Sports Betting in UK
Sports betting is one of the UK’s most popular hobbies, but with enough care, plenty research and a smidgen of luck it can be very profitable pastime.
Here at Betting Top 10, we are dedicated to doing everything we can to help you to win top amounts of money from sports bookies – they have more than enough cash already in our view.
Top 10 UK Sports Betting Bookies
It might not be easy to win big from online bookmakers (if it was, then everyone would be at it!) but our guidance can certainly help to give you the upper hand when you are placing your bets.
With so many different sports available to bet on in the UK, not to mention the various odds involved and the massive range of types of bets there are on offer, it can be hard to know how and where to get started.
But gambling does not have to be complicated and we want to make it as easy as possible for you to claim plenty of cash in winnings from betting sites, both on desktop and on mobile.
So with that in mind, let’s crack on with BettingTop10’s guide to betting on sports in the UK, shall we?
How to work out betting odds
The obvious place to start is with odds, as these are the numbers that will define how much money you can be taking out of the bookies’ pockets and putting back into your own.
All of the best betting sites in the UK will offer you a choice between displaying odds in fraction or in decimal, but what is the difference, which should you choose, and how can they help you to work out how to beat the bookie?
Fraction odds tends to be the default format with the majority of bookmakers – although exchange betting sites will use decimals as standard – so let’s start with them.
A typical example of a price listed with a bookie in a fraction odds is 17/4, which means that you would have to place a bet of £4 to get a profit of £17 back – plus your own initial stake, of course.
The principle of fraction odds is always the same no matter the difference between the two numbers, with the number on the right the stake needed to win the number on the left as profit.
Decimal odds work in a slightly different way and while they can be confusing at first for anyone not used to viewing prices in this way, they can often be useful for newcomers to gambling.
Let’s take the example of a price of evens, which would be displayed as 1/1 if it was to be listed as a fraction on betting websites.
In decimal terms, evens works out as 2.0, because £2 is what you would win for a £1 stake. It is therefore the case that any odds like 10/1 are displayed in simple terms as 11.0 in decimals, while anything lower than evens as a decimal – for example 3/4 – will be 1.75.
It is your choice whether to use decimal odds or fractions, but decimals can be sometimes easier to compare the difference between a lot of prices that are all shorter than evens.
Sports betting tips
Anyone experienced with sports betting will have found a system or a strategy that works for them, but there are some basic rules that should be kept in mind at all times when gambling.
The first of these golden guidelines is to make sure that you are never going in blind. Instead ensure that all of your wagers are carefully considered – with research and statistics to back them up when possible – as this increases the chances of bets being a winner.
Finding value is also a must if you are going to make money out of betting sites as they will not give up their stockpiles of cash without a fight for their funds.
Taking some time to carry out a comparison of the odds available with a range of bookies will ensure you get the best price available for your bet, maximising your potential profits as a result.
Many successful gamblers find that specialising in a certain area is the best way for them to make money, for example by following sports like horse racing and greyhounds, where research and insider knowledge can perhaps make more of a difference than in other sports.
Football is obviously the main sport in the UK and, as such, it is one that the sports bookies tend to concentrate on when they are putting together new promotions designed to attract the eye of punters and keep them on their betting site rather than that of a rival.
Bookies offers such as free bets will be crucial if you are to earn as much as you can from gambling on various sports, while you should also make the most of the many sign-up offers and promo codes that are up for grabs when you are signing up for new bookie accounts. A free bet with no deposit is sometimes on offer too.
All of this can help you to get the edge on the bookmakers, but what types of betting are out there and which ones should you be looking at when you are placing your wagers?
Types of sports betting
The list of the types of sports bet that can be placed in the UK is now virtually endless, with new markets being developed all the time to ensure there is enough choice for gamblers.
Extremely basic bets like a wager on which team is going to win a soccer match remain extremely popular, but now there are a huge array of other options as well.
Punters particularly like placing accumulators on betting sites in the UK, but while the massive winnings that are on offer with these bets is no doubt tempting, there are very hard to land and therefore often best avoided.
Novelty betting should also be steered clear of as these are aimed at attracting casual punters who do not have the expertise to realise the odds available are very poor value in most cases and designed solely to make headlines.
In terms of types of using the best UK sports betting sites, it is best to take time to have a good look around and decide what you are the most comfortable with, as everyone prefers different wagers due to the fact they find it easier to pick out their profitable angles.
Popular Sports Types in the UK
There are a wide range of sports gambled on in the UK, but it is fair to say that two stand head and shoulders above all the others.
Football and horse racing are undoubtedly the most popular sports in the UK with bettors, with each providing a wealth of wagering opportunities throughout the year.
Betting on football is worth over £1.3 billion to the gambling industry each year, with wagering on the Premier League accounting for a healthy proportion of that figure.
In addition to England’s top flight it is possible to place bets 24 hours a day on football leagues and tournaments around the world including La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga Ligue 1, Champions League and Europa League.
With hundreds of other leagues across the globe, you are never short of football betting opportunities with bookmakers. Whether you wager before or during games, football is one of the most rewarding sports on which to bet.
The leading operators offer thousands of markets including match winner, both teams to score, over/under, total goals, first goalscorer and many more.
With opportunities to boost your returns with multi-team accumulators, football betting is extremely attractive to both novice and experienced punters.
Horse racing is the second most punted sport online behind football, with events like the Cheltenham Festival, Epsom Derby, Breeders’ Cup and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe proving hugely popular with bettors.
UK & Irish action forms the core of most online bookmakers’ horse racing betting, while wagering on US racing has grown massively in popularity over the past few years.
Horse racing in the UK and Ireland is split into two distinct categories – flat and jumps. The flat season generally dominates the summer months, with jump racing taking centre stage during winter.
The quality of races in both codes can vary greatly, with different classifications determining what level horse compete at.
Group 1 is the top of the tree on the flat, while Grade 1 races feature the very best jumpers. However, there are plenty of other grades, ensuring that punters can pick and choose the types of races they want to bet on.
Annual sports events and tournaments
The beauty of sport is that there is almost always absolutely loads of it happening at any time you could think of – whether it is day or night, summer or winter, where you are in the world.
There are some annual events that are particularly important in the world of sports betting however, such as the Super Bowl that marks the conclusion of the American football season.
Cricket has a host of top events including the World Cup, The Ashes and the Indian Premier League, while golf and tennis both host four major tournaments that are set apart from the rest, with these events spaced throughout the year.
Football leagues run all year round across the world depending on the country, but internationally is where a lot of sports bookies focus on offering the biggest live promotions.
The World Cup takes place every four years, as does the European Championship, while the Africa Cup of Nations and the Copa America are more regular, held every two years.
Other sports have their most important dates too, with golf and tennis both hosting four major tournaments that are prized apart from the rest, with these events spaced throughout the year.
Popular Annual Football Competitions
There are three annual football competitions that are hugely popular with UK punters. These are as follows:
The Premier League is the top tier of English football and is popular with bettors across the world. There are 20 teams in the league, with each playing 38 games (19H, 19A) over the course of a season.
The team collecting the most points wins the title and qualifies for the Champions League. The second, third and fourth teams also qualify for the same competition, with fifth place earning a spot in the Europa League.
Teams who finish in sixth and seventh position may also qualify for the Europa League dependent on who wins domestic cup competitions or if a club has success in Europe.
The bottom three sides in the Premier League after 38 games are relegated to the Championship and their places taken by three teams from that division.
The Premier League is rated as the most exciting competition in the world, offering punters thousands of betting opportunities throughout the season.
The Champions League is football’s top competition for clubs across Europe. It was previously known as the European Cup, but was rebranded to its current name in 1992.
The competition kicks-off with qualifying rounds during July and August, with the games featuring many sides from Europe’s smaller nations.
The Champions League group stage starts in September and sees the big guns join the qualifiers in eight groups of four teams.
Big clubs like Real Madrid and Manchester United are always popular picks with punters in the outright betting market, while Barcelona, Juventus and Bayern Munich are other sides who attract plenty of interest.
In addition to the outright market, there are hundreds of ways to bet on every game throughout the tournament including first goalscorer, total corners and group winner multiples.
UEFA’s secondary club competition starts in July, with teams across Europe taking part in an extensive round of qualifying games.
The successful sides then join the seeded teams the group stage which features 12 groups of four. The top two in each progress to the knockout stage where they are joined by the eight sides who finish third in their Champions League groups.
The Europa League becomes a two-legged knockout competition from this point up to the final which is a one-game showdown held at a neutral venue.
Some of the continent’s top clubs have enjoyed success in the Europa League including Liverpool, Atletico Madrid and Inter Milan.
With the winners handed a berth in the following season’s Champions League, the Europa League has grown into a prestigious competition that offers punters a host of betting opportunities.
Winning sports betting strategies
There are no easy answers to developing a sports betting strategy, but by taking our tips, advice and guidelines on board here at BettingTop10 you can give yourself the best possible chance.
Value should always be at the forefront of your mind, as bad value bets are the way to lose money fast, while good value bets are never a bad idea even if they turn out to be losers in the end.
Being able to spot value is a must if you are serious about gambling but there are no short-cuts here as this is something that only comes with practice and the experience of comparing at a lot of different prices on various online betting sites.
Specialising works for a lot of punters, so work out which sports you have the most knowledge of and focus on them, as you are unlikely to win big betting on sports you know little about overall, while using betting apps to stay in touch while on the move is also recommended.
At a deeper level, specialising on one type of bet is a very profitable method for some people, while focusing on just one portion of a sport, for instance the women’s game or youth matches, can help some to develop that much-needed edge on the bookies.
Getting the better of the bookmakers is not straightforward but research is always going to be beneficial. While facts and statistics coupled with sports betting tips do not guarantee winners, if they are on the side of your bet rather than against it, then your chances are surely improved.
Sports betting should be fun too, so if you get on a losing streak and it starts to get too much, there is no shame in taking some time out to assess your bets, your wins and losses, to work out where you have been going wrong. Tracking all your wagers can be beneficial for this reason.
That’s it! Hopefully you have found this Betting Top 10 guide to UK sports betting useful – you should now be more equipped to take on the bookies. Best of luck!