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How to get into sports betting for beginners

Do you want to get into sports betting but don’t know where to start? How to get into sports betting? Which bookmaker? Which sport to bet on? Single bet? Combined bet? You have a lot of questions and don’t want to take the plunge? Sportytrader will help you navigate this process and enter the world of sports betting! In this article, will guide you through the important steps to become a bettor.

How to get into the sports betting industry?

Step 1 – Set a Budget

Sports betting can be very exciting, and you might even win money if you’re good enough. However, it’s highly likely that you’ll lose at the beginning. That’s why you should be smart about it and decide on a budget you can afford to lose. It may not sound appealing, but that’s the reality of betting. This is NOT a certainty, but losing money is the most likely scenario for beginners in sports betting.

Many experienced players still lose in the long run, so it’s crucial to limit your losses to an amount you’re comfortable with. Once you’ve set your budget, it’s time to develop your betting strategy. The goal here is to ensure you don’t lose all your money in the blink of an eye. Even the most successful bettors have losing streaks, and reckless betting is the easiest way to go broke.

How to get into sports betting: Step 1 – Set a Budget
How to get into sports betting: Step 1 – Set a Budget

When placing bets, there are two key factors to take into account. Let’s take a look at them:

  1. Probability of Winning – The higher the probability of winning the bet, the more you can afford to risk.
  2. How Good the Odds Are – If you think the odds are good, you might bet a little more.

As a general rule, you should never bet more than 5% of your total bankroll, even if the bet looks great on paper. For more information on bankroll management and betting strategies, you can visit the following page.

Step 2 – Choose a Sport to Bet On

The next big decision you have to make before placing your first sports bet is what to bet on. Bookmakers today offer all kinds of events, and it’s important to choose the right one.

There is no one-size-fits-all event that is best for EVERYONE, and there are individual factors you need to consider. Ideally, you should choose a sport and league that you understand quite well. Knowledge of a sport will significantly improve your chances of spotting good bets. It will be helpful if you can easily access information about the competition to have the necessary tools to prepare before placing a bet.

Considering this, there are advantages and disadvantages to selecting certain events over others. For example, mainstream competitions in popular sports open up more opportunities for promotions and higher odds. You can also easily find information and live broadcasts.

Popular Sports for Betting

  • Football – Both the NFL and NCAA Division 1 are highly popular and extensively covered by most bookmakers if you choose to begin with football.
  • Basketball – You can choose between the NBA, college basketball, top European leagues, and major international events like the Olympics, FIBA World Cup, EuroBasket, etc.
  • Soccer – The number of soccer leagues you can bet on is immense. This includes all major European leagues, MLS, major international tournaments, and various lesser-known leagues globally.
  • Baseball – MLB is the most popular option here, but other leagues from around the world are also available for betting.
  • Tennis – The tennis calendar includes numerous tournaments for both men and women each year, so you will have plenty of opportunities to find good bets.
How to get into sports betting industry: Step 2 – Choose a Sport to Bet On
How to get into sports betting industry: Step 2 – Choose a Sport to Bet On

The downside is that finding value bets can be harder in mainstream competitions. Bookmakers pay special attention to them, and they rarely make mistakes with their odds. First-time sports bettors might perform better in less popular sports or competitions, where bookmakers don’t invest as much money. If you have insider information or a lot of knowledge about a less popular competition, it might be a better option for beginners.

The good news is that when you start sports betting, you don’t have to pick one league and stick with it forever. You can continually experiment with various options to determine which works best. However, having a plan is crucial for those new to sports betting. If you want additional help choosing the right sport for you, the following page will assist you.

Step 3 – Join a Betting Site

Many people wanting to know how to start sports betting often overlook this step because it’s quite easy. While joining a site is seamless and takes just a few minutes, choosing a reliable bookmaker is more challenging. The best online betting sites offer numerous benefits and provide better value for your money. They offer higher odds, better promotions, more markets, and are safe to use. You can do your own research and find the best online bookmakers. It’s easier to choose one of these highly rated betting sites.

Once you’ve chosen the right site, it’s time to open a new account. You will be asked to provide some personal information such as your name, country, and email address, and select login details like a username and password. It takes just a minute, and you’re ready. Now would be a good time to visit our page for practical tips on betting on sports online.

It’s also important to understand that you don’t have to stick to just one sportsbook. In fact, using multiple betting sites has several advantages. To start with, you can compare odds and get the best possible prices, improving your profits. You’ll also have access to more bonuses and promotions, positively impacting your wallet in the long run. If that sounds appealing, we also have a list of top betting sites for bonuses.

We know that many people who get into sports betting want to gamble on their mobile devices. If you’re one of them, you should check out our list of top-rated betting apps that work on all popular devices like iPhone, iPad, Android, and Windows Phone.

Step 4 – Learn How Odds Work

You can’t ignore the odds if you want to know how to start sports betting. There are three formats that may look different and can be a bit confusing for beginners.

Before explaining how to read each format, let’s clarify that they all serve the same two functions:

  1. Using Odds to Calculate Your Profit – Odds indicate the return amount when a bet is successful.
  2. Calculating Probability – Each price can be converted into a probability that tells you how likely an outcome is. The higher the odds and potential profit, the lower the chance of winning.

With that in mind, let’s see how the different types of betting odds work.

Decimal Odds

Arguably the easiest odds to understand, decimal odds are the most popular worldwide. The prices are displayed in decimal format, so you will see odds like 3.50, 1.25, and so on. To calculate the potential profit, you simply multiply your initial stake by the price.

For example, a successful $10 bet at a price of 2.50 would return $25 with a net profit of $15. The same logic applies to all decimal odds, which are always 1.01 or higher.

American Odds

Moneyline odds are most popular at betting sites and casino sportsbooks in the USA, which is why they are often referred to as American odds. For those looking to learn about sports betting, they are a bit more complicated than decimals. However, once you get used to them, American odds are relatively easy to apply.

How to get into sports betting reddit: Step 4 – Learn How Odds Work
How to get into sports betting reddit: Step 4 – Learn How Odds Work

Here’s how to read them:

  1. Positive American Odds – First, there are positive American odds like +150 or +300. These indicate how much you will win (net profit) if you bet $100. For example, a $100 bet at a price of +200 would return a $200 profit plus your initial stake, totaling $300.
  2. Negative American Odds – Next are negative American odds like -150 or -300. In these cases, the price indicates how much you need to bet to win $100.

Fractional Odds

The third mainstream format you might find online is fractional. These odds are primarily used in the UK and a few other countries. Many people find this format the most complex, making it increasingly rare.

Fractional odds usually consist of two numbers separated by a slash or a hyphen. Here’s how they look:

  • 6/1 or 6-1
  • 5/8 or 5-8

And here’s the formula you can use to calculate your profit:

  • Total Payout = [Stake * (Numerator/Denominator)] + Stake

Here’s a quick example to help you understand the formula better.

Imagine you bet $10 at odds of 3/1 and you win. Here’s how you calculate your total payout:

  • [10 * (3/1)] + 10 or $40 for a total profit of $30.

If you find fractional or American odds too complicated, you’ll be happy to know that most online betting sites offer the option to switch between the three formats. You can choose the format you prefer. For more information on how each type works, please visit our guide to odds. This guide also explains how to convert odds into implied probability.

Step 5 – Learn the Common Betting Options

We’ve covered most of the steps for beginners in sports betting; now it’s time to talk about markets. The best online bookmakers offer a wide range of options, and you might find over 100 markets for the most popular events. This can be overwhelming for first-time sports bettors, and the best solution is to focus on the most common types of bets. These bets are available in most sports and work similarly. On top of that, most other gambling options are variations or combinations of the main ones.

Here are the most common types of bets, more than enough for those who just want to know how to start sports betting.

The Most Popular Bet Types

  • Moneyline – This bet type might also be called match-winner, match result, or a similar name. The concept is always the same, and you simply choose the winner of an event. In some sports, you can also bet on a draw as a potential outcome.
  • Spreads/Handicaps – This is another popular option where one side in the game starts with a handicap. You bet on which side will win with this handicap applied.
  • Totals – If you prefer a market that doesn’t depend on the winner of an event, this is the perfect option. Betting sites provide a line for the total points scored, and you decide whether both sides combined will score more or fewer points.
  • Futures and Outrights – While more of a group of markets, the concept here is simple. Futures and outrights allow you to bet on long-term events. For example, you can bet on any NBA team to win the championship.
How to get into sports betting: Step 5 – Learn the Common Betting Options
How to get into sports betting: Step 5 – Learn the Common Betting Options

If you want more information on these and less common bet types available online, our page on different sports betting types can definitely help you. Another form of sports betting that’s becoming increasingly popular and should be considered by anyone looking to learn how to get into betting is live betting. Live betting has exploded since online bookmakers emerged and opened up some unique opportunities. Many markets remain the same, but new ones have been introduced, and you place bets after the event has started.

This is a completely different experience, so feel free to check our in-play betting guide for more information on the various markets and helpful tips to get the best experience.

Step 6 – Learn How to Make Money Betting on Sports

At this point, you know how to start sports betting, but that’s the easy part. Most of the steps so far have focused on making the entire process simple and helping you find the best places to bet on your favorite sports. Some tips along the way can certainly boost your profits, but making consistent money is still a distant goal. You need to spend more time learning and experimenting before reaching that level. The good news is that we have many other pages that can help you on your path to success. Our main sports betting guide is where you should go next for general information on the tips and tricks you must master.

There are several pages in this guide that you really should read if you want to be profitable in the long run:

  • Finding Value in Odds – You can’t make money unless you bet on odds with positive value. There’s no other way, and this page will help you understand this concept better.
  • The Biggest Challenges of Sports Betting – Learn more about the biggest obstacles on your path to success, so you can be prepared to face them.
  • Top Tips for Beginners – If you were wondering “how to start betting” before coming here, you’re clearly still a beginner. We highlight the top tips that can help you right from the start of your journey.

Most of the resources above address the theoretical part of the equation. We have several sections focused on advice for specific events, where we also provide the latest odds for many sports and recommended bets. Our sports betting blog is a great place for analyzing various leagues and events, overviews of popular markets, and other helpful posts. Here are the latest entries.

Step 7 (Optional) – Try Different Betting Options

All the steps so far have focused on the most popular type of sports betting. This type is called fixed-odds betting, and it’s what most people think of when we mention the term betting.

There are also some interesting alternatives that might better suit your needs. We have a guide on the different types of sports betting if you want a quick overview of all the types.

How to get into sports betting industry: Step 7 (Optional) – Try Different Betting Options
How to get into sports betting industry: Step 7 (Optional) – Try Different Betting Options

We also have individual pages for the following topics if you have specific intentions:

  • Pari-Mutuel Betting – In this form of sports betting, all the money goes into a common pool, and the winners share the prize proportionally, based on their initial stake.
  • Spread Betting – A riskier form of sports betting where there’s no fixed profit or loss.
  • Betting Exchanges – The concept here is that you’re up against other people, not the bookmaker.
  • Daily Fantasy Sports – If you want something completely different, try building your own team of real athletes and earn points based on their performance.


Understanding how to get into sports betting involves setting a budget, choosing a sport you know well, joining a reputable betting site, and learning about different types of odds and betting options. By focusing on these key areas and continuously learning and refining your strategies, you can enhance your chances of success and enjoy the excitement that sports betting offers.

See more: Exploring the dynamics of spread betting Cricket