Beginners Guide to Sports Betting

Football Stadium

Studies show that sports betting is by far the most popular form of online gambling, which isn’t surprising given how much we love to watch and enjoy sport. For this reason, in recent years many sports-related websites have increased their number of markets for bets so they can accommodate demand from all you live-betting fans out there who are itching to place a bet on your favourite teams!


If you’re new to sports betting it can be a confusing place with industry jargon being thrown around all over the internet. But we’ve got your back! Listed below are some terms that will help you understand more about this world and how it works so when you need to make bets, they’ll hopefully come easier for you.

Fractional/Decimal odds

Odds are expressed in fractions or as decimals, and your preference can be adjusted on most betting sites in their settings. When using decimals, the odds are 1.5 instead of 0.5 (1/2 in fractional odds) because the stake you place is included in the winnings. If you place £10 at odds of 1.5 you will return £15 with a profit of £5. With fractions the first number represents how much you will profit for every multiple of the second number, meaning for every £2 you stake you will profit £1. So, £10 placed at odds of 1/2 will also mean you return £15 as you add your add on as well.

Long/Short odds

When you see teams referred to as either “long odds” or “short odds,” this is the bookmaker’s opinion on how likely that team will win based upon various factors. Short bets have a higher chance but return less money, whereas long bets are lower in probability but offer more payoff should they come through successfully.


A single will be just one bet, a double will be two bets on the same slip, and a treble will be three. Each bet is technically known as ‘a fold’ and therefore for any more than three bets you may see it represented by the number then ‘fold’ (e.g., Five-Fold). This is a way of accumulating the odds of all the selections, making the bet less likely to win but the odds will increase for a higher pay out. To win all legs on the betslip have to win; however, some bookies may offer money back or free bets if one leg lets you down!

Handicap Betting

Handicap betting is a great way to potentially boosting your odds and make certain games more interesting to watch. Bookies will often offer this when the game may be deemed as one-sided and they want to “level the odds.” Handicapping essentially starts one side with an advantage for your bet, so if Football Team A were supposed to beat Football Team B at very short odds, bookmakers could however give evens but start them two goals down in order of that handicapped bet -2. This means that Team A would have to win by 3 clear goals for the handicapped bet of -2 to be successful.

Over/Under Betting

Over and under betting refers to the number of points/goals scored, and is always written to the nearest .5 (e.g. over 1.5 goals). This style of betting option allows you find different options in games that you may not necessarily be able to pick a winner in and it’s available for most sports making this one of the more popular ways of betting on sports. You may be able to accumulate different under and over selections such as over 7.5 corners, over 3.5 yellow cards and under 3.5 goals in a football match.


The most popular betting method for football lovers is the accumulator. You can set up your own or on occasion there will be pre-built ones available to you by a gambling site. The name of this bet type came from when these were first created, and it was meant as a way to create an all-in-one ticket that would pay out if many players won their match at once instead of just one player winning his game alone. It has since been turned into more than just soccer though; people use them now for other games like cricket and basketball too as well as combining a range of sports in one bet!

We hope that this short guide to sports betting has helped you understand the different markets there is to explore. Check out our Sports Betting page to claim the latest bookies sign up offers to get you off to the best possible start when looking to bet on sport. Players must be over the age of 18 and gamble responsibly.