Not all bets are the same – this has always been the case, but this phrase is more valid today, than ever before in online sports betting.
Betting on game results or the winner is a popular type of bet. These have been around since ancient times, but the Internet has massively expanded the range of different online bets.
We offer you a large overview with top betting sites reviews, all different types of bets, their definitions, their functions and the theories behind them.
The Best Online Sports Betting Sites 2021
We’ve reviewed the most important online betting sites in the world and spent plenty of time and resources identifying the top sites for betting on your favorite sporting events and teams. For full betting site reviews please follow the relevant “review” link below bookmaker ratings.
Which sports betting site is the best?
In today’s very broad market there are sports betting sites that cover all needs. However, every customer has different preferences when it comes to betting in general, which is why it pays to make the right pre-selection before registering. Some providers have a better range of live bets, while others rely on simplicity and greater user-friendliness. Be sure to carefully read our bookmaker reviews before you choose your favourite online betting site.
Is sports betting online legal?
The legal situation around sports betting differs from country to country and also depends on the website where bets are placed. Sports betting is monopolized in some countries, while other countries are more open and allow registrations with multiple betting sites.
The central issue in legal questions is whether a betting company has a valid license for the respective country and accordingly meets the strict requirements of this country.
Basically, it can be said that strict registration measures, the provision of personal data and the activation of accounts in the form of “evidence”, such as passports, electricity bills, etc., are annoying on the one hand, but also a good sign that a betting website fulfills its legal obligations.
What are the advantages of betting online?
In the past, people used to bet primarily in betting cafes or directly at bookmakers, but the Internet has fundamentally changed the character of sports betting. The obvious advantage of online sports betting is of course flexibility.
Now that all betting websites are optimized for mobile devices, you can place your bets not only from the comfort of your own home, but also on the go, for example directly from the stadium.
Especially for live betting, the Internet has brought about a real boom, since the waiting times are very short and you don’t have to queue at a betting counter to place your bet in real time. In our betting sites comparison, we also tested the mobile versions of various providers to illustrate where mobile betting is the most user-friendly.
How does online sports betting work?
To bet on sports events online, you first need an account with a sports betting site. The next step is a deposit so that you have enough funds for your bets. Most betting companies allow a variety of payment methods that are quick and easy on the one hand, and secure and trustworthy on the other.
As soon as you have added funds, you can place your first bet. It makes sense to get a good overview of the betting website first, because you can literally be overwhelmed by the wide range of events and betting markets.
Our bet type overview below offers you a compact summary of the events on which you can place bets. Once you have selected the betting market of your choice, all you have to do is place the bet and hopefully enjoy it.
Who has the best betting tips?
There are numerous websites on the Internet that promise the best picks and the highest possible profits. But each of these so-called “tipsters” only cook with water.
The safest way to make money from sports betting is to do some research and draw your own conclusions. For pre-game betting, for example, the statistical probabilities in our over/under tool are a great aid, but here, too, you should do more detailed research – such as which players drop out due to bans and injuries.
For live betting, our live trends on overlyzer.com are the most accurate and reliable help the online world has to offer. Our graphs show the exact course of a game and with the help of our filter options you can select the games that are most interesting for your betting behavior on eventful game days.
1. The 1X2 sports bet (3-way)
The 1X2 bet is a classic three-way sports bet, in which a bet is made on the outcome of a game. This bet is also called a game bet or a match bet. In addition to the 1X2 bet, there are many other types of bets, which we will go in more detail later – but at the beginning, we will primarily focus on the 1X2 sports bet.
What does 1X2 mean?
This bet is about predicting the correct score of a game. There are 3 possible bets:
- 1 stands for the home team to win
- X stands for a draw, which means that neither team wins
- 2 stands for a bet on a victory for the visitor team
The individual tips of the 1X2 bet have different odds, depending on the power balance between the two teams.
The single bet
If you decide to place a bet on the home team (Barcelona) you win 2.8 times your stake if Barcelona wins. For a victory by the visitor team you get 2.3 times your stake. If this game ends in a draw you even get 3.4 times your stake. The odds highlight that the balance of power between Barcelona and Real Madrid is pretty even, with a slight advantage for the visitor team.
For the 1X2 bet, the result usually applies after 90 minutes. This means that if this game was in a knockout phase of a tournament and the game would be a draw after 90 minutes, ending up into overtime with Real Madrid emerging as a winner in overtime or on penalties – the valid outcome for this bet would still be a draw.
Accumulator bet or combination bet
In an accumulator bet, sometimes also called combination bet, individual bets are combined with each other. The odds for this bet result from the multiplication of the individual odds. The more games you combine with each other, the higher the possible odds, but the lower the chance of winning.
In our example, two 1X2 bets are combined, with the individual odds being 2.00 and 2.40; this results in 4.80 total odds amount. A stake of 10 € would result in a potential win of 48 €.
In addition to the conventional 1X2 bets, various bets can be combined with one another.
People often dream of a very large profit from an accumulator bet, where you place a small amount, but still win a lot due to the combined high odds. Unfortunately, that remains just a dream in most cases. If you combine all of your favourites with one another, you need a lot of or at least some improbable bets to get high odds, and even then, it is not rare that the victory of a favourite to only turn into a draw.
2. The system bet
You have already learned what distinguishes a single bet from an accumulator bet in sports betting. In this section we want to take a closer look at a special form of multi-bet, the system bet.
The system bet briefly explained
There are a number of different systems, for example 2/3 (win 2 out of 3), 2/4, 3/4 up to 5/8 or 7/8. Of course, the scope of the system bets offered depends heavily on the sports betting site.
The interface of the system bets differs from betting site to betting site. In our example, the 2/3 system is a conventional bet with 3 individual bets. The following bets shown on our online betting slip are the so-called system bets.
In a 2/3 system bet there are 3 possible combinations:
Pick A + Pick B, Pick A + Pick C, Pick B + Pick C
As soon as at least 2 of the picks are correct, you have already won money. The more individual bets that prove successful in a system bet, the more money you can make – obviously!
The Trixie 4 bet and Patent 7 bet are special forms of system bets and are explained in more detail on our dedicated page for system betting.
3. Handicaps in sports betting
The handicap bet is certainly one of the most interesting in the online betting market and can be used for almost all sports. Here, a team is given a “head start” with which they then go into the game. The handicap bet, like the over/under bet, is one of the most popular types of bets.
What does handicap mean in sports betting?
Assuming there is an international soccer match between Austria and Germany and you choose the “Austria +1” handicap bet, this means that , in regards to your bet, Austria will start the game with a 1-0 lead. Now, you can bet on a home win, a draw or an away win. The bets would now have the following effects:
Austria – Germany | Bet “Austria +1”
|1||Austria started the game with a 1-0 lead, according to your bet. To win the bet with pick 1 (i.e. win Austria), you need either an Austria win or a draw.
For example, if the game ends 1-1, then Austria would have won the bet 2-1 due to the handicap.
|X||To win the bet with pick X, you need a victory for Germany with exactly one goal difference. If the game ends 1-2, for example, then the bet ends with a 2-2 due to the handicap – i.e. a draw.|
|2||To win the bet with pick 2, the German team needs to win by at least two goals. Since Austria leads 1-0 from the start according to the handicap, Germany must win the game by a two or more goals difference. If Germany wins 0-2, the bet ends with a 1-2. If Germany wins by 1-4, then the bet ends with a 2-4.|
There are also handicaps with “minus” (e.g. “-1”); with – handicaps the team concerned is not credited with goals/points, but deducted.
If you want to bet on a home win for Dortmund with at least two goals difference, then you can opt for Borussia Dortmund (-1).
Handicap bets are not only available for bets with just a 1 goal difference. Especially in games with a clear favorite you will also see that 2 or 3 goals can be deducted or added to a team.
Handicap bets are, of course, not just a football betting phenomenon. You can also bet on handicaps in hockey, basketball, American football and many other sports. The number of points added or deducted is, of course, much higher in such sports than in football, because on average, significantly more points can be achieved during a game.
The Asian handicap, also known as “AHC” for short, is a special form of handicap betting. Not all betting websites in our reviews have Asian handicaps in their sportsbook, but this kind of bet is clearly on the rise. With Asian handicap, not only whole goals or points are deducted or added to a team, but also quarter points, half points or three quarters points, which in each case have different effects in relation the bet.
This might seem a little illogical at first glance, but we will explain it to you on our dedicated Asian Handicap Betting page and you will learn to love the AHCs, after you experiment a little bit with them. On this page we will also explain Asian over and under bets.
4. The over/under bet in sports betting
The over/under bet is one of the most popular types of bets in sports betting, alongside the classic match bet and the handicap bet. Here we explain to you what the over/under bet is, and what you should pay attention to in relation to over/under bets.
Over / Under
In over/under bets you bet on the total number of goals or points that will be scored in a game. Take a soccer game as an example. Here you can guess whether over 2.5 goals or under 2.5 goals will be scored. If you place a bet on an “over 2.5” you win as soon as at least three goals are scored. If you bet on “under 2.5” you win if none, one or two goals are scored. With a third goal the under bet is lost.
For newbies sports bettors, the half goals will seem a bit strange, as there are no 2.5 goals in a football game. Over 2.5 is the usual notation and is equivalent to an Over 2 and means that more than 2, i.e. at least 3 goals must be scored.
Of course, there are also special types of over/under bets. Especially, as far as the number of goals is concerned, in soccer you can bet on an over 5.5, for which you would need a minimum of six goals – to win the game with most bookmakers. Depending on the course of the game, even higher outcomes can be bet in-play. In addition, it is possible to place over/under bets for certain periods of time, for example only in the first half, only in the second half or live for the remaining time of the game.
There are over/under bets for practically all sports, in which goals or points can be scored. The points given for basketball bets are of course higher, for example over or under 172.5. If you were to suggest an ‘over’, you would win the bet with the 173rd point of the game.
Over/Under is a very interesting way to become successful with online sports betting and make some profit from your money.
5. What is the ‘Double Chance’ in Sports Betting?
Double chance is a type of bet in which two different outcomes of a game can result to a winning bet. Along with the over/under bet, double chance is one of the most popular types of bets in sports betting.
In classic 3-way bets, one differentiates between 1X, 12 and X2. Even if the odds for these bets are lower than a classic 3-way bet, the double chance is a good option to secure a bet. This type of bet works as follows:
- 1X: The bet is won if the home team wins or if the game ends in a draw. If the away team wins, the bet is lost.
- 12: The bet is won if one of the two teams wins. In the event of a draw, the bet is lost.
- X2: The bet is won if the away team wins or if the game ends in a draw. If the home team wins, the bet is lost.
Some betting sites offer bets in which the double chance is combined with another system bet. An example of this would be the bet “1X and at least one team does not score”. This bet would be lost, for example, with a 2-1 win for the home team or a 1-1 loss, because the visitor team also scored.
6. The ‘Draw No Bet’ (DNB) in sports betting
Draw-No-Bet is a bet in which there is no draw option. You bet on a winner, but get your stake back if the game ends in a draw.
There are different abbreviations for the no draw bet: The most common abbreviation is DNB, but AHC0 or the written variant Asian Handicap 0, also represent this type of bet. Some sports betting websites translate the term and offer this option under the title “Draw No Bet”.
In contrast to a classic 3-way bet, where you can place bets on 1, X or 2, the win odds are slightly lower with a ‘Draw No Bet’. The reason for this is the “exit strategy”, as you get your money back in case of a draw. This type of bet is therefore much safer than a 3-way bet.
Specifically, a DNB bet looks like this:
- Win Team 1 DNB: if the home team wins, the bet is won. If there is a draw, the stake is returned. If the away team wins, the bet is lost.
- Win Team 2 DNB: if the away team wins, the bet is won. If there is a draw, the stake is returned. If the home team wins, the bet is lost.
7. The ‘bank’ in sports betting
For newcomers to sports betting, the term “bank” may be a bit confusing at first, as it is neither a bank branch, nor a bench in the park. Perhaps you have heard the statement several times: ‘The game is a bank’. But what does that mean exactly?
What does ‘bank’ mean in sports betting?
If you only play single bets, you don’t even need to know what it means as the term bank only occurs in system bets. With a system bet, such as an accumulator bet, you place on the outcome of several games, but with the difference that not all predictions have to work out in order to win the bet. For example, you can play the system 3 out of 5 or 4 out of 7, and the betting site will then automatically make 10 or 35 bets in these cases; so that all combinations of the picks given are combined.
These system bets can be modified by using banks. If you believe that an event or even several events will work out for sure, then you select them as a bank or banks into your system bet. Now, this bank pick must absolutely be won, otherwise the entire bet is lost, regardless of whether everything else worked out in your system bet. The big advantage of a successfully played bank pick, however, is that every accumulator of the system bet is now multiplied by the odds of the bank!
In summary, it can be stated that you must be very careful when you play system bets with a bank, because the other picks of the system bet become obsolete if your bank fails. However, the use of correctly deployed banks can significantly increase the overall odds, which is why banks can be useful in sports betting.
The most important sports betting tips
You have already acquired a basic knowledge of sporting bets information and you will find further information on online betting in this section. First of all, we would like to recommend our article on bankroll management; there, you will find out how to manage the available money in your betting account in the most promising and clever way. In this section, our sports betting experts will share their knowledge with you; each individual article will only cost you a few minutes, but they can immediately make you a more experienced sports bettor.
1. Bankroll management in sports betting
The term “bankroll management” is equally important in relation to sports betting, to casino games and to poker. It describes how you treat your available funds and how much of it you should use. Many professional bettors, which theoretically beat bookmakers in the long run, ultimately fail in practice due to poor bankroll management, which is why this topic is extremely important to us. The ability to apply good bankroll management and to hold onto it even in difficult times is perhaps the most important point for us, whenever we are being asked what makes a good sports bettor.
Who Needs Bankroll Management?
Solid bankroll management is an absolute requirement for professional bettors, but hobby gamers should also definitely strive to use good bankroll management system. Even if you only bet on certain games for entertainment, a strong bankroll management increases the chances that you will get out with a plus at the end of the day. Nonetheless, it is even more important that bankroll management protects the hobby players from losing all of their credit within a short period of time or even on one hit, which is one of the most unpleasant experiences for any betting companion.
Let’s summarize the advantages of good bankroll management. Good bankroll management …
How large should my bankroll be?
When it comes much money you want to set aside for betting on sporting events, everyone has to decide for themselves, as the financial possibilities differ greatly. But it is essential that you can actually afford the amount that you bet. You shouldn’t need the money from your bankroll to pay current or near future bills. We cannot emphasize how important it is that you choose an amount that you can afford to lose. The variance in sports betting can be very high and you will position yourself in a very sincere situation – if you actually need the bets for everyday life.
If you only want to bet just for fun, for example to make the outcome of a certain game more interesting, then it is also okay to set a monthly budget for this hobby. Even in this case, a good bankroll management would be recommended, but we understand the pure leisure bettor, who plays only small stakes and exclusively for fun and does not want to have the necessary discipline to follow a strict bankroll management.
However, if you take betting on sports more seriously, it is an absolute prerequisite that you have a proper bankroll management in place and follow it in a disciplined manner. Bankroll management is the only way you have a realistic chance of generating nice profits in the long term.
What is a unit in relation to bankroll management?
Your bankroll should be at least 50 units, with our recommendation being 100 or even 200 units. We give the stake in units because every betting friend has a different bankroll. For example, if we were recommending an over bet, it would make no sense if we were to name a certain amount to bet on our tip, as that amount would be your entire bankroll for one player and 0.1% for the bankroll of another bettor.
In general, the recommendation can be made that a bet should make up around 1% to 3% of the bankroll. Cautious players should bet 1% to 2%, but if you want to approach the matter very aggressively, you can even throw up to 5% of your bankroll per bet into the race; but we warn against this approach, as the risk is very high and that variance has the upper hand in these scenarios. With smaller stakes in percentage terms, you can also minimize the risk of being forced to change your strategy because your bankroll is shrinking threateningly.
Our recommendation for your bankroll: 100 units
To start with, we recommend a bankroll of 100 units. As discussed above, in extreme cases you can also use 50 units, especially if you can afford to deposit a new bankroll without any major problems. If you want to be on the safe side, you can divide your bankroll into 200 units.
Let’s assume that you choose the golden mean and want to play with 100 units. For example, if you have a bankroll of 100 €, a unit size is 1 €. If you have a bankroll of 1000 €, then one unit is 10 €. If you have doubled your bankroll after a while, a unit size is then 2 € or 20 €. If, on the other hand, you have lost money, the unit size will also be smaller.
One to three units per bet to maintain your bankroll
How many units you want to risk per bet depends primarily on the risk of the bet. If you bet on an outsider victory, for example, you will want to use less of your bankroll than if you bet your money on a clear favourite. Sometimes, it can also happen that a higher number of units are bet in games with high odds, for example, if you think that you have found a lot of “value”. If we believe that the bookmaker misjudges a match, then we will also adjust the bet size upwards in order to get the maximum out of the bet.
We will usually give you three different signals for betting:
- “Low”: if we write “low” next to the bet then you should place 1 unit
- “Medium”: in this case you play 2 units
- “High”: here you can play 3 units
Sometimes it will also happen that we recommend a bet with very high odds and mark it with “very low”. In this case, please only set half a unit!
How do we measure profit with this approach?
Of course, we measure our profit in units. If we write that we are 18 units up this season, it means that we have made an increase of 18 times the size of a unit. This may include 18 € for one bettor and 18,000 € for the other – depending on the size of the bankroll. If you don’t have a lot of action at the beginning because your bankroll is still small, please don’t get impatient. As in many other cases, the motto “it’s a marathon and not a sprint” is also totally applicable here. As your bankroll gradually becomes larger, the profit also increases with each unit as the units grow larger and larger. Patience and discipline are essential in bankroll management.
2. The safest bet in sports betting
Bets that always win don’t exist. Sports can be crazy sometimes and even if someone tells you something about a “surefire” bet, there is always a residual risk. Finding the safest bets is definitely the main objective of any bettor.
What is a safe bet and does it exist?
Which bet is the safest depends on many factors. Luck is one of them, of course. Minimizing the risk is the main task of a professional sports bettor, which is why one is on the safe side, especially with solid bankroll management.
If you believe the bookies, a bet with odds 1.01 would of course be the safest bet imaginable. This is roughly equivalent to a home win for FC Bayern Munich against a non-league side. But of course, this game is also not decided before it has kicked off. Something unexpected can always happen, no matter how certain the bet is and no matter how clear the game is.
The tips we can give you when looking for a safe bet are as follows:
What is a no-bet?
They exist – the games where almost everything can happen. If the outcome of a game after the preliminary analysis is subjectively so uncertain that you do not want to risk a bet on this game, this is called a no-bet.
What is a surebet?
There is one type of bet that is actually completely safe: the surebet. This is the only type of bet that you will definitely win. With a surebet you need accounts with different betting websites. Stakes are placed on all possible outcomes of a betting segment. One of the bets will always be won and thus the name surebet. Due to the differences in odds between different betting providers, there is definitely some profit in it.
The profit margin of a surebet is usually very low and high profits are only possible if you bet a lot of money. In addition, there is a great risk that the betting sites, which are known to be used as part of a surebet, strictly limit the outcomes or adjust the odds at short notice. Thus, there is always a certain residual risk even with a surebet tip.
Below, there is is an example of a surebet with two possible outcomes:
No matter how the game ends: With a total stake of 100 € you always make 9.09 € net profit.
Even with some 3-way bets, it can happen that a surebet results from different odds with different betting providers. The possible profit here is usually even lower. Here’s an example:
No matter how the game ends: In this constellation we make a net profit of 2.64 €.
You see that the profits are very low. In order to achieve a net profit of 264 € in this constellation, our total budget for this bet must be 10,000 €. This, in turn, is difficult to set in most cases because many online betting websites reviewed define a maximum stake or a maximum profit from a particular bet.
How seriously can you take betting tips from the Internet?
Analyzing games yourself is one thing, relying on the so-called “tipsters” is another. You can always find the latest and best betting tips from the world of sports all over the Internet. Usually, these are substantiated with a reason and lead directly to the sports bets provider with the supposedly best odds. But can you rely on such tips?
You can’t really rely a 100% on any tip for sports betting. There is always a residual risk. Clearly, there are good tips on some tipsters’ websites or social media accounts that work, and less good tips that will lead you in a loss. However, you can as well get inspiration from such sites, regardless of whether a pick is successful or not: the tipster who provided the tip to the people will of course have already thought about it substantially.
However, everyone has to decide for themselves whether the thoughts behind the tip, which are often explained on these websites, follow the right approach and good arguments for the respective outcome of the game. Blindly relying on these will not be successful in the long run. However, such tips do offer a certain amount of inspiration. Nevertheless, the same applies as always: nothing beats a good preliminary analysis and a clear strategy; and you always have to take care of that yourself.
The value bet
What is actually a value bet? You will come across this term again and again in the world of sports betting. It is simply a bet that you personally think is so likely that it has a certain value regarding the given odds.
We have already calculated the “value” of a quota using the Kelly formula as an example. This requires a probability that you determine, as well as the odds. Then, we work again according to the following formula:
The value bet explained using an example:
Let’s take an example of a clash between Arsenal and Paris St Germain:
Now we evaluate the possible outcomes of the match and, in this example, do so with the 50% probability of an Arsenal win, the 30% probability of a PSG win and the 20% probability of a draw.
Now, we fill in the probabilities into the formula:
Value = (0.50 * 2.20) – 1
Value = 0.10
Value = (0.20 * 3.40) – 1
Value = – 0.32
Value = (0.30 * 3.20) – 1
Value = – 0.04
If we take the probabilities you set as a benchmark, then a bet on an Arsenal win would definitely be a value bet. The bet on an Arsenal win is the only one in positive zone. The calculated value of a PSG win would be almost zero, i.e. relatively neutral. The draw, which we consider the most unlikely in this example at 20%, is well below zero and therefore not a bet with a particular value.
All bets with a negative value according to this formula are no value bets. Bets in which the value is a positive number are referred to as value bets. The higher the value, the more the odds are worth.
Value bet is a subjective term
However, it should not be forgotten that the assessment of probabilities is subjective. Of course, you can also orientate yourself on corresponding websites that pre-analyze the game outcomes in percentages. But it is up to you whether you want to trust your own assessments or the assessments of others.
As is easy to see from the formula, the odds also have a strong effect on whether a bet can be called a value bet or not.
If you do a little research and find odds of @ 2.35 for an Arsenal win, the situation will look different again.
Value = (0.50 * 2.35) – 1
Value = 0.175
With this higher rate, the “value” of your bet increases by 7.5%. The interplay between the probability, which you usually set once, and possible higher odds, which are very likely to be found at from another provider, must be also considered here.
Of course, the probability can change if you prepare for a game longer. For example, if you set a probability in the first impulse, but then take a closer look at the details of the game, analyze lists of injured or banned players or daily shape – you will then have to adjust the probability.
3. Sometimes you need to be able to lose
Obviously, you can’t just keep winning in sports betting. There are always setbacks and sometimes they can last longer. Anyone who has ever bet over a long period of time knows what it is like when almost nothing works out for an entire period of time. It’s maddening, but you also have to be professional and disciplined about it.
If you permanently lose most of your bets over a longer period of time and your bankroll also shrinks significantly, then there can be several reasons. Bad luck is certainly not the only one. Use every bad phase to your advantage and to further optimize your betting behavior. Ask yourself the following central questions:
In the vast majority of cases you will find yourself answering some of these questions when you are on a “losing streak”. Never forget that professional betting is mostly about organization and discipline. Even when things are going uphill, you should never forget to adhere to these fundamental aspects of structured betting. And when things go downhill, that’s the point when you need to remember these important points.
What should I do if I am on a losing streak?
An analysis of your betting behavior is essential. Find the faults in yourself and the way you are betting. Be honest with yourself and admit when you have deviated from your plan.
A break won’t hurt you. You’ll miss out on nothing, since there will always be loads of competitions, games and markets. Sometimes it makes sense to regain a cool head by simply keeping your feet still. Just like athletes do, you also need your breaks as a sports bettor.
Don’t worry, you will get over the bad phase just like it happens in every aspect of life. But what happened, happened already. You will not get back the losing bets by wildly betting on the lottery ticket. Keep cool, analyze, optimize, regenerate.
And most importantly: never bet on your last shirt. Especially in the initial phase, in which you can lose a lot of money if you don’t stick to your concept. It can happen that you hit the bottom – that is, rattle down to zero. If that happens, you must by no means use all your might to try to get your money back. Don’t bet with money that you really need for something else. Stay cool and keep working in a structured manner. In spite of continuing to bet, it will not bring your bankroll back and is not only financially, but also psychologically dangerous for you.
Winning has to be learned too!
The successful times in sports betting are similar to the unsuccessful ones. However, emotionally on a completely different level. When everything just works, you tend to get cocky and possibly hang in even more than you did before. Sure, because you like to watch the betting account grow.
But even if everything works out for you, it is important to keep cool even when winning. Never stop working on yourself and analyzing your betting concepts. Sometimes you deviate from your bankroll management and the way you choose bets and still end up winning. But this will not always be the case, so “sticking to the plan” is a very important principle even in times of victory.
Just because nothing bad can seem to happen at the moment doesn’t mean it can’t happen. In these cases, the crash can happen sooner than you would like. Stay focused, keep your betting frequency and go on betting like you used to when you set out your winning strategy. Take your time with your bets and never stop analyzing your bets, indifferently to whether you win or lose.
4. The odds
You don’t necessarily gamble on outcomes that you think will happen. You play much more against the bookmakers, who have a high level of expertise and set the odds to the best of their knowledge. However, bookmakers also make mistakes or misjudge games. Not every bookmaker always reacts in time and with the ideal measures when the situation within an event changes. Injuries, suspensions, external conditions and even the weather can change an event in favor of one or the other team or an athlete.
What are betting odds?
The sports betting odds (also simply called odds) indicate how much profit you can make with a bet if the event on which the bet was placed occurred. One speaks here of a relative profit, since the profit can rise or drop relative to the stake made.
Odds and Probabilities
In sports betting, bookmakers always use mathematical calculations based on probabilities when creating odds. The bookmaker tries to estimate the probability with which a certain event will occur, or not. The bookmaker sets the odds based on this probability calculation. The less likely an event is expected, the higher the odd. If there is a high probability that an event will occur, the odd will decrease.
Of course, these days bookmakers cannot set the odds for all bets they offer themselves. Although the best and biggest sports betting sites have specially assigned bookmakers, even they reach their limits at some point. The range of bets has increased dramatically in the last few years to decades, so that manual “calculation” of every odd is hardly possible.
To counteract this, betting odds are largely bought in nowadays. There are occasional adjustments to the odds, for example to make an odd more attractive for marketing purposes, or if the local bookmaker assess the probabilities differently than the company that supplies the odds.
Another possibility is to only determine the game odds and derive the odds for special events from it. For example, if a player wins 80% of a match in tennis, it can be deduced from this how likely he is to bring his service over the net.
The different odds formats
There are different formats for the way in which odds are presented. The most common odds formats are:
- Decimal odds / the European format
- Breakage rate / the UK format (also existed before Brexit)
- American quota / the US format
The decimal odds
With the decimal format (also called European format), the odds are given in the form of a decimal number as in our example above. The odds show the relationship between the stake and the possible profit. This means that the stake is multiplied by the odds, so you get the possible profit. If you put 10 € on PSG in our example, a PSG win rewards you 36 €. If you deduct your stake, you get a net profit of 26 €.
|Odds on PSG:||3,60|
|Winnings paid out:||36€|
|Profit:||stake * (odds – 1) = 10 * (3,60 – 1) = 10 * 2,60 = 26€|
This format is most widespread and most popular in German-speaking countries as well as in many other European countries.
The fraction odds
With the fraction odds (also called UK odds), the stake is already deducted and the possible net profit of the bet is shown as a fraction.
(2,0 – 1) = 1,0 => 1/1
(3,0 – 1) = 2,0 => 2/1
(3,6 – 1) = 2,6 => 26/10 => 13/5
With a 10 € stake on PSG, the profit results from the calculation is 10 * 13/5 = 26. The fraction odds format is most common in Great Britain and Ireland.
The American odds
The American odds (also known as the US format) can be specified as both positive and negative integers. Negative values indicate how much you would have to bet to achieve a profit of 100 €. Positive values, on the other hand, indicate how much profit you get for a stake of 100 €.
Our betting odds in US format would look like this:
(gleichbedeutend mit +100)
The sign has no mathematical meaning here, but only indicates the type of calculation.
More odds formats
In addition to the common formats of sports betting odds described above, there are other formats mainly in Asia, although they are less relevant for other regions. Nevertheless, we do not want to leave them unmentioned.
The Hong Kong odds are presented in decimal format. A 1.50 odd means that if a bet is won with a stake of 10 €, the player receives 15 € profit. With Hong Kong odds of 2.00, the player needs a 10 € stake to get a profit of 20 €.
The Indonesian odds are the same as the American odds, except that it is divided by 100. Similarly to the American odds, the negative sign indicates how much you have to bet to achieve a profit of € 1. Odds of -1.50 therefore mean that you have to bet 15 € to win 10 €. A positive digit within the odds, on the other hand, indicates the profit with a stake of 1 €. Again an example – odds 2.40 means that if you bet € 10 you win € 24.
Malaysian odds are the opposite of the American odds. A negative digit corresponds to a higher profit than a positive odd. Malaysian odds of – 0.5 means that the player can earn 500 € on a 100 € stake. With a positive odd of +0.5, the winner of a bet receives a profit of € 50 on a stake of 100 €. Odds of 0.0 mean that with a stake of 100 € you can make a profit of 100 €.
How are the odds in sports betting made?
Here we want to investigate the question of how odds are created. Who determines the odds? In order to be able to win at sports betting you have to put yourself in the shoes of the other side and understand how the sports betting odds are being calculated.
First, the betting company calculates the so-called fair odds. Let’s say FC Barcelona meet Liverpool in the Champions League final and are favorites. Fair odds for a 3-way bet could look like this:
So there are a total of three event options for a 3-way bet and the total sum of the probabilities is always 100%. Converted into betting odds, we now get the following result.
The real odds
However, if the betting site offers fair odds on the market, then at some point he will probably have to close his business, since the operation of the company costs money and you have to make a profit by betting. This is why the “fair odds” are converted into the “real odds”. You shouldn’t reproach the betting provider in this regard, as other companies cannot provide their goods or services for free.
The bookmaker must now find the right balance for creating the real odds. On the one hand, they want to offer lucrative odds in order to attract new customers and not to scare off old customers, but on the other hand they has to make sure that the operation of the company is guaranteed and, in the best case, a nice profit is made.
If the bookmaker wants to make an average of six percent of the stakes as a profit, then they will have to multiply the fair odds by 0.94. For our example we come to the following calculation:
- Barcelona win: 1.88 (2.00 * 0.94)
- Draw: 3.62 (3.85 * 0.94)
- Liverpool win: 3.92 (4.17 * 0.94)
How the sports betting odds are calculated
Let’s take a look at the creation of odds using an example. We consider the Champions League match between Arsenal and Paris Saint Germain. The bookmaker has analyzed the game sufficiently and estimates the following probability:
|Arsenal win||45% = 0,45|
|Draw||30% = 0,3|
|PSG win||25% = 0,25|
The odds now result from the reciprocal of the probability O = 1 / P. This results in the following odds:
If you were to bet 10 € on Paris Saint Germain to win, and Paris actually wins, the sports bettor would collect a win based on the odds of 40 €. Just as the probability of the outcomes of this event is estimated, so is the distribution of the bets. With these “fair” calculated odds, the losses of those players who place bets on Arsenal or a tie would cover the winnings of those players who bet on Paris. The bookmaker would not make any business and would have a so-called payout ratio of 100%.
The bookmaker’s odds key
It should be clear to everyone that this is hardly in the interest of a bookmaker. Bookmakers want to make money too, since they have to cover their expenses and also want some profit. Therefore, a payout ratio lower than 100% is set. Payout rates of around 90% are common in the sporting bets industry. This means that the bookmaker retains 10% of all bets made as a profit.
To explain this, let’s come back to our example. The bookmaker now multiplies the individual odds by the factor of the payout ratio, i.e. 0.9.
|Arsenal win||2,22 * 0,9 = 2,00|
|Draw||3,33 * 0,9 = 3,00|
|PSG win||4,00 * 0,9 = 3,60|
These are the real odds that are offered on the betting website.
5. What happens to the bet if the game is abandoned?
It is a rare occurrence, but it does happen occasionally. You placed a bet on a game that was canceled or not kicked off due to unforeseen events. But what happens when a game is canceled?
Why is a game canceled?
There are many reasons for abandoning or canceling games and almost every day one or the other game falls out of the valuation in the vastness of the football world. These reasons include:
In the year 2020 even whole leagues were suspended. The Coronavirus was not only turning the population and the economy upside down, sport and the associated sporting bets were also in a state of emergency. The European Championship was postponed to 2021, almost all major leagues in professional football were shut down. Here it is at the discretion of the betting provider to maintain bets or refund the stake to the sports bettor.
What happens to the bet if the game is abandoned?
In such a case, it is always advisable to read through the provider’s general terms and conditions. There you will always find the exact information about the process in case of an event being abandoned or canceled.
In most cases, canceled or opened games are rated with a win rate of 1.0. This actually means that the stake will be refunded. If the bet placed is within an accumulator bet, this simply means that the game falls out of this accumulator. It should be noted here, that the odds of the accumulator bet also change because the game is rated at odds of 1.0. For example, if the bet on a canceled game had the odds 1.5 and the entire combination bet had an odd of 5.0, the combination bet only had the odds 3.33 (5.0: 1.5 = 3.33).
Most of the top betting sites have a goodwill rule that states that a canceled game will not be abandoned if it is rescheduled or restarted within a set time limit. This can be 48, 50 or 72 hours, and whether a betting provider sets this limit is up to them. As already mentioned, this can be found in the terms and conditions of the respective company. Since this is one of the most frequently searched questions, the procedure for canceled or abandoned games can be found very easily and quickly in practically on all the terms and conditions sections of the providers’ websites. In case of a doubt, you can also send an email to the betting provider’s support, who will certainly respond quickly with a pre-written email.
Those are the basics for your successful sports bet. If you have mastered the theory now, nothing stands in the way of your first successful bet. If you want to look deeper into the matter, we recommend our advanced article on betting strategies. Here we introduce you to the best and most important strategies in sports betting.
Have fun with your bet!