Sports betting is one of the most popular pastimes on the planet, with a huge number of people around the world opting to spend their time and money placing wagers on sporting events. With so many different sports out there the choice of what to bet on is almost endless, while there is virtually a limitless choice of sports betting sites available for people to join as well.

New developments are constantly arriving in the sports betting world too. The arrival of the internet produced a major shift towards online betting, which is continuing to gather pace. Now, the rise of cryptocurrency is leading to the foundation of a new type of sports betting site, the crypto sports betting site, with experts predicting this could be the future of the sector.

Our full guide to sports betting has everything that you need to know, so read on for more.

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Introduction to sports betting

Sports betting has been happening for thousands of years. For about as long as any organised sport has taken place, people have been placing on the outcome of such events.

Historically, horse racing was one of the first sports where betting became very popular. In the United Kingdom in particular, betting on horse races soon became a very common hobby. Indeed, the links between racing and betting continue to be very strong to this day. A lot of the biggest races are sponsored by online betting sites and bookmakers in the modern era.

Betting was also common in the days of Ancient Rome. Chariot races would be held and people in the city would place bets on the outcome of them, one of the first examples of sports betting.

Nowadays, of course, it is possible to bet on far more than just sports. While it is still popular to bet on sports such as soccer, basketball and so on, various other events are also available too.

History of sports betting rules and regulations

Sports betting might be common in the modern era but it has not always been legal. Indeed, in some parts of the world sports betting might not be legalised yet, either online or offline.

Some countries are known for having particularly lax rules and regulations for sports betting. In the UK, for example, the rules around sports betting are seen as being quite loose. The UK’s betting industry is one of the least regulated in the world, which means that the market has been particularly targeted by the burgeoning rise of crypto sports betting in the last few years.

The United States is a good example of how sports betting rules are changing all the time. After a ruling by the Supreme Court a few years ago, states have now been given the green light to legalise sports betting via the internet. Some states are moving at a faster pace than others in this regard, but it seems safe to say that legal online sports betting is becoming more common.

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How to bet on sports

While sports betting is a popular pastime, not everyone has done it before. For those who have never placed a bet on sport, the process can be confusing and there is jargon to understand.

In order to bet on sports via the internet, the first thing to do is to choose which site to use. The choice can be overwhelming as there are so many different online betting sites these days. Factors to consider when choosing a betting site include safety and security, the range of sports and markets available to bet on, payment methods such as crypto and the value of the odds.

Once a betting site has been identified to join, the next step is to register for an account there. This should be a quick and easy process to go through. Normally, it will only take two or three minutes to go through the registration process in order to create a new betting site account.

Users should expect to put in details such as their full name, date of birth and home address when they sign up for online sports betting. They will also need to create a username and a password, with these details needing to be remembered as they are then needed to log in.

After creating an account with an online betting site, there might be additional verification steps to go through. Verifying an account is a simple step, often done via an email or a text message.

Further verification might also be needed to start betting on sports via the internet. Online betting sites often have a KYC process, which stands for know your customer. This provides a level of protection for betting sites, who need to confirm users are who they say they are.

What needs to be done to fulfil KYC checks varies across online betting sites. However, it is common for users to need to upload a copy of an identification document such as a passport.

Most online betting sites will have the facility to upload these documents, while it is also possible to send them through to the verification team in an email too. The time at which KYC checks are carried out varies, but they are often done when a user wants to make their first withdrawal.

After creating an account and verifying it, users are free to start betting on sport. They will also need to make a deposit into their account, of course, choosing which payment method to use.

Betting on sport involves predicting the outcome of a game, match or a competition. Users select their prediction by tapping or clicking on it in order to add to the betslip on a site.

Then, they need to decide how much money to put on the bet. Naturally, the more money that is placed on a sports bet, the higher the amount of potential profit that is up for grabs. But on the flip side, bigger bets are riskier as there is always the possibility that the money will all be lost.

Top sports to bet on

With all of the above in mind, here are some of the top sports to bet on through the internet.

Football

Football is the top sport to bet on in most parts of the world these days. The national sport in the UK, the beautiful game sees countless bets placed every single day. While competitions like the Premier League, the World Cup and the Champions League are some of the top football events to bet on, people can find games from all corners of the globe. While it is common to bet on which team will win a football match, the range of markets these days is extensive. It is possible to bet on everything like the number of cards shown.

Tennis

A particularly good sport to bet on live in-play is tennis, which has ideal opportunities to place a wager between each set and each game, perhaps even between points being played as well. While the tennis majors – the US Open, the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the French Open – are the most popular tennis events to bet on, even junior competitions are available these days.

Common markets to bet on for tennis fans include match winner and the total number of games played. Many of the top online sports betting sites have live tennis available to stream to users.

Horse racing

As mentioned earlier, horse racing was one of the very first sports available for people to bet on. The links between horse racing and betting are still very close to this day and for a lot of people, betting on the horses is nothing short of a way of life.

While a day at the races is popular, the rise of the internet now means it is possible to place a wager on the outcome of meetings taking place all over the world. Horse racing is often the sport with the most betting bonuses available for customers to claim online.

Boxing/MMA

Fight fans love to place wagers on the biggest bouts, with both boxing and MMA enjoying a spike in popularity as a result of a lot of recent stars emerging right at the top of the sport.

Boxing is a particularly interesting sport to bet on due to the fact a match can be settled either way by a single punch, making it extremely unpredictable and a lot of fun to watch as well. MMA is the same, with one blow able to bring an end to a contest and settle some winning wagers.

American football

The NFL provides some of the most entertaining sporting moments in the world and betting on American football continues to get more and more popular around the world. Of course, much of the sports betting interest in the NFL centres around the Super Bowl, which even those who have little interest in American football often make sure they tune in to watch.

Basketball

Other primarily American sports are also popular to bet on, with basketball second to the NFL. The NBA season is so long that it ensures there is a huge amount of action to pick from for fans. Much of the interest in basketball betting centres around both the play-offs and March Madness.

Baseball

Like basketball, the sheer number of baseball matches that are played ensures that those who are interested in sports betting have plenty of choice in this department. Baseball’s stop-start nature means it can be frustrating to watch at times but it does mean that, like tennis, it is very well suited to live in-play betting as well as placing pre-match wagers.

Golf

The sport of golf is in a state of flux right now as a result of the recent emergence of the LIV tour, which seems set to shake things up in a big way. Golf lovers can bet on tournaments throughout the year and LIV offers extra opportunities. While golf is mainly an individual sport, team events such as the Ryder Cup are good to bet on too.

Cricket

While the sport of cricket is played in a relatively small number of countries, a lot of people enjoy placing a bet on the action. A variety of formats helps cricket to stand out from the crowd. While a Test match unfolds at a leisurely pace over the course of five days, some matches are over in just a couple of hours. Events such as the Cricket World Cup are some of the most popular sporting competitions to bet on, while Twenty20 contests such as the Indian Premier League attract millions of eyeballs.

Motorsport

Formula One and MotoGP are also very popular to bet on with motorsport fans as well. The speed of the action within motorsport means it is one of the most exciting sports to bet on.

Esports

A relatively recent development in the industry has been the rise in esports betting. While placing a wager on the outcome of people playing a game may seem odd, it is wildly popular. Esports betting emerged primarily during the COVID-19 pandemic when many ‘real’ sports were postponed or cancelled, but it is safe to say this will be a key part of the sector moving forward.

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Choosing a sport betting site to join

Various factors need to be taken into account when deciding which betting site to join. Here, we identify some of the most important things to look at when considering online betting sites.

Safety, security, licences: Firstly, people must make sure their chosen betting site is legal. What they need depends on the country but they will likely need to have the right licence. Safety and security measures such as SSL encryption should also be in place at betting sites too.

Odds: The value of the prices on offer is another key factor. While a small difference in odds might not seem like a big deal, it can have a big impact on the potential profits up for grabs.

Range of markets: Some online betting sites have a better range of markets than others, comprising both a large number of sports to bet on and a high number of options for each event.

Bonuses, promotions and offers: For many sports fans, betting bonuses are the most important thing to think about when deciding whether or not to join a betting site. Welcome bonuses are widely available, but sites should reward the loyalty of existing customers too.

Mobile compatibility: Most sports fans want the option to place bets on mobile devices such as a tablet or a smartphone these days. As a result, betting apps have become more common too.

Customer service: A high level of customer service is a must for anyone joining sports betting sites. Options such as live chat, email and telephone support should be available to access. Customer service at online betting sites should also include a solid FAQ section as well.

Payment methods: Sports fans probably have their preferred online banking method so it is important that these are available to use. Debit cards and e-wallets remain some of the top online payment methods to use, but options like cryptocurrency and Apple Pay have emerged.

Sports betting payment methods

As mentioned above, the payment methods that can be used at sports betting sites is one of the top things to consider when deciding which site to join. Here are top payment methods to use:

Debit cards

Visa and MasterCard debit cards are probably still the default payment method for most people. Debit cards are ubiquitous and have the benefit of being fast and easy to use for deposits too. In some parts of the world, such as the UK, it is no longer possible to make a deposit into an online betting site using a credit card, which makes debit cards even more important.

E-wallets

A key factor when picking sports betting payment methods for a lot of people is simply speed. This is why e-wallets have become so popular, with options such as Skrill, PayPal and Neteller having become some of the most common to use. Withdrawals using e-wallets are very fast.

However, using e-wallets for a first deposit may mean users do not qualify for a welcome bonus.

Apple Pay/Google Pay

With mobile sports betting becoming more popular, options such as Apple Pay and Google Pay have been embraced as a seamless way to add funds into a sports betting account. Instant deposits are among the reasons why people are opting to use Apple Pay/Google Pay.

Prepaid cards and vouchers

Some people prefer to use a smaller budget when betting on sports via the internet these days. This makes prepaid cards and vouchers a good choice, enabling sports fans to keep a close level of control over the amount of money they are spending on online sports betting.

Cryptocurrency

A recent addition to the list of online payment methods that can be used for sports betting is crypto, with options such as Bitcoin and Litecoin now available at a large number of sites. Crypto sports betting sites might be dedicated solely to this option, but it is increasingly the case that people have the choice to use crypto or traditional methods such as debit cards as well.

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Sports betting tips and strategies to follow

Perhaps the most important sports betting tips and strategy to follow is that people should never bet more money than they can afford to lose. While sports betting can be profitable, one of the things people love about sport is how unpredictable and unexpected the outcomes can be.

As a result, treating sports betting as a bit of fun is recommended. It can be a good idea to set aside a budget for sports betting as this will help people to stay in control of their spending.

Here are some other top tips and strategies to follow when starting out with sports betting:

Research: For some people, sports betting is all about intuition and a gut feeling. However, there is a good chance people will see better returns if they are willing to carry out research. For a lot of sports these days, there is a huge amount of data and statistics that can be used to help to predict what is going to happen in a sporting contest once action gets under way. Research can also incorporate checking out team news and injury updates, which can affect the odds.

Odds: Finding value is one of the keys when it comes to a sports betting strategy. It is not just about predicting what will happen, but finding value in the prices that are up for grabs as well. While a lot of thought goes into setting odds at online sports betting sites, it is sometimes the case that prices do not seem to reflect the accurate chances of an event happening. It is also important to be willing to shop around for the best possible odds at online sports betting sites.

Bonuses and promotions: Using betting bonuses and promotions is also very important. Most online sports betting sites these days have plenty of bonuses to claim, such as welcome deals. Free bets are widely available, offering a risk-free opportunity to place a wager on a sport. Promotions for existing customers could also include rewards schemes aimed at VIPs as well.

 

Sports betting conclusion

To wrap up, it is increasingly clear that the future of sports betting is very bright. Sports betting continues to be legalised and embraced around the world, with the United States gradually rolling out changes to rules that will allow more sports fans to place wagers on the big game.

With new elements such as esports betting and placing bets on sport using cryptocurrency, the sector is going to continue to evolve at a rapid rate over weeks, months and years to come.

What is safe to say is that online sports betting is always going to be popular for many people.

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