How to bet – The ultimate guide to placing a bet, sports odds and payment methods

Beginners Guide to Betting

Are you looking to place your first ever bet on sport but aren’t sure what it’s all about? Well don’t worry. We’ve all been there, looking over the sports odds without a clue what all the numbers mean, wondering how much confidence we have when placing a bet for the first time.

Sports betting can look daunting at first but it doesn’t take long to become comfortable with the process of how to bet. Here at Leo Vegas we try to make the betting process as easy and smooth as possible.

Our super-fast, high-powered sportsbook features literally thousands of sports betting odds, which you can access when you join Leo Vegas today. We have guides and advice for players who want to know how to place a bet for the first time, and tips on making the best of your wagers.

In this bet guide we’ll take you through the step-by-step process of placing wagers. Knowledge is everything in sports betting and it all starts with knowing the ins and outs of the bet process. You’ll also discover the best online payment methods for betting, how odds work, sport betting tips and advice on if you need help.

How betting works

Betting is one of the simplest financial exchanges you can make. In betting, you risk your own money by stating an outcome on an event – such as a football match – will go the way you predict. If your prediction is correct, you win back your stake + your winnings, which are calculated by the betting odds. If your prediction is incorrect, you lose your bet.

That’s how betting works. It’s about risk and reward. You assess the different odds, stump up the money (risk) and if the bet wins you get a payout (reward).

Now, there are a wide range of betting terms and styles which expand much further than this simply definition of risk and reward. But for this guide we’ll stick with the idea of a basic bet – say, England to beat Germany at the World Cup at specific odds – and use it as an example to highlight how betting works.

And, of course, it all starts with placing a bet…

How to place a bet

There are various stages you must go through to make a bet for the first time. But once you’ve placed one bet, you won’t have to do the first few again. Here’s the step-by-step process to how to place a bet online…

Create your account

The first thing you need to do when planning to bet on sport, politics or in an online casino is create your account. Leo Vegas makes it easy to set up a betting account in just a few steps. Enter your name, email address and chosen password to get started. We’ll ask you for some basic information to make sure you’re you, and not a scammer. We safely store all your info, which makes it easier for you to log into your account at a later date. You’ll need ID and a bank card to set up your account, and we may need to cross-reference some checks with you just to ensure everything is secure.

Trigger a bonus

When you join Leo Vegas you can trigger an online casino bonus or sports betting promotion, which you can then use once your profile is live. Be sure to look out for these bonuses as you sign up.

Make a deposit

We’ll discuss more later about the various deposit methods but the most common one is to make a debit card payment in order to charge your account. You can choose the amount you want to deposit, and be aware some offers may match your amount as bonus funds!

Wait for confirmation

Usually your profile will be confirmed almost instantly but you might have to wait a few minutes for our security team to approve your profile and ensure it’s fully safe.

Check out the sportsbook

You’re in! Once your account is active and you’ve made a deposit, it’s time to explore the Leo Vegas sportsbook. We feature odds on sports from all over the world, go deep into tournaments you might not have even heard of, and offer live betting markets for all players. Have a browse and see which sports you’re most interested in.

Choose a bet

Once you’ve explored the sportsbook it’s time to choose what to bet on. This could be an event like a horse race, or an outright market such as who will win the World Cup golden boot. You’ll see a list of the possible outcomes and their odds when you click on an event. Usually the odds are ranked in order or likelihood. Once you’ve chosen a bet you like, click the odds to open the bet slip.

Example: You want to bet on England to beat Germany at odds of 2.00. Click on England’s odds in the game market and the pop-up bet slip will appear.

Enter your stake

Now it’s time to type in the amount of money you wish to bet. When you do this, the Leo Vegas bet slip will instantly calculate your possible winnings, should the bet win. This is where you can then decide whether the bet is worth it or not.

Example: You enter 5 in the bet slip for England to beat Germany, meaning you’re willing to risk £5. At odds of 2.00, your potential return is 2.00 x £5 = £10 (£5 winnings, £5 returned stake)

Sit back and enjoy the action

Now you’ve placed your bet, it’s time to relax and enjoy whichever sports event you’ve just bet on. Leo Vegas also features live odds which fluctuate during the game, and we have stats, updated scores, live feeds and more depending on which sport you bet on.

Collect your winnings

Should your bet win then your account will be automatically charged with your winnings (assuming there aren’t any additional requirements attached). From here you can choose to withdraw your funds, or bet again!

How odds work

Odds can look a little scary at times – no one wants to rekindle the worst nightmares from our teenage maths lessons when we’re placing a bet. Thankfully the Leo Vegas bet slip calculates risk and reward for you, so all you need to do is focus on which outcomes you want to bet on.

Still, it’s worth knowing how betting odds work so you can make swift decisions on which markets to wager on. Here are the three most common forms of odds, and how they work:

Fractional – Historically the most common form of odds, fractional odds show you how much profit you make depending on your stake. For example, odds of 5/1 show a £5 profit if you bet £1. You total return would therefore be £5 + £1 = £6. When fractional odds are ‘odds on’, it means your profit will be less than your stake. But of course, you also get your stake back! So, odds of 1/3 means you’ll get £1 profit on every £3 you wager.

Decimal– The rise in online sports betting and casinos has triggered a change in which odds are most popular. Now, decimal odds are often used, as they are simpler than fractional odds. Decimal odds show you the total amount you get back from a £1 bet. It includes your stake. So, a £1 winning bet at odds of 6.00 would return £6 (£5 profit + £1 stake). Likewise, a £1 bet on odds of 1.20 would earn you just 20p profit.

American – American odds show you how much profit you’d make from a £100 bet. So, a £100 bet at odds of +300 would earn you £300 profit + your £100 stake. Similarly, a £1 wager at these odds would yield £3 profit + £1 stake. When American odds go negative it gets a little tricky. Here, it becomes odds-on. It’s best to calculate your winnings here via Leo Vegas’ bet slip.

Online betting payment methods

The most popular online betting payment method in the UK is debit card. Using either VISA or Mastercard, you can easily link your card to your Leo Vegas account and use it to deposit and withdraw funds.

However, there are also other options for players. Here are the best online betting payment methods available in our sportsbook:

​​Debit card – Simply link your bank account to your Leo Vegas profile and conduct transactions within minutes.

PayPal – Connect your PayPal account to Leo Vegas and conduct secure payments with ease

Apple Pay – The easiest way to make deposits and withdrawals when playing on the Leo Vegas app is through Apple Pay

Trustly – An e-wallet that lets you charge your account and send funds direct from and to your Leo Vegas profile

Skrill – Another popular e-wallet choice for players who also use it for shopping and gaming

MuchBetter – The smart payment app that is free to use and transfers money quickly and efficiently

Best sports to bet on

If you’re seeking to immediately bet on the best sport then you’re in the right place. Leo Vegas features literally thousands of sports odds in the sportsbook, all of which you can bet on in an instant.

Data shows 70% of all sports bets are placed on football. This is likely to change as Americans become more and more involved in online sports betting, but it still goes to show just how popular football is around the world.

But that doesn’t mean it’s the best sport to bet on. In fact, finding the ideal sport to place a wager on is specific to each individual. You might know how to bet on sports, but here are a few tips for finding which sport is best for you…

Football – The world’s game, football features heavily in the Leo Vegas sportsbook. We offer football odds from leagues and tournaments around the world. It’s a frenetic, exciting game that benefits from the high value of single goals, which makes upsets more possible. Ideal for football fanatics, live bettors and upset seekers

Tennis – Perfect for sports bettors who want some predictability. Tennis’ one-on-one nature means heavy favourites almost always win, especially in grand slams. The odds aren’t always big, but reasoned bets should win.

Ideal for dead-cert bets and accumulators

Horse racing – The ultimate sport for betting fans who are ready to get stuck into the next race as soon as one is over. Horse racing is heart-thumpingly dramatic and there’s always an element of randomness on the track. This is where multi-leg wagers thrive.

Ideal for stats afficanadoes

NFL – America’s flagship sport attracts millions of bettors every weekend and that interest is only set to rise. Intricate bets on individual players, score totals and more are available when betting on NFL. Ideal for stats trackers and fans of big plays

Basketball – The high-scoring nature of basketball means there’s always something to bet on. In-play NBA betting is hugely popular, as is wagering on points totals, handicaps and over/unders. Perfect for handicappers seeking to make big profits

Sport betting tips

There’s no end to the number of sport betting tips out there on the internet, among friends in Whatsapp groups, and discussed over a pint in the pub. Tipsers – be it professional or amateur – can talk for hours about what they think might happen in the game or tournament. But often when we look at a sportsbook and all the odds, those tips bleed from our minds.

And tips generally don’t last too long. So, rather than tips on specific teams, players or horses, here are a few starter tips for betting on sport…

Back the home team in lower leagues – Home advantage really is a thing in football. While Europe’s biggest club teams know how to handle themselves on the road, those down the football pyramid are less likely to match up to hostile away crowds. The home team wins in 45% of League One football games. They’re worth backing even if the odds aren’t great.

Back NBA points – The average points scored per game for NBA teams in 2020/21 was 110.6. Leo Vegas offers odds on points scored per team and per game. So use 110.6 per team as the benchmark when placing wagers.

Touchdowns aren’t king – NFL betting so often focuses on touchdowns that we forget about field goals. Like in rugby, kicking through the posts actually has a big effect on the game. But pre-game attention too often looks at those dramatic TDs. So, when betting on NFL, consider how field goals could affect the final score, not just six-pointers.

Accumulate tennis bets – Accumulators work perfectly in the early stages of grand slams when the big favourites (especially in the men’s singles) waltz through. Each individual favourite may have tiny odds to win their matches, but as a collective a tennis accumulator can prove lucrative. Know your sport – Don’t bet on sports you know nothing about, as you dramatically reduce your chance of winning a bet. Knowledge is king in this game, so do your research and only bet on events you’re comfortable with.

Set a budget – It’s always bets to set a budget, track your losses and don’t exceed those limits. It’s also worth remembering a big win should be celebrated, and betting your way out of losses isn’t always the best idea.

What if I need help?

Leo Vegas is here to offer a wide range of help options for anything you might need. If you’re struggling to sign up then get in touch and we can help sort out the security issues in your account. Likewise, we’re on hand to discuss payment issues, bet limits and everything in between.

If you suspect there might be fraud taking place on your account then please call us immediately.

And if you feel you need help with problem gambling, or just want someone to talk to, then contact us and we can make sure you speak to a qualified professional. LeoSafePlay is our initiative to ensuring everyone is safe in our community.

Methods of support are: Help centre Live chat Email


Want to know more about betting online? Here are answers to some more questions in our online betting guide…

How to place a bet online

You can place a bet online in minutes when signing up to Leo Vegas. You’ll need ID, proof of address, funds in a bank account and be aged 18 or over.

What is the online betting process?

The online betting process is very straightforward. First sign up for a Leo Vegas account or log into your profile. Ensure funds are correctly deposited and you’ve passed security checks, and then head to the sportsbook. Find the sport, event and odds you want to bet on, click to open the bet slip and enter your stake. Check the risk and potential reward, and hit Place Bet to complete the betting process.

Can I bet on all sports?

Yes! Well, we think you can. We feature extensive odds on the biggest and best sports in the world, covering everything from horse racing and football through to volleyball and surfing. If it’s not at Leo vegas, it’s not worth betting on!

What is the best sport to bet on?

The best sport to bet on is the one you know best. Maximising knowledge in sports betting is key, so stuck to the games, players and tournaments you know most intricately.

Which sport bet has the best chance of winning?

The sport bet you’re most likely to win is the one you’ve done most research on. Maximise your chances of nailing profit by betting on sports you’re familiar with, and know something about. If you’re a football fan, there’s no point risking your funds wagering on curling.

Can I get help with sports betting?

Yes! Leo Vegas has multiple ways to get in touch if you need help. You can live chat, contact us, seek support from our recommended services and read about ways to limit your play in our Help Centre.