How does football betting work? A complete guide for beginners

Discover how football betting works at Paddy Power | From sign-up and promotions to bet types and football odds

how does football betting work


Learning how football betting works shouldn’t be difficult. You don’t need reams of books or analysis to figure out the best bets for you, or how to place a bet. In our how to bet on football guide we showed you the basic markets available at Paddy Power, and offered some football bet tips. But if you’re coming to this sport for the first time then you might need a little more help.

We’ve therefore created this football betting guide for beginners, to take you through every step of the way. Football betting can be full of complicated jargon but don’t fear because Paddy is here to help!

7 steps to betting on football

football betting guide

Betting on football at a sportsbook like Paddy Power begins with signing up for an account. It’s this account that holds all your personal and payment details, and which can be linked to the Paddy Power app. Once you’re logged in and have funds in your account, you can bet on football by exploring Paddy’s sportsbook and finding the tournaments, games and odds available each day.

Here are the steps to betting on football:

  1. Sign up to Paddy Power: Start your football betting journey by visiting the Paddy Power website and clicking on the Join Now’ button. Follow the prompts to provide the necessary information including your name, email and preferred payment method. Don’t forget to set a unique password to protect your account.
  2. Verify Your Account: To ensure you’re a legitimate player and to comply with regulatory laws, Paddy Power might need to verify your account. Our verification process is usually done automatically but there may be instances where we need ID and other proof of identity from players.
  3. Click a Promotion: During your sign-up process you’ll be able to select a promotion you want to trigger. Do this and continue to follow the guidelines of the promotion to confirm the deal.
  4. Deposit Funds: Once your account is verified, deposit some funds to bet with. Navigate to your account dashboard, click on ‘Deposit’, and choose a method that suits you. Debit cards are by far the most common form of payment.
  5. Seek out the Football Odds: Now you’re signed up it’s time to look for football odds. Click on ‘Football’ in the sidebar of Paddy’s website, or tap ‘Football’ in the app.. You’ll find a comprehensive list of football matches taking place today, plus leagues, and tournaments worldwide that you can place bets on.
  6. Choose Your Bets: Find a market that suits you (see below for details on football markets) and click on the odds. You’ll see a bet slip pop up, which is where you’ll place your wager.
  7. Place Your Bet: Enter your stake in the bet slip and check the potential reward and risk from the wager. You’ll note the profit you will make if your bet wins, but it’s also worth double checking you’re happy with the size of your stake. Once you’re happy hit Place Bet to complete the process.

After that it’s time to sit back and enjoy the game. You’ll be paid your winnings back into your account if your wager wins, usually within minutes. You can always cash out if you prefer to cut your bet off early, and there’s always an opportunity to bet on the live odds and place further wagers as the game plays out.

Read more about opening an account at Paddy Power here!

Football betting promotions

Remember when betting on football to check out the latest Paddy Power promotions. These range from welcome offers to existing customer deals, as well as special promos on match day.

Football bet meanings

There are some core football bets and betting terms that all bettors should be aware of before engaging with this sport. Here they are:

  • Odds – This is the “price” of each bet and indicates the chances of a bet winning. The odds show you how much you can win if you wager a certain amount. Read our How Do Odds Work guide here for more info.
  • Market – You might hear people talking about betting markets. These are the outcomes that a sportsbook lays out for people to wager on. Below are some core football betting markets:
    • Match bet – A match bet is a wager on who you think will win a game, or if you think it will be a draw. The match bet often looks like this 1X2. You can bet on the home team (1), a draw (X) or the away team (2).
    • Double chance – A double chance is when you combined two match bets together, leaving you less chance of losing your wager. You can bet on Home win/Draw (1X), Draw/Away win (X2) or Home win/Away win (12).
    • Correct score – Bet on the correct score when the game ends after 90 minutes. The most common correct score bets are 1-0, 2-0 and 2-1.
    • First goalscorer – Bet on which player you think will score first in the game. All bets lose if the game finishes 0-0.
  • Acca – An acca stands for accumulator, and is when you bring together lots of individual bets into one big wager. Every leg of the acca must win in order for you to receive a big payout.
  • Cash out – Bettors can “cash out” their live bets midway though a game at a set price if they think their wager may not turn out to be a winner.

There are plenty of other bets available in the Paddy Power sportsbook, with more than 100 on offer for the biggest games in the Premier League, World Cup and Champions League. So be sure to check out the odds and head to the Paddy Power help pages if you’re unsure about a certain market.

How to find a football bet

Paddy Power football sportsbook

Finding a football bet that’s right for you isn’t difficult. Paddy Power’s sportsbook houses literally thousands of football bets at great odds. It is the odds that punters look for to help inform them of the best bet to make.

For example, you want to bet on a game between France and Italy. Select the ‘Football’ tab in the sportsbook and then scroll over to ‘Today’. You’ll find all upcoming matches, including France vs Italy. If you’re struggling to find the game, use the search bar.

Click on the game to open up all the odds. The match odds will be at the top, followed by a string of different markets. Click on each market to open the drop-down and assess the odds.

You want to keep it simple and fancy France to win but then see Italy’s odds are way out at 5/1, while France’s odds are 1/3. You decide it’s worth the risk of betting on Italy because their odds are higher than you expected.

Check out Paddy’s football tips every day of the year right here!

What is cash out?

Cash out is when a bettor ends their wager early, before a game has finished. It’s most commonly used in the match betting markets when the underdog a player has wagered on takes a surprise lead.

Here’s an example. Italy start a game against France as 5/1 outsiders. You bet £10 on them to win, and they go 2-0 up within the first 20 minutes. The odds plummet, and you decide to cash out and take some profit now. France end up coming back to win 4-2 but that doesn’t affect you because you took the money when it was smart to do so.

Are there football special bets?

Football betting fans know how to shop around for the best bets, which is why Paddy Power rewards all customers with a range of football specials. Here are some of the special bets available in Paddy’s sportsbook right now:

  • Power Prices – Get daily improved odds on matches throughout the year. Improved odds means you get more profit if your bet wins.
  • Bet Builders – Craft your own bets and go into minute detail on everything from goalscorers to corners
  • #WhatOddsPaddy – Ask Paddy for odds on totally random outcomes
  • Manager specials – Bet on who will take over as the next manager of England and Europe’s top clubs
  • Player transfers – Bet on players to move club in the summer and winter transfer windows

Check out Paddy’s football news for more special bets over the course of the season!

Football accumulators explained

Football accumulators are the best way of supercharging your odds from seemingly dead-cert bets. Accumulators are multi-leg wagers that are formed through a series of smaller individual bets. In football, a typical accumulator could look like this:

  1. Wolves to beat Aston Villa – 1.20
  2. Gillingham to beat Bradford – 1.70
  3. Gladbach to beat Mainz – 2.40
  4. Derby and Barnsley draw – 2.00

If you were to bet £10 on each of these games individually, and they all won, you’d earn £2, £7, £14 and £10 = £33 in profit respectively. You would also have had to risk £40. However, combine these four wagers into an acca and you’d win £87.92 off a £10 stake. That is the beauty of an accumulator.

Use the Paddy Power free bet calculator whenever you want to see how much you could win!

The latest football odds are on now


What do you think?