How to Place a Bet

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Placing a bet has never been easier and if you want to place a bet there are lots of different options from visiting a local betting shop to betting online. 

If you want to gamble for the first time, whether that’s on a horse race or any other sports event, we have you covered. We look at different options so that placing your first bet is simple and easy – whether that is in-person at a betting shop, on a racecourse or online.

This is your ultimate guide on how to place a bet:

How to Place a Bet

How to Place a Bet – Overview

Once upon a time, gambling was simple but restrictive. Anybody with an intention to place a bet had to head to a high-street bookmaker, cash in hand. You filled in a betting slip. Odds were checked, a stake was laid down. If you won, winnings were paid out on the spot, and losing bets resulted in a long walk home!

With the march of technology, especially online gambling sites, placing a bet has never been easier.

Punters can choose from a range of different websites, many of which constantly offer a welcome bonus (free bet stakes) to new customers and promises of best odds guaranteed, all at the tap of a button.

You don’t even need to use ‘real money’ for your gambling anymore as well – a reputable web bookmaker will accept a number of payment methods, from debit cards and bank transfers to e-wallet payments, cryptocurrency and mobile phone betting. Just take a look at what restrictions apply to your selection of payment method when staking your bet or opening an account.

Betting Online

Knowing about betting online could be the difference between winning big money and missing out completely. Thankfully, we’re here to help you get your bet placed at the touch of a button. If you find it difficult to make it to a physical betting shop due to other commitments, then placing bets online could solve the problem. There has been a huge increase in online betting purely because it is so convenient and also wide betting market options.

You will need to register a few details, including a debit card. If you prefer not to use your bank account, open an e-wallet account like PayPal. Once you have made a deposit into your account, you can start betting on whatever you like. The minimum amount that you’ll need to deposit varies from site to site, so shop around.

Most companies offer a joining incentive or sign-up bonus such as deposit £10 and get £30 to bet for free but offers like this will vary. You might also find that a number of other Ts and Tcs apply to using a free bet.

Winnings from a betting site are usually paid instantly, into your online account when you place a bet online. Top betting sites will let you withdraw funds at any time. There is usually a button to click to get access to your money. Reputable sites will have 24/7 customer service to help with any trouble obtaining winnings for a bet you have placed or to answer any questions.

How to Place a Bet on The Horses at a Betting Shop

Horse racing is still one of the most popular types of betting, either online or in person.

If you head to a physical bookmaker, you will fill in your betting slip, hand over your stake (using cash or debit card) and receive a bet slip that confirms what you can expect to win if your horse places first. This process is the same for all sports betting in-person at a bookies. It really is as easy as that, plus, if you need help filling in your slip a cashier can help or do this for you.

Betting over the internet is even easier. Make a deposit into your account and claim any free bets that you are entitled to. Within a click or two, you will be able to see all betting markets, add selections to your virtual betting slip and get started.

How to Put on a Bet When at the Races

A day at the races is fantastic fun for all involved, but placing bets while you’re there is a slightly different experience than placing a bet at your local bookies or online. If you are attending a race and aren’t sure about the etiquette, you essentially have three options:

  1. Bet with a bookmaker at one of the “on course pitches” –  once you have decided which horse you think will place first (a win bet), you basically go to one of the bookmakers (whichever has the best odds) and say the name or number of the horse and the amount you would like to bet. They will then hand you a completed betting slip. Keep this safe, as you’ll need it to claim any winnings.
  2. Bet with an on-course leading bookmaker brand (such as Ladbrokes), fill in a betting slip and hand this in at a kiosk. They will give you a receipt confirming your stake and the odds. Keep this safe, as you’ll need it if you win. You can also bet each way.
  3. Online – you can always use your phone to bet online when at the racecourse, there are many popular ones around include the Ladbrokes betting app and more.

After that, there is nothing to do but enjoy the race and cheer your horse on to helpful victory. The most important thing is to have fun. If you find gambling at the races stressful, you must stop for a while and just enjoy the day out.

If you are planning a day at the races check out our Top 10 UK Racecourses.

How to Put a Bet on the Grand National

The Grand National is the most famous race of the horse racing calendar and the biggest of all horse racing events. The annual Aintree based race saw a record amount of bets being placed this year, worth a staggering £250 million. Knowing how to place a bet on the Grand National is basically Gambling 101.

If you want to be a part of the fun and need to know how to put a bet on the Grand National then look no further.

Once you have chosen your horse you have a few options:

  • You can use a betting slip at a traditional bookie or betting shop  – you’ll find lots of local betting shops near you, no matter where you are including – Ladbrokes Betting shops, Betfred Betting shops and William Hill betting shops.
  • Place bets online, by opening an account with a bookmaker and registering a debit card – you’ll need to deposit funds into this account, but you may also receive free bets that can be placed against a selection of other events. Once your card is registered, you can either use a website or a betting app to place your bets. The money will be taken directly from your account.
  • If you are lucky enough to be on course, you can, of course, bet with an on-course bookmaker – just tell them the name or number of the horse and if you want to back it to win or be placed.

How To Bet on Football

Football remains a hugely popular sports market to bet on, and it’s a truly international game. From the English Premier League to the German Bundesliga and the World Cup, placing a bet on football is bigger than ever. Football betting markets are vast and worldwide.

To place the bet, you can either visit your local bookmakers or place it online. Online accounts are quick and easy to set up and you can place bets on the go using a phone or tablet, or from the comfort of your own home using a computer, smartphone, tablet or even a watch. You just need to make a deposit of funds into your account, unless you have a selection of free bet credits that you prefer to apply.

Here are the most popular questions we get asked about ways to place a bet:

How do sports betting odds work?

The secret is sports betting is to choose favourable odds that are not beyond the realms of the possibility. This way, you are likeliest to see the best results possible and win bigger.

Let’s imagine that you plan to bet on a football match. It’s a Cup game, and Liverpool are playing Plymouth Argyle. If you look at the positions of these teams in their respective leagues, it looks like there is no chance that Plymouth Argyle will win the match.

This will be reflected in the odds. Liverpool may be 2-1 odds on to win. This means that, if you bet £20 on Liverpool to win and they do so, you will receive £30 – the return of your £20 stake, plus £10 in winnings.

Maybe you’re feeling lucky, though. You could have a feeling that Plymouth Argyle are going to pull off an upset. The odds of Plymouth winning the game could be as high as 25-1 odds against. This means that a £10 bet could return £260 – your £10 stake, plus £250 in winnings.

Bookmakers are not silly. They place long odds against outcomes that are unlikely. Don’t place bets on long shots expecting to win big every time. Every now and again though, sports events throw up shock results. This is the magic of gambling. If you place the right bet, you will reap the rewards.

What are the different types of bets?

There are countless bet types on offer, whether using a brick-and-mortar betting shop or an internet betting site. The three most common are:

  • Single – very straightforward – you lay down a stake on one outcome (i.e. a horse winning a race outright). If your horse places first, you get your stake back plus any winnings owed
  • Double or Treble – two or three bets on separate events, such as individual races. If all bets come in, you win – and you may be awarded a bonus. If all the results do not go your way, you do not win anything. This means you need to think carefully about your selections
  • Accumulator – four or more bets at once. Accumulators are popular in the football betting markets. You may wish to back four different teams to win their respective matches. If all four of your selections do you proud you’ll likely win a large amount, especially if you picked at least one longshot

There are many other types of bets open to customers. These grow increasingly complicated, though. New customers are better off sticking with a single, double, treble or accumulator.

Popular Questions

How do I place a bet?

If you want to place a bet for the first time, you have two main options:

  • Head to a high street bookie or betting shop and place a bet in person. You can pay cash or debit card in places like Coral, Ladbrokes and William Hill. You will be provided with a bet slip that confirms your stake and the odds that you have chosen
  • Online – all the major high street bookies have websites, and there is a wide selection of internet-only gambling resources, including apps. If you need help, you’ll usually find live chat features on these sites that provide all the information you need

If you bet on a top internet site, new customers will likely get a welcome bonus, such as free bets. Check which terms and conditions apply to these free bets – you may not reap all the rewards of gambling when using a free bet. These bet types are a great way to see if gambling is fun for you, though.

When should you place a bet?

If you’re betting on horse racing, you must place your bet before the race begins.  If you are betting on other types of sporting events, you may be able to enjoy ‘in-play betting’. The odds of a football match, for example, will vary throughout the game. There are times when in-play racing is available though.

If you wish to bet in the middle of a sports event, you must hold your nerve and pick your moment. Keep watching the live odds on your site of choice, and choose the best possible time to place your bet.

Summary – Place a Bet

This guide has summarised how to place a bet.

As you’ll see, there are a plethora of options open to you, especially using internet betting sites. Try out a range of bookmakers and learn which ones meet your needs best, and be sure to take advantage of any welcome offers for new customers if this is of interest.

Otherwise more traditional methods such as local booking shops and on the racecourse are the most popular.

Bet Types To Consider When You Place a Bet

Here is the full list of horse racing betting types: