The global sports betting market stood at US$17.8 billion in 2018 and is projected to hit £22.69 billion by this year with an estimated 77.2 million European Union citizens planning to place a wager on their favourite sports this year.
Whether you’re a professional bettor or just enjoy a game or two, betting on sports is a pastime that brings joy to millions every year.
If you’re looking to dip your toe into the world of sports betting, it’s important to understand the basics. From picking the right teams to bet on, to understanding how to make a profit, this article is an introduction to the world of sports betting for those looking to get involved.
Types Of Sports Betting
There are three distinct types of sports betting:
- Auction betting
- Match betting
Each of these forms of betting has its own unique quirks. For example, gamers can enjoy playing against the house, meaning they earn no money but can keep what they win. Auction betting, on the other hand, is all about picking the best odds offered by bookmakers, with the hope of making a profit. Match betting takes the cake when it comes to strategy, with the goal being to pick the winning team and not necessarily the best odds available for that game.
Why Online Gaming Is Popular
Pro-gaming and online gaming are synonymous, with the first referring to real-world sports played online (think American football, basketball, and hockey).
One of the biggest draws of online gaming is the variety it provides. It’s well-known that the world of online gaming is populated by a multitude of characters and settings, meaning the odds of you getting bored are quite low. What’s more, with the development of blockchain technology, online gaming is becoming more secure, fair, and transparent. In 2019 alone, the online gaming world grew its market share from 7.2% to 8.4% globally.
Many traditional sportsbooks have adapted to the changing world of sports and gaming, opening up shop online. As mobile and internet connectivity increase, so does the market share of online gaming. According to a report published by Statista, in 2022 over 80% of the world’s online gaming traffic will be generated by mobile devices.
Which Sports To Bet On
That is a question that has plagued mankind for centuries. Which sports are you going to bet on? Will you bet on cricket or football? What about horse racing, golf, or tennis? Will you back the alps or the English?
This is one of the first questions you need to ask yourself before you dive into the world of sports betting. The answer will depend on your experience, how good you think you are at picking winners, and how much money you’re willing to lose in the pursuit of sports entertainment. In general, you want to bet on categories that you understand, know, or are at least acquainted with. This will help you make a more informed decision when placing a wager.
How Do You Figure The Winnings?
The first thing you need to do before you can start raking in the profits is to figure out how you’re going to earn your money back. This comes down to two things: winnings and deductions. The former is how much you win while the latter is what you lose (known as the juice or the vigorish, respectively) in the pursuit of becoming a successful sports bettor. Calculating the winnings is fairly straightforward. You just need to multiply your original stake (i.e., the amount you put down initially) by the amount of wins you achieved. To give you an idea of how this works, let’s assume you wagered £100 on a game and picked the English sports teams to win. They went on to lose all four of their games in the tournament, resulting in you making a £400 profit. Simple enough, right?
Deducting your winnings, however, is a bit more tricky. In theory, you can simply add up the amounts you won from each of the sports you placed a wager on. In practice, there are a number of pitfalls that you need to avoid. For example, did you bet on a game that had no returns? Did you bet on a team that you knew was going to lose every game? Did you bet on a game that was pre-arranged to be a loss? In all of these scenarios, you would not achieve a 100% refund, meaning you are going to have to pay something back. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid this. One of the most popular methods is to use a credit card that gives you an extra 0% on all spending. Then, all you need to do is spend a certain amount on entertainment each month and the rest on your winnings (deductibles apply).
What Is Martingale Betting?
This is one of the more complicated forms of betting to learn, but it’s also one of the most effective. Simply put, Martingale betting is named after the English bookmaker, William Martingale, who adapted the strategy from horse racing to sports betting. In a nutshell, it is a type of betting where you double down (or in this case, Martingale) after each consecutive loss.
Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that you are a hopeless fan of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and decided to wage a bet on them to win the Super Bowl. To do this, you would have to put down £100 on the Bucs. If they went on to win the game, you would have to pay back the £100 and place another £100 on the Tampa Bay Bucs to win the game. This goes on and on, resulting in you spending a total of £400 on one team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The theory is that the more you spend, the more you win. Sounds too good to be true, right?
It is, which is why most professional sportsbooks will only allow you to engage in this type of betting with a credit card. The upside is that it is very easy to understand and implement. As a beginner, you can use Martingale betting to enter the world of sports betting, but you should probably stay away from it. This is a strategy that professionals use and you’re better off sticking with the basics.
The Bottom Line
To conclude, it’s important to note that not all types of sports betting are created equal. Some methods are more effective than others, with some being completely risk-free while others involve a certain degree of gambling. The approach you take will depend on your personal philosophy toward risk and your financial situation. As you get more experienced, you will learn to gauge the right level of risk for yourself and become better at picking winners.