Want to know how to bet online but not sure where to start? You've come to the right place! Check out our detailed beginner's guide below for everything you need to know, from the different types of bets available to what promotions you can claim online.
Best USA Betting Sites in 2023
Guide To Betting
Placing bets online can be a lot of fun, but how exactly do you get things going? Take a look at the first three steps to betting which will guide you on your way:
- Make sure you choose a reputable betting site that holds the proper licensing and credentials, such as the operators we have listed above.
- Register by creating an account with your chosen bookmaker (see below for more details).
- You can now start placing bets online!
How To Choose a Betting Site
To ensure that you choose a trustworthy and reliable online bookmaker, check that the site in question fulfils all the below criteria.
#1 A Stellar Reputation
Reading online reviews from expert sources is a great way to find out about a specific bookmaker's reputation. Our reviews here at TPP serve as a valuable compass, guiding you only towards sites that have proven their credibility.
#2 Generous Bonuses and Promotions
Betting bonuses are the crown jewels among online bettors, offering the potential to enhance your bankroll or catapult your winnings significantly! A steady range of promotions also reflects the operator's commitment to keeping you satisfied and loyal as customer.
#3 Competitive Odds
The competitiveness of a bookmaker's odds should take center stage. Why? Because this translates into more bang for your buck and more lucrative rewards. Keep your eyes peeled in particular for Best Guaranteed Odds promotions, which ensures that you receive the best possible odds on your wagers, regardless of any fluctuations that may occur.
#4 Various Payment Methods
In recent years, bookmakers have continually expanded their range of accepted payment methods for deposits and withdrawals.
Most commonly, you will find credit/debit cards, e-wallets, prepaid cards, bank transfer, and crypto.
#5 A Wide Range of Sports
When you are searching for a bookmaker to place your first bet, you want to find a site that offers the sports that you are interested in.
Popular sports to place bets on include football, basketball, American football, horse racing, and boxing, to name just a few. However, you'll soon find out that not every bookmaker offers as wide a coverage as this, meaning that you should really have a look around the block first before finally making your pick.
#6 Efficient Customer Support
Every bettor – whether new or experience – needs to have reliable customer support at hand should they come across any issues or queries that need answering. You should be able to get in touch using one of the below:
- 24/7 Live chat
No Time? Check Out Our List of the Best US Betting Sites!
Our above recommendations were all shortlisted using the above six factors. To get started immediately, simply choose your favorite from our selection and bet away!
Registering at an Online Betting Site
If you are eligible for an account with a US betting site, the good news is that the registration process is very similar from bookmaker to bookmaker. All you need to do is complete the below steps.
- Fill Out the Registration Form
Here, you'll need to enter information such as:
- Your name
- Email address
- Postal address
- Date of birth
- Country of residence
Rest assured that any trustworthy bookmaker adheres to strict privacy regulations, meaning any personal information is kept secure and hidden.
- Verify Your Account
In order to sign into your account for the first time, you will need to verify your account via email.
- Make Your First Deposit
To begin placing bets or even to claim the bookmaker's welcome offer, you will need to fund your newly created account. There are some cases where bookmakers will provide a no deposit bonus to new customers, but these are quite rare.
- Start Placing Bets Online
Once you have registered and made a deposit, you are now ready to bet online on your favorite sports teams, athletes, and events!
You want to make sure that your chosen outcome shows up on your bet slip. It is important to know what the minimum stake is that you can place, which generally falls between $0.01 and $1.
The maximum stake will depend on the specific sport you are wagering on, the odds that you are backing, and the number of selections made.
Before you cash out your winnings, you will need to make sure your account has been verified. To ensure you can claim your winnings you need to ensure you have complied and sent over the relevant documents.
- How To Avoid Problems When Registering Your Account
Only sign up once – While signing up is generally quite simple, you can avoid further hassle later on by making sure you do not already have an account registered with the bookmaker. One account can be opened per household, and a welcome bonus can be claimed once.
Do not send incorrect information – If you submit false information, you will not be able to verify your account. Not only that, but double check your information before you submit it to ensure you haven’t made a mistake. For example, make sure your email address is correct before submitting your application. Otherwise you won’t receive the link to verify your account.
- Check Your Spam Folder
If you’ve gone through all the steps, but haven’t received a link to access your account, it may be waiting for you in your Spam/Junk folder.
Types of Bets
A big part of the fun of learning how to bet online is the fact that there are many different types of sports bets that you can place.
Some of the most popular types include:
Favorites v Underdogs
Deciding which team or athlete is the favorite and which one is the underdog is the first thing that online bookmakers do when putting together odds on an event.
The favorite, which is the team that is more likely to win, receives a minus sign next to its odds.
The underdog, which is the team expected to lose, receives a plus symbol.
Moneylines represent one of the most popular ways to bet on a favorite or an underdog. These bets required punters to just select the winner.
They use what is known as American odds in the calculation of a payout.
- An example of this is if you are betting on a -200 favorite. You will need to risk $200 for the opportunity to win $100. Conversely, if you bet $100 on a +200 underdog that wins, you will take home $200.
Spreads or point spreads are another popular way to bet on favorites and underdogs. In these bets, you are wagering on the margin of victory.
- If you are betting on a team that is a -4.5 favorite over their opponent, they will need to win by five or more points. Anyone placing a bet on the underdog would need them to lose by one to four points.
Another type of popular wager offered by top bookmakers is called an over/under bet. This involves the total number of points that are scored by both teams. You can wager on whether or not a match will go over the total or under it.
- If the over/under number for a match was 46, then you would need 47 points or more to win on the over and 45 points or less if you went with the under. If the final score is the exact number, then you will have your money refunded, as this is classified as a push.
Simply picking who you think will be the outright winner of a tournament is another one of the most popular betting markets offered by today's online sportsbooks. However, these bets are not available for single sporting events.
In handicap betting, a sportsbook gives one team or player a handicap or deficit that must be overcome. Your bet must take the handicap into account when choosing who will win.
Match winner is one of the most straightforward betting markets that are popular with today's sportsbooks. In these wagers, you are simply betting on who you think will be the winner of an individual match.
Correct Score Betting
With correct score betting, you predict the final score of an individual match. The betting odds for this market tend to be high, given the fact that they can be affected by many different variables.
The totals betting market involves placing a bet on the total number for a specific event. An example of this would be the total goals scored during a football match.
In an accumulator bet, you can stack up various betting markets from different matches/events together into one large wager.
- These bets do have greater risk due to the number of variables, but you do receive improved odds. Accumulator betting can result in a big profit from a small wager if you are successful.
- To learn more about different betting types, we also recommend checking out our articles on betting odds and betting terms which give an even bigger overview.
Opting to Use Promotions and Bonuses
When diving into the world of online betting, don't forget to explore the incredible array of promotions and bonuses awaiting you! These little gems have the power to supercharge your bankroll, injecting an extra dose of fun while doing so.
While most betting sites offer welcome bonuses for new customers, top bookmakers make money by ensuring that their existing customers remain loyal to their brand.
They do this through promotions like free bets, matched deposit offers, cashback bonuses, matched deposit offers, and enhanced odds. The latter are often released for major events, such as the Champions League or the Premier League.
VIP Loyalty Programmes
Good VIP programs often include exclusive offers, special bonuses, birthday bonuses, express payouts, and even a personal account manager.
Not all bookmakers offer a VIP program, however.
Which Are the Most Popular Sports To Bet on?
The most popular sports to bet on can vary according to where in the world you reside. Below are the most sought-after by among bettors from the US.
Horse racing betting is popular in the US and around the globe, encompassing a captivating range of options that include flat racing, harness racing, endurance racing, and steeple chasing.
To learn more, we recommend our complete horse racing guide for beginners.
For any specific bout of boxing, bookmakers will list the opposing fighters, as well as the winning odds for each.
Popular markets here include Fight Winner, round betting, Method of Victory, Over/Under rounds and whether or not the fight will go the distance.
One of the most popular sports to bet on, the National Football League represents the pinnacle of American Football. The three main markets here include Total Points, Moneyline wagers, and handicap betting.
The National Basketball Association is the top basketball league in the U.S. For more detail-oriented information about this topic, we recommend checking out our basketball betting guide!
There are plenty of great markets available for soccer betting fans who want to place wagers on teams from around the world. Popular markets include over/under goals, corner bets, total cards, correct scores, and final results.
Top 3 Betting Tips for Beginners
For newcomers, navigating the realm of betting can be a thrilling yet daunting experience. To help you avoid common betting mistakes and help you with bankroll management, we've shortlisted our top three tips for beginners below.
- Start off small – Until you gain more experience, it's best to start off with smaller stakes. We recommend checking out our luck vs. skill betting article to find out more about this topic.
- Place bets on sports you know well – It might seem obvious to most, but we'll say it anyway – stick to sports that you follow and are well-versed in. It is important to be able to accurately assess the playing style of individual players, athletes, and teams to find consistency in your wagering efforts.
- Spend time researching odds and statistics – While quite a few betting sites offer their own stats and breakdowns, it's best to do your own research before place any bets online. This can include looking at previous results, official rankings, injury reports, past tournament results, insights from sports pundits and match predictions, and so on.
Betting Online vs Betting in Shops
For years, the traditional avenue for placing sports bets resided within the walls of brick-and-mortar establishments. These options still enjoy popularity, but the rise of online gambling has added a new level of convenience for punters around the world. Given these points in mind, we will now take a look at the difference between placing bets online versus doing so in a betting shop.
Placing Sports Bets in Betting Shops
Visit the shop's counter and request a betting slip, which you'll then need to fill in with the details of your chosen bet and hand to the cashier for verification. Pay the required amount and keep the slip safe. If your best is successful, return with the slip to collect your winnings from the cashier.
Placing a Bet Online
After you have created your account and deposited some funds, select your desired market, set your stake, review the details, and confirm your bet. Wait for the outcome, and if you win, the winnings will be added to your account balance.
- With online bookmakers, you can enjoy the fun and excitement of sports betting from the comfort of your home. Thanks to many platforms now offering livestreaming, you can even watch the event you've bet on straight from the site itself! On top of all this, quite a few of the best operators around now offer their services through their own mobile betting apps, making things that much easier for those who enjoy betting on the move.
How To Bet Online FAQs
The best online betting sites include DrafKings, BetMGM, FanDuel, and Borgata Online.
The most commonly accepted payment methods at the world’s top online bookmakers include debit cards, credit cards, Skrill, PayPal, NETELLER, EntroPay, Payz, AstroPay, paysafecard, Google Pay, Bitcoin, and Wire Transfer. There are also other great credit card alternatives you can use to place online bets.
Betting odds are displayed in different ways, with fractions and decimals being the two most popular format across the rest of the world.
The American format displays odds denoted by a plus (+) or minus (-) sign, followed by a numerical value. The plus sign (+) indicates the potential profit on a $100 bet, while the minus sign (-) represents the amount you need to wager to win $100.
There are several factors used by sportsbooks to determine betting odds. These factors include home/away records, player/team forms, injuries, weather, past tournament results, head-to-head statistics, and the relative strength of a player/team. Betting favorites are generally assigned lower odds, while underdogs are given higher prices.
ThePuntersPage Final Say
Though it is true that the world of online betting can seem intimidating for many beginners, practice makes (almost) perfect, as with all things! While it is impossible to get every single bet right even for the most experienced bettors out there, the more you get used to doing your own research and how odds work, the greater your chances of success will be.
To get started, simply choose your bookmaker from our list of recommendations above!