Betting on sports has been a hugely popular pastime for as long as people have played sports. There are records of sports betting dating back thousands of years, but there’s never been a better time in history to get started. That’s because of the advent of online sportsbooks, which allow you to place real money bets anywhere and anytime you like.
It may be easy to start betting, but if you’ve never placed a bet before it’s hard to know where to begin. Considering you’re risking real money, it makes sense to be aware of the risks and do things properly. In this guide, we’ll share the information you need to successfully make bets on your favorite sports.
Choosing an Online Sportsbook
To bet online, you’ll need to join up to an online sportsbook. However, rather than creating an account with the first site you see, it’s important to research your options. There are a lot of great sports betting sites available, as well as some that are not so great. Here are some of the main features to look out for when choosing which sportsbook to join:
License and Reputation
Above all else, you need to make sure that you join a sportsbook which is legal and licensed. Sports betting is heavily regulated and not available in every state or country you go to. Check your local laws before you start betting, and make sure you choose a site which is licensed in your state. For example, Arizona residents should join a sportsbook Arizona. Unlicensed sites are typically less safe and don’t have the reputation for safety and security that legitimate sportsbooks have.
It’s also a good idea to check out the reputation of the sportsbook when deciding which one to join. Sports fans will often post their opinions and thoughts on a site, leaving reviews to share their experiences. Obviously, if a sportsbook has a lot of bad reviews, it might be best to stay away.
Odds and Markets
When you bet on sports, you’re risking real money on the outcome of an event. For example, you could bet on the Kansas City Chiefs to beat the San Francisco 49ers at the Super Bowl. Whenever you place a bet, the money you could potentially win is affected by the odds. The higher the odds, the lower the chance of that outcome, but the higher your potential winnings would be.
While the odds on events are usually similar between major sportsbooks, some sites have much better odds than others. In addition, the availability of sporting events and the different betting options, known as markets, can vary a lot. Ideally, you want to choose a site that has great odds and lots of markets on your favorite sports.
Before betting real money, you’ll have to deposit funds to your account. The sign up process is normally very straightforward, as is making payments. The best sites will allow you to instantly add funds using your preferred payment method, accepting options such as credit cards and e-wallets like PayPal.
Making deposits and withdrawals to and from your sportsbook account should always be simple, free and fast. Before signing up, make sure the sportsbook accepts the payment methods you prefer to use and that both the deposit and withdrawal process is straightforward.
Bonuses and Other Features
Sportsbooks often offer promotions and other great features to help encourage new users to sign up. These bonuses can be worth a lot of money, giving you a boost to your bankroll or helping to reduce the risk of your first bets. Features like live betting and live streams add some extra excitement to betting on sports too, and provide the chance to get more value.
When deciding on a sportsbook to join, check out the available bonuses and features to get a better idea of what the site has to offer. Always read through the full terms and conditions too, as you’ll need to understand how to use the bonus.
Making Your Bets
Once you’ve chosen a sports betting site, you can create your account and start placing bets. The sign up process is normally very simple, but you’ll need to enter all your personal details and verify your account before you can make a deposit. With funds in your account, you’re ready to place your first bets. However, you should always follow these tips when placing bets:
Research Every Bet
The advantage of sports betting compared to other forms of gambling is that your knowledge of sports can give you the edge. Sports experts are able to make consistent profits, although they will still get things wrong from time to time. The key is to research every bet and not let your bias get in the way of your predictions. Check the stats before the game, and make sure you consider how form, team news and other aspects might affect the performance.
Get the Best Odds
Getting the best odds means making sure you always place your bets using the best available odds at that time. Typically, odds vary between sites, so it’s a good idea to have multiple sportsbook accounts so you can always claim the best price. Compare the odds before you bet and use odds boost promotions if they’re available. You can also wait for the line to move before the game, or even place bets live to take advantage of better odds. Lines will often move in favor of the most popular team, even if it’s not necessarily the best bet.
Responsible betting means never betting more than you can afford to lose. Although sports betting can be a way to make money, it’s important to recognize that as a form of gambling, it comes with a lot of risks. Manage your bankroll and stick to a careful budget to ensure you never go overboard. It’s easy to get carried away sometimes but you can use deposit limits and other tools to reduce how much you spend and stay in control of your betting habits.