In the ‘olden’ days, placing a bet was a laborious task. You had to make your way to your local bookmakers’ shop – come rain or shine, fill in your betting slip and queue up alongside like-minded punters with dreams of riches in their heart.
Alternatively, you could head to your local race track, study the form and have a few wagers ‘on the nose’ on your choice of horses or greyhounds.
The internet, for all its bad tidings, has revolutionised many an industry and sports betting is no different. These days, you can bet on all of the top sporting action without even needing to get up off the sofa.
If you are a technophobe or new to online betting you might be wondering how to place a bet. The good news is that if you follow a few simple steps, it’s a piece of cake!
How to Place a Bet: A Beginner’s Guide
First things first, where are you going to place your bet? That’s the key opening question because there are so many bookmakers out there that knowing which to bet with – and which to avoid – is crucial.
A good place to start your search is here at Betting.net. If you take a look around our site you will see we have written independent reviews of dozens of bookies and betting sites, and we have also published details of free bets, bonuses and more to help you make your decision.
So, you have decided upon your chosen betting platform: your next question is ‘how to place a bet’.
First you will need to register for an account with your chosen sportsbook. Don’t worry this doesn’t take too long, and all of your personal details are held safely using the latest encryption technologies.
Then you will need to make a deposit using a credit/debit card or one of the e-wallet systems that are popular these days; think PayPal, Skrill, NETELLER, that sort of thing. These are typically processed instantaneously, so the second your payment is confirmed you will be able to start placing your wagers as and when you wish.
Here comes the fun part….
The question of how to place a bet can be answered in four simple steps:
- Pick your sport
- Pick your market
- Make your selection
- Place bet
But it is better to work through a real-world example so that you are completely comfortable with the process.
And so we’ll use bet365 as our example. This is an online betting site that regularly earns rave reviews, and with a generous welcome package it is the perfect place to start your journey. Head to the bet365 login page, enter your credentials and you will be whisked off to a world of betting opportunities.
Once you have clicked through the bet365 login page, you will see a large amount of information on the homepage that can be quite daunting for newcomers. Don’t be alarmed: this will all make sense in due course.
When discussing how to place a bet, in the first instance punters should direct their attention to the left-hand side of the bet365 login page, where the sports are listed in an A-Z. This is the easiest ‘way-finder’ for beginners.
Click on your preferred sport and you will be shown a list of the available events upcoming. If you select football, for instance, you will see a compendium of competitions that are either ongoing (such as the English Premier League, Spanish La Liga etc), and those which are upcoming, such as the World Cup and European Championships.
Select your chosen competition, and then pick a specific match or meeting. At this point hundreds of markets are likely to become available if you are betting on football, tennis, cricket, snooker, basketball and similar. If you are reading this guide to find out how to bet on horses, the good news is that there are far fewer markets for you to get to know.
Unfortunately, there is no space in this article to go through the hundreds of markets that are available.
For the sake of this guide, we will focus on betting on Team A to beat Team B in the football. So we’ve found the relevant event page, and now we are greeted with the odds. On bet365 the home team (or the team listed first) is ‘1’, the away or second team is listed as ‘2’, and the draw as ‘x’. All you need to do is click the relevant button relating to how you think the match will pan out, and this selection will be added to your betslip.
Now you need to decide how much to stake. This is up to you, of course, but it makes sense to only wager a small percentage of your bankroll; especially while you are learning the craft. Enter this amount into the ‘stake’ box and click the ‘place bet’ button.
Congratulations: you’ve just placed your first bet!
How to Bet on Horses
Horse racing is a good sport for beginners to bet on, simply because there are fewer options. Your horse either wins, ‘places’ (e.g. finishes in the top two, three or four as designated by the bookmaker) or finishes nowhere, in betting parlance.
If you are wondering how to bet on horses, that’s the easy part. Picking winners consistently is rather more difficult!
Head to the horse racing page of your chosen betting site, click on a race and you will see the runners and riders listed, along with their odds and other information such as recent form, weight, age etc.
To select a horse, simply click on its odds and this will be added to your betslip. If you wish to place a multiple or one of the combination bets such as a Lucky 15, Yankee or Trixie, keep selecting runners in this manner until you have the requisite number on your coupon.
So that’s how to bet on horses, football and every other sport for that matter. Now go and pick some winners!
Written by Craig Simpkin
A sports journalist with a smorgasbord of experience writing for a variety of publications, Craig is a Leicester fan hoping that England can also achieve the impossible this summer.