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Betting Expert

23 June 2024

How to Bet Online – 9 Ways to Make the Most from Sports Betting

Are you ready to learn how to bet online?

Online sports betting can be tremendous fun and some customers are actually able to show a profit on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. There are a wide range of online bookmakers out there and they cover thousands of sporting events every week, while there can be hundreds of betting markets when it comes to just one event.

The aim of this article is to provide you with all the information you need to bet online. We look at the best bookies to register an account, how to actually sign up with a bookmaker, how to claim a free bet and of course how to actually place a bet. The good news is that all of the above processes are straightforward so let’s get started with our useful guide.

1. Choose Your Bookmaker and Register an Account

You can’t bet online unless you register an account with a bookmaker. Here at, we feature several leading bookies and would recommend you take a look at bet365, Paddy Power, BetVictor and BetFred. They are all leading operators when it comes to punting on football, horse racing, tennis and many other sports.

How to open a betting account:

  • Click on the bookmaker where you want to sign up
  • Click on “Join Now” and go through to the sign-up page
  • Enter your personal details including address and DOB
  • Submit verification documents like your Passport
  • Choose a payment method – you will use this for deposits and withdrawals
  • Select the amount that you want to deposit into your account

Once you have followed the above steps, you will then have a funded bookmaker account and you can start betting.

2. How to Place a Bet Online

You now have a funded betting account and you’re in a position to place your first ever bet! You might already have a strong idea of the sporting event and market that interests you the most. If it’s a fairly high-profile event taking place within the next few hours, the chances are that you will be able to access the available markets from the homepage. Naturally, a bookie will showcase odds for the most popular events prominently.

Let’s say you’re wanting to place a bet on the Manchester City v Liverpool match. You would firstly go to the match page where you would be able to find over 100 pre-match markets. You can then scroll through the various betting options and pick out a selection that appeals most to you. Click or tap on the odds for that selection and you’ll find that your online bet slip is populated with that pick.

If you’re wanting to bet this selection as a single, i.e. not combine it with any other betting selections, then you can now nominate the stake with which you want to bet. Let’s say you are betting on Liverpool to win the match at 2/1. You might stake £10 on the Reds at this price and stand to enjoy a return of £30 (£20 profit plus £10 stake back) if they triumph.

3. How to Claim a Free Bet with a Bookmaker

Believe it or not, most bookmakers will give you a free bet when you sign up for a new online betting account. Every bookie is slightly different in terms of the welcome bonus available, although the good news is that there’s no limit as to how many bookmaker accounts you can have. That means you can rack up the free bets, although we recommend that you claim them one at a time.

The first step is to sign up for a bookie account as described in the above steps. Once you have placed your first sports bet and it has been settled, then you will be credited with a free bet which is usually to the same stake. Please note that your first qualifying bet might need to be a certain stake and you might also need to choose particular odds in order to ensure the bookie bonus.

We recommend you take advantage of any free bet offer that is available for new customers. This might be the only time that a bookie gives you a free bet and it’s a chance to get some risk-free cash and hopefully back a winner to get you off to the best possible start.

4. How Do Betting Odds Work?

For every sporting event featured on a bookmaker website, there are a number of available betting markets. For each betting market, there are betting odds for each selection. Let’s return to the Manchester City v Liverpool example and concentrate on the Full-Time Result market which has three selections. You might have the following:

  • Manchester City to win 6/4
  • Liverpool to win 2/1
  • Draw 2/1

If you bet on Liverpool using the above example, you essentially make a £2 profit for every £1 staked if they win. If you make a winning bet, you also get your betting stake back from the bookmaker although this stake is lost if you place a losing bet. The above Full-Time Result betting market is a three-way market as there are three different selections although let’s look at a different example.

Let’s imagine you’re betting on First Goalscorer instead. Naturally, there are twenty players on the pitch that could potentially find the net and a typical bookmaker betting market might have the following selected odds:

  • Mohamed Salah 4/1
  • Sadio Mane 4/1
  • Sergio Aguero 5/1
  • Kevin De Bruyne 7/1
  • Roberto Firmino 9/1
  • Raheem Sterling 10/1

As you can see, First Goalscorer odds are generally bigger because more selections can win compared to Full-Time Result. You will also spot that the prices are shorter when it comes to the selections which the bookies think are most likely to happen.

5. What is the Difference Between Fractional and Decimal Odds?

Fractional and decimal odds are just different ways of expressing the same price. When it comes to fractional odds, if you place a £1 bet at 2/1, you can make a £2 profit and also get your £1 stake back. If you place a £5 bet at 2/1, you can make a £10 profit (£5 stake x 2) and also get your £5 stake back. Odds of 15/8 might look more complicated although it just means you would make a profit of the first amount (15) if you staked exactly the second amount (8).

When it comes to decimal odds, the fractional odds of 2/1 becomes 3.00. That is because the decimal price takes into account the total return instead. It essentially means that a £1 bet achieves a £3 return (£2 profit + £1 stake) which works in the same way as 2/1. It’s completely your choice whether you view and bet on the odds in a fractional or decimal format, with customers able to flick between the two different options.

6. How You Can Win Money from Sports Betting

Every day, betting customers are winning from the sports bets that they place, although it’s difficult to win on a consistent basis. This is partly because the odds are always slightly stacked against you. Try betting on all the possible outcomes for a particular betting market and you will notice that even if you try to balance out the stakes evenly, it’s impossible to win.

That is because the bookies build a profit margin into each betting market. Some margins are bigger than others and it’s good to get an idea of the best markets where you can gain an edge over a bookie. Sometimes the Full-Time Result market is a good place to start for football punters, although we’d also recommend betting markets such as Over / Under 2.5 Goals, Both Teams to Score and the Asian Handicap betting markets.

Ultimately, the best way to win money from sports betting is to choose two-way or three-way betting markets unless you’re punting on horse racing or golf which requires a different approach considering that the field size is a good deal bigger. It does involve betting at shorter odds, although that is because the chances of winning are greater.

winning accumulator

7. How to Place an Online Accumulator Bet

Like many betting customers, I love placing a sports betting accumulator and that is why I set up in the first place! Betting an acca can be tremendous fun and we love the thrill of picking out the various betting selections before cheering them all on. It’s great to get increasingly close to a winning accumulator bet, while I also enjoy the fact that you can secure a big return from a relatively small stake depending on the number of selections.

Let’s imagine you’re placing a football acca on the Premier League. You might log into your bookmaker account and go through the football coupon, clicking on the teams’ odds that you like the most. Every time you press on a price, that is automatically added to your bet slip and you then have a number of betting options when it comes to the various selections.

So you might choose the following teams:

  • Manchester City
  • Wolves
  • Leicester City
  • Southampton
  • Everton

You then have the option to bet them as singles (five individual bets) or alternatively consider a multiple bet such as a football acca. An accumulator bet simply involves nominating your stake and then cheering on the selections, with all five of the teams needing to win in order for your bet to be settled as a winner.

Please note that accumulator bets can also be done on other betting markets such as Both Teams to Score or Over/Under Goals, so you don’t always need to predict the outcome of a football match in order to win with a football acca. An accumulator bet can also be placed on other sports such as tennis, golf and horse racing, while there’s usually no limit when it comes to the number of selections you can have.

8. How Get Cash Out on Your Sports Bets

The most common way to win on sports betting is to back a winning selection. However, some customers are also able to make a profit on sporting events without backing winners. That is due to the introduction of Cash Out, something that you will find across all the leading bookmakers that I showcase at Cash Out is a brilliant invention and allows you the choice to claim some early money from your online bet.

When you visit your preferred online bookmaker and check out the sporting events and markets in which you are most interested, you should see the betting options where Cash Out is available. That means that as soon as you have placed a pre-event bet, that selection will have a Cash Out value available and it will increase or decrease depending on the probability of it winning.

Many punters will Cash Out a bet when it goes In-Play and there’s the option to also Cash Out accumulator bets should the first few legs go in. You should always weigh up whether the amount you’re being offered amounts to a value proposition.

9. How to Bet In-Play

In-Play betting is hugely popular these days and it’s easy to see why a customer might typically do their online betting on live markets rather than pre-event. After all, if you’re settling down to watch a particular football match, you might want to start watching the action before deciding the best way to go as far as an online wager is concerned.

Betting In-Play works in much the same way as pre-event betting. The bookmaker will supply a range of available live betting markets and the main difference is that the odds are frequently changing in accordance with what’s happening on the field of play. When you place an In-Play bet, your wager is also subject to a five-second time delay before being processed. The bookies make In-Play betting a slick and exciting experience. You can click on the latest odds and they are added to a bet slip, although your selection might be subject to a price change, while you should always let your head rule your heart when it comes to In-Play betting.


Betting Expert
I've made What Acca to try and help people starting out with accumulator betting. The possibilities of these types of bets are pretty much endless, with the major attraction coming from the fact that a lot of money can be won for very little outlay. What Acca will hopefully teach you how to make more profitable accumulator bets whilst also eradicating some of the mistakes that I have made over the years.

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