certain things will happen. Read about the betting exchange on our Betfair Sport review.

Betting online allows you to bet on Fantasy sports by creating your own teams, selecting your own horses and betting on your selections to win against the opponents. It’s fun and you can make plenty of money by applying your sports knowledge to your team selection.

Betting online gives you access to plenty of free information provided by your bookmaker on the sports betting platform to assist punters in making informed sports bets. It is in the bookmaker’s interest to have contented customers who make a reasonable return on their bets. Our partner bookmakers offer livescore services which are totally up date, live streaming, expert advice with betting tips, form and stats info for the major sports and a lot more.

Betting online ensures that your chosen bookmaker can keep an eye on your sport betting activities and support you if you feel you need to have a break from gambling. All of the bookmakers that we have partnered with are committed to making their customers aware of the dangers of gambling addiction.

Check out the outstanding sports betting services offered by our partnered bookmakers by reading the individual reviews on our website at