how to bet onlineOnline betting has truly come of age over the last few years, and offers far more betting opportunities than were ever available to the average person until recently, and offers them at any time of day or night. A smartphone or tablet means you can place your bets wherever you can get a signal, and if you can’t get away from your desk to get to a betting shop then everything can be done through your keyboard.

24/7 access is a good & bad thing; don’t let it take over your life, but do let it make a train journey more interesting…

The Basics Of Online Betting

Every major bookmaker has an online betting service, and there are also a few that exist purely online (e.g. Betfair). The principles of betting remain the same, and the same types of bets can be placed, what is different is that everything you need is all in one place, including latest up to the minute odds.

Who you choose to open an account with is up to you, but make sure you look for the best deal before you register. Usually, when a new account is opened up you can take advantage of a very generous free bet. This usually works on a matched bet basis, which means that if you open an account, place a £10 bet then you will receive an extra free £10 bet. Some bookmakers will match your first bet with a free bet of the equivalent value, up to £250 in some cases. It pays to shop around.

You can also use cashback websites to earn a little extra back when you open an online account, and in some cases this can get you two £10 bets without it costing you anything. We recommend Top Cashback as a site to use for this. For example, at the time of writing if you sign up at Top Cashback and then use their cashback links to open a new account with Coral, deposit and bet £10, you will receive a cashback reward of £50* into your Top Cashback account and you may still receive free bets with Coral! This cashback money can then be withdrawn to your bank or into a PayPal account! William Hill are offering a £21 reward for opening an account through Top Cashback and when you deposit £10 and place a £10 bet you will also receive 3 x free £10 bets!

Always check the terms & conditions associated with free bet offers. Some bookmakers won’t give you your free bets if you place an each way bet first, it has to be a win. Most bookmakers won’t let you place your qualifying bet on something with very, very low odds such as football match where the win odds are 1/2 or less. Read the conditions and if you still have questions then call the helpline first before you open the account and place your first bet.

When you register to open an account the process only takes a few minutes and is usually approved instantly. You have to put some funds into your account, and this is usually done by using your debit card, although most online bookmakers allow you to link up other payment methods such as PayPal and the like. Often you can have a Paypal account and a debit card linked to your account to give you different options for funding or withdrawing money.

You can have an account with every single bookmaker if you like, you don’t have to just have one account. It might be seen as a pointless exercise, but if you think it through then the next time you want to place a decent bet of £10 or more then you might as well open an account with a bookmaker you haven’t used online before and place your bet ane benefit again from the cashback from Top Cashback and the subsequent free bets you will receive. Don’t just open them all at once, space them out to match your betting plans over a few months and take advantage of every special offer and free bet you can get your hands on.

The Advantages Of Online Betting

There are plenty of good reasons to have a go at online betting, just make sure you have a bit of discipline and as usual only bet what you can afford to lose. Here’s a few reasons why online betting might be suitable for you:

Instant, 24/7 access – you might not live near a town with a bookmakers shop, or you might not be able to get to them while they are open. Online means you can always place the bet you want, as long as you have a suitable device and connection.

No distractions – some people like the hustle and bustle of a betting shop, and some people just can’t stand the noise from the games machines or the chatter. If you need silence to place your considered bet then online will suit you.

Access to information – betting online means you can have multiple internet browser windows (or apps) open, so you can research form and statistics while working out your bets, and any extra bits of information you need can be quickly found. If you are in a betting shop and need to know the results between two football teams for the last 5 years then you are either stumped or will have to reply on a small mobile screen to try and find and read up about it. Latest odds is also crucial – in a shop you might have to wait a number of minutes for a screen to refresh before you can see the odds for your horse, and they might have changed again by the time you have written out your slip and queued at the counter. Online the odds are there in front of your nose, whatever race, match, or event you are betting on.

Betting in-play – this feels like the biggest benefit to online betting; the ability to change your bet position in reaction to an event that happens in a race or sporting event. If you back Team A to win a football match, and by half time they are 2-0 down with a player sent off then you can log in and back Team B to finish them off and win the match. The odds will be lower, but if you’re sure then you’re sure – you might even just choose to bet enough to win your original stake back, and you should be happy with that if it is achievable. We don’t recommend chasing losses, but a secondary bet to get make sure you don’t lose out when your original bet fails is not a bad way to play things.

Hedging your bet – In-Play betting on an online betting exchange means that you can put yourself in a position where profit is guaranteed if something in your favour happens during the event that you have bet on. E.g. You back Team B at 7/1 to win away to Team A. It is half time and Team B are winning 2-0. The odds of Team B going on to win the match will likely have dropped to something close to Evens or even under – you can now lay Team B for much lower odds than you backed them at and lock in profit whatever happens. We recommend that any online punter has a Betfair account, and we write more about this in our Introduction to Betfair.

Winnings get paid instantly – If you write out a betting slip in a shop for a Monday night football match, then by the time the match is finished the shop will have closed, so you will have to wait until at least the morning to pick up your winnings. Online bets get settled almost instantly, certainly within a few minutes of the event finishing, so no waiting around to count your winnings. Just try to control the urge to place impulsive bets when you win….better to keep the cash safe in your account until you are ready to place your next well researched and considered bet.

There are other reasons why online betting might be preferable, but some of them are mainly down to your own personal preferences. It might be that you have a particular job that makes you feel it would not be ‘right; to be seen going in or coming out of a betting shop in your local town, or you just might not want to have friends of family members know you like the occasional punt. If you are a very low budget punter then you might feel like you don’t want to go to a betting shop to place a number of 20p accumulators – that is silly by the way, no need to feel uncomfortable, plenty of people do it. If it costs you £3 in petrol to drive to the bookies though then you might as well place your £1 bet through your PC and save the money….or bet £3 and still be ‘up’ by £1!!

If you have never bet online before and are new to betting then do make sure you do a bit of research first about how different bets work, and how odds are calculated, so that the information you see on the betting website makes some sense. There is plenty of info about the basics of betting all across this TipTime website, so have a play around on here first if you need to get some knowledge.

Dip your toe into online betting if you haven’t already and have some fun. It is safe, you won’t be able to lose any more than you have in your account, and you do get to confirm each bet and stake before any are placed, so you won’t be able to place a bet by accidently clicking something wrong.

Final word – Top Cashback really is that good, we’ve used it for years – click here to set up an account if you haven’t got one yet; it is free to join and will earn you plenty of cash back over the course of a normal 12 months of online activity (e.g. opening betting accounts, buying car insurance, etc).

*Cashback offers are subject to change