Spread Betting – Your Handy and Comprehensive Guide

One of the most complex areas of gambling is known as spread betting. This is a system that should only be carried out by experienced bettors that have a complete understanding of how it all works.

In this guide, we will cover the question of what is spread betting and try to provide a comprehensive list of pros and cons to the practice. As we ask how does spread betting work, it can be both lucrative and volatile, so please read through this thoroughly.

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Spread Betting Explained and Its Many Uses

Patent Bet explained

This is very different from conventional gambling, and the simple concept of win or lose is expanded. With a traditional bet on a single sporting outcome, a bettor may stake £10.00 and they know that this is the limit to their exposure. With spread betting sports, the UK and other sportsbooks could multiply that loss several times over.

Similarly, if we take that £10.00 bet and say that it’s been placed at odds of 2/1, the punter knows how much they stand to win. In this example, the potential return is £20.00 plus that initial £10.00 stake. Once again, with sports spread betting, that return can be multiplied.

Bear in mind any spread betting tax that might apply to your region.

The basic premise of this form of betting is to win or lose based on the accuracy of the wager, and it’s best explained by listing some examples.

All spread betting companies will publish certain markets that are similar to those found in traditional sports betting. So, for our first example, we’re going to look at total goals in a football match. Barcelona plays with Real Madrid, and the bettor decides that they want to enter the total goals spread.

The spread betting operator feels that the probability is for four goals to come in at the end of 90 minutes so, they set the spread at 3. The bettor then decides that they want to go Over that line, and they want to set a unit stake of £10.00.

Certain terminology is attached to spread betting so, by going Above the 3 line, the bettor is looking to ‘buy’. If they were going Under the line, they would ‘sell’.

As we now know from the basic spread betting meaning, this isn’t a simple case of win or lose. The bettor’s profits or losses will depend on the exact amount of goals that come in during the match.

Let’s say that the game finishes as a 3-3 draw: There have been six goals in the match and the spread bet has won. The £10.00 stake is a unit, and the win has exceeded the spread line by three goals.

Therefore, the return, in this case, is 3x £10 = £30.00

If, however, the game had finished with a scoreline of 1-0 to either team, the bet loses. There has only been one goal which is two points below the line. In this case, the bet has lost by two units, so if we use our simple spread betting calculator, we get the following equation:

Unit Stake of £10.00. Bet loses by two units, so the total loss is £20.00

A total goals equation is one of the most common examples of football spread betting. The exposure is lower and the wins and losses are unlikely to be too high in either case. However, spread betting can get far more volatile, and this is underlined by using other examples.

The best spread betting platform will have lots of options for their customers. So, for example, customers could bet on the number of goals that a player may score in a season. Here, the potential for high wins or losses is greater but, if we move into other sports, the figures can climb even further.

Spread betting companies may quote markets for total runs in a cricket match or the number of points that a specified driver may score in a formula one season. In both of these cases, there can be hundreds of points or runs involved. Bettors are interested because the returns can be very high but remember that the losses can quickly wipe out a bankroll.

For those reasons, anyone looking to get involved should carefully consider their betting strategies. All of the usual research into form and head to head results can be analysed, but this goes much further. This form of betting often relates to total goals, points, runs etc., so be certain to access statistics that specifically relate to goal scoring, run scoring and so on.

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How Do I Place This Kind of Bet?

Spread Betting explained

The act of placing a bet with a spread betting UK company or any operator across the world is a relatively straightforward one. There are similarities with traditional sports betting, and we start with a website that provides easy to follow links to all of the available sports.

Next, we find an event and, for this example, we’ll use that total goals bet. Find a match, find the spread and decide whether you want to buy or sell.

Your bet slip will now open: You now have to decide on your unit stake, so type the figure into the box and hit the confirm or place bet button.

All spread betting companies will work a little differently, but they are all likely to follow this formula very closely.

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Can I Use Spread Betting with a Common Formula or Other System?

The short answer to this is no: In other areas of this website, we have listed a number of common formulas such as Martingale, Fibonacci, Paroli and Reverse Martingale. We go into much more detail in these sections, but all of the systems should be used for simple bets.

A Martingale, for example, works best when we have a single bet at Even Money. Also, we need a single unit stake - let’s say £10.00 - rather than a unit which can be multiplied as it would for spread betting football or any other sport.

An important part of our spread betting tips is to outline that this is a complex practice and, as such, it really doesn’t work within one of these formula scenarios.

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