Football Betting Sites

Football betting guideFootball, or soccer, is the most bet on sport in the UK with the exception of horse racing. Worldwide it is estimated that football constitutes around 70% of sports match-betting worth anywhere up to £500 billion if we consider both legal and illegal markets. With so much money floating around in football there is a lot of choice when it comes to what you bet on and how you bet on it. At OnlineBetting we know people bet for a number of reasons. Here we discuss the best bookmakers and bet types for football betting. We have done the hard work so you don’t have to.  Back of the net.

Best Online Bookmakers for Football Betting

You can bet on most major football with pretty much every single bookie you can find. It can be very hard to see the wood for the trees in this market but some bookmakers are much better than others for certain sports. Here I discuss some bookmakers that are particularly good for football betting covering most of the needs any punter will need.  For the very latest football betting deals see our sister site, latestbettingoffers.co.uk.

BetVictor
Bet £10 Get £40
New Customers Only, T&Cs Apply, Apply, 18+

Best for odds and fair terms

With some of the best football odds around you cannot afford to ignore BetVictor when it comes to football betting. Claiming the “best odds on the premier league” and with 71% of football odds offered higher than the median (middle) value, this is the place to go to make sure you get maximum winnings from your single and multiple football bets. BetVictor have been verified by odds comparison sites as the bookie offering the overall best odds for the last 4 football seasons. You can get odds in 5 different formats too!

An excellent range of markets are on offer from BetVictor, covering around 50 different leagues including all major European leagues and most major global leagues - they’re particularly strong for South American football too. Depth of market is great, with a big event carrying over 150 betting lines it is unlikely that they don’t offer your bet.

BetVictor do not offer live football streaming and regular offers are few and far between, although most offers available are for football at least and when you do see an offer it tends to be high value. BetVictor are strong for footy accas too giving you insurance on 5 selections or more and also a price promise, if you could have got a better price elsewhere on those selections BV will match it automatically. The in play service for football is comprehensive, exceptionally smooth and user friendly with a full list of lines available.

Mobile football betting with BetVictor is one of the best features. The app is a particularly cool way of betting on football and one of the fasterst (which is important for live betting especially) allowing you to select the result in 90 minutes, over/under goals, an anytime goal scorer, etc., in seconds.

Payouts for football are fairly decent up to £500k and BetVictor will give you an introductory matched free bet for you to set your bets up too.

Betfred
Bet £10 Get £60
New Customers Only, T&Cs Apply, Apply, 18+

Football betting pioneer

Betfred are by no means my favourite bookmaker overall but they do deserve a mention when it comes to football betting. Betfred were the first to bookmaker to offer singles on football, they also introduced many novel betting systems and types that are widely used today in football betting, the likes of the Lucky15 and others. Betfred also are famous for paying out on football bets early, getting it wrong twice in paying out early on Manchester United to win the league only for them to finish second in 1998 to Arsenal and 2012 to Manchester City.

Betfred cover all the major leagues including some such as the Egyptian and Korean leagues that are not too widely available. The depth of market is great offering around 100 lines on even minor matches and the in play service with betstream is nice to use on both desktop and mobile versions. Live streaming and Cash Out is available and football commentary is excellent.

Football odds are decent with Betfred but their enhanced odds promotions are particularly nice with features not offered by others. For example the double delight and hat trick heaven are a must for those betting on first goal scorer. If your man scores the first goal and then goes on to score another or even a hat trick Befred will double or treble your winnings. Betfred are always changing their football promotions and have great ideas that some others bookies simply can’t match. A fantastic accumulator builder is also available through Betfred

Payouts are high for football with Betfred, up to £1 million and you can get a really nice sign up offer to play with.

Coral
Bet £5, £20 in Free Bets
New Customers Only, T&Cs Apply, Apply, 18+

Best for big matches & tournaments

Coral are the best around for their offers on big football matches and major tournaments. Coral cover most of the major leagues throughout the world, from the Latvia to Hong Kong to Iceland, with excellent depth of market, a full in play service, Cash Out offered, live football streaming and a nice mobile betting app.

The odds on offer at Coral are generally competitive, especially on UK football. Coral try to offer the best odds around on high profile markets such as outright premier league and cup winners. They are particularly good at providing enhanced odds promotions on big football events making the overall package more profitable for these bets compared to the bookie with the best odds alone.

With Coral you can get the usual money back offers football accumulator insurance on things like to win and both teams to score with 4 selections or more. It is however the Coral bespoke promotions that are the best, for example free bet offers are generally given to customers around all major matches and tournament events, such as the champions league. If you bet regularly on the big footy events you have to get a Coral account, you won’t be able to match their offers elsewhere.

Payout limits for football are huge with Coral, up to £1 million. It is also worth noting that Coral offer an integrated betting service through online, phone and in store giving you more options to bet on football than online only bookies. Combined with all of this is a nice sign up offer, bet £5 get a £20 free bet.

Paddy Power
£20 Risk Free - Cash
New Customers Only, T&Cs Apply, Apply, 18+

Best for regular football offers

There are a lot of football offers around but Paddy Power top the list for variety and regularity. For weekly and even daily football betting you really are not going to get any better service than that from Paddy Power. Raw odds are not that great but the enhanced odds packages are so attractive this often doesn’t matter when betting on high level footy. In addition Paddy Power offer a similar level of live football streaming to Bet365, have a great live betting service, large depth of market with around 150 lines/match, Cash Out, a nice mobile app and cover around 70 different leagues.

Paddy Power are brilliant at interacting with customers and push out offers daily through adverting and an excellent social media package. You can get the usual money back football accumulator insurance with Paddy Power as well as enhanced odds around big events. It is however the daily offers that are unique to this bookmaker, each and every day they will offer free bets on footy, usually linked to in play such as ‘bet 20 quid pre-match and get a tenner in play’. Remember you can also bet in store too. A must have bookie for regular football betting.

Payout limits are also high for football betting at Paddy Power at up to £1 million and a there is a superb initial welcome offer too don't forget.

Sport Nation
50% Up To £100 Bonus
New Customers Only, T&Cs Apply, Apply, 18+

Alan Brazil brand ambassador, tells you everything

Sport Nation are focussed around brand ambassador Alan Brazil, the former Scotland, Spurs and Ipswich player, Sky Sports pundit and long term host on TalkSPORT radio. This tells you right away that this bookmaker are serious about their footy.

The betting site has lots of news and audio blog features hosted by Alan himself and this gives punters a far more personalised betting experience that with most other bookies. The model of Sport Nation in general is to be different from the crowd and one way they do this is through excellent rewards for regular punters. From free bet clubs to hugely enhanced accas there is a lot of regular value to be had for football bettors at Sport Nation.

Titanbet
100% Up To £50
New Customers Only, T&Cs Apply, Apply, 18+

Different Footy Offers

Titanbet are one of the best betting sites around for regular but yet different football promotions. All offers are relatively achievable, usually money back on major lines up to £20 for example. The betting site likes to try new ideas on a regular basis and this means you can get all sort of crazy deals here that the big boys haven't even though of. Examples include things like 'money back for 4+ goals', 'money back if a defender scores', 'money back if the match is decided by a sub', 'money back if a lower league team wins', etc.

A brilliant football bookie for any portfolio, for offers alone these guys can really add a lot of value to your footy bets. Odds are fair and market depth is absolutely fine for the average punter

NetBet
£50 Deposit Bonus
New Customers Only, T&Cs Apply, Apply, 18+

Good for European Deals

NetBet is one of the best places to go if betting on European football in particular. With a more continental heritage they often have great value enhanced price boosts and money back deals for teams other than the usual home nations and clubs. That's not to say you can't also get great deals for UK football too. For anyone who likes betting on football using regular deals this is a must have betting site.

Unibet
£30 Risk Free Bonus
New Customers Only, T&Cs Apply, Apply, 18+

Top Football prices

Unibet might be a European focussed bookie but they have some of the best prices around on Premier League, Champions Leaage and other major European Leagues. For basic match betting markets (W/D/W) Unibet claim to give a 97.5% payback (i.e. just a 2.5% cut for them) and this allows them to give punters some of the best odds going.

Not always listed on UK odds comparison sites so definitely worth a visit to check. That's not all, Unibet cover tons of leagues especially more obscure Euro leagues. The betting site also streams a huge amount of high level football from leagues such as Serie A and La Liga as part of their 40,000+ live steamed events. Finally there are always existing customer promotions available for football year round and Unibet have one of the highest payout limits for football.

Other Online Footy Betting Sites

There are some other online bookies that are worth a mention when it comes to football betting.

  • Ladbrokes - Ladbrokes are a great staple bookmaker for football betting. Their size means they are able to offer a massive range of football betting options and with great in play services and weekly football offers, including accumulator insurance, they are worth keeping in mind. The real world presence of this bookie is also a point of note, you can put your football bets on in store and online in a way you cannot with the online-only bookmakers. Streaming, offers, in play, Cash Out, mobile betting and other news and features all to complement your footy betting.
  • William Hill - William Hill are a must have bookie for football punters.  They don't do anything exceptionally different but they do have everything you would need for football betting.  With good odds and event specials, decent live betting, streaming on WHTV, Cash In, nice news and stats and a great mobile feature.  Hill's are not great for offers in general but the offers they do have are maninly for football.
  • 10Bet - Worth a mention based simply on the number of football leagues offered. By delivering a no frills sportsbook and no gaming options they are able to focus and provide up to 150 football leagues from all over the world to bet on. This means there is a match to bet on almost around the clock and all matches are offered in play. Not the best odds or offers but certainly the best for variety.
  • 888 Sport - Definately check out this bookie for their football offers.  Plenty of money back and free bett promotions on major European football, often different from the usual promotions seen with other bookies.
  • Betfair - Betfair obviously have an exchange for football betting and a fixed odds sports book giving you more options than most on your football bets.
  • Betway - Betway don’t necessarily provide anything special in football betting but they do have one of the nicest interfaces around to bet through. For ease of use in your footy betting you won’t get better.
  • ComeOn - Plenty of interesting loyaty rewards and free bets for football.  Great market coverage, you won't see many conventional offers here but rewards can add up if you place weekly footy bets with ComeOn.
  • Vernons - As a newcomer Vernons are worth a look. Poor top payouts and no streaming but these guys do offer and uncomplicated football book with nice accumulator and enhanced odds promotions.
  • Winner - a great bookie for any regular football punter.  The bookie have some of the most consistent and reliable regular loyalty offers available and one of the best acca bonuses in the business.

Latest Football Betting Offers

We list all of the best temporary event specific and long term regular football promotions on our betting offers page. Click here to see the very latest football money back and free bet offers.

A Brief History of Football betting

Football betting first became an obsession in the UK with the advent of the Football pools in the 1920’s. The first fixed odds football coupon was launched by William Hill in the 1940’s but it wasn’t until many many years later that Betfred became the first bookmaker to offer singles betting on football following the abolition of the “minimum trebles” stipulation. The advent of the football accumulator combined with legislation to allow high street betting shops in the 1960s allowed football betting to really take off. Suddenly you could walk down to your bookie on a Saturday morning and put your money down on your own football predictions and win a few quid without having to go to a track or a dingy illegal den.

Football betting went from strength to strength as new betting types came in, the likes of first goal scorer, half time results and correct score. The market further increased as the profile of home and foreign leagues improved as more money entered the sport and TV coverage rose dramatically. Telephone betting exchanges added further flexibility to football betting potentiating the market. Today you can bet on hundreds of leagues worldwide and there have never been as many football matches to bet on as there are today.

The launch of online betting in the new millennium created another boom in football betting. Suddenly you could place a bet wherever you had an internet connection, you could bet on midweek events from the comfort of your own home and receive your winnings without needing to put your coat on and go outside.  The English Premier League alone is watched by over 5 billion people year in 212 countries to give you an idea of the size of this market.

Today you can bet on football every day of your life through thousands of different bookmakers in hundreds of different ways. Who offer the best options for football betting? What types of bets are available? Where can I bet on obscure leagues and matches? Here we give you these answers so you can find the best types of football bets for you and the perfect bookmaker for you to place them with.

How To Bet On Football

Football really is the beautiful game. The simplicity of it allows it to be played anywhere, simply mark out a set of goals with any objects and you have yourself a pitch - jumpers for goalposts! The low scoring nature of the sport means the underdog wins more often than in high scoring sport which is great from a viewing and betting perspective.

Look at any pre-event and or in play football market and you will see sometimes nearly 200 betting lines and tons of associated offers. We explain some of the common types of bets and promotions here to help you decide the football bet for you.  For regular promotions see our football offers section.

Outright Result Betting

An outright bet is simply a bet on a given result, West Ham to beat Stoke for example. These are the easiest types of bets to get good value on by comparing between bookmakers with major odds checking firms that should cover all outright betting.

Bookies often offer headline grabbing outright bet offers to get you to bet with them – they are hoping you will go to place other bets at the same time on which they have better margins. If you are disciplined you can place excellent value outright bets.

Be careful with outright betting in cup competitions and in matches where the game can go beyond 90 minutes. When betting on the FA cup final for example you can bet both on the result in 90 minutes and on who will win the trophy. These are two different types of bets, if you bet on an outright win result in 90 minutes and the game finishes as a draw at this stage then you have lost your bet.

Accumulators

Predicating a series of outright results to all win together is an accumulator bet. This is one of the most common types of bets you can place on football and also the bet type most commonly associated with regular offers and promotions such as accumulator (Acca) insurance or % bonus enhancement. A full accumulator will require all of your predicted results to come in to get a return. The best accumulator to place is one that balances the best odds you can get on your selections against the best odds enhancement offers around. In general football accumulator betting is a good value bet as Bookies use these to attract customers and so operate lower margins

Accumulators can be on any fixed market not just the overall result of the game. You can often place accumulators on markets such as both teams to score and your selection to win. You could place an accumulator of half-time results, an accumulator of correct scores, etc., etc.

It is very common to find fixed odds accumulators that offer better odds than the accumulator should do on odds alone. An example would be “Belgium, Germany and England all to win 5/1”. Be careful though not all fixed odds accumulators offer better odds than you could get if you just placed a normal accumulator.

Full cover betting (Trixies, Yankee’s etc.) and full cover betting with singles (Lucky’s, patents, etc.) is common in football. These types of bets are rarely associated with specific offers, for placing full cover bets it is generally better to go with the bookie that offers the best odds.

Goal scorer, Correct Score, Cast betting

Correct score and goal scorer betting are one of the most common types of predictive football bets. We all have that conversations along the lines of “I recon they are going to win 3-1 and Messi is going to score first” and a lot of people bet on these predictions. Correct score is simple, you can predict correct scores in 90 minutes, at half time, in extra time and even at specific intervals during the game. You can also predict who is going to score either as a first goal scorer, last goal scorer or to score any time in the game. Odds to score any time are lower than either first or last goal scorer.

Some firms now offer each-way first or last goal scorer where half of your stake goes on the first/last part of the bet and the other half on any time goal scorer.

A scorecast is a linked bet, here you are predicting the correct score and the goal scorer (either first, last or anytime), both of these must win for you to get a return. You can often find enhanced offers on scorecasts. Timecast is a similar bet but here you are predicting the first/last goal scorer and the time of the first/last goal. Finally with a Wincast you are predicting the goal scorer (first/last/anytime) and the result in 90 minutes. Odds on casts are not great value and rarely reflective of the true odds. If you want to bet on a cast then odds will be very different between bookies so it is worth shopping around.

Half Time / Full Time

Here you are making a double prediction on the game basically what will be the result at the end of the first half and the end of the second. You can bet on half time results as an outright bet or as a double bet with the full time result. These types of bets can enhance the odds of an overall result, if you think Arsenal will win but get off to a slow start you may bet on Draw/Arsenal at higher odds than an outright Arsenal win. A word of note, you will rarely get offers on this type of bet and bookies build in quite a nice profit margin here.

Quite often you can bet on teams to win the first half or win the second half, this offers more ways to win in a given game.

Goals and To Score Bets

Another common football bet is the Over/Under goals prediction. Here you are betting on a specific number of goals to be scored either by one team or by both teams in the game. An example would be Over/Under 2.5 goals, if you bet on over 2.5 goals then there would need to be 3 goals in the game for you to win, if you bet under this would require 2 goals or less for a return. This type of bet is generally good value especially if you shop around. Handicaps are often applied to this type of betting too, see handicap betting in coupons and in our betting guide section.

Most bookies will offer lines such as ‘both teams to score’ these are often linked to accumulators and offers too and so can offer good value, especially if you think it will be an open game with an unpredictable result. Variation around this theme include, first/last team to score, to score in first and/or second half. You can even get these linked with other markets such as result/total goals, both teams to score/total goals and more.

Goal time bets are fairly self-explanatory, you predict the time at which the first of next goal will be scores, for example between the 61st and 70th minute. Goal method is another line available to bet on, simply predict how you think the first, or next, goal may be scored, shot, header, penalty, etc.

Win to nil is another type of bet offered by some bookmakers. Here you are not predicting the correct score but rather predicting one team to win with a clean sheet. Again odds are not always the best with these type of bets.

Cards, Corners, Offsides and Substitutes

Not so common even ten years ago cards and corners betting represents a significant proportion of the football betting markets particularly in play. With most bookies you can bet on number of cards/corners, time of the first or next card/corner, colour of first/next card, next team get a card/corner, etc. You can also bet on race to a certain number of cards/corners.

Betting on offsides and the number of or next substitute is less common and not offered by all bookies. A good type of in play bet odds on this type of bet will vary massively so we suggest you check out a few bookies before making this bet.

A word of note, this type of betting has attracted controversy in the past around football match fixing. You can’t bribe 22 players and both managers but syndicates know if you can bribe one player let’s say get to get booked or be offside in a certain time frame then you can win a lot of money. For this reason these types of bets are heavily screened and limits controlled. If you want to place a large bet on a market like this please check terms in advance.

Draw No Bet and Double Chance

Football is a low scoring sport and as a consequence on average 25-30% of all games are drawn, however the amount of money wagered on draws represents far less than 25%. Bookies love a draw and make a lot of their profits in this way.

Draw no bet will mean your bet is voided if the result ends in a draw whereas Double Chance gives the option for the game to end in two ways, such as Newcastle and draw. While these bets can ‘beat the bookie’ by avoiding the draw as a consequence odds are usually a poor reflection of true odds.

If predicting a 0-0 draw it is usually better wager your money on the ‘no goal scorer’ line rather than correct score. This way if there is an own goal this is usually excluded from the ‘no goal scorer’ market but not from the correct score line. Different bookmakers offer different terms around this so do check individual terms

Asian Lines

Asian handicap betting is described in detail in the betting guide section and in coupons below. Basically Asian lines remove the change there will be a draw. An Asian handicap may be something like +/-0.5, +/-1.5, +/-2.5 goals in outright betting. You can have Asian lines on corners, cards, pretty much anything that has a defined scoring system.

Specials

Football specials vary so much between different bookies. Specials bets usually have a novelty element and as a result the odds value is generally poor unless they are part of an enhanced odds offer. Maximum bets/payouts can often be quite low for specials so make sure you check with larger wagers. Some common types of match special betting on football would be things like player Ronaldo to score and team Real Madrid to win, Bayern Munich to win from behind, etc..

Specials are more common on non-match markets. Things like next permanent manger, next manager to be sacked, next club a player will transfer to, what hairstyle will Mario Balotelli have next week, etc. Some bookmakers like Paddy Power and Coral are much better than other at offering these types of bets than others like BetVictor. You can usually find offers on specials markets so shop around

In Play and Pre-event

Some bets are only available before the event starts, such as a bet on a player to be in the starting line-up for example. Most bookies now offer a comprehensive football in play service allowing you to bet on pretty much anything in running. Some bets naturally lend themselves to the live betting markets such as the next substitute and next corner markets where you want to see how the game is flowing before placing a bet like this.

Online bookmakers are trying very hard to get their customers to play more using their live betting services. As a consequence many offer offers to use the system, you can commonly get linked in play offers such as bet £10 before the event starts and get a risk free £10 bet in play.

Live Betting, Results and Stats

All online bookmakers reviewed on this site offer a live in play betting service for football. Some offer more markets or better interfaces than others. Live betting is fantastic with football, the 90 minute game time is perfect for placing in play bets and the low scoring nature of the sport gives you time to think about your next bet. You can literally bet on anything in football from the number of minutes added in injury time to the method of the next goal.

News, Results and Statistics

Many bookies now offer comprehensive stats and live results services as well as news and blog services. Used correctly these can really enhance your betting experience and more importantly enhance your winnings. Lots of these services are free and don't require you to bet or even sign up. I recommend you find the best news and stats service for you even if you choose to place your eventual bet with another bookie, cheeky but as a punter you need to take every advantage you can get

Live Streaming and Commentary

live stream footballLive streaming of sports varies massively between bookies. Some like Coral, Ladbrokes and others will steam thousands of football games a year whereas others such as BetVictor, Betway and NetBet do not stream at all. Most offer now offer live audio and text commentary where streaming is not available.

You are not going to be able to stream any English Premier League football in the UK due to TV rights but you can often stream Scottish PL, Championship and lower league and most foreign football online. My favourite for streaming are William Hill but you will find a lot of other football streaming around with other bookies and this is one reason we recommend you keep several bookmakers in your online betting portfolio

To find the online bookmaker with the right football in play, statistics, news and streaming services for you see out bookmaker reviews.

Major Football Competitions

International Competitions

  • World Cup – The FIFA World Cup is the pinnacle of international football. This occurs every four years and consists of 32 teams who qualify regionally in each confederation in the three years prior to the competition. The tournament consists of group stages followed by knockout matches. There have been 20 World Cups since the first was held in 1930 when Jules Rimet created the international tournament, it was hosted and won by Uruguay.
  • European Championship – The UEFA European Championship is held every 4 years, 2 years out of sync with the World Cup. Teams are required to qualify, at the tournament proper there is a group stage followed by knockout matches.
  • Africa Cup Of Nations – Similar format to the Euro Championship for CAF African countries. This competition is held every two years in January and February.
  • Copa America – This is the South American confederation (CONMEBOL) championship, similar format to the other confederations. The tournament has been held intermittently with no fixed interval.
  • Gold Cup – This is the confederation consisting of North America and Mexico, CONCACAF. There are also no fixed intervals for this competition.
  • Confederations Cup – Every four years consists of the winners of each confederation tournament, the winners of the world cup and the hosts.

Club Competitions

  • World Club Cup – The FIFA World Club Cup, formerly known as the intercontinental cup. This competition is fought out each year between the best clubs from the 6 confederations.
  • UEFA Champions League – Europe's top club football competition. Played each year with 32 teams who qualify from the best European Domestic Leagues. There is an initial group stage followed by knockout matches.
  • Europa League – Europe's second tier club competitions, a similar format to the Champions League, takes teams who either win less prestigious leagues or finish lower in top leagues.
  • Confederation Club Cups – Each confederation has their own pinnacle club competitions, we won’t cover each one here. Another example would be the CONMEBOL Copa Libertadores the world's second biggest club completion to the Champions League, played between the best teams from South American domestic leagues. The CAF Champions league is played between top African club teams but is not as prestigious.

UK Football Competitions

  • Premier League – The Barclays Premier League is the top English football professional league. It is the worlds biggest league in terms of viewers, money, player value, wages and TV rights. The league consists of 20 teams and each team plays 38 games a season. The top teams qualify for the Champions League, some lower teams qualify for the Europa League.
  • English Leagues – The Championship, League 1 and League 2 represent the lower professional English leagues, teams are promoted and relegated from these divisions each year. The Football Conference represents the highest amateur football league and promotion from here feeds into the lowest professional league, League 2.
  • Scottish Premier League – Scotland's biggest domestic league with teams such as Celtic. Similar format to the English League but with 12 teams, teams play each other 3 times and then the leagues splits into the top and bottom 6, these teams play each other twice more in this miniature leagues. Scotland also has three lower professional divisions similar to the English system.
  • The FA Cup – The FA Cup is the oldest national club cup and highly prestigious in England. First held in the 1871-1872 season this is a knockout completion with all 92 clubs in the English professional divisions competing from round 1. Preliminary rounds exist for qualification of clubs from lower amateur leagues. Teams from the top league, the premier league, enter at round 3. The Final is usually after the end of the season and is seen as the highlight of the season end. The winner of this competition also gets qualification to the Europa League. The Scottish Cup follows a similar format for Scottish club teams.
  • The League Cup – Very similar to the FA Cup, this knockout cup is not an amateur competition and is only fought out between the 92 professional teams. The final is earlier at the end of February. Teams from the top league enter at round 2, unless they are playing in European Competition where they enter at round 3. Less popular that the FA cup but still a top trophy to win. Scotland have their own Scottish League Cup.

Odds and Payouts

Odds

Odds vary vastly for UK online bookmakers. Some bookmakers are generally very good for raw odds on football, such as BetVictor whereas others only push special odds for the bigger events like Coral. Our advice is sign up to several bookmakers and place your specific bets between those offering the best terms or service for that given event. A quick scan using an odds checking service will tell you who is best to bet with based on odds alone.

Enhanced odds offers are a great way to boost your winnings through football betting. Most bookies provide money back offers, football accumulator insurance, in play specific offers and guaranteed odds on big football games and leagues. Don’t always get sucked into the offers though, some bookmakers like Paddy Power set their general odds quite low making enhanced odds promotions seem better than they actually are.

In general you can excellent odds on major football if you shop around. Most bookies push their main offers through football and supplement this through their taking on other sports. 97% of punters lose in the end but if you are disciplined and only place bets on the best odds/offers then this is the best way to beat the bookie.

Payouts

Major Football and horse racing offer the highest maximum payout limits from all the online bookmakers discussed on onlinebetting.org.uk however these limits vary massively between bookies so check in advance.

This is an important consideration especially for football multiples and accumulators. Accumulators with lots of selections can start to reach very high odds and even a few quid staked could take you over maximum payout limits so always check before placing these types of bets. For example William Hill offer up to £2 million on major football whereas at the lower end Vernons cap their winnings at £50k. Even some of the big bookies don’t offer as high a payout as you may expect, Vernons for example offer up to £50k on major football.

Payout limits on more obscure leagues and matches tend to be lower and are often classed as second grade football. If you are placing an accumulator on the Ethiopian league check your maximum payout limits in advance.

Finally you might want to consider payout turnaround times for football betting. If you are like me and you like to place cumulative bets in play then you are relying on your bookmaker to pay you out quickly so you can get your next bet on. Some, like Coral, are much better than others. Customer services are generally happy to give you this type of information.

Types of Football Bet

For information on types of coupons and bets and how they work see our betting guide for full descriptions and examples

Singles

When placing a single bet on a football game, whether on the outright result or specific line such as correct score, always have a look at an odds comparison website and have a scan of the latest promotions offered as these change daily, you can use sites like www.latestbettingoffers.co.uk to find the best promotions around. Odds vary massively on individual football bets and this is why we recommend you sign up to several online bookmakers through onlinebetting.org.uk.

Multiples

Multiples betting is a little more involved. Most online bookies offer acca (accumulator) football insurance where you generally get your money back if one leg lets you down. The terms around these offers vary widely and finding the best accumulator offer for you can be difficult. Acca insurance offers tend to sound something like this “Money back on both teams to score and your team accumulators if one out of a minimum of 5 legs lets you down”. Money back is usually provided as a free bet

Acca insurance is different to accumulator bonus and accumulator guaranteed odds. Accumulator bonuses offer a percentage enhancement for a certain number of selections on a given coupon. Guaranteed odds accumulators will provide you with a fixed payout even if your selections don’t cumulatively add up to that value. These odds tend to be restricted to specific coupons however.

Multiple betting on football can also have a lot of restrictions. You generally cannot place multiple bets where the outcome of one event can adversely influence the outcome of another event, for example, Middleborough to beat Bolton and Bolton to be relegated would usually not be allowed. You may also find that odds on certain multiples are fixed and this isn’t always for the better. For example you may be offered 1000/1 for picking the outright winner of the 4 major professional English football divisions. While this sounds good this is generally less than you could win if it was a genuine accumulator. For example the 4 outright winners you pick have odds of 3/1, 8/1, 11/1 and 5/1 to win their respective leagues, this gives cumulative odds of closer to 2500/1 much higher than the 1000/1 on offer. It is worth shopping around in this instance to find the bookie that will allow you to place a traditional accumulator at real odds.

Be careful when combining multiple bets between different sports or even between events, leagues and competitions within sports. Multiples bets are usually capped by the market with the lowest payout limit so even if major football has a maximum pay out of £1 million and you have a tenfold accumulator with 9 football games and Germany to win the Hockey your maximum payout may be capped at that for hockey rather than football which could be as low as a few thousand.

Full Cover Betting

With Football you can pretty much place any full cover bet you like, most online bookmakers will offer this too. Full cover bets are bets that cover all the possibilities from your selections, for example if you have three selections a Trixie would be 1 treble and 3 doubles (4 bets) from those selections. For details see our betting guide section.

You generally do not get specific offers when placing full cover bets so it is usually best to go with the bookie with the best odds for your selections and payout limits that will give your bet the full potential.

Handicap Betting

Handicap and Asian handicap betting is common in football and again offered by most online-bookies both prevent and in play. Handicap betting is a simple, by applying a handicap you change the odds of a given football match and these are used generally when you have strong favourites where you want to get better odds. For example, Arsenal to win may be 1/5 odds on but with a +2 goal handicap may be 2/1, much better odds for sure but requiring Arsenal to win by 3 clear goals to get a return. For full details on all handicap betting type see our betting guide.

Spread Betting

Spread betting on football is certainly more common now than it used to be although you will generally need to bet with specific spread betting firms to get this type of bet in full. Initially a tool for betting on financial markets effectively this is a non-fixed odds form of betting where you are rewarded based on the accuracy of your predictions. This type of betting is not for the uninitiated and can result in high loses as well as high gains. See our glossary for more information.

Forecast and Conditional Betting

Twenty years ago or more you would only see forecast betting in horse and dog racing but it is now becoming more common in other sports including football. A typical type of forecast bet may be something like who is going to finish first and second in the premier league, Manchester City followed by Arsenal for example. This would be a straight forecast and requires the league to finish in that order for you to win. There are many types of forecast bets, see out betting guide for details.

Conditional betting, or any-to-come betting is not very common in football but can be found on occasion. These bets are two separate singles but if one selection wins then the initial stake is placed on the second selection and vice versa, giving you the potential to win twice, however if one selection lets you down you will lose your stake on both selections. A full explanation in our betting guide.