Sports betting is an age-old business that dates back as far as ancient Greece and Rome. However, the sports betting we know today began in the late 19th century. Since then, the world of sports has been inextricably connected with wagering opportunities offered by bookmakers, with large-scale events like Kentucky Derby or Indy 500 gathering hundreds of thousands of punters looking to try out their knowledge and betting skills.
While land-based betting shops have been a staple of the sporting world for a long time ramping up the excitement and thrill of the events, online bookmakers have emerged as the newest contender in the market of wagering on sports. Similar to traditional brick-and-mortar services making their transition to the online sphere, betting sites provide unmatched convenience and lightning-fast speed of operations. However, their advantages extend far beyond, providing visitors with new and profitable ways to get into betting.
In this guide, we’ll further explore what’s on offer from some of the best bookmakers available online and how you can join the exciting world of wagering, no matter your current expertise level. With the ever-increasing number of generous betting offers from top-tier sites and vast volumes of data on the most popular sports, it’s easier than ever to try your hand at sports betting and explore its perks for yourself. Read on to learn more about exciting and high-value opportunities put forward by online sportsbooks.
Key Principles of Sports Betting
In its essence, betting involves making a correct guess about a particular outcome of a sporting event. The number and variety of these outcomes available for predictions are constantly growing, but the ultimate goal revolves around using the available data as well as all the numerous factors affecting the match to make an educated enough guess to win big.
Odds are an especially important concept in betting that serve to indicate the possibility of the event happening. Odds can come in several formats, including Americal odds (-100), Decimal odds (1.50) as well as Fractional odds (1/3) which are freely convertible into one another. To harness the profitable opportunities and spot value bets it’s essential to understand how odds work in betting.
For example, in a match between Manchester and Liverpool, two long-time contenders in the Premiership arena, you opt in the Match Result (1x2) market and see the following odds: Manchester United (Home Win) at 2.50, Draw at 3.40, Liverpool (Away Win) at 2.80. These are decimal odds that signify the likelihood of these particular outcomes and indicate the payout if a bet wins. That is, a bet of £10 would yield £25, £34, and £28 for bets on home win, draw, and away win respectively.
But betting on the winner is far from the only thing you can do on modern bookies nowadays. Every top-flight event offers hundreds of betting markets (bet types) that involve wagering on a very specific outcome or parameter connected with the fixture. Over/Under bet in particular is a popular sport bet type that has gained widespread interest from bettors. In this market, you are to predict whether the total number of goals scored in the match will be over or under a specific threshold set by the bookmaker.
Another go-to betting market is Handicap. In this market, the underdog of the fixture is given a virtual advantage of several points, therefore creating a more level field and allowing punters to make precise predictions about the outcome of the event by negating the perceived skill difference. If the virtual advantage is expressed with half increments, then the market is called Asian Handicap — eliminating the possibility of a draw and securing a more precise outcome.
Finally, there are outright markets that allow users to predict the champions of this year’s league season or large-scale tournament, like the World Cup. These bets are connected with a plethora of speculations and build upon massive media traction that major sporting events give rise to, so make sure to keep abreast of the latest coverage to make more precise predictions.
It’s important to understand that all odds presented by bookmakers across their markets do not reflect the real possibility of the event, as they factor in the bookmaker’s margin — a certain percentage of guaranteed profit that the betting sites include in the calculation of odds. These margins may vary significantly across bookmakers with 5% being the industry standard.
With that in mind, you might want to place your first bet already. However, grasping the mechanics of betting is arguably just one part of the journey towards profitable bets. Equally important is the task of selecting the ideal bookmaker. The market has been expanding for several decades already and is now full of both well-established and new players worthy of your attention but also fraudulent and shady venues that are hardly a good choice for lucrative sports betting opportunities. It’s therefore essential to make a well-informed choice of the bookmaker that will make your bets count.
Choosing a Betting Site: What to Account for
Betting is an industry where much depends on the bookmaker. A safe and reliable operator goes a long way in ensuring your experience is top-notch. With a wealth of resources available online, it’s now easier to find out more about particular bookmakers and their track records and reputation.
A reputable bookie ensures several things are in check. First off, bookmakers are liable to have a valid license before being able to enter the market. Some of the go-to choices include UKGC and MGA-licensed betting sites. Note that if the website has several valid licenses available, it goes further to prove that this bookmaker is a serious choice that is open about its business and strives to expand its outreach to several countries around the world.
Reliable payouts are an aspect closely connected with valid licensing, as all real-money operations conducted by bookies are under extra scrutiny from the authorities. Therefore, bookies must ensure fast and fair withdrawals and hassle-free transactions to meet the high industry standards. Punters, in turn, have access to several features that they can capitalise on, like a wide selection of payment methods, quick withdrawals and convenient payment limits. To optimize your finances, make sure that you choose a website that meets these three criteria.
The vast world of online bookmakers is teeming with competition, and the betting platforms strive to win the attention of the punter crowd by coming up with heftier and more exciting promo offers that make a real difference in the initial betting experience as well as reward continued patronage. Look for high-sum free bets, matched deposit bonuses as well as cashback perks that will help you decrease the risks, diversify your bets and make your experience at the bookmaker comfortable and fun.
Promo offers complement greatly the innovative options that more and more bookies are embracing. Sportsbooks are eagerly adopting new features and following the latest trends. For example, the bet builder available on some of the most preeminent bookmakers online allows you to create an accumulator of your own, combining several markets that you’re particularly savvy in. Early cash out is another nifty feature that permits users to take their profits before the event finishes, cutting the chances of loss significantly.
In-play section in particular is home to the newest and most exciting options that the bookmaking world is coming up with. Since its conception in the 1990s, in-play betting has seen rapid expansion in terms of available events and various enhancements. In particular, live streaming of high-ranking events is still among the most sought-after features of betting sites. Coupled with a live timeline and live stats section, a large arsenal of tools for successful in-play bets is something to consider when choosing a dependable betting site.
Key Takeaways about Sports Betting
Overall, throughout the past decade, the sports betting industry has been significantly growing in terms of popularity and demand for its services. This has led to many new bookmakers entering the scene to compete with some well-established brands that have long dominated the betting world. Online betting has opened up this exciting opportunity for many sports fans and those looking to benefit from a bet or two in an educated and well-informed fashion.
Understanding betting is not that hard if you conduct diligent research on the competing teams’ past records and current form and take note of some of the key aspects of wagering, such as odds, markets, and margins. These parameters aren’t fixed and differ from bookie to bookie making it essential to shop for the best options and look for value on expert-backed and thoroughly licensed websites and platforms.
Choosing such bookmakers to begin your journey should be done with consideration of several key parameters. In particular, you should assess the overall reputation of the venue by checking its licensing and reviews, take note of the diversity of innovative options putting particular emphasis on in-play, and assess the availability of key promotions and bonuses.
Armed with these tips, feel free to make your first informed and high-value bets. Don’t forget to opt into the welcome promotions and practice bankroll management by setting a specific budget and wagering within your means and according to a set strategy.