Betting can be quite challenging when you first start out. With all the betting jargon, strategies and a seemingly endless number of free bets, there’s a lot to think about. But it shouldn’t be that way. That’s where our beginners betting guide comes in handy.
Read on as we round up everything a beginner needs to know about betting in 2019 and beyond.
The state of play
Betting is incredibly popular with a huge range of individuals up and down the UK and across the globe. Punters use betting strategies to make full-time incomes, secondary incomes or just for fun.
Whatever level you want to achieve and how far you take your betting is completely up to you, but everyone has to start somewhere.
You can’t open your first bookie account and start placing winnings wagers right from the start. It takes time and dedication to analyse form and pick winning bets. More on that later.
So you’ve decided to start betting, great choice!
The first thing you need to consider is where to place your bets.
Picking the right bookmaker
The first step of any betting strategy is finding the right bookmaker. This is especially important when you’re a beginner as your first account will give you a lasting impression of what betting is like. You don’t want it to be a bad one.
As you may already know, there are hundreds of different betting companies all vying for your business. However, they are not all created equal and some certainly suit betting beginners more than others.
So what should you look out for when picking your first bookmaker?
Stick with the big dogs
My first recommendation is to stick to the big dogs in the industry. What do I mean by this?
In my view, it’s best to bet with companies that have been around for a while. Here are a few reasons why:
- Great sign up offers to get you started
- Awesome customer support
- Easy to use betting platforms
Let’s check these out in more detail.
Great sign up offers
As we’ll look at later, sign up offers are a big draw for a lot of new punters and with good reason.
Larger firms have more money to spend on marketing so they’re more likely to offer more generous free bets and other sign up promotions to beginners.
Take a look at this £10 Smarkets free bet.
Awesome customer support
Customer support is vital in the modern world. Everyone wants everything right now meaning there’s no time for poor support. If something’s not up to scratch, punters move to new bookmakers before you can blink.
Once again larger and older companies have spent time and money developing their customer support services. They typically offer more that one method of contact and their staff are generally very helpful.
This is great for betting beginners when you first log in and you aren’t sure what to do.
Easy to use betting platforms
Another great aspect of sticking to large bookmakers is that they generally have easy to use betting platforms and mobile apps.
That’s not to say all of them are like this. Some bookies have overly complicated websites displaying an endless number of betting markets and categories. In my view, this just complicates things and makes it difficult for beginners to navigate their way around.
But on the whole, larger companies generally offer a superior UI (user interface) and overall betting experience.
Look for promotions and sign up offers
As I touched on earlier in the guide, it’s important to keep an eye on bookmakers promotions and sign up offers.
It’s common for bookies to use generous free bets and other bonuses to incentivise new punters to their platform.
Whilst you may be dubious about these free bets at first, there’s nothing to worry about as long as you adhere to the terms and conditions.
When you first start betting, it’s vital you take as much value as you can. The bookies are handing out free money so it’s worth grabbing with both hands. Free money in the betting industry doesn’t come around too often.
As I’ve already mentioned, most bookmakers offer these promotions meaning it can be quite tricky to pick just one. But using the process above, you should be able to reduce your options.
One thing I would advise is to stay away from free bets that have significant rollover requirements.
These are terms and conditions that the bookmakers use to trap any profits you might make in your betting account. Whilst there are methods around this, it’s a hassle you don’t need as a betting beginner.
So, look for free bets that don’t have these rollover requirements and you’re in business.
Overall picking the right bookmaker as a betting beginner is crucial if you want to succeed in the long run. The more you enjoy your first betting experience, the more likely you are to stick at it in the future.
The signup process
So you’ve picked your favourite bookmaker, the next thing we’re going to look at in our beginners betting guide is the signup process.
In the modern world of online gambling, this process is fairly straightforward. It’s in the bookmaker’s interest to get you signed up quickly so you can start placing bets.
Most bookies offer a standard signup process requiring similar fields etc. Here’s a look at what the Smarkets signup process looks like.
As you can see, the fields required are fairly common such as your email address, password and date of birth etc.
Before you log in, Smarkets urge you to place a deposit. You can skip this section but you may as well place a small deposit of £10 for example.
Where to start with you betting
Once you’re into your account and you’ve placed your first deposit, it’s time to start placing some bets. As a beginner, you may be wondering where to place your first few bets.
It’s a fair question and many punters have this question when they first get started. I suggest you stick with the main sporting categories and markets.
I often recommend new bettors start with football betting for the following reasons.
- It’s incredibly easy to place bets on these markets
- There’s plenty of betting activity
- There are loads of games to place your bets on
Obviously, if you feel comfortable you can look at other sporting categories but I suggest you stick with the most popular ones initially.
In terms of markets, again it’s good practice to start with the most common ones like Win/Draw/Win or Correct Score. You can implement different strategies later on.
How to place your first bet
Placing your first wager is a big step in your betting journey and it’s incredibly exciting. Therefore it’s important to get everything right.
The process is very similar across most bookmakers and betting exchanges and it’s very easy.
Here’s the process you can follow at Smarkets. This is a betting exchange but it’s very similar to a traditional bookmaker like Bet365 or Ladbrokes.
In this scenario, I want to place a bet on Leicester City to beat Newcastle in the League Cup. So I navigate to the correct market and click the desired link. This is what you should see next.
Next, I’ll add the stake that I want to bet. Once you’ve double-checked your bets, go ahead and click Place Bet.
There you have it, that’s how easy it is to place your first bet.
Beginners betting guide top tips
Finally, I’ve got a few tips to add in our beginners betting guide that will certainly come in handy.
Do your research
This tip may or may not be of interest to you, it all depends on what you want to achieve with your betting.
Some people are interested in making a long term profit from betting whereas others just see it as a bit of fun. Either way, it’s up to you.
Research is obviously important if you want to pick successful bets time and time again. With all the information available on the internet, this has become very easy in the last few years.
You can look into form, team news and head to heads etc. Basically, anything that will help you beat the bookies.
Double-check your bets
One of the most important tips for beginners is to always double-check your bets before and after you’ve placed them.
This has saved me and countless others a lot of profit over the years. We’re all human and it’s very easy to make mistakes with so many options available to us.
You can avoid these mistakes by double-checking all your bets. If you see a mistake early you can often eradicate it. It’s better that way rather than letting the bet settle and your bets be at risk of going horribly wrong.
Beginners betting guide summary
I hope this betting for beginners guide has helped you understand the basics of betting and what you need to do to get started.
Betting is great fun once you know what you’re doing and know how to pick winning wagers. But it all takes time to learn so don’t rush into things. That way you should avoid any mistakes and enjoy the process.
Keep learning new strategies and methods by using sites like The Sure Bettor and you’ll be a pro in no time.
If you need any more help or you think we’ve missed some key information let me know by leaving a comment below right now.