The Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Betting – Mastering Wagering in 2024

The Absolute Beginner's Guide to Betting - Mastering Wagering in 2024

Betting has come a long way in recent years. It moved from the shadows into the spotlight, and it’s now more mainstream and accepted than ever before. All around the globe, people are not just watching sports—they’re also placing bets, making predictions, and adding a whole new level of excitement to every game. 

If you’ve been curious about stepping into the world of betting but need to know where to start, you’re in the right place. This short guide is designed just for you. Let’s dive in and discover the basics of betting together, ensuring you have a solid starting point for your adventure.


Where to Bet

First and foremost, you need to decide on a betting outlet. Depending on where you are, you may have the chance to bet at international outlets like Betway or various local brands. Whichever the case, make sure you do your homework. 

Check which brands are available for you, and dive into their track record. Avoid those that have repeated issues with anything from payouts to customer support. Choose a betting site that’s reputable, licensed, and with few examples of negative feedback from real-life users.


Ask yourself: why do you want to bet on sports? Is it because you want to win some extra money? Or maybe it’s just because you want to heighten your excitement when watching your favorite sport?

This may seem a trivial thing but it changes your attitude toward betting. If you intend to bet for the excitement of it, you don’t have to dive into the intricacies of probabilities, you can keep things casual and fun. If you are serious about earning money while doing it, things get a bit more complicated.


What to Bet on

What should you bet on? Generally, you should stick to things you know a great deal about. If you are a soccer fan, you’re in luck – it is the most followed, most covered, and most discussed sport ever, both in the media and on betting sites. If you are a seasoned soccer fan, you’ll find it easier to place successful bets on it.

But don’t venture into betting on basketball, cricket, or rugby – if you don’t know how these sports work, you’ll probably face repeated failure. When you dive into betting at first, make sure you choose a sport you are familiar with. Exploring different sports may be thrilling but it will most likely cost you.


One of the first things you need to do when you start your betting journey is learn how betting odds work. They serve a dual purpose: they tell you how likely an outcome is and how much you can expect to win if you bet on said outcomes. 

Note that betting odds and real odds are not always the same – betting sites always calculate with their profit margins or bend the odds to make certain bets more attractive. 

Types of Odds

Betting sites, in general, use two main types of odds: moneyline odds and decimal odds. These two express the same thing, basically, but in a very different way.

  • Moneyline odds approach betting from a money perspective, calculating with a $100 bet:
      • +150 means you need to bet $100 to win $150
      • -150 means you need to bet $150 to win $100
  • Decimal odds are more straightforward: they act as a multiplier for your bet. If you bet $100 at odds of 1.5, for example, you can expect to get $150 if you win: $100 represents your bet, and the remaining $50, represents your winnings.

Moneyline odds are usually used in the US, while decimal odds are standard for the rest of the world.



Betting sites list countless outcomes you can bet on. Some are straightforward, like the result of a match or the range of goals scored, others are more obscure, like the first player to score a goal in a match. And, as you might expect, some of them are safer than others.

Take the simplest soccer bet, for example, the winner of a match, often marked as 1X2. Here, you have three possible outcomes:

  • 1 -the home team wins
  • X – draw
  • 2 – the away team wins

Statistics show that draws are the least likely of the three outcomes. Around 75% of the time, the match ends with the victory of one of the two teams. To determine which team is more likely to win, you need to do some digging into their statistics, the news about any injuries or suspensions, and similar data. Most of this is freely available online. 

Not all betting markets are this straightforward, though. Many markets are far less predictable, like the correct score or the first goalscorer of the game. And some can sometimes feel like a game of pure chance, like betting on the number of corner shots in a game. As a general rule, these bets come with the highest potential payouts but also a much higher risk involved.

If you are a beginner, stick to safer markets at first, ones that are the easiest to predict. Once you gain a better understanding of odds, probabilities, and betting markets, you can explore other options that fit your risk tolerance.

Bankroll Management

Bankroll Management while Betting

Even if you only bet occasionally and with small amounts, you should be mindful of the money you spend. Winning is fun and all, but losing is always a possibility. So, even if you are a casual bettor, keep a few things in mind when it comes to betting:

  • Always have a betting budget. It’s important to set aside a specific amount for betting – money you can afford to lose. If you are a regular bettor, this amount can be a separate entry in your monthly budget. If you are casual, it can be part of your “entertainment budget”.
  • Adjust your bets according to your goals. If your goal is to bet in the long run, you can place smaller bets – but if you go for profit, you can place larger bets on safer markets. 
  • Never chase your losses! Chasing your losses means placing subsequent bets, perhaps even higher amounts, to win back what you lost. This is one of the worst things you can do when betting! The best course of action is to consider the money you’re betting as if it was already lost.
  • Know when to walk away! Set a limit both for your wins and your losses and stop betting once you reach them. 

So, let’s sum up what you need to know if you are at the very beginning of your betting journey:

  • Choose a reputable betting outlet, preferably one that has a good track record and is licensed in your jurisdiction
  • Stick to the sports you know for the best results. Nothing beats in-depth knowledge of what you are betting on.
  • Understand the odds and what they mean for your winnings and the probability of an outcome.
  • Understand betting markets and the level of risk involved in each of them
  • Practice good bankroll management and be mindful of your betting budget.

Sports betting can be a fun way to make watching a match more exciting. Or it can be a way to win some extra money. Or it can be both – if you do it right. It’s important, though, that you know what you’re doing – and you’re doing it the right way. 

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Aleksandra Kontic

I am Aleksandra Kontic, a content creator and writer for, a website renowned for its engaging content. My academic background includes studying English language and literature at the Faculty of Philosophy in Novi Sad, where I honed my writing skills and analytical abilities. This educational journey laid the groundwork for my career in content creation.