How to Get Started Sports Betting Online

sportsbettingMost of the readers of this article already have sports betting experience.

Even if you have never placed bets with an actual bookie (whether a legal bookie in Las Vegas or any of the other jurisdictions where sportsbetting is legal, or a so-called “illegal bookie”), you will have certainly placed a friendly wager on a game against one of your friends.

While betting online can be slightly more sophisticated, you will find the added complexity to be very rewarding because of large number of entertaining betting options that will be available to you.

To get started sports betting online, first you need to choose a sportsbook. There are several good ones listed here at You may wish to start by clicking on the “Best Online Sportsbooks” tab in the menu bar, as that will tell you the sportsbooks that our users rate most highly. If you open an account with one of the books listed on that page, you can be confident that the company is financially stable, has excellent customer service, allows a variety of ways to fund your account, and has an easy interface for placing your online bet. The sportsbooks listed on offer varying bonus policies, varying limits, varying lines, and even different sports – so you have the opportunity to shop for the very best online bookie for your particular sports interests and betting style.

If you are still unsure, then we recommend GTBets, which offers the most betting options and the most original betting lines.  Also, the large variety of deposit options offered means you can place your first bet at GTBetswithin minutes of signing up for an account.

After you have chosen an online sportsbook, you will need to sign up for an account. Most of the sportsbooks have very simple, self-explanatory application forms, so there is no need to explain the process in this article. Simply click the “Sign Up” (or equivalent) link on the sportsbook’s homepage, enter your personal details, and submit the form.

Depositing funds in your account is one of the fundamental differences between betting online and placing bets with your friends or with your local bookie.  Obviously you cannot place your bet money right in the online cashier’s hand since the transaction is taking place in cyber space. But as technology has given us the wonderful gift of betting online, it has also provided a means to transfer money quickly and easily over the internet. Almost every online sportsbook accepts Visa or Mastercard, and, for European clients, a variety of debit cards as well. For larger transfers, most online sportsbooks will accept checks, money orders, bank wire transfers, or Western Union deposits.

If you like to place bets frequently, and perhaps more importantly, receive your winnings nearly instantly, the fastest and easiest way to fund your online sports betting account will be to use an online wallet. There are a variety of options available, all of which offer a simple, yet extremely secure means of opening and funding an online wallet account. Once you have an online wallet it is a simple matter to both place your deposits with, and receive your winnings
from, your chosen online sportsbook.

Some popular online wallets are:

  • Neteller (not available to residents of the U.S.A. or Canada)
  • Moneybookers
    (not available to residents of the U.S.A.)
  • Click2Pay (not accepting new applications from residents
    of the U.S.A.)
  • Ecocard


If you have gotten this far, you are now ready to LET THE GAMES BEGIN and bet to your heart’s content.

Simply select your favorite sport (or political campaign, television show, or a wide variety of other strange events that the bookies will allow you to bet on), click on your favorite team, and you are off and running! After you have attended to the simple matters of choosing a sportsbook, signing up for an account, and transferring your post up funds to your bookie, the only thing left prior to placing your first bet is to understand the odds offered by your sportsbook for the game you want to bet on.


Basically there are four ways that an online sportsbook will specify odds (also known as “the line”). They are American, Decimal, Fractional, and Horse Odds (which are generally used for betting on horse racing). A brief explanation of each type follows.

American style odds:

So called “American style odds” are expressed in terms of a “-” for favorites and a “+” for underdogs.

For example, if the line on the team that you want to bet on is “-120”, that tells you that you must wager $120 dollars in order to win $100 (Or risk $1.20 to win $1.00, whichever makes more sense to you). If the line is “+110,” it means that for every $100 you wager, you stand to win $110.

So when an online sportsbook refers to a “dime line,” they are referring to the difference between the favorite and the underdog. If a favorite is listed as “-120” and the dog is listed as “+110,” then this is a dime line because the favorite bettors are risking .10 more per dollar than the underdog bettors stand to get back. As you can see, this is how a sportsbook makes it’s money. This spread is generally referred to as the “juice” or “vig.”

Decimal odds:

Most European sportsbooks use decimal odds by default. Calculating your winnings using decimal odds is simple. If you wager $100 at 2.31 odds, you will receive $231 ($100 x 2.31) if you win (which includes your original $100 stake). If you wager $100 on 1.75 odds you will receive $175 if you win (which includes your original $100 stake).

Fraction odds:

Some European sportsbooks (especially those catering to punters in the United Kingdom) express odds in fractions. In such cases, the win amount is listed first. So a line listed as 9/10 would give you $9 for a winning bet on a $10 wager.

Horses odds:

In horse racing, odds are generally expressed in the form of x to y (or x – y). You are risking y in order to win x.

For example, if you see odds listed as 10 to 1, it means that you are risking $1 in order to win $10, or $100 in order to win $1000. Conversely, if the odds are 1 to 10, it means that you have to wager $10 to win $1, or $100 to win $10.

To finish off we suggest you search for a sportsbook that suits your needs by using the Where to bet search facility.