It’s not unusual to be filled with questions about the world of betting, so we’ve tried to answer as many of the frequently asked ones as we can below. Click on any question to jump to the answer.
You can find further information on many of these topics on of features and promotions pages. For questions specific to offers see our Free Bet FAQ and for queires about accounts see our betting account FAQ.
- Is Online Betting A Scam?
- Is Betting Online Safe?
- How Do You Bet Online?
- What Are The Advantages To Betting Online?
- How To Fill Out A Betting Slip Online?
- How To Fill Out A Bet Slip In A Shop?
- How Do Bookies Set Odds?
- Will A Bookmaker Ban You If You Win?
- What Is An Accumulator And Multiple Bets?
- What Is A Lucky 15?
- What Is A Trixie?
- What Is A Yankee?
- What Are Forecast And Tricast Bets?
- What Is A Handicap Bet?
- What Is An Asian Handicap Bet?
- What Is Over / Under Betting?
- What Are Bet Builders?
- What Is Spread Betting?
- What Is Tote And Totepool Betting?
- Do Betting Systems Work?
- Do You Pay Tax On Winnings?
- What Is The POC Tax?
- What Are Bookmaker Cash Cards And How Do You Get And Use Them?
- What Is Cash Out And How Do You Do It?
- What are Fractional, Decimal And American Odds?
- How Do You Change Odds Format On A Betting Site?
- What are FOBTs?
- Why are FOBT’s limited to £2 stake?
- Can You Bet On Amateur Sports?
- How To Stream Online?
- Is It Legal To Stream Sports From A Betting Site?
- What Is A Related Contingency?
- What Are eSports?
- What Is The Minimum Bet Possible?
- What Is The Maximum Bet Possible?
- How To request Odds From A Bookie?
- Do Bookies Have Different Odds Online Vs In Shops?
- What Does ‘Return To Player’ Mean?
- What Is A Bookmaker’s Margin Or Vig?
- How Do I Bet On A Phone Or Tablet?
- Can I Bet On A Mac?
- What iIs Live In-Play Betting?
- What Is Exchange Betting?
- What Is Arbing?
- What Does Laying A Bet Mean?
- What Is A Palpable Error?
- What Is A Starting Price?
- What Is An Ante-Post Bet?
- What Does Evens Mean?
- What Is A Best Odds Guarantee?
- Can I Cancel A Bet Once Placed?
- What Is A Banker Bet?
- What Does Odds-On And Odds Against Mean?
- What Are Long Odds And Short Odds?
- Can A Bookie Change Your Odds After Your Bet Is Placed?
- What Are ‘Weak Lines’?
- What Is A Bet ID And Where Do I Find It?
- What Are White Label Betting Sites?
- What Is Form?
- What Is Going?
- Is Betting A Skill Or Luck?
- Can I Make Money By Betting?
- How Much Should I Bet?
- Is It Worth Paying For Betting Tips?
- Where Can I Get Help For A Gambling Problem?
- How Can I Prevent My Children From Betting?
Is Online Betting A Scam?
The short answer to this question is ‘no’. Online betting is no different to going into a bookmakers on the high street and placing a wager, with the only difference being that you’re not physically handing over cash to an actual person.
That being said, the key to being safe is to ensure that you only use bookies that have a gambling licence issued to them by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission. That provides you with certain assurances when you bet.
Is Betting Online Safe?
There’s a rule of thumb when it comes to doing anything online, which is that it’s only as safe as your personal practices. Make sure that the sites that you use are UKGC licensed and that they employ Secure Sockets Layer encryption.
Always make sure that you work hard to keep your information secret, keeping your passwords to yourself. There’s also a difference between betting being safe because you’ve kept your information secret and it being safe because you’re guaranteed to win. The latter is never true!
How Do You Bet Online?
In order to bet online you’ll have to have an account with an online bookmaker. There are countless ones out there, so use our site to see if you can narrow down the one that’s right for you. Everyone will have their own things that they look for in a bookie, so think what yours are.
Whether you want to be able to deposit and withdraw using a high street bookmaker or are more interested in ensuring that you can get as much market depth as possible, there’ll be an online bookie for you. Join them, make a deposit and then start looking for the bets to place.
What Are The Advantages To Betting Online?
This answer alone could take up the entire page, such are the number of benefits from engaging with online betting. The most obvious answer is the convenience of it, forgoing the need to head out to the high street and find a physical bookmaker’s shop.
There’s also the fact that you’re presented with so much more choice, meaning that you can shop around for the best odds. The fact that it’s such a competitive market means that many bookies will look to entice customers in with fantastic offers that you might not get elsewhere.
In-Play betting is becoming more and more prevalent and it wouldn’t really be available if not for the move online. Added to that an increase market depth and you can see why online betting has grown in popularity since it really became a big thing.
How To Fill Out A Betting Slip Online?
If you’re looking to place a bet online then you simply need to scour the website that you’re on for the market that you want to put your wager on. You then click on the market and it’s automatically added to your betting slip. You can add as many bets as you want, too.
Once they’re added you can decide what type of bet you want to place, whether it’s a Single, a Double or a larger accumulator. You can also click a box to declare that you’d like your wager to be of the Each-Way variety.
Once you’ve made all of your necessary selections you simply enter your stake into the stake box and place the bet. The website will then deduct your stake amount from your account and take care of everything else automatically.
How To Fill Out A Bet Slip In A Shop?
When filling in a betting slip at a shop the first thing to do is to decide what outcome it is that you’re wanting to bet on. Let’s say that you’re hoping that Liverpool will beat Everton 3-0, you’ll simply need to write “Liverpool 3 Everton 0” or similar.
You’ll then also want to write the odds as you’ve seen them, plus the amount that you’re going to stake. There’s normally a box specifically for the odds. You can write “Each-Way” or “EW” if you want to to that. At that point, take your slip up to the counter.
The person working behind the counter will check your betting slip and let you know of any errors or if the odds have changed. They’ll guide you through any changes that you need to make before taking your stake money and placing the bet for you. It’s that simple.
How Do Bookies Set Odds?
This is something that can seem like witchcraft to those that aren’t mathematically minded. Bookmakers want to set fair odds whilst also ensuring that they make a profit, so the first thing that they’ll do is decide upon the margin that they want to build into the odds offered.
At this point they’ll calculate what the odds are of each outcome happening before building their margin in. They will use form, historical information and statistics to decide on the likely outcome of an event. They’ll also adjust their odds based on how many punters bet on a given outcome.
Will A Bookmaker Ban You If You Win?
The short answer to this question is ‘no’, but the actual answer is a tad more complicated. The reality is that bookmakers are not in the business of losing money. They want to take money from you rather than pay it out to you, so they’ll keep a close eye on the most successful punters.
Those that do very well from their betting will almost certainly find their account limited rather quickly, with bookies stopping them from placing large bets or limiting the odds on which bets will be accepted. It’s frowned upon, but they can get away with it.
It would also be untrue to say that no bookmaker has ever banned a winning customer. It’s not unheard of for punters to have their accounts closed for what is euphemistically referred to as ‘business reasons’, with bookies keen to avoid ‘unprofitable accounts’.
What Is An Accumulator And Multiple Bets?
An accumulator and a multiple bet is a wager where you’re betting on more than one outcome. A good example of this would be bets on all of the football matches that are taking place in the Premier League over a weekend. That would be, for example, ten different bets.
Because it’s an accumulator, however, you’re essentially betting that all of the outcomes will happen. If any of them don’t then your bet will be a loser. The good thing is that the nature of this bet type presents larger odds, which means you’ll win big if it comes in. There are many offers available for multiples too including acca insurance and accumulator bonuses.
What Is A Lucky 15?
This is what is known as a full cover bet. You’ll need to make four selections, with the bet type then including 15 different wagers: 4 Singles, 6 Doubles, 4 Trebles and 1 fourfold acca. It means that as long as one of your selections wins you’ll get paid some winnings.
Many bookmakers offer additional bonus payouts such as 10% added to your return if all four of your selections win.
What Is A Trixie?
As the name suggests, a Trixie asks you to make three selections and then offers coverage of those selections. If just one of your selections is a loser then you’ll receive a payout of some sort. That’s because the bet is made up of the following smaller bets:
Three Doubles and a Treble.
What Is A Yankee?
It’s not entirely clear where the nickname of a Yankee bet came from, though it’s rumoured to have been because of a bet placed by an American soldier posting in the UK during the Second World War.
The origin of the name isn’t as important as what the bet entails, which is eleven different bets on 4 selections. You get 6 Doubles, 4 Trebles and a fourfold accumulator. It’s a full cover bet that guarantees a return as long as two or more of your selections are winners.
What Are Forecast And Tricast Bets?
These bet types are common for people who bet on races, with horse racing being the most common. You’re essentially trying to predict the order that the first few horses will finish the race in, with the difficulty of doing so increasing your odds.
A straight Forecast, which is usually referred to just as a Forecast, needs you to predict the which horse will come first and which will come second in that order. You can bet on different variations of that, such as Reverse Forecast and Combination Forecast.
A Tricast bet needs you to predict which horse, dog, racer etc will come first, second and third in the exact order. Again, because this is tough to predict the odds will usually be really high.
What Is A Handicap Bet?
In short, handicap betting is where you choose to give one selection in a bet a ‘handicap’ that it needs to overcome in order for your bet to be a winner. Perhaps the best sport to use to explain is football, given that teams start every individual match at 0-0.
If you were betting on Liverpool versus Everton and you thought Liverpool were going to win comfortably you could place a handicap bet of Liverpool -1. That means that the score at kick-off would essentially be Liverpool -1 Everton 0.
Liverpool would need to score two goals more than Everton during the match in order for your bet to be a winner. Handicaps work in different ways with different sports, but that’s the easiest way to understand it.
What Is An Asian Handicap Bet?
Asian handicap betting works in a similar way to standard handicap betting, with the major difference being that a team’s handicap is awarded according to their form. The better a team’s form is, the larger the handicap that they’ll have to overcome.
The good thing about an Asian handicap bet is that it reduces the number of possible outcomes to two by removing the draw. There has to be a winning market, but that does also mean that you have more chance of losing.
What Is Over / Under Betting?
Betting on the Over / Under is common in American sports, but it’s just as easy to do in others. You’re placing a bet on whether the total number of something specific will be more or less than your chosen amount.
Looking at football you can bet on the Over / Under for topics such as goals, throw-ins, corners and so on. You might think that there’ll be more than 8.5 corners, so you’ll want to bet on the Over. If there are 8 corners or fewer you’ll lose, whilst 9 or more will mean you’ll win.
What Are Bet Builders?
A Bet Builder is simply a quick way to make a bet using a number of the most popular markets. Typically you can pick any of the following things to add to your bet:
- To Qualify or To Lift the Trophy
- Match Result (Full Time or Half Time)
- Number of Goals Scored
- Players to Score (Anytime, First, Last, 2 or More, 3 or More)
- Cards (Total, Player Card or Red Card in Match)
- Both Teams to Score
Different bookmakers will offer different markets, but that’s a good idea of the sorts of thing you can add to your selection. You’re then making an accumulator bet based on the selections, which you’ll need all of to come in in order for your bet to be a winner.
What Is Spread Betting?
Instead of betting on a fixed thing, spread betting allows you to bet on whether or not something will be above or below the ‘spread’. A good example is betting on the spread of goals being scored in a football match.
If the spread is put at 4 and you bet above the spread the you’ll earn more money the more goals above the spread are scored. The problem is that you’ll also lose more the fewer goals are scored.
What Is Tote And Totepool Betting?
Betting on the Tote is a way of betting that means that you’re wager will be put into a pool with other bettors. The amount that you’re paid out will depend on how much money you staked, how much was staked in total and how many winners there are.
The Totepool is an alternative to fixed odds betting on things like Forecast and Tricast, with the major difference being that your winnings are dictated by the pool.
Do Betting Systems Work?
The short answer to this question is ‘no’. The longer answer is that it depends on what you mean by ‘betting systems’. Generally speaking there is no system that is guaranteed to win and if there were one then we’d all be doing it and making ourselves rich.
If someone tells you that they’ve got a betting system that works then they’re either lying, cheating or they are extremely lucky. There are some things that will work in the short-term but there are no things that work in the long-term. The House always wins.
Do You Pay Tax On Winnings?
If you’re betting in the United Kingdom and winning in the United Kingdom then you don’t need to pay tax on your winnings. That is because the tax is already paid by the bookmaker at their end. Things are different in the United States Of America, where tax is owed on gambling winnings.
What Is The POC Tax?
POC stands for ‘Point Of Consumption’ and it is a tax that is imposed on companies that are based or offer their services to users in the United Kingdom.
Introduced in 2014, at 15%, the tax was designed to stop companies moving to low tax nations in order to avoid paying tax in the UK. This was increased to 21% in 2019.
What Are Bookmaker Cash Cards And How Do You Get And Use Them?
Bookmaker Cash Cards are available from bookmakers that either have high street shops or else have deals in place with bookies that have high street shops. In essence they allow you to make deposits and withdraw funds from your online account in person.
Some of them even allow you to use them as pre-paid credit cards in normal shops, using your account balance to pay for things. The main appeal of them is that they’ll allow you to put cash into your online account without needing to have it in your bank account first.
In order to get one you need to go to a physical bookmaker’s shop and apply for one. You then connect the card to your online account and you can use it in shop or on the company’s website.
What Is Cash Out And How Do You Do It?
The Cash Out feature is a relatively new one and is in place for bets made online. In essence it’s a way of taking winnings early without having to wait for your bet to be settled fully. Let’s have a look at a football match as a solid example.
Let’s say that you placed a £10 bet on Liverpool to beat Everton 4-0 at odds of 10/1. You’re expected payout is £110, but after 70 minutes with Liverpool leading 3-0 you’re offered a Cash Out of £60. You can take it, guaranteeing a profit.
Of course, the issue is that you’re missing out on a potential £50 more, but you also can’t be certain that the score will finish 4-0. The longer you leave it, the more the offer might go up the lower the chance that your bet will be a winner becomes.
What are Fractional, Decimal And American Odds?
This is simply the way that bookmakers choose to display their odds. Fractional odds are arguably the easiest to understand because the first figure is how much you’ll get paid for each of the latter that you’ve bet.
To put it another way, odds of 10/1 mean that you’ll be paid £10 for every £1 that you stake. That is a British way of explaining odds, whilst the decimal option is more European. The key here is to remember that your stake is included, so winnings are stake x decimal number.
American odds, sometimes referred to as the money line, indicate how much you’ll win + or – depending on the favourite in a specific game. Let’s look at a Premier League game between Liverpool and Everton in which Liverpool are the overwhelming favourites.
American odds might well be written like this:
- Everton: +525
- Liverpool: -700
It means that a £100 bet on Everton would return £525 plus your stake, whilst you’d need to bet £700 on Liverpool to win £100. It might seem confusing, but it’s a handy way of easily spotting the favourite for an event.
How Do You Change Odds Format On A Betting Site?
There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to how betting sites have their odds laid out. In most cases there will be a tab somewhere close to the betting slip that will say ‘Fractional’ or ‘Decimal’, depending on how they show the odds as the default.
Clicking on that tab will normally give you the option to change it to one or the other, so have a scour of your site of choice and see what’s there. If you still remain in the dark then contact the bookie directly and they’ll tell you how to do it.
What are FOBTs?
FOBT stands for ‘Fixed Odds Betting Terminals’ and they are machines that are commonplace within bookmakers’ shops. It’s basically an electronic slot machine that allows you to play certain games with fixed odds like roulette.
Why are FOBT’s limited to £2 stake?
If you’ve followed the news over the past couple of years then you’ll know that Fixed Odds Betting Terminals have been a controversial topic. They were declared to be the ‘crack cocaine of gambling’, such is their addictive nature and the damage that they can do.
They were seen by some people as one of the main causes of problem gambling in the United Kingdom and the maximum stake of £100 per go, with games taking place every 20 seconds, was seen as far too much.
After much campaigning the government made a decision to reduce the maximum stake playable on FOBTs to £2, with the hope being that it would have a positive impact on the lives of problem gamblers.
Can You Bet On Amateur Sports?
The short answer to this question is ‘yes’, but the long answer is slightly more complicated. In essence you need to find a bookmaker that is willing to accept bets on amateur sports, with many wary of doing so because the information about them is much more limited.
Of course, there are plenty of sports in which amateurs can sometimes be involved alongside professionals, with horse racing being the obvious example. There are plenty of races that are limited to amateur riders and there’s nothing to stop you betting on them at will.
The other thing you’ll need to bear in mind is that bookies might well impose maximum stake and maximum payout rules in order to protect themselves from big losses on sports and events that they don’t really understand.
How To Stream Online?
Most bookmakers that offer online streaming of events make it very clear how to get to the streams. Sometimes you’ll see a tab at the top of the page saying something like ‘Live Streaming’, whilst others you’ll see a TV icon next to the odds for a given event.
All you need to do is find the event that you’re hoping to watch live and click and the appropriate tab. The only thing that adds a slight complication is that some bookies will require you to either be logged into your account or else to have placed a cash bet to watch a live stream.
Is It Legal To Stream Sports From A Betting Site?
The simple rule of thumb when answering this question is to ask yourself whether you need to do anything ‘special’ in order to stream a live sport. If you login to your account and place a bet if requested and are able to stream the event in question then it’s all perfectly legal.
If you’re having to set up Virtual Private Networks in order to trick a bookie into thinking that you’re based somewhere on the planet that you’re actually not then it’s possible that the legality of what you’re doing has become questionable.
What Is A Related Contingency?
In the world of betting, a related contingency is when you are attempting to place an accumulator bet on markets that are related to each other. An example would be a bet on Liverpool winning both the FA Cup semi-final and the FA Cup final.
The winning of the first one makes the second one more likely, so most bookies simply won’t accept the bet. There are some related contingencies that you can bet, but you’ll need to do so by using something like a Bet Builder or a Request A Bet service.
What Are eSports?
eSports are basically computer games that you can bet on. If there’s a FIFA tournament, for example, then some bookmakers will allow you to place a bet on the outcome. Likewise you can bet on what will happen in a StarCraft tournament, say.
There are a myriad of different eSports that you can bet on and they’re becoming more and more popular with each passing day. Don’t get them confused with Virtual Sports, however. They’re a different thing entirely.
What Is The Minimum Bet Possible?
This depends entirely on the bookmaker that you’re looking to place a bet with as well as the market that you’re hoping to bet on. Normally something like 10p would be a decent starting point for a Single bet, though some bookies will ask for 20p.
What Is The Maximum Bet Possible?
This differs from bookmaker to bookmaker, though in many cases they will actually not limit the maximum amount that you can bet, just the maximum that you can be paid out. If this is the case with your bookie of choice then make sure you find out before you place your wager!
After all, there’s no point in placing a £10,000 bet on an event with odds of 60/1 if the maximum payout that they’ll allow is £500,000, It means you’re essentially going to miss out on £100,000 of winnings.
Those bookies that do have a maximum stake will usually put it at around the £10,000 mark, but it really does differ from place to place.
How To request Odds From A Bookie?
If you’re looking to request odds in real life then you simply need to go up to the counter and ask the person behind it to give you odds on whatever market it is that you’re looking at. If you’re using an online bookmaker then things are a tad more complicated.
Most bookies that operate online give people the chance to request odds for their own invented markets. Usually this is achieved via social media such as Facebook or Twitter, but some will allow you to text or email them with your request.
Once given the odds you can decide whether to play the bet, bearing in mind that the odds will usually not be great because the bookmaker knows that you can’t get them ‘normally’.
Do Bookies Have Different Odds Online Vs In Shops?
Odds are always more likely to be better online than in person for the simple reason that online bookmakers don’t have the same overheads as physical shops. A bookie that has a shop has to pay staff, pay rent, pay utilities and so on.
This means that their edge needs to be higher, which they achieve by giving you slightly worse odds than you’d get if you went online. There’s also the fact that online bookies can react to market changes much faster than shop-based bookmakers can.
What Does ‘Return To Player’ Mean?
Games online and on Fixed Odds Betting Machines have a Return To Player figure, which is the amount of money that has to be paid back to the player over a certain amount of time. If an RTP is 94% that means you should get 94p back for every £1 spent.
In reality, of course, it doesn’t work like that. The RTP has to level out of a given amount of time, such as 100,000 plays. That means that you could lose quite a few times in a row or win numerous times consecutively, as long as the RTP sits at 94% when those 100,000 plays are up.
There’s no way to know what state a machine is in when you go to play on it and some work in different ways to each other. Just because it’s been taking a lot of money off you doesn’t mean that it’s definitely going to pay out shortly, for example.
What Is A Bookmaker’s Margin Or Vig?
A bookmaker’s margin is sometimes referred to as the vigorish or the Vig. Put another way it is the House’s edge, or the guaranteed amount of money that a bookie will be on the receiving end of when everything has been totted up.
The actual amount of margin that a bookie takes will differ from sport to sport and event to event. If you’re using a Fixed Odds Betting Terminal in a bookmaker’s shop and the Return To Player amount is 94% that means the bookie’s Vig is 6% all all money gambled.
How Do I Bet On A Phone Or Tablet?
Nowadays the move to allow people to bet online has seen the use of mobile phones and tablets to place bets grow exponentially. You can usually do it by heading to the website of your chosen online bookmaker and using the site just as you would on your computer.
The popularity of the method has meant that the majority of bookies have dedicated applications that will allow punters to bet using them. Download it from your phone or tablet’s app store, login to your account and you’re good to go.
Can I Bet On A Mac?
Whilst in the past it wasn’t unusual for PCs and Macs to work in different ways from each other, that is no longer the case in most instances. There is nothing to stop you placing a bet using your Mac or any other Apple device.
What iIs Live In-Play Betting?
In-Play betting has become extremely popular with the increase in betting online. It gives bettors the chance to have a wager on what will happen next within an event, such as the next team to score in a football match or the next tennis player to win a game.
What Is Exchange Betting?
Exchange betting allows punters to bet against each other rather than against a bookmaker. They work by asking the person who wins the bet to pay a small percentage of their winnings to the company that facilitated the Exchange of bets, rather than having a margin.
Exchange betting has become extremely popular because it allows bettors to set their own odds. You can offer odds of 100/1 for Everton to beat Liverpool, for example, and the bet will stand if someone is willing to take you up on it.
What Is Arbing?
Arbing refers to arbitrage betting and is a system of betting that allows a person to place multiple bets in order to guarantee themselves a profit. It is an extremely complicated way of placing bets and it isn’t always possible to do it.
It’s only possible to place arb betting when there’s a discrepancy between the odds from different bookmakers that ensure that you can earn a profit. It’s more like a mathematical process than it is a traditional form of betting and you should only get involved if you know what you’re doing.
What Does Laying A Bet Mean?
When using Exchange betting sites you will be asked whether you want to Back or Lay a specific outcome. Backing a bet means that you think it will happen, whereas Laying a bet means that you don’t think it will.
You could either Lay or Back Everton to win the Premier League. If you back them then you will win your bet if Everton are crowned champions. If you Lay them then you’re essentially saying that you think any club other than Everton will win the league title.
What Is A Palpable Error?
A palpable error would be better expressed as an obvious mistake from a bookmaker. It’s when they offer odds that are very clearly not right, allowing them to void your bet and return your stake to you without having to worry about paying out on their error.
What Is A Starting Price?
Most commonly found when betting on a horse or greyhound race, the Starting Price is the odds on a competitor at the time that the race gets underway,. You can sometimes find that Starting Prices go longer than when you placed your bet ahead of the race.
It’s always worth betting with a bookmaker that has a Best Odds Guarantee because that means that you’ll be paid out on the best odds, whether that be the Starting Price or the price that you took when you placed your bet.
What Is An Ante-Post Bet?
An ante-post bet is a wager placed well in advance of an event getting underway. Let’s say that you wanted to place a bet on the winner of the Premier League in July, well before the season actually kicked off. That would be an ante-post bet.
Most bets on horse races are placed ante-post when done in advance, with the cut off point usually being 10am on the day of the race. The advantage of betting ante-post is that you’ll often get good odds, but the disadvantage is that you won’t get your stake back if the thing you’ve bet on ends up not taking part in the race or event.
What Does Evens Mean?
Evens is a bet type in which you’ll be paid back exactly the same amount as your stake. If you bet £100 on an event at Evens and the thing you’ve bet on wins then you’ll receive your original £100 stake back as well as £100 winnings.
What Is A Best Odds Guarantee?
Usually offered by bookmakers that cover the likes of horse and greyhound racing, a Best Odds Guarantee is a guarantee from the bookie that you’ll be paid out at the best odds if you place your bet ahead of time.
Let’s say that you’re betting on the Grand National and you’ve staked £10 on Horse With A Name at 11am with odds of 7/2. By the time the race rolls around at 5.45pm the odds have drifted to 15/1. What happens to your bet?
If you’ve placed it with a bookmaker that has a BOG offer then you’ll be paid out at 15/1 rather than the 7/2 you took in the morning. Equally if you placed your bet at 15/1 and the odds shortened to 7/2 by the start of the race, you’ll be paid at 15/1.
Can I Cancel A Bet Once Placed?
The short answer is that no, you can’t cancel a bet once you’ve placed it. The slightly longer answer is that some bookmakers will offer you the chance to Cash Out your bet, though you might have to accept slightly less of your stake back if you do so.
Let’s say that you’ve bet £100 on Liverpool to beat Everton but then before kick-off you find out that a virus has swept through the Liverpool squad. You might be able to Cash Out your bet before kick-off, but may only get £95 back from the bookie.
What Is A Banker Bet?
A banker bet is a wager that you can include in an accumulator and it must come in in order for your entire bet to be a winning one. Let’s say that you’re betting on five Premier League games and you’ve decided that Liverpool beating Everton is the most likely thing to happen.
That can be made your banker bet, which then opens up a host of options of how you want the rest of the bets to work. You can choose to have the banker as part of a fivefold acca, four Doubles and two Trebles, for example.
What Does Odds-On And Odds Against Mean?
When odds are offered in the fractional format you’ll see that an outcome is either Odds-On or Odds-Against. Odds-Against is how most bets look, say 10/1. It means that you’ll get £10 for every £1 staked.
If something is Odds-On then it means that it is extremely favoured to happen and the first figure in the fractional odds will be lower than the second. It could be 1/10, for example, which means you’ll be paid £1 for every £10 you stake.
What Are Long Odds And Short Odds?
The less likely something is to happen, the longer the odds will be on that outcome happening. The more likely something is to happen the shorter the odds will be. You might look to bet on one long odds horse in the Grand National and one short odds horse.
The long odds horse might be 150/1, whilst the short odds horse could be 2/1. If you stake the same amount of money on each bet then you’ll obviously be paid more if the long odds horse wins than if the short odds one does.
Can A Bookie Change Your Odds After Your Bet Is Placed?
The short answer to this question is ‘no’, whilst the long answer adds a bit of complication. Basically, once you’ve placed a bet your odds are locked in on your chosen outcome. The only time this isn’t the case is if you choose it to be so.
Most online bookmakers will give you the chance to tick a box that says something like ‘accept movement in odds’. This means that you’re willing to allow your bet’s odds to shift up to the moment that the event gets underway.
Sometimes you might wish to do this if you think the odds will lengthen, but you’re obviously taking the risk that they might shorten and you get paid less. You can also see your odds move if the bookie has a Best Odds Guarantee.
The good news there is that odds are only allowed to be moved if it works in your favour and the Starting Price for a horse or greyhound or what have you ends up being longer than the price you took when you placed your bet.
What Are ‘Weak Lines’?
Weak lines are a thing in spread betting that means you’re being offered a better payout for your money than if you opted for a stronger line. It’s basically a way of saying that you should shop around to ensure you get the best odds possible.
What Is A Bet ID And Where Do I Find It?
A Bet ID is a unique reference number that is applicable to every bet you’ve placed. It’s a handy thing to know about if you need to contact a bookmaker over a specific wager as it narrows down what it is that you’re talking to.
Bet IDs are normally found in the My Account section of your betting site, typically under the Open Bets, All Bets or Settled Bets tab depending on what’s happened with your wager.
What Are White Label Betting Sites?
A white label betting site is a site that has been set up using the system of a betting company that licences its betting sites out to different companies for them to put their own ‘skin’ or marketing material on.
What Is Form?
Form is a reference to how well a team, player or other character is doing ahead of an event. In the world of horse racing, for example, a horse’s Form is based on their last few races where they might have something that looks like this:
1 PU 2 F
That would mean that in the most recent race they came first, in the one before that they Pulled Up, in the one prior to that they came second in the one that took place the longest time ago they Fell.
It’s possible to see the form of any team or competitor that has been involved in the sport for more than just one game. A football team’s form might say WWLDW, for example, which will mean that they Won three games, Lost one and Drawn one.
What Is Going?
In horse racing the Going refers to the state of the ground that the race is taking place on. Normally it fits into one of the following categories:
- Good to Soft
- Good to Firm
That means that the ground is muddy when it’s heavy, with different states of muddiness as you move to firm where there’s no mud at all. You can also have courses that are, say, Good to Firm but Soft in places.
Is Betting A Skill Or Luck?
This is something of an existential question. There will always be a degree of luck involved in betting, but the reality is that the more research you do on the thing you’re wanting to bet on the more you’re going to increase the chance that you make it into a skill.
Of course, all of the skill and research in the world can’t account for a referee giving a penalty that isn’t one in a football match, say, or a tennis player turning their ankle. That’s why there will always be skill involved.
Can I Make Money By Betting?
The honest answer is to this is ‘maybe’. The more research you do every time you go to place a bet, the more likely that it is that you’ll win your wager. Yet that’s far from guaranteed, so you should never assume that you’ll be able to win money via gambling.
In the world of betting the most famous saying is that ‘the House always wins’. That’s because in the long run their edge will kick in and a bookmaker, casino or other betting establishment will end up in the black. Bet for fun, not to make your fortune.
How Much Should I Bet?
The simple answer to this question is ‘as much as you can afford to lose’. Betting is a difficult thing to do and even the people that are very good at it lose from time to time. You should never gamble with more money than you can comfortably afford to lose.
Is It Worth Paying For Betting Tips?
This is a difficult question to answer. The honest truth is that nobody has a hard and fast way of ensuring that they make money, so if you pay for tips there’s no way of knowing whether any of them will actually end up coming off.
If you want to know what is likely to happen in an event then the best thing to do is to do heaps and heaps of your own research. It will save you money and you’ll almost certainly be better off than the people you’d otherwise be paying for tips that they’re just making up anyway.
Where Can I Get Help For A Gambling Problem?
Gambling is a leisure activity and can be fun for the clear majority who bet, the thrill of betting however also makes it addictive to some and highly addictive to others. You should only ever gamble with money you can afford to lose and never be led into gambling by promotions or incentives, you should plan what you want to bet on in advance and only place those wagers.
Still, it is easy to say this to someone with an addiction and often people need more help. Responsible gambling is taken very seriously in the UK, and is one major reason you should only bet with licensed bookies. Operators have several tools that can help you control your betting:
- Self Exclusion
- Deposit Limits
- Loss Limits
- Bet Limits
- Time Outs / Cooling Off Periods
- Product Exclusion (e.g. exclude yourself from the casino section)
- Activity Alerts
- Time Limited Access
- Betting History and Profit/Loss Calculators
For independent advice you should start with your GP or by visiting you nearest NHS clinic. If you want to you can seek help online or over the phone from the following government and charity services:
Also talk to your friends and family, often it is those closest to you who can help you the best.
How Can I Prevent My Children From Betting?
Bookmakers now must verify your age and identity before you can gamble, meaning children cannot sign up directly. There are instances however of children using their parents or other adults accounts, or using adult details to join betting companies.
One way to mitigate this is to use parental control services that can be used to block gambling websites, these include: