Sports Betting Q & A
Online sports betting is tremendous fun and many punters find it a profitable experience. If you’re new to online sportsbook’s, it can be a tricky process getting used to the terminology and the various markets and odds. So, being the helpful bunch of chaps that we are we’ve answered a number of the more common conundrums about betting online.
Q. Which Sportsbook should I sign up to?
A. The simple answer is choose whichever sportsbook takes your fancy. All online sports betting companies will be delighted to have your custom and offer you an attractive sign-up bonus as an incentive. Sky Bet is very popular with first time bettors because it offers a wealth of markets and is one of the easiest sites to navigate. It also depends on which sports you prefer to wager on – Coral and Sun Bets have plenty of football markets whilst if you’re after US Sports, it could pay to sign up with a Canadian or American bookmaker instead such as Bodog Sports or Sports Interaction.
Q. What is a sign-up bonus and how do I qualify for it?
A. The majority of online sportsbooks offer a sign-up bonus to new customers. Every company has a slightly different promotion which is designed to entice new customers to their site and boost the punter’s account balance in the process. The offers often involves depositing some money into your account or placing a bet (usually £5). Accounts are usually credited within 48 hours of signing up but make sure you input any ‘bonus code’ into the box when prompted otherwise you might miss out! If you follow the instructions and deposit the correct amount you will qualify for the bonus.
Q. Which is the best sign-up bonus?
A. This is fairly subjective and is down to the personal preference of the punter. Most of them are fairly generous. If you’re a small stakes punter and don’t wish to deposit a large amount of money, Sun Bet’s bet £5 and get a £10 free bet is amongst the best whilst Coral and Ladbrokes also offer similar bonuses. Bet365 will give new bettors 100% deposit bonus. If you only deposit £5, you will receive an additional £5. This offer may be more suitable for those with an initial spend of £50 or above. 888Sport offer all new customers Triple Odds on their first bet. This divides punters opinions as many feel the pressure of having to successfully land a bet in order to reap the rewards whilst others enjoy the prospect of boosting a 2/1 shot to 6/1.
Q. How can I credit my betting account?
A. Online Sportsbooks allow punters to use a variety of methods to fund their betting accounts. All debit and credit cards are accepted and remain one the quickest methods of topping up. Those who don’t wish to divulge card details can use online e-wallets such as Skrill, Neteller or PayPal. Many bookmakers accept Direct Bank Transfers whilst bitcoins are also a possibility. BOKU is a relatively new addition to the canon but some online bookmakers accept payments via this method and other mobile transactions. You can alternate between methods once you’ve signed up.
Q. Is there a minimum or maximum bet?
A. Every sportsbooks is different. Most will allow 10p bets on multiples although there are a few who stipulate a minimum 20p punt at all times. There are no maximum bets although some stories have been circulating in the news about high stakes punters having to spread their money between multiple accounts due to restrictions. This is an extremely rare occurrence.
Q. What sports are available?
A. Absolutely everything! Every bookmaker is now packed to the rafters with markets, sports, competitions and leagues. There will be sports you haven’t heard of and many you didn’t think it was possible to bet on! Football and Horse Racing remain the most popular with punters although markets for Curling, Athletics, GAA, Ice Hockey and Sailing are also available. Specials markets are increasingly popular with many punters betting on reality TV shows such as Strictly Come Dancing and Big Brother.
Q. What are the best types of bet?
A. Once again, this is entirely up to the individual. It depends on your balance and the amount of risk you’re willing to take. Accumulator bets are extremely popular at the weekends with many bettors choosing multiple selections for their betting slip. This requires all of the horses or teams to be successful in order to receive a pay-out. Lucky 15, 31 and 63s are just some of the permutation bets available. These require 15/31 or 63 x your stake (many punters only play these with 10p, 20p or 50p stakes) but can provide huge returns and can still be profitable if one selection lets you down. Some high stakes punters believe in only betting on singles at all times.
Q. How do I pick up my winnings?
A. These will be added straight into your betting account once the event has concluded. Occasionally there may be a few minutes delay but you can contact the sportsbook via their live chat service if there are any issues. You don’t even need to leave the sofa to collect your winnings!
Q. How many markets are available on each event?
A. This depends on the popularity of the contest but there could be hundreds available on one particular match. Take any top flight football game and there may be over 500 different betting options. The match outright result (1X2) and Over/Under 2.5 Goals are the most popular markets but individual goal-scorers can be backed to score the first or last or perhaps even net a hat-trick! There will be markets available on the time of the first goal and the amount of the corners in the match.
Horse Racing markets are usually centred around the winner of the event although ‘Betting without the favourite’ and ‘Match Bets’ markets are also prominent. The latter simply requires ‘Horse A’ to finish in front of ‘Horse B’. Formula One betting includes ‘Podium Finish’ and even ‘First Driver to Retire’ whilst ‘To Make the Cut’ and ‘First Round Leader’ markets are popular with golf bettors.
If an event is relatively obscure or being competed at a low level many bookmakers will opt to price up fewer markets as they will take more money on high profile games/races.
Q. How can I bet on my mobile?
A. Online Sportsbooks have seen a huge rise in mobile betting in recent years and have been constantly developing their Apps and mobile sites to keep up with demand. Most bookmakers have an easily downloadable App available from their website or the App Store and they are available for iOS, Android and those betting on a tablet. You log in using the same username and password and the same range of markets and odds are available. Some sportsbooks will provide special offers and promotions to mobile bettors to make sure you continue using their services on the move! If you’re worried about the App taking up too much memory on your device, all sites are accessible via most mobile browsers.
Q. Can I follow the progress of my bet?
A. There are many ways of following the action. Most bookmakers offer an In-Play section of their website where graphics are produced and updated throughout the match or contest. These include updated leader-boards or match stats including shots on target and amount of bookings. Most sportsbooks also offer a streaming service which allows punters to watch the action unfolded. These usually require a positive account balance in order to view. The In-Play graphics are also available via mobiles and tablets.
Q. What is ‘Cash-Out’ and ‘Partial Cash-Out’?
A. This is a relatively new addition to the online sportsbook. We’ve all been frustrated by a last minute goal which has scuppered our bets. If your bet is in a winning position BUT the contest hasn’t finished, you can secure a portion of your winnings. This is available with most bookmakers and is particularly prominent on mobile Apps. Partial Cash Out isn’t offered by all sportsbooks but this allows you to secure some of your winnings whilst allowing the remainder to stay on your initial selection. This is handy to avoid a nervy finish as your selection desperately holds onto their slender lead!
Q. What odds should I be looking out for?
A. Depends on personal preferences and size of stake. Evens (1/1) is the equivalent of doubling your money. If you put a pound on a selection at Evens and it won, you’d receive £1 plus your stake (£2 in total). Anything bigger than Even money (2/1 or 5/2 for example) is considered odds-against whilst anything short (4/7 or 5/6 for example) is considered odds-on. Odds-on selections are more likely to occur but offer less value. A £10 at 7/10 would return £7 plus the stake (£17 in total). If you continually bet at odds of 1/2 or 4/9, you would require large stakes to make a profit long-term.
Q. Can online betting be profitable?
A. There is no get-rich-quick scheme available when using online betting sites. The small minority of people who are in profit are dedicated and disciplined individuals who put in hours of research and calculate the likelihood of an event occurring. On the flip-side some punters who have placed a speculative 10-fold accumulator have occasionally landed huge returns. There will always be an unexpected turn of events which is why the bookmakers continue to trade but the advice is stick to sports/competitions or leagues with which you are familiar for any chance of long term profit.