Basic Sports Betting Types and Rules


Basic Bet Types

To get started with sports betting there is an essential need to know the basics. Knowing the basics of betting really doesn’t boil down to anything less than understanding the different basic bet types which are available out there. Here we take a look through five different types of the most common bets that you could be playing in a sportsbook when starting out.

Win Single

This is the most common bet placed across all sports. Why? Because it is straightforward. Whether you are having a bet on a soccer match, a tennis match, a cricket match, it doesn’t matter. Simply head to the match outright market and select who you think the winner will be (or a draw option depending on the sport). Then place your stake at the listed odds. That’s it. Plain and simple, everything straight forward and clear.

Each Way

An each way bet is a progression from the Win Single, and it is an example of a coverage bet. When you place an each way single, you have a little insurance. Let’s say you are looking at The Masters in golf and back a player each way to win the tournament. You would still be banking on them winning outright for big profit, but you will have coverage through places if they don’t. Usually the insurance extends to two or three places in the field (this can vary), so if your player finished second or third, then you would get something back from your each way bet. The places in each way betting usually run around 1/4 of the full odds that you would get if your selection won. So if Rory McIlroy was backed to win The Masters at 12/1 and he finished third, you would get a return of 3/1 (a quarter odds payout). It is a great option to use on longer priced contenders.

Handicap Bet

Handicap bets have a big place in sports betting, as they add a touch of extra value for the reward of a little expertise. A handicap, which is found more commonly in North American sports, is where a bookmaker sets a points line (sometimes called a money line). Let’s say you have a basketball game and the handicap is set at -5 by the bookmaker. You would then have to bet that the team carrying the handicap covers the spread by winning the game by more than five points. Alternatively, you could select the opponents at a +5 handicap, which means that they would need to lose by no bigger than a five point margin for you to win the bet. If the first team with the handicap won by exactly five points, then the bet loses, it has to be more than the handicap.

Asian Handicap

This is an evolved handicap bet and it has become one of the most popular types of bet in soccer where there is the common draw outcome. Where the Asian Handicap differs from a regular handicap is that it eliminates the draw option because the nature of the bet forces there to be a winner. A draw in a regular handicap would mean a loss (see above), but not in Asian Handicap betting, as you can select 0.25, 0.50, 0.75 or full Asian Handicaps. If for example you selected a +0.25 handicap on an underdog, you would get a half win if they draw. Why? Because half of the stake went on the 0 (draw) and the other half on the .25 (win). So you get a lot of extra coverage and it is extremely valuable because it levels the playing field from a betting perspective, matching two opposing teams as close as possible to each having a 50% chance of winning.


This is the bet that every bettor wants to land, because it offers a huge reward for a low risk. That of course does mean that it is harder to win an accumulator bet than a win single. Basically you build a bet with numerous selections and the profit from one win is rolled onto the next selection and so on. You then have a cumulative bet going on, which is usually large and where the big payout come from, because with each winning selection, you are increasing the stake going on to the next selection. But the more selections in the accumulator, the more difficult it is for it to happen. But when it does, it pays big.

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