How To Place a Bet Online

by Sports betting explained
Updated: 05/08/2022 10:56

For a lot of UK sports fans, placing a bet on the big game or the top race of the day is common.

But not everyone has experience betting online and might be unsure of what they need to do.

Our complete guide to how to place a bet online has all the information – read on for full details.

An Introduction to Online Betting in the UK

Online betting has long been a popular pastime in the UK, with a lot of sports fans enjoying a regular flutter on the action. Millions of people bet on sports, with the internet making it easy.

Prior to online betting, people had to go into betting shops in order to bet. But the rise of the internet duly led to the foundation of online betting sites, with countless options now available to sports fans in the UK who want to be able to place a wager via the internet.

Data published by the Gambling Commission has shown that online gambling sites are now the most popular way to bet in the UK, with mobile betting apps also has been rising at a rapid rate of late. The Gambling Commission found mobile phones are the dominant device for online gambling but four in ten online gamblers in the UK also use a laptop computer for their online betting.

New ways to gamble online continue to be developed too. Smart TV sets have this functionality and while only 3% of respondents to the study by the Gambling Commission said they have placed a bet online through a smart television, this could grow in the future as well.

Of course, one of the biggest drivers in online betting over the course of the past few years was the COVID-19 pandemic. As bricks and mortar betting shops had to close their doors due to the lockdown conditions, anyone who wanted to have a bet needed to use the internet instead.

Many high-street bookmakers did not return, with the internet now seen by many as the default option for having a bet on sporting action. But some people might not know how to go about it.

The Ultimate Guide to How To Place a Bet Online

There are a few different steps to go through when learning how to bet online, as follows:

  • Choosing a betting site
  • Registering for an account
  • Verifying an account
  • Placing a bet pre-match & in-play
  • Using sign-up offers

We will go through each step of the process in detail to show you how to place a bet online.

Choose a Betting Site

It might sound obvious, but it is not possible to place a bet online without first having an account with an online bookmaker. The first step to do is therefore to choose a UK online betting site.

Sports fans in this country have a huge amount of choice when it comes to online bookmakers and new bookies are being added to the list all the time as well, complicating matters further.

Reading reviews of online betting sites can be a good idea to get a sense of what they are like to use. Expert opinions and the views of customers themselves can all be taken into account.

Betting sites in the UK need to have a license from the Gambling Commission – which regulates the industry here – in order to legally operate, so this is something for people to look out for.

Areas such as safety and security, customer service, the range of sports and markets to bet on and whether the site offers a mobile betting app and live streaming are worth considering too.

Once a betting site has been chosen – it might be wise to look out for one that has a good sign-up offer on the table for new customers to claim – it is then time to register for a new account. The process should take a few minutes at the most to go through and is normally quite easy.

Registering for an Account

It should be a short and simple process to register for an account – here is what you must do:

  1. Find the ‘register’ or ‘join’ button, often green and usually in the top-right corner
  2. Tap through to the registration form and fill in the requested personal information
  3. If betting bonus codes are needed for a sign-up offer, type this in too
  4. Make sure information like the email address is entered correctly with no typos
  5. Create a unique username and password that will be easy enough to remember
  6. Accept the betting site’s terms and conditions, privacy policy and cookies policy
  7. Choose from the range of payment methods available and make the first deposit

Verifying Your Account

As part of the registration process, it is likely to be necessary to verify the new account too:

  1. Look out for an email or SMS in the inbox with the link included to verify the account
  2. Tap through to complete this part of the process and move on to the KYC checks
  3. Know Your Customer (KYC) checks involve uploading proof of ID to the betting site
  4. Take a clear photograph of the ID chosen – usually a passport or a driving license
  5. Upload the proof of ID to the betting site’s special KYC system or email them directly
  6. The KYC checks will usually be completed within a period of around 48 hours or so

Placing a Bet Pre-match and In-play

After registering for a new account and verifying it, it is time to place a bet on the big game.

  • Browse the sportsbook’s list of sports and pre-match markets to find a wager to choose
  • After picking out a selection, tap or click on the odds in order to add it to the betslip
  • If placing an accumulator-style bet, continue to add more selections to the betslip
  • Enter the desired stake, checking out the potential profit up for grabs with the bet
  • Make sure the stake size fits between the minimum and the maximum bet allowed
  • When satisfied with the stake and selection, tap on the confirm button to place the bet

Step-by-Step Guide for Placing a Bet In-play

  • Head to the in-play area and pick out a live event or a match to have a bet on
  • Check out the live data and statistics to see if they help to pick a winning wager
  • Scroll through the available markets to find a live in-play bet that catches the eye
  • Tap or click on the odds of the desired bet in order to add the wager to the betslip
  • Add the stake size and see the potential profit that could be up for grabs if it wins
  • Watch out for the odds changing at this point – users may need to re-confirm the price
  • When happy with the selection and stake, tap on the confirm button to place the bet

Using Sign-up Offers To Place a Bet Instead of Using Real Money

It is also possible to use sign-up offers to place a bet instead of using real money. Here’s how:

  • When joining a betting site for the first time, make sure to claim the welcome bonus
  • Make an initial deposit and meet any qualifying conditions to qualify for the deal
  • Check that the free bet or other betting bonus has been credited to the account
  • Follow the above steps to either place a pre-match bet or a live in-play wager
  • When adding the stake, look for the option to use the free bet to place the wager
  • Free bet stakes are not normally returned so will not be included in potential winnings
  • Tap the confirm button in order to confirm placing the bet with the sign-up offer deal

How To Place a Bet FAQs

How do you place a bet online?

Placing a bet online involves tapping or clicking on the desired selection having browsed the selection of sports and markets available on a betting site, and then entering the stake size for the wager. In order to complete the process of placing a bet online, the user then taps confirm.

Is online betting legal in the UK?
Can I bet with my phone?

Yes, betting via a mobile phone has become the most popular way for people to place a bet online in the UK, although Gambling Commission’s latest data shows laptops are still common.

Steven is the product manager on BettingLounge and is an experienced iGaming writer who has been working in the industry since 2018.

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