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Instructions on how to play Sports betting for beginners

If you’re curious about the world of sports betting but don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place. Don’t worry; this “Sports Betting for Beginners” article by will help you. This article will clarify key aspects such as legality, odds, and strategies. With the development of this industry, understanding how sports betting works is not only interesting but also essential.

Instructions on how to play Sports betting for beginners
Instructions on how to play Sports betting for beginners

What is sports betting?

If you’re captivated by the drama and unpredictability of sports, sports betting will be the path to enhancing that experience. Essentially, sports betting is the act of placing a wager on the outcome of a sporting event, turning spectators into stakeholders. Events can range from classic sports like soccer and basketball to emerging sensations like eSports. Remember, your goal is to make accurate predictions about the outcome of a game to earn money.

Now, why is this important to you? Because sports betting is not merely a pastime—it’s a thrilling combination of strategy, psychology, and chance, offering opportunities for both entertainment and financial gain. Sports betting has become a lucrative and popular industry, with a global market value reaching hundreds of billions. According to a 2020 report by Grand View Research, what you’re engaging in is not just an ancient pastime but a dynamic market, estimated to be worth over 83 billion USD globally.

How to bet on sports for beginners

If you’re new, focus on sports you already know. Observe it not only as a fan but also as a potential bettor. Pay attention to player performance, team dynamics, and various factors that may affect the game. As you learn about sports betting, this analysis will serve as the foundation for your betting strategy.

Types of Sports Bets

The world of sports betting is as diverse as the games it encompasses. Choosing the right type of bet is akin to selecting the right tool for a job—a crucial skill that significantly impacts your success rate. Here are some basic types of sports bets:


Sports Betting 101: Betting on the moneyline is a straightforward, uncomplicated type of bet where you simply pick which team will win. Moneyline bets are an excellent starting point for beginners due to their simplicity. They provide an ideal introduction to understanding basic betting mechanics, offering a clear win or lose scenario that’s easy to grasp.

Example: You bet on the Dallas Cowboys to beat the Atlanta Falcons. You win the bet if the Dallas Cowboys defeat the Atlanta Falcons. (We’ll delve into odds in the next section.)

Expert Tip: Consider value betting, where you seek situations where you believe the odds are set too high or too low.


Commonly known as “totals,” these bets do not depend on which team wins or loses. Instead, you focus on the total points scored by both teams, adding a bit of excitement as you essentially cheer for both teams to either keep the score high or low. The strategic advantage here is that you can leverage your understanding of a team’s defensive and offensive capabilities without committing to predicting the winner or loser.

How to bet on sports for beginners: Types of Sports Bets
How to bet on sports for beginners: Types of Sports Bets

Example: The over/under for a basketball game is set at 210.5 points. If you bet ‘Over,’ you win if the total points scored by both teams exceed 210.5. If you bet ‘Under,’ you win if the total is 210 points or less.

Expert Tip: Always consider weather conditions. For instance, rainy weather may make scoring difficult in a soccer match.

Point Spread

Betting on the point spread is where the art of betting truly shines. In this form of bet, you’re not only picking the winning team but also betting on the margin of victory, leveling the playing field between the favored team and the underdog, making the game exciting regardless of clear skill differences between the two teams. In point spread betting, you encounter terms like “covering the spread,” which requires deeper knowledge of the sport and betting dynamics. However, it also offers the potential for larger payouts and adds a layer of strategic depth that moneyline and over/under bets cannot match.

Example: The Boston Celtics are favored to win by 3 points against the Los Angeles Clippers. If you bet on the Boston Celtics, they must win by more than 3 points for you to win the bet. If you bet on the Los Angeles Clippers, they must either win or lose by less than 3 points for you to win the bet. In this example, the bet is considered a push if the Boston Celtics win by exactly 3 points. Your initial bet would be voided and returned to you after a push.

Expert Tip: Pay attention to key numbers in basketball such as 3, 4, and 7 because games often have score differentials around these numbers.


A parlay allows you to combine multiple bets into a single wager. This is a high-risk, high-reward bet; all of your selections must win for you to cash out, but the payout can be substantial. Beginners are often advised to avoid parlays. Parlays are seen as advantageous for those looking to turn a small amount into a large sum regardless of the risk.

How to sports bet for beginners: Types of Sports Bets
How to sports bet for beginners: Types of Sports Bets

Example: You bet on the Dallas Cowboys to win, the total points to be ‘Over’ 210.5 in a basketball game, and the Boston Celtics to cover a 3-point spread. All three conditions must be met for you to win.

Expert Tip: Use parlays cautiously. They can provide significant payouts, but remember: the more bets you combine, the higher the risk becomes. Stick to 2-3 events to start.

Understanding Odds

Unlocking the secrets of sports betting begins with a clear understanding of odds. Essentially, odds represent the likelihood of a certain event happening.

Three Main Types of Betting Odds:

  • Decimal Odds: Presented as a single decimal number like 1.50, this type of odds is widely used in European countries. To calculate your potential profit, multiply your stake by the decimal odds. For example, betting $10 with odds of 1.50 would return $15 ($10 stake x 1.50).
  • Fractional Odds: Primarily used in the United Kingdom, these are represented as fractions like 1/2. The fraction indicates the profit you can earn from a bet. If you bet $10 at odds of 1/2, you would earn a $5 profit, receiving a total of $15 ($10 stake + $5 profit).
  • American Odds: Popular in the United States, American odds are shown as either positive or negative numbers. A positive number (e.g., +200) indicates your profit on a $100 bet. A negative number (e.g., -150) indicates how much you need to bet to win $100.

Sports Betting Odds for Beginners

Think of odds as a mirror reflecting probability and an indicator of your potential reward. Higher odds indicate a less likely event but promise a larger payout if it occurs. Conversely, lower odds indicate a higher likelihood of something happening but offer a smaller payout.

Sports Betting Terminology

Asian Handicap (AH)

Here are some key terms and concepts related to Asian Handicap:

  • Handicap (HDP): This is the handicap line set by the bookmaker. It’s also known as the Asian Handicap, where one team starts with a perceived disadvantage (e.g., -0.5 goals) and the other with an advantage (+0.5 goals).
  • Odds: The odds represent the potential payout for a bet. They indicate the ratio between the amount you bet and the amount you can win.
  • Over/Under (O/U): Also known as Totals, this bet involves predicting whether the total number of goals or points scored in a match will be over or under a specified number set by the bookmaker.
  • Win full: Refers to winning the full amount of your stake plus profit.
  • Lose full: Refers to losing the full amount of your stake.
  • Win half: Refers to winning half of your stake.
  • Lose half: Refers to losing half of your stake.
  • HT (Half Time): Refers to the period between the first and second halves of a match.
  • FT (Full Time): Refers to the entire duration of the match.
  • ET (Extra Time): Refers to additional playing time added to a match to break a tie.
  • PEN: Refers to penalties or penalty shootouts.
  • Live Betting: This is betting on a match while it is in progress.
  • Correct Score (CS): Betting on the exact final score of a match.
  • O/E (Odd/Even): Betting on whether the total number of goals or points in a match will be odd or even.

With Over/Under Bet

When monitoring the betting odds on football matches at various bookmakers, the Over/Under bet (also known as Totals) is somewhat straightforward, akin to the Asian Handicap. Specifically, each player needs to understand the following guidelines:

Sports Betting Terminology: With Over/Under Bet
Sports Betting Terminology: With Over/Under Bet
  • Over (O): This is shorthand for betting on the Over. Players should place their bets on the Over if they predict that the total number of goals scored will exceed the bookmaker’s specified line.
  • Under (U): This shorthand indicates betting on the Under. Players should choose the Under if they predict that the total number of goals scored in the match will be less than the line set by the bookmaker.

Understanding these basics helps players make informed decisions when participating in Over/Under betting on football, allowing them to engage effectively with betting odds across different bookmakers.


In conclusion, delving into Sports betting for beginners not only introduces the excitement of predicting outcomes but also emphasizes the importance of informed decisions, disciplined bankroll management, and understanding diverse betting strategies. It’s a journey that blends entertainment with calculated risk-taking, fostering a deeper engagement with sports while learning to navigate the complexities of odds and betting markets responsibly.

See more: Learn about successful virtual football betting secrets