Online Betting Guide for Internet punters
There are so many things for internet punters to learn about that this online betting guide will serve as a helpful introduction to many of the basics of online gambling. Knowing the basics is important to avoid rookie mistakes and to enhance the chances of success.
We look at the basics of online betting to give a guide to:
- Online Betting, bookmakers and exchanges
- Odds and why they differ
- Changes in the odds
- Odds and winnings
- A glossary of betting terms
Online Betting, Bookmakers and Exchanges
Betting is predicting the outcome of a match or event with someone who takes the opposite view from you. Each party puts down their money (known as the stake). If you are right, you keep the stake that you put in and you take the stake that the other person put down too. If you are wrong, then you will simply lose the stake that you put down.
Bookmakers provide the odds on outcomes of lots of different sporting events and they will offer you the chance to take them on in a bet. The bookmakers all spend huge amounts of time and money predicting the likely outcomes of sporting events, but punters have experience and skill too and will often be able to beat the bookies, assuming that they have a bit of luck or a good system too.
Click here to see our review of the best betting sites.
As well as the traditional bookmakers, there are a number of betting exchanges, most notably Betfair and Betdaq. They provide a different experience, because you can choose to take the place of the punter or the bookie. As a punter, you choose to back a particular result and if you lose, you simply lose the stake that you placed. However, you can also play the part of the bookie and offer to lay results. This means that you are saying that the event will not happen and if you are right, you get to keep your stake and take the other persons stake too. Having skill and experience here gives an opportunity to develop some trading strategies which can be very profitable, but getting it wrong can lead to heavy losses if the odds are high, so care is needed when using the exchanges.
The betting exchanges are an opportunity for punters to take advantage of changing odds to trade bets and aim to ensure that they make a profit whatever the result of the event. This is more complex than simply placing 1 bet and is explored in more detail in our football trading strategies post.
Odds and why they differ between bookies
Our online betting guide to odds shows that odds play a pivotal role in any punters calculations and need to be properly understood.
When you win a bet, your winnings are calculated by multiplying your stake with the odds that the bookie was offering.
Odds can be expressed as fractions, eg 3/1 or they can be expressed as in decimal terms. Fractional odds do not include the return of your own stake and decimal odds do.
The following table gives some examples:
|Odds||Stake||Winnings||Total Return (stake plus winnings)|
|½||£10||£5(£10×1/2)||£15(£10 + £5)|
|1/1||£10||£10(£10×1/1)||£20(£10 + £10)|
|3/1||£10||£30(£10×3/1)||£40(£10 + £30)|
The same odds as above are expressed in decimal terms by dividing the odds and then adding 1 as shown below:
|1.5||£10||£15(£10 x 1.5)|
|2||£10||£20(£10 x 2)|
|4||£10||£40(£10 x 4)|
The odds are calculated in such a way as to express the bookies prediction of the likelihood of a certain event happening, so the higher the odds, the more unlikely the bookie thinks the particular result actually is.
Football Betting Guide
Here is a useful video setting out some of the basics of football betting:
Changes in the odds
However, the odds do vary between different bookmakers and they change in the run up to the start of an event.
This is partly because the bookie needs to try to keep his book balanced. If a lot of people are backing a particular team and that team does win, then the bookie will have to pay a lot of money to the punters. To reduce the risk of this, they often reduce the odds to make that bet less attractive to the punters and reduce their financial exposure. At the same time, they might raise the odds on other results to encourage punters to back them and balance out their book and increase their chance of making a profit whatever the result.
Therefore, although odds are supposed to be a fair reflection of the likely outcome of an event, they are often skewed for commercial reasons.
There are various online tools to allow you to follow changes in the odds and these are useful, because they help you to see how the market is thinking before an event.
Common Betting Terms
There are so many different phrases and terms associated with betting and it is important to understand them properly.
The following links give detailed and comprehensive information about some of the most common and more obscure betting phrases.
This is a very thorough and detailed list of the phrases used in betting from the team at OLBG. It has a very helpful alphabetical list of phrases that should prove helpful.
There are hundreds of different bets offered by the bookies and this list is a detailed list of all of the bets, with an explanation to make them a bit more user friendly, Most of the bookies also have an explanation of the bets that they offer too.
This is a useful list of some betting slang from the UK and from the USA and Canada too.