Online Sports Betting Tips – Guide for Beginner Bettors

If you are new to online sports betting, our guide has got you covered. We collaborate with some of the best UK sports betting platforms, and our expert team offers valuable information to newbies and experienced punters.

This guide to sports betting for beginners explains betting terms, popular sports to wager on, and some of the top bookmakers where you can place bets.

Online Sports Betting Tips
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Get Started With Online Sports Betting

If you are wondering how to bet online, check out this simple guide to betting for beginners:

  1. To start with, find a reliable bookmaker that provides an extensive sports section and competitive odds.
  2. Pick which sports you would like to wager on. Only bet on sports you have a good understanding of.
  3. Learn how to read odds and use them for your sports betting strategy.
  4. Explore different bet types. Before selecting a preferred type of wager, ensure you understand what it’s about.
  5. Consider placing live wagers and know when to cash out.
  6. If you are wondering how to bet online, you should familiarise yourself with betting predictions and tips to help you plan your wagers. You can also keep track of sports news for any valuable info.
  7. Finally, manage your bankroll wisely and follow other responsible betting practices.

If you are just getting started and are looking for more details and tips, you can also read our list of sports betting strategies for beginners.

Online Sports Betting Websites

The first step is to find a reliable bookmaker that provides a rewarding betting environment. In the table below, you can take a look at the top hand-picked sports betting websites for UK punters:

Bet £10 & Get £30 in Free Bets for new customers at bet365.

Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. Registration required.

Bet £10 Get £30, Credited as 3 x £10 bets

18+. Play Safe. From 00:01 on 18.10.2022. £30 bonus. New customers only. Minimum £10 stake on odds of 1/2 (1.5) or greater on sportsbook (excluding Virtual markets). Further terms apply. #ad

Get 50% Back as a Free Bet up to £35 Plus 10 Free Spins!

If your account has Sportsbook losses at the end of your first day’s betting (23:59), we’ll refund 50% of your first day’s losses as a Free Bet up to £35 (normally £25) plus, you get 10 Free Spins on Smoking Hot Fruit Stacks (minimum 3 bets required). Even if your account is up, you’re guaranteed a £5 Free Bet plus 10 Free Spins provided you place at least 1 bet of £10 or greater at minimum odds evens (2.00) or greater. T&Cs apply | 18+ New UK Customers Only | GambleAware.org

Bet £10 And Get £30 Free Bet

New Players Only. Free bet – one-time stake of £30, min odds 1.5, stake not returned. 1X wager the winnings. Wager from real balance first. Wager calculated on bonus bets only. Max conversion: £200. Valid for 7 Days from receipt. Limited to 1 sport & 5 casino brand/s within the network. Withdrawal requests void all active/pending bonuses. Excluded Skrill and Neteller deposits. Full Terms Apply 18+ #ad gambleaware

Get A £20 Free Bet – When you bet £5 on Sports

18+ New UK+IRE Customers. Certain deposit methods & bet types excl. Min first £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 to get 1x £20 free bet. Free bet available to use on selected sportsbook markets only. Free bets valid for 7 days, stake not returned. Restrictions + T&Cs apply

£20 In Free Bets Ker-Ching – When you bet £5 on sports

18+ New UK+IRE Customers only. Certain deposit methods & bet types excl. Min first £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 to get 4x £5 free bets. Free bets available to use on selected sportsbook markets only. Free bets valid for 7 days, stake not returned. Restrictions + T&Cs apply.

100% up to £50

New bettors; Code SPORT; Wager deposit & bonus 8x; Max qualifying bet stake=initial bonus; Valid 60 days; Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply; T&C apply; 18+

Get £50 in free bets When you place £10 bet on Sportsbook

Place a min £10 bet on Sportsbook on odds of min EVS (2.0), get £50 in Free Bet Builders, Accumulators or multiples to use on any sport. Rewards valid for 30 days. Only deposits via cards or Apple Pay will qualify. T&Cs apply. Please Gamble Responsibly.

Money Back as Bonus up to £40 + £10 Casino Bonus if Your First Bet Loses

18+. GambleAware.org. New customers only. Min Dep £10. Debit cards only. Opt in for bonus funds. Wagering, sportsbook 3x at min. odds of 1.40 (2/5), casino 50x. Sports bonus must be wagered before using the casino bonus. Valid for 7 days. Geographical Restrictions and T&Cs Apply.

Bet £10, Get £40

Join and place a £10 fixed odds bet at odds of 1/2 or greater. Once the bet is settled, get a £10 free fixed odds bet plus a £5 free Total Goals football spread bet and a £5 racing Winning Favourites spread bet. The second £10 free fixed odds bet, £5 free Total Goals football spread bet, and £5 racing Winning Favourites spread bet will be credited 24 hours later. Free bets expire in 28 days if unused. Promotions available to 18+ aged individuals. New customers only. T&Cs apply. gambleaware.org.

Bet £10 Get £20 in Free Bets

New UK customers (Excluding NI) only. Mobile exclusive. Min Deposit £10. Min stake £10. Min odds Evs. Free bet applied on 1st settlement of any qualifying bet. 30 days to qualify. Free bets expire in 7 days. Cashed out/Free Bets won’t apply. Account & Payment method restrictions apply. 1 Free Bet offer per customer, household & IP Address only. 18+. T&Cs apply.

Bet £10, Get £30 in free bets

18+. New customers, Deposit & Place a Bet within 7 days, and settle a £10 minimum bet at odds of 4/5 (1.8) or greater, to be credited with 3x £10 free bets: 1 x £10 Horse racing, 1 x £10 Free Bet Builder and 1 x £10 Football. Stake not returned. T&C’s Apply. Opt-in required. GambleAware.org

Betway Sports Betting
£30 Matched Free Bet if your first Acca loses + 100 Free Spins on Gold Blitz

*New UK customers only. Min Stake: £5. Maximum Free Bet: £30. First bet on a Football or Horse Racing multiple with 3+ selections. Overall odds: 3.00 (2/1) or higher. Free Bets available upon settlement of the qualifying bet. 100 Free Spins on Gold Blitz (£0.10 per spin) credited on settlement of qualifying Acca bet. No wagering requirements on free spin winnings. Debit Card deposit only (exclusions apply). This offer is valid 7 days from the new account being registered. 18+ GambleAware.org. Bet the Responsible Way. Full terms apply.

£50 IN BET BUILDER BETS WHEN YOU STAKE £10 ON FOOTBALL

New Customer offer. Place a min £10 bet on Football on odds of min 1.5 (1/2), get £50 in Free Bet Builders after the qualifying bet has been settled. Rewards valid for 90 days. Only deposits via cards & Apple Pay will qualify. T&Cs apply. Please Gamble Responsibly.

£10 FREE BET NEW CUSTOMERS ONLY BET £5 ON ANY BET BUILDER TO QUALIFY

18+. MIN ODDS 3/1 (4.00), MIN 3 SELECTIONS. FREE BET VALID FOR 7 DAYS. CUSTOMERS WILL QUALIFY FOR THE FREE BET ONCE THEIR FIRST £5 QUALIFYING BET BUILDER ON SPORTS HAS BEEN PLACED AND THEN SETTLED ON THE ACCOUNT. T&C APPLY. GambleAware.org

Get £30 in Free Bets Join us & bet £10

18+ New customers only. Opt in, bet £10  or more on any football market at minimum 1/1 odds. No cash out. Get £30 in Free Football Bets. Free Bets expire in 7 days. Debit card / Apple Pay payments only. T&Cs apply. GambleAware.org | Please gamble responsibly

Sports Betting in the UK

Sports betting in the UK is popular, with football being the top choice of most wagerers. They simply love to bet on their favourite teams from the Premier League and international events too.

Horse racing betting is another popular option among local wagerers, and so are cricket, boxing, tennis, and golf. Therefore, the top bookies have a big coverage of international and UK sports events from these popular disciplines. For instance, the biggest brands feature more than 1,000, and sometimes over 2,000, football games daily.

Online Sports Betting Terms Explained

Sports betting may seem daunting to newbies, but once you get familiar with different terms, you’ll realise it’s quite simple. Moreover, in the following sections of this guide to sports betting for beginners, you will find different betting terms, markets, and odds explained.

What Is Arbitrage Betting?

This type of betting is a wagering strategy bettors use to potentially make a successful bet. It refers to placing wagers on all the potential outcomes of a game. However, as bookmakers don’t offer this kind of betting opportunity, you need more than one betting account to use this technique.

For example, if you are betting on a tennis match, you need to bet on player 1 to win on one website and back player 2 on another. On the other hand, you need three sportsbook accounts to use this strategy if you want to place a wager on a football game. The third bookmaker is necessary to cover the draw outcome.

However, you need to be able to spot these opportunities. Therefore, you should monitor sports betting odds of multiple bookies and calculate the potential return to know whether it is worthwhile.

What is Asian Handicap Betting?

To start with, Asian Handicap is a type of bet that is usually available when there is a strong favourite. The underdog is given a virtual advantage, while the favourite starts the match with a virtual disadvantage (handicap).

So, a stronger team needs to cover this virtual disadvantage and score one goal on top of that for your bet on the favourite to win. Here, the stronger team gets the minus symbol, while the plus sign precedes the underdog.

This type of wager thus eliminates the possibility of a tie and allows for two outcomes. Therefore, it is unavailable for sports like tennis and boxing and is the most popular among football bettors.

This is one of the more complex sports betting terms, but after selecting the Asian Handicap a few times, you will see that it isn’t so difficult after all. However, you should know that some wagering sites don’t provide this betting type, but the most reputable bookmakers often do.

Finally, it’s worth noting that the Asian Handicap differs from European in that the draw outcome isn’t possible. Also, unlike European Handicaps that use whole numbers, this market uses half or quarter numbers.

Bet Builder Explained

Bet Builder is one of those betting functions featured only by the best betting platforms. This feature allows you to select several bet types from a single game. Usually, you can add ten or more selections per slip.

Note that Bet Builders are not available for all sports. You can usually use them on football, while some sites also allow you to build your basketball, tennis, and other bets. In addition, this option is offered only on popular events. For a more detailed examination of this feature, feel free to read our Bet Builder guide for betting newbies.

Online Sports Betting

What Are Bookmakers?

Bookmakers are online sports betting websites accepting sports bets and paying out the potential winning ones based on the selected odds. Most bookies have physical locations and online sports betting sites so punters can place bets from the comfort of their homes.

A large number of bookmakers don’t only provide sports betting services. You will frequently come across sites that feature casino games and eSports. So, if you want to explore other services besides sports betting, you can join some of those hybrid websites.

Whether you are looking for sports betting promo codes, online casino promo codes, or bingo promo codes, our site has got you covered. You can find the top-class operators based on your betting preference in no time.

What Are Free Bets?

Free Bets are a type of bonus some bookmakers offer. You can usually claim them on your registration, but some sites also offer them to existing customers. When there is a Free Bet welcome offer, you will probably need to make the first deposit and place a qualifying wager. Then, you will receive a certain amount in the form of Free Bets.

The thing to know about them is that these bets usually have some wagering requirements. Sometimes, you may receive Free Bet tokens, in which case you will be able to place several wagers. In addition, you may only be able to use them on some sports or betting markets at minimum qualifying odds.

Once your wager is settled, you will be able to make a withdrawal. However, it’s important to note that these bets aren’t part of the potential winnings amount. For more information, you can check out our Free Bets guide.

In addition, there are also other types of welcome offers, such as matched deposit bonuses and no-deposit offers. Matched deposit offers are more common, but you can find a preferred no deposit bonus code with little help.

Live Betting Explained

Live betting, also known as in-play betting, is the opposite of pre-match betting. This function allows you to place wagers after the event has started. Not only that, but you can cash out your stake if you think the backed team or player will fail you.

However, it is important to note that bettors can use the cash-out feature only to a certain point. For example, you won’t be able to cash out at the 89th minute of a football game. Also, some bookies may not provide the cash-out on live games.

Meanwhile, the best offer is partial cash out, meaning you can cash out one part of your stake while leaving the other part running. Some bookies also provide live streams of events, enabling you to follow the action and decide when to cash out. If not, there will be a live match tracker or at least some betting details that should help you stay up to date.

What Is Matched Betting?

Matched betting is also a technique. It involves placing a back bet (the team will win) and a lay bet (the team will draw or lose) at the same odds on a single event.

Punters often try this technique when they have an active bonus. When placing a qualifying bet, they back one team and lay a wager using the Free Bet. So, this strategy is best for players who join websites with this kind of bonus.

Sports Betting Odds Explained

Sports betting odds are indicators of how likely a particular outcome is. The two most basic odd formats are fractional and decimal. For instance, if in the Bournemouth vs Everton game, Bournemouth has odds of 2.17 and Everton 3.46 for the 1×2 market, the former is the favourite.

The lower the odds, the more likely the outcome. Bookmakers need to provide odds across all events and betting markets to help punters decide how to bet. Moreover, you can check out odds for preferred events on our site. We cover Champions League and Euro odds, Cheltenham odds, Grand National odds, Royal Ascot odds and betting offers, and more.

What Is Win To Nil Betting?

A Win to Nil wager involves two bets. One is a back bet, and another is that the opponent won’t score a single goal. Moreover, both outcomes need to happen for you to have a successful wager.

In that sense, it’s best to place this wager when there is a significantly stronger favourite. Since you predict that the other team will fail to make a score, this wager is available in sports like football, where there is a low number of total points.

What Is Jackpot Betting?

The most prestigious bookmakers also feature Jackpot games. In general, these are football Jackpots that require you to predict the outcomes of selected football games. There may be 10+ matches or a little below 10 games to bet on. Furthermore, you typically need to bet on the 1×2 market.

Based on the number of correctly made predictions, you can potentially qualify for a share of the prize pool. Some operators may instead include a number of questions regarding the upcoming games that you should answer. Finally, there are different types of Jackpots, such as daily, monthly, and Tote Jackpots (horse racing betting pools).

What Does Over/ Under Mean in Betting?

An Over/ Under bet, also known as a Total bet, is a type of wager that enables you to predict whether the statistic for a match will be higher or lower than the predetermined value. One of the most common kinds of Over/ Under betting is on the combined score of two teams in a game.

For instance, the bookie proposes that the total score in the Liverpool vs Arsenal game will be 5. If you think they will score more goals in the game, you should select Over. On the other hand, if you predict there will be fewer goals, you should pick the Under outcome. Note that the extra time should count in the O/ U market unless the terms stipulate otherwise.

Take a look at other examples of Over/ Under bets across different sports:

  • Basketball: a team’s or player’s total number of assists, steals, blocks, turnovers, and more.
  • American football: a team’s or player’s total rushing yards, attempts, interceptions, field goal percentage, competitions, and more.
  • Baseball: a team’s or player’s total home runs, RBIs, and more.

See Also These Online Sports Betting Terms

Take a look at other basic sports betting terms explained:

  • Bet is a stake placed on one of the possible outcomes of a sports event at certain odds.
  • The closing line is the difference between the odds you select and those available when the game starts.
  • In-play betting is simply another term for live betting.
  • Draw is one of the three potential outcomes of a game. It is when there is no winner as both sides scored the same number of goals or points.
  • A Double bet is a type of bet that includes two selections. If the first prediction is correct, the entire return is automatically used as a stake for the second.
  • Ante-post betting is a market commonly offered during major competitions. Moreover, it enables you to bet on an outright winner long before the tournament starts.
  • Draw No Bet is a type of wager where you receive a payout if the backed team wins. As this Draw No Bet article also suggests, the bookie refunds your stake in the event of a draw.

Grab a Betting Bonus to Go

If you are on the lookout for sites with sports betting offers, take a look at some of the best bonuses in the UK in 2024:

Bet £10 & Get £30 in Free Bets for new customers at bet365.

Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. Registration required.

Bet £10 Get £30, Credited as 3 x £10 bets

18+. Play Safe. From 00:01 on 18.10.2022. £30 bonus. New customers only. Minimum £10 stake on odds of 1/2 (1.5) or greater on sportsbook (excluding Virtual markets). Further terms apply. #ad

Get 50% Back as a Free Bet up to £35 Plus 10 Free Spins!

If your account has Sportsbook losses at the end of your first day’s betting (23:59), we’ll refund 50% of your first day’s losses as a Free Bet up to £35 (normally £25) plus, you get 10 Free Spins on Smoking Hot Fruit Stacks (minimum 3 bets required). Even if your account is up, you’re guaranteed a £5 Free Bet plus 10 Free Spins provided you place at least 1 bet of £10 or greater at minimum odds evens (2.00) or greater. T&Cs apply | 18+ New UK Customers Only | GambleAware.org

Bet £10 And Get £30 Free Bet

New Players Only. Free bet – one-time stake of £30, min odds 1.5, stake not returned. 1X wager the winnings. Wager from real balance first. Wager calculated on bonus bets only. Max conversion: £200. Valid for 7 Days from receipt. Limited to 1 sport & 5 casino brand/s within the network. Withdrawal requests void all active/pending bonuses. Excluded Skrill and Neteller deposits. Full Terms Apply 18+ #ad gambleaware

Get A £20 Free Bet – When you bet £5 on Sports

18+ New UK+IRE Customers. Certain deposit methods & bet types excl. Min first £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 to get 1x £20 free bet. Free bet available to use on selected sportsbook markets only. Free bets valid for 7 days, stake not returned. Restrictions + T&Cs apply

£20 In Free Bets Ker-Ching – When you bet £5 on sports

18+ New UK+IRE Customers only. Certain deposit methods & bet types excl. Min first £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 to get 4x £5 free bets. Free bets available to use on selected sportsbook markets only. Free bets valid for 7 days, stake not returned. Restrictions + T&Cs apply.

100% up to £50

New bettors; Code SPORT; Wager deposit & bonus 8x; Max qualifying bet stake=initial bonus; Valid 60 days; Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply; T&C apply; 18+

Get £50 in free bets When you place £10 bet on Sportsbook

Place a min £10 bet on Sportsbook on odds of min EVS (2.0), get £50 in Free Bet Builders, Accumulators or multiples to use on any sport. Rewards valid for 30 days. Only deposits via cards or Apple Pay will qualify. T&Cs apply. Please Gamble Responsibly.

Money Back as Bonus up to £40 + £10 Casino Bonus if Your First Bet Loses

18+. GambleAware.org. New customers only. Min Dep £10. Debit cards only. Opt in for bonus funds. Wagering, sportsbook 3x at min. odds of 1.40 (2/5), casino 50x. Sports bonus must be wagered before using the casino bonus. Valid for 7 days. Geographical Restrictions and T&Cs Apply.

Bet £10, Get £40

Join and place a £10 fixed odds bet at odds of 1/2 or greater. Once the bet is settled, get a £10 free fixed odds bet plus a £5 free Total Goals football spread bet and a £5 racing Winning Favourites spread bet. The second £10 free fixed odds bet, £5 free Total Goals football spread bet, and £5 racing Winning Favourites spread bet will be credited 24 hours later. Free bets expire in 28 days if unused. Promotions available to 18+ aged individuals. New customers only. T&Cs apply. gambleaware.org.

Bet £10 Get £20 in Free Bets

New UK customers (Excluding NI) only. Mobile exclusive. Min Deposit £10. Min stake £10. Min odds Evs. Free bet applied on 1st settlement of any qualifying bet. 30 days to qualify. Free bets expire in 7 days. Cashed out/Free Bets won’t apply. Account & Payment method restrictions apply. 1 Free Bet offer per customer, household & IP Address only. 18+. T&Cs apply.

Bet £10, Get £30 in free bets

18+. New customers, Deposit & Place a Bet within 7 days, and settle a £10 minimum bet at odds of 4/5 (1.8) or greater, to be credited with 3x £10 free bets: 1 x £10 Horse racing, 1 x £10 Free Bet Builder and 1 x £10 Football. Stake not returned. T&C’s Apply. Opt-in required. GambleAware.org

Betway Sports Betting
£30 Matched Free Bet if your first Acca loses + 100 Free Spins on Gold Blitz

*New UK customers only. Min Stake: £5. Maximum Free Bet: £30. First bet on a Football or Horse Racing multiple with 3+ selections. Overall odds: 3.00 (2/1) or higher. Free Bets available upon settlement of the qualifying bet. 100 Free Spins on Gold Blitz (£0.10 per spin) credited on settlement of qualifying Acca bet. No wagering requirements on free spin winnings. Debit Card deposit only (exclusions apply). This offer is valid 7 days from the new account being registered. 18+ GambleAware.org. Bet the Responsible Way. Full terms apply.

£50 IN BET BUILDER BETS WHEN YOU STAKE £10 ON FOOTBALL

New Customer offer. Place a min £10 bet on Football on odds of min 1.5 (1/2), get £50 in Free Bet Builders after the qualifying bet has been settled. Rewards valid for 90 days. Only deposits via cards & Apple Pay will qualify. T&Cs apply. Please Gamble Responsibly.

£10 FREE BET NEW CUSTOMERS ONLY BET £5 ON ANY BET BUILDER TO QUALIFY

18+. MIN ODDS 3/1 (4.00), MIN 3 SELECTIONS. FREE BET VALID FOR 7 DAYS. CUSTOMERS WILL QUALIFY FOR THE FREE BET ONCE THEIR FIRST £5 QUALIFYING BET BUILDER ON SPORTS HAS BEEN PLACED AND THEN SETTLED ON THE ACCOUNT. T&C APPLY. GambleAware.org

Get £30 in Free Bets Join us & bet £10

18+ New customers only. Opt in, bet £10  or more on any football market at minimum 1/1 odds. No cash out. Get £30 in Free Football Bets. Free Bets expire in 7 days. Debit card / Apple Pay payments only. T&Cs apply. GambleAware.org | Please gamble responsibly

Conclusion

Online sports betting is a vastly popular hobby in the UK. Football, cricket, golf, boxing, and tennis are the most popular options among local wagerers. Therefore, you can wager on plenty of UK sports events from these disciplines but also international events.

When you do, examine and compare the odds to make informed wagering choices. Moreover, you can choose from various bet types and use some strategies. Additionally, you can use online sports betting bonuses.

Frequently Asked Questions

Finally, you can take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions coming from sports betting newbies:

What do plus and minus symbols mean in sports betting?

The ‘-’ sign indicates the favourite, whereas the ‘+’ symbol precedes the underdog team. If the team is assigned +2, it means it will lose by two or fewer goals or points.

What does -3 mean in football betting?

If the team is given -3 odds, it means it is a favourite expected to win by 3 or more goals or points.

What are the best online sports betting websites?

You can check out the top wagering websites in the table at the top of this review.

Are there any sports betting tips I can use?

Ensure you understand the sports and betting market you choose. Additionally, consider the odds and other betting tips when planning your wagers. Be careful about your bankroll, and possibly try different techniques.

What do ‘O’ and ‘U’ stand for?

These refer to the Over and Under in relation to the number of total goals or points proposed by the bookie. Naturally, if you bet on Over, you think there will be more goals/ points than the total line. Betting Under means you think the opposite of that. Other kinds of statistics are possible as well.

How can I place a Bet Builder?

If the Bet Builder is available for the preferred game, you will find.

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