Beginners’ Guide to Football Betting

Football is arguably the most popular sport in the world at online sportsbooks. Games take place everyday and there are always new options, but beginners should be aware of the following advice.

Where to Place Bets Online

There is an abundance of operators, but these are some of the best online football betting sites to check out:

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How to Place Bets on Football

The exact process of online football betting can change from site to site and depending on which bets that punters wish to place. This being said, there is pretty much a general process when you back teams to win, draw, or lose.

  1. Set up an account: Visit an online sportsbook on your desktop, mobile, or tablet device and elect to create an account. Just follow the instructions and choose a payment method before depositing to your account.
  2. Go to football: Pay a trip to the football or soccer section of the sportsbook and look at the competitions and nations displayed below. This will be quite large, so it helps knowing if you want to bet on the Premier League or La Liga, for instance.
  3. Find a game: After entering a competition, look at the list of upcoming games and then click on one that takes your fancy. It can help if you find a game where you know information about one of the teams.
  4. Back a market: There are numerous different betting markets in each game. For some of the higher-profile games, there might be more than 100, but there will be more details on these below. So, this example will focus on the result.
  5. Stake funds: Let’s say that you have chosen to back West Ham at 7/1 to earn a home victory over Tottenham. After selecting this outcome, it will be added to your betting slip. Pull up your betting slip and you can assign a stake before confirming the entire wager.

Common Types of Football Bets

There is a vast array of football markets that you can place wagers on. Honestly, there are too many to cover here, but you will be introduced to a selection of the most-utilised among punters.


Quite simply, a single is the term used to describe a wager place on one outcome. This will often be displayed as 1X2, which equates to home win (1), draw (X), or away win (2). Odds will vary anywhere from 1/8 to back an overwhelming home favourite to going with the away underdog at 5/1.

Doubles, Trebles, ACCAs

These are bets where you combine multiple results, with doubles meaning two, trebles being three, and accumulators (ACCAs) going far beyond those. Combining these bets will result in higher odds after the factoring-in of multipliers, but there are no guarantees. Odds will vary wildly depending on the likelihood of each outcome.

Half-time/Full- time

These markets will give you the ability to pick the outcome for each half of the game. For example, West Ham are available at 7/1 to get a home victory over Spurs. However, you can get 12/1 if you back them win both halves. Meanwhile, a first-half draw and a second-half West Ham could be worth 18/1.

Goals Over/Under

Football betting sites will let you back over or under for how many goals are scored across thresholds like 0.5, 1.5, 2.5, 3.5, 4.5, 5.5, and 6.5 goals. From those, it’s most common to see over or under 2.5 goals. A high-scoring team will typically receive low odds, for over 2.5 goals. For example, you might only receive 1/2 for over 2.5 goals in West Ham v Tottenham.

Both Teams to Score

This is another popular betting market, with punters asked to pick yes or no to the outcome of both teams to score. Quite often, you can combine this outcome with a goals over/under bet. Meanwhile, both of those can also be combined with a result for better odds.

Asian Handicap

In this strategy, punters will add or remove a goal from the result of a game or the number of goals. This approach is more popular in others sports with higher score-lines, whereas elite football matches are often decided by only one goal.

Draw No Bet/Double Chance

These are bets that will enable you to mitigate risk where you receive lower odds for a more likely outcome. For instance, you might receive odds of 1/20 to back a home win with the protection of getting your stake back in the event of a draw. In double chance, you can then cover two outcomes across win, draw, and loss for smaller odds.

Exact Scores

This is the pinnacle of sports betting in that you can receive much higher odds for getting the exact score rather than only the result. For potentially narrow games, you can go with a 1-0 or 1-1, for example, to receive better odds than a standard result.

Half Betting

Pretty much all of the betting markets above will be available to back for one half of the game. This can be worth checking out if you think a game might have a goalless first-half or else if you think one team will make a fast start.

Complex Outcomes

From site to site, you will also have opportunities to back combinations such as first goal- scorer and the result of a game. The combining of outcomes will deliver better odds, but it’s tougher to win with these wagers.


There are so many more betting markets out there, but one of the best has to be the players’ section. You can go to this are if you want the first goal-scorer or else a player you think will score at any time of the match.

Football Betting Tips for Beginners

At this point, it’s about time that you receive some helpful football betting tips. These will not guarantee success, but they will help you to improve your wider strategy:

  • Consider the information: Look at the competition you wish to back and consider the recent form. For instance, you might think it makes sense to bet on Man City at home, but how does their form compare with their away results? City might feel more pressure and draw more frequently on their ground.
  • Stay up-to- date with news: It’s always worth doing a quick Google search on team news ahead of big matches. For example, Real Madrid always look to Cristiano Ronaldo as their talisman for their bigger games. His absence from a major semi-final to prompt a rethink before you back Real Madrid to win.
  • Understand your bets: Another vital piece of information is to only make bets you understand. As an example, have you ever made a double chance bet? Did you know that you could win more by staking half your double chance bet on each of the outcomes you intend to cover collectively?
  • ACCA insurance: Complex ACCAs are extremely tough to win from, so why not consider insurance that will let you win even if one result lets you down? The odds will be slightly smaller, but that protection can be very helpful.
  • Bet responsibly: You can now back Eastern European football games or bet in-play with the tap of a screen. Avoid diving into competitions you don’t understand or else trying to chase losses.

Global Football Betting for UK Punters

These days, there are football betting opportunities from all over the world. In fact, the larger football betting sites have the greatest level of depth for UK punters. The coverage is especially great for European competitions, including the likes of the Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Ligue 1, Serie A, Eredivisie, Premeira Liga, and more.

Lower-level Competitions

From each of those countries, UK punters can even go to the lower league and cup competitions. For example, you could back Serie B in Italy or Ligue 2 in France. However, there are more many more possibilities if you go international.

Global Opportunities

There are some punters who like watching South American football in nations like Brazil or Argentina. Meanwhile, there has been significant investment in the Chinese Super League and Major League Soccer. Then, there is a whole host of smaller-scale competitions from all over the world. So, how do these differ from mainstream football betting:

  • Fewer betting markets: Sportsbooks work much harder on the more popular competitions, which is why there are many more betting markets compared to the global alternatives.
  • Less information to use: The best sports bettors will make extensive use of information. This can be tougher for UK players, considering that Chinese football, for example, gets less English coverage.

Football betting can deliver so many lucrative opportunities if you know how to take advantage of them – let this guide be your starting point.