Betting, in all its forms, has been around for centuries. In fact, the earliest six-sided dice dates all the way back to about 3000 BC, in Mesopotamia.

In China, gambling houses were widespread in the first millennium BC, and betting on fighting animals was common.

While we may have moved a bit since those times, betting is still hugely popular especially football betting. But how does it all work?

Basically, you are going to put money on the outcome of a football match. You decide whether a team will win lose or draw.

The bookmaker provides fixed odds for each potential outcome. You then accept those odds and place a wager.

If you are correct the bookmaker pays out your winnings. If you are wrong, the bookmaker keeps the money you used to make the bet.

Placing A Football Bet

The most common type of football betting is on a team to win. It’s that simple. You think your team will beat the opposition, you bet on it.

It’s called a ‘win bet’. That also applies if you think a game will end in a draw.

For the purposes of explanation, I am going to assume you want to place a bet online. Firstly, you have to have an online account with your preferred bookmaker. Signing up is easy and only takes a few minutes.

Not that you have your account, go to the ‘Football’ section. Games are generally in order of those that are due to kick-off the soonest.

The odds will be presented in the format of the image below. As you can see you are presented with the two teams who will play each other. The team on top is the ‘home’ team. The odds are displayed as Home, Draw and Away.

If you believe the home team will win you click those ‘Home’ odds. If you believe the away team will win, you click the ‘Away’ odds on the right-hand side of the options.

And if you want to bet on the draw, click on the ‘Draw’ odds.

From there a little betting slip will open on the right-hand side of your computer screen. Insert the amount you would like to bet. Remember you have to have money in your online account and cannot bet more than you have deposited.

If you are happy with your selection you then click ‘Place Bet’ and your football bet is on.

Types of Football Betting

The bet described above is a ‘win bet‘. However, there are other methods of football betting.

While the ‘each-way’ bet is popular in a lot of sports, it only really works in football if you bet on a tournament.

Think about the World Cup or Premier League and the large number of teams that take part. At the beginning of the tournament or season, you may want to back a specific team or country.

To give yourself an extra chance of winning the bet you may choose to bet each-way.

This means that even if your team doesn’t win outright, but they place second or third, you will get a portion of your wager back.

The each-way bet is made up of two smaller bets – the win bet and the place bet. Because of that, the bet is doubled and so is your stake.

You can also bet on a huge number of outcomes within any specific game. Simply click on the match you are interested in and all of the betting markets will pop up.

They include things such as the ‘Correct Score‘ and ‘First Goalscorer‘.

A better option is the Over/Under Goals market. This allows you to bet on how many goals you think will be scored, but who scores them is irrelevant.

So if you think the end result will be 2-2 then you would bet on ‘Over 3.5 Goals’. Then, as long as more than three goals are scored you win, no matter what the final score is, or who won.

An alternative market, a better one, in my opinion, is the ‘Anytime Goalscorer‘ market.

This is where you bet on a specific player to score at any point in the game. It doesn’t matter when or how as long as they put the ball in the back of the net. Then you win.

Both the Over/Under Goals and Anytime Goalscorer markets give you a fighting chance to win, right until the final whistle blows. They at least keep things interesting.

Things To Remember

As with any gambling, only ever bet what you can afford. Never, ever chase your losses. If you lose and you cannot afford to bet anymore then just stop.

You will always have a much better chance of winning if you do your research. Simply liking a player or a team is not enough to back them.

Use your head not your heart, look at the stats and go with a bet that is more likely to come off.

Figure out who the highest goal scorers are on the teams playing and choose them for ‘Anytime’ goals scorers rather than ‘First’ goalscorers.

In a game with plenty of goals, you might be grateful that you chose that option. The odds may be lower but a win with smaller odds is better than losing.

Bet on teams you at least know a little bit about. It may be tempting to stick £5 on some random team you’ve never heard of but it’s a fast way to lose your hard-earned money.

How Much Is Spend On Football Betting?

Betting on football in the UK is absolutely huge. In 2018, the Gross Gambling Yield (GGY) in the UK was £14.5 billion.

Of that, £2.5 billion was generated through online bookmakers, predominantly on football and horse racing bets.

So it would seem, that as nation, we are quite happy to have the odd flutter on our favourite game.

But can you ever really make money betting on football? And how do you know which are the best bets when the odds are low or evenly matched?

Can Football Betting Make You Rich

This is a more popular question than you would imagine. With any form of gambling, there is always a possibility of it making you rich.

But honestly, it is the exception and not the rule. Unless you have a crystal ball and an encyclopedia of football knowledge, making it pay is very difficult.

Of course, there are always those incredible winners who took a massive punt, on something like the Scoop 6, and it paid off.

But for everybody else, you have to be content with winning £20 here and there. Anything can happen in football and there are no sure things.

So bet wisely, and use it as a tool to have a bit of fun, not as a way to make a living. Because the odds are that unless you are incredibly lucky, you will fail.