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Sports Betting 101 How to bet on football (and all sports) as a beginner

You can prepare for the betting world by learning 10 quick tips. Discover in minutes what you need to know as a sports betting beginner. Be prepared!



Published on
Updated on 29 January 2017
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It is easy to make mistakes when you are a starting as a bettor. The internet seems to have endless advice showing how you can make money betting on sports and specific methods showing how you can make money betting on football. Some bettors get intimidated due to a lack of experience and knowledge. With this sports betting 101 guide, you can prepare yourself for the world of sports betting by following the simple betting tips and tricks, below:

1. Wager your money on a sport that you are familiar

Not all bettors are fans of the sports where they wager their money. Some bettors just enjoy the thrill and crave the overall exhilaration that betting can provide. Many thrill seeking bettors or punters may not be really rooting for any particular team, but they may still enjoy the experience.

However, if you are a first-time bettor and you would like to learn how to bet on football or learn how to bet on sports and make money, it will be an advantage if you understand your chosen sport. Knowing how a particular sport works and having the knowledge of its rules and regulations will give you a heads up on the possible betting odds that you should expect. Most bookmakers base their pay out odds on the probability of each team winning, it is important to have a background on the sport and knowledge of team’s overall performance. You can begin with that and once you are familiar with the betting environment, you can expand to betting on other teams and eventually move on to other sports.

2. Look at the factors affecting your wager

When betting, it is not enough to know how the rules and regulations of a particular sport can affect the outcome, as learning how to bet on football (and other sports) will widen your understanding of the betting landscape.


You may also need to look at market movement and odds fluctuations, team news, player performances, injuries and even the gambling patterns of other bettors. This information can directly impact the odds provided by your chosen bookmaker. A bookmaker will give lower pay out odds to the favourite teams as they believe the favourite is more likely to win the fixture. While a long shot win will reward bigger betting returns as they are less likely to win. The subjectivity of the odds and eventual winning pay outs is what can make betting a very complex (and fun) activity. This is because you are not merely looking at the numbers; you are also looking at the underlying factors affecting the odds, which requires data and knowledge.


Knowing when and how to bet are equally important. For example, most bookmakers and sports betting sites will shorten the odds of the favourite team closer to kick-off or start of the event. On the other hand, betting on the underdog may cost less in-terms of higher odds, if you bet in advance as opposed to betting on the day of the game.

3. Do not stick with one bookmaker

Once you understand the ups and downs of sports betting, you can expand your betting horizon by opening accounts with several bookmakers. Online bookmakers specialise in different sports. Betting on several bookmakers will give you more options to protect and grow your bankroll, such as:


* Possibly increase betting odds with the same fixture, as betting odds may differ from one bookmaker to another.
* Possibly increase the number of available games, betting markets and options within each market.
* Possibly transfer your bankroll funds among your different bookmakers.


Using a flexible online betting strategy will help you to learn how you can make money betting on sports with a patient and a realistic approach. Unfortunately, profiting from football and sports betting may not be an easy task, as the bookmaker odds are sometimes stacked against you.

4. Do not be a fanatical bettor

Do not bet on your favourite team!


When it comes to betting, being a fan will not help you win your wager. Just because you have a season ticket, regularly watch your team on the sports channels or catch all of the highlight shows does not mean that you understand the different aspects that may affect a sporting fixture.


Never bet on your preferred team unless the reason for betting on your favourite team is a result of your study of the odds. Being a football fan or sports fan of a specific team is great, but when it comes to betting, following your heart over your head can be dangerous to your bankroll. While it may be confusing for some, it is still possible to be a fan and be a good bettor. Just learn the difference between where your heart lies and where your bet should go.

5. Know how downtime and mid-season breaks can affect your wager

Almost every sport experiences downtime. For example, betting on football leagues with mid-season or winter breaks may be difficult. Possible fixture cancellations can affect future team performances and match outcomes. Sometimes cup competitions can also affect league performance and vice-versa.


Many football teams and other sports teams use a break in their standard fixture calendar to rest and formulate strategies for the next game. Therefore, many teams come back much stronger and more enthusiastic to win after a break. A break can recharge and kick start physical and mental energies.


Many football leagues around the world demonstrate a change in their team performance due to season breaks. Football leagues with significant downtime for climate reasons, such as Russia or Sweden, often result in a change in mid-season form. The leagues are very rarely straightforward. Basketball is also another good demonstration of this factor, as many teams do not play for weeks after elimination during the playoffs. Teams usually lack real match practice after elimination, so they may lose a little match fitness, mental strength and sharpness at the start of the next season. Downtime is an important consideration especially when you are looking at the performance of the players of individual players.

6. Study the world of betting

Betting may be a straightforward business; you either win, or you lose. You can improve your chances of winning and make it easier to analyse how odds can affect your probability of winning by investing in a few good books on betting fundamentals for beginners. There are many books authored by experienced betting personalities, who understand the mathematics of winning odds. If you are serious about profiting from sports betting on football or any sport, you will need to invest some time to read good material and understand how factors internal and external to your chosen sport can affect the outcome of your bet.

7. Set a budget and stick to it

Having a budget, and sticking to it, is one of the hardest things to follow when betting. One of the pitfalls most gamblers get into is betting too much. Remember you do no have to bet! You choose to bet. Make sure that you're making a sensible choice, so you have a real chance of increasing your bankroll over time.


When betting, the first thing you need to remember is to bet only the amount of money you can afford to lose. Especially for a beginner, it may be tempting to bet more than the amount you know you should bet.


You should also never chase your loses. After losing, bettors may try their best to win back their money, which is usually a poor decision.


Another situation that most bettors struggle with is not knowing when to stop. If you have a budget, you can stop when all the money is lost or after you made a big win. You need to have the discipline to walk away. Most successful bettors have developed the discipline to stick only to their budget. Aside from personal discipline, there are several bankroll strategies you can follow in managing your betting money. Stick to a bankroll management system that will help you steer away from betting more than you should on a single game.

8. Do not be afraid to ask questions

Find a bookmaker that has a trained customer service line that can answer your basic questions. Do not be afraid to ask if something is unclear to you. Even if you think the answer seems to be pretty obvious, call them and ask them your question if you are confused. For a beginner like you, it is important to have someone to call for clarification. Find a bookmaker who has an available customer service any time of the day and has the ability to explain the betting fundamentals for beginners.

9. Stick to the basics of sports betting

As a beginner, you need to stick to what you know. There are a lot of ways on how you can bet and the different odds on how you can win. Start betting on what is familiar to you until you get the hang of it. Sports betting can be very complicated and you would not want to be trapped in the middle of all its complexities. Place your wager on sports and games where you have some familiarity with the eventual outcome. Start with a few small bets until you fully understand how everything works. Do not go big right away. It is much better to win small amounts over a long period than lose everything within a short period.

10. Find an online betting forum community

There are a lot of things you can learn from veteran bettors. And most of them are eager to share their knowledge and experiences. It is especially important for a beginner like you to find an online betting forum or community where you can find answers to some of your questions. When looking for an online betting community, you need to consider how active the discussions are, it should discuss the sports of your choice, the different betting markets within those sports and strategies for improving your betting.

The ten tips should help you begin your journey in the world of sports betting. You need to give yourself some time to get the hang of how bookmakers provide you with the odds, how you can place your bets, and how you can profit from betting.


When you feel ready, continue to read the betting fundamentals for beginners and learn more about the world of football betting and sports betting.



Section: Betting Fundamentals for beginners
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