Betting Guide

guideThe explosion of online betting over the last generation has resulted in a whole suite of new features, bet types, systems and strategies.  If you try to use a new tool such as cash out or you want to try out a more complex bet such as a full cover Lucky 15 it really does help to understand the principles first before you risk your own funds.

In this section we cover several major types of guide, those relating to bet types and how to bet and those relating to betting tools such as live betting, streaming and cash out and guides to do with common betting rules and terms.  We tell you how to use new bets and features but we also discuss the best strategies to use to get the best out of your wagers.

Betting Tools and Features

Cash Out, Partial & Auto Cash Out Explained

Cash Out is a great new tool now provided by the majority of our recommended bookies. Used sensibly the feature can add to your winnings but used foolishly the service can reduce your payouts. Read about how cash out and partial cash out work and how to get the best out of it.

Live Betting In Play Explained

The gambling world has changed in the last ten years with more and more wagers now placed live during play. The number of markets and features has exploded and its not just for football either, you can bet in play on virtually anything now, but should you? Read our live betting guide for information and advice.

Live Streaming Guide

The rise of live betting and live streaming goes hand in hand and this is fantastic for punters. Not only are we able to watch action from tons of sports around the world (usually for free) we are also able to make more informed wagers based on what we see live. Our guide tells you what you can watch and where.

Mobile Betting Guide

The lines between betting on desktop and through your mobile have become very blurred. If you are unsure which is the best way for you to place your wagers read our guide which will give you advice on how betting on your mobile differs from desktop. We also talk about the various advantages and disadvantages of mobile gambling.

Bookmaker Card Schemes

Bookie Cards

Bookmakers have been offering punters their version of store cards for a while now, where a card is used to link bets made online and offline, as well as giving more freedom and flexibility when it comes to money management. There is often talk of exclusive offers and promotions too. But are these schemes actually any good or are they all for show?

Coral Connect Card

Coral Connect Card

Coral's card has been stripped back since its launch, so now it only the most useful features rather than coming with lots of fancy extras like live scores and streaming etc. This is no bad thing though as most of that stuff is better experienced on the website anyway, and it means the cards are easier to use. For anyone who bets mostly at terminals the Coral Connect card is a must.

William Hill Plus Card

William Hill Plus Card

Although very promising when you read about them, the William Hill Plus card needs some serious attention. It's awkward to set up and fraught with usability issues, although it does still carry benefits if you are a William Hill customer, but the toss up is whether you think the faff is worth the payoff. It's a product that seems to have been launched confidently but not properly looked after, which is a shame because it could be great if they fix the issues.

PaddyPower Play Card and CashCard+

Paddy Power Plus Card

Paddy Power actually have 2 different cards that we will cover, the Play Card and the CashCard+. One is all about improving the betting experience, the other is all to do with more flexible money management, and both are excellent products. Of all the bookies card schemes out there, Paddy Power's are the all round champs.

Bookmakers And Odds

Bookmaker Odds and Margins Explained

odds

Find out how betting sites and bookies calculate odds and how to spot under priced markets to take advantage of. We also explain the difference between fractional, decimal and American odds.

Betting Exchanges

Exchange Betting Confusion

Many bettors are missing out on better odds by letting fear of the unknown keep them away from betting exchanges. This style of betting has been attracting fans since Y2K, so if you have always wondered how it works this article will explain it all.

Do Bookmakers Bet Against Each Other?

wholesale

From a punters point of view you take a position against a bookie and either you win or they do. In reality the bookie always wins because their aim is to balance their books to ensure they always earn profit no matter what the result of a market is. Still, it is common for individual brands to be overexposed sometimes and in order to ensure they balance their books they will often sell their liabilities using wholesale bookmakers, similar to clearing houses in finance.

Sports Betting Algorithms

algorithm concept

It is fairly common knowledge that most betting companies use complex algorithms to analyse markets and set odds, especially with fast moving data driven markets like with in-play betting. What is also becoming popular, however, is punters themselves using algorithms to help them analyse their bets better.

Here we look what sports betting algorithms are and whether they are worth using for the standard bettor. We also look at the potential flaws as well as how to use them to best effect.

Sports Betting Hedge Funds

hedge funds sign

Most people do not buy their own shares and investments, rather they invest in a managed fund like a mutual fund or a hedge fund. With sports betting, however, most people would never think to do the same thing, yet hedge funds for sports betting do exist.

The idea is similar to a fund that runs on the stocks and shares markets, you buy into the fund, ‘experts’ will then bet with those funds and you get a share of the profits, or indeed loses. Find out more.

Hedging Your Bets In Sports

hedge your bets written on dice

Hedging your bets is a well known phrase and commonly used in the world of finance. Despite it’s obvious association with gambling not that many people actually hedge their bets. In basic terms it is betting on opposite outcomes to either guarantee a profit or mitigate loses.

Which Betting Site Has the Best Odds?

Betting Odds

There is a common belief that the big independent bookies and betting exchanged have better odds than the more generic brands driven by third party software or full white labels because independents. We decided to test if this was actually true by looking at a range of betting sites and their odds for specific markets, pre-event and in-play, at exactly the same time. Turns out the difference isn’t as big as you might expect.

Bet Types And Markets

Full Cover Betting

full cover

Full cover bets such as the Lucky 15 do exactly what they say on the tin, they cover all possible combinations for a given number of selections. This means you will always get a return whether all or just one of your selections win. These bets are however packages of single bets meaning you need to make multiple stakes.

Ante Post Betting

early bird

Ante-Post bets basically covers any bet placed a certain amount of time before an event starts. For most sports this is 24 hours but for horse racing it is usually after 9am on the day of the race. Find out about ante post and whether it is worth taking early prices or better to wait until closer to the event start time.

Handicap Betting

Handicap

Handicap bets are most commonly placed on markets where there is a big difference in odds between selections. The handicap serves to bring prices into a more reasonable range in exchange for a positive or negative handicap. Sometimes referred to as point spread more commonly in US markets.

Each-Way Betting

Some people only ever back a winner whereas others nearly always take the each way option to increase the chances of getting a return. When is it a good time to place an each way bet? What sports can you place each way bets on? how much do you get back if your selection wins or places? See our each way betting guide.

Accumulator Betting

Betting Slip Acca

Accumulator bets can be tempting with potentially huge payouts for small stakes, but they might also be a little daunting to the uninitiated. Read this simple breakdown of what they are and how to use them to get the best results.

Matched Betting

Winning Bettor

You’ve heard whispers about a mysterious betting hack that can guarantee returns regardless of the outcome, but you’re concerned about how safe it is, and wonder whether it can really be true. If you read this article, you will wonder no more.

Weird And Strange Sports To Bet On

weird sports

The saying goes ‘you can bet on anything’ and when you see our featured obscure sports on this page you probably wouldn’t argue. We look at some of the more weird sports that people play and others people bet on, from chessboxing to giant pumpkin kayaking. It’s a wonder who thought of these things in the first place.

Common Betting Terms

Dead Heats Explained

What happens when there is a dead heat?  This occurs more commonly than you think and applies to any sport where scenarios occur where places cannot be separated such as horse racing, golf, football, rugby, etc, etc.  Make sure you know what will happen to you bet or offer if it happens to you.

Variance and Expected Value In Sports Betting

pie chart

Expected value and variance are terms more commonly associated with things like financial markets, population demographics and statistics in general.  Both, however, apply very much to betting and in fact are one of the most useful tools you can use when deciding on a longer term betting strategy.  Knowing the expected value and the variance of a betting market allows you to make more informed decisions.

Banking & Payments

Betting Using American Express

American Express

If you have ever tried to top up your online betting account using your American Express card you will already have come up against a bit of a problem – nowhere accepts them. This can be irritating unless you know the reasons behind it, so have a quick read of this and get clued up. You might just decide you are better off keeping it in your wallet.

Betting Problems

Cancelling A Bet

Shocked

You were trying to put a tenner on the footy at the same time as arguing with your other half and you look away from your screen at just the wrong time and, uh-oh, accidental £100 wager placed. Quick! Read this article before your other half cottons on to what you’ve done and see what, if anything, you can do.

What Happens When Betting Sites Close Down?

Sinking Business

It can be a worry and a shock to hear that your go-to sportsbook or casino is closing down, especially if you still have funds in your account. Getting those funds back is not a simple process in certain situations, and will largely come down to the deposit protection level the company has. Don’t know what that means? Read this article.

How To Block/Exclude Yourself from a Betting Site

Access Denied Self Exclusion

When you realise something is wrong there is absolutely no shame in looking for help. For some people, gambling can become difficult to deal with responsibly, and this article is for those people. Whether you want to block yourself from a certain site or exclude yourself from online gambling completely, we will show you how to do it.

How To Claim Bets and Winnings When Someone Dies

death documents

With tens of millions of people possessing betting accounts online or betting in shops it is natural that a lot of people die with money in betting accounts or with bets still outstanding. What are the rules around claiming winnings for the deceased and what happens to any ante-post bets they still have running? We look at the major points to consider when trying to claim betting winnings and stakes as part of an estate.

Gambling Rules and Regulations

Betting Site Verification Explained

Verify

If any other company asked you to send them your passport you would probably say no, right? So why is it different for gambling companies? This short article will put your mind at ease and explain how the process works and why it is there in the first place.

Can You Bet On Yourself Or Someone You Know?

bet on yourself

Unless you are a professional sportsman or someone with inside knowledge then you are perfectly allowed to bet on yourself, or someone else, to achieve something. In fact, a lot of people do this each and every year. Here we look at the rules around backing yourself and others along with some famous examples where it has come off.

What Is Insider Betting

insider information

The rules of course say you can’t place bets using insider information but the reality is this is very difficult to police. There are set rules about what constitutes insider betting and how the industry is supposed to handle this but there are still many grey areas and cracks that people can fall into. Here we look at the rules around insider betting along with some well known examples.

Are Fairground Games Gambling? Are They Regualted?

fairground game stall graphic

We’ve all been to a fair ground and been tempted to have a go at hook-a-duck, burst-a-balloon, ring toss, ball-in-a-bucket, or something similar. These games are a lot of fun and played by both children and adults. However, as these games do not pay cash prizes they are not classed as gambling and therefore are not regulated in the same way. We look into the rules around fairground games and ask if they are actually rigged or not.

Gambling Machines In Public Places

fruit machine in a pub on public display

Sometimes it can seem like we are living in two different worlds. On one hand we have stringent rules around gambling online, in casinos, betting shops and bingo halls to prevent exposure to children and on the other hand we have gambling machines in open view in a whole host of other establishments like pubs, airports and motorway services. Here we look at the rules around gambling machines in public places and ask whether they are appropriate.

Are Arcade Games Gambling? Why Can Children Play Them?

category d gaming machine in an arcade

There are few people who have never visited an arcade at a British seaside resort and enjoyed some family entertainment, winning tickets that can be exchanged for prizes or a cuddly toy from one of the machines. On closer inspection you may notice that the arcade games that children can play, known as Category D, can look incredibly similar to the adult-only Category C and B games. These are also often available in the same arcade in a separate area, but visible. What are the rules around arcade games and do we have our priorities right in protecting children from exposure to gambling?

Can You Buy or Sell Bets?

buy sell dice

When it comes to betting you are not allowed to sell bets you’ve placed or buy them from others, this is because you have a personal contract with the bookie that doesn’t allow that, which is a little strange given you can sell most forms of risk (share, debt, etc.). There are however alternative ways to sell bets and exposure such as cash out and by using betting exchanges. Many people also sell bet slips bought in a shop, although this technically is not allowed.

How to Read Betting Site Terms and Conditions

reading terms and conditions

You would be forgiven if you don’t take the time to read the thousands of words of small print when you sign up to a gambling site. Not only as these documents long they are also full of technical and legal terms that most people do not understand fully in any case. It is important, though, to look for key terms in T&C’s docs to help you not fall foul of specific site rules and procedures. Here we look at the key terms that you should look at when joining a betting site, or indeed if you already have an account. Don’t wait until something goes wrong until you check.

What Happens To People Who Steal Money To Gamble?

criminal stealing money from a wallet

It is against the terms of all betting companies to use money that isn't your own to gamble with.  Sometimes this can have innocent motives, such as placing a Grand National bet for someone, which is technically not allowed but obviously goes on.  Some people, though, have been known to steal money to gamble with, commonly from employers.  This is often predisposed by gambling addiction but is ultimately still fraud and comes with some serious consequences.  Here we look at some famous stories of people who have stolen money to gamble with and what happened to them.