Introduction to Sports Betting

Introduction to Sports BettingSports betting can be both simple and complicated. The good news is that you don’t need much knowledge to get started, so it’s possible to have a lot of fun without having to first learn a great deal. It’s even possible to win some money as a beginner, especially for those people who bet mostly on sports they truly understand.

The bad news, however, is that it’s difficult to win money consistently. This takes a lot more effort, and a lot more knowledge. Simply knowing a lot about sports is not enough. It helps, of course, but it’s also necessary to learn and develop certain skills. You don’t need to worry about that too much when starting out of course. You should bear in mind if your longer term goal is to be a profitable bettor though.

In this part of our guide to sports betting we provide lots of information and advice. It’s written primarily with the beginner in mind, but most of it will be useful to whether you are a complete novice or an experienced bettor. We have explained everything that we cover below, and we do recommend that you take some time to have a read through what we have to offer.

Introductory Articles – Information for Beginners

The Basics of Sports Betting

Our first article in this introduction is written primarily with the complete beginner in mind. It explains the most fundamental aspects of sports betting, including the components that make up a wager. It also explores the role of bookmakers, detailing how they take bets from their customers and the methods they use to ensure they have the advantage.

Different Types of Bookmaker

There are several types of bookmaker. Each type provides essentially the same service, but they all operate in different ways. There are bookmakers who take bets over the telephone, for example, and bookmakers who take bets in person at racecourses. Then there’s online bookmakers of course. In this article we provide details of each different type.

Understanding Odds

Odds are a vital component of sports betting, and you really need to understand them before you start placing wagers. They are basically used to determine how much a wager might return if it’s successful, but there is much more to them than that. This article explains everything, including the different formats of odds such as moneyline and decimal.

Types of Bets & Wagers

A lot of beginners have no idea just how many types of bets and wagers can be placed on sports events. They have even less idea about how each type is used. The purpose of this article is to provide you with this information. It lists all the different types of bets and wagers, with detailed explanations of how they work.

Best Sports for Betting

These days you can bet on pretty much any sport you want, but certain sports are more commonly bet on than others. In this article we list the most popular sports for betting, and also look at various advantages that some sports have over others. These include the variety of wagering options and the amount of betting opportunities available.

Sports Betting Glossary

In our sports betting glossary we have explained a comprehensive range of words and phrases that are frequently used in sports betting. It is worth taking a read through this if you are a beginner. It can also serve as a useful reference tool if you come across a word or phrase that you don’t fully understand.

What a Bookmaker Does

In this article we take a look at the role of the modern online bookmaker in more detail. We focus primarily on the way they set their odds and lines, as this is something we need to understand. We then look at some of the additional aspects of their role, such as processing payments and advertising their websites.

Common Sports Betting Mistakes

In our list of common sports betting mistakes we explain a number of 15 of the most commonly made sports betting mistakes, and offer our advice on the best ways to avoid making them. The majority of this advice will apply to recreational bettors and serious bettors alike.

The Risks & Rewards of Sports Betting

Sports betting is popular almost the whole world over, and has been around for thousands of years. It is difficult to chart its precise history but, while there is no definitive evidence of exactly when it started, in all likelihood people have been gambling on the outcome of sporting events ever since such events started taking place. It has been suggested that sports betting took place as long ago as during ancient Greek times, and some believe it was common even before then.

Regardless of when it started, it is certainly big business today. It’s a pastime enjoyed by millions of people and, for the most part, no longer suffers from some of the negative connotations it has done in the past. Throughout history, various forms of gambling have been outlawed by many nations and this often led to “underground” betting that was unregulated and illegal. Some underground betting still goes on today for sure, but in most parts of the world there are plenty of options for placing wagers with legal and regulated bookmakers. Despite some people still opposing betting on principle, it’s generally considered a socially acceptable activity, these days.

However, that doesn’t mean it’s an activity that’s right for everyone. If you’ve never placed a sports bet in your life, and are thinking about starting, then you should first be aware of the risks involved. Even if you’ve been betting for a while, it doesn’t hurt to remind yourself of the potential downsides of this hobby.

Risks Of Sports Betting
  • It’s hard to make consistent profits
  • Success takes significant time and effort
  • Unexpected results can be frustrating
  • There’s a chance of becoming addicted

We’re not highlighting these points because we want to talk you out of betting on sports. Far from it, in fact. We’d never actively encourage anyone to gamble in any form, precisely because of the risks involved, but we do believe that it can be a very rewarding pastime when it’s done responsibly. We just feel it’s important to highlight the risks, as no-one should bet without being aware of them.

In the interests of balance, we should also highlight the potential rewards of sports betting. It’s then ultimately down to you decide whether these rewards are worth taking risks for. If you decide that they are, then our advice is to go for it. There’s one important proviso to that advice though, and it’s that you MUST gamble responsibly.

Rewards Of Sports Betting
  • Can be a relatively cheap form of entertainment
  • Helps to makes sports even more exciting
  • Possible to make money without relying on luck
  • Can help to improve ability to think analytically

Betting for Fun vs Betting for Profit

The first point to make here is that betting for fun and betting for profit are not mutually exclusive. It’s perfectly possible to have fun AND make some money, and indeed they are plenty of people who do exactly that. However, bettors tend to focus primarily on one or the other. Recreational bettors bet mostly for fun, while serious bettors are all about the profit. What’s your approach going to be?

How to Approach Betting for Fun

When your primary goal is to have some fun, it’s important that you always remember that. It’s very easy to forget that you’re only betting as a form of entertainment, but if you do then it might be time to question whether you should carry on. Try to follow these rules.

  • Set a limit for how much you’re prepared to lose.
  • Stick to that limit.
  • Don’t place too many wagers.
  • Focus on sports that you enjoy watching.
  • Experiment with different types of bet.
  • Don’t worry about your results.

Above all else, just keep things simple. If you make things any more complicated than they need to be, then your chances of having fun will be dramatically reduced.

How to Approach Betting for Profit

There is an old saying that you never see a poor bookmaker. This is because in the long run a bookie should always make money, providing they run their book correctly. The net total of all the money they take in wagers and all the money they pay out should favor them.

This does not mean that it’s impossible to make a profit from sports betting.

Bookies improve their chances of making money by running balanced books and using odds to their advantage. There are other reasons why they are profitable too though, and one is simply that most of their customers don’t have the skills necessary to “beat” them. The average bettor is often very knowledgeable about his preferred sports, but this alone is not sufficient. A solid understanding of betting strategy is also required, along with a sharp eye for value and the ability to maintain discipline.

Anyone can learn to be a successful sports bettor, but only with the right approach. If your main objective is to make profits, then you need to be prepared to commit time and effort to your endeavors. Making money is not easy, and we can’t teach you how to do with just a few lines on this page. We can help you, but you should first ask yourself the following questions.

  • Do I have enough spare time to be dedicated?
  • Am I serious about learning the necessary skills?
  • Am I able to bet with head and not my heart?

If you think you have what it takes to be a profitable bettor, then the next step is to read the collection of articles listed below. These are written by sports betting experts so the advice is definitely useful and worth taking on board. This advice won’t turn you into a winner immediately, but it will certainly put you on the right track.

Improving Your Betting Skills

Simple Tips for Successful Betting

In this article we have compiled a list of our top tips for successful sports betting. None of these are particularly complicated, and they are all relatively easy to follow even you’re an inexperienced bettor. If you can follow them, then you will instantly improve your chances of success simply by forming good habits.

Optimizing Your Selection Process

It should be somewhat obvious that the most important aspect of sports betting is ultimately making selections. If you can’t do this well, then you’re simply not ever going to make any money. In this article we look at the various different factors that need to be considered for each and every betting selection you make.

Finding Value in Betting Odds

The concept of value in relation to sports betting is often misunderstood, and this invariably leads to people to making bad betting decisions. A real understanding of value, and how to find it, is essential for anyone hoping to make money from their wagers. This article explains value in detail, and offers advice on the best way to identify it when it exists.

Managing Your Money Correctly

It’s no exaggeration to say that managing a bankroll is one of the most important skills for a sports bettor to master. And yet, it’s one that is often overlooked. It’s just about possible to be successful without practicing good money management, but it makes things much harder than they need to be. Read this article for some advice on making this easier.

Record Keeping & Performance Analysis

You should always keep records of your wagers, and your results, as this enables you to identify strengths and weaknesses. Analyzing your overall performance, and acting upon any findings, is a great way to improve as bettor. In this we article we provide some useful advice for keeping records and analyzing them.

Dealing With Your Emotions

The best gamblers are able to keep emotion entirely out of the betting process. This allows them to consistently make rational and well-informed decisions, which is exactly it takes to be successful. For many people, however, it’s hard to be emotionless when both real money and sport are involved. This article provides some tips for emotional control.

Sports Betting vs Other Forms of Gambling

A lot of people believe that betting on sports is very similar to other popular forms of gambling but that’s simply not the case. Here we compare sports betting to many other types of gambling and demonstrate how different they really are. We show exactly why sports betting is one of the most popular and how it can be more profitable than others.

Betting Facts and Betting Fiction

There are a ton of different perceptions out there about sports betting. Some of the rumors are true and others are not true at all. In this article we dispel the myths that are out there that cause some people to give up with betting on sports because of false ideas that they have heard in the past.

Comparing Odds and Line Shopping

One skill that many bettors still have never mastered is the art of comparing the odds and shopping for the best lines. In this article we breakdown how to best compare the odds at different bookmakers so that you can shop for the best lines available. This is a simple skill but it can add tons of value to your betting.

Alternative Forms of Sports Betting

The majority of this guide is related to traditional sports betting, but we cover some alternatives too. It’s well worth learning about these, as they all offer additional opportunities for making some money. As with traditional betting, though, it’s important to know what you’re doing. The following sections of our guide will teach you all about some of the most popular alternative forms of sports betting.


Live Betting
In Play Betting

Exchange Betting
Exchange Betting

Fantasy Sports Betting
Daily Fantasy Sports

Spread Betting
Spread Betting

Online Sports Betting

Any introduction to sports betting that’s written in the 21st century has to at least mention online betting too. The internet is by far the easiest and most convenient way to bet on sports these days, and it offers several advantages over the more traditional ways of placing wagers.

Our sports betting guide includes a section dedicated entirely to betting online. It includes a step by step guide to getting started, and a number of articles containing some useful information and advice.

  • The Advantages of Betting Online
  • Choosing A Sports Betting Site
  • Bonuses & Rewards
  • Loyalty Programs
  • Online Betting Tips
  • Online Betting FAQ

There’s more too. We’ve made recommendations of the best places to bet online, in several different categories, so that you can easily find a top site that is just right for you. This is one of the more challenging aspects of betting online, and we’ve made it as simple as possible. We’ve written detailed reviews on each of our recommendations too, explaining everything that they have to offer.