Getting Started With Online Sports Betting

Getting Started Betting Online

Sports betting has been a very popular form of gambling for many years. Its popularity has increased over recent years, primarily because the internet has made it possible to bet on sports online. The introduction of online gambling sites has had a significant impact on the betting industry, not least because it has made placing wagers on sports events easier and more convenient than ever before.

Gambling sites have helped to improve the overall betting experience in many ways. As a result, many betting enthusiasts have chosen to move away from traditional betting methods such as telephone based services and bookmaking shops. Instead they go for the far simpler option of placing their wagers on the web. There is also a whole new generation of betting fans who have been attracted by everything that online sports betting has to offer.

Naturally, though, some people are somewhat wary of putting their money online and placing wagers in this way. This is usually due to them not fully understanding how everything works and what's involved. They get nervous simply because they don't really know what to expect. Others worry about finding safe and reputable places to bet.

This is one of the reasons why we've compiled this section on getting started with online sports betting. It contains a few articles on topics such as the advantages of betting online and choosing where to play, and there's a useful FAQ as well. We've also recommended the best sports betting sites, and explained how everything works online in a step-by-step guide to joining and using betting sites. Please read on to find details of everything we cover.

Recommended Reading for Beginners

This section of our website is specifically for anyone who wants information relating to betting online. Although you don't need any prior knowledge of sports betting to get started, it does help to understand a few of the basics at least. If you're completely new to sports betting then we strongly recommend that you also read our beginner's guide. This will teach you everything that you need to know about betting on sports in general.

Online Betting: Introductory Articles & FAQ

Advantages of Betting Online

This article explains the various advantages that betting online has to offer. These include the better odds and lines available and the wider selection of betting opportunities. If you're unsure as to whether online betting is for you, then reading this might help you make up your mind.

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Choosing Where to Bet

Using the right betting site is vital. You absolutely want to join only sites which are reputable and trustworthy, and there are several other factors to take into account as well. In this article we explain everything you need to consider when choosing where to bet.

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Betting Bonuses & Rewards

The online gambling industry is a competitive one, and most sites work very hard to attract and retain customers. One way that they do this is by offering bonuses and rewards, and these can be very valuable if you know how to take full advantage of them. Find out more in this article.

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Using Multiple Sites

You don't have to use just one site for your online sports betting. In fact, there a few benefits to using multiple sites. Using different places for different needs will help you to get the most out of your online betting experience, and this article explains how and why in more detail.

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Online Betting FAQ

There's a good chance that any questions you might have relating to online betting are questions that we've heard before. We've compiled a list of the ones that we hear most frequently, and provided detailed answers to them. The following is a selection of the questions we've answered.

  • Is it Legal To Bet Online?
  • Is it Safe To Bet Online?
  • What's The Smallest Bet I Can Make?
  • Why Do Sites Have Different Odds?

To see the answers to these questions, and others, please take a look at our sports betting FAQ. It features questions and answers relating to general sports betting as well as online aspects.


Recommended Betting Sites

Choosing a betting site is the one thing about online betting that isn't easy. You really want to make sure that you choose a quality site, but there are lots of options and it's quite a challenge to work out which ones are the best. We've provided some advice for choosing where to bet in one of the articles linked above, and we've also made some recommendations for any of you who just want to be told what the best options are.

The following are our top ranked sports betting sites. Each one is reliable and trustworthy, and you can feel perfectly safe using them. You can also be sure of a good experience.

The above sites are all very good options, but they aren't all necessarily right for everyone. Some sites are better than others for certain sports, so it's advisable to use one that's suitable if you plan to bet mostly on a specific sport. That's why we've also ranked the best sites for betting on each of the most popular sports. You can find these rankings on the following pages.

We've ranked the best sites in two other specific categories too. These are as follows.

Online Betting From The United States

If you live in the United States then you could be forgiven for having some concerns about betting online. The legal situation relating to all forms of online gambling is decidedly unclear, and is not helped by the fact that the laws vary from one state to the next. Federal level legislation is somewhat confusing and, unless you live in a state where online gambling is explicitly legal and regulated, it's hard to know what's legal and what's not.

The good news is that you don't actually need to worry about these laws, as it's extremely unlikely that a US resident would get arrested just for using a gambling site. They are not really aimed at people who gamble online, but rather at the companies that provide gambling services. Unfortunately, this does mean that many of the leading sites have decided not to accept US customers. Some still do though, and we've compiled rankings specifically looking at the best US friendly options. We've also written a comprehensive guide to online gambling from America.

Betting Sites for Americans
Online Gambling in America

How Online Sports Betting Works

The basic process for placing a sports wager is quite straightforward. It simply involves deciding which wager to place and how much to stake, and then handing the relevant sum of money over to a bookmaker. The bookmaker keeps the stake if the wager loses, and pays out at the appropriate odds if it wins.

This process is the same when betting online as it is when betting any other way. A bookmaker is still setting the odds, taking the wagers, and paying out the winnings. The only significant difference is that everything is done on the internet rather than over the telephone or in person. You just need to have an account with a sports betting site or online bookmaker, and have funds in that account to bet with. You can then log in to your account, find the wagers you want to place, and put your money on that specific wager(s).

That's really all there is to it. We'll now go through each step in more detail though, so that you can see just how simple the whole process really is.

Step 1
Choose a Betting Site

It's very important to get this step right if you want to have a positive online betting experience. If you've read through the rest of this page and not just skipped to this part then you'll know we can help you with this decision. We've written an article on choosing where to bet, and we've also ranked the top sports betting sites and made recommendations for which ones you should use.

Step 2
Open an Account

Once you've selected a site to use, the next step is to open an account. Most sites display a "Join Now" or "Create Account" button somewhere obvious on their home page, so you need to find that and then click on it. This will bring up a registration form that you'll have to complete with some personal information.

The information required will vary from one site to another, but it's not usually a lot. Typically the following is all that you'll be asked for.

  • Full Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Address
  • Email Address

You'll also have to choose a username and password. These are needed to log in to your account once it's opened.

Step 3
Deposit Funds

You'll need some money in your account before you can start placing bets, so you'll have to go through a process known as depositing. This is very simple at most sites, and it generally only takes a few moments. There's usually a "Deposit" or "Cashier" somewhere on display when you're logged in to your account, and clicking on that will give you access to the various banking options available for depositing funds.

Commonly available banking options are as follows.

  • Debit Cards
  • Credit Cards
  • Neteller
  • Skrill
  • MoneyGram
  • Western Union
  • Check
  • Bank Wire

Some sites offer even more options, but these are the most widely available. Once you've selected your preferred method you'll then have to enter all the relevant payment details along with the amount you wish to deposit.

Screenshot of Depositing Funds Online

Funds are typically added to your account instantly and available for immediate use.

Step 4
Place Wagers

With a funded account you'll be ready to start placing wagers. The exact process for this varies depending on which site you use, but the basic principle is essentially the same at all of them. It's a simple case of navigating the site to find the relevant betting markets that interest you, then selecting your chosen wagers and entering how much you wish to stake.

A lot of sites will automatically display a selection of events, lines, or wagers as soon as you log in. These could be major upcoming events, or any events due to start very soon, lines that are proving particularly popular, or wagers that are available at enhanced odds.

Betting Lines Screenshot

On most sites there'll also be a list of all the different sports covered on display somewhere. Clicking on one of the sports will bring up a list of all the open betting markets for that sport.

Open Betting Markets Screenshot

Selecting a specific event will then display the various betting options for that event.

Screenshot of Various Betting Options

Upon finding a wager you wish to place, you just have to click on it and it will then be added to a betting slip. You must then enter the amount you wish to stake and confirm the bet. Most slips display the potential payout for any wager placed.

Screenshot of Betting Slip

After confirming your wager(s), the relevant sum of money will be deducted from your account. Any payouts are automatically credited to your account. Winnings can be withdrawn (which is basically just the reverse of depositing) or left in the account for the purposes of future betting.

Improving Your Betting Skills

Now that you know what you need to know to bet online, you might also want to think about improving your betting skills. Betting sites make it easy to place wagers, but they don't make it any easier to win money. Your success, or lack of, will still come down to how good you are at finding the right wagers to place.

We can help with that too, as our sports betting guide includes tons of advice that can help you make money. Here is just a small selection of some of the topics we cover.

  • Choosing Which Sports to Bet On
  • Picking Selections the Right Way
  • Bankroll Management
  • Why Odds & Lines Change
  • Basics of Handicapping the Market
  • Attributes of a Successful Bettor
  • Emotional Control & Discipline
  • Record Keeping & Analysis

All of the above information, and more, can be found in the following section of our websites.

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