Not all bets are the same – this has always been the case, but this phrase is more valid today, than ever before in online sports betting. Betting on game results or the winner is a popular type of bet. These have been around since ancient times, but the Internet has massively expanded the range of different online bets.
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We offer you a large sports betting overview with all different types of bets, their definitions, their functions and the theories behind them.
I. The big sports betting overview
- The 1X2 sports bet (3-way)
- The system bet
- Handicaps in sports betting
- The over/under bet in sports betting
- What is the ‘Double Chance’ in Sports Betting?
- The ‘Draw No Bet’ (DNB) in sports betting
- The ‘bank’ in sports betting
II. Expert tips
the most established name in world wide sports betting offers a huge range of betting options for new and experienced bettors. Bet365 is well known for great odds on sporting events from around the globe.
1. The 1X2 sports bet (3-way)
The 1X2 bet is a classic three-way sports bet, in which a bet is made on the outcome of a game. This bet is also called a game bet or a match bet. In addition to the 1X2 bet, there are many other types of bets, which we will go in more detail later – but at the beginning, we will primarily focus on the 1X2 sports bet.
What does 1X2 mean?
This bet is about predicting the correct outcome of a game. There are 3 possible bets:
- 1 stands for the home team to win
- X stands for a draw, which means that neither team wins
- 2 stands for a bet on a victory for the visitor team
The individual tips of the 1X2 bet have different odds, depending on the power balance between the two teams.
The single bet
If you decide to place a bet on the home team (Barcelona) you win 2.8 times your stake if Barcelona wins. For a victory by the visitor team you get 2.3 times your stake. If this game ends in a draw you even get 3.4 times your stake. The odds highlight that the balance of power between Barcelona and Real Madrid is pretty even, with a slight advantage for the visitor team.
For the 1X2 bet, the result usually applies after 90 minutes. This means that if this game was in a knockout phase of a tournament and the game would be a draw after 90 minutes, ending up into overtime with Real Madrid emerging as a winner in overtime or on penalties – the valid outcome for this bet would still be a draw.
Accumulator bet or combination bet
In an accumulator bet, sometimes also called combination bet, individual bets are combined with each other. The odds for this bet result from the multiplication of the individual odds. The more games you combine with each other, the higher the possible odds, but the lower the chance of winning.
In our example, two 1X2 bets are combined, with the individual odds being 2.00 and 2.40; this results in 4.80 total odds amount. A stake of 10 € would result in a potential win of 48 €.
In addition to the conventional 1X2 bets, various bets can be combined with one another.
People often dream of a very large profit from an accumulator bet, where you place a small amount, but still win a lot due to the combined high odds. Unfortunately, that remains just a dream in most cases. If you combine all of your favourites with one another, you need a lot of or at least some improbable bets to get high odds, and even then, it is not rare that the victory of a favourite to only turn into a draw.
2. The system bet
You have already learned what distinguishes a single bet from an accumulator bet in sports betting. In this section we want to take a closer look at a special form of multi-bet, the system bet.
The system bet briefly explained
A system bet is a mixture of several accumulator bets that make it possible to lose one or more bets and still win part of the bet. There are a number of different systems, for example 2/3 (win 2 out of 3), 2/4, 3/4 up to 5/8 or 7/8. Of course, the scope of the system bets offered depends heavily on the sports betting provider.
The interface of the system bets differs from betting provider to betting provider. In our example, the 2/3 system is a conventional bet with 3 individual bets. The following bets shown on our betting slip are the so-called system bets.
In a 2/3 system bet there are 3 possible combinations:
Pick A + Pick B, Pick A + Pick C, Pick B + Pick C
As soon as at least 2 of the picks are correct, you have already won money. The more individual bets that prove successful in a system bet, the more money you can make – obviously!
The Trixie 4 bet and Patent 7 bet are special forms of system bets and are explained in more detail later on.
The system bet 2 out of 3 (2/3)
With the system bet 2 out of 3, three bets on any events are selected and combined to form a system bet. All possible pairs of two are created from these three picks. These bets result in three possible pairings and thus three accumulator bets in a system bet.
Bet A, Bet B and Bet C.
1st bet: A + B
2nd bet: A + C
3rd bet: B + C
The odds for the individual accumulator bet are calculated by multiplying the individual bets. For example, if tip A had a rate of 1.5 and tip B had a rate of 2.0, the combination of A and B would result in a total rate of 3.0.
The system bet 2 out of 4 (2/4)
With a 2 out of 4 system bet, four individual events are combined into a system bet slip. All possible 2-way combinations are formed from the four tips. A total of six accumulator bets are made.
Picks A, B, C and D. The following accumulators are formed: A + B, A + C, A + D, B + C, B + D and C + D.
The system bet 3 out of 4 (3/4)
With the 3 out of 4 system bet, four individual events are again combined to form a system bet. In contrast to the 2 out of 4 system bet, three picks are always combined with the ¾ system. There are only four accumulator bets formed in total.
Picks A, B, C and D. The following accumulators are formed: A + B + C, A + B + D, A + C + D, B + C + D.
The system bet 3 out of 5 (3/5)
In a 3 out of 5 system bet, also known as a 3/5 system bet for short, five different events are selected in order to create all possible 3-way combinations. With a 3 out of 5 bet system, 10 different 3-way combinations can be created from these distinct five events.
Any bets can be formed according to the same system as a 2 out of 3, 2 out of 4 or 3 out of 4. The possibilities of system bets vary from betting provider to betting provider. Often a bet, e.g. 3 out of 9, is also possible, whereby nine events are selected, 3-way combinations are formed from them with a total of 84 individual combinations options arising from this system.
The system bet with banks
What does a bank mean in a system bet? A bank would be a safe bet. A presumably safe event can be picked as a bank, which means that this one pick (the bank) should appear in every single combination within the system bet. Important! If your bank pick is lost, the entire system bet loses, as there is no accumulator without this pick. However, if the bank pick actually wins, the chance of winning every system bet increases for all combinations – as they are primarily based on that one.
Special System Bets
In addition to the conventional system bets, there are also the following special cases:
System bet ‘Trixie’
With a Trixie system bet, you choose three events. This bet, then, results in an accumulator bet from the three events and three 2-way combinations (see above). In total, you are playing 4 bets with a Trixie.
System bet ‘Patent’
The Patent system bet only differs from the Trixie system bet, as in addition to the 4 bets mentioned above, a single bet is also played per event, i.e. you play 7 bets in total.
System bet ‘Yankee’
You can place the Yankee bet after selecting 4 events. The Yankee system bet consists of six combinations of two, four combinations of three and one combination of four events. In total, you play 11 bets with a Yankee system bet.
System bet ‘Lucky 15’
The Lucky 15 is also similar to the Yankee bet described above, with the main difference being that a single bet is also placed on each event. This adds four bets to the Yankee bet and a total of 15 bets – thus called ‘Lucky 15’ system.
System bet ‘Canadian’
For a Canadian system bet you need to select five events. The following system bets are formed from this pattern: ten combinations of two, ten combinations of three, five combinations of four and one combination of five events. In total, the ‘Canadian’ system bet results in a number of 26 bets.
System bet ‘Lucky 31’
Guess? Correct! Lucky 31 is a Canadian system bet plus a single bet per selected event. This means that the Lucky 31 results in a total of 31 individual bets.
System bet ‘Heinz’
With a Heinz system bet, you select six individual picks and can, thus, form the following combination bets: 15 combinations of two, 20 combinations of three, 15 combinations of four, six combinations of five and one combination of six events. In total, you play 57 bets with a Heinz bet.
System bet ‘Lucky 63’
Bingo! The Lucky 63 is a Heinz system bet that includes single events, i.e. 63 bets.
System bet ‘Super Heinz’
The system bet Super Heinz puts one more on the Heinz system. So, seven events are necessary for the Super Heinz and result in the following combination options: 21 combinations of two, 35 combinations of three, 35 combinations of four, 21 combinations of five, seven combinations of six and one combination of seven events. In total, you play 120 bets with a Super Heinz.
System bet ‘Goliath’
The Goliath system bet is the last special system bet that we want to go into in detail. Eight individual events are required for a Goliath system bet, forming the following combinations: 28 combinations of two, 56 combinations of three, 70 combinations of four, 56 combinations of five, 28 combinations of six, eight combinations of seven and one combination of eight. In total, the Goliath system bet results in 247 bets.
The big overview of system bets
The following illustration gives you an overview of the most common system bets in sports betting. In the column you can see the number of picks that are used for the system bet. The number of events per combination is shown on the row. These comprise the total number of bets that can be formed in the matrix.
The special system bets are also listed below.
If you want to combine many events with one another in order to raise the odds, the risk increases that one of the selected pick will fail. If a single event is lost in an accumulator bet, the entire betting slip is lost. In the case of a system bet, on the other hand, the remaining accumulator bets can be won despite a failed pick. That means that with system bets, the possible odds decrease, but the real chance of winning actually increases.
3. Handicaps in sports betting
The handicap bet is certainly one of the most interesting in the betting market and can be used for almost all sports. Here, a team is given a “head start” with which they then go into the game. The handicap bet, like the over/under bet, is one of the most popular types of bets.
What does handicap mean in sports betting?
Assuming there is an international soccer match between Austria and Germany and you choose the “Austria +1” handicap bet, this means that , in regards to your bet, Austria will start the game with a 1-0 lead. Now, you can bet on a home win, a draw or an away win. The bets would now have the following effects:
Austria – Germany | Bet “Austria +1”
Austria started the game with a 1-0 lead, according to your bet. To win the bet with pick 1 (i.e. win Austria), you need either an Austria win or a draw.
For example, if the game ends 1-1, then Austria would have won the bet 2-1 due to the handicap.
To win the bet with pick X, you need a victory for Germany with exactly one goal difference. If the game ends 1-2, for example, then the bet ends with a 2-2 due to the handicap – i.e. a draw.
To win the bet with pick 2, the German team needs to win by at least two goals. Since Austria leads 1-0 from the start according to the handicap, Germany must win the game by a two or more goals difference. If Germany wins 0-2, the bet ends with a 1-2. If Germany wins by 1-4, then the bet ends with a 2-4.
There are also handicaps with “minus” (e.g. “-1”); with – handicaps the team concerned is not credited with goals/points, but deducted.
If you want to bet on a home win for Dortmund with at least two goals difference, then you can opt for Borussia Dortmund (-1).
Handicap bets are not only available for bets with just a 1 goal difference. Especially in games with a clear favorite you will also see that 2 or 3 goals can be deducted or added to a team.
Handicap bets are, of course, not just a football phenomenon. You can also bet on handicaps in hockey, basketball, American football and many other sports. The number of points added or deducted is, of course, much higher in such sports than in football, because on average, significantly more points can be achieved during a game.
The Asian handicap, also known as “AHC” for short, is a special form of handicap betting. Not all betting providers have Asian handicaps in their sportsbook, but this kind of bet is clearly on the rise. With Asian handicap, not only whole goals or points are deducted or added to a team, but also quarter points, half points or three quarters points, which in each case have different effects in relation the bet.
This might seem a little illogical at first glance, but we will explain it to you and you will learn to love the AHCs, after you experiment a little bit with them. Later in this page, we will also explain Asian over and under bets.
The Asian handicap got its name because it was invented by an Indonesian bookmaker. The popularity of this type of bet began to increase in the early 2000s, because it allows hedging towards different directions for the sports bettor.
The easiest way to illustrate the Asian handicap is with a table. Beneath the table, we are explaining in more detail what the quarter and three-quarter points are all about. In the top line of the table you can see the final result of the game, while on the left the different handicap variants.
In relation to Asian handicaps with quarter and three-quarter steps, bets can also be won or lost with half the stake. The other half is returned to the player as cashback.
Two concrete examples, which can also be seen in the table above:
- You bet on an “AHC -1.25” and the game ends 1-0. In this scenario, you get half of your stake back and you lose the other half.
- You bet on an “AHC -0.75” and the game ends 1-0. In this case, it is exactly the opposite: you get half of the stake back and you win with the other half.
Specifically, these intermediate steps, which are unusual in European betting, mean nothing more than that your stake is divided between two betting outcomes. Therefore, if you play an AHC -1.25 with 100 €, then you are basically playing 50 € on an AHC -1.00 and 50 € on an AHC -1.50. This is sometimes also indicated by the respective sports betting provider, which then looks like this – for example: “AHC -1.25 (-1, -1.5)”.
Another example to illustrate the Asian Handicap: You bet 100 € on an “AHC -1.75” – or as it is displayed by some providers: “AHC -1.75 (-1.5, -2.0)”. The odds for this bet in our example are @ 2.00. The game ends 2-0.
- As a result, you win half of the bet that relates to the “-1.5”. Half of your stake (50 €) results in a profit of 100 € due to the odds @ 2.00
- The other half of the bet that is on the “-2.0” gives you cashback. You will get the other half of your stake back (50 €) due to the Asian Handicap.
- With your 100 € you earn 150 € or a net profit of 50 € with this bet.
4. The over/under bet in sports betting
The over/under bet is one of the most popular types of bets in sports betting, alongside the classic match bet and the handicap bet. Here we explain to you what the over/under bet is, and what you should pay attention to in relation to over/under bets.
Over / Under
In over/under bets you bet on the total number of goals or points that will be scored in a game. Take a soccer game as an example. Here you can guess whether over 2.5 goals or under 2.5 goals will be scored. If you place a bet on an “over 2.5” you win as soon as at least three goals are scored. If you bet on “under 2.5” you win if none, one or two goals are scored. With a third goal the under bet is lost.
For newbies sports bettors, the half goals will seem a bit strange, as there are no 2.5 goals in a football game. Over 2.5 is the usual notation and is equivalent to an Over 2 and means that more than 2, i.e. at least 3 goals must be scored.
Of course, there are also special types of over/under bets. Especially, as far as the number of goals is concerned, in soccer you can bet on an over 5.5, for which you would need a minimum of six goals – to win the game with most bookmakers. Depending on the course of the game, even higher outcomes can be bet in-play. In addition, it is possible to place over/under bets for certain periods of time, for example only in the first half, only in the second half or live for the remaining time of the game.
There are over/under bets for practically all sports, in which goals or points can be scored. The points given for basketball bets are of course higher, for example over or under 172.5. If you were to suggest an ‘over’, you would win the bet with the 173rd point of the game.
Over/Under is a very interesting way to become successful with sports betting and make some profit from your money.
How to bet successfully on over/under!
We have already explained what an over/under bet is in our article on special bets. How many goals are scored in a game? Is it three or more? Is it less than three? The notorious over/under bets are certainly one of the most interesting and exciting markets that the world of betting has to offer. But what strategy should you use to win?
Almost all betting providers offer statistics and direct comparisons before a duel between two teams or athletes. In most cases, however, they do not go far back into the past and leave the bettor with rather superficial information.
Generally, you can find statistics for the last five direct duels, as well as the last five games of the respective teams very quickly. Of course, the form of the day is important and also the last direct duels are not insignificant; but a tendency of how likely a high or low number of goals has occurred in previous match, is not necessarily left behind through these information.
To find out the actual scoring potential of two teams, you have to dig a little deeper. You should not only use the last few weeks as a benchmark, but a longer period of time! Of course, it can happen that a team has had a run in the last few weeks, but that doesn’t say much about the actual potential of this team.
Thus, we have to take a larger sample than the one suggested by the betting providers with their rather superficial statistics. Nonetheless, we shouldn’t make the mistake of calculating an average value. Rather, we should count how high the rate of over or under games was.
Do not be blinded by the average
Let’s take a closer look at the matter: We decide to find a team that we think is a good candidate for an over 2.5. Let’s take AC Milan’s Serie A home games between December 2015 and November 2016 as an example.
There was a total of 18 games, so it’s a representative sample. A total of 46 goals were scored in these 18 games, which corresponds to an average goal of 2.55 per game. We are already above the magical limit of 2.5. In those 18 Milan home games, there were an average of three goals rather than fewer than three goals.
However, there were some results that falsified this average because they were well above the 2.5 goals. For example a 3-3 against Frosinone, a 3-2 against Torino and a 4-3 against Sassuolo.
If we take a closer look on these 18 games and pick out those that actually noted three goals or more, we only get seven. Even if the average looks promising at first glance, you would have only won 39% of your over 2.5 bets if you had bet on it at each of these 18 AC Milan home games. This is how the average amount of goals can harm you instead of benefit you, when looking to bet over/under successfully.
Take a closer look at the number of over/under games
It makes sense to count the number of overs and unders – but not to calculate the goal average. This can also be applied to home games, away games or all games. In addition, it makes perfect sense to consider these counts in relation to the competition. For example, when Celtic hosts one outsider after the other in the Scottish Premier League, it is a different situation than when they have to play against FC Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League.
Depending on the sport, you should take a set number of games as a sample. It also depends on how stretched the period is. If you use two whole seasons as a benchmark in football, this can also be counterproductive, especially if the squad of a team has changed.
We generally suggest a sample of 15 to 30 games. To be even more precise, it could be narrowed to 20 to 30 games.
In addition, it is advisable to stick to the standard amount for over/under bets – i.e. over 2.5 or under 2.5. Of course, there are always situations or games where you can find a decent value in an under 1.5 or an over 4.5, but in reality, these are the bets that bookmakers are very fond of making money with. As with all other bets, the following applies: compare the odds, try to assess whether an odd is fair and then you will find enough value bets with the over/under 2.5 variant.
Secure your over/under bet
As always, the same applies here: if you want to be even more secure with your bets, then go deeper. In the case of over/under bets, you can achieve this, among other things, by evaluating shots in relation to goals.
But other statistics or observations can also help you with your over/under bets. For example, the question of how a team approaches a game. Do you try to score the first goal and then maintain the result in the best possible way? Or does a team go straight for the second goal once they lead 1-0. Of course, it also makes sense to consider the current shape of a team and to take into account runs or phases of weakness; but, a closer look at the larger sample shows whether the team generally has the potential for many goals – towards the one direction or the other!
The “safe” over/under games
Chelsea FC hosts Burnley FC at home and have won the last seven home games. The bookmakers offer an average of @ 1.15 for a win for the Blues. Well, nothing can go wrong here.
However, you wouldn’t want to bet a lot of money on this game. The reason is relatively simple to explain: it can’t practically be a value bet. Let us now quantify a Chelsea win, for example, with a probability of 92%. There is no one hundred percent bet, because something unpredictable can always happen. A stupid goal conceded from a set piece and then a deep-laying opponent. An early red card. Or, one of those days when the ball just won’t go in. Now, we introduce the 92% probability of victory in our formula.
Not really interesting, isn’t it? Not even after we put the value into the Kelly formula to calculate the ideal percentage bet from our bankroll:
According to this calculation, you should bet 38.6% of your bankroll, and with that high probability you would break your concept and your betting ideals. If you also consider now that 38.6% of your bankroll multiplied by a win rate of @ 1.15 – you would noticed that a really large bankroll is required in order to get decent profit. Eventually, you will inevitably reach the conclusion that you are losing significantly more, than you can actually win.
But what if I combine a few of “these” games?
A typical rookie mistake is to combine several games from this category. Win Chelsea, win Bayern, win Barcelona, win Real Madrid, win Juventus … and in the end you get odds of around @ 2.20; however, will all the combined bets go well when so many stadiums around the world are concerned?
In reality, with such a bet you only increase the bookmaker’s profit margin. No matter how many “safe bets” you combine, they never turn into value bets.
Think in a different direction: find a good over, an interesting under, maybe a handicap win that you probably believe in. Never stop analyzing your bets, calculate their value, do not deviate from your bankroll management. There is no such thing as a favourite accumulator bet that you can practically “only win”. On the contrary: these are the bets that will crush you sooner or later.
Limit yourself to the essentials, analyze thoroughly, do not overdo it with types of bets or the number of combined games. The secret to accumulator and system bets is that absolutely every pick you put in is a value bet.
The Asian over / under
As we have already mentioned with the Asian handicap bets, there is also the option of placing Asian over bets and under bets. As with the handicaps, it is not only possible to bet on half steps, as with normal over and under bets, but also on whole steps, as well as quarter and three-quarter steps.
The concept works in the same way as with the handicaps. In this table we give you an example of how your bet will be evaluated if you place an Asian over or under.
As you can see, the Asian over/under bets also offer some protection and some lucrative cashback options. Taking into account the fact that over/under bets are very volatile and depend heavily on the course of the game, such bets are practically indispensable for a professional bettor.
Here, we will also provide two examples:
- You bet 100 € on an Asian over 1.25 and the game ends 1-0. You have lost 50 € of your stake and you will be refunded 50 € as cashback.
- You bet 100 € on an Asian over 1.75 and the game ends 2-0. The odds on the Asian over 1.75 were @ 1.50. Half of your stake will be refunded as cashback and with the other half you will win. In this case, 50 € at odds of @ 1.50. So, you win 75€, get 50 € reimbursed and make a net profit of 25 €.
5. What is the ‘Double Chance’ in Sports Betting?
Double chance is a type of bet in which two different outcomes of a game can result to a winning bet. Along with the over/under bet, double chance is one of the most popular types of bets in sports betting.
In classic 3-way bets, one differentiates between 1X, 12 and X2. Even if the odds for these bets are lower than a classic 3-way bet, the double chance is a good option to secure a bet. This type of bet works as follows:
- 1X: The bet is won if the home team wins or if the game ends in a draw. If the away team wins, the bet is lost.
- 12: The bet is won if one of the two teams wins. In the event of a draw, the bet is lost.
- X2: The bet is won if the away team wins or if the game ends in a draw. If the home team wins, the bet is lost.
Some betting providers offer bets in which the double chance is combined with another system bet. An example of this would be the bet “1X and at least one team does not score”. This bet would be lost, for example, with a 2-1 win for the home team or a 1-1 loss, because the visitor team also scored.
6. The ‘Draw No Bet’ (DNB) in sports betting
Draw-No-Bet is a bet in which there is no draw option. You bet on a winner, but get your stake back if the game ends in a draw.
There are different abbreviations for the no draw bet: The most common abbreviation is DNB, but AHC0 or the written variant Asian Handicap 0, also represent this type of bet. Some betting providers translate the term and offer this option under the title “Draw No Bet”.
In contrast to a classic 3-way bet, where you can place bets on 1, X or 2, the win odds are slightly lower with a ‘Draw No Bet’. The reason for this is the “exit strategy”, as you get your money back in case of a draw. This type of bet is therefore much safer than a 3-way bet.
Specifically, a DNB bet looks like this:
- Win Team 1 DNB: if the home team wins, the bet is won. If there is a draw, the stake is returned. If the away team wins, the bet is lost.
- Win Team 2 DNB: if the away team wins, the bet is won. If there is a draw, the stake is returned. If the home team wins, the bet is lost.
7. The ‘bank’ in sports betting
For newcomers to sports betting, the term “bank” may be a bit confusing at first, as it is neither a bank branch, nor a bench in the park. Perhaps you have heard the statement several times: ‘The game is a bank’. But what does that mean exactly?
What does ‘bank’ mean in sports betting?
If you only play single bets, you don’t even need to know what it means as the term bank only occurs in system bets. With a system bet, such as an accumulator bet, you place on the outcome of several games, but with the difference that not all predictions have to work out in order to win the bet. For example, you can play the system 3 out of 5 or 4 out of 7, and the betting provider will then automatically make 10 or 35 bets in these cases; so that all combinations of the picks given are combined.
These system bets can be modified by using banks. If you believe that an event or even several events will work out for sure, then you select them as a bank or banks into your system bet. Now, this bank pick must absolutely be won, otherwise the entire bet is lost, regardless of whether everything else worked out in your system bet. The big advantage of a successfully played bank pick, however, is that every accumulator of the system bet is now multiplied by the odds of the bank!
In summary, it can be stated that you must be very careful when you play system bets with a bank, because the other picks of the system bet become obsolete if your bank fails. However, the use of correctly deployed banks can significantly increase the overall odds, which is why banks can be useful in sports betting.
The most important sports betting tips
You have already acquired a basic knowledge of sports betting information and you will find further information on sports betting in this section. First of all, we would like to recommend our article on bankroll management; there, you will find out how to manage the available money in your betting account in the most promising and clever way. In this section, our sports betting experts will share their knowledge with you; each individual article will only cost you a few minutes, but they can immediately make you a more experienced sports bettor.
1. Bankroll management in sports betting
The term “bankroll management” is equally important in relation to sports betting, to casino games and to poker. It describes how you treat your available funds and how much of it you should use. Many professional bettors, which theoretically beat bookmakers in the long run, ultimately fail in practice due to poor bankroll management, which is why this topic is extremely important to us. The ability to apply good bankroll management and to hold onto it even in difficult times is perhaps the most important point for us, whenever we are being asked what makes a good sports bettor.
Who Needs Bankroll Management?
Solid bankroll management is an absolute requirement for professional bettors, but hobby gamers should also definitely strive to use good bankroll management system. Even if you only bet on certain games for entertainment, a strong bankroll management increases the chances that you will get out with a plus at the end of the day. Nonetheless, it is even more important that bankroll management protects the hobby players from losing all of their credit within a short period of time or even on one hit, which is one of the most unpleasant experiences for any betting companion.
Let’s summarize the advantages of good bankroll management. Good bankroll management …
How large should my bankroll be?
When it comes much money you want to set aside for betting on sporting events, everyone has to decide for themselves, as the financial possibilities differ greatly. But it is essential that you can actually afford the amount that you bet. You shouldn’t need the money from your bankroll to pay current or near future bills. We cannot emphasize how important it is that you choose an amount that you can afford to lose. The variance in sports betting can be very high and you will position yourself in a very sincere situation – if you actually need the bets for everyday life.
If you only want to bet just for fun, for example to make the outcome of a certain game more interesting, then it is also okay to set a monthly budget for this hobby. Even in this case, a good bankroll management would be recommended, but we understand the pure leisure bettor, who plays only small stakes and exclusively for fun and does not want to have the necessary discipline to follow a strict bankroll management.
However, if you take betting more seriously, it is an absolute prerequisite that you have a proper bankroll management in place and follow it in a disciplined manner. Bankroll management is the only way you have a realistic chance of generating nice profits in the long term.
What is a unit in relation to bankroll management?
Your bankroll should be at least 50 units, with our recommendation being 100 or even 200 units. We give the stake in units because every betting friend has a different bankroll. For example, if we were recommending an over bet, it would make no sense if we were to name a certain amount to bet on our tip, as that amount would be your entire bankroll for one player and 0.1% for the bankroll of another bettor.
In general, the recommendation can be made that a bet should make up around 1% to 3% of the bankroll. Cautious players should bet 1% to 2%, but if you want to approach the matter very aggressively, you can even throw up to 5% of your bankroll per bet into the race; but we warn against this approach, as the risk is very high and that variance has the upper hand in these scenarios. With smaller stakes in percentage terms, you can also minimize the risk of being forced to change your strategy because your bankroll is shrinking threateningly.
Our recommendation for your bankroll: 100 units
To start with, we recommend a bankroll of 100 units. As discussed above, in extreme cases you can also use 50 units, especially if you can afford to deposit a new bankroll without any major problems. If you want to be on the safe side, you can divide your bankroll into 200 units.
Let’s assume that you choose the golden mean and want to play with 100 units. For example, if you have a bankroll of 100 €, a unit size is 1 €. If you have a bankroll of 1000 €, then one unit is 10 €. If you have doubled your bankroll after a while, a unit size is then 2 € or 20 €. If, on the other hand, you have lost money, the unit size will also be smaller.
One to three units per bet to maintain your bankroll
How many units you want to risk per bet depends primarily on the risk of the bet. If you bet on an outsider victory, for example, you will want to use less of your bankroll than if you bet your money on a clear favourite. Sometimes, it can also happen that a higher number of units are bet in games with high odds, for example, if you think that you have found a lot of “value”. If we believe that the bookmaker misjudges a match, then we will also adjust the bet size upwards in order to get the maximum out of the bet.
We will usually give you three different signals for betting:
- “Low”: if we write “low” next to the bet then you should place 1 unit
- “Medium”: in this case you play 2 units
- “High”: here you can play 3 units
Sometimes it will also happen that we recommend a bet with very high odds and mark it with “very low”. In this case, please only set half a unit!
How do we measure profit with this approach?
Of course, we measure our profit in units. If we write that we are 18 units up this season, it means that we have made an increase of 18 times the size of a unit. This may include 18 € for one bettor and 18,000 € for the other – depending on the size of the bankroll. If you don’t have a lot of action at the beginning because your bankroll is still small, please don’t get impatient. As in many other cases, the motto “it’s a marathon and not a sprint” is also totally applicable here. As your bankroll gradually becomes larger, the profit also increases with each unit as the units grow larger and larger. Patience and discipline are essential in bankroll management.
2. The safest bet in sports betting
Bets that always win don’t exist. Sports can be crazy sometimes and even if someone tells you something about a “surefire” bet, there is always a residual risk. Finding the safest bets is definitely the main objective of any bettor.
What is a safe bet and does it exist?
Which bet is the safest depends on many factors. Luck is one of them, of course. Minimizing the risk is the main task of a professional sports bettor, which is why one is on the safe side, especially with solid bankroll management.
If you believe the bookies, a bet with odds 1.01 would of course be the safest bet imaginable. This is roughly equivalent to a home win for FC Bayern Munich against a non-league side. But of course, this game is also not decided before it has kicked off. Something unexpected can always happen, no matter how certain the bet is and no matter how clear the game is.
The tips we can give you when looking for a safe bet are as follows:
What is a no-bet?
They exist – the games where almost everything can happen. If the outcome of a game after the preliminary analysis is subjectively so uncertain that you do not want to risk a bet on this game, this is called a no-bet.
What is a surebet?
There is one type of bet that is actually completely safe: the surebet. This is the only type of bet that you will definitely win. With a surebet you need accounts with different betting providers. Stakes are placed on all possible outcomes of a betting segment. One of the bets will always be won and thus the name surebet. Due to the differences in odds between different betting providers, there is definitely some profit in it.
The profit margin of a surebet is usually very low and high profits are only possible if you bet a lot of money. In addition, there is a great risk that the betting providers, which are known to be used as part of a surebet, strictly limit the outcomes or adjust the odds at short notice. Thus, there is always a certain residual risk even with a surebet tip.
Below, there is is an example of a surebet with two possible outcomes:
No matter how the game ends: With a total stake of 100 € you always make 9.09 € net profit.
Even with some 3-way bets, it can happen that a surebet results from different odds with different betting providers. The possible profit here is usually even lower. Here’s an example:
No matter how the game ends: In this constellation we make a net profit of 2.64 €.
You see that the profits are very low. In order to achieve a net profit of 264 € in this constellation, our total budget for this bet must be 10,000 €. This, in turn, is difficult to set in most cases because many betting providers define a maximum stake or a maximum profit from a particular bet.
How seriously can you take betting tips from the Internet?
Analyzing games yourself is one thing, relying on the so-called “tipsters” is another. You can always find the latest betting tips from the world of sports all over the Internet. Usually, these are substantiated with a reason and lead directly to the betting provider with the supposedly best odds. But can you rely on such tips?
You can’t really rely a 100% on any tip for sports betting. There is always a residual risk. Clearly, there are good tips on some tipsters’ websites or social media accounts that work, and less good tips that will lead you in a loss. However, you can as well get inspiration from such sites, regardless of whether a pick is successful or not: the tipster who provided the tip to the people will of course have already thought about it substantially.
However, everyone has to decide for themselves whether the thoughts behind the tip, which are often explained on these websites, follow the right approach and good arguments for the respective outcome of the game. Blindly relying on these will not be successful in the long run. However, such tips do offer a certain amount of inspiration. Nevertheless, the same applies as always: nothing beats a good preliminary analysis and a clear strategy; and you always have to take care of that yourself.
The value bet
What is actually a value bet? You will come across this term again and again in the world of sports betting. It is simply a bet that you personally think is so likely that it has a certain value regarding the given odds.
We have already calculated the “value” of a quota using the Kelly formula as an example. This requires a probability that you determine, as well as the odds. Then, we work again according to the following formula:
The value bet explained using an example:
Let’s take an example of a clash between Arsenal and Paris St Germain:
Now we evaluate the possible outcomes of the match and, in this example, do so with the 50% probability of an Arsenal win, the 30% probability of a PSG win and the 20% probability of a draw.
Now, we fill in the probabilities into the formula:
Value = (0.50 * 2.20) – 1
Value = 0.10
Value = (0.20 * 3.40) – 1
Value = – 0.32
Value = (0.30 * 3.20) – 1
Value = – 0.04
If we take the probabilities you set as a benchmark, then a bet on an Arsenal win would definitely be a value bet. The bet on an Arsenal win is the only one in positive zone. The calculated value of a PSG win would be almost zero, i.e. relatively neutral. The draw, which we consider the most unlikely in this example at 20%, is well below zero and therefore not a bet with a particular value.
All bets with a negative value according to this formula are no value bets. Bets in which the value is a positive number are referred to as value bets. The higher the value, the more the odds are worth.
Value bet is a subjective term
However, it should not be forgotten that the assessment of probabilities is subjective. Of course, you can also orientate yourself on corresponding websites that pre-analyze the game outcomes in percentages. But it is up to you whether you want to trust your own assessments or the assessments of others.
As is easy to see from the formula, the odds also have a strong effect on whether a bet can be called a value bet or not.
If you do a little research and find odds of @ 2.35 for an Arsenal win, the situation will look different again.
Value = (0.50 * 2.35) – 1
Value = 0.175
With this higher rate, the “value” of your bet increases by 7.5%. The interplay between the probability, which you usually set once, and possible higher odds, which are very likely to be found at from another provider, must be also considered here.
Of course, the probability can change if you prepare for a game longer. For example, if you set a probability in the first impulse, but then take a closer look at the details of the game, analyze lists of injured or banned players or daily shape – you will then have to adjust the probability.
3. Sometimes you need to be able to lose
Obviously, you can’t just keep winning in sports betting. There are always setbacks and sometimes they can last longer. Anyone who has ever bet over a long period of time knows what it is like when almost nothing works out for an entire period of time. It’s maddening, but you also have to be professional and disciplined about it.
If you permanently lose most of your bets over a longer period of time and your bankroll also shrinks significantly, then there can be several reasons. Bad luck is certainly not the only one. Use every bad phase to your advantage and to further optimize your betting behavior. Ask yourself the following central questions:
In the vast majority of cases you will find yourself answering some of these questions when you are on a “losing streak”. Never forget that professional betting is mostly about organization and discipline. Even when things are going uphill, you should never forget to adhere to these fundamental aspects of structured betting. And when things go downhill, that’s the point when you need to remember these important points.
What should I do if I am on a losing streak?
An analysis of your betting behavior is essential. Find the faults in yourself and the way you are betting. Be honest with yourself and admit when you have deviated from your plan.
A break won’t hurt you. You’ll miss out on nothing, since there will always be loads of competitions, games and markets. Sometimes it makes sense to regain a cool head by simply keeping your feet still. Just like athletes do, you also need your breaks as a sports bettor.
Don’t worry, you will get over the bad phase just like it happens in every aspect of life. But what happened, happened already. You will not get back the losing bets by wildly betting on the lottery ticket. Keep cool, analyze, optimize, regenerate.
And most importantly: never bet on your last shirt. Especially in the initial phase, in which you can lose a lot of money if you don’t stick to your concept. It can happen that you hit the bottom – that is, rattle down to zero. If that happens, you must by no means use all your might to try to get your money back. Don’t bet with money that you really need for something else. Stay cool and keep working in a structured manner. In spite of continuing to bet, it will not bring your bankroll back and is not only financially, but also psychologically dangerous for you.
Winning has to be learned too!
The successful times in sports betting are similar to the unsuccessful ones. However, emotionally on a completely different level. When everything just works, you tend to get cocky and possibly hang in even more than you did before. Sure, because you like to watch the betting account grow.
But even if everything works out for you, it is important to keep cool even when winning. Never stop working on yourself and analyzing your betting concepts. Sometimes you deviate from your bankroll management and the way you choose bets and still end up winning. But this will not always be the case, so “sticking to the plan” is a very important principle even in times of victory.
Just because nothing bad can seem to happen at the moment doesn’t mean it can’t happen. In these cases, the crash can happen sooner than you would like. Stay focused, keep your betting frequency and go on betting like you used to when you set out your winning strategy. Take your time with your bets and never stop analyzing your bets, indifferently to whether you win or lose.
4. The odds
You don’t necessarily gamble on outcomes that you think will happen. You play much more against the bookmakers, who have a high level of expertise and set the odds to the best of their knowledge. However, bookmakers also make mistakes or misjudge games. Not every bookmaker always reacts in time and with the ideal measures when the situation within an event changes. Injuries, suspensions, external conditions and even the weather can change an event in favor of one or the other team or an athlete.
What are betting odds?
The betting odds (also simply called odds) indicate how much profit you can make with a bet if the event on which the bet was placed occurred. One speaks here of a relative profit, since the profit can rise or drop relative to the stake made.
Odds and Probabilities
In sports betting, bookmakers always use mathematical calculations based on probabilities when creating odds. The bookmaker tries to estimate the probability with which a certain event will occur, or not. The bookmaker sets the odds based on this probability calculation. The less likely an event is expected, the higher the odd. If there is a high probability that an event will occur, the odd will decrease.
Of course, these days bookmakers cannot set the odds for all bets they offer themselves. Although larger sports betting providers have specially assigned bookmakers, even they reach their limits at some point. The range of bets has increased dramatically in the last few years to decades, so that manual “calculation” of every odd is hardly possible.
To counteract this, betting odds are largely bought in nowadays. There are occasional adjustments to the odds, for example to make an odd more attractive for marketing purposes, or if the local bookmaker assess the probabilities differently than the company that supplies the odds.
Another possibility is to only determine the game odds and derive the odds for special events from it. For example, if a player wins 80% of a match in tennis, it can be deduced from this how likely he is to bring his service over the net.
The different odds formats
There are different formats for the way in which odds are presented. The most common odds formats are:
- Decimal odds / the European format
- Breakage rate / the UK format (also existed before Brexit)
- American quota / the US format
The decimal odds
With the decimal format (also called European format), the odds are given in the form of a decimal number as in our example above. The odds show the relationship between the stake and the possible profit. This means that the stake is multiplied by the odds, so you get the possible profit. If you put 10 € on PSG in our example, a PSG win rewards you 36 €. If you deduct your stake, you get a net profit of 26 €.
|Odds on PSG:||3,60|
|Winnings paid out:||36€|
|Profit:||stake * (odds – 1) = 10 * (3,60 – 1) = 10 * 2,60 = 26€|
This format is most widespread and most popular in German-speaking countries as well as in many other European countries.
The fraction odds
With the fraction odds (also called UK odds), the stake is already deducted and the possible net profit of the bet is shown as a fraction.
|Arsenal win:||2,00 = (2,0 – 1) = 1,0 => 1/1|
|Draw:||3,00 = (3,0 – 1) = 2,0 => 2/1|
|PSG win:||3,60 = (3,6 – 1) = 2,6 => 26/10 => 13/5|
With a 10 € stake on PSG, the profit results from the calculation is 10 * 13/5 = 26. The fraction odds format is most common in Great Britain and Ireland.
The American odds
The American odds (also known as the US format) can be specified as both positive and negative integers. Negative values indicate how much you would have to bet to achieve a profit of 100 €. Positive values, on the other hand, indicate how much profit you get for a stake of 100 €.
Our betting odds in US format would look like this:
|Arsenal win:||-100 (gleichbedeutend mit +100)|
The sign has no mathematical meaning here, but only indicates the type of calculation.
More odds formats
In addition to the common formats of sports betting odds described above, there are other formats mainly in Asia, although they are less relevant for other regions. Nevertheless, we do not want to leave them unmentioned.
The Hong Kong odds are presented in decimal format. A 1.50 odd means that if a bet is won with a stake of 10 €, the player receives 15 € profit. With Hong Kong odds of 2.00, the player needs a 10 € stake to get a profit of 20 €.
The Indonesian odds are the same as the American odds, except that it is divided by 100. Similarly to the American odds, the negative sign indicates how much you have to bet to achieve a profit of € 1. Odds of -1.50 therefore mean that you have to bet 15 € to win 10 €. A positive digit within the odds, on the other hand, indicates the profit with a stake of 1 €. Again an example – odds 2.40 means that if you bet € 10 you win € 24.
Malaysian odds are the opposite of the American odds. A negative digit corresponds to a higher profit than a positive odd. Malaysian odds of – 0.5 means that the player can earn 500 € on a 100 € stake. With a positive odd of +0.5, the winner of a bet receives a profit of € 50 on a stake of 100 €. Odds of 0.0 mean that with a stake of 100 € you can make a profit of 100 €.
How are the odds in sports betting made?
Here we want to investigate the question of how betting odds are created. Who determines the odds? In order to be able to win at sports betting you have to put yourself in the shoes of the other side and understand how the sports betting odds are being calculated.
First, the betting provider calculates the so-called fair odds. Let’s say FC Barcelona meet Liverpool in the Champions League final and are favorites. Fair odds for a 3-way bet could look like this:
So there are a total of three event options for a 3-way bet and the total sum of the probabilities is always 100%. Converted into betting odds, we now get the following result.
The real odds
However, if the betting provider offers fair odds on the market, then at some point he will probably have to close his business, since the operation of the company costs money and you have to make a profit by betting. This is why the “fair odds” are converted into the “real odds”. You shouldn’t reproach the betting provider in this regard, as other companies cannot provide their goods or services for free.
The bookmaker must now find the right balance for creating the real odds. On the one hand, they want to offer lucrative odds in order to attract new customers and not to scare off old customers, but on the other hand they has to make sure that the operation of the company is guaranteed and, in the best case, a nice profit is made.
If the bookmaker wants to make an average of six percent of the stakes as a profit, then they will have to multiply the fair odds by 0.94. For our example we come to the following calculation:
- Barcelona win: 1.88 (2.00 * 0.94)
- Draw: 3.62 (3.85 * 0.94)
- Liverpool win: 3.92 (4.17 * 0.94)
How the sports betting odds are calculated
Let’s take a look at the creation of odds using an example. We consider the Champions League match between Arsenal and Paris Saint Germain. The bookmaker has analyzed the game sufficiently and estimates the following probability:
|Arsenal win||45% = 0,45|
|Draw||30% = 0,3|
|PSG win||25% = 0,25|
The odds now result from the reciprocal of the probability O = 1 / P. This results in the following odds:
If you were to bet 10 € on Paris Saint Germain to win, and Paris actually wins, the sports bettor would collect a win based on the odds of 40 €. Just as the probability of the outcomes of this event is estimated, so is the distribution of the bets. With these “fair” calculated odds, the losses of those players who place bets on Arsenal or a tie would cover the winnings of those players who bet on Paris. The bookmaker would not make any business and would have a so-called payout ratio of 100%.
The bookmaker’s odds key
It should be clear to everyone that this is hardly in the interest of a bookmaker. Bookmakers want to make money too, since they have to cover their expenses and also want some profit. Therefore, a payout ratio lower than 100% is set. Payout rates of around 90% are common in the sports betting industry. This means that the bookmaker retains 10% of all bets made as a profit.
To explain this, let’s come back to our example. The bookmaker now multiplies the individual odds by the factor of the payout ratio, i.e. 0.9.
|Arsenal win||2,22 * 0,9 = 2,00|
|Draw||3,33 * 0,9 = 3,00|
|PSG win||4,00 * 0,9 = 3,60|
These are the real odds that are offered on the betting provider’s website.
5. What happens to the bet if the game is abandoned?
It is a rare occurrence, but it does happen occasionally. You placed a bet on a game that was canceled or not kicked off due to unforeseen events. But what happens when a game is canceled?
Why is a game canceled?
There are many reasons for abandoning or canceling games and almost every day one or the other game falls out of the valuation in the vastness of the football world. These reasons include:
In the year 2020 even whole leagues were suspended. The Coronavirus was not only turning the population and the economy upside down, sport and the associated sports betting were also in a state of emergency. The European Championship was postponed to 2021, almost all major leagues in professional football were shut down. Here it is at the discretion of the betting provider to maintain bets or refund the stake to the sports bettor.
What happens to the bet if the game is abandoned?
In such a case, it is always advisable to read through the provider’s general terms and conditions. There you will always find the exact information about the process in case of an event being abandoned or canceled.
In most cases, canceled or opened games are rated with a win rate of 1.0. This actually means that the stake will be refunded. If the bet placed is within an accumulator bet, this simply means that the game falls out of this accumulator. It should be noted here, that the odds of the accumulator bet also change because the game is rated at odds of 1.0. For example, if the bet on a canceled game had the odds 1.5 and the entire combination bet had an odd of 5.0, the combination bet only had the odds 3.33 (5.0: 1.5 = 3.33).
Most betting providers have a goodwill rule that states that a canceled game will not be abandoned if it is rescheduled or restarted within a set time limit. This can be 48, 50 or 72 hours, and whether a betting provider sets this limit is up to them. As already mentioned, this can be found in the terms and conditions of the respective provider. Since this is one of the most frequently searched questions, the procedure for canceled or abandoned games can be found very easily and quickly in practically on all the terms and conditions sections of the providers’ websites. In case of a doubt, you can also send an email to the betting provider’s support, who will certainly respond quickly with a pre-written email.
Those are the basics for your successful sports bet. If you have mastered the theory now, nothing stands in the way of your first successful bet. If you want to look deeper into the matter, we recommend our advanced article on betting strategies. Here we introduce you to the best and most important strategies in sports betting.
Have fun with your bet!