Do you know how to bet? If you’re reading this article on the ProTIpster website then it’s probable that you want to bet on sport, and you want help doing it. We’ve started this series of articles to help you understand how to bet well, and how the professionals make money doing it.
How does betting work?
As always, the best place to start is at the fundamental basics. To understand how to make money from betting on sport, one of the most important things to understand is how bookmakers work. From this knowledge we can understand what we need to do in order to “beat the bookies”.
Bookies have changed massively since the advent of gambling on the internet. Before the days of the World Wide Web bookies operated at places such as shops and sports events. However, the principle of how they work has not changed much.
Bookies make markets based on statistical information and mathematical principles. Every market is structured by a bookie so that no matter the outcome, the bookie will make a profit. This is done by working out what the odds should be statistically, and then by adding a profit margin to those odds. This is why it is important to consider what margin a bookie uses when comparing them.
As money comes into the market the odds can change depending on how much comes in. Some small markets where there isn’t much money wagered can have odds that change rapidly and betting can even be suspended, while other bigger markets need huge quantities of money to see significant moves in price. This explains the importance of sites that track how odds have changed.
How to choose the best bookmaker for you?
Online gambling is a huge market with lots of different bookmakers in operation. This gives players a lot of choice of who to use, and it can be a bit bewildering for someone new to the pastime.
Betting hasn’t always been legal. In some countries it still isn’t, while in others it is a tightly regulated activity. Some countries require bookmakers to have licenses to operate while others only allow state-run bookies to operate. In some places it’s fine to bet on a single outcome in a single match, while in other places players are forced into making multiple selections. Before placing a single bet, it’s worth checking out what the legalities regarding betting and bookmakers are in your jurisdiction.
The next thing for players to consider is what they want from their bookie. For casual players, good offers and bonuses are important, because they can help boost winnings. Some bookies offer welcome bonuses so when a player makes their first deposit they get extra money to play with. Others offer promotions where odds are boosted in specific games or free bets are given if a certain outcome is met. It’s always important to check the terms and conditions before using one of these offers as some come with onerous turnover and/or odds conditions.
For the more serious player, margins are a big deal. Professional gamblers will place bets that they see as “value” and bookies that have big margins will have fewer value bets than a bookie who work to smaller ones. This is why odds comparison websites work so well; they show which bookies offer the best prices in specific betting markets allowing players to get the most bang for their buck.
One more important thing you should consider is that some bookmakers are specialized in different markets or different sports. For example, if you choose a bookmaker for the best odds when you are betting on football, but maybe it offers a tiny amount of markets for live betting, or it just doesn’t provide goalscorer bets which you wanted to bet on. Also, some bookmakers are known as offering higher odds for favorites and some others are just the opposite. It will be best for you to choose several bookmakers but they should complete each other. So for all punters, it would be good to use more than one bookie at the same time for your different kind of bets.
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How to bet on sports with a bookie
Once you’ve found the bookie you want to use, and you’ve deposited your money the next thing is to actually place your bets. The mechanics of how to do this are normally quite simple; find the betting market you’re interested in, click the outcome you want and confirm the bet in your betslip.
However, that doesn’t take into consideration what you should be betting on. This is the hard part – placing a bet is easy, making money off them consistently is very difficult. However, there are some fundamental rules that you can follow that will help you in your request. They are:
- Place bets only on sports, tournaments and matches where you have an idea of the potential outcome.
- Research what statistical information you can before placing your bet
- Try and stick to betting on value – where the possibility of an outcome will happen is better than the odds being offered
- Manage your bankroll and don’t chase winning or losing streaks. You can learn more about how to do this by reading about the Kelly Criterion.
We’ll expand on these rules further in the next articles in this section.
The biggest rule regarding how to bet is to have fun when doing so. If you are betting money that you cannot afford to lose then you shouldn’t be betting at all because that is the path to financial ruin.
ProTipster isn’t just a site for you to find expert tips; you can learn about your own betting patterns without spending a penny by posting tips and analysing your own results. We’ll even reward you with ProTipster coins for doing so – post your next tip right here.