Depending on where you live in the world, you may have to wait longer than others to get into sports betting. In the UK for example, the legal age to be able to gamble is 18, whereas in the US, you have to be aged 21. Even then, for the US, that is only in some states, with others still seeing gambling as an illegal activity, although slowly that is changing across the country.
Maryland for example, have just changed their laws following a referendum that saw the people vote overwhelmingly for the legalization of sports betting. And with documents signed, and committees formed, they’re now well on the way to having a fully operational system.
But how do you get started in sports gambling? Are there tips or tricks you should use if you’re classed as a newbie? Well, yes there are, and we’re going to help you discover what they are in this very post.
In-person or online
Ok, so one of the first questions you will want to ask yourself is are you looking for more of a social kind of experience, or something more secluded?
If you want to meet other like-minded individuals, and you enjoy face-to-face contact with other people, especially having been locked down for so long due to COVID-19, you’ll likely prefer finding a local sportsbook or another venue where you can place your sports bets. You can meet all kinds of characters in these places, and some even may have some good tips that can make you money.
If you’re not so fussed about mixing with others though, and couldn’t care less about human interaction, online sportsbooks are the best bet for you. There are lots of other benefits too, no queues, everything is automated, and you get access to a lot more than you would in a local sportsbook shop. For example, most online sportsbooks will have access to live stats for you to better assess your options, and you can access them on the go, so you don’t have to be in a single fixed place.
Who to choose
When it comes to picking which sportsbook you want to bet with, it can be a daunting decision for people new to the sports betting world. But there are some things to look out for that can sway your decision one way or another.
Firstly, welcome bonuses. These will vary between sportsbooks, but the most common bonuses include things like free bets, matched deposits of exclusive odds on certain events.
It is worthwhile mentioning though that you’ll want to read the fine print for these bonuses, as some may sound better than they are. A good example is for exclusive odds; these normally appear for special events, like the ongoing UEFA Euro 2020 tournament, and may see them offering silly odds like 40-1 for something simple and very likely like someone to score a goal. The problem is that they normally cap it to a very small amount you can bet. And also those bets are never guaranteed to win you money.
It’s also important to look at matched deposit bonuses. Whilst some will be fine, others may force you to wager your bonus funds a certain number of times or by a certain amount before you’re able to withdraw any winnings. Some less reputable sites will even use your own money first before using your bonus funds, meaning they’re essentially stealing your money because you won’t be able to withdraw anything until your bonus funds are gone, and you won’t be able to use them until you lose your real money.
Another area you’ll want to check out is if any events you follow have partnerships with specific sportsbooks. Teams you follow may have exclusive deals or their own gaming partners too. All this means you’ll likely get better odds than at any other sportsbook for those events or when those teams are involved. It’s a particularly popular situation with horse racing, with gambling companies often sponsoring them, and then announcing they will have the best odds guaranteed.
Knowing when to stop
One of the most important things when new to the sports betting world is to know when to stop. You will win some, but most people lose more often than they win, if they didn’t sportsbooks wouldn’t be a thing. So it’s important to know when to say enough is enough.
You don’t want to be racking up debts, spending more money than you can afford to. It can become a slippery slope once you go down that path! So be sure to set limits. Many reputable sportsbooks will offer tools to help you do this and I suggest you take advantage of them.
If you should find yourself in trouble, you should also be able to seek help at a number of gambling charities who will support you. They will have people to talk to and offer advice on how you can recover from the dark path you’ve found yourself on. The main rule though is when the fun stops, stop!