Looking to learn how to bet online? Sports betting is now a hugely popular pastime. The excitement and potential rewards of betting on teams and players make online bookmakers increasingly common. Whether it is football, horse racing, basketball or other sports you wish to bet on, punters can find whatever they are looking for today.
On this page, we discuss everything there is to know about how to place a sports bet online. While the process is easier than ever, it is still important that beginners fully understand what is involved. We will deliver the best betting sites, as well as explaining why online bookmakers are better than high street alternatives. Before we get into how to place a bet online, the following are our top ranked betting sites for beginners.
Bet £10 Get £20 Surprise Bet
To qualify for the Promotion, participant must deposit and place a £10 bet as their first bet on any market (excluding each way) in the sportsbook with odds greater than or equal to 1.50. Only original odds count toward the promotion. Supercharged odds do not count towards the promotion. An accumulation of smaller stakes will not count. Cashed out bets do not count towards this promotion. Only available once per customer. Rewards will be credited to qualifying participants within 48 after placing the qualifying bet
Bet £10 & Get £30 in Free Bets
BeGambleAware.org. New customers on mobile only. 7 days to claim and stake £10 minimum bet at odds of 1.5 or greater to qualify. Free, void, cashed out or partially cashed out bets do not qualify. Max 3x £10 free bets credited on bet settlement. Free bets must be used on 4 or more selections with selection odds of 1.3 or greater. Free bets are non-withdrawable and stake not returned with winnings. 7 day expiry. 18+ T&Cs apply.
Bet £10, Get £40 In Free Bets + £10 Casino Bonus
A qualifying bet is your first ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 at odds of 1/2 (1.5) or greater placed on any sports market. Multiple bets qualify with cumulative odds of 1/2 (1.5) or greater. Each way bets count as two bets and must be at least £10 each way (£20 in total) to qualify. First qualifying bet must be placed within 30 days of registration.
Bet £10 Get £60 in Bonuses
New Betfred.com or Betfred app customers only.The promotion is only available to customers from the UK (excluding Northern Ireland) from 12th January 2022 until terminated by Betfred. Customers must register using the promo code BETFRED60, deposit and place first bet of £10 or more on Sports.Customer’s first bet must be placed at a cumulative price of Evens (2.0) or greater. Any bet type will qualify but must have a total stake of at least £10.
Customers must deposit and bet a minimum of £10 in one bet transaction at odds of even or greater. For example, two £5 single bets of evens or greater will not qualify as they are two separate bet transactions.
Customer’s first bet must be settled within 7 days of registration in order to qualify for the promotion.
Get up to £20 Money back in cash
Once the bonus is credited to your account, losses will be refunded up to the bonus amount. You must deposit at least the qualifying deposit of £20 (or currency equivalent) in a single amount with your first deposit to be eligible for the rebate. Users making their first deposit by Skrill, Neteller, PayPal or a virtual/prepaid card will not qualify for this promotion. To withdraw rebated funds, you must bet at least the qualifying deposit on any combination of markets within the promotional period; otherwise rebated funds will be forfeited. Unused bonuses expire after seven days of being credited to a user account and will be removed after this period. The promotion is open to new users making their first deposit by card or Trustly only. The sign-up offer is strictly limited to one per individual, family, household address, email address, same payment account number, and shared computer. The offer can only be redeemed by users who sign up after 5pm BST September 30th 2021 and are not existing Smarkets Exchange users. This promotion cannot be used in conjunction with any other sign-up promotion. SBK standard terms for promotions apply.
Bet £10 Get £30 Free Bet
Players must make minimum deposit of £10 and place bets of the value of £10 or more to get a £30 Free Bet. One time stake of £30, minimum odds 1.5, stake not returned. Once you made an eligible deposit, the bonus will be credited to your account as ‘pending bonus’. When you have accumulated £10 of real bets, the bonus will be automatically activated and ready for use.
Bet £10, Get A £30 Free Bet
Players must be 18 or over to participate. Place a bet of £10 or more at odds of EVS (2.0) or greater and receive a £30 Sportsbook Free Bet. Minimum stake of £10 and minimum odds of EVS (2.0) or greater required to qualify. All acquired free bets gained through other promotions will be removed from this offer. For multiple bets the combined odds must be EVS (2.0) or greater. Qualifying bets which are Cashed Out will be excluded from the promotion. Free bet stakes will not qualify for this offer. Deposits with Skrill/Moneybookers, Neteller, PayPal or prepaid cards will not qualify for this offer.
£25 Free Bet + 10 Free Spins
Deposit and bet on any Sportsbook markets at odds of evens (2.00) or greater and we’ll refund 50% of your first day’s losses as a Free Bet up to £25 (Minimum 3 bets required). Or Guaranteed £5 Free Bet when you place 1 bet of £10 or greater at odds of evens or greater. T&Cs apply. 18+ begambleaware.org
Bet £10 Get £20 In Free Bets
If you make a Qualifying Bet, you may claim £20 in free bets and an additional £5 in free bets for each match that England plays in the EURO 2020 tournament. The initial £20 in free bets will consist of two £10 free bet token(s) and the further £5 free bets will consist of one £5 free bet token (“Free Bet Token/s”), subject to the requirements and restrictions applicable to Free Bet Tokens as set out below. a. The total guaranteed value of Free Bet Tokens available through the Welcome Offer is £35, consisting of 2x £10 Free Bet Tokens and a £5 Free Bet Token for use on each group stage match that England play.
Some betting sites are better than others in terms of catering for beginners. Learning how to bet online can be sped up by selecting the right bookie. So, when ranking available sites, we take the following factors into account:
For those in the UK, you must be aged at least 18 to legally place bets, both online and in high street bookmakers. When signing up with a bookie, new customers must provide a form of identification in order to prove their age. This can be a passport, driving license and household bills. Bookmakers that accept new customers without verifying your identity are unlikely to be regulated. These are to be avoided in all circumstances. In terms of additional gambling laws, punters in the UK were banned from funding their activity via credit cards in the UK from April 2020.
At most betting sites, signing up, depositing funds and placing bets is simple. However, for newcomers, it is important to understand the process. So, the following is a step by step guide for how to register with an online bookie. This is extremely important when it comes to learning how to bet. We have used one of our top ranked bookies as an example:
Take a closer look at our list of top ranked betting sites in the UK. Take into account your preferred sports, as well as the features you require. This could include live streaming or cash out. Based on your list of demands, decide upon which bookie best meets your needs. Of course, you can sign up on more than one site if you wish.
Enter the sportsbook of your chosen bookie. This can be achieved by clicking on the link on the table at the top of this page. Alternatively, enter the website into the navigation bar of your browser. Click on the “JOIN” button. Complete the registration form by entering your personal details. Verify your account by uploading a proof of identity. Login for the first time.
Enter the cashier page of your account, before clicking on the “Deposit” option. Select from one of the available payment methods. Enter the amount you wish to deposit. For debit card payments, punters must enter their card details. Alternatively, select an e-wallet, before logging into your account via the pop-up. Confirm your payment and wait a matter of seconds for funds to show in your betting account.
Browse available markets. Remember to focus upon sports that you follow closely. This will give you the best chance of beating the bookies. Search for value, adding picks to your bet slip in the process. Do your homework, looking at the news and statistics surrounding potential selections. Weigh up the available bet types, as well as the potential winnings. When happy, confirm your bet by clicking on the “Place Bet” button.
Depending on the success of your bet, it may be that you have winnings to collect. Rather than having to visit your high street bookie, funds will be available in your online account immediately. Punters can then decide whether to invest in future bets or withdraw to their bank or e-wallet account to spend elsewhere.
How you bet on sports will likely depend on your strategy and objectives. However, it will also depend on the sport itself. For example, some sports come with more markets than others. Bets can be placed at as little as £0.01 on some sites, with slips being automatically updated upon selections being added. Maximum stakes will vary between both bookies and sports. However, we can confidently say that the limits set on our recommended sites will meet the demands of 99% of beginners. Let’s take a closer look at football and horse racing, the two most popular betting sports in the UK. We will then discuss how to bet on Grand National online.
Football bets can be placed on leagues and cups from around the world. However, the English Premier League, Champions League, La Liga, Serie A and FA Cup are among the most popular. Meanwhile, available markets include 1×2, correct score, over/under goals, first goalscorer and draw no bet. Punters should also look out for football promotions offered by bookies. Such promos include acca insurance, price boosts, early payouts and money back specials. Finally, on some betting sites, live streaming services will make it possible to watch football matches as they play out.
Whether it be meetings from the UK & Ireland or further afield, horse racing features heavily on most betting sites. Meetings in the UK generally feature either flat or national hunt races. Races take place daily, with all runners and riders being handed an individual price, based on form, age and the going. Terms to look out for include starting price, non-runner and ante post. Be sure to check out our horse racing guide for further information. Popular bet types include to win, each-way, forecast and tricast. Meanwhile, best odds guaranteed is offered by many online bookies. This ensures that punters claim winnings at the best possible price, regardless of when the bet was placed. Other horse racing promos include faller insurance and enhanced odds. You should not have a better understanding of how to bet on horse races online.
The Grand National is the biggest day in the betting calendar. The historic horse race takes place at Aintree, involving 40+ runners and riders. The race attracts both regular punters and other members of the general public. With some runners being priced up to 100/1, there is a good chance of coming away with winnings. The race is broadcast live on terrestrial TV, with millions tuning in. The Grand National is given major emphasis by bookies. Many promotions specific to the event will be introduced in the days leading up to the race itself.
Part of learning how to bet online is understanding how odds work. At our recommended betting sites, odds will likely be available in fractional, decimal and American formats. Simply put, the lower the price, the greater the chance of the result occurring will be. For example, odds of 1/9 for Manchester City to beat Burnley at home indicate just how heavily Pep Guardiola’s side are the favourites.
Betting margins vary between bookies. This is how they make money. This is something else in which punters must consider before signing up and placing bets. Punters will want to know that winning bets bring about the highest earnings. The best margins sit as close to 100% as possible. Bookies with a margin of around 110% are likely to be worth avoiding. Let’s now take a closer look at the three most common odds formats found at UK betting sites:
This is the most common type of odds in the UK. Here, a hyphen is used to display prices. Simply put, the number on the right is what is needed to win the number on the left. For example, when the odds are 5/1, a £1 bet will bring about a profit of £5.
More common across Europe, decimal odds show the amount that can be won for every £1 staked. For example, when the decimal odds have been set at 5.00, a £1 stake will once again result in a profit of £5. The calculation stake X odds can be carried out to work out the potential payout.
Also known as moneyline odds, this format is unlikely to be used by many punters in the UK. Here, both + and – symbols are used to show the favourites and outsiders. Odds show how much can be made by placing a $100 bet. For example, a bet on the favourites at odds of -500 would require a $100 bet to win $500. Meanwhile, a $100 bet on the underdogs at -300 would result in a total payout of $400.
We have alluded to the popularity of live betting already on this page. Live betting, also known as in-play, simply means wagering on sporting events that have already started. Most online bookies feature dedicated live betting pages. Here, odds on events are constantly changing. Changes are normally clearly indicated, with many using red and green symbols. Some in-play markets are accompanied by live streaming.
For bookies that do not deliver a live streaming service, useful graphics and statistics are likely to be found instead. Sports including football, tennis, basketball, cricket, Esports and hockey are among those commonly associated with live betting. However, due to the nature of the sport, horse racing is not available.
Another useful feature when it comes to live betting is cash out. Some bookies offer only full cash out, while others will offer full and partial options. Cash out effectively means settling a bet early. This is a good option when punters are looking to cut losses or guarantee a profit. Punters must understand that the cash out feature must be used before the completion of the event. As you learn about how to bet online, it will become clearer as to just when to cash out and when to trust your bet.
Promotions are available to both new and existing customers in the UK. While it is easy to place too much of a significance upon such offers, some promos can be well worth taking advantage of. As well as helping to attract new customers and keep existing players happy, they can aid punters in maximising winnings and minimising losses. Free bets and bonuses are available to those signing up for the first time. Meanwhile, price boosts, acca insurance, early payouts and money back specials are among the most common ongoing promotions.
Of course, each offer comes with unique terms and conditions. T&Cs must be read before getting involved. This will mean that punters avoid any disappointment or surprises. Minimum odds, wagering requirements and maximum winnings are among the most common to consider. Meanwhile, some offers will require a promo code in order to qualify. Alternatively, punters can opt in or place a qualifying bet. Be sure to look at our favourite betting promotions available in the UK today.
While high street bookmakers are still found in the UK, betting sites are the preferred option for most punters today. It is easy to see why online bookies are so popular, given the number of benefits on offer. Unlike in betting shops, betting sites offer promotions, including welcome bonuses. Meanwhile, features including live streaming, cash out and bet builders are also available with selected bookies.
Of course, betting online is far more convenient. Betting sites save punters a trip to their local bookie. While many enjoy the atmosphere and camaraderie of high street bookies, an increasing number like wagering from the comfort of their own home or from the stadium itself. With betting sites being safe and reliable too, it is little wonder that the number of online customers is increasing rapidly.
It is important to have a strategy when betting online. Researching available strategies will also help you in understanding better just how to bet online. However, regardless of strategy, there are some tips that are useful for all punters. The following will give punters the best possible chance of beating the bookies:
There has never been a better time to get involved in online betting. The number of legal, reliable and potentially rewarding bookmakers available in the UK is growing quickly. In other good news, most bookies also make placing bets easy. Whether it be on desktop or mobile, punters can quickly and simply login, deposit funds and browse markets. Meanwhile, our recommended betting sites also come with a host of features and promotions. So, be sure to check out which best suits your needs, before claiming your welcome bonus in the process.
Bet £15 Get £10 Free Bet
Max. Free Bet amount £10. Minimum wagering on sport to activate the Free Bet is £15. Void/cancelled or cashed out bets do not count towards wagering to activate the free bet. A further list of the types of play which are prohibited in this promotion is included in our Bonus Policy. Offer valid only to customers making a first deposit of £10 or more and make a qualifying bet in accordance with the Free Bet Specific Terms and Conditions.
Punters in the UK must be aged 18 or over to legally place bets. In order to ensure that this is the case, bookies should ask for a form of identification in order to verify your age.
Bookies must be licensed and regulated by the Gambling Commission. This authority is one of the most respected in the world. They help to ensure that all gambling activity takes place legally and safely.
Available payment methods at betting sites include Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, Neteller, Skrill, Apple Pay and Paysafecard. Meanwhile, a small number of alternative payment methods can be found with some bookies. As a result, punters should find something to meet their needs when it comes to depositing and withdrawing.
Traditionally, horse racing and football are the most popular betting sports in the UK. However, punters now have a broad range of interests. As such, tennis, cricket, basketball, Esports, snooker and UFC are among the other sports regularly wagered upon.
Having read the information on this page, newcomers should have a pretty good understanding of how things work. Depending on which bookie you sign up with, it is possible to get to grips with things quickly. However, do not rush and take time to find your feet once registered.
James is a freelance writer who specialises in the world of sports and iGaming, producing engaging and accurate content for online publications, including news articles, reviews, press releases and social media marketing.
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