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Online sports betting guide for beginners

By Joel Kelly. Updated:

If you’re looking for a betting guide for beginners, you’ve come to the right place! From this page you can find everything you need to get started with online betting, including some sites to get started with, how to bet and much more.

Best betting sites for beginners

Betting Guide

Betting for beginners - How to get started through Bojoko

Betting Sites for beginners

1. Browse our list of beginner-friendly betting sites

  • Check out the different betting sites for beginners
  • Use our search filters to make your choice easier
  • Compare the different betting sites

 

Online Bet Guide

2. Choose the right bookie for you

  • Pick the right betting site for beginners for your needs
  • Click on the green Play Here button
  • Go to the landing page that will be opened
Go to the bookie our guide recommends

3. Go to the site and register your account

  • Fill your information in the registration form
  • Confirm your account 
  • Click to choose the welcome bonus if necessary
  • Make your first deposit

 

Get started with the help of our betting guides

4. Start online betting with the help of our guide

  • Enjoy the welcome offer provided by the bookmaker
  • Read the pointers from our online betting guide
  • Start betting the smart way
Start your bets through our list of bookies

Bojoko’s Guide to betting

Bojoko has gathered below the most important guidelines to get started with online gambling, especially betting. One of the biggest things to remember with betting as a beginner is to not go overboard, as keeping good bankroll management is crucial.

Also, if you find yourself having any kind of problematic gambling behaviour, seek help immediately and cease all betting activities.

Choose your online bookmakers carefully

The most important thing to know when betting as a beginner is to know which sites to play at. Our goal at Bojoko is to be the best place to choose bookmakers for UK players, and our list of top online bookmakers is your go-to when you want to get started with betting.

Here on our pages you will only find sites licensed by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission. To get this license you need to fulfill these licence conditions

This means that whichever bookie you end up choosing through our links you can be sure that:

It can be extremely tempting to choose a bookmaker that has an outstandingly good welcome offer that you see online, but this can be risky. Sites based on tax-haven islands that have been found guilty of money laundering are sadly rather common, and one way they do this is buy offering massive bonuses motivating players to deposit bigger.

Your money will not be safe on these kinds of sites, and choosing one of the licensed UKGC sites through us is a far smarter way of conducting business.

Never bet online without the best odds

After the safety of your money, perhaps the number 1 betting tip from our online betting guide is to always make every single one of your bets with the best odds available.

The rates available for each bet can differ greatly between online bookmakers, which is why you should always do your research. In a nutshell, this means that:

  1. You should have accounts at multiple online betting sites
  2. If you don’t have a lot of accounts yet, you can easily create them and enjoy betting offers through the list above
  3. Whenever you’re thinking of placing a bet, check the odds available for it from all the bookmakers you have an account on
  4. Once you’ve found the site with the highest odds available, don’t hesitate and place your bet quickly before the odds shorten

Online betting for free

The title above might sound too good to be true, but online gambling for free is in fact possible in a number of ways, especially if you are a new player at a betting site. Oftentimes you have some tasty welcome offers to look forward to.

At Bojoko we have plenty of pages and guides dedicated to different kinds of ways to bet for free online. These pages include:

We even have some specific pages for offers of certain sizes, such as bet £10 get £30 and bet 5 get 20. To take advantage of all the offers mentioned here you simply need to create a betting account through the links on these pages, accept the offer and make your first deposit and bet if needed.

Sometimes the free offers you might get also require some kind of wagering before you can make a withdrawal, but more on that later!

Guide to sports betting wagering requirements

Like we mentioned above, sometimes you will need to wager your free betting money that you might get from a welcome offer. Wagering is especially prevalent after you have received a betting deposit bonus, and in general you will be required to wager 4-10x the amount of bonus money.

You can withdraw this money only after you’ve completely fulfilled these wagering requirements, as the funds will be locked as bonus money in your account before this. For example:

  1. You receive a 100% bonus up to £100 with a 5x wagering requirement
  2. You deposit £100, meaning that you’ll need to wager £500 before making a withdrawal
  3. You make bets worth £500 with the required minimum odds
  4. Congratulations, you may now make a withdrawal!

The smart way of fulfilling these wagering requirements is to make as small bets as you can with low odds. This applies especially if you are working with a relatively low bankroll that can’t handle a lot of variance. In the case of free bets, the wagering often comes before you receive the free bet.

In general, this will be the first bet you make on the site, and usually the size will be either £5 or £10. Generally there are no wagering requirements for the winnings of your freebie, but your stake will often not be returned.

Arbitrage sports betting

Free bets etc. like we mentioned above provide the opportunity of betting without any danger of losing, but if you want to bet with a certain chance of winning, arbitrage betting is your only legal answer.

Finding arbitrage betting opportunities means essentially that you place two or more bets on the same event, with the eventual payout percentage for all these bets combined climbing above 100%. Chances like these can usually or in some cases only be achieved by:

The same bookmaker will not provide you with arbitrage opportunities, which is why you need a number of accounts at different bookmakers. The more you have, the more chances of finding an arbitrage you will have, so check out our list bookies from above and enjoy the offers available for new players!

Betting guides of different sports

Guide to betting

At Bojoko we cover betting extensively, which is why we have plenty of betting guides for different sports. These can be found from our pages for each specific sport at Bojoko. The links below will take you straight to the page’s section where we have our guide and betting tips for said sport:

There are plenty of sports that we haven’t covered at Bojoko as of yet, so be sure to keep our page in your browser’s favourites to keep you posted. We cover mostly UK favourites, and also explain some bet types, such as what is a trixie bet.

How to make money betting

For most people, online betting is a form of entertainment and just a hobby, which is fine. For a small group of people, it's also a profession that brings food to the table. Even if betting was only a fun pastime for you, we are sure you are interested and looking for ways to improve your success and make some money out of it.

For bettors of all levels, it's crucial to understand a few key principles when trying to make a profit from betting.

How to know if a bet is profitable

If you want to go a bit more advanced, understanding the odds and how they are calculated is the next step. The general rule bookmakers always adhere to is that odds are always in correlation with probabilities. This means that if you see an odd, there is always a corresponding probability. 

The odds you see on a betting site are simply an inverse of the probability the betting site has determined for that outcome. Let's look at an example:

Now, in order to check if you have found value against the bookmaker, you need to make your own estimate of the probability. Let's say you have estimated Manchester United to win with a probability of 60%. Now, with the following equation, we can determine and see the odds for your own probability estimate.

Finally, you compare these two odds, your own and the bookmakers. If your own odds are lower than what the bookie is offering, you have found a positive estimated value. Now you can place the bet on higher odds than it should be given in the first place, given that you trust your own estimate, of course. You should always stay critical of your own probability estimates.

If a majority, or perhaps all bets you place are with a positive estimated value, in the long term you should beat the bookies and make money from betting.

If your self calculated odds are lower than what the bookie is offering, you have found a positive estimated value and have the opportunity to place a bet with higher odds than you should.

Top 5 UK bookmakers with the highest payouts

Some betting sites focus on offering the best possible odds and therefore offer fewer bonuses or other special deals. Vice versa, some sites have to sacrifice their payout percentage on odds to offer better and more bonuses, enhanced odds etc.

We have gathered the top 5 best betting sites according to the level of their odds below.

UK betting legislation

Gambling and sports betting is regulated by the UK Gambling Commission in the United Kingdom. The gambling law itself is called the Gambling Act 2005 which determines what can and can't be done in the industry and how operators are allowed to operate inside the borders of the UK.

The Gambling Act 2005 requires all operators to be fully licensed by the UKGC in order to operate. This is for online and physical betting shops.

Betting KYC = Age verification

All UK betting sites are required to verify all their customers' age and identities. This process is called the KYC or Know Your Customer. This is to make sure there are no underage gambling or possibly any other sort of crime. As a player, you have to provide documents to prove your identity and age.

This might sound like quite a chore and especially earlier it was a bit of a hassle with many bookies and their slow processes. Nowadays, things are much better and documents can be sent rather easily. Many betting sites have implemented an automatic way of uploading your documents, so no emails or anything like that have to be sent.

When joining any betting site, please be prepared to provide the following documents. You are not able to withdraw any funds before your account is verified.

Betting tax in the UK

Players are often very curious about taxes in betting, and for a good reason too. In some countries, winnings from gambling are taxed amongst your annual income, but in the UK all gambling and betting winnings are tax-free. 

But take a note: Tax-free winnings only apply to bookmakers licensed by the UK Gambling Commission. Winnings from off-shore betting sites, for example, Curacao licensed sites will be under taxation.

Online betting and responsible gaming

All licensed betting sites in the UK follow the regulations of the UKGC, as mentioned. This also means they have to follow a responsible way of operating and protecting players.

All betting sites should have sections on their websites containing valuable and thorough information on how to handle your betting in case it's getting out of hand, or if you identify your friend or family member in the same situation.

Bojoko is all in favor of responsible sports betting and we support UKGC regulations on this matter. This is why Bojoko only works with fully licensed and regulated betting operators. In order to work with Bojoko, betting companies must have adequate tools for players to control their own gambling and implement responsible gambling tools, such as:

Bojoko wants to remind all sports bettors to play responsibly and only play with money you can afford to lose. 

Online betting guide - FAQ

If you are a beginner who wants to start betting, there are a number of things you can do to get better results immediately. We have compiled a list of betting sites for beginners on this page to help you get started.

Probably the most important aspect of any sports betting guide is to nail into peoples’ heads the need for always betting with the best odds and for free if possible, and you can find plenty of welcome offers through our pages that facilitate exactly that!

At Bojoko we cover all of the most important sports for UK players. These include betting guides for sports like football, formula 1, cricket, darts, tennis, athletics and a number of smaller sports. Visit our menu to learn how to bet on all of them!

Absolutely! Bojoko’s core values include trust and transparency, which is why we only showcase online gambling sites that are operating legally in the UK under a UKGC licence. This guarantees the player the safety of their information, funds and the security of the site as a whole, along with tax-free winnings of course!

Joel Kelly

Article by:

Joel Kelly

Joel has worked in the iGaming industry for nearly a third of his life, with almost a decade of experience with casinos, sports betting and poker. During this time he has had the opportunity of testing dozens of different bookies, casinos and poker sites, with his focus currently being managing Bojoko's UK sports betting content.

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