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Online sports betting is so widespread these days that, if you’ve never tried it, chances are you at least know someone who did. According to a recent report, the online sports market is one of the most lucrative industries and, based on the current trends, it will reach $59.5 million by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 13.6%. Even though many expected the industry to take a hit after sports events were postponed for most of 2020, sports betting bounced back stronger than ever as soon as events resumed. Betting has been around since the dawn of time, and it won’t go away any time soon.

If you’ve never placed an online bet before, getting started may feel a bit confusing, considering that there are so many platforms and events to choose from. This guide will help you start off on the right foot so that you can have fun and make some profit while you’re at it.

Find a reliable operator

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The sports betting industry is increasingly competitive. In the countries where sports betting has been legalized, and there is a solid regulatory environment, you’ll have dozens of operators to choose from. However, that doesn’t mean that every bookmaker is good for you.

If you want to have a great time while betting online, you should carefully research online bookmakers and compare their pros and cons. Since you’ll be entrusting them with your money, you obviously want to go with a bookmaker that has a good reputation and is known for its excellent customer support, such as Betcris.

You should also check the terms and conditions for information about deposit and withdrawal fees and withdrawal and deposit methods. In general, these are good indicators of a bookmaker’s reliability. For example, if it takes forever for your earnings to be wired to your account and the betting operator takes out a hefty fee, you should look for other options. Lastly, you might want to check the live chat agents before creating an account. If they’re quick to reply to your messages and they don’t leave you on hold for minutes in a row, that’s a good sign.

Choose a sport you know well

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You can bet on the outcome of any event these days, from the Super Bowl and the Champions League final to horse races and swimming competitions. All of them have the potential to offer you high returns but before you get lost in betting odds and complicated graphs, ask yourself this question: what sport am I the most familiar with?

If you’re good at football, start with that. Don’t bet on the NBA final if you’ve never heard of the teams because this means you’re basing your entire strategy on luck. While sports can be unpredictable and you never know how the underdog turns a match around, betting is, first and foremost, a game of numbers. The better you know a team and its history, the likelier you are to anticipate the outcome, and the more you avoid emotional betting. If you ask experienced bettors how they got where they are now, they’ll tell you that you need discipline and education. It’s impossible to become a pro overnight, so allow yourself time for self-growth and education. Sports magazines are the best source of information, so you should always read them in the days leading up to the event.

When you’re starting out with online betting, you want to avoid bold moves as much as possible. Instead, stick with what you know. If you only follow a local soccer team, start by betting on their matches because those are the ones you know well. Then, as you gain more experience and get the hang of it, you can branch out into other sports and maximize your chances of winning by picking the best odds and reading betting predictions.

Manage your risk

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In online betting, high risk equals high reward. However, losses are also higher, and not everyone is on board with that. We’ve all read stories online about people who bet on the least possible outcome and won fix figures from it, but it’s important to keep in mind that these cases are extremely rare. More often than not, odds are the way they are for a reason, and the outcome turns out exactly as predicted.

At the beginning of your betting journey, it’s best to stick to small and safe bets. These are the ones that anyone could figure out and that don’t make incredible stories. But here’s the thing: in time, the winnings from these safe bets add up. Then, when you have enough funds, and you’re comfortable taking up a higher level of risk, you can place those uncommon, crazy bets.

You should also keep in mind that there are various types of bets, each associated with its own level of risk. The money line is the most basic and easiest type of bet, and it’s the one you should start with as a beginner. Alternatively, you can try live bets, which allow you to wager as the events unfold. Then, as you gain more experience, you can try high-risk, high-reward bets, such as parlays or accumulator bets. In this betting strategy, you combine more events on the same bet. If you’re right, and everything turns out how you predicted, you can expect huge profits, but if one single wager is wrong, you lose everything.

You should never place a bet if you’re not comfortable with the level of risk or if you cannot afford the loss. No matter what friends and experts say, if a bet doesn’t feel right, don’t place it.

It’s all about bonuses

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While some sports fans place bets for the excitement, others do it for financial gains. If you’re in the last category, then you should definitely choose a bookmarker that offers members sizable bonuses and promotions. For example, many operators offer welcome bonuses to attract new players, specials, money-back offers, and even free bets. Again, when comparing bets, you should always check the terms and conditions. If the offer seems too good to be true, it probably is.

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