How to Bet on UK Sports
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If you are new to the concept of betting on sports in the U.K., you no doubt could use some information that will help you get started in the right direction. The prospects of betting your hard earned cash without a general idea of how to proceed would be equal to financial suicide. While it might not sound like a complicated process, there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to placing bets.

Where to Bet

Before you can start concerning yourself with how to bet, you might want to first consider where you are going to place your bets. In the U.K., most forms of sports betting and gambling is legal. That immediately eliminates the need for you to rely on a rogue bookie operating on the streets. Since you have choices, you should confine your sports betting to bookmakers and casino sites that are licensed and regulated by the U.K. Gambling Commission. By resolving yourself to this, you will be given a certain level of protection against bookmakers that are using predatory practices and/or cheating.

In most areas of the U.K., legalized betting shops are available throughout most major cities. These are store front operations where you can enter, place your bets and either leave or stick around and watch your game or match. The sports betting process has been handled in this manner for decades by reputable betting sites such as Ladbrokes and William Hill, among others,
Over the last 10-15 years, sports betting online has gained in popularity to the point that betting shops have seen a material decrease in foot traffic. It’s far more convenient to pick up your home computer, sign up with a licensed online sports book and sit back waiting for your bankroll to grow. In the right circumstance, you might be eligible for some significant free bet bonuses by aligning yourself with one of the region’s better online bookmakers.

Betting Markets

The world of sports betting has increased significantly over the last decade. Not only are their dozens of new bookmakers operating online or in betting shops, but bettors now have access to almost any betting market in the world. It covers a wide range of sports from an even wider range of jurisdictions. The attitude of most bookmakers is that as long as bettors show a legitimate interest in betting on a sport or specific event, the bookmaker is willing to post a line.

In the U.K., betting on European football (soccer) is the dominant market. With the Barclay’s Premiere League and Champions League getting robust coverage on TV and in the newspaper, it’s easy to gain the knowledge necessary to become a good football handicapper. Of course, football-betting goes beyond the leagues made available from the U.K. There are also elite football leagues in countries like the U.S., Spain, Germany and parts of South America.

Other popular markets in the U.K. come from across the pond. The U.S. is home to many of the world’s top sports leagues. This would include professional leagues like the NFL, NHL, NBA and MLB, as well as major college sports like football and basketball. These markets also include major events like the Super Bowl, the World Series and the NCAA Basketball March Madness tournament. In Australia, Australian Rule Football and Rugby are very popular. That translates to more betting markets for U.K. sports bettors.

Beyond major sports, U.K. bettors can also find access to betting markets for sports like darts, cricket, volleyball, handball, golf, tennis and boxing. If a bettor has a game or match they want to bet on, but can’t find a line or odds, some bookmakers will go so far as to make a line and accept the bet anyway.

Betting Options

Throughout the bookmaking industry, whether with a betting shop or online bookmaker, the betting options are fairly standard. They include the requisite straight bets as well as accumulators (parlays) of varying sizes. It’s also quite easy to find odds posted on future events such as the FIFA World Cup or the Super Bowl. Future odds are also available related to certain sports leagues, i.e. which team will claim the Premiere League Championship. For bettors who enjoy player or team specific betting options, most bookmakers post proposition bets that take the focus off the final score and place it on certain performances.

Online betting guide

Now that you have a little knowledge about where to bet and what to bet on, here are some final guidelines to help guide you with the process of how to bet.

1. The first rule of gambling in never wager more than you can afford to lose. That means your betting monies should be nothing more than what’s left over after the bills are paid and some savings has been set aside.

2. If you plan to bet on sports on a regular basis, you need to spend some time learning how to handicap games and events. The Internet is filled with sports sites that will provide mounds of statistical data on every sports league and every player in the world. You should keep your bets very small until you can learn to use this data to help you isolate winners.

3. Most beginners and novice tend to look for picks and handicapping information from the experts, people they perceive know more than they do. You don’t want to become over-reliant of tipsters and touts, who may not be all that successful in the first place. If you learn to rely on your own abilities, it will force you to become a better handicapper.

4. Learn to have fun. The stark reality of sports betting is very few people actually make money or even a living doing it, maybe 5% of the experienced bettors in the world at best. You would be much better served to simply enjoy betting on sports and treat it as a personal challenge to see if you can become a better handicapper. At the end of the day, winning a little money should be treated as putting the cherry on top.