Sports betting may well go back more than two centuries. The fact is that the 21st century has probably been the main witness to the major surge in this phenomenon. The remarkable growth and expansion of the Internet is, of course, a key factor in the progress and evolution of sports betting, which is increasingly popular.

The first step

To start betting, of course, you have to register with a bookmaker. And although it seems to be just to complete some data and make a deposit of money, it is always advisable to explore as much as possible in relation to each of the alternatives. This will allow you to know the rules of each operator, payment and withdrawal options, responsible gambling issues and other points.

Beyond football, which is a passion for crowds all over the planet, this manual will review how to bet on a number of other sports. Some of these are also popular, such as tennis, basketball, horse racing, and cricket. Others, not so much, called minority sports, such as snooker, darts, and golf, among others.

Betting school

Its name says it all. The aim is to teach, instruct and explain all the issues surrounding sports betting, both directly and indirectly. The idea is to go from smaller to larger, starting with elementary questions such as the very concept of "sports betting", odds, bookmakers and those offers that companies launch to welcome new users.

Next, the different types of sports betting are explained and analyzed, emphasizing the most popular sport in the world today: football. In that sense, the types of football betting, live football betting, handicap betting, ante-post and more are covered. In parallel, these topics are supported by strategies, tips, and examples, carefully chosen to facilitate the reader's understanding.

The paths to success

Winning in sports betting is not an easy task at all. Each player has his or her own ideology, strategies, systems and tactics, which vary according to the circumstances. In this aspect, it is fundamental to learn what the stake is in betting and to investigate different plans and methods in this respect.

An important point has to do with the previous analysis that is carried out according to the bet that is planned to be made. The study of statistics and research, in general, is essential to increase the chances of success.

And just as you can win, you can lose. It sounds obvious and logical, but not knowing how to lose can trigger an even bigger problem than the defeat itself. This must be clear, so there are certain tips to avoid mistakes and tactics that help you to cope with an adverse streak.

Winning, a question of study and lucidity

Beginners and experienced gamblers alike should assume, first and foremost, that the bookmakers always have the upper hand. In the face of such an advantage, it is crucial not to give even more advantages through avoidable mistakes. This sports betting guide will try to do just that: to bring the bettor closer to victory through useful tips and consistent information.

This section contains the most important topics to get started in the world of sports betting and to understand the different ways to bet.


Today, the concept of sports betting is sufficiently entrenched for a large part of the population to have at least some idea about what it is all about. With its origins in the United Kingdom, with horse racing as one of the oldest and most popular activities, sports betting today has become established all over the world, even though the regulatory issues vary from country to country.

Sports betting explained
Sports betting explained

A sports bet is the making of a forecast around a specific sports event. And this involves risking a certain amount of money for the chosen outcome.

When you can win

If the title of this section were a question, the answer would be "always". Although it sounds optimistic, it is much more realistic than optimistic. Of course, in between, a huge number of factors come into play. There are a number of measures that can be taken to increase the chances of success and these essentially involve studying the chosen event, getting as much information as possible and also sharpening one's intuition. Although intuition may fail, hunches are often right, even when there are no clear arguments in sight.

It is important to know that beating the bookmaker is a long and complicated job that requires patience, order, intelligence, and investigation. These are very powerful companies worldwide that have constantly updated databases, advanced technology, and top professionals. With such logistics, it is really difficult for them to miss any detail.

How bookmakers make money

When the year-end balance sheet is drawn up, we find that all the bookmakers make millions of euros in profits. Occasional gamblers, who are ultimately part of the majority, are the great driving force behind the operators' profits. Winning with sports betting implies awareness when it comes to handling money, knowledge of the different alternatives for betting and analysis, skills that very few players have.

The latter inevitably leads to good results for bookmakers, who take advantage of certain users' inabilities to control adverse situations. In a bad streak, the worst thing a gambler can do is become obsessed with recovering losses urgently. In the short or long term, this leads to a worsening of the circumstances.

Of course, the fees do the rest. Even in the event that there is more parity in the previous one, especially when there are only two options to bet (basketball or tennis, for example), the bookmakers have in favor the profit margin, which in the worst case ranges between 0.05 and 0.20. In addition, the amounts at stake are determined by specialists, who then shape the odds. At the same time, surprises are usually financed by those who bet on the favourite and vice versa.

Betting on sport

While it is possible to bet on a variety of sports, the ideal is always to bet on those that are familiar. Betting from a lack of knowledge is a big mistake and frequent in many beginners who simply bet for the sake of it. At least, in the beginning, it is recommended to choose no more than two or three sports and focus on them. And in the long run, it may be best to specialize in one.
Football is undoubtedly the most popular sport in most of the world. It is also the one that generates the most money movement. Of course, that doesn't mean it's the most profitable. Among the popular ones, tennis and basketball are two alternatives to consider. The fundamental difference between the first and the other two is the number of betting options. Three, in the case of football. Two, for tennis and basketball.

The fact that there is always a winner increases the odds of winning. Of course, football lovers will devote their time to the game they are passionate about, but it is also worth looking a little further if the goal is to find a profitable activity. In either case, making a profit from quota variations can also be a determining factor in the results.

Physical and online sports betting

It is undeniable that online bookmakers have gained a lot of ground in recent times. Nevertheless, both variants have their advantages and companies are continuously looking for reasons to keep the physical ones fighting against the online ones. The latter mainly gain in variety, convenience (you can bet from anywhere at any time) and in the possibility of betting with a lot of anticipation. Meanwhile, face-to-face betting favors anonymity (no registration required) and direct personal advice.

In both cases, the bettor can access a high level of information regarding a specific event, although it seems that, via the Internet, it is always possible to reach a greater amount of data. Today, the betting terminals in the shops are technologically very advanced and provide an absolutely solid service in every sense. These places are the right ones for those bettors who prioritize the environment when placing their bets.


One of the first questions that arises when you start to relate to the betting world has to do with how betting quotas work. There are three types of quotas (decimal, fractional and American), but let's focus the explanation around the first ones, since they are the most used and universally recognized.

Betting odds explained
Betting odds explained

The odds do nothing more than estimating the probability of a given result. Later, in the case of a correct forecast, it will serve to find the profit obtained from such success. For example, if the odds chosen are 2.00, this means that the bookmaker pays 2.00 euros for every euro bet. Then, if you bet 10 euros, the gross win will be 20 and the net win will be 10.

How to calculate

The bookmakers carry out the most exhaustive studies until finally arriving at the correct odds for each event. Taking the example of a football match, each company has professionals specially dedicated to collecting all kinds of previous information (injuries, suspensions, line-ups, statistics, etc.). That way they arrive at the finest probabilities as to the possible results.

To know which is the probability that the bookmaker assigns to each result you have to carry out the following formula: 100 / quota. Then, imagining a game between Barcelona and Celta, if the quota corresponding to Barcelona is 1.22, it means that, for that operator, the Catalan team has an 81.96% chance of winning. This is called implied probability.

In that sense, experts say that you only have to bet when you consider that the real possibilities are higher than the ones stipulated by the bookmaker according to this formula.

Odds and probability

The probability that each quota constitutes is the ideal kicker to understand how traders make their profits. The equation is very simple and, following the football match, it is enough to calculate the percentages of the three available alternatives and add them up. We will find that it always exceeds 100% and that is precisely where the profit for the company lies.

To materialize the previous explanation in an example, let's imagine that Real Madrid visits Atlético de Madrid in the capital's derby and that the quotas are the following: 3.50 for the Colchonero win, 3.00 for the draw and 2.25 for the Merengue win. When making the formula detailed above, the quotas would be translated into 28.57%, 33.33% and 44.44%, respectively. The sum of these three percentages gives 106.34% and it is this surplus (6.34% in this case) that will determine the dividends of the bookmakers, whose margins in this matter are generally between 6% and 10%.

The change in odds

Nowadays it is very common that bookmakers alter their odds on more than one occasion between the time they publish the event and the time it begins. This situation strictly responds to the movements that the users make. Taking into account the previous development, we understand that these companies need to have a balance between the different possibilities that an event itself presents.

Therefore, if many players bet on a favorite with a quota of 2.00 euros for each euro bet, this will tend to decrease with the mere objective of compensating. In a way, the bookmaker will seek to persuade its clients to invest so that the money played in each of the two or three alternatives (depending on the sport) is proportional.


To enter the world of the game with the right foot it is essential to choose a serious company, which closes and convinces us from all points that can be analyzed, or at least from those that we consider more important. Bearing in mind that this is the fundamental stone in the adventure of gambling, underestimating or rushing this decision can be a big mistake for the future.

Choose online bookmaker
Choose online bookmaker

Therefore, it is worthwhile to learn about how to choose a good bookmaker and what factors to rely on to hit the nail on the head, without forgetting that the assessment of each one of them is absolutely subjective and personal.

Reliability and security

The first step is to ensure that the operator is reliable and responsible, and has a sufficiently outstanding track record. Of course, it has to be a company that operates within the law; in the case of Spain, this can be easily checked through the Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ). According to its own website, the DGOJ exercises the functions of regulation, authorisation, supervision, control and, where appropriate, sanctioning of gaming activities at the state level.

This issue is essential for the simple reason that the bookmaker will have all our personal data and, depending on the case, those of credit cards, bank accounts and other currency transfer systems. In this respect, it is advisable to investigate both the methods available for depositing and withdrawing money. And the same goes for customer service, which is basic to be well covered in any eventuality.

Betting range

Once you have made your choice, you can start analyzing other types of elements. For example, the variety of sports events offered, as well as the types of bets that can be accessed. Sports like football are probably very well represented at the major bookmakers today. The truth is that there are others, generally less popular, that are not served in the same way by all companies.

Therefore, the importance of this point will depend mainly on the interests of each user. Fans of cycling, darts and winter sports, just to mention three prototypes with less publicity than football and tennis worldwide, will surely have to do a little more research than "traditional" bettors. In any case, the latter will have to pay special attention to the markets, often uneven even in mainstream sports.

Live betting

For some time now, real time betting has been the most attractive and entertaining option for many players. It is logical, if you take into account the dynamics, adrenaline and constant change that mark the rhythm of this modality. Undoubtedly, this factor must be especially valued when choosing a good bookmaker. Due to the incessant variation of the odds, this is a very interesting way of playing in order to achieve good profits.

In relation to the live bets, you must pay attention to the system's operation, the user interface, the accessibility to the different events and their respective bets, and also to the precision with which the content is presented on the screen. These issues will facilitate moving with a certain speed within the site, taking advantage of good opportunities and being able to close bets in time; in short, they will increase the possibilities of obtaining profits.


Above all, it is worth noting that there is no bookmaker that always publishes the best market shares. This fluctuates and that is why it is convenient to be registered with more than one operator. At the same time, it is true that it can be complicated to control the movement of odds on many pages simultaneously. However, registering with three bookmakers can be productive in the long run.

First of all, it will allow you to take advantage of the best option in each event and, consequently, increase your income. In this matter, beyond the odds themselves, it is ideal to carry out the probability calculation explained above to determine the profit margin that each bookmaker speculates on.

Bonuses and promotions

To conclude, and although it is not one of the most significant factors, the welcome bonus can be an interesting collaboration on the part of the bookmaker, both for those who are starting out and for bettors who are already registered. Used with cunning, intelligence and some appropriate strategy, a promotion can become doubly profitable.


The famous welcome bonus is a gift that bookmakers offer in order to attract new users and, at the same time, satisfy those loyal customers who are already registered. It is worth making it clear from the beginning that there are different types of bonuses and that each operator has his own proposal. Likewise, both the bonuses and the promotions meet their respective terms and conditions, which will be analyzed below.

Welcome bonus sports betting
Welcome bonus sports betting

Terms and Conditions

Taking the time to read carefully the rules that bookmakers impose on each promotion is as important as looking for the most competitive odds, studying the details of an event or choosing the bookmaker that best suits your profile.

In this space, the companies include issues such as the number of days the bonus is valid, the odds of the promotion (2.00 or more, for example), the minimum and maximum allowed in terms of money to be deposited, the requirements to be met to withdraw the winnings and other issues that are always worth reviewing. A good parameter to understand if the bonus is really profitable is to analyze the number of bets that the operator demands to make before disposing of the money obtained from the bonus.

The two main variants

All bookmakers have their welcome offers for betting online. The most frequent and well-known modality is the bonus that the operator grants when a user registers or makes his first deposit. There are 50%, 100% and occasionally more.

At the same time, there are freebets or free bets. This is an amount of money given by the bookmaker to the user, which does not appear in the account balance. This money can be used to bet and the occasional winnings obtained from it will become part of the bank. The methodology regarding freebets varies depending on the bookmaker and the promotion. Sometimes they can be related to a specific event and require that the gambler uses them in that event. It can also happen that it is not a direct gift but a gift based on a previous deposit. Example: a free bet of 20 euros to anyone who deposits 20 euros.

Improved installment offers

This alternative is undoubtedly more than an interesting possibility for those who are looking for a place to start their sports betting adventure. Improved odds offers are, as the concept itself says, alterations of the original odds that bookmakers make in order to attract potential users. So, if the odds corresponding to the victory of Barcelona over Espanyol pay 1.27, it goes up considerably to 3.00, 4.00 or 5.00, for example.

Of course, these are not always great opportunities. As it usually happens in the game world, you need to study, patience, and curiosity. In these cases, it is worth investigating the event itself and asking about the maximum bet, which is usually 10 euros, to determine whether this is a profitable move.

Tips and tricks

Since releasing the bonus requires several bets of a certain amount of money, after registration and initial deposit, a good way to cover possible losses is to open two or three accounts simultaneously. Assuming that Real Madrid and Barcelona are playing against each other, this will allow you to place a bet on one team in one of the houses and play the other in another. Of course, it is necessary to make accounts in advance to confirm that there is a balance regardless of the result.

In the case of novice gamblers, the number one advice is something certainly simple but not less important: handle yourself with the maximum precautions, as if the money given by the bonus was your own and real. Similarly, it is essential to bet with the highest odds and on lesser known sports.