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The Different Types of Football Bets Explained

As you probably already know, online football betting has come a long way since the 1960s. Back then, the only types of bets that were allowed by law were pool bets and a very limited selection of singles. Nowadays, the betting opportunities available online can be described as staggering.

There are so many different types of bets nowadays that learning what each of them means and knowing how and when to use them to your advantage is a bit of a daunting task. Luckily for you, we’ve gone ahead and compiled this definitions page where you’ll find all the most important betting terms explained in full.

the handicap, first goalscorer, accumulator, both Ttams to score and win/draw/win are just a few of the different bet types that will be explained on this page

As well as providing simple and concise definitions of the most common types of bets, we’ll also be explaining the benefits of outright betting. With such a big emphasis placed on in-play and 90-minute betting these days, people often forget that outright betting is a very valuable type of bet that can produce huge returns.

Just to make sure that you don’t miss out on the chance to benefit from what is probably the most straightforward, yet worthwhile bet types there is, we’ll be providing an overview of outright/ante-post betting, as well as some tips on which bookies offer the best markets in terms of odds and variety.

Betting Terms Explained

In the section below you’ll see that we’ve grouped together all of the most common types of bets you find at all the top-rated betting sites. Keep scrolling down to the sections below where you can find out how to use the both-teams-to-score strategy, and learn which bookmaker provides the best selection of specials bets.

We also bring into focus where you can see the handicap bet type and Asian handicap. If you are not hesitant about using intricate wagering systems, you will surely pick up practical knowledge. From a hands-on perspective, you are better off trying the following bet types for yourself and drawing your own conclusions.


Here is the bread and butter of football betting: The Win/Draw/Win bet. This is where you simply wager on the final outcome of a fixture. The first win corresponds to a home team victory, the second to a draw, and the third to an away team win.

Draw No Bet

A Draw no bet simply means that if the match ends in a draw your stake is returned. So say for instance you bet on a team to win a game but you also think that it’s possible for the match to end in a draw. This is the perfect case scenario for a Draw no Bet

If you were to place this kind of wager, then you would get a return if your team wins. However, if they draw then you would have your stake returned in full. If they were to lose then the bet would also lose. Expect lower odds prices here.

Both Teams to Score

A Both Teams to Score bet (sometimes abbreviated to BTTS) does what it says; you place such a wager if you think both teams are likely to hit the back of the net. If both teams end up scoring, then your bet is a winner. You can also bet against both teams scoring.

51.84% of games in the 2015-2016 Premier League season prodcued games where both teams scored.

Both Teams to Score + Win

This is a slight variation of the standard BTTS bet type. You still select whether you think both teams will score or not, however, you also combine it with whether you think a team will win as well. Both this and the Both Teams to Score are hugely popular.

Those are common ways for bettors to wagers and to grow their bankroll. The exciting part is that the bet is almost always alive till the last minute. By design, this is a wager capable of winning you good sums of money as it is much harder to nail.

Example: This bet is very popular nowadays and people often use them in doubles or triples, to get huge big multipliers. It’s a great way to get value from big teams who are favourites to win, as it is essentially comnbining two bet types in one.

Strategy: This bet is very popular nowadays and people often use them in doubles or triples, to get huge accumulated odds. It’s a great way to get value from big teams who are favourites to win, as it is essentially comnbining two bet types in one.

Correct Score

This kind of bet requires guessing the exact final score of a fixture. It’s a bet type that normally brings good value as guessing the correct final score of a fixture is particularly difficult. Correct score markets are a popular choice for in-play bets as the game is broken down into time periods.

Many bookmakers will allow choosing the correct score every 15 minutes, which is of course much easier than the whole 90. The odds, however, are readjusted as time passes by so as to reflect the course the game has taken. If you feel confident, you could wager pre-match for better odds.

Double Chance

A Double Chance is a slight variation of a Win/Draw/Win bet. Instead of just covering one outcome – a win, a loss, or a draw – the double chance bet allows you to combine two outcomes in a single wager. The only outcome which results in a lost bet is a loss.

Example: Double chance does what the name implies and gives you two chances (2 outcomes) to win. You’ll have three options; home win and draw, away win and draw or home win and away win. So, let’s say a football match finished 2-1 to the home team. In this case, double chance bets on a home win and draw or home win and away win would win the bet. Away win and draw would lose, since neither of these outcomes occurred, since the home team won.

Strategy: This bet works well when  you fancy a long shot to get something from a match. Let’s say you really think Sunderland will be able to get something from a game against Man City. A win is a huge longshot but you can get paid even if they snatch a draw.

Accumulator Bets

Accumulators are the most common football bet there is. It’s a single bet that combines at least four different selections. In order for the bet to the payout, the final result of each selection has to be correct – if just one result isn’t as you predicted, then the stake is lost.

Many football fans tend to go for accumulators because of the potential for an outstanding value. It is true that with the odds prices of all the selections being combined the chances of winning are slightly lower, however, if all the results do come through then the winnings can be huge.

For some extra information about football value betting strategies and how to work out the value of a particular bet, be sure to head over to our strategy page. The page is planned as a guide to the most used wagering systems, and we think it’s very good at that.

Goals Markets

Goals Markets - More Goals = More £££ This is what football is really all about. The fans enjoy seeing a good hard challenge, a brilliant piece of skill, or even a wondrous through-ball, but what it really comes down to is goals. Goals are the one thing that sends the excitement levels through the roof.

Goals betting markets allow you to wager on variables such as who will score, who will score first, and whether or not both teams will manage to score. These types of bets often come in handy in fixtures where there’s a prolific goal scorer who’s been in fine form, or a team playing offensively.

First Goal Scorer

A First Goalscorer bet is when you guess which player will hit the back of the net first. If any other player beats your selection to the task, then your bet is a failure.

Anytime Goal Scorer

This is when you bet on a specific player to score a goal at some point in the fixture. When, or even how they score is not important here, just as long as your selection manages to beat the keeper within 90 mins then your bet will be successful.

Example: An example of this would be if you placed a bet on Lionel Messi to score for Barcelona in an upcoming Champion’s League fixture against Manchester City.

Strategy: A good time to opt for this bet type is in a fixture which features a prolific goal scorer or player that’s in fine goal scoring form. On its own the bet may not bring much value, however if you were to combine it with a Win/Draw/Win market you’d get a better price.

Team to Score Yes/No

Here is when you bet on whether you think a team will score a goal or not. Say for instance Chelsea is playing West Ham, you could place a bet on Chelsea to win, and West Ham to score. As long as Chelsea scores more goals than West Ham then your bet pays.

However, you can also place a bet for Chelsea to win, and West Ham not to score. This would mean that Chelsea would need to win and keep a clean sheet in order for your bet to be successful. There is much flexibility in this wager’s conditions and the payouts are good.


This is when you wager on who will be the first player to score as well as on the exact final result. Expect big returns here if your bet is successful. However, don’t stake big wagers as the statistical chances of success are slim.

Handicap Betting

A handicap bet is an extremely popular bet type in points-based sports such as football. It involves one team starting the game with more or fewer points to try to even out the advantage that one team has over the other and therefore make the event more exciting from a punter’s perspective.

More often than not it is used to get better value from a bookmaker’s odds prices in fixtures where one team is the clear favourite. There are different forms of handicap bets, so it’s important that you take the time to familiarize yourself with the different types and understand the odds.

The Handicap

Example: You can see the image below for a great rundown of what results would win with what handicap. Essentially, you are giving a team a handicap in the game and removing the draw as an outcome. So if you give Manchester City a -1 handicap to beat Sunderland, then Man City would have to win by 2 goals or more for the bet to win.

Strategy: This is a great tactic to get better odds for a strong team. Bayern Munich wins most of their games and consequently, you will not get good odds for them to win. But if you give them a 1 or 2 goal handicap, then you might get some value out of betting on them. This is often used for strong teams who win by big margins. Or alternatively, it can be used for underdogs who you think can often battle and get a draw, by giving them a +1 handicap.

Asian Handicap

Asian Handicap bets work in pretty much the same way as a normal handicap. The only difference here is that if your selection fails to overcome the handicap and the game ends in a draw, your stake is returned.

explaining all the different types of handicap bets

Alternative Asian Handicap

Alternative Asian Handicaps are all the other results that isn’t covered by a normal handicap or Asian handicap bet. See the picture above for more info.


There are lots of different kinds of stats that fall under this category, especially when it comes to online football. An over/under bet type could apply to the number of goals, the number of cards, corners, or even the number of fouls. You are betting whether a statistic will be over or under a given figure.

There are too many variables to consider this as just one bet type, so we’ve gone over a few of the most common Over/Under markets in the section below. Keep reading to get the answer to the commonly asked question “what is 2.5 goals”, find out how to master the over/under bet types.


With over and under goals bet types you’re wagering on how many goals you think there will be in a game. These are normally broken down into 0.5, 1.5, 2.5, 3.5, 4.3, and 5.5 margins. You can bet on whether you think the game will produce over or under 0.5 goals, over or under 2.5, 3.5, and so on and so on.

Example: Simply put, this is betting on whether you think the number of goals scored in a match will be over or under a .5 margin. So If you bet on +1.5 goals, then you would need at least 2 goals to be scored for the bet to win. If you bet on -1.5 goals, then anything over 1 goal and the bet would lose.

Strategy: This is a very popular bet and there’s a few ways to approach it. As with most things, check the form and past results. Two high-scoring teams or teams with poor defences often take part in high-scoring games. Also, derby matches can often see plenty of goals. Conversely, use your research to find games that could be low scoring.


Most bookmakers will also allow you to bet on how many cards you think a game will produce. The margins will vary from bookmaker to bookmaker, however, an example would be where you bet on between 0-20 bookings, 21-40, or 41+.


Many bookmakers will give you the chance to wager on how many corners you think there will be in a game. Again the different margins will vary depending on the bookmaker, however, a common split could be 0-9 corners, 10-12, and 13+.


This is simply when you wager on whether the total number of goals produced in a game will be an odd or an even number.


Specials are all the weird and wonderful types of bets offered by the bookmaker. They are considered as separate to the normal types of bets you often find, and normally include markets such as the time of the first goal by time interval, the time of the last goal, anytime own goals, clean sheets, or penalties.

You’ll find that different operators will have their own selection of specials bet types so it’s well worth having a good look around to see what’s on offer. Either way, they allow you to bet on some of the more obscure variables that football matches can often produce.

the most specials at Paddy Power
  • Loads of Match Specials
  • Outright Specials
  • Minute Markets
EssaIBASLicensed by: Government of Gibraltar

The operator with the best specials wagers is Paddy Power. Not only do they have more specials than any of the other operators we’ve listed in our top 10, but they also offer a nice, varied selection that has been specially tailored to fit the specific fixture.


Depending on the bookmaker, special penalties markets can differ. Whereas some may allow you to bet on whether or not the game will produce a penalty, others will allow you to bet on which team you think it will be to and whether or not it will be converted.

Winning Margin

Winning margin markets are pretty straightforward. Here you only have to guess which team will win and guess the exact winning margin.

Minute Markets

Minute Markets allow you to wager on events such as the number of goals, the number of corners, fouls, or sometimes even shots that will take place within a given time period. These time periods vary from bookmaker to bookmaker, however, they will normally be set at either 10 or 15-minute intervals.

Example: Minute markets give you the chance to make bets where the outcome is decided in a different timeframe to 90 minutes, usually 10, 20 or 30 minutes. There are many types of bets, such as will there be a penalty, a card, or you can even bet on the result during the time frame.

Strategy: It’s essential to be aware of what is happening to successfully bet on these markets. I would recommend watching a fixture and only betting in-play, so you can have a strong idea of what is likely to occur shortly, such as a goal or a red card.

Red Card Y/N

Here is where you’re able to wager on how many red cards you think a game will produce. This can be a particularly useful option in fierce derby games.

Clean Sheet Y/N

Clean sheets markets are when you can bet on either the home or away side to go the full 90 mins without conceding a goal.

Outright Betting

outright betting markets can bring great returns when placed early As mentioned earlier in the introduction, outright betting is one of the most straightforward bet types there are. In the past, an outright bet was when you simply wagered on the outcome of an entire league or tournament rather than on an individual fixture. These days you can wager on alternative markets.

Those include which players will get transferred at the end of the season, which managers will get the boot, and which sides you think will be relegated or promoted. Outright bets are normally placed before the season or competition starts, but they can also be placed while it’s already underway.

Outrights are well-known for their potential to produce big payouts and are a common choice for a significant number of UK punters. To find out which outright bet from the 2014-2015 season forced the bookmakers to empty their pockets and, head over to the best football betting sites page.

Tournament Winner

This is by far the most straightforward and most common outright bet type there is. A tournament winner bet type is where you wager on a team to win a tournament or competition.

Example: This one is straight forward as the name suggests. You are betting on an outright conclusion. So if you bet for Manchester City to win the Premier League, then they would have to win the league overall. The same goes for winning tournaments, such as the World Cup.

Strategy: Leicester’s winning campaign last season was a bit of an anomaly and usually the value is fairly low for these sorts of bets. Many like to combine them with winners of other leagues, for example, you could make a treble with the winner of the Premier League, Bundesliga and La Liga to try to squeeze out some extra value.

Promotion and Relegation

The clue is in the name of this one. Simply bet on which team(s) you think will be promoted or relegated at the end of the season. You can bet on a single or combine different teams that you think will be promoted or relegated as an accumulator.

Top Scorer

Again, this is as straightforward as it sounds. Simply choose which player you think will be the top scorer of the season and win the coveted golden boot. This can be done at the start of the season or during it, but of course, the odds for the likely winner will shrink throughout the season if they are near the top scorer list.

Sacked Manager

This one has become popular in recent years, with the regularity that managers are now sacked from their jobs in the top league, especially the Premier League. Most betting sites have this market, where you can bet on which manager will be sacked next from their job in the league.


This is another one that has grown in popularity. You can take it at face value. You simply bet on what transfers you think are going to happen. There are some great advantages to this bet with inside information since players are sometimes spotted at training grounds of other clubs, which fuels rumours.


So there you have it, all the most common types of bets and betting terms explained in full. As we mentioned earlier, online betting nowadays encompasses a whole lot more than simply wagering on the outcome of a given fixture or deciding who you think will end the season as champions.

There are a whole host of different options and variations which offer a number of good opportunities to pocket some extra cash. Understanding the different types of bets is one thing, actually learning how to use them properly however is a different skill altogether.

With this in mind, we’ve gone ahead and put together a beginner’s guide to betting on football that will get you well on your way to placing wagers with confidence and conviction. Head over and start putting your reading to the test.


If you have any questions about football leagues & tournaments, or anything else contained on this site, please feel free to email at info@bestbettingsites.com.

🏆 How to win big on football bets?

Accumulator bets are the answer if you are after big winnings. This wagering style enables you to combine more than one selection in a single betting slip. The odds prices of all selections are multiplied and their product is then multiplied by your stake. It's easy to get a big number as you can imagine.

💸 How to win money on football bets?

Handicap betting seems like the way to go for opportunistic punters. If you can identify the clear favourite in a fixture, then you can bet them from a position of disadvantage. Being handicapped, the favourite will have to win with a margin bigger than one goal.

🤔 How to win football bets every time?

It's a foregone conclusion that bets invariably involve risk, which leads to uncertainty about the outcome. If there is no surefire strategy, then what's the best course of action? Special bets, also known as 'prop bets' take things into an entirely different plane where you can lean on your knowledge of specific things about the sport.

⬆️ What is an Over/Under football bet?

The long and short of Over/Under bets is that instead of the winner, the value of a certain metric is speculated about. To be more specific, whether the value will be under or over a given number. With football, the metric is usually goals or cards.