Betting options

Should you not have participated in sports betting before, then you’ll need to be a bit more aware of the different bet types that can be found at online bookies. Most of the leading bookmakers tend to model their football wagers in a similar structure, in a bid to make things as easy as possible for customers old and new alike. It is this topic that will provide you with some of the most popular soccer bets and what they mean.

So, to discover more about the most common football bet types and their complete description, you’ve come to the right place.

When it comes to sports betting, the 1x2 market is perhaps the most popular one to select due to its simplicity. When utilising such a bet, you’re required to bet on the team that you believe will be the match winner. Essentially, the 1x2 stands for the Home Team (1) and the Away Team (2). The x in the middle is also something that you can select, which operates as the choice for if you believe a draw result will occur. While it’s true that each betting brand has its own set of rules, when it comes to 1x2 betting, they all follow the same sort of routine. The match result relates to the 90 minutes of gameplay and any injury times added on top. This remains the same unless specifically stated otherwise.

When you decide to choose a 1x2 bet, you’ll select one of the following three outcomes from the selection: If you want to back the home team, you select number ‘1’. If you believe a draw will occur, then you’ll choose the ‘x’ option. And finally, if you think the away team is going to be the victor, then you select the ‘2’ choice. That’s all it takes to participate in a 1x2 football bet.

Let’s use an example just for further clarification on this type of bet. Let’s say that Manchester City are set to take on Arsenal in a match. It’s due to occur at the Etihad Stadium, which is the Manchester City ground, meaning that they are the home team in this circumstance. You see that a betting site offers odds of 4/9 on Man City, 19/5 on a draw and 11/2 on Arsenal. Therefore, if you decide to back the home team, you’ll select the 1 side at 4/9. Backing Arsenal requires you to select the 2 at 11/2. And if you come to the decision that a draw will take place in this match, you go for the x at 19/5. With a 1x2 bet, you don’t have the option of choosing the team that you believe will lose. Instead, it’s solely based on what team will win or if a draw will happen. Of course, correct wagers will then be paid out accordingly.


As you can probably guess from the name of this option, 2-way bets allow you to take two routes towards success. So, to put this in simpler terms, logically there are just two options for your bets. If you were to look at a tennis match, for example, there can only be one winner and one loser. This means that there are two outcomes for you to select from with this type of match. Therefore, this represents a classic 2-way bet opportunity. The winner will either be player one or player two. So, in theory, your chances of being successful are 50/50.

Now, because there are just two options for you to select from with this, online sportsbooks will often provide lower betting odds than those offered on events with more than two outcomes. Yet, should you take the opportunity to bet on a longshot or underdog, even these 2-way options can be lucrative in their own right. Strategists who can utilise these bets successfully have proven to experience high winnings from such. You’ll generally always find 2-way bets are available for events that have no chance of a draw outcome occurring. Additionally, they can be found on alternate betting markets for a game.

Let’s say for example that when it comes to a football match, Leicester City are set to face off against Sheffield United. While the outcome of the match will always be provided as a 3-way or 1x2 bet, you may find other options available for the game, too. This includes betting possibilities like “Will a goal be scored in the first 15 minutes?”. So, let’s say that in the game between Leicester and Sheffield United, you believe that Leicester will score in the first 10 minutes. You could then proceed with a 2-way bet on the market mentioned. This is because there are two possible outcomes to the bet. Either a team will score in the first 15 minutes of gameplay or they won’t. Simple, right?


While the European handicap is one option, Asian handicaps operate as a sort of extension of these. As it happens, they’re pretty much the same deal, but with one significant difference. Asian handicaps reduce football games down to only two outcomes – win or lose. Should the bet finish in a handicap draw, then you receive your wagered stake back. It’s a popular betting market in Asia, which is where its name comes from. The initial reason for creating such an option was to eliminate the possibility of a draw in a football match.

There are two types of Asian handicap – half goal (0.5, 1.5 etc.) and whole goal (0, 1, 2 etc.). In the case of the former, there is always a clear winner, as it isn’t possible to score half a goal, whereas in the case of the latter, if the result is level after the handicap is considered, all bets are refunded. Let’s proceed with another example to explain this easily.

In a standard odds market, there are three options available on a soccer match between Arsenal and Everton. One of these two teams could win, or a draw outcome could occur instead. If you utilise the Asian handicap market instead, the draw is effectively removed, so you select from the two teams. In this example, Arsenal are operating as the strong favourite going into the game, so the handicap has been set to 1.5 goals. This would put Arsenal at -1.5 and Everton at +1.5. This is the simplest case of Asian handicap betting taking place. In the end, Arsenal score 3 goals in the game and Everton score 2. Taking the handicap into consideration here, this would put the final score to Arsenal 1.5 goals and Everton to 3.5 goals. Therefore, Everton are considered the winners of this handicap market bet, even if Arsenal won the actual game with 3 goals over Everton’s 2.

It's also the case that some Asian handicap markets give teams two virtual head starts. This could be shown as a combination of a half goal and a whole goal handicap, which are sometimes referred to as quarter-goal handicaps. In this next example, Liverpool are set to take on Chelsea. Liverpool has been given Asian handicap odds of +0 & +0.5 while Chelsea has been given -0 + -0.5. The stake on such odds would essentially be divided between a bet on the zero handicap and a bet on the half-goal handicap. For example, should you decide to back Chelsea with £20 in this scenario, you’d have a wager of £10 on the -0 and £10 on the -0.5. If Chelsea were to win by 1 goal or more, both of those bets win. If the game is drawn, then the -0.5 bet loses, and the other half is refunded. If Chelsea loses, then both parts of this bet lose.

If you want something simple to bet on at an online sportsbook, then the Both Teams to Score (BTTS) option is a great route to take. This is so simple because it just requires you to back a yes or no answer. If you think both teams will score during the match, then you would back yes. If not, then you would back the no option. That’s how simple this type of bet is, but let’s take a look at an example.

You’ve noticed that the European Championship is about to take place and one of the first matches is to be France versus Spain. You know that these teams are both usually very heavy scorers, so the likelihood is that both of them will score at least one goal in their upcoming fixture. Therefore, you decide to take the option to place a £20 bet that both teams will score. All that France and Spain have to do is ensure that at least a single goal is scored by both of them for this to come off as a winning bet in your favour. Obviously, should neither team score or just a single team score, then you won’t win anything.


You may have also seen double chance betting being mentioned as an option at online sportsbooks. This allows you to back two out of three different outcomes in a single bet. So, if you believe that in a football match, either a draw will occur or the home team will win, a double chance bet is the best way to go. You don’t need to place two singles bets on each outcome this way. You can simply place one bet that covers both of these results. You can take the basics of the 1x2 bet and utilise them for this, because for a double chance bet, there always needs to be three different outcomes of the match in question.

For example, let’s take the idea of a match between Bayern Munich and Manchester United. This football match is taking place at Bayern Munich’s ground of the Allianz Arena. So, because of this, you have it in mind that Munich will come out as the winner. Yet, you’re not entirely sure that Manchester United won’t play at their best, so you’ve got some sort of inkling that they could pull the win out of the bag, too. In this respect, you will need to select the ‘12’ option, which are the first and last options of the 1x2 bet route. By doing so, you’ll be placing a single bet on both Manchester United and Bayern Munich. As long as there isn’t a draw result by the full-time whistle, you’ll be the recipient of a winning pay-out in this respect.

Double chance betting gives you a greater opportunity at winning your wager, but the reward you receive will be a lot lower than if you were to place a single bet. This is because the risk in proceeding with such a bet is a lot less, and so sportsbooks will take advantage of this fact. Keep in mind that while a double chance bet is essentially two separate wagers merged into one, it won’t simply split your stake equally over the 1x2 outcomes. That would provide you with two separate profit scenarios. Instead, it offers you a single price that equals out the potential winnings that you’re able to obtain from winning either outcome.


You will usually see each-way bets come into effect in relation to horse racing wagering. Basically, it is a bet that places half of your total stake on you selected horse to win, and the other half is placed on it finishing in the top ranks of the race. What counts as a place generally depends upon various factors relating to the race in question. The size of the field is often taken into consideration (essentially, the number of horses competing in the race), the specific event in question, and also the strategy of the bookmaker itself. Because of this, the pay-outs associated with each-way bets are very varied, depending upon all of those factors and more.

Normally, each-way bets aren’t available on small fields of runners, so if there are just two or three horses competing, then they’re not usually offered. Anything with five to seven runners competing will often see the pay-outs typically reach 1/4 of the betting odds on first and second places. When there are eight or more horses running, bookies will frequently provide 1/5 odds on first, second and third positions. Looking at handicap races, these tend to be quite different. If there are 16 or more runners for example, then 1/4 odds will usually be offered on the first four places.

This example should clarify things for you if you’re still a little confused on each-way bets. Let’s say that you have chosen to bet on the 13:28 at Newton Abbot, which has six runners participating in such. Each-way betting is available for this, on the first two places and the first three places. This is displayed in the following way at the sportsbook:

Runner

2 Places

3 Places

2 Royal Claret

10/3

3/1

3 My Lady Grey

3/1

12/5

4 Shapiro

11/2

9/2

5 Memphis Bell

13/8

13/10

6 Get An Oscar

10/1

15/2

7 Hija

125/1

110/1


In this example, you can see what the odds are for a pay-out on the horses finishing in one of the top two places or one of the top three places. In our example, you’ve had a tip off that My Lady Grey is likely to win the whole race, so you place a wager on the event at 2 places, with the odds of 3/1. This covers you for the horse winning the event or finishing in the top 2 places. So, for this bet to be successful, My Lady Grey either needs to win it or be the runner-up. Of course, an each-way bet covers you for both of these outcomes. If the horse was to finish in third position or below, you would lose. Let’s say that you’d staked £20 on that event, then £10 of that would have been wagered on My Lady Grey winning and the other £10 on it finishing in the top 2 places. Obviously, if the horse wins, then it already qualifies as finishing in the top 2 positions, so both parts of this bet win. Should My Lady Grey instead finish in 2nd, only the second part of the bet would be won.

There are various types of sports betting handicaps that can be wagered on, but the European handicap is the simplest form for you to utilise. In a European handicap market, the match will start out with a predetermined goal advantage for one of the teams playing. This is usually defined as -1 or -2 or -3 etc. Bettors have the option of placing a wager on any of the three outcomes in the game, given the goal handicap. That perhaps doesn’t sound so clear, so let’s proceed with an example regarding European handicap bets.

Let’s say that Manchester United are playing at home against Fulham and the sportsbook has given a European handicap of -1 to the home team. This essentially starts the match off at a score of 0-1 in favour of Fulham, which is the handicap against Man United. So, what could happen in this game? Well, if Manchester United lose the game, the handicap simply exaggerates their loss by one goal, so if it turned out that Fulham scored 2 goals and Manchester United 1, it would be a 1-3 outcome, rather than a 1-2. Should a draw occur, then the handicap bet produces a Fulham win because they started out with a single goal ahead. And if Manchester United win by one goal, then the handicap produces a draw result. Naturally, if Man U score beyond that amount, then the handicap works as a home win instead. Therefore, handicap bets can sometimes be quite the appealing option to select.

Essentially, the superiority of one of the teams is reduced in order to provide what is usually the underdog with a fighting chance of making a winning bet. A bettor’s outlook on the fixtures can then change due to this. Strong favourites would be forced to prove their superiority when handicapped, and it is for this reason that the weaker opponent stands out with a higher chance. In essence, the odds are evened out when there are uneven fixtures in operation. This means that you don’t have to back the extreme favourites when low odds are in play. And on the other hand, you’re not forced to back the underdog at exceptionally high odds in the riskier 1x2 market.


When deciding to bet on this market, you’ll see that it is a combination of the Half Time market and the regular 1x2 market. In order to win this one, you need to correctly predict the overall outcome of the game at the half time mark and the full-time mark as well. Essentially, there will be one team ahead at half time or a draw will be occurring by that time. At full-time, the same is true, and you need to decide upon what you believe will have happened by each of these time periods. This one can be a bit trickier to engage in, so it’s probably best left to those bettors with a little more experience. It’s also relevant to note that these markets are not like double chance betting markets where you’ll be rewarded with a win for selecting either the half-time or full-time result. You need to be correct with both to win.

For example, a game between Real Madrid and Inter Milan is due to take place in the same UEFA Champions League. You’ve got some information on how you believe the teams will play in the game, and you see that there are betting options available for the half time – full time market. This will generally be laid out in the following format:

Real Madrid – Real Madrid 21/10

Real Madrid – Draw 12/1

Real Madrid – Inter Milan 25/1

Draw – Real Madrid 9/2

Draw – Draw 11/2

Draw – Inter Milan 7/1

Inter Milan – Real Madrid 18/1

Inter Milan – Draw 12/1

Inter Milan – Inter Milan 9/2

The first part of these options refers to the result that will be visible at the half-time mark, while the second part of it relates to the full-time result. So, let’s say that you believe a draw will be occurring between the team by the half-time mark, but you expect Inter Milan to pull out the win in the end. You would select the Draw – Inter Milan at 7/1 odds as your choice in this respect. For this to be a winning wager, you would need to see an outcome of 0-0 or 1-1 or 2-2 by half time, but Milan to pull it out of the bag by the final whistle. Of course, you don’t need to be in-the-know as to how many goals the draw at half-time or final result features, as long as it occurs this way. Any other outcome would result in a loss for you with this bet. 

This is why it’s riskier – because there are nine different options for you to choose from in this respect. It’s less likely to produce a winner than splitting a bet down the middle into singles for each of the game’s halves. The benefit is that you get to benefit from a higher pay-out if you predict this correctly.



If you decide to participate in over/under betting, then you will need to correctly predict the combined score of both teams partaking in a game. Essentially, you need to select if the total score will be lower or higher than a number set by the bookmakers. So, if you’re of the mindset that a game will feature at least 3 goals and the sportsbook is providing you with the potential to place an over/under bet that there will be total combined goals scored of 2.5 or more, this works as a great wager opportunity. After all, three is a larger number than 2.5, so you can back this outcome with an over bet, rather than an under one.

On the other hand, if you believe that there will be fewer goals scored than the 2.5 figure stated, you can place an under bet. It really depends upon the match in question and the knowledge that you have regarding the teams playing as to how well you can place an over/under bet. But why would there be a decimal figure stated by the bookmaker? Teams can’t score 2.5 goals, after all. Well, this is so that all possible scorelines are included. So, if a game finished with a 1-1 result, which equates to 2 goals altogether, this is neither over nor under 2 goals in total.

Let’s imagine that there is a football match scheduled between Everton and Chelsea. You’ve done your research on both teams before making a bet, and you see that Everton has played its previous four matches and always scored at least 2 goals. You also see that Chelsea has scored at least once in its own previous four matches. This equates to a total of at least three goals between both teams. So, potentially, this gives you a bit of insight into what you can expect from a game between Everton and Chelsea. If a sportsbook is offering the over/under betting market on such and has set the figure at 2.5 goals in total, then you could very easily take the decision to place an over bet. After all, in this example, three remains above the 2.5 figure given by the sportsbook. In this respect, the outcome of 1-2, 2-1, 2-2, 3-2, 2-3 etc would all result in this type of bet being a winning one for you. For any outcome below the 1-2 or 2-1 result, you would experience a loss.


If you’re intending to bet on the total goals market, then you have the ability to bet on the range of goals scored within a match. The title of it is pretty self-explanatory, right? The total amount is taken from the full-time score at the end of the 90 minutes and any added injury time. This method is quite a reliable wager to opt for, as it’s simpler than predicting exactly who will score the goals in a game. Odds tend to be short on total goals bets, and the most common ranges for this type of bet are:

0-1 goals

2-3 goals

4-6 goals

7+ goals

There are some bookmakers that take the decision to tighten the ranges around total goals scored, too. So, it’s not uncommon to find platforms that reduce the range from 4-6 down to 4-5. This means that it’s less likely for an outcome to strike in this range, although the odds will be consequently higher. Additionally, pay-outs would be much better for such a reduced range. Different fixtures will of course mean that different ranges will be more likely to provide a win. So, if two highly defensive teams are playing against each other, there’s less likely to be as many goals as there would be if two teams with a high attack rate played against one another.

So, let’s utilise another example for this. You’ve seen that the fixtures for the upcoming day will feature two different matches that you’re interested in betting on. Manchester City are set to play against Manchester United in one game, while Liverpool are preparing themselves to take on Southampton. You realise that Man City and Man Utd are exceptionally good at their defensive technique, and so you don’t expect the total goals to go beyond 1. This means that you could place an ideal wager on the total goals 0-1 and expect a winning outcome from such. On the other hand, with regard to Liverpool and Southampton, you know that their teams are both exceptional at their attacking strategies. Therefore, it could be said that a lot more total goals would be scored in such a game. You see that an online sportsbook is offering the goal range of 4-6, and you think that this could be a very possible result. So, placing a bet on this would certainly be a great route to take.


This is pretty much a sort of alternative to the betting possibility noted above. You’re required to predict the total number of goals scored within a match as well as if you believe that both teams will score within the match. You’ll need to have a bit more of a knowledge of the teams playing and their previous gameplay to be able to utilise this sort of bet effectively enough. A sportsbook will usually give the odds on this market as four different options, which are generally the following:

Over 2.5 Goals and Yes

Under 2.5 Goals and Yes

Over 2.5 Goals and No

Under 2.5 Goals and No

These four options cover the possibilities of both teams scoring or not and the total number of goals being above or below the 2.5 figure in either of those outcomes. Let’s take another example to look at. You’ve seen that an upcoming Championship match will take place between Middlesbrough and Nottingham Forest. You visit your favourite online sports betting site, and you see that odds have been given on the Total Goals and Both Teams to Score market in the following way:

Over 2.5 & Yes: 8/5

Under 2.5 & Yes: 5/1

Over 2.5 & No: 11/1

Under 2.5 & No: 11/10

In this example, you believe that while Middlesbrough will win, the likelihood is that both this team and Nottingham Forest will score goals. Therefore, the first part of this bet is that at least one goal needs to be scored by Nottingham and Middlesbrough. Additionally, you’re of the mindset that the total number of goals will be under 2.5, so you opt for the Under 2.5 & Yes option in this market. To win this wager, the outcome of the match needs to be a 1-1 result, totalling 2 goals altogether. Anything above this will see you lose the bet.


You’ll need to predict the full-time result of the game and whether both teams participating in such will score goals or not. The full-time result equates to the complete 90 minutes of gameplay and any injury time that is added on top of this at the end. So, the goals scored within this timeframe will determine the full-time result. Furthermore, if you believe that both of the teams participating in the event are likely to score goals, then this makes the market quite a good one for betting on. A sportsbook will usually display such a betting opportunity with odds for each outcome. You can also bet that a draw result will occur with both teams scoring as well, if you so wish.

For example, a UEFA Champions League game is set to occur between FC Salzburg and Bayern Munich. This event has some interest generated around it, and you’re quite sure that both of these teams will score within the game. You visit your chosen sportsbook, and you see that this has been broken down in the following way:

 

Yes

No

FC Salzburg

8/1

20/1

Bayern Munich

21/20

9/4

Draw

5/1

33/1


You’re of the mindset that FC Salzburg are likely to come out on top in this game. So, you select the ‘Yes’ option at odds of 8/1. This dictates that you have selected Salzburg to be the winning team, and that you believe both teams will score during the event as well. A win for you would see Salzburg come through with the victory and a score of at least 1-1 occurring in that game. If you thought that just one of the teams would score, then you’d opt for the ‘No’ selection instead.

The title of this sports bet pretty much sums up what it entails. You need to predict which of the teams playing will win the overall match and how many goals will be scored within that match. This basically combines both into one bet, so it’s not like you’re wagering on two separate entities. Generally speaking, an online sportsbook will display this as Home Team to Win and Under or Over 2.5 Goals or Away Team to Win and Under or Over 3.5 Goals. You’ll usually have several bets within this market to choose from, and it usually depends upon how many goals you believe there will be scored within the match in total. Furthermore, there is also a similar bet that exists for draw results. This will often be described as Draw and Under or Over 2.5 Goals. This is a little riskier than backing a specific team to win, of course.

Let’s take a look at an example. We’ve got a Premiership match coming up between Liverpool and Newcastle United, and you’re heavily interested in placing a wager on it. You believe that Liverpool stand the most chance of winning, having done some research into their previous games. Yet, rather than simply placing a 1x2 bet backing the team, you’re also interested in betting on the total number of goals scored within the game. So, you believe that Liverpool will win, but that Newcastle also has a strong chance of scoring as well. This means that you decide to back the Liverpool to Win and  Over 3.5 Goals. In order to win this bet, Liverpool first of all needs to be the winning team of the game. At the same time, a total of 4 goals need to be scored within the event. These can all come from Liverpool or be a mixture of goals between both teams. Obviously, to win the bet, Liverpool needs to have scored at least three of those goals in this circumstance.


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