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How Does Betting Work?

Over the last couple of decade the world of gambling is more complex and now there are more different types of bets available to choose from. This has made it extremely confusing for punters who are just starting out. When looking at what free bets and bonuses are around, you need to understand what types of bets they are valid for. Some are for straight bets, some for accas. Before you can enjoy any element of gambling, you need to understand the bet types. By using a betting type that you do not fully understand you are putting your money at risk. In this guide I will explain how betting works, the different terminology along with the pitfalls to avoid at all costs so you can make a regular profit.

Sportsbook Betting Guide

All of the different sports available to bet on have different odds and betting types for punters to choose from. Below are the different betting terminologies that you will need to understand that bookmakers across the world use.

Action Betting

The term action betting is simply a term used to describe the different live opportunities that punters can place a wager on the outcome.

Handicap Betting

How does handicap betting work? Well, we are about to tell you. This form of betting works by giving the team with the advantage of a handicap to level the playing field. There are different types of handicaps that players can experience:

Single Handicap: If there is an obvious difference in talent between the 2 opponents, then the team that is favourite, will be given a goal handicap. Or if you look at it the other way around, the inferior team will be given a handicap advantage. This can be +0.5, +1.0, +1.5 Goals, or even the other way around for a negative: -0.5, -1.0, -1.5.

Level Handicap: This occurs when the teams are evenly matched pre-game. In order for the bet to win, the punter simply has to choose which team they think will score more goals. It the game ends in a draw then all bets are refunded.

Split Handicap: This is when there is only a minor difference in the 2 teams. Therefore, you stake can be split.

Sportsbook Betting

This is a company that provides odds and takes bets. It is also called the book and any person taking a bet is called a bookie.

Spread Betting

In games such as football and basketball, a points spread can be used to place bets. It works by a handicap been made available that all bets competitive. The point spread standard notation shows the team that is favoured first and then the spread. The team that is playing at home is always in capital letters.

Money Line Betting

When the point spread is not high enough, money line betting can be used instead.

Pick`em Betting

This works the same as money line betting where both teams are equal. The bet line odds for both are -1.10 which means that every 1 wagered the punter will get back 1.10 if they win.

Parlay Betting

A Parlay bet is a combination of bets but not the bets being placed on more than one game individually they are combined together to make a single bet. To win all the games bet on must come in and if one result is incorrect the total amount wagered is lost. The payouts of this form of betting are extremely high but the chances of winning are much more difficult than placing single wagers.

Line Betting Odds

Line bets are the terminology used to describe the odds. No matter the type of bet you place you will be given odds for the game. All of the different sportsbooks have different lines for each event across the world and comparing them is the only way to know if you are getting the best deal for the wager you wish to place.

The setting of the line betting odds is set by the gambling establishments. They use sophisticated software, detailed research, and data along with expert analysis to work to set the line. It is possible for them to get this wrong on occasion and been able to spot when one has been priced incorrectly is the best way to profit gambling online.

Each Way Betting

A lot of bookmakers offer each way betting. It is commonly used for Horse Racing bets. If “how does Horse betting work” is a common question you find asking yourself, then check out our Horse Racing Betting Guide. Each way betting means that you are placing 2 separate bets. You are putting on a win bet and a place bet. These are both very simple selections to understand. If you are placing a win bet, then of course, the selection you have chosen must-win for that to come in. For a place bet, there are 2 ways to win, either by finishing first, or finishing in one of the places that the bookmaker has listed prior to putting the bet on, for example it could be top 3. You may see a lot of each way betting promotions offered by a range of bookmakers. Let’s look at some examples: Bet365 offer an Each Way Extra promotion which allows you to increase the number of places that your chosen selection can finish in order for you to receive a pay-out. Betfair is another online bookmaker that is allowing players to bet on extra places, every race!

To work out the odds for an upcoming game a number of factors are taken into consideration. These are:

The current and previous form of the team along with the previous results against each other.

The type of playing surface along with weather forecast conditions.

If they are playing at home or away.

Injuries and bookings.

The morale of the team and events in key players personal lives.

The oddsmakers job is not to predict the game’s outcome when they set points spread. If one of the teams is the favourite by ten points it does not mean that they expect it to win by that amount. Their aim is to set a spread betting line that attracts the same amount of wagers on both teams.

The reason that oddsmakers attempt to even up a number of bets on both teams is that being sided could result in huge losses and even bankruptcy. It one team is heavily backed and they end up winning the amount of money the bookie has to payout will be huge. Having an equal amount of bettors that lose helps even up the balance so the bookmaker can pay out the winning and still turn a profit or decrease the financial risks.

The betting line is constantly moved up and down by the bookmakers to try to keep the betting action as equal as possible. Oddsmakers have advanced software that alters the odds in real-time depending on the amount of money wagered. If too much money has been placed on one side the line odds are increased along with the other side decreasing.

The wagers that are made are tied to the odds from the moment they are placed and any future movement in the odds does not alter the bet they made. It is common for a bettor to place more than one bet on the same result after the line bet odds change. By using this betting strategy you can also hedge against losses by using the change in odds to your favour.


If you are thinking about placing your first bet, take your time and do not rush into anything. Set a bankroll, budget, and strategy in place before you start along with making sure you stick to the plan. If you want to increase your chances of winning big, shop around for welcome bonuses, matched deposit rewards along with free bets. Before you sign up for one of these promos offers to make sure you read the terms and conditions. You need to check the wagering need for withdrawing along with making sure it is applicable for the types of bets you wish to make.

Betting online is about having fun and it should not be about taking a huge risk with your financial welfare. Only bet what you can easily afford and do not get tempted to chase any losses that you have. It is extremely likely at some point you will go on a bad run of results, so you need to be mentally prepared to suffer losses. If you do not want to take any risks search for free bets and only use these types of promotional offers so that you are not putting your own money in danger. Another common question asked by punters is “How does matched betting work?” Well, our team have created an informative Match Betting Guide for you to read through.