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So, you know that football is your sport and after reading our guide on the best football bookmakers you know where you’re staking your money. The next question you need to address is what markets you’ll be betting on. Here we explain the top bet types every punter needs to know.
Okay, it’s a straight forward one to start with. A match result bet is simply who you think will win the match. Every bet of this nature will present you with three options. A home win, an away win or a draw.
The odds flex based on the game in question. For example, a cup tie that sees Liverpool host Accrington Stanley will offer what we call an odds-on price e.g. 10 to one on (1/10), which means for every £10 staked you’ll make £1 profit for a ‘home’ outcome whilst a ‘draw’ and ‘away’ will be longer odds e.g. you might get £10 profit for every £1 staked on the ‘draw’ and even more on the ‘away’.
A double chance bet is very similar to the match result wager. The key difference being that you can cover two outcomes. Let’s stick with our Liverpool vs Accrington example. If you wanted to make doubly sure of winning you might opt for a bet that said Liverpool will either win or draw. This would come at worse odds though because you’ve reduced your chances of losing.
You could also choose to cover a ‘home’ or ‘away’ bet if you don’t expect a draw with the option to go for ‘draw’ or ‘away’ also available.
Draw no bet
We’re sticking on similar lines again. A draw no bet simply sees you pick a home or away win. Your odds are generally partway between the match result and double chance bet. The reason for this is because your stake isn’t as exposed because it’s refunded in the event of a tie.
A handicap bet is used to weigh the outcome of a match in favour of one of the teams. A draw is rendered null and void through either an impossibility or with a returned stake.
In a scenario where Liverpool and Accrington start on level pegging then the Reds would be enormous favourites. This gives you poor odds. You can improve those by backing Liverpool from a negative start position i.e. Liverpool -2.0 goals. This means they’d have to win by three goals for your bet to be a success. In the event of a 2-0 win, the game would be drawn in the eyes of the bookie. As you can only pick a team to win, your money is returned.
The other method of Asian handicap betting is where you bet based on half or quarter goals e.g. Liverpool minus 2.5 goals. As it is impossible to score half a goal, your bet will be settled one way or another. Whilst we’ve spoken of Liverpool being penalised from the start, you could punt the other way and back Accrington to win with a head start e.g. plus 1.0 meaning they’d start the game with a one goal lead.
Correct score betting
Correct score betting is exactly what it sounds like. Picking what team will win simply isn’t enough, you need to get the exact scoreline right. Why would you choose this type of bet? Well, it pays better money. That’s why. If Liverpool to beat Accrington is blatantly obvious and heavily odds on then you can increase your potential winnings by guessing how much Liverpool will win by.
Most bookies offer groupings of a similar nature. This is where you pick a range of score lines e.g. 1-0, 2-0 or 2-1. In these circumstances, your chances increase and thus your odds reduce. They will still outweigh the straight match result bet though.
Another bet every bookmaker will offer is the ability to predict who will score goals. These markets vary between first scorer, last scorer and anytime scorer. You name the player you expect to score and you’ll be given a price. Of course, if you plump for a first or last scorer then they have to score the first or last (depending on your choice) goal of the game. It’s gut wrenching when you see your chosen first scorer notch the second goal but you get better odds than following the anytime market. With the anytime market if your player scores, you win.
One way of getting strong odds is to create what is called a scorecast bet. A scorecast sees you predict the correct score and the first scorer. As you have multiple legs to your bet i.e. both elements have to be correct to win you receive more lucrative odds.
Both teams to score (BTTS)
Another popular bet punters make is to pick games where they believe both teams will score. This is perceived to be a somewhat easier prediction than who will win the match with an enjoyment factor that regardless of how a game is going, you’ll always be in with a chance of winning until the very last moment. It’s not every day that a match that is 5-0 still has intrigue around it.
Over or under?
An over or under bet is another where you don’t care who wins the game. Nor do you care who scores the goals. You just care how many times something happens. It might be how many times the net bulges, it might be the number of corners in a game or even the number of cards.
Over and under goals
The most common ‘over or under’ wager is based on 2.5 goals i.e. will there be three or more goals? If you bet on ‘under’ then the score lines that bank you a win are 0-0, 1-1, 1-0 or 2-0. Your bet remains in play for the entirety of the game because goals can be scored anytime.
With the ‘over’ option, any score that involves three or more goals is a win whether it be 3-0, 2-1 or 10-10. The beauty of this type of bet is that you have the possibility of winning well before the full-time whistle. You’re not stuck with 2.5 goals though, it could be moved to 1.5 or 4.5 and so on. Odds will, of course, be reflective of your choice.
Over or under corners
This is much like the goals market but focussed on corners. Of course, you’ll need to opt for more than just 2.5 corners though. Instead, odds are likely to start at the five or more mark. This may seem like a strange betting option but in fixtures where you expect a ‘backs to the wall’ performance it might offer a better prospect of winning compared to backing a team to score.
Over or under cards
You’re probably becoming familiar with how these bets work. Depending on the bookmaker, you might choose the actual number of cards to be shown whilst others will have a points system in place where red cards are worth more. If your chosen bookie is in the latter category then check their scoring system before wagering.
Half time/full time
A half time/full time bet is very similar to the ‘match result’ wager we mentioned earlier. The key difference is that you are predicting who will be leading – if anyone – at half time and who will be the winner come 90 minutes.
In your Liverpool Accrington scenario, it might seem safe to assume Liverpool will be winning at both. By betting on this dual outcome, you would receive more attractive odds than betting on the straight match result. If, however, the lineups were announced with Mo Salah and Sadio Mane on the bench you might gamble on a draw at half time with a full time win as the firepower gets introduced later in the game.
Of course, it also gives you flexibility to back a complete turnaround i.e. Accrington to be winning at half time with Liverpool winning the game overall.
We’ve already mentioned the most popular player based bet; that is the goalscorer market. It’s not all you’re limited to though. You can vary your bets significantly with a whole host of options – here are just a few. Will player X score a header? Will they be booked? Will they be shown a red card? Will they miss a penalty? Where is their next club? It goes on and on.
It’s not just on individuals where special bets can be placed. You can bet on how many shots there might be, how many will be on target? What team will score last? How many offside decisions will there be? Will a penalty be missed? Who will win the coin toss? What will happen inside X minutes? Again, this list could easily become exhaustive.
If you’ve looked through all the options available to you but still can’t find what you’re looking for then a lot of online bookies offer a bespoke service (which is usually named differently by each bookmaker). Let’s stick to our Liverpool versus Accrington game. If you fancy Virgil Van Dijk to score a header, James Milner to score a penalty, Liverpool to keep a clean sheet, Accrington to have a man sent off and Liverpool to score over 4.5 goals then there is a bespoke price for you. You can literally bet on pretty much anything.
Finally…there is the accumulator
The accumulator is the holy grail of football betting. Take your selections – usually match result bets – and select multiple games from various leagues and across various game days. The more games you select, the more your odds become multiplied and the more you stand to win.
Some bookies offer ‘insurance’ on accumulators that see your stake returned as a free bet if you lose out by one game but to win your potential returns, every selection must be correct.
Placing the bet is easy. Winning it is harder. The ordeal of relying one just one more team to net you the pot of gold…agonising.
There you have it, you should now be going into your next wager as a more educated punter. Good luck and, most importantly, bet safe.