Did you know that football betting is the most popular form of online betting? Football makes up around 48.4 percent of the UK’s gambling market, with horse racing coming second at 28 percent. If you want to start football betting, then this page will help explain how to bet on football online.
We’ll go through all the most popular types of football bet, how to bet on football games online in-play, where to bet on football online, how to find value in football bets and much, much more. With our guide you’ll never be puzzled about how to bet on football online again!
One thing you’ll understand when you learn how to bet on football online is how bets can go far beyond the basic bet of choosing a team to win a match. Below you will find details of all the most popular types of football bet commonly placed at sports betting sites and by using betting apps in the UK.
1X2 – the most common type of football bet. Pick a team to win, or for the game to end in a draw.
Double Chance – combine two outcomes in one, such a side to win or draw, or for either side to win (i.e. no draw).
Goals Over/Under – bet on whether more or less goals will be scored than a defined amount, usually 2.5.
Both Teams to Score (BTTS) Yes/No – bet on whether both teams will score in the match, or at least one side will fail to find the net.
Result/BTTS – a double bet combining a 1X2 bet and a BTTS bet.
Draw No Bet – predicting which team will win. If the game ends in a draw, your stake is returned.
Both Teams to Receive a Card Yes/No – a wager on whether both sides will receive at least one red or yellow card, or not.
Handicap Result – similar to Asian Handicap, bet on the result once handicaps have been applied.
This is not the definitive list of available football bets. Some sites will offer over 400 potential bets, just on one match! The list we’ve provided simply outlines the most popular kinds of football bet placed at UK sports betting sites in 2023.
Football Betting Terminology
As well as football bet types, there are some common football betting terms that you need to get to grips with too when you’re learning how to bet on football online. We listed a few with explanations below
Accumulator/Acca – a combined bet with at least four selections. The returns from the first bet become to stake of the second, and so on.
Acca Insurance – an offer from some bookies which returns your acca stake as a free bet should your acca fail by one selection.
Bet Builder – a kind of acca where all selections are bets on the same match.
Betting Exchange – a bookie that exchanges your bet with bettors who are betting on an alternative result.
Cash Out – taking the winnings from a currently winning bet before the match has concluded, albeit at reduced odds.
Double – betting on two matches (or outcomes of the same match) where the returns from the first bet become the stake of the second.
In-Play/Live Betting – betting on any match after kick off.
Outright – a wager on the overall winners of a competition or tournament, such as the EPL or FA Cup.
Spread Betting – betting on a match metric. The more right you are, the won you win, and vice versa.
Treble/Triple – same as a double but with three selections.
How to Place a Football Bet Online
The key aspect of learning how to bet on football online is of course learning how to place a bet on football games online! We are now going to walk you through the process so that it is something you don’t have to worry about.
We are going to show you how to place a football bet at one of our favourite online betting sites, BetUK.
The first thing you need to do is open your BetUK account, or create one if you don’t already have one. Below is what you are likely to see.
The next step is to head to the football section and see if there is any bet that you like the look of. To view the full range of bets available on any particular game, select that as your chosen fixture. Here, we have chosen the EPL game between Leicester City and Liverpool.
As you can see we have plenty of options available, including total goals over/under, double chance and BTTS. We though are going to keep things simple by going for a Liverpool win (which they did!). To place a bet on football this way, we just need to click on the odds to transfer the proposed wager to our betting slip.
The odds were not the greatest at 8/13, but with Leicester being 19th out of 20th in the EPL at the time, that’s only to be expected. We enter our stake (£5) in the box beneath the odds. The site shows us that if Liverpool win, we’d get £8.15 back, so a £3.15 profit. To confirm the placement of our bet, we just need to hit the ‘place bet’ button. When we do, our bet is placed!
In-Play Football Betting: How to Bet on Live Matches
One of the most exciting things to happen to football betting in the UK has been the advent of live football betting, which really has only been feasible since the creation of the internet. You can now bet on most aspects of a football game while the game itself is in progress.
You can also live stream some matches at the top UK betting sites, although UK leagues and competitions, plus the top European competitions are not likely to be available.
Want to learn how to bet on football online live or in-play? Placing a bet on football games online live is no different to placing an online bet on football pre-game. If you see some aspect of a live game that you want to place a bet on, just click on the odds to transfer the bet to your betting slip as we showed above.
Cash-out comes in tandem with placing a bet on football online live, although the majority of sites will allow you to cash out pre-match bets too. You can settle a winning bet at any time before the match you’ve placed your bet on concludes. You will suffer a reduction in your payout though in comparison to the money you would have won if you’d allowed to bet to run its course and it won.
Finding Value in Football Betting Odds
Finding value in the odds given by sports betting sites is the key aspect of making successful football bets. You can work out the probabilities of any outcome as thought by the bookie by dividing one by the decimal odds offered. You can then compared the results to your own thoughts, or information that you’ve sourced online.
The best way to explain this is via a real world example. Let’s look at the odds offered by one of our favourite betting sites – BetUK – for the 2023 National League Playoff between s and Notts County:
Chesterfield win 3.35 or 47/20
Draw 3.40 or 12/5
Notts County win 1.92 or 10/11
By dividing one by the decimal odds (use our bet calculators to covert from fractional to decimal odds), we arrive at the applied probabilities:
Chesterfield win 29.85%
Notts County win 52.08%
Note that these values are only estimates (as BetUK will add on their profit margin). In reality, we could shave three percent of each to get the true figures.
You have managed to glean some statistics off of a betting site. Due to their analysis, they feel the percentages are thus:
Chesterfield win 22% (-7.85% compared to BetUK)
Draw 44% (+14.59%)
Notts County win 34% (-18.08%)
As you can see, your football tips site feels that a draw is much more likely (football bets do not count extra time/penalties) than BetUK is considering, making it the best value bet available on the game.
By converting decimal odds to probabilities and comparing the figures to the statistics you’ve gleaned off betting tip sites, or via your own research, you’ll undercover the best in value bets, and therefore increase your chances of betting successfully.
Practical Advice and Strategies for Winning at Online Football Betting
The greater percentage of money that is spent on football betting in the UK is lost. The main reason for this is that punters fail to perfect strategies that will maximise your chances of winning money with your football betting.
Analyse Football Matches and Teams
Football is a game of numbers, but it’s also a game played by real people. While a statistical model based on past performance is useful, there are other factors to consider. For example, take a look at the match above. Notts County finished 23 points ahead of Chesterfield in the 2022-23 National League, so you’d perhaps expect them to hammer the Spirites at Wembley.
But of course, County had to contend with the fact that despite securing 107 points that season, they still finished second to Hollywood-funded Wrexham. Add on their tiredness, a run of non-scoring by record-breaking Macaulay Lanstaff and them just scraping through their semi v Boreham Wood, and you could arrive at the notion that the Wembley pitch had become the kind of playing field for which a spirit level is required.
Therefore a draw seemed much more likely than what the bookies were predicted. As it turned out, the game after 90 minutes did indeed end in a draw, although County eventually triumphed on penalties to once again take the title of ‘The Football League’s oldest club’.
Looking for the Best Odds
Football odds do not vary significantly from site-to-site, at least with the major online bookies. However, you can do your own research to discover which site consistently delivers the best odds. Every time you place a football bet, just look at the odds offered by the leading UK bookies. Eventually you will get an idea of the site that consistently delivers the best odds.
Take into account other factors such as betting offers, odds boosts, enhanced odds deals, ongoing player bonuses and acca insurance. All these deals will shape the odds that are offered.
Football Betting Bankroll Management
Football betting bankroll management refers to the practice of effectively allocating and managing your betting funds to maximise long-term profitability and minimise the risk of financial loss. It involves setting aside a dedicated bankroll for betting and establishing your own guidelines for wagering.
To begin, it is essential to determine a realistic and affordable bankroll size. Experts suggest that a bankroll should be an amount that you can comfortably afford to lose without impacting the rest of your financial life. Once the bankroll is established, it is recommended to allocate a fixed percentage of it for each individual wager, typically between one and five percent.
Additionally, it is crucial to set clear betting limits, including maximum wagers and maximum daily or weekly losses. These limits help prevent impulsive or emotional decisions and ensure disciplined betting behaviour (see below).
Regularly evaluating and adjusting the bankroll management strategy is important as well. Monitoring betting performance, analysing outcomes, and learning from mistakes can help refine your approach and increase your chances of making a profit in the long term.
Overall, football betting bankroll management is a mix of discipline, consistency, and responsible gambling practices to enhance the chances of sustained success when betting on football.
Managing Emotions and Making Rational Decisions
Managing emotions when football betting is crucial for making rational and informed decisions. Emotions such as favouring your favourite teams and players, excitement, frustration, and greed can cloud judgement and lead to impulsive betting choices. To manage emotions effectively, it is important to set predefined betting strategies and stick to them regardless of short-term outcomes. Maintaining a calm and detached mindset helps avoid chasing losses or placing bets out of excitement. Taking regular breaks from betting and practising self-control can also aid in emotional management. By focusing on long-term goals, conducting thorough research, and being aware of the potential impact of emotions, sports bettors can make more rational and successful decisions in football betting.
Poker players will be explain to you the meaning of the phrase ‘on tilt’. This is where a succession of unlucky outcomes causes them to lose focus, abandon their strategies and start making irrational decisions. Football bettors can suffer the same, so if you do encounter a run of unexpected bad calls, take a break rather than go chasing your losses.
Creating a Football Betting System
There are plenty of ways in which you can bet on football as opposed to just picking which team will win a particular match up. BTTS and over/under are also great avenues for which you may be able to hone a football betting system. Teams are always prone to losing games they are not supposed to lose, but if a team has good forward players, they are always likely to score goals, even if they are not winning games. Likewise, teams that are set up to be defensively sound are more likely to keep a clean-sheet than not, especially if they come up against a side that struggles to score goals.
You do not have to place money on your bets while you are coming up with an effective football betting system. Just monitor your system for a few weeks using spreadsheets or good old-fashioned pen and paper. Eventually you’ll work out whether it’s likely to be worth your while backing your system with cold hard cash. You can also use free bets offered by sports betting sites to test your football betting system.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Betting on Football Online in the UK
As a keen football bettor in the UK, it’s essential to be aware of the common mistakes that can undermine your success and profitability. By understanding and avoiding these pitfalls, you can enhance your betting experience and increase your chances of making informed and profitable decisions. Let’s take a look at three critical mistakes to steer clear of.
Neglecting Proper Bankroll Management:
Over-betting: Betting beyond your means or allocating a significant portion of your bankroll to a single wager can result in substantial financial losses. Implement a sensible bankroll management strategy, setting limits on wager sizes to protect your funds and allow for long-term sustainability.
Chasing Losses: Trying to recover losses by increasing bet sizes or placing impulsive bets can lead to a downward spiral. Stick to your predefined betting plan and avoid chasing losses, as it often results in emotional decisions and poor outcomes.
Ignoring Thorough Research and Analysis:
Relying on Gut Feelings: Placing bets based on intuition or gut feelings without conducting proper research is a recipe for failure. Study team statistics, form, injuries, and other relevant factors to make informed and rational betting decisions.
Neglecting to Compare Odds: Failing to compare odds across different bookmakers denies you the opportunity to find the best value for your bets. Shop around, use odds comparison websites, and secure the most advantageous odds to maximise your potential returns.
Succumbing to Emotional Betting:
Impulsive Betting: Allowing emotions like excitement, frustration, or greed to dictate your betting choices can lead to hasty and irrational decisions. Maintain a calm and disciplined approach, adhering to your predefined betting strategies and avoiding impulsive behaviour.
Chasing Wins: Experiencing a winning streak can be exhilarating, but chasing consecutive wins without proper analysis can lead to reckless betting. Exercise restraint and make calculated decisions based on objective factors rather than an insatiable desire for more wins.
By avoiding these common mistakes, you can improve your football betting outcomes and enjoy a more successful and satisfying betting experience. Prioritise effective bankroll management, conduct thorough research, and remain emotionally disciplined to make informed decisions that yield long-term football betting success.
Top UK Bookmakers for Football Betting
Did you know that football betting is the most popular form of online betting? It makes up around 48.4 percent of the UK’s gambling market, with horse racing coming in a gallant second at 28 percent. With nearly half of the betting public wagering on the beautiful game, it’s important to get a recommendation from our experts, especially if football betting is a new pastime for you.
There’s so much choice out there that you may be struggling to work out which UK football betting site is right for you. Our experts have conducted extensive research into which they feel is best to bet on football games online. Their verdict is bet365 being number one due to the huge amount of markets available, plus competitive betting odds for matches and the fact they will pay out on your wagers early if a team goes two goals ahead. Other recommended bookmakers for football include Spreadex, QuinnBet and Betfred.
The UK public seem to becoming ever-more passionate about the nation’s favourite sport, and the number of sports betting sites where to bet football betting is available (which is all of them) is increasing in tandem with that. We hope this page has helped you understand a little more about your online bet on football options, and you thoroughly know how to bet on football online.
We hope that you bet on football and win of course, but remember, that’s never guaranteed (especially if you bet on Arsenal!).
How to bet on Football Accumulators?
The question how to bet on football accumulators is an easy one to answer. At your chosen sports betting site you choose your first bet, and then instead of setting your stake and confirming your bet, you add another selection. Keep doing this on repeat until all your selections are within your acca, then set your overall stake and confirm your bet.
Any bankroll management tips when it comes to football betting?
When you working out how to bet on football in the UK in terms of bankroll management, work out how much money per month you'd be comfortable losing even if every bet you placed lost. Divide that amount by between 20 and 100, and that's the maximum amount you should place on any single bet. If, during the month, you reach your 'max loss' figure, stop and wait until you have the necessary funds to established a satisfactory 'loss amount' once again.
What does BTTS mean? Can I learn how to place a bet on football that's a BTTS bet?
BTTS stands for 'both teams to score'. If you select 'yes' and both teams score during the game, then your bet wins. If you select 'no' and either or both sides keep a clean sheet, then your wager is a winning one.
Why is it over/under 2.5 goals? How can a team score half a goal?
They can't. It's just a way of eradicating any confusion - if it was over/under 3 goals, what happens if a team scores three goals? As it is over/under 2.5 goals, then the split is 0, 1 or 2 goals on one side, and 3 goals or more on the other.
Can I split a football Bet Builder bet over several matches?
Not usually at UK football betting sites. All sections of a single Bet Builder bet are usually required to all be on the same fixture. This is something you'll learn when looking how to bet on football in the UK.
Sports betting writer
Peter joined the BettingSites.co.uk team in 2023, having previously worked for many high-profile gambling-related sites such as RightCasino, JustSlots, WhichBingo and Gambling.com. An experienced head when it comes to all aspects of iGaming, Peter is a fanatic fan of sport, including football and US sports such as baseball and American football. He is also a multi-published fiction writer, although sadly, not a wealthy one.