Beginner’s Guide to Gambling – Frequently Asked Questions
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If you’re new to betting then lucky you – you’ll have a full range of bookie free bets to go at. However, you may be a little unsure about how to bet or have a question regarding online gambling. Check out our FAQ below and feel free to Tweet us if there is anything we haven’t covered…
How do I deposit money to a bookmaker?
Most bookmakers offer a wide range of payment methods but debit card is probably the most common and effective. It is almost always free to make a deposit and other payment methods like Moneybookers, Neteller, Paypal, Western Union, bank transfer, credit card and cheque are also common.
How do I get my money back from a bookmaker?
Good question as you want those winnings back! Usually winnings are paid into your betting account and you can request a withdrawal back to your card, bank or other payment method. Most of the bookies offer very prompt payment and the money can be back in your account in a couple of days or less.
So how do I actually place the bet online?
If you’ve ever bought anything online or used internet banking, e-bay or i-tunes then you’ve probably done something a lot more complicated than placing a bet online. Read our How to Place a Bet article for more information but it really is very simple or check out our gambling glossary for any terms you see and aren’t sure about.
I don’t know about odds, how do I know how much I’ll win from my bet?
Most bookmakers in the UK use fractional odds usually expressed as something to one, for example, 5/1 (five to one). This means that for each one you bet you make a profit of five – so get five plus your one staked back. A lot of bookmakers allow you to switch to decimal odds, so 5/1 would be 6.0, meaning that if you bet one you get six back. Some bookmakers will show how much you stand to win when you enter the stake on the betting slip so you don’t need to work it out at all.
What’s the difference between gambling online or in a shop?
In a sense there is no difference but gambling online or via mobile has several advantages. First, you can do it from the comfort of your own home and you don’t have to fight your way to the counter past the seasoned old pros. Second, a bit like shopping around to get the best price, online you are able to choose from a number of bookmakers and pick the best odds. We always highlight these in our match previews and tipping articles so you won’t have to traipse from shop to shop or even from website to website to get the best value going. It’s also more secure as you don’t have to worry about collecting your winnings as they will be paid quickly and safely back to your card or bank.
Can I lose a lot of money?
With the bookies we feature on our site you can only bet with money you have deposited into your account so you won’t accidentally hold the zero key down and end up betting thousands! One of the oldest gambling pieces of advice and one we hold true is only to bet what you can afford to lose and if you only deposit a reasonable amount then you’re doubly safe.
I could bet on the wrong thing, couldn’t I?
Like anything online you have to be careful and check what you are doing but placing a bet online is just like buying a coat, paying a bill or booking a flight online. With the bet you will usually have one or two confirmation screens before the bet is placed so take your time and check your bet and everything will be fine.
Do I need to know a lot about sport or betting?
This depends what you want to achieve. If you want to be a pro gambler and quit the day job then yes, of course you do. However, if you just fancy a bet on X Factor, a white Christmas or the odd football match, horse race or big sporting event then why not have a bet as a bit of fun? You can always follow our regular betting tips if you want help picking what to bet on.
The bookmaker always wins, right?
This depends on your way of thinking. Betting can be something done once a year on the Grand National for a bit of fun, as a hobby or as a profession. Most people, most of the time, will lose, but all people, some of the time, will win, and some people will win lots of the time. With our tips and a little research, that could well be you!
Will I lose all my money?
We aim to provide top tips that will help you MAKE money but even if you just picked your horse or team totally at random, the way bookmaker odds work you would, on average, only lose around 20p for every £1 you bet and of course on some occasions you would win. This is by choosing your bets totally at random so with a little care and effort who knows what you could achieve?
Is my money safe with the bookmakers?
In a word, yes. All of the bookies we work with are highly respected companies that are very well run and long-established and in some cases award-winning. Ladbrokes dates back to 1886 and now has over 2000 shops on the high street, Betfair process more than five million transactions a day – more than all the European stock exchanges combined – and has won two Queen’s Awards, for innovation in 2003 and International Trade in 2008, and Bwin sponsored Real Madrid for EUR 20m a year out of their profits. To reiterate the point, your money is as safe with these companies as any other and in some cases much safer.
What if I forget my password?
Just like other online retailers accounts are ID and password-protected and fully secure. However, if you forget your password all bookmakers offer a safe way to retrieve these, using either security questions, an email address, or a combination of these.
Will I get junk email?
Like other reputable companies bookmakers will not sell your personal details to third parties and during the sign-up process will ask permission to contact you regarding special offers, free bets and promotions. They may ask what method you prefer – email, phone or post – and we normally find email is the best option so if they want to throw any free bets your way they can do. However, if you prefer not to receive promotional material then just select this option.
But what about fraud?
Again, we firmly believe that all the companies we work with are highly competent, professional and successful. They have advanced anti-fraud measures, hi-tech security systems, use excellent encryption methods for sensitive data and are fully compliant with the necessary regulations.
Who regulates the industry?
The Gambling Commission was set up in 2005 and regulates commercial gambling in the United Kingdom. IBAS (Independent Betting Adjudication Service) is also there to solve disputes between betting companies and their clients and is an impartial body that punters can turn to should disputes arise. The industry is also self-regulated by the power of reputation. As we have said, we firmly believe in all the bookmakers we work with but if we ever heard of any serious issues we would not hesitate to drop them. But we are confident this will not happen as we have used the featured bookmakers ourselves for many years without any problems. In this day and age, any company that was not secure, fair and professional would soon lose business as the internet makes “word of mouth” a global and instant phenomenon.
Might I get addicted?
People can get addicted to practically anything from drinking and drugs, to sex or stealing. Gambling can be addictive but the vast majority of the millions of people who gamble (Betfair alone has three million registered users) do so without any issues at all as a fun hobby. If you have any doubts about yourself or a friend or relative then more information on problem gambling can be found by clicking HERE.