Powered by:
as known from New York Timesas known from USA Todayas known from yahoo!
VA
Contains commercial content
The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Betting Guide / Which Betting Sites are the Best for Beginners? Bet on Sports With the Easiest Sportsbooks To Use?

Which Betting Sites are the Best for Beginners? Bet on Sports With the Easiest Sportsbooks To Use?

Publish Date: 02/12/2022
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa

Sports Betting for Beginners

Millions of people in the United States and around the world enjoy sports betting. But, for beginners it can be difficult to get your head around all of the terms and strategies associated with sports betting, luckily expert help is at hand.

Our beginners guide to sports betting will teach you all the basics and tell you how to start online sports betting. We will define the key terms, explain how odds work and give you some expert tips. It is perfect for anyone new to the world of sports betting.

Sports betting for beginners – Key things to know

Whilst there is a lot to learn about sports betting, here are just a few key points you need to know:

  • Sports betting requires you to place real money bets on the outcome of sporting fixtures.
  • You can also place bets on individual occurrences during sports events.
  • Sports betting should always be fun.
  • You should stick to sports and markets that you have good knowledge of.

Sports betting for beginners – Understanding the basics

First things first, placing a sports bet can be a very simple process. That’s the good news, the bad news is that placing winning sports bets is not quite as easy. However, there are plenty of online tools and guides to help you.

By carefully reading our expert guides such as this and our online betting guide you can develop a good understanding of key betting terms and strategies. That will enable you to place bets with confidence, as well as increasing your chances of finding those all-important winning bets.

Sports betting for beginners – What are the different bets you can place?

When you look at a sports betting website or app you will see a huge array of sports events and betting markets. The range of betting markets will vary from operator to operator, but the types of bets you can place will generally fall into one of these categories:

Moneylines

This is the simplest way of betting and just involves you picking the winner of a sporting match up. In some cases such as tennis or snooker, you will have two options for the game. In other sports, where a draw is a possible outcome, you will have three options. And in sports such as horse racing and golf you will find a large amount of moneyline options.

Spreads

This is a very popular way of betting in the United States. The spread gives the underdog in the fixture a theoretical points advantage that makes the game. When placing a spread bet, you can either bet on the underdog covering the spread by either winning the game or losing by less than the spread amount. Or you can bet on the favorite beating the spread by winning by more than the spread amount.

Over/under bets

The sportsbook gives you a total figure for an event that will happen in the game and your decision is whether to bet on the actual figure being over or under that total. For example, in NFL games, there will be over/under markets for the total points scored. The market will be set at (for example) 55.5 and you have to bet on whether there will be more or less than 55.5 points in the game.

Prop bets

This refers to bets placed on the outcome of a specific event within a contest, as opposed to the overall outcome. For instance, in soccer you can place prop bets on which player will score the first goal.

Futures

Futures bets are long term bets placed on markets that will not be decided until the end of a season or tournament. For example, placing a pre-season bet on who will be NBA champions.

Parlays

A parlay bet covers multiple markets in order to increase the total payout. These are riskier bets as you need multiple outcomes to all succeed, but they can give you excellent returns.

Our favorite sportsbooks

DraftKings
1.
Favicon
4.6/5
No Sweat First Bet up to $1,000 + All-Customer SGP Insurance
Virginia
Players from Virginia accepted
PayPal
VIP Preferred
Play+
Virginia (US) Lottery Board
Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 21+
FanDuel
2.
Favicon
4.6/5
Bet $5 Get $150 in Bonus Bets
Virginia
Players from Virginia accepted
Prepaid Card
PayNearMe
PayPal
Virginia (US) Lottery Board
Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 21+
BetMGM
3.
Favicon
4.5/5
Bet $5 Get $150 Instantly in Bonus Bets
Virginia
Players from Virginia accepted
PayNearMe
PayPal
Bank Transfer
Virginia (US) Lottery Board
Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 21+
Bet365
4.
Favicon
4.5/5
First Bet Safety Net up to $2000 OR Bet $5 and Get $150
Virginia
Players from Virginia accepted
Virginia (US) Lottery Board
Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 21+
At bet365 we don’t do ordinary, that’s why if you sign up now you’ll get the choice of two great New Customer Offers, the First Bet Safety Net up to $2000 or Bet $5 and Get $150 in Bonus Bets. Deposit required. Bonus Bets wager excluded from returns. T&Cs, time limits and exclusions apply. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-Gambler 21+
Caesars
5.
Favicon
4.5/5
100% up to $1000
Virginia
Players from Virginia accepted
E-Check
PayNearMe
Skrill
Virginia (US) Lottery Board
Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 21+

Sports betting for beginners – What do the odds mean?

Now we have looked at the different types of betting markets available, the next stage of our betting for beginners guide will look at odds. Odds are compiled by bookmakers and reflect the likelihood of an event occurring. They can be displayed in one of three ways:

Fractional odds

This is the most common way of displaying odds in the United Kingdom. As the name suggests, fractional odds display numbers in fraction form, for example, 4/1 or 5/2.

The first number shows the number of times the favored outcome will fail to win, and the second number shows the number of times they will succeed according to the oddsmaker.

For example, Liverpool are playing Arsenal. Liverpool are 2/3 to win the game, this means that the oddsmakers think Liverpool have a two in three chance of winning the game.

Your winnings from a bet placed using fractional odds can be calculated by multiplying your wager by the odds displayed, then adding the value of the wager.

Decimal odds

Decimal odds are favored in most parts of Europe. They are probably the easiest odds format to understand and to calculate your winnings.

The decimal figure shows you the amount of payout you will make for every dollar you bet. You can calculate your winning by multiplying the size of your wager by the decimal odds displayed.

American odds

As the name suggests, this is the format used by most sportsbooks in the United States.In American odds, a minus sign against a team or player indicates that they are the favorite, whereas a positive sign indicates they are an underdog in the market.

To calculate the profit using American odds, you can calculate your profit on favorite by multiplying your wager by the odds displayed divided by 100. If you are betting on an underdog, your profit is your wager multiplied by 100 divided by the odds displayed.

Sports betting for beginners – Our top five expert tips

The next stage of our betting for beginners guide is going to give you some expert advice on how to find winning bets and optimize your sports betting experience.

Always research your bets

This is fundamental to your success when placing sports bets. The more you know about an event, the more likely you are to find winning bets. Your research should include reading expert opinions (such as those found at thegruelingtruth.com), looking at statistics and reading the latest news relating to injuries and suspensions. 

SAlways bet with your head

Watching sport can be a very emotional experience, especially if your favorite team or player is competing. Naturally, you desperately want them to win, but this scenario can cause you to place poor value bets on the team you support. It is important to remain objective when placing bets. If you are unable to do this when your favorite team is playing, it is advisable to not place bets on these fixtures.

Compare odds

Odds can vary considerably between sports betting operators, and this can have a huge impact on your potential winnings. A $10 bet placed at 4/1 will potentially win you $40, but if you can find the same option at 6/1 with another operator, your potential winnings will go up to $60. Obviously, it is not feasible to look at the odds provided by every single betting operator, however, there are odds comparison tools available online that indicate where they can find the best odds for your chosen selection.

Always gamble responsibly

Staying in control of your sports betting is essential. To help you out on this front, gambling sites are legally required to offer you a safer gambling tool. This tool can be used to set limits on your gambling relating to the amount of time and money you spend playing. We highly recommend that you use this tool whenever you first join a sports betting operator. It will help you to control your betting activity and not incur any uncomfortable losses.

Check the sports betting laws in your state

United States gambling laws are regularly changing. More and more states are acquiring licences for online sports betting, but the activity is still prohibited in a number of locations. To help you stay on top of this issue, we recommend that you regularly check the reviews at Also, remember that you need to be at least 21 years of age in order to place sports bets, and operators will ask you to provide a copy of a government issued ID when you join.

Sports betting for beginners – Conclusion

You should now have a firm understanding of betting odds and the different types of sports bets you can place. You also have some expert tips to use when looking for bets.

Your next task is to put that knowledge into practice. To do this, you need to always have responsible gambling at the forefront of your mind. Setting safer gambling controls will go a long way towards achieving this, as will always ensuring you bet with your head.

It is also vital that you thoroughly research your bets and take the time to look for the best value for your selections. Do all of that and you will have an excellent chance of placing winning bets and having a fantastic sports betting experience.

Take a look a these great bonuses

DraftKings
1.
Favicon
4.6/5
No Sweat First Bet up to $1,000 + All-Customer SGP Insurance
Virginia
Players from Virginia accepted
Requirements (WR): 1x Bonus, Min. Deposit: $5
Go to DraftKings
Get Bonus
T&Cs apply, 21+
FanDuel
2.
Favicon
4.6/5
Bet $5 Get $150 in Bonus Bets
Virginia
Players from Virginia accepted
Requirements (WR): 1x Deposit, Min. Deposit: $10
Go to FanDuel
Get Bonus
T&Cs apply, 21+
BetMGM
3.
Favicon
4.5/5
Bet $5 Get $150 Instantly in Bonus Bets
Virginia
Players from Virginia accepted
Min. Deposit: $5
Go to BetMGM
Get Bonus
T&Cs apply, 21+
Bet365
4.
Favicon
4.5/5
First Bet Safety Net up to $2000 OR Bet $5 and Get $150
Virginia
Players from Virginia accepted
Requirements (WR): 1x Bonus, Min. Deposit: $10
Go to Bet365
Get Bonus
T&Cs apply, 21+
At bet365 we don’t do ordinary, that’s why if you sign up now you’ll get the choice of two great New Customer Offers, the First Bet Safety Net up to $2000 or Bet $5 and Get $150 in Bonus Bets. Deposit required. Bonus Bets wager excluded from returns. T&Cs, time limits and exclusions apply. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-Gambler 21+
Caesars
5.
Favicon
4.5/5
100% up to $1000
Virginia
Players from Virginia accepted
Requirements (WR): 1x Deposit
Copy
Get Bonus
T&Cs apply, 21+

Sports betting for beginners FAQ

❓How do betting sites make money?

So, how do betting sites make money? Sports betting operators are businesses so naturally, they want to make money. They do this by setting prices that have vigorish built into them. This means that the odds are slightly in the bookies favour, thus helping them to make a profit regardless of the outcome of the event.

🎨What does draw no bet mean?

You might be wondering, “What does draw no bet mean?”. In events where a draw can occur, a draw no bet market removes this possibility from the market. Draw no bet markets are typically found in sports such as cricket and football, where there is a reasonable likelihood of a draw. For more in-depth information on what a draw no bet is, visit TheGruelingTruth.com. 

🏑 How do betting exchanges work?

A betting exchange is a place where players can lay bets. In other words, they can bet against an outcome happening. By laying (for example) a horse, you are effectively betting on every other horse in the race. When you place a bet at an exchange you can set the odds, this means that betting exchanges are effectively places where sports betting fans bet against each other. Find out more about betting exchanges and how they work by reading our ‘how do betting exchanges work?’ guide.

✖ What does 1X2 mean in betting?

If you’re wondering ‘what does 1×2 mean in betting?’, we have the answers right here! 1X2 is a simple way of referring to markets that have three possible outcomes. 1X2 markets are commonly found in soccer, but if you want the lowdown on how 1×2 betting works in real life, visit our site for more information.

🥇Which is the best sport to bet on?

The best sports to bet on are the ones that you know the most about. You can use your knowledge to look for value in the betting markets and find selections that you think will win. But regardless of how much you know about a sport, it is still essential that you carry out thorough research. Sport can be fast moving, so it is vital that you stay on top of the latest news and views relating to the markets you want to bet on. We’ll help you make that decision with our in-depth reviews and guides.

Read Also
Best Matched Betting Strategy for 2024: Expert Matched Betting Guide
Finding a great betting strategy can go a long way towards helping ...
Draw No Bet Guide 2024: What Does Draw No Bet Mean?
If you are here to find the answer to the question “What ...
Bet365 Promo
What Does 1×2 Mean in Betting? 1×2 Betting Explained (+ Tips & Strategy)
The world of betting is filled with terminologies that newbies may find ...
Betting Exchange: Sports Betting Exchange Sites & How does Betting Exchange Work?
Have you ever wondered what a draw no bet means? Or asked ...
Best Pick 3 Strategy 2024: Explained by Betting Experts
There are a lot of different betting strategies you can use in ...
Best In-Play Betting Strategy in 2024: Top Live Betting Tips from Experts
More and more sports betting fans are opting to place in-play wagers. ...
System Bet Guide: How Does System Betting Work (+ Examples of A System Bet)?
If you need a system bet explained to you then you have ...
What is a Multiple Bet? Complete Multiple Bet Guide 2024
Sometimes, a straight bet just doesn’t do the job. You’re confident in ...
Oddsmaker in Sports 2024: How to Become An Oddsmaker?
There’s a sense of mystery behind the doors of sports betting. There ...
How Does Rising Method Work? A Complete Guide to Rising Method 2024
In the sports betting world, there are many different strategies and techniques ...
Sportsbook of the month
FanDuel - Get your Bonus Bet now! Get your Bonus Bet now!
Top Betting Sites
Top Betting Bonuses
DraftKings
DraftKings
DraftKings Review
4.6/5
FanDuel
FanDuel
FanDuel Review
4.6/5
BetMGM
BetMGM
BetMGM Review
4.5/5
Bet365
Bet365
Bet365 Review
4.5/5
Caesars
Caesars
Caesars Review
4.5/5
DraftKings
DraftKings Bonus
No Sweat First Bet up to $1,000
T&Cs apply
4.6/5
FanDuel
FanDuel Bonus
Bet $5 Get $150 in Bonus Bets
T&Cs apply
4.6/5
BetMGM
BetMGM Bonus
Bet $5 Get $150 Instantly in Bonus Bets
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
Bet365
Bet365 Bonus
First Bet Safety Net up to $2000 OR Bet $5 and Get $150
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
At bet365 we don't do ordinary, that's why if you sign up now you'll get the choice of two great New Customer Offers, the First Bet Safety Net up to $2000 or Bet $5 and Get $150 in Bonus Bets. Deposit required. Bonus Bets wager excluded from returns. T&Cs, time limits and exclusions apply. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-Gambler 21+
Caesars
Caesars Bonus
100% up to $1000
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
Latest Sport News
Edgar Berlanga motivated to prove naysayers wrong!
Edgar Berlanga won his first 16 fights by ...
Top 10 NBA Players of the 1980s: Bird, Magic, or Jordan at Number one?
To me, the 1980s was the greatest decade ...
Top 11 Single Game Performances in NCAA Football History
  College Football is full of remarkable achievements, ...
Top 10 Back Courts in NBA History: Which Backcourt was the greatest?
Active players are not eligible on this list, ...
Top 10 Right Fielders in MLB History: Who is the Greatest?
Once again in our countdown of the greatest ...
Our Team
Mike GoodpasterJosh SchwartzSimon BriffaMark LewisSamuel Teets
Mike Goodpaster
Mike Goodpaster
Chief Editor
Josh Schwartz
Josh Schwartz
Editor
Simon Briffa
Simon Briffa
Sports Editor
Mark Lewis
Mark Lewis
Editor
Samuel Teets
Samuel Teets
US Sports Veteran
Find out what the legends have to say about sports this week....
Find out what the legends have to say about sports this week....

Players must be 21 years of age or older or reach the minimum age for gambling in their respective state and located in jurisdictions where online gambling is legal. Please play responsibly. Bet with your head, not over it. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, and wants help, call or visit: (a) the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey at 1-800-Gambler or www.800gambler.org; or (b) Gamblers Anonymous at 855-2-CALL-GA or www.gamblersanonymous.org.

This site is using Cloudflare and adheres to the Google Safe Browsing Program. We adapted Google's Privacy Guidelines to keep your data safe at all times.

21+NCPG
Close
Players accepted in the US US Flag
Stake.us Exclusive Bonus
$55 Stake Cash + 260K Gold Coins + 5% Rakeback
Promo Code
Copy
Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 18+
Payment Methods
Bitcoin
Litecoin
Ethereum
Dogecoin
Highlights
  • Exclusive promo code: TGTSOCIAL
  • Play Plinko, Hilo, Crash and more!
  • Get Stake Cash bonuses every day!
Stake Originals
Dice
Crash
Plinko
Mines
×
Your Promo Code:
The bonus offer of was already opened in an additional window. If not, you can open it also by clicking the following link:
Visit Site