How To Bet Online in USA – The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide for 2023

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Last Updated on: 20.04.2023

Our complete guide gives you all the information you need to place online bets on your favorite sports. We will help you to select the best online betting sites in the US with the best bonuses, as well as give a break-down of the different types of bets – this beginner’s guide has it all.

Guide To Betting

Placing bets online can be a lot of fun, but you might be unsure how to initially get going with an online bookmaker. Take a look at the first three steps to betting which will guide you on your way:

Step 1: Make sure you choose a reputable sportsbook to bet on your favorite teams, athletes and events. This guide will help you pick out the good and learn the bookmakers you should avoid..

Step 2: After this, you have to go through the signup process which will require you to provide some personal information such as your age, address, and phone number This can vary depending on the bookmaker. Once done, you will be asked to verify your identity – this may occur before or after you place your bets. Rest assured however your details are kept safe in line with igaming regulations.

Step 3: Once you have created an account, you are ready to start depositing, claiming bonuses and placing bets online.

How To Choose a Betting Site To Place My First Bet?

We have some helpful tips that will assist you in your goal of choosing a trusted and reputable bookmaker where you can place your first bet.

#1 Only Choose Trusted Websites

It is important to only consider trusted websites within the online gambling/sports betting industry when looking for a bookmaker. Reading online reviews is a great way to find out about a specific bookmaker's reputation as a betting site We have a thorough process so that we only provide you with the most trusted sites out there at any given time.

#2 Look for Bookmakers That Offer Great Bonuses and Promotions

Looking for sportsbooks that offer great bonuses and promotions. These are some of the most prized perks that punters look for when choosing a bookmaker .This is because they can help you to boost your bankroll. Plus, this is also an excellent sign that a bookmaker is serious about keeping their customers happy and loyal.

#3 Select a Bookmaker That Offers Competitive Odds

The competitiveness of a bookmaker's odds should be another factor at the forefront.Finding operators that offer the best guaranteed odds promotions is always recommended as better odds means your potential winnings are greater.

#4 Check the Available Payment Methods

In recent years, bookmakers have continually expanded the number of accepted payment methods that are available for you to deposit and withdraw your winnings.

Most commonly you will find credit/debit cards, e-wallets, prepaid cards, bank transfers and crypto.

When it comes to e-wallets, you may find one or more of the following offered: PayPal, ecoPayz, Skrill, EntroPay, NETELLER, AstroPay, paysafecard, and Google Pay.

#5 Look for a Bookmaker That Offers 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. But you might find that one bookmaker offers all of these sports, but another does not. So it’s important to have a look around and see what’s covered.

#6 Look for Bookmakers That Offer Great Customer Support Options

Look for sites that offer several customer support options. A few points that can show they have great customer support include one or more of the following:

  • Available phone support
  • Email support
  • 24/7 live chat support
  • Customer support provided in your preferred language

#7 Check Out Our List of the Best Betting Sites in the US for Beginners

Of course, our final suggestion for choosing a betting site to make your first bet is to check out our very own list of betting sites we consider to be the best for beginners.

Our promise t ThePuntersPage, is that we only recommend bookmakers that have a trusted reputation within the sports betting industry.

Best USA Betting Sites in 2023

Draftkings logo
  • Available in 17 states
  • Great range of betting activities
  • $200 free bet with a $5 deposit

Full T&Cs apply. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER

Betmgm logo
  • Available in 16 states & Washington DC
  • In-depth betting options & odds
  • Up to 27 different sports available (depending on state)

Full T&Cs apply. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER

Fanduel logo
  • Daily fantasy sports & horse betting market
  • Excellent user experience
  • Competitive odds & promotions

Full T&Cs apply. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER

Borgata logo
Borgata Online
  • Excellent sign-up bonus
  • Great betting options
  • Multi sports parley bet boost available

Full T&Cs apply. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER

Registering at an Online Betting Site

If you are eligible for an account with a US betting site, you can create an account with your preferred bookmaker. Signing up is very similar from bookmaker to bookmaker, so doing so will involve some if not all of these steps:

  • Fill Out the Registration Form

When you arrive at your chosen bookmaker's website, you need to click on their Sign Up button.

From there, you will have to provide registration information that generally includes the following:

  • Your name
  • Email address
  • Mailing address
  • Date of birth
  • Country of residence

You will need to fill in all the information requested. All of which will be kept safe by the bookmaker.

  • Verify Your Account

In order to sign into your account for the first time you will need to verify your email account. A link will be sent to click on and you will be prompted to sign in to your account.

  • Make Your First Deposit

After you have signed up for an account at a bookmaker, the next step in the process is to make your first deposit of funds.

You often must make an initial deposit to take advantage of a sportsbook's welcome offer. There are some cases where bookmakers will provide a no deposit bonus to new customers, but these are offered less frequently.

  • Start Placing Bets Online

Once you have registered and made a deposit, you are 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. This generally falls between $0.01 and $1.

The maximum stake will depend on the specific sport you are wagering on and will also depend on the specific odds that you are backing as well as the number of selections made.

  • Verify Your Account

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 common problems 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, 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 of bets include:

Favorites v Underdogs

Deciding which team or athlete is the favorite and which one is the underdog is the first thing that online sportsbooks 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 undergo. 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. Punters 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.

Outright Winner

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. 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

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.

Opting to Use Promotions and Bonuses

When placing bets online, it is important to remember the fact that there are some great promotions and bonuses that you can use to bolster your bankroll and add to the fun and excitement of wagering on sports.

There are some betting sites that offer great incentives for new customers, but they don't offer much for existing customers. The top online betting sites make sure that great promotions are available for both.

One of the ways that top bookmakers make money is by ensuring that their existing customers remain loyal to their brand by keeping them happy. Promotions and bonuses like free bets, matched deposit offers, cashback bonuses and matched deposit offers represent some of the ways to do that.

Another great thing to look for is enhanced odds. These often come out during 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 payment processing and features like a personal account manager.

Not all bookmakers offer a VIP programme however.

How To Bet on Sports Online?

Learning how to bet online sports can add another layer of enjoyment that you get from following your favorite sporting events, teams and athletes. The most popular sports to bet on in the US include football, horse racing, boxing, the NFL and the NBA.

Horse Racing

Placing bets online for horse racing is a popular option for punters in the US and around the globe. The most popular types include flat racing, harness racing, endurance racing and steeplechasing.

Placing bets on horse races is simple. You simply need to choose your favored horse from the race card and remember its name and number.

From there, you decide the amount you wish to stake, choose your bet type and place your bet with your preferred bookmaker. You can find out much more about placing bets on horse racing by checking out our horse racing guide for beginners.


For any specific bout, bookmakers will list the opposing fighters, as well as the odds of each of them winning the boxing matchup.

Popular boxing markets include fight winner, round betting, method of victory, over/under rounds and whether or not the fight will go the distance.


The National Football League represents the pinnacle of American Football. It is also one of the world’s most popular sports leagues to place online bets on. The three main types of bets that are popular with punters who like to wager on NFL games include total points, Moneyline and handicap betting.


Punters interested in making online bets also love placing wagers on the National Basketball Association. This 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 football betting fans who want to place wagers on teams from around the world. Popular markets for football include over/under goals, corner bets, total cards, correct scores and final results.

Tips To Follow in Your First Bet Online

We have some tips that beginners can follow that will help you to avoid common betting mistakes and help you with bankroll management.

  • 1
    Start off Small - Start out small when you first start placing bets online. As you get used to this type of wagering and your overall understanding of betting odds improves, you can start to place larger wagers if you wish to. We recommend checking out our luck vs. skill betting article to find out more about this topic.
  • 2
    Place Bets on Sports You Know Well - When first starting out with placing online bets on sports, it is a good idea to do so on 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.
  • 3
    Spend Time Researching Odds and Statistics - Doing your research is a key betting tip for beginners. It is true that betting sites offer their own breakdowns of statistics, but it is a good move to do your own research before you lay down a wager. This research can include looking at previous results, official rankings, injury reports, past tournament results, insights from sports pundits and match predictions, etc.

Betting Online vs. Betting in Shops and Casinos

Placing sports bets has traditionally been done in brick-and-mortar betting shops and casinos. 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 or gambling in a Casino

Placing Sports Bets in BettingShops

Betting in brick-and-mortar betting shops in the US is a popular option for many, as well as visiting a Casino. You can go into a betting shop and place your bets at the counter with a betting slip. The cashier at the betting shop will confirm the odds. If you make a successful bet, you return to the cashier with your winning betting slip.

Online Sportsbooks

Choosing to place a bet at an online bookmaker is the most convenient way to wager on your favorite sports.

There are plenty of advantages that these sites offer. As we have already touched upon, they include bonuses/promotions, VIP programs, live streaming and mobile betting apps.

  • With online bookmakers, you can enjoy the fun and excitement of sports betting from the comfort of your home. So once you have read our guide and chosen the one that best suites you, you’re all set.

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 those made with debit cards, credit cards, Skrill, PayPal, NETELLER, EntroPay, ecoPayz, 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 several different ways. This can include fractions and decimals. It can also include the American format.
The most popular betting markets include Match Winner, Outright Winner, Totals, Over/Under and Handicaps.
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. Underdogs are given higher prices.

ThePuntersPage Final Say

Though it is true that the world of online betting can seem intimidating for many beginners, the truth is that it is a matter of patience and practice while you learn the ins and outs of how to bet online.

Once you feel like you have a good handle on how to place online bets, simply choose your bookmaker from our list of recommendations above and have fun placing bets on your favorite sports.