Odds & Betting: Are the Bookies Getting it Wrong More or are There Just More Sports to Punt on?
The UK and Yorkshire has long since been the home of sports betting, and this is reflected in a flourishing and expansive industry. With a wealth of offers and promotions available to punters today, sports bet fans are truly spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing where and how to place a bet.
Officially licensed by legislation nearly 60 years ago, sports betting is now a legitimate hobby enjoyed by legions of Brits, and, as the most popular sport in the country, football is by far the most popular market for sports betting. This popularity has continued to soar in recent years; however, with society and hobbies evolving, no longer is betting on the horse track winners one of the most popular ways of having a wager.
In fact, over the last few years Esports, and even novelty sports, have exploded in popularity as demonstrated in this betting guide by WhichBookie which outlined some of the weird and wonderful markets you could have wagered on in December.
In the guide, odds were listed for everything from Christmas Number 1, number of goals on Boxing Day and even who will win Strictly Come Dancing and the results were mixed as the bookies did it get it right when they marked Bill Bailey as favourite to win Strictly.
Infographic by WhichBookie Christmas Betting Markets by WhichBookie
However, with so many new sports now available to bet on, and with novelty betting a new phenomenon it may be time to brush up on those betting basics, especially if you’re wagering online for the first time following the news that bookmaker shops are once again closed.
Refamiliarizing yourself with the Betting basics
If you’re truly a betting novice, then you may appreciate a brief rundown of what betting is and how it works.
Bookmakers, who are licensed bet providers and companies, set odds against a particular event, which reflects the bookmaker’s professional opinion of the likelihood of such an event occurring. For example, if Team A were to play Team B, then a bookmaker, or “bookie” may set their odds on Team A to win at 2/1.
This means that if you wager a tenner on Team A to win at the bookie’s selected odds of 2/1, then you will receive £20 should your bet come off. Of course, if Team A were to draw or lose, then the bookie would keep your wager.
How do I get involved?
As long as your over 18 in the UK, then you’re free to explore the wide and diverse market of British sports betting, and you therefore have a myriad of options on where and how to place your bet.
You may have seen some brick and mortar bookmakers already on your local high streets, and many of these companies are household names which have been around for decades. Traditionally, a punter would head into their local bookie and place a bet at the counter, and be issued with a slip of paper containing the bet details. Bookmakers are a friendly bunch, and are more than happy to assist with any questions.
However, traditional bookmaker shops have had to embrace the rise of technology over the last few years, and therefore most of the larger chains offer quality websites and apps, allowing players to access new and updated markets almost instantly, 24 hours a day.
What’s on offer?
If you’re into your football, then you’ll only be too aware what an exciting and ever changing game it is, where pretty much anything is possible. Bookies know this as well, and therefore there’s a huge range of different bet types to select.
A match bet is the most popular type, where you wager on how you think a particular game will finish, e.g. in a win for Team A or a loss for Team B. Given the simplicity of this option, it is the most popular bet type on football.
You can also wager on goals, cards and corners, and the performance of your favourite player, if you want to back them to score a winning goal or otherwise perform well. As these events are typically less likely, higher odds are usually given by bookies but these types of bets have had trouble with the introduction of VAR.
Another popular bet type is an accumulator, where you bet on multiple games or events, and if you’re lucky, these will all come in as predicted, and win you a tidy sum.
How do I stay safe?
As we’ve said, sports betting is fully legal and regulated in the UK by multiple pieces of legislation. However some potential punters may hold some perfectly understandable reservations about the world of sports betting.
Make sure you always choose a reputable and legally licensed bookmaker to stay on the right side of the law and avoid being ripped off. Bookies also frequently run awareness campaigns to ensure that betting remains a fun hobby, and doesn’t become overwhelming.
With the millions of people who continue to enjoy betting in Britain today, it’s clear that the UK is a great place for football betting and with the bookies now getting odds wrong seemingly more than ever there may never be a better time to take advantage.