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Betting Academy: Introduction to football betting

Updated on 3:47pm GMT 4 August 2022
Betting Academy: Introduction to football betting

Before becoming a Sports Journalist for Free Super Tips, Aaron spent three years studying Sports Journalism at the University of Sunderland while taking in the Black Cats' 'glory years' under Martin O'Neill. Now back in Northern Ireland he turns niche stats into predictions for FST, while he's one of the few people on this island who is equally comfortable at Windsor Park and the Aviva.

Even a casual viewer of football would find betting hard to avoid in the modern game. From pre-match advertisements to club and shirt sponsors, it’s no secret that football betting is huge in the UK and beyond.

The rise of online betting has supercharged the rise of punting on football, making it easier than ever to have a flutter on the action. However, with betting now so accessible it’s important to completely understand how to bet smartly and safely.

That’s why we’ve launched our new Betting Academy series, covering all the key things you need to know before you place your first bet.

What is football betting?

To put it simply, football betting is an attempt to predict the outcome of a match or competition. You place an amount of money on the bet as a stake and if your prediction is successful the bet wins, returning your winnings on top of the amount you staked.

These days it’s possible to bet on everything from there being a corner in the next five minutes of a game to predicting the winner of the next World Cup or European Championships. Most bookmakers also offer special markets, such as betting on a team’s next manager or a player’s next club.

In short, there’s not much in football that you can’t bet on.

How does betting on football work?

The UK isn’t short on bookmakers, who each price up a wide range of markets on football matches, competitions and specials. They provide odds on an outcome, reflecting the likelihood of it coming to pass.

For instance, if Manchester City were to host a promoted team in their next Premier League game, you’d expect them to be around 1/10 to win the match. That means that a £10 bet on City would return £1 in addition to your original stake.

Given that small return, most punters would go a different route in that kind of game. You could try another market, combine multiple bets from the same game or add the bet into an accumulator. The more unlikely the outcome, the bigger the odds. If you land an unlikely bet – say, Leicester winning the league at 5,000/1 – then the returns can be huge. However, the odds tend to be that long for a reason.

We go into further depth on this in our guide to football betting markets.

How to select and place football bets

To place a football bet online, you first need to choose a bookmaker, sign up and deposit money into your account. Most bookmakers tend to offer new customers some kind of reward for their first deposit or bet, such as those in our Free Bets section.

Bookmakers’ websites or apps tend to be easy to navigate, with most providing punters with a straightforward interface laying out all the various markets they cover. Simply select the bet(s) you want to back, enter the amount you want to stake on it and place the bet.

However, with so many football matches taking place worldwide, it can be tough to find which bet or market is best for an individual game. That’s where FST’s experts come in, as we provide you with accumulators, bet of the day tips and in-depth match predictions.

What else do I need to know?

Before you start betting, it’s important to be aware of the dangers around gambling. We are committed to responsible gambling and want to ensure that you remain in control of your gambling and keep it safe and enjoyable.

For more information around safer gambling and the problems to watch out for, you can see our guidelines here.

We also have plenty more betting advice for you if you want to learn more before placing your first bet. With the basics of betting covered, why not take a look at our guide to the most popular football betting markets?

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Build better bets with our free betting tips, predictions and accumulators, every day.

Betting Academy Directory:

Introduction to Football Betting

Betting Markets explained

Best niche football betting markets

How to claim betting offers

How to research football bets

Best football betting resources

Bet Builder guide

Football outrights betting guide

Meet the Experts

FST Tips explained

Football Betting Guide Master article

To squeeze every drop of value out of today’s Football Predictions and Tomorrow’s Football Predictions we highly recommend you take a look at our Free Bets hub, where you can compare all the best free bets and special offers from the best sportsbooks around.

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