If you are looking to place a bet online but aren’t quite sure what do to, you’ve come to the right place. Perhaps it is your first time placing a bet online or maybe it’s been many moons since your last online wager. No matter the reason for your unfamiliarity, this guide is here to help.
We will take you through the entire process step by step, as well as answering some of the most commonly asked betting questions. You will find that as most bookies operate in a very similar fashion to one another, once you figure out how to place a bet at one, you will have practically mastered the process at all of them.
Registering and Logging In
In order to place a bet with any bookmaker, you need to be a registered member and logged in to your betting account. If you have already registered with a particular site at any point in the past, you will need to sign in using your existing username/email address and password. If you cannot remember your password, do not create a new account as this can cause you issues further down the road. Instead, you should make use of the password recovery function or speak to the customer support team of the bookie in question (who can usually be contacted by live chat).
If you need to register, this process usually does not take long. For customers from the UK, the details you enter will be verified before your registration is approved, usually in a matter of seconds. If automatic verification is not a success (perhaps you have recently changed address), you may need to upload copies of your ID and/or proof of address.
Selecting a Betting Market
Once you have access to your account and have placed a deposit, simply find the matches/races/events you wish to bet on. At most sites, you will do this by selecting an option from the list of sports categories or menu on the site to narrow down the search. Then you can select the appropriate competition or event within that category. For example, you might start by selecting ‘Football’ then ‘Premier League’ then ‘Everton v Liverpool’.
Some, but not all bookmakers have a search function in addition to this, allowing you to find fixtures with fewer clicks. Using this you just need to type in the team, player, horse, competition, and so on, that you are looking to bet on. In many cases, only a partial match is required so do not worry if you cannot spell ‘FC Anzhi Makhachkala’ in full!
If going down the more standard category route option, you will find that there are a lot of available odds available on the page. As standard these will all relate to the main betting category for that sport, so something like ‘to win’ or ‘match result’ (i.e. which team you think will win a particular game). By clicking the odds, you can quickly add that selection to your betslip. In the example below, we have added Legia Warsaw to win and Dinamo Tbilisi to win.
Now, if we wanted something other than the main ‘match result’ option there are two things we can do. Most bookmakers will allow you to select a different market at the top of the page, for example under/over 2.5 goals. However, the range of options here is usually fairly limited.
To access all available markets you will have to click on the fixture itself. Where there are lots of possible markets, you will find they are separated into different sections for example, main, first half, goals, other and so on. If you are struggling to find the market you want, you may find it easier to simply choose ‘all’ from this menu. Whenever you find the bet that catches your fancy, you just need to click the odds to add to your betslip. Once you have decided, click back on your browser or use the website interface if you wish to bet on another fixture.
Adding Selections To Your Betslip & Placing Bets
You can repeat the steps above to add bets from as many different fixtures as you like. We decided to add one more selection to our betslip, giving us a total of three games.
Usually, the betslip will appear in an extremely obvious, easy to find place. It will not always maximise as default though, as it has done here, so you may need to click ‘betslip’ in order to see everything you have added. Underneath all your selections you will find the various betting options available to you.
In this case, we would like to place a treble bet, which is a single bet on all our selections to come good. We then enter our stake in the adjacent box which then automatically calculates the estimated returns. Remember that this amount includes the return of your stake in the event it is a winning bet.
If we are happy with everything we can simply click ‘place bet’ to confirm our wager. You will then see a confirmation that the bet has been placed on the next page, most likely including a unique bet ID number. There is no need to keep a note of this however as a record of the wager will feature within the ‘my bets’ section of your account.
Checking Your Bets & Cashing Out
Within the ‘my bets’ or equivalent page, you will be able to view all open bets plus those that are eligible to be ‘cashed out’. A cashout feature gives you the ability to settle a bet early, at the price offered by the bookmaker.
This amount can vary massively depending on how your bet is faring. If, for instance, you have several legs of an accumulator bet already in the bag and the rest are doing well then the cash out price is likely to be a good one. In the event you made a mistake with your bet, the cashout feature allows you to effectively cancel it, usually giving you the full stake back.
And there you have it. You now know how to place a bet with an online bookmaker! Although we have covered all the basics, we understand that you may have one or two lingering questions which we will hopefully cover in our FAQ section below.
How do I place an each way bet?
This is a nice easy one. Whenever you add a selection to your betslip which has an each way option (typically when picking a horse or greyhound to win a particular race) an E/W checkbox will appear. You simply need to tick this box if you wish to back the selection each way. Just be aware that by clicking this button you will be effectively placing two separate bets so whatever you enter as your stake, you will be charged twice that amount.
This is because £1 would go on, in this case, Desert Dream to win while the other £1 would go on him to place. A place finish is only paid out as a fraction (between 1/2 and 1/5 in most instances) of the original price.
How quickly will my winnings appear in my account?
First of all, congratulations on a winning bet! Big or small, it’s always nice when you get something back after placing a wager. In the vast majority of cases, your balance should update to reflect your winning bet within a few minutes after the conclusion of the race/match on which you placed your bet.
Is betting on a mobile device different than betting on a PC or laptop?
No, it’s largely the same in most cases although you may find the bet slip is located in a different place.
The odds have changed after I put an event in my betslip, why?
Betting odds can change at any time and for many different reasons, although most commonly it’s because the prices fluctuate as a result of other punters are betting their money. It is not extremely rare that in the short period between you adding a selection and confirming the bet that the odds change. If this happens, you should be made aware of this on the betslip. If you are okay with the change (which could go either up or down) then you can just close any prompt and confirm your wager.
Can I bet on games that are in-play?
Yes, almost every bookmaker out there today will feature a range of fixtures you can bet on live, across different sports. To place a bet on these you follow pretty much exactly the same steps, the only difference is you will begin by selecting the ‘in-play’ or ‘live’ option from the bookmaker’s homepage.
I don’t like fractional odds, can I change the format?
Fractional odds are very much the standard within the UK but this does not mean it is the only option at most sites. If you dig around the settings you should find that websites also allow you to view odds in decimal format (and potentially others).
Hopefully that has answered some of your general questions, but if you need any assistance in relation to a specific bet or betting market, contact the customer service team of the bookie with whom you want to place a bet.