How To Make Bets On Football/Soccer? A Definite Beginner's Guide To The World Of Bets

One of the things that makes human beings unique from other animals is the propensity to recognize patterns. With this skill comes the need, or at least inclination, to predict things. One of the things that humans have always liked to muse about is the outcome of contests, and as any contemporary sports enthusiast will tell you, this holds truer than ever today, with billions of people predicting the outcome of sporting events, and millions wagering money on said outcomes.

But what exactly is sports betting? How can you, a sports enthusiast, get into betting? First of all, you don’t even need to be a sports enthusiast to start betting - you just have to be a betting enthusiast. This is because betting sites even offer wagers on other things, such as reality TV shows (who’s winning this season of Big Brother or Idol?), and even real-world events like changes in stock indexes. That being said, In this article, you’ll get to know all the details you need as to how to place bets on football, and to make the lesson as ubiquitously potable as possible, we will take the help of the most beloved sport on the planet for examples - the beautiful game that is football.

Getting started

As most people automatically understand, sports betting involves placing a bet or a wager on any of the possible outcomes of a sporting event, or the possible variables within it. Most broadly speaking, sports betting involves betting on either the result of an entire tournament, or those of individual matches. While the former is pretty self-explanatory, the latter is where the finer details start to take hold.

When betting on the winner of a tournament, you can play safe by betting on the favourites, but even then, sometimes an outsider can surprise you. An outsider is a participant or team that is not a favourite to win - usually not even close - but as we all know, it does happen. Leicester City famously had a 5000:1 odds of winning the 2015-16 season of the FA Premier League, and yet they did. A similar story was Blackburn Rovers in ‘95, or, if we consider Europe, Porto’s win of the ‘03-’04 Champions League.

For individual matches, predicting an outcome is relatively straightforward, but predicting a scoreline can be difficult. For instance, in a match between Manchester United and Manchester City, there are 3 outcomes that you can bet on, and then there’s betting on the score. The outcomes are a win for United, a win for City, or a draw, but the score is where things get really interesting, as it can be any of a variety of possibilities. Common sense dictates that the scoreline will be anything between 0-0 to 3-3, but aberrations are always a possibility, and scorelines of 4-2, 4-1, and 6-1 have all been seen between the two teams in just the last decade.

When placing a bet with a bookmaker, you have to ‘back’ an outcome, which means predicting which team (or participant, depending on the sport) will win the match or event. When placing a bet at a betting exchange, however, you can also use a ‘lay’ bet, which means you can bet against a participant winning - which means that if you lay a bet against Manchester United winning the PL season, your bet will win as long as any other team wins the tournament. Naturally, the odds for lay bets are usually lower depending on the number of favourites involved. 

What Are Odds In Sports Betting?

If you have researched betting online, you have definitely heard this term. Given the complications surrounding it, here is some more info to help you understand it better. Every bookmaker has certain odds for a team or player to win depending on a plethora of factors ranging from previous performances to form, weather conditions, tactics, and head-to-head history.

What further complicates betting odds is the fact that there are multiple systems for it. The three main types of odds are the Decimal Odds system used by Australian bookmakers (also known as the European Odds system because of its widespread use in Europe, or even International Odds), the Fractional Odds system used mainly in Britain, and the Moneyline Odds system used in America. The following illustration will make the differences clearer:

Example 1: Here, we see a bet that wins a return of 150%. In this case, a winning stake of $10 would earn $15, making a profit of $5.

Example 2: Here, we see a bet that wins a return of 300%. In this case, a winning stake of $10 would earn $30, making a profit of $20.

Choosing the right sportsbook to make your first bet

One of the most important decisions you can take as an aspiring bettor is to choose the right bookmaker for you and your sport. There are many high-profile websites out there, but the best choice might be something that’s solid, reliable, and ready to go that extra mile to please its members. To that effect, 1XBET is one of the best up-and-coming sites out there. Especially popular in Africa, the website is trusted by members from all over the world. Here’s a number of great aspects that highlight just how good it is.

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Swift, easy registration system

While registering on most betting sites is a chore at best and a nightmare at worst, 1xBet smooths out the entire process and even provides an option for a one-click registration, with your location automatically setting your currency. In case you wish to change those settings, you can do that any time post-registration.

Streamlined interface

While the home pages of most bookmakers are a messy hodgepodge of flashing buttons, ads, and gimmicks, 1xBet has a smooth, professionally designed interface that will make your user experience smooth and convenient!

Excellent customer support

Any service needs to have a strong customer service system as its backbone, and 1xBet outshines its competitors to provide top-tier help. Not only are agents available 24/7, they are available in a wide variety of languages to assist users from just about any country.


1XBET offers a number of perks which are irresistible once you learn about them.

  • Wide range of payment options: Not only does 1xBet let you deposit money easily, it also makes withdrawals a cinch. The processes are numerous, convenient, and extremely fast!

  • Massive first deposit bonus: To encourage new bettors from joining, 1xBet provides a meaty 100% first deposit bonus up to an incredible €100! This means that up to that amount, for any amount you deposit your first time around, 1xBet will give you just as much!

  • Best odds: 1xBet offers you extremely competitive odds, which in most cases turn out to be the industry’s finest! 

  • Huge variety of markets: If football isn’t your only favourite sport, 1xBet offers markets for countless other sports and esports. In fact, apart from pandering to sports enthusiasts, 1xBet even offers betting options for politics, economics, celebrity news, and TV shows!

Basically, whoever you are, you’ll have something to bet on on 1xBet!

Football Betting

Now comes the part that you, if you’re a football fan, have been eagerly waiting for. With sports events restarting after the Covid pauses, hundreds, if not thousands of football matches are open for betting every single week during football season. Sportsbooks will work out and provide odds for a variety of things related to each match, such as the outcome, goals, goalscorers, corners, fouls, offsides, etc. Some bookmakers have better odds than others, and these will vary from time to time, so make sure you do your research on them. If your bet wins, you will receive not only your original bet amount, but also whatever surplus you earned.

Seems simple, but there are actually quite a few types of bets in football. In this article, we will explain some of the most popular, along with examples.

  • Match Bet

The quintessential football bet. You predict the result of the match by choosing a win for the home team, a win for the away team, or a draw. One important detail to know is that for the vast majority of cases, this bet is set for a 90-minute match, so the scoreline at the end of the 90 is all that will be counted; any extra time or penalties will not. If the game ends at, say, 1-1 after 90 minutes, it will be considered a draw even if the final score is 4-1.

  • Half Time/Full Time Bets

You predict only the score at the end of the first or second halves, and like match bets, for the home/away team or for a draw. It is important to have good knowledge of the teams and the sport in order to be successful at this bet, as many teams have tactics and strategies that make them better in either the first or second halves. Moreover, knowing which players are injured, on the bench, or have been substituted are also key pieces of information that can help. 

For instance, if Liverpool are down 1-0 after the first half against Crystal Palace, but you know Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane are on the bench, you can take a chance that they will come back to win the match. 

  • Double Chance Bets

Double chance bets are a good option for those dipping their feet into betting. This allows you to bet on 2 of the 3 possible outcomes, for increased chances of winning but with lower odds. You can either bet for one of the sides to win or for a draw, or you can bet for just either side to win. Whichever of your two predictions come out right, you will get your payout; it will just be an underwhelming amount due to the reduced odds.

For example, in a match between Chelsea and Leicester City, if you bet for a win for either Chelsea or Leicester, you will only lose your bet if the match ends in a draw.

  • Draw No Bet

The draw no bet lets you pick any team for the win, but also simply refunds you if the game ends in a draw. Similar to double chance bets, it also comes with the caveat of lower odds due to reduced risk.

  • Goalscorer Bets

As the name explains, this is all about who will score the goals. In fact, you can even get into the nitty-gritty and predict not only if a certain player will score, but also which goal (first, second, third, etc). 

These can be especially lucrative as the odds of a player scoring are quite high, even with in-form players.

  • Scorecast or Wincast Bets

When you make a scorecast bet, you determine a goalscorer as well as the result. This way, you get higher odds because there are two variables, and some sportsbooks will up the ante by letting you predict which goal the player you have chosen will score as well!

For instance, you can bet that Neymar will score the first goal for PSG in the first 2019/20 Champions League semi-final, and that they will win the match.

  • Score Bets

One of the easiest to explain, and one of the toughest to get right. With the sheer number of possible scorelines, this requires excellent knowledge of the teams and a whole lot of luck to predict correctly, and thus usually has some great odds.

  • Over and Under Bets

The bookmaker gives you a number, and you have to predict if there will be less than or more than that many goals/cards/corners/etc. The most common number provided for this is 2.5, which means you have to guess if there will be 2 goals or less, or 3 or more goals (the .5 being the dividing factor). This also usually has lower odds due to the mere binary possibility.

  • Handicap Bets

Perhaps the most complicated bets are handicap bets. A handicap bet is when you set a predetermined number of goals for or against a team. For example, if you bet -1 for RasenBallSport Leipzig in a match between them and Bayern Munich, Leipzig will have to win by 2 goals for you to win the bet, as if they only win by 1 goal, it’s a draw against the -1 you placed against them. This means according to your bet, they essentially start with a score of -1 goals.

Similarly, if you instead bet for Bayern with a +2 handicap, they get a 2-goal head start and you will win your bet as long as they don’t lose by 2 goals or more. Now, there are two kinds of them: Asian handicap bets and European handicap bets.

For Asian handicap bets, if the match ends in a draw according to your handicap, your stake gets refunded. This is why sportsbooks usually introduce a decimal system to eliminate the possibility of draws in Asian handicap. For example, if you bet for Leipzig with a +1.5, and Bayern win by 2 goals or more, you lose your bet. As long as Leipzeig lose by only one goal, draw, or win, you will win your bet.

Some bookmakers will even add options for a two-way handicap. For instance, if you bet for Leipzig with (+2.0, +2.5), it means that if As long as Leipzig win, draw, or lose by only 1 goal, you will win your bet, but if they lose by 2 goals, half your bet gets refunded (+2) and the other half wins (+2.5). If it sounds complicated, it’s because it kind of is! Moreover, some sportsbooks also have quarter goals, such as +1.75 or +1.25, whereby the closest half is considered for either a half win or a half loss.

European handicap bets are much easier to understand, as they only deal with whole numbers. However, if the handicap results in a draw, you lose your money. Other than that, the rules are the same.

  • Accumulator Bets

These bets are extremely popular as they provide bettors with the chance to win huge sums at a relatively low stake. Basically, an accumulator bet is one where you make four or more discrete selections, wherein you will only win if all of them turn out right. For example, say there are four games about to be played: Newcastle vs Fulham, Liverpool vs Brighton, Arsenal vs United, and Burnley vs Wolves, and you bet for Newcastle, Liverpool, Arsenal, and Wolves to win. All four results would have to come through for you to win, but if they do, you will win separate amounts for every individual odd, adding up to a hefty amount. However, if even one of those results doesn't go your way, you lose the bet.

Betting Tips For Beginners

Worried about getting started? Our beginner tips on how to bet on soccer will have you all ready to start betting successfully! 

Tip 1. A humble start

It’s easy to get impatient or greedy and start by betting large amounts - especially because of that first deposit bonus - but you should remember that in betting, it’s always better to dip your feet before diving in. Otherwise, not only can it take a toll on your finances, but it might also deter you from continuing altogether. All bookmakers encourage responsible betting. 

Tip 2. Choosing the right sport

Just as you wouldn’t walk into an unknown country without a map or some idea of the language, if you’re going to bet on a sport, you’re going to need quite a bit of knowledge about it. Otherwise, it’s just betting money on a coin toss or worse, depending on the odds. For football, you should know every team in the league you’re betting on, and preferably even players, team tactics, table or tournament standings, and team play styles. 

Tip 3. Don’t be fooled by patterns and favourites

Just because a team or player has beaten the other 4, 7, or even 10 times in a row doesn’t mean it’s completely certain they will win again. The beauty of sports lies in its unpredictability, so don’t let the underdogs take more from you than the giants they just slew! 

Tip 4. Have accounts with multiple bookmakers

Although bookmakers differ in quality, one thing that stands true across all of them are shifting odds. You never know which one will offer the best odds for a sport or match. Therefore, the wise thing to do is to be registered with many of them so that you can always check up on the best odds and aim for the biggest wins.

Tip 5. Greed is bad

Going on a streak of wins can often trick you into thinking you’re invincible, and conversely, a string of losses can make you think that your time to win has come. Remember to be responsible, and not impulsive. 

Tip 6. Brain over heart - always

Just because they’re your favourite team and have the in-form Player X, amazing Player Y, and consistent Player Z doesn’t mean they will always win. Remember that unpredictability factor and know that sometimes, you might even have to bet against the team or teams you love the most.


Betting might have all the characteristics of a guilty pleasure - the possible thrill of something amazing happening and the terror of getting caught unawares, but with the right information and temperament, plus some luck, you can be a true winner at this art. If you’re a big football fan, you probably already have the information about the sport, and after reading this article, you have the information you need about betting as well. Now you just need the temperament, and maybe Lady Luck might just bless you with some good gold! 

Now go out there, bet responsibly, and make money from your passion!

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Article Added: 18 Aug 2020, 14:22 pm GMT

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