Introduction to Sports Betting – Learn How to Bet on Sports
Betting on sports is a popular pastime. And when we say popular, we REALLY mean it. Countless people all over the world enjoy sports betting, so much that they collectively spend billions of dollars on it each year. Not only is it a lot of fun, but there’s also the chance to win money.
The same could be said for almost all forms of gambling, though, and few (if any) are as popular as sports betting. This is especially true online, where the top gambling sites take millions of sports wagers every day.
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Why does sports betting attract so much attention? It’s difficult to know for sure without surveying every single sports bettor in the world.
Still, after considering everything we know about betting on sports, we believe that it ultimately comes down to two main reasons.
The first is simply that sports themselves are extremely popular. Not everyone is into sports, of course, but there sure are A LOT of people who are. For many of them, betting on the sports they enjoy watching is just a natural progression.
The second main reason is that sports betting is very straightforward. You can start placing wagers with just a limited amount of background knowledge and still have a chance of winning money, especially when betting on sports that you truly understand.
Now, winning money CONSISTENTLY is a different matter. That does require a lot more knowledge and a lot more effort. An understanding of the sports you wager on definitely helps, but it’s not enough to be successful in the long run. You also need to learn and develop certain skills.
There’s no need to worry about all of that when starting out. It’s just something to bear in mind if your long-term goal is to be a profitable bettor. And even if you’re only interested in having some fun, it’s important to know that winning doesn’t come easy.
As straightforward as sports betting is, there are several advantages to learning more about what’s involved before putting your money at risk. This introduction to sports betting is the ideal place to do that. This is designed for complete beginners. We plan to teach you everything you need to know to have the best possible sports betting experience.
Our introduction is divided into three distinct sections. The first section features some essential information to consider before you even get started. It will help you to decide whether sports betting is right for you, and it provides you with insight as to how everything works. The second section is basically a step-by-step guide to actually getting started, and the third section focuses on teaching you some basic betting skills that will really help.
Before You Start – Essential Information for Beginners
We’ve told you how easy it is to get started with sports betting, and we genuinely believe that. But it’s important to remember that there’s real risk involved here. It doesn’t matter how knowledgeable you are about the sport you’re betting on; every time you place a wager, you are putting your money at risk. Unfortunately, beginners are more likely to lose than win.
So if you’re looking to jump straight into sports betting because you think you’re going to win a ton of money straight away, please think again. Can you win money as a beginner? Absolutely. Will you? Probably not.
We’re not saying this because we want to deter you from betting on sports. That’s not our intention at all. In fact, we hope that when you do try it, you’ll find that you really enjoy it! We just want to make sure that your eyes are wide open. Sports betting is NOT for everyone. That’s why the first article in this introduction is a must-read. It highlights the risks and rewards of betting on sports and will help you to decide whether this is the right activity for you.
The next article compares sports betting with other forms of gambling. This is definitely worth reading, too. It’s interesting to look at the differences between the various forms of gambling and the pros and cons of each one. You might realize that playing casino games is more suitable for you, or that playing poker is more appealing. Maybe you’ll want to try them all, or maybe you won’t want to try any of them.
Assuming you decide that you DO want to try your hand at sports betting, you should start thinking about WHY. Is the goal simply to have some fun, or to try to make a few extra bucks? Maybe you have aspirations of betting full-time and earning a good income from it. Although there’s no reason why you can’t have fun AND make some money, betting for profit requires a different approach than betting primarily for recreational purposes. We explain more in the following article.
This next selection of articles addresses a variety of other topics that you should learn about before getting started.
Betting Facts and Betting Fiction
Sports Betting Laws
The Biggest Challenges of Sports Betting
What a Bookmaker Does
We’re almost done with this section now. There’s just one more useful resource we need to make you aware of: our sports betting glossary. This is not something you’ll necessarily want to read in its entirety, but it’s still good to know where to locate it if and when you need it. It contains detailed definitions of virtually all the words and phrases you’re likely to encounter when wagering on sports.
How to Bet on Sports – Getting Started Made Easy
Okay, so you’re ready to get started. Now what? Well, we suggest reading the following article next. It summarizes a few basic aspects of sports betting that all beginners should know when they’re about to start risking their money.
There are now just five more steps to follow, and you’ll be well on your way to enjoying the thrills and excitement that sports betting has to offer.
- Know the different types of wagers
- Understand odds and learn how to calculate payouts
- Choose which sports to bet on
- Learn how to make selections and place wagers
- Decide where to bet
Let’s go through these steps one by one.
Know the different types of wagers
Do you know the difference between a moneyline wager and a point spread wager? Or the difference between a prop and a totals wager? Heard of futures? What about parlays? Do you know how teasers and pleasers work?
If they’re being completely honest, most beginners will answer no to all of these questions. In fact, most beginners aren’t even aware that there are so many types of wagers that can be placed on sports events. But there are. Bookmakers generally offer a wide range of different wagering options. Some are very simple, while others are a little more complex.
It’s unlikely that you’ll want to use too many different types as a beginner. It doesn’t hurt to learn how they all work, though, which is why we recommend the article below.
Understand odds and learn how to calculate payouts
Odds are a vital component of any sports wager. They tell you how much you stand to win relative to your stake, and they also give some indication of how likely any given outcome is to happen. Most people understand that high odds mean something is unlikely to happen, and that low odds mean something is most likely going to happen.
There’s more to odds than just than that, though. For example, odds can be expressed in several different formats. They help us determine whether a wager offers good value or not. A thorough understanding of odds is pretty much essential when betting on sports, as is the ability to calculate potential payouts. That’s why we highly suggest reading the article listed below.
Choose which sports to bet on
This step is very straightforward. It’s not something that requires in-depth thinking, as we typically recommend that beginners start by focusing solely on sports they know a lot about.
However, we realize that not everyone who wants to start betting on sports is already a sports fan. So this step is a little harder for them. That’s why we’ve written the following article. It looks at the various pros and cons of different sports from a betting perspective, in addition to the potential benefits of specializing in one sport versus betting on several different ones.
Learn how to make selections and place wagers
Now we’re into the REALLY practical advice. This fourth step involves learning how to actually make selections and place wagers. This isn’t an especially complicated process, but it can be a little daunting for beginners. That’s why this article was created. We explain exactly how to place wagers with a bookmaker, and also offer some basic advice for making selections.
Decide where to bet
This fifth and final step is probably the most important. Depending on where you live, you may have several options for where to bet. In the United Kingdom, for example, virtually every town and city has at least two or three bookmaking shops. Telephone betting services are also widely available. In the United States, the options are more limited. There’s the casino sportsbooks in Las Vegas, and there’s talk of introducing sportsbooks in Atlantic City, too. Besides that, there aren’t too many other options to consider, unless you want to include the underground bookmakers who operate illegally.
We explain more about the different types of bookmakers you can find around the world in the following article.
In our opinion, the best option for virtually anyone is to wager online using betting sites. 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. We discuss these advantages, and many other aspects of online betting, in the following section of our sports betting guide.
Some people are naturally reluctant to deposit funds online for the purposes of wagering, especially when the only sites they can use are based overseas and operating in an entirely different legal jurisdiction. They’re concerned about entrusting these sites with their money, and worry about whether it’s safe to do so.
Although we fully understand these concerns, which are justified to some extent, the fact is that betting online is a lot safer than people think. We don’t deny that there are shady sites out there. However, we also realize that there are PLENTY of sites that are 100% trustworthy and reliable. All you need to do is choose the right ones to use.
That’s easier than ever before, thanks to us. We’ve made recommendations of the best places to bet online in several different categories, so finding a site that’s just right for you is no problem at all. You can rest assured that each and every one of our recommendations is perfectly safe to use and will provide you with an excellent service.
BEST SPORTS BETTING SITESAs recommended by GamblingSites.com
Developing Basic Betting Skills
There are several commonly held misconceptions relating to sports betting. Some of these are pretty harmless, but some can give people the wrong impression about sports betting. There are three in particular that we urge you not to believe, no matter how often you hear them being repeated.
- Sports betting is all about luck
- It’s impossible to win at sports betting
- Winning at sports betting is easy
The second and third misconceptions on this list obviously contradict each other. They clearly can’t BOTH be right, and in fact, neither of them are. Let’s start with the first one, though, regarding the luck involved in sports betting.
Sports betting is a form of gambling, and ALL forms of gambling involve at least some degree of luck. Some require more luck than others. Take casino slots, for example. These require no skill at all. You simply pay your money and hope that the reels spin a winning combination. Luck is the sole factor in determining whether you win or lose. The same can be said for most casino games, in fact, although a few of them have some element of skill to them, too.
The lottery is also all about luck, and so is bingo. Sports betting is different, though. It’s one form of gambling where luck is NOT the overriding factor. Although there’s some luck involved, for sure, the outcome of sports events isn’t completely random. It’s possible to use a combination of knowledge, skill, and strategy to try to gauge what’s likely to happen. Successful sports bettors are able to do this very well, and that’s why they win consistently. It’s not because they’re just luckier than everyone else.
The very fact that successful sports bettors exist clearly highlights that winning isn’t impossible. Most people lose, yes, but there are all kinds of reasons for that. It’s certainly not because winning is impossible. In theory, anyone can make money from betting on sports with the right approach. And, believe us, there are plenty of people who do.
The idea that winning is easy, however, is very far from the truth. A lot of sports betting beginners mistakenly believe that all they need to do to win money is make accurate predictions about the outcome of sports events. They assume that they’ll be able to make these accurate predictions if they know enough about the relevant sports. Unfortunately, they’re completely wrong.
One of the main goals in sports betting IS to make accurate predictions. That’s obvious. And if anyone was able to accurately predict the outcome of sports betting with unfailing consistency, then they’d be able to make a lot of money. That’s simply not possible, though. Even with an encyclopedic sports knowledge, sports are just too unpredictable.
Successful sports bettors aren’t only able to make accurate predictions, but they’re also able to identify when the odds are at a favorable place to make a wager. In addition to that, these bettors know how to properly manage their bankrolls and carry out all the necessary research and analysis effectively. In short, the requirements for successful sports betting go way beyond an extensive sports knowledge.
The articles in this third section of our introduction to sports betting will help you to understand more about these requirements. Even better, they will help you develop the skills you need to be successful. They’re aimed at beginners, so the information and advice are all on a fairly basic level. It should be very easy to understand.
Don’t really care to develop your betting skills? Then please at least take the time to read the following two articles. They are packed full of very simple advice that will help you form good betting habits from the moment you start and should prevent you from making too many costly mistakes.
Ideally, you should read the following articles, too. They won’t necessarily turn you into an instant winner, but they can certainly teach you some valuable lessons.
Bankroll Management and Staking Plans
Finding Value in Betting Odds
Comparing Odds and Line Shopping
Effective Research and Analysis
Optimizing Your Selection Process
Record Keeping and Performance Analysis
Dealing with Your Emotions