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Matthew Jones
Author:
Matthew Jones
Last Updated:
January 6, 2021
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This author was thoroughly tested and approved by the experts at BettingBilly.com before joining the editorial board to ensure a high content quality.
Author Bio:
 
Matthew is a former journalist and entrepreneur. Before he turned 18 he'd already started an online-shop, grew it to more than $1m in sales and sold it. Together with Richard he is now in charge of BettigBilly. His specialties are gambling mathematics and creating winning betting strategies.
Matthew is a former journalist and entrepreneur. Before he turned 18 he'd already started an online-shop, grew it to more than $1m in sales and sold it. Together with Richard he is now in charge of BettigBilly. His specialties are gambling mathematics and creating winning betting strategies.

Betting for Dummies 2021

If you were looking for sports betting for dummies' advice, you came to the right place. Sports betting often seems more complicated than it is. However, all of those sports markets, odds, and betting types are quite simple when someone explains them in layman's terms.

That's where this betting for dummies article comes in. Read on to find out essential information about how even beginners can place bets as seasoned professionals do.

Why bet on sports?

Betting on sports is fun. If you want to have a good time doing something, then sports betting is the way to go.

Now, you probably think something cannot be both fun and easy to do. Well, you are wrong to think that. Placing bets is very easy and doesn't require any previous knowledge.

Factor in that any wagering endeavor can also be a profitable one and you can see why so many people are into sports betting.

Nothing difficult about it

To place a bet, you need to do three things. First, register a sports betting account with an online bookmaker. This is easy and the operator will guide you through the simple process anyway.

After you have done this, you should deposit some betting funds. This might take some time depending on your payment method, but once again is as straightforward as any online transaction.

Lastly, you should make your sports bet. Simply select the betting proposition you want to back and stake some money on it.

Very exciting

Once you have placed your bet, you will be able to enjoy sports betting in its full glory. As soon as the game starts, you will notice that your blood is pumping and excitement levels are rising.

This is the effect that sports betting has on people. Even a small wager can turn a dead rubber game into a cup final for the person placing the bet.

Can be profitable

You are going to be surprised to find out that sports betting can be quite profitable even for an absolute beginner. If you have the right betting approach and utilize the appropriate strategy, you can make quite a lot of money from sports betting.

How to choose a betting site?

Choosing a sports betting site should be the next thing on your agenda. Not all sites are what they claim to be, so make your choice wisely.

What is more, some operators may even try to defraud you of your hard-earned money. That's why you must check the following things before you start wagering.

Only go with licensed and secure sites

Beginner bettors should bet at licensed online bookmakers exclusively. Licensed sports betting providers have to meet some pretty stringent criteria to obtain a gambling license. As a result, they offer a legal betting experience and should always be your first and only option.

Similarly, you want to wager with a bookmaker that has the latest security certificates and enables 256-bit encryption. This guarantees that all personal and financial data exchanged will stay coded and you will have a safe betting experience.

An enticing welcome bonus makes a world of difference

Once you cover safety and security, it is time to focus on the perks of being a new customer. The biggest one here obviously is the welcome bonus that you are going to get.

Almost all sports betting operators have a very enticing first deposit bonus. These are usually in the form of a 100% matched deposit offers up to a certain amount (e.g. $100). This means that if your first deposit is $100, you will play with double that amount.

Has to include your favorite sports

You can bet on the NFL, only if the sports betting operator has NFL in its offer. Similarly, you can bet on the World Series, only if the bookmaker allows bettors to make MLB wagers.

When choosing your sports betting operator, always make sure it offers your favorite sports. Depositing $100 on a new account only to find out that the operator offers eSports betting exclusively can be a problem if you want to bet on American football.

What are betting odds and how to read them?

Sports betting odds are the scariest part for betting beginners. Novice bettors look at them and cannot figure out what they mean and how to read them. Fortunately for them, this betting for dummies tutorial will explain just that.

American, decimal and fractional odds

There are three types of odds used for sports betting: American, decimal, and fractional. American odds are popular in the US, while fractional and decimal odds are used in other countries.

Let's explain how they work. In this example, the Kansas City Chiefs are the favorites to win and are playing the Houston Texans:

  • American: Houston Texans (+375) - Kansas City Chiefs (-500).

As you can see, the Chiefs come with negative American odds, while the Texans have positive odds. Positive American odds tell you how much money you are going to win with a $100 stake (minus the stake). In the example here, if you put $100 on the Texans to win, you will get a clean profit of $375.

On the other hand, negative American odds tell you how much money you need to stake to have a clean profit of $100. In the NFL example above, you must back the Chiefs to win the game with a $500 stake to win a clean profit of $100.

American odds are quite easy to understand, right? Other types of odds are not that difficult too. Look at the same match with decimal and fractional odds:

  • Decimal: Houston Texans (4.75) - Kansas City Chiefs (1.20);
  • Fractional: Houston Texans (15/4) - Kansas City Chiefs (1/5).

With decimal odds, you simply multiply the odds and stake and you get your total winnings. For example, you multiply 1.20 with $500 and you get a total winnings amount of $600 (1.20*$500=$600).

In contrast, fractional odds tell you the clean profit you would win (top number) if you place a certain stake (bottom number). For instance, to win $1 on the Chiefs, you need to stake $5, hence the fractional odds here are 1/5.

Choose betting sites with high odds and low margins

Now that you know how odds work, you should also know how to use them to your advantage. The best way to do that is to bet at operators that offer high odds and low bookmakers' margins.

Sports betting margins or edges are necessary for any betting experience to work. They ensure that the table is slightly tilted and that the sports betting operator has an advantage over the bettor.

There's nothing wrong with this as long as that margin is low. Bookmakers are businesses after all and have to find a way to pay their employees and cover their expenses.

However, when bookmakers start operating with low odds and high margins, this becomes a problem. This is why you should only bet at operators who work with small edges.

Margins between 3% and 7% are decent and usually result in high odds. Anything above that range should be avoided.

Different betting types

Bettors can bet on games before or after they have started. The first one is pre-game betting, while the second one is live betting.

Both of these bet types come with hundreds of different markets and wagering propositions. For example, if you are betting on an NBA match, some of the markets you will get are:

  • points spread bets,
  • game winner wagers (without points spread),
  • over/under total bets,
  • highest-scoring quarter,
  • players' over/under bets,

If you feel that you can predict the winner of the game, you should go with the points spread or game winner markets. However, if you are pretty sure that the game will produce lots of points, you can bet 'Over' in the over/under total market.

How to make your first bet?

There are several simple steps that you need to take to make your first bet. You don't need to have any preexisting sports wagering knowledge and just need to do the following things.

Deposit funds into your account

The first thing to do after opening an account with an online bookmaker is to deposit some money to it. You can use credit and debit cards, but also eWallets, prepaid cards, and wire transfers.

Choose your betting proposition

As soon as you have deposited some money, you are ready to start wagering. If you want to bet on the Patriots vs Dolphins game, for example, you should do the following.

First, choose American football or NFL from the list of sports. Then click on the Patriots vs Dolphins game. This will open tons of different sports betting markets. All you have to do is to choose the right betting market.

This is easier said than done though, and oftentimes players cannot make the right decision alone. Fortunately for them, betting picks with Billy is always there to help.

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Place your stake

After you finish doing all of this, you can place your stake. You just write the stake amount you want to bet and that's it. You don't even need to calculate potential winnings as those are automatically computed for you.

Withdrawing winnings

Let's say you backed New England to win at odds of -290 with a $145 stake. They won the game and you made a clean profit of $50 which you can now withdraw.

To do this, you should go to the cashier (or something similar) option of your account and choose withdrawals.

Once there, you should select the withdrawal method and your desired amount. Most withdrawal requests are processed between 1-5 days, so be ready that you will have to wait a while for your winnings to arrive.

Remaining in good standing

The key to a self-sustaining wagering experience is managing your betting cash flow. To do this, it's a good idea to have a betting budget and a betting strategy if possible.

A betting budget is really useful in this regard as it would prevent you from spending more than you can afford to. As a rule of thumb, you should put as much money in your budget as you can afford to lose in a month.

A betting strategy complements a betting budget perfectly if you are looking to remain in good financial standing. For example, going with a flat bets strategy is useful in this regard. Flat betting stipulates that you should always stake a fixed percentage of your budget on all bet slips.

If your monthly budget is $1000 and you bet with a 2% flat strategy, you should place $20 on each betting slip. It's easy to see how this can stop you from spending more than you can afford to.

Betting for Dummies: Try it now at one of the top 5 betting sites

After reading this Betting for Dummies tutorial, you should no longer consider yourself as a wagering beginner. Your first successful bet is only one step away and you should feel pretty confident about it.

What is more, we already narrowed down the search of the best betting sites for you so you got that aspect covered too. All you need to do now is take that next step and place your first sports bet.

 
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Conclusion: Betting at the best sites is easy and profitable
People who bet on sports for the first time often feel intimidated by it. However, as you probably realized by now, sports betting is extremely easy to understand and very fun too.

To get the most out of any wagering experience, a bettor has to place bets at only the best online bookmakers. Lastly, if a player has the right betting strategy and plans his wagering money, sports bets can also be quite profitable.

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