Sports betting can seem like an easy thing to understand at first, but there are actually a lot of layers to how it works. Even a simple bet can come in various forms, and knowing what kind of bet you are actually making is an important part of learning to bet properly. How do you get started with sports betting for beginners?

Understanding Normal Bets

Most people are familiar with how a standard bet works: you place money down on a possible result, then get your winnings back if that bet is successful. This could be anything from a certain sports team winning, to a particular player hitting a certain amount of goals or scored points, and some betting services might even offer specific bets like “Team X can win three games in a row.”

Whatever the terms of the bet, they are usually a binary thing, so you either win, or you lose. If you made a bet that a specific team would win a game with a 10-point lead and they come away 9 points ahead, then you would lose. The exact terms of each bet can vary, especially if you are making them ‘informally’ with a friend rather than through an official betting system.

Understanding Parlay Bets

What is a parlay bet? They are one of the most common forms of bets you will find in sports betting, although they can go by multiple different names (with ‘combo bets’ being another frequent term for the same thing). A parlay bet is very simple: you aren’t making one bet on a single result, but a bet across multiple results.

The downside, of course, is that you need all of your predicted results to be accurate if you want to win. Unlike multiple separate bets, even a single wrong result cancels it out, but winning also gives you a massive boost in terms of the money you get back.

For example, let’s say you were placing a parlay bet on an NFL game. If you were to place $10 on Team A at a certain result, Team B on a certain result, and team C on a certain result, then all three of those results need to be met for you to actually win the parlay bet – otherwise, it counts as losing it.

Odds and Winning Bets

A bet is pointless unless there is a way to win it, so being aware of how your bets can be won (and how likely they are to be won) is also important. In many cases, bets have odds, which detail the chances of something actually being successful. They also usually directly change how much money you can expect as winnings based on your initial bet.

For example, if a bet has 10:1 odds, that means that your payout will be around ten times the initial bet. However, this also means that the person making the bet estimates a 10% chance (at most) of that specific result. Popular teams and players who win constantly will have much lower odds, whereas teams who are more likely to lose the game will get higher odds.

Remember that odds aren’t always about one team winning. If the bet is about a team losing but still getting a certain amount of points, goals, or other score marks, keep in mind that odds still apply. In general, the less likely something is to happen, the larger the payout will be – if you actually win.

Should I try Parlay Bets as a beginner?

If you are completely new to sports betting, then it is a good idea to steer clear of parlay bets until you have an idea of what you are aiming for and how the system works. They are high-risk and high-reward, which can make them appealing to a newcomer, but you should at least familiarise yourself with betting properly before diving into them.

The risk of losing parlay bets can make them difficult to turn a profit with, especially if you lose multiple in a row, so many players prefer to make individual normal bets rather than a combo bet. If you bet on three teams individually and two of them win, then you come away with two sets of winnings and one loss. If you make a three-team parlay bet, you lose even if two of them win because the third didn’t.