Advice for beginner gamblers: The basics you HAVE to know

Through recessions, double-dips and constant economic pressures, the gambling industry has remained overwhelmingly resolute while other businesses have flopped. Why? Because the temptation to make money is unavoidable.

For those that know nothing about betting, however, the first small steps of opening a Ladbrokes account, depositing some funds and placing a wager can be extremely daunting.

All the numbers, names of markets and possible punts are enough to confuse a gambling novice, but it doesn’t have to be that way, especially with this crib-sheet of advice to help.

The first port of call when trying to learn how to bet is the odds, they make everything tick.

A modern gambler has near enough every sporting event in the world, and even some non-sporting ones, available to bet on.

Ladbrokes traders are responsible for setting the odds of every outcome in the match, for a range of different areas. That could something simple like what team will win a football match or what player will score the first goal, or it could be far more intricate possibilities like how many corners there will be or if a penalty will be scored or missed.

The most common way to display those odds is in fractional form. So for example, Manchester United to beat Chelsea is given odds of two to one, displayed as 2/1. That means the customer will be paid £2 for every £1 they bet that United will win.

For the purpose of this example, let’s say Man Utd win and you have placed £1 on that happening. Ladbrokes will then return £2-worth of winnings, along with your original stake of £1, leaving you with three shiny nuggets lining your pocket. If United fail to win, then Ladbrokes keep your £1. Simple right?

The odds determine how likely a scenario is and can be wide-reaching. So if something, say San Marino to qualify for the European Football Championships, is priced up at 1000/1, there is a very strong chance that it won’t actually happen. But if an outcome is given odds of 1/10 (meaning the customer must wager £10 to get £1-worth of winnings) then it is strongly fancied to occur.

Betting doesn’t have to be isolated to just picking the winner of a football match though and there are a number of betting avenues to explore with Ladbrokes.

Sticking to football, some of the most common markets include correct score, first goalscorer, total goals and both teams to score.

Here’s a brief explanation of each:

Correct Score – What the final score will be after 90 minutes. 2-1 to the home side, a 0-0 draw, 3-0 for the visitors? All get priced up.

First Goalscorer – The player that will score the game’s opening goal. Strikers are obviously the favourites in this market, with defenders afforded more lengthy odds.

Total Goals – The result of the game doesn’t matter here, just how many goals are in it. The common bet is whether there will be over or under 2.5. The reason for the .5 is to ensure there is a definite outcome. 0,1 or 2 goals in the game means a bet on the unders will win, three or more ensures bets on the overs are successful.

Will Both Teams Score? – You answer the question with a bet on “yes” or “no”.


Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.