Upon logging into an online bookmaker for the first time, you are going to be greeted with a boatload of bets, betting markets, features and promotions that the bookmaker is offering. Whilst it may seem overwhelming, you will, over time, get used to the layout and begin to navigate the various sections with ease.
When it comes to placing a bet, the process is actually relatively straightforward once you’ve found the market.
For our example we are going to use BetVictor, who are one of the best online bookies in the industry. Whilst the layout and the design may differ for the bookmaker that you are using, the process should be pretty similar.
1) Fund Your Account
Firstly, you need to fund your betting account so you have something to bet with. If you are signing up with a new account, check to see what welcome offers the bookmaker has before you deposit; you can get some pretty tasty deals.
BetVictor has a ‘deposit’ button at the top of the page that will take you directly to the banking options that are available. Simply select the method that you want to use and enter the amount you want to deposit.
Remember, if you are utilising a free bet offer, choose a banking method that qualifies with the offer, not all do so check the terms and conditions.
Once complete, you will then get a message to say it’s been successful and then your balance will be updated at the top of the screen.
2) Select Your Sport and Market
Most bookies will have a long list of sports down the side or across the top of the page. Clicking on one sport will sometimes take you to that sports homepage where you can find all bets and markets, whereas some other sites filter the sport by league/competition from within the sports list. There is often a search box as well where you can look for a specific event.
You will also find some shortcuts to popular events on the homepage. In the image below you can see that one of those is for the upcoming Grand National (the full list of sports is directly beneath at BetVictor).
3) Make Your Selection
Once you’ve chosen the sport or the market that you want to bet on you need to make your selection/s. You will ideally have researched your bet and have a good idea of who/what you want to bet on already.
This screen will vary for different sports. Below we show you what a typical betting page for a horse race will look like. As you can see, at the top you’ve got information about the meeting, the times of each race in that day’s meeting, Timeform overview, markets that you can bet on; then a list of the horses including name, jockey, trainer, age, weight, form, and odds.
We are most interested in the information in the right hand columns.
You will notice that for this example BetVictor actually has two selections; Faller Insurance and Win/ Each-Way (E/W). The Win/Each-Way column is most common and this is where you place your bet for that horse to win.
Faller Insurance is a promotion that they offer on some of their races. Basically, they offer slightly shorter odds but if the horse falls or fails to finish for whatever reason then you will get your original stake back. It’s worth noting that not all bookmakers offer this.
To make our selection all we do is click the odds of the horse we like and it will indicate that it’s been selected and also pop up on your betslip.
4) The Betslip
This is where all your bets are stored until you either remove them or confirm your bet. Note that at this point no bets have been made, you still have to confirm – think of this as your shopping cart prior to checking out.
The betslip will stay with you as you move around the bookmaker. So, if you decide that you want to bet on additional markets it won’t remove your previous selections.
As you can see above, you have information on your selection and the odds available. In this case the odds are reflected as a decimal, so Tiger Roll is priced at 5.00. Left hand side of that is your stake and as you can see here, we have made the stake £5 for this bet.
The right hand side of the slip shows you your returns (so we will win £25.00 should Tiger Roll comes first) and above that the option to switch your bet to an Each-Way bet. If you do select Each-Way then the stake will double because you are making two bets, one on the horse to come first, and one on the horse to place:
You will also notice that you also have an option to use bonus funds for this bet. This could be in the form of a welcome offer or any promotion that the bookmaker is using. Checking this box signifies to the bookmaker that you don’t want to use the funds in your balance and instead want to use your bonus funds.
Of course, you need to be aware of the terms of your bonus funds before you make this decision.
5) Bet Now
Once you are happy with your selections and you have chosen the amount you want to stake, all that is left is to hit that ‘Place Bets Now’ button.
Following on from this you will be shown a receipt for your bet which highlights how much you’ve staked along with the selection. So in our example we have bet £5 for Tiger Roll to win the Grand National at odds of 5.00 (4/1), returning £25.00 total (includes stake).
That’s it, your bet is live and now the fun really starts.
How to Check Your Bet
If you have placed several bets or you need to find out the current status of one of your bets then you can do this in two ways.
The first route is by checking the status of your ‘live’ bets in the betslip section of the bookmaker.
As you can see here, at the top next to ‘Betslip’ is ‘Cash out’ and this is where you can see all your live bets. Some bets will be available for cash out and some won’t but, it will still highlight all live bets. Bookies vary, so it won’t always be called this, but it will be along the same lines; ‘My Bets’ or ‘Open Bets’ or something like that.
If you are looking for a little more detail to your bets or you need to pull up your bet history, then the best way to do this is to head to your bookmaker account settings. BetVictor has a ‘My Bets’ at the top of the screen which will open up a page that includes all of your bets. You can click on most to see a little more detailed information on that bet.
Regardless of which bookmaker you use, the process will be pretty consistent, making it super simple to keep on top of your bets.
What if you Place a Bet by Mistake?
One of the biggest errors that we see is people putting the wrong stake amount for the bet. Another common one is choosing the wrong bet altogether. There are a few solutions here though.
The first is to immediately cash out your bet. Most bookies will have the cash out price the same as your initial stake amount providing that none of the markets have gone live yet. However, some may have an instant fee taken from the cash out price, which means it may be slightly lower than your initial stake.
If this is the case then we suggest that you get in touch with customer support to try and get the bet voided. Provided there is enough time between the bet being placed and the start of the first selection, then most bookies will void your bet and return your funds if an obvious mistake has been made.
Time is of the essence here though, so make sure you get in touch as quickly as you can.
Choosing the Best Price
You’re going to find that the pricing between one bookmaker to another can vary, and sometimes by quite a lot. A particular bookmaker might be best priced on one market and then worst price on another. It depends on the money that has come in for each selection.
This is why we recommend that you have at least a couple of active betting accounts running at any one time. Whilst you may still be able to find better prices out there outside of your chosen 3 or so accounts, you are at least going to be getting the best price from a decent spread.
There is not always a great deal in it so you might not be too bothered, but you can be surprised at the difference in value from time to time.
How to Place an Accumulator Bet
You’ve likely heard of an accumulator bet or an ‘acca’, but you might be wondering what on earth they are.
Well, these are one big bet made up of lot’s of smaller bets. They are also called multiples because they include multiple selections on the same bet. An accumulation of bets, if you will.
To place one, we follow the same principles mentioned above. Let’s switch up our sport to football, as this is a more common sport for this bet type.
1) Make Selections
All we do for this is add multiple bets to our betslip. You can choose markets from any game, although you can only choose one market from each individual match for an accumulator bet. Some places let you use bet builders but we won’t get into that here.
Once we have made our picks, out betslip then looks like this:
As you can see, all three of our picks are on the betslip. We then need to ignore the top part of the betting slip and turn our attention to the ‘Multiples’ section. Here there are a number of options to choose from.
In this case, we have made three selections which is sometimes referred to as a treble; after this we get into four folds, five folds, and so on.
We need to enter our stake into the column that is labelled treble. If you had more than three selections you simply need to find the bet that has the number ‘1’ next to it, which is a reference to the fact this is 1 single bet.
Once you have added your stake you will then be shown the amount of money that will be returned should all of your selections win.
All you need to do now is click the ‘Bet Now’ button and you will get another bet receipt like the one shown in the original example.
Remember, for an accumulator bet you need all of your selections to win. If just one lets you down, your whole bet loses.