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The term betting markets covers a broad swath of events, basically anything that one could reasonably take bets on. While online sports betting is the largest, odds on non-sports events - better known as 'specials' - can all be found all across the internet.
UK online betting is more than just having all the top events' odds at your fingertips, it's about finding creative ways to maximise enjoyment and profit from some of the greatest, most exciting and even the most obscure events from around the world. Most top UK operators allow customers to bet on events on their mobile and tablet, as well as on desktop computers.
Mobile UK betting can take the form of both apps and in-browser mobile betting. They generally have reduced graphics and/or functionality, so it's wise to see which mobile-responsive betting operator best matches your approach to online betting. Users may also want to consider how much data mobile gambling uses, particularly with limited data plans.
Online betting is extremely safe thanks to a wealth of laws and regulations as well as third party watchdog organizations fully dedicated to ensuring the safety of each online punter and advanced technology used to protect each online financial transaction. Punters embracing online betting should rest easy when it comes to safety concerns.
UK online betting is completely legal thanks to regulation by the government. Players can enjoy betting online without any fear of legal repercussions, which might sound like an obvious statement but when compared to the States, where almost all forms of online betting are forbidden, it's obvious why this must be stated clearly as to not confuse players not from there.
Online betting is generally divided into sections by sport, with additional areas for entertainment, political and specials betting. Within these you'll find individual events happening. Sports betting online is by far the most diverse in terms of market variety but some of the most popular events to bet on are entertainment or political based.
Most expert opinion and strategical advice will cover online sports betting due to its popularity in terms of number of punts like with football, rugby, or cricket betting but the volatility of specials betting can produce some generous odds and lucrative opportunities. Once you've picked your event to bet on you get to the heart of online betting: the betting markets.
Betting markets are a list of every outcome you can bet on in an event. Betting markets will generally include a minimum of the event winner, winning margin and handicap markets, plus accumulator (multiple outcome) options. Although each online betting hub will have its own range of specialist markets, for example goals scored or time of first goal, some may specialise in specific events, and offer particularly diverse markets for it.
Odds represent the prices the makers will pay if your bet is successful, expressed as a proportion of your original stake. They're generally displayed in one of three formats:
These show your potential winnings as a fraction of your original stake, which means you divide the numbers displayed and multiply the result by your stake to determine your winnings. So a bet of £10 at odds of 2/1 would be calculated as: 2 divided by 1 = 2, 2 x 10 = 20. That's a win of £20, plus your initial stake of £10, making a total return of £30.
These represent the multiple of your stake that's returned in the event of a successful bet, including your initial stake. So if you made a successful bet of £10 at odds of 1.5, you'd get 1.5 x £10 = £15. Decimal odds of 1.5 are equivalent to fractional odds of 1/2.
These odds are totally different, and can be negative or positive. Negative numbers indicate how much you must bet to win $100 (or £100, €100 etc), so odds of -140 mean you must bet $140 to win $100. Positive numbers indicate how much you'd win from a $100 bet. So odds of +160 would mean a win of $160. To work out how much you'd win on a different bet amount, you just have to scale the figure up or down proportionally. So a £1 bet at 140 would win £1.40.
Online betting's core is a large number of odds compilers, whose job is to price up markets and create odds for the events. You might think that this involves a lot of work predicting likely outcomes, but the key job for these teams is to make sure that there's a roughly even number of bets for and against a certain outcome – the idea being that they don't lose too much money if punters successfully pick a winner.
This means that the betting odds on show aren't actually a reflection of the likelihood of something happening, but rather a reflection of where people are betting. Online betting also typically includes loyalty and bonus offers to encourage a consistent flow of cash from customers. This helps keep the numbers steady, but can also give savvy punters free bets, cashback and money back offers that help with strategies such as hedging and arbitrage.
There are a wealth of advantages to betting online when compared to betting in the shops. Sure, everyone enjoys the nostalgia of walking into a shop and placing a bet but the technological advantages of betting online can't be ignored. Online betting affords players the opportunity of in-play betting and cashing out early as well as betting on the exchanges, opportunities not afforded when betting in a shop.
Online betting exchanges operate a little differently than typical betting in the shop; instead of holding the cash to bet against customers themselves, online betting exchanges act like a financial market in which punters bet both for and against an event outcome. Most betting shops will not offer exchanges so players must turn to online betting.
Sometimes called live betting or in-running betting, in-play betting is the practice of betting on an event while it's underway. Unless you're watching the game from the betting shop, players can really only effectively capitalize on in-play betting odds by betting online or through betting apps.
The best online betting hubs will accompany events with statistics and live streams to enhance the experience, and empower players to make bets on a wide range of markets. Meanwhile, odds are updated moment-by-moment as the event progresses meaning online punters can sometimes cash out early allowing players to withdraw (or cash out) their bet for a fixed sum, if they believe that the bet is likely to fail later in the event, or if they've given up on it and want to claw back losses.
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