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The Complete Beginners Guide to Sports Betting

Betting on sports is as simple or as complicated as you would like it to be. In much the same way to investing, there are both simple and complex strategies, but there are some good fundamental practices to abide by. By using the best football bookmakers in the UK along with good strategy, you can maximise your chances of success.

Understand how odds work

Fractional odds are the most commonly used framework in the UK. The second number in the fraction denoted the stake, whilst the first number denotes the winnings. So, 4/1 means a £10 bet wins £40, plus the steak gets returned after. Were left with £50. Likewise, 4/11 means an £11 bet will win £4. 

The second example is when odds are short, usually indicating this is the favourite. This means the bookies think this event is more likely than not. So, we don’t just bet on which even we think is most likely to happen, but which event we believe in more than the bookmaker does. This way, we get good expected value, because their odds won’t be as short as they ought to be. This may or may not mean betting on the underdog.

Markets and Strategies

The next step is figuring out which sport you want to bet on. This is a double-edged sword, because on the one hand you don’t want to pick a sport you know nothing about. But, choosing a sport you do know well can often lead to an overconfidence. Whichever market you bet on, basic research is required for each bet (i.e. looking at form, injury news etc). 

Strategies will depend within this. For football, some people lke to bet on the outright winner of a game, whilst others will choose how many goals in a given game. The research you form should be catered specifically to the betting type.

Of course, there are plenty of online tipsters and such to help you too, though you should never blindly follow advice. Always pair tips with your own intuition and research. Finally, determining whether the odds are good value will be the last piece of the puzzle.

Bankroll management

The most important aspect of betting is the actual wagering. Someone who makes bad predictions will likely have better success if they bet appropriate amounts than someone with good predictions but poor budgeting. For example, you may have made a near-incredible 5-fold accumulator at 500/1, but if you bet your whole account balance on these, you will never find success because the volume of your bets will be off.

Basic bankroll management means deciding on how much to bet depending on both the odds and the account balance. For example, never betting more than 10% of your account balance, but for unlikely accumulators to only bet 2%. These figures can change, but whatever you decide, stick to it.

Choosing the right bookmaker and placing your bets

The next step is to pick the right bookmaker, sign up, and place your bets. The bookmaker you choose should reflect what betting market and strategy you plan to do, as well as having good odds in that space, good customer service, and a generous bonus. As seen on, there’s no reason to miss out on a bonus when most companies are handing them out. The signing-up process is similar across platforms because it’s determined by Know Your Customer, but the payment method options will differ.

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Mark Perry, a passionate sports journalist and the founder and editor of XFL News Hub, has been at the forefront of covering the XFL since its revival in 2018. Within days of the XFL's announced return, Mark initiated XFL News Hub to keep the fans abreast of every detail, game, and development of the league. Mark's extensive knowledge of the sport, combined with his unwavering dedication to providing comprehensive and accurate reporting, has made XFL News Hub the go-to platform for all things related to the XFL. His work over the years has brought him recognition in the world of sports journalism, solidifying his place as a leading voice in XFL coverage. Beyond just reporting, Mark believes in fostering a community around the XFL, engaging fans through his innovative content and discussions. If you have any inquiries, comments, or insights you'd like to share, Mark welcomes you to contact him directly at

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