How Does Football Betting Work?

Betting School: How Does Football Betting Work?

Football betting, it is fair to say, has never been more popular than it is now. But how does football betting

work? Here, we’ll take a closer look at some of the types of football betting on offer to punters these days, as well as offering some advice on how you can bet more successfully.

Football has conquered most media channels, with a fair percentage of the population avidly following every result, news story and social media sensation that the ‘beautiful game’ generates. Added to this, the explosion of digital mobile communications tech means that more people than ever bet on Britain’s national sport. Keep reading if you want to be part of the action.


Highlights of football betting

  • There are many different types of football betting
  • Live betting on football offers even more variation
  • Following results is very easy, with in-depth media coverage
  • Knowledge and insight are very important if you want to be successful

How does football betting work? The main types of football betting


Any newcomer to the world of football betting might well be surprised by the many types of betting that now exist. From handicap betting to 1X2 betting, to the host of options that live betting offers, there is a seemingly never-ending variety of soccer wagers now on offer to enterprising punters. Here, we’ll explain some of the most popular types of football betting.

1X2 football betting: the basic option

At its most basic level, football betting is about picking the winner from a match. It really is that simple. This is called 1X2 betting. All of the best bookmakers will give odds on the three possible outcomes of a football match: for one or the other team to win, or for the game to end in a draw.

As an example, Manchester United might be 4/5 to beat Arsenal at Old Trafford, with the Gunners at 10/3, and the draw at even-money. You place £50 on Man Utd to win, and get £90 back, a profit of £40. The main advantage of this type of betting is that it is very simple to understand. You can also combine several of these simple bets into an accumulator, which is a good way of maximising possible winnings from short odds bets.

Double chance and DNB betting on football

Double chance betting is very similar to 1X2 betting. Instead of betting on just one outcome, though, you bet on two possible outcomes. The possible outcomes are grouped in pairs, which can help guide you if you are unsure about which bet is the best value.

In the example above, you might bet on Manchester United or the draw at 8/15, or Arsenal or the draw at 2/5, or Manchester United or Arsenal to win at 4/11. Should either of your chosen results come in, your bet will be successful.

This is a variation on the 1X2 bet, in that you bet on the final outcome of the game, but the draw is taken out of the equation. So, in practical terms, if the match on which you are betting is drawn, the football bookmaker will return your stake.

Correct Score and Handicap Football Betting

This type of betting suits punters who have good football knowledge and are prepared to go a stage further in their predictions than simply betting on the outcome of the game. This is a type of wagering where you predict the exact final score of the match. With so many scorelines possible in a game of football, you can often find good football odds, and sometimes much more valuable odds than you would on a simple 1X2 bet or similar.

Handicap betting on football

Handicap betting is a more interesting way of betting on the outcome and scoreline of a game simultaneously. A handicap is an advantage or disadvantage that the bookmaker gives to the teams in the game. For example, you might see that Manchester United have a handicap of 1.5 when they play Burnley. This means that, if you bet on Man Utd, they need to win by two clear goals (i.e. more than 1.5) for you to collect on the bet. Equally, if you bet on Burnley in this case, they can lose the game 1-0, and your bet will still win. This type of betting is sometimes more appealing than simple 1X2 betting, as the odds on offer can be much more tempting.


Accumulators are a very popular form of betting on football. This is when you combine several different bets on one betting slip. The winnings from the first bet are used as a stake for the second one on the slip, and so on. You need two or more selections for an accumulator, and the odds from each bet are multiplied together. This can bet simple 1X2 football betting more thrilling and potentially lucrative.

You need to remember, though, that if one selection on your betting slip loses, then the whole slip loses. Using your knowledge and insight to make the right selections is therefore very important.

In-play football betting

Live, or in-play betting, as it is often called, is a relatively new form of betting that has become very
popular as mobile phone technology has developed in recent years. Basically, it is where a punter bets on events which take place during the game, rather than on the result of the game itself.

This means that you can bet on events such as the next corner, yellow card, or goal scorer. The possibilities are very varied, and punters can make good money betting this way. It is a good idea to place bets of this type on games which are you are actually watching, so that you have a better idea of how the action is unfolding.

This is a good way of betting for the punter who likes the challenge of making quick decisions, and reacting to twists and turns within a game. It also requires good knowledge, as you need to know how teams and players are likely to react to certain situations, such as a player getting sent off, or going a goal down very early in the game. The referee’s performance can also play a big part in shaping this type of betting, so knowing a bit about the match officials can sometimes pay off too.

How to improve your chances of success when betting on football

The main way to make football betting successful is to watch as much football as possible, and keep up-to-date with as much news about the sport as you can. This is relatively simple to do these days, in an age where access to football news is even easier than access to betting on football. There is a plethora of blogs, websites, TV shows and more where you can find out about what is happening in the world of football.

But rather than just consuming as much coverage as you can willy-nilly, it pays to focus on particular leagues or teams. If you become an expert on the Italy’s Serie A, for example, and absorb as much information as you can about it, you are more likely to find good value bets. Focusing your attention on too wide an area of the game can mean that you miss important things which might have been useful to know before betting.

It is often a good idea to focus on less popular or more obscure leagues too. This can open up good value betting opportunities that other punters, more focused on the big leagues, might miss. But, whatever leagues and competitions you might focus on, it is really important that you bet with knowledge and insight. Just betting based on instinct and gut feelings will not result in much success.

Football betting: A host of possibilities

It can be seen that football betting offers a huge number of options for punters, even just from the very basic outline above. Newcomers to soccer wagering can start by simply betting on results, and gain experience and knowledge, before they move onto some of the other types of betting which are available. There is plenty of scope in football betting for you to try out different types of betting to see what suits you, and what you might be good at.

The advantage that focusing on football betting gives you is that soccer as a sport is so massively popular that you can bet on a huge variety of matches from across the world. There is always good value to be found somewhere in the football world, even if it is betting on under-17 internationals or on some obscure league in a corner of South America.

But whether you favour in-play betting or accumulators, handicaps or correct score wagers, you need to bet with your head and not your heart. Instinct and gut feeling is never a substitute for knowledge, whatever kind of football betting you end up becoming a specialist in.


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