Forms of betting


Betting has grown to become a universal language and has even grown globally to become a mainstay in some economies. Either for leisure, for the thrill it brings or for the common reason of making more profit, betting has become just about as common as your every-day activity. However, betting is a very broad sector with many forms and methods to go with.

As a bettor, you must understand that there are different kinds and methods that come with betting. Understanding the diversity that comes with all of this is the key to making bets that would likely yield profit.

For newbies, it may be a case of sticking to the fairly common bets like spread betting, moneyline, total over/under and the basic ones around. However, it is important to get a good grasp of the not so common betting types around. In the midst of some of these betting types, you could perhaps find something that works for you even better than the common ones.

It begs the question; are some particular type of bets more profitable than others? The answer is basically no. As earlier said, it all comes down to a perfect understanding of the various bet types to enable you pick what works best for you.

With all of the above in mind, the aim of this article is to give a clearer understanding on some of the betting types around. Indeed some might be more complex than others but we’ll do our best to bring it all down to a simple level of comprehension.

Fixed Odds Sports Betting

This is more or less the basic ‘traditional’ form of sports betting and also the one bettors are largely familiar with.  However, not every bettor might understand the term ‘fixed odds’. This simply means the bookmaker and participating bettor are in agreement with the odds before a bet is placed. Should that bet come through, the winnings are paid out at the rate of the agreed odds regardless of whether or not they have changed as at the time of winning.

As the name implies, fixed odds sports betting is rather straight to the point and pretty simple to understand. For example, one can place a bet on who will win a football game after 90 minutes of action. For a sport like tennis, the bet can be on which player would win a particular tournament.

fix odds exmaple

If you make the right selection regarding a single player or a team, your bet comes through and you get your winnings.

Fixed odds sports betting is rather broad and there is still more to it than the basic bits we’ve explained above. There are more complex type of bets or formats that come with this type of betting and it is surely one to consider either by a newbie in betting or by someone who has been on the scene for some time.

In Play/Live betting

Since the inception of live betting, it has grown to be largely popular among bettors such that every bookmaker now makes sure they have this option on their sportsbook. It is still relatively new but the patronage it has received already makes it seem like this kind of betting has been around for a while.

How does live betting work? Live betting simply means placing bets on games while they are already ongoing. Sometimes, making the usual picks before games start could be confusing and this could come as a breath of fresh air. It must be noted that the idea of live betting is only available ‘online’.

Live betting is now on offer by virtually all of the bookmakers around. The good thing is that it doesn’t apply to football alone but cuts across a large number of different sports. In live betting, you can choose from different types of wagers. It is also important to note that the odds changes as the game progress. One good side to live betting is that you can place your bet from a more informed perspective. If well understood, it could give you a better chance at winning.

inplay betting example
Sample of what live betting looks like under bookmaker Bet9ja.

With markets ranging from winner till end of game, next goal-scorer, over/under, next team to be booked and many more, live betting is one that equally leaves bettors spoilt for options. However, one must fully understand this type of betting before making it a habit. On paper, it might seem like it boasts more probability to win but the uncertainty that comes with it means it could be rather tricky as well.

Exchange betting

This is a new type of betting that has been introduced to the sports betting scene. It has also grown to be popular among bettors. It holds a striking similarity to traditional sports betting. In this type of betting, the odds are only set as at the time of placing your bet. The most important thing about this form of betting is the fact that it does not involve a bookmaker.  Simply put, all the bets are between bettors and you are more or less taking a punt with other players out there.

exchange betting exmaple

Spread betting

This kind of betting can often be confused with point spread betting. However, they are not the same. Point spread betting is technically not a form of bet but rather a specific wager that is brought into play during fixed odds betting.

As a type of betting, we mean spread betting to be a particular type of betting that differs from the usual fixed odds. Indeed, it can be rather complicating sometimes. For instance, odds are not relevant in this case. To go with, your wager price is not a fixed amount as well.

However, spread betting does hold some similarity to the over/under or totals betting. The latter simply means predicting whether or not a particular range will be higher or lower than the one set by the bookmaker. Let’s take a game of basketball for instance. The bookmaker might put the point total for SA Spurs vs La Lakers at 195.5 In this case, going with over means there must be at least 196 points. Going with under means the total points won’t exceed 195.

spread betting example

Fantasy Sports betting

In the actual sense, fantasy sports cannot exactly be described as a form of betting. This is because you don’t place bets on the final result of a game in any way. Your picks are solely based on individuals and the points they can gather. However, it has slowly been regarded as a type of betting and we have to go with that for sure.

Fantasy sports betting has been in existence for some time but was never as big as it has come to be today. Fantasy sports betting was something usually done in closed quarters or bars among few friends. How do they do it? They simply assign themselves a league format and the person with the most points come the end of the round/season takes home the price. It was mostly done with the view of winning a couple bucks or free beer for a while. In summary, it was mostly for leisure.

Thanks to technology, fantasy sports betting has grown to be a global sensation. In fact, it’s now as big as anything you can imagine. It has gone from just winning a few bucks to making a whole fortune. Even better is the fact that it can simply be done from your own house. We’ll be explaining further about the concept of fantasy sports betting, how it works and what you need to put in mind before delving into it.

Fantasy sports is simply a game where all partaking individuals are required to create their own team (virtual) based on real players from a particular sport. All of the participants are then left to compete against each other in different ways. There are points won for each round/match/game-week depending on the sport and the winner for that round/season is based on the person/persons with the highest number of points.

Fantasy sports does cut across many sports but the most popular include football, baseball, NFL and basketball.

Regardless of whichever sport comes into play, one must create a team of players and hope that they perform well in actual games with the hope of winning maximum points as possible.

However, you need to know that there are rules that apply to each sport and how the points are given.

For instance, baseball players will be given their points in a rather different way from football players. In baseball, points might be awarded for home runs while football might give points for goals scored, assists made or goalkeeper saves.

Regarding the rules for selecting players, there are some limitations such as numbers of players from a single team and also selecting players to play in different positions. One of the most popular forms of fantasy betting is the Fantasy Premier League, which is centered around the English top flight.

Fantasy betting example

Players are given a fixed budget to decide which players they want and they most make sure it fits into that budget. Once all of that is completed, one would now hope for the players selected to perform well.   

Pari-Mutuel Betting

Pari-Mutuel betting is perhaps one of the oldest forms of betting that has been around. In fact, it dates all the way back to the 19th century and was invented by Joseph Oller.

After feeling let-down by the margins offered by the bookmakers’ margins, Joseph was intent on finding how people can place their own wagers. The solution he came up with was pari-mutuel betting, which in turn is exclusive of a bookmaker.

The idea behind his proposed solution was rather simple. Pari-mutuel betting could sometimes get complicated in terms of calculations but it is generally straightforward. The idea is that everyone’s picks on a particular game/market will go into a single ‘pool’. After that event is completed, the bets are settled and the winnings are paid out of the pool. In this format, it is important to say that odds are not involved.

In realistic terms, not everyone would obviously place bet with the same amount and this would in turn translate to the winnings. For instance, someone who placed a stake with $60 would get three times more than someone who did so with $20.

pari-mutuel-betting example

E-Sports Betting

Over recent years, E-sports has grown to be widely accepted by bettors globally. They are not exactly traditional sports but are more or less centered around video games and ‘electronic’ sports. With the advent of technology, bettors can now wager on these type of sports and even hold competitions as well.

In actual fact, competitions for video games is something that has been happening since way back as the 1970s, however, it has taken a different shape much recently. Due to the introduction of the internet, the number of online games have exponentially increased and there is easier connection from gamers in all parts of the world. It is commonplace to see e-sports competitions nowadays and they are available for a diverse number of games.

More recently, these games are now being produced with professional gaming taken into consideration. Some even boast dedicated e-sports features as well. For instance, some games might center on a particular spectator view that gives observers the option to watch the game with an interactive interface to go with.

With the continued growth that e-sports has seen, player associations have started to follow suit with the aim of creating official events and rules in general that gamers can go with globally. Some of the most popular e-sports associations include the World e-sports Association (WESA), the International E-sports Federation and the Electronic Sports League (ESL).

esports-betting example

The common trend now is that most e-sports competitions now take place in the presence of a live audience. As expected, this would help to improve the acceptance of the sport as well as help attract a larger audience and more interested parties/sponsors as well.

To go with, prize money for e-sports competitions have grown to a respectable amount, giving e-sports more cadence as a professional sport on its own.

Some of the most popular e-sports games include League of Legends, Dota 2, Counter Strike, Overwatch, Starcraft and a whole lot more.


Which bet type is favorable for newbies?

For those new to betting, it would make for sense to stick to the less complex types of betting. With time and better understanding, one can then switch it up and move to others. For newbies, money line bets alongside overs/unders could be a good one to start with.

Are all of these bet types available on all sports?

No. Different bookmakers will offer different features on their sportsbook for sure. It would make sense for you to check if a particular bookmaker offer the bet type/option you are looking out for. It could also make sense to try out different bookmakers and stick with the one where you feel you have a more profitable chance at winning.

Which bet types have lesser chances of winning?

It all depends on your approach and how well you understand the various bet types. However, the likes of pleasers, teasers, parlays and permutation are notoriously known for their ‘risky’ nature in general.

Is e-sports betting profitable?

e-Sports can be profitable if you know well enough about the techniques/ approach while betting. It would help better if you have proper confidence about your prowess in a particular game. In general, it could be slightly more difficult to win from e-sports betting than normal traditional betting. You must also have a good bankroll to earn something decent out of e-sports.

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