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Different Types of Sports Betting – Most Popular Ways to Bet

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Most individuals will find that there are plenty of opportunities to make a bet, whether it’s a wager on a football match with some friends or gambling at an online casino. With over 80 licensed online bookmakers in the UK (as of 2021, at least), it’s even easier for people to start doing sports betting on whatever games they want.
If you’re just starting out or simply want a refresher, it might be worth taking a quick look into some of the more popular betting types, as well as a few of our top tips for choosing the ideal online betting site.

Why is sports betting so popular?

While gambling has been a part of our society for many years now, it’s no secret that online betting is more popular than ever – and it’s showing no signs of stopping. Around 7.6 million people said that they would try placing a wager on the internet at some point, and the number has only been increasing as time goes on.
Betting is an activity that a variety of people can get involved with and enjoy, so it’s understandable that more individuals are drawn to the benefits that online platforms have to offer.

Choosing the right bookmaker

Online or in-person, there are often quite a few things that you should look out for when choosing a bookmaker. Here are just 5 points to consider that more specifically relate to choosing one on the internet:
  • Are they a licensed site?
  • Does the bookmaker have a good reputation?
  • Do they have good customer service?
  • What types of bets can you place?
  • Does it offer good odds compared to other websites?

What bonuses do they offer?

Most crypto sports betting sites will also have various bonuses and promotions running at any given time to entice gamblers to bet with them. This is especially the case for the better-established providers.

The 4 most popular ways to bet

There’s no doubt that there are a wide variety of ways to make a bet; ranging from the more well-known ones like over/under bets (commonly known as total bets in the US), to more interesting and complex forms like futures bets.
With so many bookmakers online, it’s even easier to make a wager as you please, so if you’re not familiar with exactly how to bet, it’s well worth learning a little more about the most common options and how they work.

1. Win bets

Typically, this is one of the easiest forms of wager to understand – and this is a huge reason why it’s also often considered to be the most popular. Essentially, in a standard football match, you’d be able to place a bet on one of the two teams involved (and potentially the chance of them drawing too), with pre-set odds. The odds determine the amount of money paid out if you win, with higher amounts offering larger rewards.
Aside from simplicity, win bets can be attractive to bettors because they work in pretty much any setting. Any sport, game, match, or type of event can be betted on with this form of wager and the sheer versatility is another part of why it’s so widely used across the globe.

2. Point spread bets

Another type that you might already be familiar with is point spread betting, although it may also be referred to as handicap betting. The basic principle of these wagers is fairly simple; the bookmaker decides which team they think will win and by how many points or scores. Your job is to decide whether or not they’re over or underestimating.
For example, the number may be 2 goals in a football match for a particular team. You need to determine whether or not you think they’ll win by at least that amount, or if the other team will win instead. Like win bets, these can be placed on a variety of sports where there are multiple teams/players facing off (at least two).

3. Handicap bets

While similar to point spreads (handicap betting), there are differences between the two that make handicap bets worth mentioning. Bookmakers tend to make their estimates quite even, which essentially makes the chances of winning more difficult. So, the favourite team can be given a handicap that they need to overcome, which is generally additional criteria to the standard win or lose format.
Handicaps are typically used when a particular team is an obvious choice to win/lose, and are often introduced to spice things up a little or to even up the odds for the bet.

4. Futures bets

This is easily the most complex of the different types of wagers on this list. Futures sports betting can result in a large and lengthy wager, but it can be an interesting choice. Also known as outright bets, these are placed for who you believe the winner of a tournament, competition, etc. will be and is placed at the beginning of the season. Again, it can be quite versatile; from backing a tennis player to win a particular tournament, to the football team in the English Premier League.
As you can imagine, the fact that these are often placed well ahead of time can make it harder to pick the winning competitor – although most bookmakers make up for this with high potential payouts.

Final thoughts

Here’s a quick breakdown of everything we’ve discussed:
  • There are quite a few different popular styles of sports betting, with some of the most common being win, point spread, handicap and futures bets
  • There are several ways to determine which bookmaker is best for you, so searching for the right one online shouldn’t be too much of a hassle