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There are hundreds of sports betting websites available today, which allow you to place your wagers online from the comfort of your own home. Most of the well-known sportsbooks and bookmakers operate sites, although many new names have entered the marketplace too. Using a betting site is one of the simplest ways to bet on sports, and it’s really easy to get started.

How do online betting sites work?

1. Open an account

The best betting sites will require you to open an account with them before you can start betting. To do this, simply visit the homepage of your chosen site and sign up. It’s worth bearing in mind that you will need to enter some personal details to complete the process, including your full name, address, date of birth and email address.

2. Deposit funds

Once you’ve done this, the next step is depositing funds. The best betting sites often offer free signup bonuses, so it’s worth checking this out first, but once you’ve used these you will need to add funds to your account to place any further bets. 

3. Start betting! 

After you’ve topped up your account, you can get started. Most sites will list the different sports on offer, and clicking on each one will bring up the available markets. The selections for each market will be displayed with their odds. 
 
Once you’ve chosen a market, it will be added to your betting slip. Here you will need to enter the amount you want to stake and confirm the bet. The number of funds wagered will be deducted from your account, and any successful bets will be paid out automatically.

Rules for placing an online bet 

When you place a bet online, there is no guarantee that you will win any money, but the experience can still be enjoyable if you are aware of the common rules. These include: 

  • A change in the venue or date of a game/match can void all bets placed on that event
  • Bets should be placed and accepted before an event starts  
  • Only one account per individual is allowed
  • If money is credited to your account by mistake, it is your responsibility to notify the betting website as soon as possible. If not, you may be forced to forfeit any money won on bets after this.
  • Betting websites are not responsible for bets placed on games that are suspended. The same applies if the score or results are changed. 

Each sport also has its own set of betting rules. Let’s take a closer look at some of these below:

Football

  • Bets placed on a game abandoned before the completion of 90 minutes will be void unless the outcome has already been determined.
  • Any postponed or unplayed matches are treated as non-runners.
  • Cards shown during the half time interval or after the final whistle has blown do not count. 

Volleyball 

  • The Money Line in volleyball refers to betting on who will win the match
  • Handicap betting is offered if one team is considered a heavy favourite against the other
  • Set winner refers to the winner of a specific set. For bets to stand, the respective set must be completed as per the rules of the individual competition.  

Swimming

  • Bets are settled on the podium position result, regardless of any subsequent disqualifications
  • If a swimmer withdraws before they have taken part in an event, your bet is a loser
  • If an event is cancelled, all bets will be void

Betting site reviews

As mentioned above, there are hundreds of online betting sites available today, but some of the most popular include Betway, EagleBet and RioAposta.  
 
Betway is a renowned global online gambling company offering 24/7 customer support. It operates across a number of regulated markets and caters for all tastes. Not only is its sports betting diverse, but the excellent odds available are not confined to the traditional markets. EagleBet, on the other hand, is relatively new (it was launched in 2019), but it offers some impressive odds on the Premier League, the Bundesliga and US sports. Finally, RioAposta focuses primarily on the Brazilian market, but it caters to players from other parts of the world too. Its most popular offering is football betting, but you can also bet on American and Australian rules football, basketball, ice hockey, volleyball and more.