Betting markets are where you go to place bets on the various possible outcomes of sports events.
How do betting markets work?
Every sport event is broken up into a variety of betting markets. Each of these markets focuses on a specific element of the event, for example the event winner or the final score or finishing order of the event.
In some cases there may be over 100 different betting markets on offer for a single sports match, depending on the bookmaker and how important the fixture is considered to be.
What all these betting markets share in common is the fact that they are used to offer punters odds on the different event outcomes featured in the market.
The punter then has the option to place a bet on one or more of the available outcomes. This is frequently referred to as taking the 'price' (or odds) on the option they are interested in.
So, for example, a tournament winner market will feature a list of the players participating in the tournament, and there will be odds offered on each participant.
If the punter wants to back one of the players, and is satisfied with the price on offer, they can then select that player by adding them to their betting slip. Once that is done they simply need to enter the amount they want to wager on the player and register the bet with the bookie.
Why betting markets are important
Having access to a variety of betting markets is an important part of the toolkit for successful sports betting.
The reasons for this are simple. Betting markets allow punters to zero in on the element of a sport or event that they feel most confident in predicting.
For example, a cricket fan may not be too sure which team will win a one day international match. However, they may have a very good sense of how many runs are likely to be scored in the match based on their knowledge of the wicket and the batting and bowling competencies of both teams.
Armed with that knowledge they can wager money on the final score falling under or exceeding a particular number of runs, without having to place a more speculative bet on which team will come out on top in the match in the popular match betting markets.
In reality the variety of betting markets will vary considerably across sports. High profile football matches tend to attract the greatest number of markets, while daily horseraces tend to feature a standard selection of four to five betting markets that nevertheless cover race outcomes from a variety of angles.
Which bookmakers offer the widest selection of betting markets?
While most bookies will offer a wide selection of markets for most high profile sports events, only the best bookmakers offer a larger selection of markets for more obscure events and sports leagues.
Generally if you want the biggest selection of betting markets you're best off placing your bets at established bookmakers, including:
Each of these bookies will also tend to offer a limited selection of unique special betting markets on selected events, or to have special rules or insurance options for selected betting markets. These can provide you with new opportunities to place successful bets.
Using betting markets
Using a betting market is straightforward.
- Find and event you want to bet on and review the betting markets available at your bookie for this event
- Identify a betting market that you feel confident you can predict an accurate outcome in
- Access that betting market and review the options and odds available to you
- If there is an option you feel confident in backing and you are happy with the odds on this option, choose this option
- Once you have selected an option from the betting market you will be prompted to enter a stake you want to bet on it on your betting slip
- Enter your stake and place a bet on your selection.
While this process is very simple, it's not always easy to understand what the various betting markets offer or how they work. For more information on what the most football and horseracing betting markets offer and how they work, visit our guide to betting markets.