Once you understand how betting odds work, and how value can be calculated, next you will need to learn about the different betting markets available.
All sports have different betting opportunities; and not all of these are to do with simply backing a team to win, lose or draw. In football we can bet on how many goals there will be in a game, how many cards and corners there will be and even give one team a theoretical advantage or disadvantage via the ‘handicap’ betting method.
Here is a quick guide to some of the key bet types available:
This is the most basic form of sports betting where two teams play one another. This is the market in which you are betting on a specific team to win the match, or the draw where you feel this is appropriate.
The ‘1’ in the name refers to the team playing at home (or the team listed first where a match is hosted by a neutral venue), the ‘2’ refers to the away team and the ‘X’ is representative of the draw.
This is essentially the same as 1-X-2 betting, although here there are only two possible outcomes; hence the head-to-head term.
The most obvious examples of this are in sports where two players do battle: tennis, snooker and darts are three popular examples. Obviously here a draw isn’t possible, so we are betting simply on one player to beat another.
We can also bet on how many goals/points we expect there to be scored in a match, and decide if that figure will be greater or smaller than the parameters set by the bookmaker.
For example, a popular over/under bet in football is set at the 2.5 goal mark: will there be more than 2.5 goals scored in a match (three or more, essentially) or will be two or less?
Similar over/under wagers are available in tennis (over/under a certain amount of games in a set/match), basketball (over/under total match points) and so on.
Remember when we mentioned about handicaps earlier? Well, there are two types: traditional and Asian.
A traditional handicap is a full number, so if you saw ‘Chelsea -1’ then you are betting on them to win the game even with a goal taken off them. So we’d need Chelsea to win by two clear goals (or better) for our wager to come good). There are also positive handicaps – ‘Chelsea +1’ – where we give a particular team a one goal head start; so even if they draw the match our bet is successful.
An Asian handicap works along the same lines, but here fractional numbers are used to give bettors more options. So we can have a + or -.25 handicap (stake returned in certain circumstances), + or -.50 and + or -.75 margins. If you wish to proceed with Asian handicap betting, make sure you read up on the topic in depth first!
Each Way Betting
This is slightly different from the norm you may have become accustomed to. In outright markets, we can bet on a selection each way to minimise our risk.
We could bet on Chelsea to win the league each way, and thus we are making two bets: half of our stake goes on them to actually win the title, while the other half goes on the each way ‘terms’, which would be something like Chelsea to finish within the top four.
You can see the each way terms for a bet listed on the betting coupon.