online betting guide

Sports betting guide – The basics for new bettors

Last Updated on December 11, 2020

Sports betting is one of the oldest forms of gambling in existence but there are always those who are new to it or are just looking for ways to increase their chances of being a successful bettor. This sports betting guide is here to help.

sports betting guide

People were betting on the outcomes of sporting events hundreds of years ago, just like they do today. A lot has changed since then of course, but the basic concept of sports betting has remained the same. You simply put your money on whatever outcome you think is most likely.

You win if your prediction is correct, and you lose if it’s not.

That is what we call a simple bet.

Simple bets and odds types

Like i said, you simply put your money on whatever outcome you think will win. There is not much to know about simple bets except the way odds work.

There are three major types of odds: decimal, fractional and american.

Decimal odds

Mainly used in Europe and in betting exchanges. The odd works as a multiplier of your stake. For example, if you bet $10 with an odd of 2.55, your returns will be $25,5 (10$ stake and 15.5$ profit).

Fractional odds or classic odds

Mainly used in the UK. It’s also called classic because it’s the oldest type of odds. For example a 2/1 (two to one) means you get paid in a two to one ratio, if you bet 10$ you get 20$ in profits plus your $10 stake.

American or Moneyline odds

Used mostly in the US.

  • If the moneyline is positive, the amount quoted is the amount you would win on a $100 bet.
  • If it is negative, the amount quoted is what you would need to bet to win $100.

You can always choose what type of odds you want to use on your bookmaker but you most likely end up using the regional native system because that’s what your friends are probably using. If you need you can use an odds converter tool to better understand the various odds types.


You should start your betting career only with simple bets. There are many other types of bets like parlays, combos, accas, etc, and we’ve explained them in detail in another guide but for beginners, the simple bet is your best bet!

The same goes to the huge amount of betting terms or betting slang. You simply don’t need it for now. If you are already placing bets regularly that’s ok to start broading your horizons but for beginners it’s more important to learn the basics and then start with learning the various betting strategies.


Betting strategies guide

So, you already understand how betting works. You are familiar with placing simple bets and maybe you already tried the fun and excitement of placing accumulators or parlays. Now you need to get a firm grasp on the most profitable betting strategies.

You don’t need to use them all! But you should know how they work and you should try them all and find out which ones you like the best.

The ones i recommend learning are:

  • arbitrages / surebets
  • value bets
  • dutching

These three strategies will give you strong roots. I have an in-depth guide to all of them and there are many others but i believe these are the most important ones for beginners. Let me just resume what each one means.


This is a strategy that consists of placing bets on each possible outcome of a market and always obtain a profit, regardless of the outcome.

In order to use this strategy  you need special software for finding these surebets but you can learn it in detail in this in depth tutorial to arbitrages.

Value bets

This is a type of bet where the odd given to you is superior than it’s implicit probability. Think coin flipping and being paid three to one on your bet! This is the most common strategy among professional. It’s not easy to learn but you find out more on this value betting article.


Dutching is a popular strategy for betting on horse racing but it’s also used on other sports. It’s great when you have markets with lots of possible outcomes and you want to bet on more than one. See the Dutching website for more details on this strategy.


Bankroll management

Any betting guide worth it’s salt has to mention bankroll management.

I’ll make it simple for you. Always bet 3% of your bankroll on any market.

There is no need for complicated management strategies because this simple strategy just works!

You want to compare bankroll management strategies i wrote a guide on it based on hundreds of bets and the conclusion is that simple!

Following pro tipsters on twitter is a great betting guide

Following the pros or joining a sub reddit is a great way to learn. Both for beginners and experienced bettors alike.

I’m a strong believer that one should not pay for “expert tips” when there are so many great tipsters on twitter. A good tipster does it for free, trust me! Someone asking for money in return for betting tips is not good for you.

Advanced strategies

A full betting guide needs to be completed with advanced strategies. The reason is that most people searching for a betting guide already know the basics and want the “secret” for successful betting. You’ll be disappointed however. I’m going to explain a bit about advanced strategies but you don’t need them! The reason is because if your learn first the three strategies i recommended above, you are probably successful already and those strategies are the best foundation for the advanced ones. Most advanced strategies you learn by yourself once you start learning matched betting or value betting.

Be that as it may, here’s my favorite advanced strategies:

  • middles
  • underdogs
  • drifting odds

And these i don’t use but they can also be profitable:

  • trading
  • scalping

I won’t explain them in this article because i already did in detail in this article.

Final recommendations

I’ll end this betting guide with just a few final recommendations since they are good for every punter or trader out there.

1 – Don’t bet on accas, combos, parlays, etc

Keep it simple!

It’s hard enough to find value on a single event, finding it in multiples it’s even harder. And in terms of probabilities you gain nothing by adding more bets to your betslip. Excitement perhaps…

2 – Don’t run after losses

I see this a lot. People increasing their stakes because they are losing. Stick to the simple rule of 3% your bankroll.

3 – Don’t bet with the heart

It’s hard to be rational when your favorite team in involved. Don’t bet on your favorite team!

4 – Compare odds

Shop around! You don’t have to bet only with one bookie.

Comparing odds is the fastest path to finding value!

Remember, the odds are all that matters in sports betting!