In order to wager on racing or sports at a betting shop, all that’s necessary is to tell a ticket writer what event one wants to back and the amount of the bet. The writer will enter the information into a computer and print out a receipt (the ticket). It shows all of the specifics of the bet, including the odds and, quite often, the anticipated payout. It couldn’t be easier.
Of course, it is always a good idea to check the details printed on the ticket to make sure that they properly reflect the desired bet. Should a bettor have any questions, the ticket writer should be able to answer them right over the counter.
On the Internet, placing a wager with at an online sportsbook is almost as easy. However, because there is no human to interact with and enter the information that the computer requires, the bettor must do so instead. This requires filling out a “betting slip.”
The betting slip is typically located on the upper right side of the screen that displays the various markets available. Before any wagers are made, the slip may be “collapsed” so that all that is seen is the title “bet slip” or “betting ticket” and perhaps the words “There are currently no bets.” Procedures vary slightly from site to site, but most follow the same pattern as Sportsbook.com or bet365, which are cited in the examples below.
As the bettor finds markets on which to wager, he/she selects them by clicking on the corresponding box that appears next to the odds line. For example, two options appear below the market “Arsenal - West Bromwich - How many yellow cards will be awarded in the match?” One is “Over 3.5” and the other is “Under 3.5.” Clicking the box next to “Under 3.5” will select it at odds of 37/20.
As soon as the box is ticked, a counter at the bottom of the window indicates the number of picks made, in this case “1 Picks.” It is possible to continue making picks on the same page of markets, as many as one likes, before adding them to the betting slip. To deselect a ticked box, simply click it again.
Once the bettor is satisfied with the selections made, they can be added to the betting slip by clicking on a button marked “Add to Ticket” or “Create Coupon.” The betting slip will instantly expand to show the picks that have been made.
Next, the bettor must indicate how much to wager on each pick. Beneath each market that has been added to the betting slip, two fill-in boxes appear. On bet365, they are “Stake” and “To Win.” For Sportsbook.com, they are “Bet” and “To Win.”
For the Yellow Card market mentioned above, a bet of £5 can be made by typing “5” in the Bet box. The corresponding To Win box will automatically show the amount to be won at 37/20 odds, or £9.25. On the other hand, if the bettor’s objective is to win £5, typing “5” in the To Win box will automatically show the amount to be bet at 37/20 odds, or £2.70.
At the very bottom of the betting slip, a running total of all wagers will appear, along with a calculation of the total potential winnings. The bettor can continue to go through the web site, adding markets or removing them, until satisfied with the combination of bets to be placed.
Note that nothing is wagered or deducted from the bettor’s financial account until it has been finalised on the betting slip. Changes are always possible prior to confirmation of the bet, which is effected by clicking the “Place Bet” button in the case of bet365.com or ticking the “Confirm” box and clicking on “Submit” in the case of Sportsbook.com.
These examples are for “standard” wagers. On many web sites, it is also possible to combine wagers in an accumulator or parlay card by using a pull-down menu on the betting slip. bet365, for instance, allows If Bets, Reverse If Bets and Teasers on its pull-down menu, as well as Bankers betting, plus a Multiple Bet option for horseracing to select doubles, trebles and trixies in addition to singles.
If in doubt about any aspect of the betting slip, be sure to check the web site’s “Help” section or look for a tutorial on “How to Place a Wager.” Online bookmakers attempt to make their betting slips easy to use. It’s just a matter of familiarising oneself with the nuances of the site’s particular format and options.