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An introduction to football betting
Betting on football has been a national pastime as far back as we can remember. And football betting sites have gained huge popularity over the past couple of decades. They’re convenient, offer competitive odds and can be accessed any time any place.
Remember when you had to run out of the pub and down to a bookies on the high street to place a bet? Seems like a long time ago, right? With advancements in technology, you can now access top betting sites in an instant. And these sites offer new and exciting ways to bet on all your favourite matches.
So, how do you know which betting websites are the best? Well, let’s have a look at what the experts here at Gamble.xyz has to say.
What we look for in football betting sites
Our team of reviewers work round the clock, vetting and reviewing UK bookmakers’ sites. And they’ve learned a lot over the years! From football odds and markets, to the best sign-up bonuses and top loyalty programs, they know a thing or two about UK betting sites.
So, here’s what they look for in a great new site.
Solid selection of betting markets
Betting on football has come a long way since simply slapping a tenner down and claiming a win, lose or draw on your favourite side. We want a lot more from our bookies these days, and the top betting sites will offer customers a huge array of markets to wager on.
Markets simply refer to the different types of bet you can place, and betting companies now offer a staggering amount of markets on each match, league and cup.
Bets you can make include things like: will a certain player score? How many headers will be taken? Will a player score with his head or his feet? How many corners will one side take?
And that’s for starters! You can now bet on yellow cards, penalties and how many times the ball hits the crossbar. The possibilities are endless.
So, if you’re looking for a great new betting site for football, make sure they have a wide selection of markets for you to choose from.
Wide array of football events to choose from
Online bookies need to offer, not only a great selection of markets to their customers, but also a huge variety of football events, too. When looking for the best football bets, you want to know that you can pick any match, league or tournament in Europe. And the rest of the world!
Everyone loves the Premier League, but can you imagine if that was all you were allowed to bet on? Therefore, look for sites that offer an array of events for you to wager on. One day, you might fancy a bet on a Third Division team. And the next you fancy a flutter on the UEFA Champions League. Whatever football event you want to wager on, make sure your bookies offers you that chance.
Good welcome offer
Being a new punter at a betting shop online in the UK means access to some of the best bonuses around. You can pick up a variety of awesome sign-up offers. As well as rewards for depositing with a site more than once.
Some great bonuses you can snap up include:
- Free bets
- Matched deposit bonuses
- Enhanced odds
- Acca bets / insurance
- Free spins at an online casino
- VIP and loyalty programs
- Bet clubs
For more information about these offers, see ‘Betting Site Offers and Promotions’ below.
Football specific promotions
Bookies online work hard to attract new customers. Not only can you pick up some great bonuses as a new customer, but there are also football-specific offers for footy fans.
These may include:
- Enhanced odds on specific matches or cups
- Accumulator bets (Accs bets) on specific leagues
- Free bets on certain matches
- Acca insurance, where you get money back (usually in the form of a free bet) if you lose one match in your accumulator
Football is the most popular sport at an online bookies. So make sure your next bookmaker offers you chances to boost your betting power with some great football-related bonuses.
In-play betting & streaming
Nowadays, with so many markets and games, the action continues long after the start of the match. At the top bet sites in the UK, you can watch all your favourite matches unfold with live streaming straight to your PC, laptop or mobile.
Top tech has made it possible to watch all games in real time. And with in-play betting, you can add bets during matches as well as before them.
Therefore, when looking for your next bookies, be sure that they offer both live streaming and in-play bets. So that you can get the very best from your gambling experience.
When it comes to football and betting, good odds can make all the difference. Footy odds differ from site to site. And our experts recommend shopping around, before deciding on new bookmakers.
All bookies add margins to their odds. It’s how they make a profit! But some sites add a little too much for our liking, and this can affect your winnings significantly. Therefore, look for sites with competitive football odds. So that you can get the most out of your bets and bonuses.
Football bet builders
One of the most popular ways to combine bets and have some serious fun is with a bet builder. The top betting sites offer this great feature. And it’s a fun way to potentially win a lot of money with a small stake.
A bet builder is a custom-made multiplier bet where you can make a series of bets within one match. Combine different elements to bet on, such as the final result, who will score first and how many yellow cards will be given.
The great thing is, you get to choose what to bet on throughout the match. Plus, the odds of each outcome get multiplied together. So, if they all come in, you could be in for quite a prize!
So be on the lookout for a bookies with great bet builder opportunities.
Popular football betting markets
As we’ve seen, football betting sites need to offer their clients great markets. So that you can wager on multiple outcomes across different events.
So, what are the most popular betting markets? Let’s take a closer look at what you can bet on today.
Final result (Win/Draw/Win)
The most common, and most popular bet is a simple one. Will the team you choose win, lose or draw? This straightforward wager offers clear odds. So it’s very easy to see how much you could win from placing a bet on the winning side.
Generally, this is not a bet that will win you big prizes. Unless, by some fluke, you back a team that has a terrible chance of winning and they somehow pull it off. But, let’s be honest, that doesn’t happen very often.
If you want to add more excitement and greater odds to this bet, consider a bet builder. By adding in extra possibilities, you’ll increase your odds and possible returns.
Another footy betting favourite is guessing the correct score of a match. More difficult to predict than the overall result, this can be a fun and exciting bet.
You will also get better odds than if you just predict a win or a draw. But, if you want to spice things up a bit, you could add some extra wagers in-play, such as who will score first, how many corners there will be and if penalties will play a part in the end result.
With in-play betting, there are lots of ways to add bets into the game and make it more exciting.
Ok, so this one sounds crazy. If you don’t want to put all of your stake on one team, then you can bet on both! Double chance betting is as close to a guaranteed win as you can get with football bets.
For example, Arsenal are playing Tottenham this weekend. You think Spurs will win, so you put a tenner on it. But, you have a sneaking suspicion that Arsenal might snatch the game. So, with a double chance bet, you can bet on both Arsenal and Tottenham winning with the same £10 stake. The only way you’ll lose is if they draw.
While this might sound like the greatest betting option you’ve ever heard of, you must remember that you have a 2 out of 3 chance of winning. And the odds will reflect that.
Double chance bets are a fantastic way to safeguard yourself from a loss. But don’t expect the odds to be very good, when the chances of you winning are so high!
If you love your goal stats and have a keen eye for spotting a likely outcome, then over/under wagers can be an awesome way to profit from your knowledge.
You can place a bet on the total number of goals during the game being over or under a certain amount. There are various selections to choose from. The first possibility is over or under 0.5 goals.
In this example, under 0.5 would be a 0-0 draw, and over 0.5 could be any team to score a goal. The odds will change depending on the likelihood of the outcome and you can often bet during the game as well.
Biggest football leagues for betting
With football being the most popular sport in the world, it’s no surprise that punters in the UK love betting on all the top leagues from other countries, as well as British football.
So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at the top tournaments on which you can place your best football bets today.
Premier League (UK)
This league needs no introduction! If you’ve ever watched a football match on TV, then it’s fair to say you’ve caught some of the action offered by the UK’s Premier League.
The top 20 teams in the UK compete in this tournament, with the season running from August to May each year. And, with 38 matches in total, there’s plenty to bet on each week with the Premier League.
Watch all the major clubs and their legendary players. And keep an eye on the ever-changing league table. Plus, with transfer windows and new signings, there’s no end to the potential betting markets with this first-class football competition.
La Liga (Spain)
Probably the most popular league for UK fans, after the Premier League. The Spanish La Liga is home to some of the biggest football teams in the world, with the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bilbao all competing for the title of top dog each year.
Plus, these teams also lay claim to some of the finest footballers on the planet, like Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets. And you can watch all the magic at your favourite live-streaming bet site.
Also, an added benefit of betting on La Liga is that most games are played in the late evenings, due to the heat of Spain. So you can sneak in a cheeky pint at your local, while you tune into some of the most exciting football in all of Europe!
Serie A (Italy)
The Italian equivalent of the Premier League, Serie A was once one of the most-watched leagues in the world.
However, after a while, punters got a little bored of the predictability of Serie A, with Juventus winning the competition 9 years on the trot.
But, after a decade of relative dullness, this Italian league seems to be on the up again, with old favourites AC Milan and Inter Milan showing promise of knocking Juventus off the top spot. So, it seems this once-great competition is gaining traction among fans again. And we can’t wait to see what the new season has in store!
Ligue 1 (France)
Another hugely popular tournament is the French Ligue 1. With all the top teams in France going head to head weekly, this competition is a smorgasbord of betting opportunities!
Just like La Liga, Serie A and the Premier League, the Ligue 1 season runs from August to May, with 38 matches in total. But, unlike some of the more predictable leagues in Europe, it’s anybody’s game in this clash of the titans.
That being said, in recent years the Paris St Germain club has gained most of the press, due to its massive cash injection from investors, and subsequent purchase of some of the hottest players in the world.
Founded in 1963, the German Bundesliga is the relative ‘new kid on the block’. And with just 18 teams competing over 34 matches, betting on this league is a much more intimate affair.
But, just because it’s smaller, it doesn’t make it any less exciting! With incredible teams like Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund all going up against each other, the Bundesliga offers just as much nail-biting action as any other competition in the world.
Plus, just like La Liga, because this tournament is held in Europe, you can get in on the action most evenings, from your PC, phone or tablet. And have a little flutter while you enjoy a pint of your favourite (most likely German) lager!
Champions League (international)
Finally, we come to the creme de la creme of football tournaments: The UEFA Champions League.
This competition brings together the 32 best teams across Europe to fight it out for the ultimate title. And it’s an absolute betting frenzy!
Founded in 1955, the Champions League started life as the ‘European Cup’ before changing its name in the 90s. And there’s nothing quite like watching these incredible teams reach the knockout stages towards the end of the league.
Plus, each year the UK just 4 spots in this extra-special tournament. Meaning that the Top 4 Premier League teams generally get put forward. So, it really is a culmination of the absolute best teams in Europe all in one competition!
Betting sites offers & promotions
All of the best betting sites UK will have some fantastic offers available. It’s important that the bookies keep the customers coming through the door and the best way to do that is to hand out free cash on the way in!
OK, so you won’t literally find bags of cash waiting for you upon arrival, but what you can expect are some terrific bonuses that have the potential to land you a nice little earner.
Here are some of the most popular incentives that you can get right now by signing up to a new site.
If betting is what you love doing, then what could be better than doing it for free? Many punters consider this to be the best bet bonus around and it continues to grow in popularity all the time.
So how does it work?
To reward new customers for registering, a bookie can give out free bets to use on their site. It may be open-ended with the possibility to bet on any event or market that you choose. However, they may restrict its use to a popular race meeting like the Grand National, for example.
What you’ll likely find is that there are minimum odds restrictions. And potentially, they can enforce a maximum cashout to the amount that you can win, among others. Take a few minutes to read the T&Cs if you want to make the most of your bonus.
Online bookies the world over have embraced the match deposit with both hands. It’s clearly a bookie’s favourite and for very good reason; the customer needs to spend some money first!
When you make a deposit to qualify for this offer, the site will match the amount that you pay in. It’s usually 100% and up to a fixed amount.
For example, you deposit £20 into your betting account and the bookie will deposit £20 into your account as well.
There will be wagering and other rules in play so, again, check the details.
Why do they give out this free betting money? Well, the bookmaker wants your business – it’s a way for them to entice players to bet on their site instead of somewhere else.
You shouldn’t think of it as free money. You were always prepared to have a punt with your own money. The bonus cash is just another chance to enjoy more action.
Acca bet promotions
Football betting sites are the kings of the accumulator. Everyone fancies their chances of beating the bookies. Moreover, with an Acca bet, you can hit them hard by risking a very small amount in the process.
As a welcome bonus, this has to be one of the most tempting. New customers don’t need to wager anything on the bet. They can simply make a selection and collect the winnings if it comes in.
As always, read the small print to make sure you fully understand an offer before accepting it.
Football live betting & streaming
Online betting sites provide betting action across a range of sports and other ad-hoc events. And some of their biggest markets, especially in the UK, are on football matches through the various leagues. Naturally, the Premier League sees the vast majority of the action, but the Championship and other lower leagues can also draw in a decent crowd too.
The beautiful game has millions of fans and many of them love to have a flutter on a few matches here and there. And with new, in-play options it’s now possible to continue the betting fun during the game as well.
The days of only placing bets before the game starts are gone and modern bookies will happily open up various markets during the match.
Options such as ‘next player to score’, ‘over/under goals’ and ‘final score’ can all present fantastic live-play action for punters. Part of the fun is watching the game unfold so you have a better idea of when to bet. But with the price of TV sports packages constantly going up and up, this can be impossible for some fans to afford.
Luckily, loads of the top sites in the UK now have an option to stream the game live if you place a bet on the match. One of the biggest advantages is that it won’t cost you extra to do so. It’s all free and above board.
It’s super helpful to have the game streaming live to your laptop or other devices. Not only do you get to watch the game, but also keep an eye on the bookie’s site as the game unfolds. The odds are constantly changing and will reflect the way the game is going.
Betting on mobile/tablet
It’s never been easier making top football bets on your mobile phone or tablet. With the leading bookies in the UK offering fantastic mobile-friendly sites, as well as dedicated apps, you can catch all the action direct, in the palm of your hand.
By far the quickest way to get into your account and start betting is via a fantastic betting app that you can download to your phone.
Apps offer lightning-fast connection, as well as the most up-to-date markets and odds around. Plus, you can now get live streaming and in-play betting, so that you never miss out on another pass, shot or goal again.
Also, sports betting apps come with additional features that you won’t find anywhere else, such as push notifications for any upcoming matches. As well as any new promotion or bonus offers available.
The only downside we can see to apps is that they take up a lot of memory on your phone. They also need regular updates, which can become a little tedious.
That being said, they are still the quickest and most convenient way to access all your favourite footy betting at the touch of a button.
Browser based betting
If your phone is already full of other apps and files, and you don’t want to overload it, then a great alternative to a betting app is simply accessing your favourite bookies via mobile-optimised online football betting sites.
While not as quick as apps, betting with your phone is still quick and easy to do from your mobile’s internet browser. And you still get all the same up-to-the-minute matches, news and markets.
Plus, you can also access in-play betting and live streaming with a fantastic mobile-ready site. So you’re not missing out on much by not downloading an app.
Quick tips to get started with football betting
It’s not always obvious to know where to start. And for that reason, we’ve put together this bite-sized guide to help you get up and running.
It’s always best to do your own research as well, but these handy tips will at least set you off on the right path.
Research the best bookies
If you want to know exactly how something works, then you need to research the subject. And one of the key areas of study will include the bookies. There are hundreds of them available and it will be difficult if you want to find out about every single one.
There is a better way!
Our team does all the digging around and uncovers everything there is to know about each of the betting websites. You can shorten your search by focusing on sites that we present here on our pages.
Take advantage of football betting promotions
One of the things you’ll notice on our website is that each site listing comes complete with news about the bookie’s promos. These are incredibly lucrative opportunities and you should be considering your favourites very carefully.
Take your time to see how each deal works and make sure that it’s the best kind of promo for you. Some sports fans will prefer a lump sum as part of a deposit bonus, for example, while others may prefer a simple free wager on a match of their choice.
There are loads of different promos out there and you don’t have to stick to just one. Singing up to two or three new betting sites will bag you a ton of extra playing money.
Specialise in certain leagues/teams
Experts know their stuff! Time and time again you’ll see a pro leverage their knowledge and make it work for them in a financial sense.
If you know everything there is to know about one particular area, then you’ll have the edge over your opponents. Firstly, choose your niche, learn everything there is to know about it and use it to your advantage at the bookies. Secondly, follow your favourite teams closely to know how the players are performing.
If you want to give yourself a serious chance of beating the rest of the field, then you will need to learn to identify value in a bet.
It’s not always about who you think will win or lose, but rather making an educated prediction about the chances of the outcome and how they compare to the bookie’s odds.
You can learn to spot a price that you feel is underestimated and buy that position early on. This can be especially useful at a betting exchange when you are betting against another person’s prediction if they don’t have the same ability to spot true value as you do.
Start with the simplest markets
If you’re new to sports betting and have never placed a bet on a football match, then you will want to start with some nice easy markets.
As a football fan, it’s probably fair to say that you understand the game pretty well. You know which teams have a great striker and those which have a poor defence, for example. Simple bets on things like the number of goals or who might score during the match are great ways to test the waters before you get more technical.
Deposit and withdrawal methods for football betting UK
When it comes to making deposits and withdrawals at your favourite football website, you want access to the most cutting-edge and convenient ways to pay.
So, here’s a breakdown of some of the most popular payment options on the market in the UK at the moment.
Digital wallets are one of the most popular ways to make deposits and withdrawals at football betting UK sites. Companies like PayPal, Skrill and Neteller let you open an account for free. And you also have the option to get a prepaid Mastercard, which you can load with funds specifically for betting. These prepaid cards are a fantastic way to monitor your outgoings, and avoid overspending.
But it’s the extra security offered by e-wallets that keeps players coming back for more. As every transaction you make doesn’t require you to enter your card details or your personal information. In fact, all you need is your username and password to make transactions quickly and securely.
However, it’s important to note that e-wallets do come with some fees attached. So it’s important that you read up about these charges before you start to use your new digital wallet.
Bank transfers are still a fantastic way to pay into your favourite footy bookmakers. While not as quick as other methods on the market, punters still like to use bank transfers as they are convenient, secure and usually free to set up.
That being said, bank transfers are definitely the slowest payment method on the market. And you will have to wait a few working days for your funds to clear. So they do not suit players who want to deposit and bet in the same day.
Mastercard, VISA and other debit cards
Debit cards are an extremely popular way to make deposits and withdrawals at any bet site. Most of us already have a debit card in our purse or wallet, so you don’t need to open up any additional accounts, like you would with an e-wallet.
Debit card providers like MasterCard and Visa are accepted at pretty much every site in the world. So it’s fair to say that you never have to worry about this payment method not being available.
However, debit cards are not the safest way to make transactions online. As each time you use them, you give out your card details and personal information to a third party. So that’s something to keep in mind, if you’re particularly safety-conscious.
Pay by phone
There are tons of ways to make payments at your favourite football bet sites using your mobile phone. Lots of modern-day services like Boku, Payforit and Paysafecard all let you use your mobile phone number to deposit.
These options are extremely convenient, especially if you are a mobile bet user yourself. However, you must remember that, in most cases, you cannot use a pay-by-mobile service to withdraw your winnings. And you will have to link another account, such as your debit card or an e-wallet, in order to receive any cash.
The gambling ban on credit cards in the UK
As of April 2020, credit card use at any gambling site in the UK is completely banned. This was a decision made by the UK government, in conjunction with the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), in a bid to stop people spending money that they didn’t have.
Therefore, while you can use your MasterCard, Visa or any other debit card at the UK betting site, you cannot use a credit card.
A selection of frequently asked questions.
Which football leagues are the most popular for betting?
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