Beginners Guide To Football (Soccer) Betting

Few sports on this planet have permeated society as deeply as soccer. Its influence is all-encompassing, with every television channel proudly featuring the beautiful game. The magic of soccer is more immense than ever, and at OddsHome, we firmly believe that it presents the ideal opportunity to delve into the world of soccer betting.

Witnessing teams engage in fierce battles, showcasing impressive tactics, evokes a unique and unforgettable sensation. The thrill of those last-minute goals, displays of skill, and astute decision-making lingers for a lifetime. If you’re eager to immerse yourself in this world, perhaps even pocket some earnings along the way, our comprehensive guide is your ideal companion.

Armed with everything from the fundamental rules to insights on the most prestigious competitions and top-notch betting platforms, you’ll have it all at your fingertips. The only task that falls upon you is to master these essentials, devote ample time to game analysis, and exercise shrewd judgment when placing your bets. It’s time to embark on this exhilarating journey!

Understanding the Rules

What makes soccer truly remarkable is its simplicity. You don’t require an elaborate setup to enjoy the game. Whether it’s the Premier League or a casual weekend match at the YMCA, the rules remain consistent. To ensure accuracy, we’ve meticulously delved into the official FIFA rulebook. Below is a concise overview of the game. Familiarize yourself with these principles, and you’ll decipher the intricacies of the soccer lines you encounter.

The Pillars of the Game

In the world of soccer, two teams go head-to-head for a total of 90 minutes, split into two 45-minute halves with a 15-minute halftime interval. This breather is essential for rest, tactical adjustments, and strategies to enhance players’ performance in the second half. When both teams find themselves level in terms of goals (or a lack thereof), an additional 30-minute period, divided into two 15-minute halves, is played. If the deadlock persists after 120 minutes, the excitement escalates with a penalty shootout.

Each team comprises 11 players, featuring 10 outfielders and 1 goalkeeper, with the option of having 7 substitutes on the bench. Substitutions are limited to 3 per team (or 5 according to the latest rules in many leagues). If a team has exhausted its allotted substitutions and a player sustains an injury, they must continue with 10 players.

The playing field for a soccer match is typically a grass pitch, either natural grass, requiring regular maintenance, or artificial turf, a more cost-effective alternative. Keep this in mind when formulating your strategies for online soccer betting, as injuries tend to occur more frequently on artificial surfaces. The pitch spans 100-130 yards in length and 50-100 yards in width, featuring marked sidelines and goal lines, as well as a 6-yard box, an 18-yard box, and a center circle with a central spot. Each goal line boasts an 8-foot-tall and 8-yard-wide goal.

The primary equipment used in soccer is a round leather ball measuring 58-61cm in circumference. Additionally, soccer players don cleats, specialized shoes with spikes on the soles, facilitating agile movement on the often uneven and soil-filled grass surface.

Ensuring fair play are 3-4 referees, with one serving as the main referee actively involved in the game’s action. The remaining 2-3 referees act as assistants along the sidelines, running parallel to the ball’s trajectory. In the late 2010s, the introduction of Video Assistant Referee (VAR) brought a new dimension to officiating. Operated by another referee located in a video room, VAR allows the officiating crew to review moments they may not have seen clearly enough to make accurate decisions. After reviewing VAR footage, the referee’s initial decision is either upheld or overturned, ensuring the game’s integrity.

What You Can and Cannot Do in a Soccer Game?

Soccer’s primary objective is simple: score more goals than your opponent. A goal is officially counted when the ball crosses the goal line and enters the space between the goalposts and the crossbar. To ensure fair play, goal-line technology is employed in specific situations to determine if the ball has indeed crossed the line.

If a team kicks the ball beyond the opponent’s goal line without it entering the goal, the opposing team gains possession and restarts play with a goal kick from their own penalty area. However, if a player from the defending team is the last to touch the ball before it crosses their goal line (without entering the goal), the attacking team is awarded a corner kick.

Crucially, the ball cannot be touched with any part of the arm or hand. Such an infraction results in a free kick awarded to the opposing team, and the offending player may receive a yellow card as a warning. In cases where a player, excluding the goalkeeper, deliberately handles the ball with their hand within the 16-yard box, it often leads to a red card.

Cards, typically yellow and red, are also issued for unsportsmanlike conduct, which may involve repeated or severe fouls that go beyond a simple free-kick situation. A yellow card serves as a caution, and a player who receives two yellow cards in a single match is shown a red card, resulting in immediate ejection. Red cards can also be issued directly for particularly egregious behavior, leading to an automatic expulsion. Once a player receives a red card, they must leave the field and cannot be substituted. In the realm of soccer betting, there are even wagering options on which player will receive a card first, known as prop bets.

Lastly, there’s the often perplexing offside rule, especially for newcomers to the sport. This rule dictates that no player can position any part of their body closer to the opponent’s goal line than the second-to-last defender (excluding the goalkeeper, who is considered the last defender). This rule was introduced to prevent players from lurking near the opponent’s goal and gaining an unfair advantage. Offside infractions are typically called when a player receives a pass.

It’s important to note that you can be in an offside position as long as you’re not actively involved in the play (e.g., running, receiving the ball) before the pass is made. Certain situations, such as goal kicks, throw-ins, or when you’re in your own half, are exceptions to the offside rule. When an offside violation occurs, the opposing team is awarded a free-kick from the spot where the offside offense took place.

Basic Football Terms

That wasn’t too challenging, was it? Understanding the rules of soccer can provide a solid foundation when you’re selecting the right moneyline bet. However, the world of football is brimming with unique slang terms that echo across every betting site. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, but fret not. We’ve delved into the realm of soccer terminology and distilled the most crucial terms you need to grasp if you aspire to be a savvy punter.

  • Added time – This refers to one or two 15-minute periods played after the initial 90 minutes in case of a draw. League matches typically allow for draws after regular time, with no added time. Added time is usually reserved for knockout tournaments.
  • 12th man – This colloquial expression alludes to the fans in the home team’s stadium. The support from home fans can make a significant difference and might just propel the underdog team to victory. Assessing the quality of fans can be a valuable factor when placing a soccer moneyline bet.
  • Header – A goal scored using the player’s head.
  • Brace – When a player scores two goals in a single match.
  • Hat trick – The pinnacle of scoring feats, a hat trick signifies a player scoring three goals in a match. Achieving a hat trick is a testament to excellent positioning and is usually accomplished by forwards, and occasionally, defenders. A “perfect” hat trick occurs when a footballer scores one goal with their right leg, one with their left, and another with their head – a rare and remarkable accomplishment.
  • Tackle – A tackle represents a defender’s effort to dispossess an opponent of the ball by sliding their leg(s) to poke it away. A sliding tackle involves a defender accelerating and dropping to the ground to gain momentum. Tackles that fail to make contact with the ball constitute fouls and often result in a card being issued.
  • Handball – Whenever the ball touches a player’s arm, whether intentionally or unintentionally.
  • Promotion – In league play, this term is used when a team performs well enough in their current league to advance to the next tier, either directly or through playoff matches.
  • Relegation – Conversely, relegation occurs when teams perform poorly throughout the season and are at risk of dropping down a tier. Keep an eye out for teams facing relegation when engaging in soccer spread betting, as bookmakers may underestimate their motivation to avoid demotion.
  • 3-way moneyline – This is the most common market in soccer betting, allowing you to bet on one team to win or for a draw to occur. Depending on the relative strengths of each team, different betting lines are offered for each potential outcome.
  • Future – This encompasses any bet related to an event that will occur in the distant future. For instance, if you’re betting on Manchester United to win the Champions League five years from now, it’s considered a future bet because the outcome remains uncertain. Soccer betting tips rarely apply to this market due to its extended timeframe.

Where to Find Soccer Betting Websites?

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For a comfortable and value-packed football betting experience, look no further than our carefully curated list of top-rated bookmakers. We’ve rigorously tested the industry’s giants, closely tracked their offerings across numerous leagues and tournaments, and consistently updated our ratings in real-time. Rest assured, all of these bookmakers are 100% reliable, ensuring the safety of your money. Make your choice wisely and enjoy the game!

Which Are the Most Popular Tournaments?

While the world of soccer betting offers a multitude of markets daily, not all of them are created equal. Some fall into the low-level category, offering limited coverage and less favorable odds. That’s why it’s wise to start by betting on these renowned tournaments. They are widely recognized, supported by a wealth of statistics and betting resources, making them an ideal starting point for mastering the art of soccer betting.

World Cup

  • This quadrennial event stands as the pinnacle of soccer glory. It features 32 teams competing in 8 groups of 4, with each team playing 3 matches. The top 2 from each group advance to the knockout stage.


  • Consider it the European counterpart to the World Cup. The Euros bring together 24 national teams in a fierce battle for the coveted trophy.

Copa America

  • South America’s premier continental competition, although its frequency has shifted over the years, is currently held every 3 years.

UEFA Champions League

  • Europe’s crème de la crème of club competitions. The top teams from Europe’s major leagues qualify directly or through play-ins. The tournament starts with group stages and transitions into a thrilling knockout format.

UEFA Europa League

  • This is the second-tier European club competition, attracting teams that didn’t make the cut for the Champions League or were eliminated in the group stage.

Copa Libertadores

  • South America’s answer to the Champions League, often featuring North American clubs as well, and overseen by CONMEBOL.

Premier League

  • Regarded by many as the world’s premier national league. It comprises 20 teams, with the bottom three being relegated to the Championship.

La Liga

  • Spain’s elite division, typically dominated by Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Atletico Madrid. Some argue it rivals or even surpasses the Premier League in terms of quality.


  • Germany’s top-tier league is known for its passionate fan base, with even the lowest-ranked team enjoying support from tens of thousands of fervent supporters.

Serie A

  • The Italian league offers rich footballing history and captivating contests.

Ligue 1

  • Often underestimated, France’s top division is gaining competitiveness and recognition on the global stage.

Short History and Facts

Football, as we know it today, doesn’t have a singular ancestral origin. Instead, it shares similarities with numerous ancient games played in societies worldwide. Ancient civilizations in China, Canada, Greece, Korea, and many other regions had their own versions of sports akin to modern-day soccer. The recognizable form of the game emerged from the Cambridge rules of 1848, while Sheffield FC, founded by students in 1857, proudly holds the title of the oldest football team still in existence.

In contemporary times, the passion of billions has transformed soccer into a lucrative enterprise, with soccer betting occupying a central role. This immense interest has even made it possible to wager on minute details within the sport, highlighting the versatility and intrigue that make football truly beautiful.

Final Thoughts

Soccer betting stands as one of the most accessible realms of sports wagering to delve into. Abundant resources abound, and a considerable portion of them comes without any cost. When you amalgamate your soccer insights and diligent research with the top-tier bookmakers endorsed by OddsHome, you position yourself ideally for potential profits. Nevertheless, always bear in mind that it remains a form of gambling. Prudently manage your budget, and don’t take undue risks that could lead to losses. In the end, remember it’s all about the enjoyment of the game!

FAQ about Football betting

How do I place a soccer bet?

Identify a league or competition that piques your interest. Familiarize yourself with its background and keep tabs on the participating teams. Combine different betting markets and formulate a strategic approach. It’s as straightforward as that.

Is soccer betting a complex endeavor?

Absolutely not. Soccer is a straightforward sport, and the betting options are diverse, allowing you to wager on various aspects of the game.

What does “double chance” mean in soccer betting?

In contrast to the three-way moneyline bet, a double chance enables you to select two out of the three potential outcomes (Team 1 wins, Team 2 wins, or a draw).

What are prop bets in soccer betting?

Prop bets, short for proposition bets, encompass any wagers unrelated to the final result. These bets can revolve around specific player performances, such as whether Messi will score a goal, or they can delve into more whimsical aspects like predicting the color of a player’s shoes or who will receive the first card, among others.

Is it advisable to review game highlights before betting on a team?

Ideally, it’s recommended to watch the entire game. This comprehensive viewing allows you to assess both the team’s strengths and weaknesses, providing insights beyond just the highlight reel.

Is it possible to profit from soccer betting?

Certainly! While there are no guarantees, you can mitigate risks and potentially achieve substantial returns through informed betting strategies.

Should I exclusively opt for parlay bets?

Not necessarily. If you come across a favorable line for a single bet, it’s perfectly reasonable to focus your attention on it rather than relying solely on parlays.

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