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Beginners Guide To Betting Markets

What are Betting Markets?

Betting markets are the available different places where you are able to place your bets on sporting events. They can be on a wide variety of different outcomes on matches, and over a large number of different time periods.

It is highly recommended that you know the betting rules and regulations for the markets that you’re placing your bets on, and they can different from sportsbook to sportsbook. On the biggest games in the biggest leagues in the most popular sports, a sportsbook can offer hundreds of different markets for players to bet on. For most markets, you can also choose a period of time that you want to be on, such as the full time, match including overtime, nth half, nth quarter, nth set, nth game, nth inning, nth map, nth frame and so on.

This guide will introduce you to some of the most popular betting markets available for punters to enjoy and take advantage of.


In this market type, you’re betting on the result of a game, but it is used in sports where draws are possible or likely, such as football or ice hockey.

There are 3 different selections to bet on:

  • 1 = the home team
  • X = the draw
  • 2 = the away team

Simply bet on what outcome you think will be happen in the time period of the particular market you’re betting on. In football for example, you can commonly bet on the 1×2 market for full time or the first half. In ice hockey, you can usually bet on the 1×2 market for each of the 3 periods of play, or the match excluding overtime.

Moneyline / Head to Head

This is similar to the 1×2 market, but there are only 2 selections available, either team/player 1 or team/player 2. It’s used in sports where there needs to a winner, which is actually most sports, so it’s the main market available for sports such as basketball, baseball, tennis, volleyball or badminton to name but a few.

This kind of market type is actually available in sports that have draws, such as ice hockey or even football, and the normal rules of this market type is that if it does end in a draw and neither side ‘wins’ during the period you’re betting on, your bet will be ‘drawn’ so you can get your money. For this reason, it can also be known as a ‘Draw No Bet’ market.

Double Chance

This market type can be one that offers a little more ‘safety’ for players. In matches where the 1×2 market is available, this market type offers you some insurance by selecting two of the three options. Therefore, there are always 3 options available to bet on:

  • 1x = the home team OR the draw
  • x2 = the draw OR the away team
  • 12 = the home team OR the away team


In almost any sport or match, there will be a stronger side and a weaker side facing off. If the gulf between the two sides is big, then the odds that you get on the 1×2 might be very low, and you may not stand to make a huge amount of profit. This is where the handicap market comes in.

The premise of this market is to set a handicap or points line, and you can either bet on the favourites to overcome the handicap, or you can bet on the underdog to defend the handicap. There are actually two main types of handicap markets, the Asian Handicap and the European Handicap.

This market type is a hugely popular market type, but it can be a little daunting to understand, so we’re put together an in-depth guide to explain handicap further right here.


The “over unders” or OU market is, like the handicap market, a hugely popular one, mainly because of the simplicity behind it. It essentially involves the bookmaker or sportsbook setting a specific ‘line’ for an event, such as ‘goals’ or ‘corner kicks’, and players will choose whether there will be more than or fewer than that specific line.

For example, the line for a basketball match might be 200 or so points, and you can choose whether you think there will be more than that many points in the game or less than.

Though the idea behind the market is fairly simple, there are many intricacies and aspects to note when dealing with this market, so we have gone and made a specific guide here to explain them all.

Correct Score

In this market type, players will choose what they think the final score will be in a specific match or period. It normally applies to sports that are not overly high scoring, so you’re not likely to find the correct score market in a basketball match or a cricket match for example.

For a football match, there are a fairly wide variety of selections to bet on, but its also worth checking if there is an ‘other’ option with the bookmaker you are placing your bets with. If that selection doesn’t exist, for example, it is possible that you wont lose your bet if the actual score was something that was not available to bet on in the first place.

In other sports, the correct score market can be in the form of ‘sets’ like in tennis or volleyball.

Half Time/Full Time

In this market type, you need to select what you think will happen at half time (HT) and what the result will be at full time (FT). You need both of them to be correct for your bet to win. There are ordinarily 9 options to bet on:

  • HH: Home team winning at HT AND Home team winning at FT
  • HD: Home team winning at HT AND Draw at FT
  • HA: Home team winning at HT AND Away team winning at FT
  • DH: Draw at HT AND Home team winning at FT
  • DD: Draw at HT AND Draw at FT
  • DA: Draw at HT AND Away team winning at FT
  • AH: Away team winning at HT AND Home team winning at FT
  • AD: Away team winning at HT AND Draw at FT
  • AA: Away team winning at HT AND Away team winning at FT

There is even the opportunity to go one further as some bookmakers offer a market called ‘Half Time/Full Time Correct Score’, and this particular market type, you can select the correct score at the end of the first half and also at full time. The odds on this particular market are usually very high.

Clean Sheet

A ‘clean sheet’ in sport is when you stop the other team from scoring any points. It’s used most commonly in football, whilst in American sports, like baseball, its usually called a ‘Shut Out’.

The clean sheet market is usually a ‘Yes No’ selection for each team, meaning there are 4 options in this market:

  • Home Yes: The away team does not score any goals/points
  • Home No: The away team scores at least 1 goal/point
  • Away Yes: The home team does not score any goals/points
  • Away No: The home team scores at least 1 goal/point

Odd Even

This is a simple bet type, where you are betting on whether a certain score will be odd or even. 0 counts as even.

Winning Margin

In this market type, players are betting on more than ‘who will win’, and you need to estimate how much they will win by. In low scoring sports like football, its usually a bet on whether a team will win by 1 goal or 2 goals or 3 goals. For sports that are high scoring, they are usually broken up into ranges, such as ‘Team 1 to win by 1 to 4 points’ or ‘Team 2 to win by 10 to 13 points’.


These markets, available on football matches, allow for players to bet on players scoring goals within games, and there are actually a wide variety of different markets players can bet on here. With it being such an extensive betting market, we’ve made a guide covering this market right here.


Also known as accumulator bets, Parlay bets are a great way to multiply up your winnings if you have strong feelings across bets in different matches.

This kind of bet type allows you to combine different selections across different matches, and as long as all them actually win, you can stand to receive greater rewards. There are a ton of different types of Parlay bets, so we’ve put them all together in a separate guide that you can find here.


This market type has gained much popularity in recent years, where you are now able to bet on parlays, but within the same match. Usually available in the bigger matches, you can predict outcomes of the match, of the different halves, corner, booking or free kick related markets, player markets and not just limited to whether they will score, but even how they will score, such as with a header, or with a shot outside the box. Combining all of these can be great fun and can entice you to make multiple predictions in a game for potentially huge rewards.


Outright bets are usually limited to you predicting who is likely to win a tournament or entire league instead of you choosing a bet across an individual match between two teams. Examples include the market ‘Who will win the English Premier League’, or ‘Who will be the top scorer in the German Bundesliga’, or ‘Who will the Regular Season MVP in the NBA’, so essentially, there are a large number of options, and you select who you think will prevail.

If you’ve taken a peek at our Goalscorers market explanation, you may be familiar with ‘Each Way’ betting, and this comes into play for outright markets too. Its available sometimes, but not always, and by selecting the Each Way option, you are placing a second bet, the same value as the first bet, that they will finish in the top x places.

Usually in the market heading, you can see the terms of the Each Way bet. For example it may say

“Each Way 1/2 1-2” or “EW 1/5 1-2-3”

Essentially, the terms consist of two numbers. The first is a fraction, and here you can see what fraction of profit you would stand to receive from the ‘Each Way’ bet that you place. The second set of numbers show how many places will win.

Lets take the example ‘EW 1/2 1-2’:

This means that the each way portion of the bet will be 1/2 of the profit, and your bet will win if it finishes 1st or 2nd.

Lets say that we want to bet on a team at 15.0 (Dec) to win the World Cup, and these are the each way terms.

A $10 bet on this outright would yield RETURNS of $150 if it wins, and therefore a PROFIT of $140. So the each way portion of the bet would yield a PROFIT of $70 if it wins, which is RETURNS of $80, meaning the each way part is decimal odds of 8.0. If you place this bet each way, you’re effectively placing a $10 bet on the team to win at odds of 15.0, and another $10 bet on the team to finish 1st or 2nd at odds of 8.0. Let see what happens if the team wins the tournament, and also if the team finishes second in the tournament:

  • If the team finishes first, both portions of the bet win, meaning you will make an overall profit of $210.
  • If the team finishes second, the ‘Win’ part of the bet will lose, but you will win the each way portion of the bet, meaning you will make an overall profit of $60 still.
  • If the team does not finish in the top 2, then both bets will lose, so you will lose $20.
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