How to Bet on Sports Online

Learn everything you need to start betting on sports online today.

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In today’s digital age, the thrill of sports betting has transcended from smoky backrooms and crowded betting shops to the convenience of your fingertips. If you’re intrigued by the notion of wagering on your favorite sports from the comfort of your home, you’re not alone.

With billions of dollars staked online annually, there’s no denying the meteoric rise of online sports betting. But how do you dive into this virtual arena with confidence? This article sheds light on the essentials of how to bet on sports online, ensuring you’re equipped with the right knowledge to make informed decisions.

Whether you’re a seasoned bettor seeking an online avenue or a beginner keen on exploring this exciting realm, read on to discover the dos and don’ts of online sports betting.

Sports betting glossary

  • Bad beat: a bet that loses unexpectedly.
  • Buck, dollar: $100.
  • Chalk player: a bettor who always bets on the favorite.
  • Dime: $1,000.
  • Exotic bet: any wager that’s not a straight bet or a parlay.
  • Expected value: the abstract mathematical value of a bet, often abbreviated as EV. When the potential payout on a specific bet is higher than the risk involved, such a bet is considered EV-positive (EV+). Conversely, if the potential payout is lower than the risk involved, the bet is considered EV-negative (EV-). The goal of profit-oriented bettors is to place as many EV+ bets as possible while avoiding EV- bets.
  • Favorite, chalk: the athlete or team expected to win a specific sports game.
  • Fifty cents: $50.
  • Futures: betting on the outcome of a significant event that takes place in the future. For example, betting on the winner of the World Cup before the final tournament takes off.
  • Juice, vigorish, vig: the commission the bookmaker earns.
  • Moneyline: a straight wager with no point spread.
  • Nickel: $500.
  • Parlay, combo bet, accumulator: a multi-selection bet that wins only if all its aspects win.
  • Point spread: the handicap given to the underdog by the sportsbook to generate more action.
  • Price: another term for odds or spread.
  • Prop bet: a unique side bet that’s usually specific to a particular sport.
  • Runline: a spread used instead of the money line in baseball.
  • Straight bet: a bet placed on a single athlete or sports team.
  • Teaser: a multi-selection bet in which the line is adjusted in favor of the player. A teaser wins only if all of its aspects win.
  • Totals bet, over/under bet: a bet that requires the bettor to predict whether both teams’ combined score will be higher or lower than the total provided by the oddsmakers.
  • Underdog: the team perceived to be more likely to lose.

How to Bet on Specific Sports and Leagues

Understanding Sports Betting Odds

American Odds

Used primarily in the United States, American odds are presented as either negative or positive numbers.

Favorable odds indicate the potential earnings from a $100 wager, whereas unfavorable odds indicate the wager amount required to secure a $100 win.

Example: If the odds are +200, it means that for every $100 you bet, you would win $200 in profit, plus your initial stake.

Example: If the odds are -150, it means you would need to bet $150 to win $100 in profit, plus your initial stake.

Fractional Odds

Fractional odds are mostly applied in the United Kingdom and indicate the possible profit comparative to the stake.

Example: Suppose the odds are 3/1, it means that for each $1 you bet, you would win $3 in profit, plus your initial stake.

Decimal Odds

Decimal odds are popular in Europe and Australia, representing the overall payout inclusive of the stake.

Example: If the odds are 2.50, it means that for every $1 you bet, you would receive a total payout of $2.50, including your initial stake.

Common Types of Sports Bets

Sports Betting Lines

Moneyline Bets

The moneyline bet entails picking a team or player to win the game or match outright.

Example: Betting on the New York Yankees (-150) to win a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox (+120).

Point spread Bets

The point spread wager involves betting on the margin of victory in a game.

Example: Betting on the Los Angeles Lakers (-5.5) to win by higher than 5.5 points against the Golden State Warriors (+5.5).

Over/under Bets (totals)

In total bets, you have to guess whether the overall cumulative score of a game is going to be more or less than the predetermined limit that the bookmaker has set.

Example: Betting on the total goals scored in a hockey game to be more than 5.5 or less than 5.5.

Parlay Bets

Parlay bets involve combining multiple individual wagers into just one wager.

Example: Betting on the outcomes of three different basketball games as part of a parlay bet.

Prop Bets

Prop wagers concentrate on distinct events or outcomes within a match or game.

Example: Betting on the number of goals a specific player will score in a soccer match.

Futures Bets

Futures bets involve placing wagers on events or outcomes that will be determined in the future, such as tournament winners or season-long performances.

Example: Betting on a specific team to win the Super Bowl before the NFL season begins.

Live Sports Betting: An In-Depth Explanation

Live sports betting, also known as in-play or in-game betting, allows bettors to place wagers on a sporting event while it is in progress. Unlike traditional pre-match betting, live betting provides the opportunity to react and adjust your bets based on the unfolding action and changing dynamics of the game.

Here’s how live sports betting works:

  • Real-Time Odds: Live sports betting offers continuously updated odds that reflect the game’s current state. The odds are adjusted in real time based on the game’s progress, such as the score, time remaining, and other relevant factors.
  • Betting Markets: Live betting typically covers a wide range of betting markets similar to pre-match betting. You can bet on outcomes such as the next team to score, the total number of goals or points, the player to score next, or even specific events within the game, like a penalty or a corner kick.
  • Dynamic Betting Options: As the game progresses, the available betting options may change or be suspended temporarily. New opportunities may arise based on the game’s flow, momentum shifts, or key events, giving you a chance to place strategic bets.
  • Instantaneous Betting: You can place bets instantly during the game with live betting. Most online sportsbooks offer a user-friendly interface that allows you to easily navigate the live betting section and place your bets quickly with just a few clicks or taps.
  • Cash Out: Some sportsbooks offer a cash-out feature during live betting, allowing you to settle your bet before the game ends. The cash-out value is determined based on the current odds and the potential outcome of your wager. It gives you the flexibility to secure a profit or minimize potential losses based on your assessment of the game.

Here are a couple of examples to illustrate live sports betting:

Example 1:
Football (Soccer): Let’s say you’re watching a college football match, and after 30 minutes, the favored team is down 0-1. The live betting odds may shift, providing more favorable odds for the favored team to make a comeback and win the game. You could take advantage of these updated odds and place a live bet on the favored team to win or even bet on the next goal scorer based on the momentum of the game.

Example 2:
Basketball: In a basketball game, you notice that one team has a dominant player who is performing exceptionally well. The live betting odds may adjust, reflecting the player’s strong performance. You could place a live bet on the player to score a certain number of points or exceed a specific rebound or assist total based on their current performance.

How to turn a profit betting on traditional sports

The odds offered by online bookmakers are always lower than the true odds determined by their experts – this is necessary for sportsbooks to run a profitable business. This means you won’t get a chance to place any “fair” bets unless the oddsmakers make a mistake, which doesn’t happen very often.

Fortunately, this doesn’t mean all bettors are doomed to fail in the long run. If your research is spot on and you consistently go for high-value wagers, you might be able to turn this gambling form into a steady source of income. Achieving this goal requires a lot of work, but if you’re passionate about the game you’re planning to bet on and don’t mind following a few simple rules, your results are bound to gradually improve over time.

Know the game inside-out

This might sound obvious, but you should be intimately familiar with the rules and intricacies of any sport you want to bet on. If you lack in-depth game knowledge, you won’t be able to research the teams before their games, reducing your chances of making the right predictions and spotting EV-positive betting opportunities. Once you know all the ropes, your next objective is to learn how your sport works from a betting perspective. Feel free to skip irrelevant information at this stage. For example, if you want to wager on football, don’t bother with reading about outright winner bets – most sites will require you to bet against the spread anyway.

Compare the odds

If you’re serious about maximizing your long-term profits, consider joining more than one sportsbook. This will allow you to compare the odds across multiple platforms, guaranteeing you the best deal every time. Another benefit of assuming this approach is getting to play considerably more value bets. This should improve your overall consistency and decrease bankroll swings as the sheer volume of EV-positive wagers will likely outweigh the impact of unavoidable bad beats. Even if the differences in price seem negligible, you should always pick better odds – even the most inconspicuous advantages compound over time. The same holds true for consistently choosing worse odds – the adverse effects of making EV-negative decisions will quickly stack and take a toll on your betting funds.

Never skip your homework

Always do your research before placing a bet. Pay close attention to both teams’ recent performances, roster changes, individual players’ form, coaching, training-related news, and any other relevant information you can collect. Once you turn inspecting both teams before the game into a habit, start broadening your horizons. Read sports betting-related blogs, books, and expert analyses to refine your own research procedures. Remember – patience, consistency, and realistic expectations are key to success. Your goal should be to continually improve as a bettor; not to turn into a sports betting superstar overnight.

Focus on value bets

Turning a profit on sports betting is more complicated than picking the winning team most of the time. If that was the case, everyone would bet on the favorite every single time, and sportsbooks would go bankrupt. The truth is that such strategies are rendered completely ineffective by point spreads and creative oddsmaking. If you want to be a winning bettor, focus on finding bets where the odds seem not to represent the expected outcome of the match. Such bets are referred to as value bets because they provide you with the most bang for your buck. Value bets are EV-positive, so if you place them consistently, you’re guaranteed to come out ahead in the long run regardless of your bad beats.

Avoid inherently risky bets

If you’re new to sports betting, focus on straight bets. Targeting straight bets will allow you to become better at locating value bets and performing unbiased research before each game. Once you begin turning a profit on a regular basis, you can attempt tackling more exotic bets.

When it comes to parlays, many experts believe that even veteran sports bettors should avoid them. Theoretically speaking, if your prediction rate is high enough, parlay bets have a higher expected value than straight bets. However, this comes at the cost of increased variance. One thing is certain: if your prediction rate is average or worse, parlays are a surefire way to quickly donate your entire bankroll to your sportsbook operator.

Play the long game

Always try to focus on the bigger picture; don’t fixate on bets that didn’t go well. No bettor is capable of winning every single time. Unpredictable things can happen in competitive sports, and you have zero control over it. You do, however, have complete control over the wagers you place and the research you do.

Treat bad beats as a natural component of the sports betting experience and try to be as constructive as possible. The key to becoming a successful bettor is long-term performance; not short-term results. Remember that if you’re betting against the spread, improving your rate of correct predictions by one or two percent can sometimes turn you from a losing punter into a winning one.

Betting on the NFL

Football Betting

Overview of NFL Betting

NFL betting is incredibly popular, with a wide range of betting options available for each game. Understanding key factors such as team performance, player injuries, and weather conditions can help make more informed bets.

Key Bet Types in the NFL

  • Spread betting: Betting on the point spread, where the favorite team must win by a certain margin or the underdog must lose by less than a specified margin.
  • Over/under betting: Wagering the total number of points scored in a game, whether over or under the set betting line.
  • Moneyline bet type: Placing bets on which team will win the game outright, without considering the point spread.
  • Prop betting: Betting on specific outcomes or events within an NFL game, such as the first team to score or the total passing yards of a quarterback.

Betting on an NFL Game

  • Let’s say there is a match between the New England Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs.
  • The point spread is set at Patriots -3.5 and Chiefs +3.5.
  • If you bet on the Patriots to cover the spread, they must win the game by 4 or more points for your bet to be successful.
  • If you bet on the Chiefs, they can either win the game outright or lose by 3 or fewer points for your bet to win.

See also: How to bet on football

Betting on MLB

Baseball futures

Overview of MLB Betting

MLB betting offers a variety of betting options throughout the baseball season. Understanding pitching matchups, team form, and historical performance can help make informed MLB bets.

Key Bet Types in MLB

  • Moneyline bets: Betting on which team will win the game outright.
  • Run line betting: Similar to the point spread in other sports, where a team must win by a certain number of runs or the underdog must lose by less than a specified margin.
  • Over/under betting: Wagering on the total number of runs scored in a game, whether it will be over or under the set line.
  • Prop betting: Placing bets on specific events or individual player performances during an MLB game, such as the number of home runs hit or the total strikeouts by a pitcher.

Betting on an MLB Game

  • Let’s consider a matchup between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox.
  • The moneyline odds are Yankees -150 and Red Sox +130.
  • If you bet $150 on the Yankees and they win the game, you would receive a profit of $100 (plus the return of your initial stake) if your bet is successful.
  • If you bet $100 on the Red Sox and they win, you would receive a profit of $130 (plus the return of your initial stake).

See also: How to bet on baseball

Betting on the NBA

Basketball Futures

Overview of NBA Betting

NBA betting is widely popular, offering a range of bet types and markets for each game. Understanding team form, player matchups, and injury updates can help make more accurate NBA bets.

Key Bet Types in the NBA

  • Point spread betting: Betting on the point spread, where a team must win by a certain margin or the underdog must lose by less than a specified margin.
  • Moneyline betting: Placing bets on which team will win the game outright, without considering the point spread bet.
  • Over/under betting: Wagering the total number of points scored in a game, whether over or under the set line.
  • Player prop betting: Betting on individual player performances, such as points scored, rebounds, or assists.

Betting on an NBA Game

  • Suppose there is a game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets.
  • The point spread is set at Lakers -5.5 and Nets +5.5.
  • If you bet on the Lakers to cover the spread, they must win by 6 or more points for your bet to be successful.
  • If you bet on the Nets, they can either win the game outright or lose by 5 or fewer points for your bet to win.

See also: How to bet on basketball

Betting on the NHL

NHL Future Bets

Overview of NHL Betting

NHL betting offers a range of betting options, including moneyline, puck line, and over/under bets. Factors such as team form, injuries, and goaltender performance can influence NHL betting decisions.

Key Bet Types in the NHL

  • Moneyline betting: Betting on which team will win the game outright.
  • Puck line betting: Similar to the point spread, where a team must win by a certain number of goals or the underdog must lose by less than a specified margin.
  • Over/under betting: Wagering on the total number of goals scored in a game, whether it will be over or under the set line.
  • Period betting: Placing bets on the outcome of specific periods within an NHL game, such as the first period or third period.

Betting on an NHL Game

  • Let’s say there is a matchup between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Boston Bruins.
  • The moneyline odds are Blackhawks +120 and Bruins -140.
  • If you bet $100 on the Blackhawks and they win the game, you would receive a profit of $120 (plus the return of your initial stake) if your bet is successful.
  • If you bet $140 on the Bruins and they win, you would receive a profit of $100 (plus the return of your initial stake).

See also: How to bet on hockey

Betting on Golf

Golf Wagering Options

Overview of Golf Betting

Golf betting offers a unique set of opportunities, with tournaments taking place throughout the year. Understanding golfers’ form, course conditions, and past performance can assist in making informed bets.

Key Bet Types in Golf

  • Outright winner betting: Betting on which golfer will win the tournament.
  • Top finishing position: Wagering on a golfer to finish within a certain position range, such as top 5 or top 10.
  • Head-to-head matchups: Betting on the outcome of a matchup between two specific golfers.
  • Prop bets: Placing bets on specific events within a golf tournament, such as a hole-in-one or the winning margin.

Betting on a Golf Tournament

  • Let’s consider a major golf tournament like The Masters.
  • You decide to bet on golfer A to win the tournament at odds of +800.
  • If you wager $100 on golfer A and they win, you would receive a profit of $800 (plus the return of your initial stake) if your bet is successful.

See also: How to bet on golf

Betting on Tennis

In-Play Tennis Betting

Overview of Tennis Betting

Tennis betting offers a variety of markets, with matches taking place throughout the year. Factors such as player form, playing surface, and head-to-head records can impact tennis betting outcomes.

Key Bet Types in Tennis

  • Match winner betting: Betting on the outcome of a specific tennis match.
  • Set betting: Wagering on the correct scoreline in terms of sets in a match.
  • Total games betting: Betting on the total number of games played in a match, whether it will be over or under the set line.
  • Prop bets: Placing bets on specific occurrences during a match, such as the number of aces served or the first player to break serve.

Betting on a Tennis Match

  • Suppose there is a match between Player A and Player B.
  • The odds for Player A to win are -150, and the odds for Player B to win are +120.
  • If you bet $150 on Player A and they win, you would receive a profit of $100 (plus the return of your initial stake) if your bet is successful.
  • If you bet $100 on Player B and they win, you would receive a profit of $120 (plus the return of your initial stake).

See also: How to bet on tennis

Betting on MLS (Major League Soccer)

Soccer Betting Lines

Overview of MLS Betting

MLS betting provides an opportunity to wager on professional soccer matches in the United States and Canada. Considering team form, player performance, and home-field advantage can help in making MLS betting predictions.

Key Bet Types in MLS

  • Match result betting: Betting on the outcome of a specific MLS match, including win, lose, or draw.
  • Goal totals betting: Wagering on the total number of goals scored in a match, whether it will be over or under the set line.
  • Asian handicap betting: Placing bets with a handicap to overcome or give to a team, ensuring more balanced odds.
  • First goalscorer: Betting on the player who will score the first goal in a match.

Betting on an MLS Match

  • Let’s say there is a match between the Los Angeles Galaxy and the Seattle Sounders.
  • The odds for the Galaxy to win are +180, and the odds for the Sounders to win are +140.
  • If you bet $100 on the Galaxy and they win, you would receive a profit of $180 (plus the return of your initial stake) if your bet is successful.
  • If you bet $100 on the Sounders and they win, you would receive a profit of $140 (plus the return of your initial stake).

See also: How to bet on soccer

Growing Popularity and Accessibility

Sports betting has gained significant popularity worldwide, with more people participating in it than ever before. The rise of online sportsbooks and mobile betting apps has made sports betting easily accessible to a wider audience.

BetUS mobile promos page

With so many options, everyone can get involved. For example, low minimum deposit sportsbooks are perfect for bettors on a budget, whereas high-limit sportsbooks are better for high-rollers. You can also find sportsbooks for a whole range of sporting events, from the best baseball sportsbooks to top betting sites for football, hockey, or tennis.

Importance of Responsible Gambling

Responsible gambling is crucial to ensuring a safe and enjoyable betting experience. It involves setting limits, managing bankrolls, and being aware of the potential risks associated with gambling addiction.

All good online sportsbooks will have measures in place to promote responsible gambling. This includes self-exclusion tools and links to helpful resources. Most reliable operators also have stringent KYC policies to help protect against underage gambling.

Calculating Potential Payouts

Potential payouts can be calculated by multiplying the wager amount by the odds offered for a specific bet. This calculation estimates the total amount that could be won, including the initial stake.

Understanding Implied Probability

Implied probability is the likelihood of an outcome based on the odds the bookmaker offers. It can be calculated by dividing one by the decimal odds, converting fractional odds to a decimal format, or using the American odds formula.

Bankroll Management in Sports Betting

Importance of Bankroll Management

Effective bankroll management is necessary for success in sports betting over the long term.

It entails giving a certain portion of your funds for wagering and setting limits on the size of your bets.

Setting a Bankroll

Determine the amount of money you are willing to allocate for sports betting.

It should be an amount that you can afford to lose without impacting your financial stability.

Unit Betting System

Use a unit betting system where one unit represents a percentage of your bankroll.

Typically, one unit is around 1-5% of your total bankroll.

Bet Sizing

Based on your unit size, determine the appropriate bet size for each wager.

It is advisable to bet a consistent percentage of your bankroll on each bet rather than varying bet sizes.

Sticking to the Plan

Exercise self-control and avoid chasing losses by increasing your bet size.

Stick to your predetermined unit size and avoid impulsive betting decisions.

Best Sports Betting Strategies

Research and Analysis

Conduct thorough research and analysis on teams, players, statistics, and relevant factors.

Consider factors such as team form, injuries, head-to-head records, home-field advantage, and playing conditions.

Specialize in Specific Sports or Leagues

Focus on specific sports or leagues to gain a deeper understanding and expertise.

By specializing, you can identify patterns, trends, and value bets more effectively.

Compare Odds and Line Shopping

Compare online sportsbooks and analyze the odds to discover the optimal value for your wagers.

Line shopping can help maximize your potential returns.

Manage Emotions

Avoid making impulsive bets based on emotions or personal biases.

Stick to your research and analysis, and make rational betting decisions.

Track Your Bets and Learn from Results

Keep a record of your bets to analyze your performance and identify areas for improvement.

Learn from both winning and losing bets to refine your strategies.

Sports Betting Strategies That Don’t Work

While there are numerous effective sports betting strategies for sports wagering, it’s equally important to be aware of any betting strategy that has been proven to be ineffective or unreliable. Here are some commonly promoted strategies that you should approach with caution:

Betting Based on Hunches or Gut Feelings

Relying solely on intuition or hunches without proper analysis and research is not a reliable sports betting strategy. Sports betting requires a systematic approach based on data and information rather than subjective feelings.

Chasing Losses

Attempting to recover previous losses by increasing the size of your bets is a risky sports betting strategy. It can lead to further losses and a significant drain on your bankroll. Instead, focus on maintaining discipline and sticking to your predetermined betting plan.

Martingale Sports Betting Strategy System

The Martingale betting system involves doubling your bet after each loss, with the aim of recouping losses and making a profit. While it may seem appealing, it can quickly deplete your bankroll if you encounter a losing streak. It’s a high-risk sports betting strategy that does not take into account the limitations of bankroll and betting limits.

Following Public Opinion or Media Hype

Placing bets solely based on popular opinion or media hype can be misleading. Public sentiment and media coverage often influence betting lines, making it challenging to find value bets. It’s important to conduct research and analysis rather than blindly follow the crowd.

Betting on Favorite Teams or Players

Supporting your favorite teams or players is common, but it should not be the basis for betting decisions. Objectivity is crucial in sports betting, and emotional bias can cloud judgment and lead to poor decisions.

Betting without Proper Bankroll Management

Neglecting bankroll management and betting without a structured plan can be detrimental to long-term success. It’s essential to allocate an appropriate portion of your bankroll for each bet and avoid reckless betting.

How to Choose the Best Online Sports Betting Platform

Selecting the right online sports betting platform is crucial for a safe and enjoyable betting experience. Here are some key factors to consider when choosing the best platform for your sports betting needs:

Reputation and Reliability

  • Opt for a reputable and well-established betting platform with a track record of reliability and trustworthiness.
  • Look for betting sites that are licensed and regulated by recognized gambling authorities. This is a legal requirement in the US and ensures you’re playing at a safe and secure betting site.

Variety of Sports and Betting Markets

  • Choose an offshore online sportsbook platform that offers a wide range of sports and betting markets to cater to your specific interests.
  • Look for betting sites that cover major sports leagues such as the NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL, as well as niche sports and international events.

User-Friendly Interface and Mobile Compatibility

  • A user-friendly interface and intuitive navigation make for a seamless betting experience.
  • Ensure that the platform is compatible with mobile devices, allowing you to bet on the go.

Competitive Odds and Betting Options

  • Compare the odds offered by different platforms to find the ones that provide competitive prices and the best reduced juice sports bets.
  • Look for platforms that offer live betting options, prop bets, futures bets, and other popular betting types across a range of different sports.

Bonuses and Promotions

  • Consider platforms that offer attractive bonuses and promotions for new and existing customers.
  • Look for welcome bonuses, free bets, enhanced odds, loyalty programs, and other incentives that can enhance your betting value.

Payment Options and Security

  • Ensure that the sportsbook supports cryptocurrencies and other secure payment options that are convenient for you, such as credit/debit cards, e-wallets, or bank transfers.
  • Check for SSL encryption and other security measures to protect your personal and financial information.

Customer Support

  • A reliable customer support system is essential for addressing any queries or issues that may arise.
  • Look for platforms that offer multiple channels of communication, such as live chat, email, or phone support, with responsive and knowledgeable representatives.

Reviews and Recommendations

  • Read online sportsbook reviews and seek other bettors’ recommendations to gather insights and feedback about different betting sites.
  • Consider factors such as customer satisfaction, payout speed, and overall user experience.

In a Nutshell

Learning how to bet on sports requires a combination of knowledge, good betting strategy, and discipline. Understanding the fundamentals of sports betting, researching the teams or individuals involved, and implementing the best sports betting strategies can enhance your chances of making successful wagers. Remember to choose a reputable sportsbook, manage your bankroll wisely, and stay informed about the latest news and developments in the sports world.

Online Sports Betting FAQ

Can you turn online sports betting into a steady source of income?

Yes, it’s possible to become a successful bettor, but most people underestimate the effort required to do so. Your research has to be spot on, you need to be systematic, and you can’t allow your emotions to influence your decisions. All in all, it’s a very time-consuming endeavor with no guarantee of success.

If you’re ambitious enough to attempt to make a living betting on sports, keep in mind that the sheer amount of work necessary to achieve this can overwhelm even the most dedicated of fans.

With that in mind, you shouldn’t push yourself too hard early on. Do your best to hit your bets and enjoy yourself – you will get better at making the right decisions over time. Take advantage of free bets and bonuses while you learn, and stick to bets with the lowest variance. This way, you’ll naturally arrive at the betting style that’s most fitting for your temperament and predispositions, while reducing your chances of going bankrupt in the process.

Is it possible to wager on events that have already started?

Yes, most high-profile sportsbooks give you the option to engage in live in-play betting. The odds and available wagers will be adjusted in real time to match the situation on the field. Keep in mind that most oddsmakers prefer to err on the side of caution in live betting scenarios, so don’t expect the odds to be anywhere as good as before the game. All in all, live betting is a great way to spice up an important match that you’re going to watch on TV, but it isn’t particularly useful to profit-oriented bettors.

Do online bookmakers offer more betting options than just traditional sports?

Yes. The largest online bookmakers allow you to bet on Esports, political elections, and even celebrity-related scandals and contests. The specifics vary from platform to platform, so it’s always a good idea to do some scouting in advance if you’re interested in wagers of this sort.

What bets should I focus on if I’m new to sports betting?

If you’re new to sports betting, you should focus exclusively on straight bets. Your goal should be to improve your analytical skills. If you’re interested in optimizing your profits, you should shop around for the best lines right from the get-go to turn it into a habit. Once you become an expert on your sport of choice, you can decide whether you want to move on to exotic bets. Many successful punters stick exclusively to picking the outright winner, so don’t feel pressured to abandon this betting method if it works for you.

What is the truth about parlays? Should I even bother with them?

The expected value of parlay bets depends on the quality of your research as well as your prediction skills. Assuming you’re capable of predicting the winner of a close match with a 50% accuracy, placing parlay bets would have a negative impact on your long-term profitability. In such a scenario, betting the standard -110 line would result in an expected loss of 4.55%, while betting a two-team parlay would result in a projected loss of 10%. Your expected loss would grow as you added more teams to your parlay, so you shouldn’t place any parlay bets at all.

On the other hand, if you’re an exceptionally skilled bettor and can predict the outcome of such a match with a 55% accuracy, placing a parlay wager instead of betting a -110 line would be an EV-positive decision because the expected profit would be higher. The catch here is that parlay wagers come with significantly higher variance than straight bets.

Even with a 55% correct prediction rate, your success rate would be 30.25% for two-team parlays and 16.64% for three-team parlays. As you increase the number of teams or lower the prediction rate, things start looking even worse. Consequently, many experienced bettors avoid chasing large parlays even if they theoretically have the skills to turn it into an EV-positive activity.

How do I deposit money with an online sportsbook?

Legitimate online sportsbooks usually support a wide range of deposit methods, but their availability will depend on your area of residence. In most jurisdictions, your options will include Visa/MasterCard, two or three e-wallet solutions, and a few favorite local payment processing services.

If you live in the United States, your options will be limited by strict federal-level anti-gambling regulations. Even worse, you’ll have to deal with high rejection rates for Visa/MasterCard payments, as American financial institutions aren’t allowed to transfer money to offshore sportsbooks. If your payment gets blocked, you won’t face any legal consequences, but picking a reliable method right from the get-go can save you some time.

If I win some money, how will the online sportsbook pay me?

A: In most cases, you should expect a significant overlap between the available deposit and withdrawal methods. The availability of specific options may depend on your betting history. This is especially true for e-wallets – most sportsbooks will allow you to cash out via Neteller or Skrill only if you’ve used that service to fund your account in the past.

If you’re planning to bet a lot of money, you should pay attention to your operator’s betting limits. If you exceed them, you will be paid in several weekly or monthly installments. This issue can sometimes be avoided by ordering a check by courier.

What about cryptocurrencies? Can I use Bitcoin to fund my betting account?

Yes. US-based players can use Bitcoin to fund betting accounts at offshore sportsbooks.

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