All You Need to Know About Sports Betting

One of the most appealing aspects of betting on sports is how simple it is at a basic level, but if you’re new to the world of sports betting, you may be confused by the terminology or understanding how to read odds. 

This guide will teach you the basics so you can get started placing wagers on any sport of your choosing, from tips for Cheltenham 2020 to placing wagers on the Champions League. 

How to Read Odds

Betting odds can help you determine your winnings or the probability of a certain selection winning if you make a bet. Fractional odds are the most common, particularly for horse racing, although you may see decimal odds on certain betting sites too. With fractional odds, the figure on the right indicates your stake and the figure on the left indicates how much you’ll win, plus the return of your stake. For example… 

  • Odds of 9/1 mean that for every £1 you bet, you’ll win £9
  • Odds of 4/1 mean that for every £1 you bet, you’ll win £4

With decimals, your winnings are your odds multiplied by your stake, minus the stake – so odds of 9.0 can be calculated as 9.0 * £10 stake – £10 stake, which means you will receive £80 in winnings. 


The terminology you’ll come across depends on the sport you’re betting on and certain activities will have specific terms. But there are also general terms that you’ll find in the industry that it is helpful to understand. For example:

  • Book is short for sports books and is the company that takes bets on sporting events. A bookmaker or bookie is similar but they usually take your bets in person. 
  • Handicapping is the process of researching and predicting a sporting event by analyzing the circumstances and past performances. 
  • No action is when a bet is cancelled or the stake is returned to the bettor, which can be for a number of reasons such as the event being cancelled or the match failing to reach specific benchmarks. 
  • Favorites are those deemed most likely to win while underdogs are the teams, players or selections that are considered to have less chance of winning. 

Types of Bets

There are different types of bets you can place on sports. Straight bets are the most common whereby the punter bets either on the favorite to win by more than the set point spread, which is set beforehand, or for the underdog to win outright or lose by less than the point spread. In horse racing, punters may bet for a selection to win the race outright. In football, handicap betting is also popular which involves a goal difference between the two teams that give a hypothetical advantage or disadvantage to the selected team before the match begins. For example, you can bet on Chelsea to start a match against Arsenal with a -1 goal handicap which means that Chelsea must win by at least two goals for the bet to be successful. In horse racing, each way betting is the most popular whereby the wager includes one half for the horse to win and one half for it to place. If it wins, the customer collects both parts of the bet, and if it comes second or third, they will collect just the second half of the bet. 

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Becky is Content Creator in metro-Detroit. She is also an interior designer, a former adjunct professor, a gluten free foodie, and world traveler. Week99er is a lifestyle site featuring real life reviews of the latest in entertainment, technology, travel destinations and even set visits. Her Youtube channel gives in depth reviews and travel videos. Contact her at [email protected]

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