Sports betting in short

Mateo Brekalo
Mateo Brekalo
Published: 9. rujna 2023.

Sports betting

In short, sports betting involves placing a wager on your prediction of the outcome of a particular sports event.

The earliest form of betting was ‘winner takes all’, where bettors placed wagers on a team or player to win, and the winning bettor claimed the entire stake. Today, betting looks different, with legalized bookmakers offering odds that determine your winnings.

Today the majority of trades in sports betting are done online, but sports betting shops are still widely used as a place of entertainment, socializing and gambling. The majority of the market share still revolves around betting on major sports such as Soccer, American Football, Basketball, Tennis, and Ice Hockey. However, research indicates that in the past few years, the most significant market growth has been in the realm of betting on E-Games or electronic sports.

Here’s what you need to know

I will provide a brief explanation of the most common expressions you'll encounter in sports betting. Later on, we will offer detailed explanations of each expression in separate articles:


Stake is the amount wagered on the outcome of a sports event.


Odds express the probability of an event occurring and determine your winnings based on your stake. A simple way to read the probability through the odds is to place the odds in a simple formula: 1 divided by the decimal odd, multiplied by 100. Let's take an example of an outcome with a decimal odd of 1.8:

1/1.8 x 100 = 55,55% probability

In this example we can see that 1.8 represents a probability of 55,55% for the outcome to occur.

Betting types (Markets)

Betting types refer to different types of bets offered to customers. As the industry continues to evolve, more "events" within a single match are being offered for betting. The most common type is the Money Line, often simply referred to as the Winner market. However, to make betting more exciting and offer customers more options during betting, bookmakers provide bets on various specific events within a match. This is why you can now place bets on options such as "Who will win the first corner?" "Who will score first?" and "Who will receive the first yellow card?"

Money Line

The most known market is the Money Line, often referred to as the Winner market, where the final result determines the winner of the outcome.

Spread and Totals

Other common markets include Spread and Totals.
Spread, also known as Handicap on the European market, which is betting on the margin of the final outcome, and Totals, which means betting on a particular event point (goals, points, games…) to occur more or less times during the match.

Preplay or Prematch

Prematch matches are all the fixtures that haven’t started yet, and you can place bets on those matches before they begin. The odds don’t change as rapidly as during the live matches.


On the other, in-play matches are currently ongoing and are offered by bookmakers in real-time. The odds are changing more rapidly in-play based on the current situation on the field.


Parlay bet is a bet combined of two or more bets on the same betslip. The customer's goal is to predict all the bets on the betslip correctly, otherwise, the betslip will be lost. The potential winnings are determined by multiplying the stake with all the odds from the chosen selections.

Single Bet

A single bet is a betting slip that contains only one individual bet. It is not combined with other bets, so the outcomes of other matches do not affect the outcome of the betting slip.

However, you can place multiple single bets on the same betting slip. While not all bookmakers offer this option, many European bookmakers do. This allows you to place 2, 3, or more single bets on the same betting slip. The total stake will be divided by the number of games you have selected, and each individual match will still be considered a single bet. The results of other matches will not impact each separate betting selection.

System Bet

System betting enables customers to receive winnings even if one or more selections on the betting slip are lost. However, it deducts a portion of the maximum potential winnings based on the odds and the specific system chosen. An easy example is a 2 out of 3 system bet. Which means you have 3 different possible combinations : AB, BC, AC.

The stake will be divided and placed on each combination proportionally, and the winnings for each betting row will be determined accordingly.


A bonus is used by bookmakers to attract new players or even re-engage those who have been inactive for a while. It may also be offered as a reward to very active players, but in a different form. Typically, it doesn't consist of real money, but rather an amount granted as playing credit. This doesn't mean you can't withdraw it, but to do so, you will need to meet certain requirements set by the bookmakers. Usually, these requirements include a minimum odds threshold that must be met to convert the playing credit into real money and a specific number of times the bonus must be wagered before it can be withdrawn as real money.

Choose your bookmaker

Hopefully, our short explanation has helped you to understand the fundamentals of sports betting.

Now, you can look for a trusted bookmaker and explore all the bonus options they offer to make a decision where to wager your first bet. Explore the safest payment methods and seek out trustworthy companies with a valid sportsbook license. Good luck!


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