Football Betting Guide for Beginners

This article will be written for people who have just got into the betting world and those who have little to no knowledge about it. For that reason, I will not go into much detail about betting and different strategies used. Instead, we will focus on basics which should be 2nd nature to all who consider themselves at least somewhat knowledgeable about betting and a great starting point for those who want to learn something about it.

This beginner tutorial/guide, will not cover what does Bet, Odds, Stake, Profit and other basic terms in the world of betting mean. Instead, we will check how betting in football works, what are the types of bets, how to approach it and finally some general tips for betting.

Football is undoubtedly the most common and most popular sport to bet on. Which to be fair is not surprising, because football is by far the most popular sport in the world and with that, it’s only logical it is also up there in the betting industry.

When it comes to football betting, we have got 2 sides or in other words, 2 teams going against each other. You could settle on just betting on one side, the draw or the other side, but there are plenty of more options, which we will check in this article.

Bet Types:


1×2 Bet

As mentioned, the 1×2 bet represents 3 options you can bet on. It’s either team 1 wins (1), draw (X) or team 2 wins (2). It’s simple, easy and basic.

Double Chance Bet

This kind of bet is something like an advanced 1×2 bet. A double chance bet combines two of the previously mentioned options. Just like the 1×2 bet, the Double Chance bet also has 3 possibilities. 1X, X2 or 12. Those possibilities mean that we predict; team 1 winning or draw (1X), team 2 winning or draw (X2) and lastly team 1 or team 2 wins (12).

Draw no bet (DNB)

Or DNB, in short, is a type of bet which removes the draw from the available options. So if you bet on Liverpool DNB and the match ends in a draw, your stake will be refunded. On the other side, if Liverpool wins you win the bet. In simple terms, you bet on the team you believe will win and at the same time protect yourself from losing money if the match ends in a draw.

Both teams to score

Or BTTS, in short, is a type of bet where you choose between 2 possible outcomes. Either both teams score or they don’t (aka. no goals). There is not much to say about this type as it’s self-explanatory.


The over/under bet is usually used to predict if the total number of goals will stay under a certain value or go over it. For example, a bet of Over 2.5 goals would mean the match would have to end with 3 or more goals for you to win. There are also over/under bets for other values such as corners/fouls/shots…

Correct Score

Again, self-explanatory bet, which is considered one of the most unpredictable events to correctly predict. The correct score is a bet where you predict the correct score after the final whistle. Chances of hitting this bet are extremely low, thus it offers higher odds.


I could go on and list all the possible bets, but due to their uniqueness and low popularity, I have decided to put them under the same section.

Here I put bets like; First goalscorer, anytime goalscorer, to win from behind, to score a penalty, Odd/Even number of goals; corners; cards… There are a lot of bets that can fall into this category. Depending on the bookmaker, some may offer weird bets like betting on which part of the body will be used to score the first goal. In the end, whatever people want, bookmakers will provide, as long as you bet and preferably loose.

Outright bet

With an outright bet, you bet on the outcome of an entire league or competition instead of individual games. The outright bet is used in tournament or league or any other competitions usually before the event starts. Those bets usually offer much higher payouts compared to individual bets but are also much more unpredictable.

Team’s finishing position

Just like the Outright bet, the “finishing position” bet is used when we bet on competition and leagues. As the name suggests, we predict the finishing position of the chosen team at the end of the season.

Asian Handicap

Apart from 1×2 bet, Asian Handicap bet is the most commonly used in the world of betting. The Asian Handicap or AH, in short, is a form of betting in which teams are handicapped according to their form or their strength. That is of course determined by the bookmaker. In this case, the stronger team needs to win by more goals and the weaker team is “allowed” to lose by a determined amount of goals and the bet would still win. It might sound confusing, so let’s look at a simple example.

Let’s assume we have got a match between Bologna and Juventus, a bottom league team and the league leaders.

Bologna vs Juventus (7.00 – 4.33 – 1.44)

As a weaker team, Bologna has odds of 7.00 offered to win, the draw is priced at 4.33 and Juventus to win is only at 1.44.

In our example, we have got 2 teams with a clear difference in quality, so it would only be wise to bet on the stronger team, but due to low odds (1.44), it’s not worth the risk. On the other side, the weaker team has high odds (7.00), but we are well aware they have little to no chance of winning the match. And while we could just disregard this match and not bet on it as it does not offer any suitable bets, there is a solution; Asian handicap.

Asian Handicap provides us with an option to either:

– give the weaker team an X amount of goals lead

– take X amount of goals from the stronger team

So, for example, we could bet on:

– Bologna +1

– Juventus -1

The -/+ marks the subtraction and addition of goals, the number next to it tells us the number of goals we subtract to add. When the match ends, the added or subtracted goal is taken into account in the final score. Quite simple, but it gets a bit tricky when we implement decimal numbers (+/- 0.25, 0.50, 0.75…) and +0.

The +0 bet is also known as DNB or Draw No Bet which was explained above.

I have found the easiest way to explain the decimal numbers is to provide a chart which shows what they mean. So here is the chart, which should help with understanding.

asian handicap tableAs you can see the decimal Asian handicaps add multiple possible outcomes. You either win the whole bet, win/lose half of it or lose it all. It might seem confusing at first, but believe me, it’s really not. Either you find it hard or easy to memorize it, sooner or later you should understand it. Understanding how Asian handicap works if you wish to bet on a successful level is like knowing how to ride a bike if you wish to win Tour de France.

If we have got Asian Handicap it’s only fair there is also European Handicap. But you don’t need to worry about it as it’s almost the same as Asian. There are only 2 exceptions:

– European Handicap only uses whole numbers

– European Handicap “allows a draw”

In other words, if you bet on Juventus -2 and they go on and win 2:0, you would get your stake refunded if you used Asian Handicap, while the bet would be lost if you would have used the European Handicap.

With that, we have concluded the most common and some more uncommon bet types which you should know and understand. Now the only thing left is for me to add some final tips for people who decide to start betting.

General tips:

The first and most important tip is; Knowledge. Know where and how to gather information about the event you bet on. Don’t ever bet on games you have no knowledge about, you’re better off going to the casino and put your money on the roulette table. For that reason alone, there are professional tipsters, who have huge networks of information which help them determine the outcome of a certain match. I highly advise to find yourself a betting tipster (or a few). On the other side, you could search for relevant information yourself or at least find betting websites that provide free betting tips.

Second tip; Find a suitable bookmaker to bet on. Try avoiding bookmakers which have a bad reputation in the betting community. Bookmakers who are despised in the betting world are mostly due to late or no payments or any other fraudulent or dishonest actions they made.

Mentality. Don’t let emotions get in the way (easier said than done), and be patient. Excluding emotions from betting might seem easy to do, but once you get on a losing streak, this becomes harder than expected. On the other side, patience is the key for long term success. In other words, don’t expect results within a week or a month. Nothing good comes easy, and neither does money.

Bankroll management. Decide the amount of money you can afford to bet with. I have seen expressions like “money you are prepared to lose” before, which is a fair way to put it. After you have a bankroll established, set the stake or in other words, decide the amount of money you will put on each bet. Do not increase stakes because you have won 5 bets in a row. This is something I have seen or heard too many times. Remember, if you won 100 bets in a row, the next bet is not guaranteed to win again. Luck has no memory.

*Disclaimer: some betting strategies use different approaches.

Record keeping; if you wish to be successful in the long run, keeping track of your bets and money is essential. Not only for easier control over the bankroll but also to develop different strategies and methods that suit your desires. As a beginner a simple excel spreadsheet with the selection, odds, your stake and profit/loss.

I have mentioned it before and I’ll do it again. Try to avoid any “special” bets bookmakers provide. They are rarely worth betting on. The sole purpose of you being able to bet on the first goal being scored with a header is to make betting more engaging for the general public. And let me remind you, you are not a “general public” but a soon to be professional bettor.