Home/Online Sports Betting/Sports betting games, all the different types
Limited by bookmakers

Sports betting isn’t a new phenomenon, its origins can be found many centuries ago. Nowadays, there are many sports betting types, which shouldn’t come as a surprise when we consider that sports in general are very ancient too.

Sports betting combines the joy of watching sports in general with the thrill of betting and the chance to win a big amount of money. The possibility to bet on a match one is watching is like an extra layer of excitement, an extra dimension to an already pleasurable activity. That’s why sports and betting go hand in hand for a long time.

sports betting types

History of sports betting

Sports have been associated with betting for as long as sports exist. The activity of betting became increasingly popular when the Greeks introduced the world to the Olympics. In the ages that followed, the betting industry continued to grow. Sports betting really came to the attention of the general public when horse racing games were organized in England, specifically designed for punters.

History of sports betting

The current sports betting market

Nowadays, you can not only bet on horse racing, but on about every sport you could possibly think of. The rise of the internet and thus the online sports betting market has further stimulated the growth. The sports betting market has become big business and generates huge profits for bookmakers. It occupies the largest market share in the overall gambling market, accounting for approximately 40% of the gambling revenues generated across the globe.

Horse race betting

One of the major causes of the big rise of the betting industry was and still is horse race betting.

Horse race betting

Horse racing still has a large share in the betting industry and is one of the most popular sports betting types, especially in the UK. Horse racing is an equestrian performance sport, typically involving two or more horses with their jockeys. Horse racing betting’s primary objective is to predict which of the horses is the fastest over a certain distance. There are different bet types that a player can bet on.

Betting to win

This is a straight forward bet on your chosen horse to win the race outright.

Betting each way

Each way betting can be used as a form of insurance, should the chosen horse narrowly fail to win. The place part of the bet effectively increases the chance of making a return, even if it’s not the full amount a win would have brought.

An each way bet is a bet made up of two parts: a win bet and a place bet. Two bets of equal amounts are made; the first on a selection (horse) to win and the second on the same selection to place. The ‘win’ means that the horse finishes the race first. The ‘place’ means that it finishes in any of the top positions. The exact number of positions paid out on a place bet varies from bookmaker to bookmaker, but it’s usually the first 4 or 5.

Place only betting

A bet type with less risk would be the place only betting type. The term is used to describe a scenario in which the horse is bet upon to finish in the top two or three, rather than whether or not it will win the race outright.

Betting on Football (Soccer)

Besides horse race, football is one of the most popular sports when it comes to betting, especially in Europe. The worldwide game of football offers hundreds of matches to bet on every week, and countless available markets for each match. In terms of bet volume, soccer is the biggest sport at Pinnacle Sports, the most efficient bookmaker in the world.

Sports betting types, soccer

In a soccer match, two teams of 11 players compete against each other. According to the FIFA, a match takes place on a 45-90m x 90-120m pitch and lasts 90 minutes (two 45-minute halves) unless the competition format requires extra-time (two 15-minute halves) and/or penalties to decide the match. The aim of soccer is simple: score more goals than your opponent to win the match. In terms of betting, however, there are various markets to look at and different outcomes to bet on that aren’t just decided by the result of the match.

Betting on American Football

American football is also a very popular sports betting type. It is played by two teams, each consisting of 11 players playing on a rectangular field with goalposts at each end. The offense, which is the team controlling the oval-shaped football, attempts to advance down the field by running with or passing the ball. The defence, which is the team not in control of the ball, aims to stop the offense’s advance and take control of the ball themself.

Sports betting types, american football

The offense must advance at least 10 yards in four downs; otherwise, they turn over the football to the defence. If the offense succeeds in advancing 10 yards or more, they are given a new set of four downs. Points are primarily scored by advancing the ball into the opposing team’s end zone for a touchdown, or by kicking the ball through the opponent’s goalposts for a field goal. The team with the most points at the end of the game, wins.

Betting on Baseball

A standard baseball game comprises of two teams each consisting of 9 players. The teams take it in turns to bat and field for nine innings. Each inning consists of three ‘outs’ for each team and attempt to score the most runs by circling the four bases on the field.

Baseball is often said to be especially suited for sharp bettors. With thousands of yearly fixtures creating a large sample size to apply an analytical approach, which from a betting perspective offers a viable opportunity to make a profit.

Betting on Basketball

Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of 5 players on either side of a rectangular court have in play the primary objective to shoot a basketball through the defender’s hoop, while preventing the opposing team from shooting through their own hoop.

Basketball is renowned for being one of the most fast paced professional team sports. An end-to-end style of play and high scoring games make basketball exciting for both fans and bettors.

Betting on basketball

Betting on Tennis

Tennis is a racket sport that can be played individually against a single opponent (singles) or between two teams of two players each (doubles). The object of the game is to manoeuver the ball in such a way that the opponent is not able to play a valid return. The player who is unable to return the ball will not gain a point, while the opposite player will. A tennis match is composed of points, games, and sets.

Bettin on tennis

Along with football, American football, baseball and basketball, tennis is one of the most popular sports betting types in terms of betting volume.

A set consists of a number of games (a minimum of 6), each of which consists of points. A set is won by the first player or team to win 6 games, with a margin of at least 2 games over the other player or team. There is usually a tie-break if the set is tied at six games per player. A match is won when a player or a team wins the majority of prescribed sets.

Sport betting markets

With regard to the sports mentioned above,  the most common betting types are match result (1×2), over/under and Asian handicap.

Match result (1×2)

Match result is probably the best known betting option. Also known as 1X2, betting on a match result is when you make a straight bet on the outcome of a game and either bet on a home win (1), a draw (X) or an away win (2) over regular time (including injury time, but not extra time).


With this type of bet, you can bet on whether there will be more (over) or less (under) goals in the game above or beneath a certain amount that you select. The betting line that is mostly used is over/under 2.5 goals.

Profit from sports betting

Asian handicap

Asian handicap means an advantage for one of the teams that is given in advance and is applied to the end result of a match. There are many Asian handicap options, providing a bettor many possibilities to win a bet. Asian handicaps also may come in two values, one whole and one half number. Those two (for example -1.0, -1.5) will make a middle number (-1.25) when combined.

Can you become a profitable sports bettor?


To be able to beat the bookmakers and make a profit in the long run, one key precondition is required. Betting needs to be considered as a type of investment and must not be regarded as just a hobby.

See also:

Parlays, a bad idea

See also:

5 golden rules of sports betting