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Surely filling in a betting slip isn’t so difficult that I need a how-to? Think again. It’s not as obvious as it might sound, especially if you’re a newcomer to the gambling game or have only wagered online before.
It’s worth getting your head around betting slips, because if you make a simple mistake, you could end up losing yourself a hell of a lot of money.
What are betting slips?
Betting slips are the paper record of your wager at your local bookie. When you want to make a bet, you need to write all of the relevant information about that bet down as a record for you and the bookie, in case you get lucky.
Each operator will have a different betting slip in their shops. Luckily, most require the same kind of information so they’re not so different that you’ll be lost from shop to shop, but it’s worth being familiar with the differences to save time.
You will usually need to write these key bits of information:
- Describe the variable, e.g. Wayne Rooney to score first;
- The odds offered on the bet;
- Your stake: the amount of money you’re wagering.
Sometimes you will also need to write the name of the event that your bet refers to, such as Nadal vs Murray or Manchester Utd. vs Chelsea.
Betting slips differ from place to place: occasionally they will be pre-printed slips designed for a special event with simple tick boxes, but more often than not they will be generic forms with blank space to fill in yourself.
Check out some examples of different types below:
How to fill one out
If you get given one of those special slips with tick boxes, it’ll be pretty straight forward to place your bet: simply tick the boxes that apply to your wager.
However, things are a bit more complicated if you find yourself faced with a blank one, but don’t worry – we’re here to help.
Different kinds of bets
The first thing to know before writing your slip is what kind of bet it is you’re going to place.
Are you betting on a single event, an each-way result or a combination? Knowing what kind of bet you’re placing is essential for knowing what to write on your slip.
Here are some of the most common types of bets in football:
- Correct score: a single bet on the exact score in a single event;
- Win: a single bet on a win in a single event;
- Place: a single bet that a selection will come in first, second, third, etc.;
- Each-way: a combined bet on two selections, including a win and a tournament place bet;
- Goal or no goal: bet on one, both (GG) or neither teams (NG) to score;
- Handicap bets: when the bookie starts the stronger of two teams at a disadvantage to even the playing field or vice versa, so a team most overcome the handicap to win in this case;
- Multiple bets or accumulators: a series of bets placed on two or more wins, requiring all to win for a return.
Other sports besides football also have specific kinds of bets.
In tennis, for example, there is correct set score to bet on the exact result of sets in the right order, or more specific bets like most breaks and aces over/under. If you bet on horse racing, across the board is a bet on a horse winning, placing and showing, or dead heat, for example, is a bet on a tie between two or more horses.
Writing a horse racing bet
Similarly to a sports bet, you’ll need the following bits of information:
- The name of the horse;
- The racecourse name;
- The time the race is taking place;
- The current odds.
Information like the odds can be found either on the operator’s website or from a screen at the venue, but it’s best to check as close to the moment you submit your bet as possible as they change frequently.
Tip: seasoned bettors draw a large “C” around the odds on the betting slip to show that these are the current odds available at the time of placing the bet. This will be checked by the bookie.
Your stake should also appear on the slip, in the blank space with the rest of the bet information, and at the bottom in the area marked Total stake. A good betting slip will look something like these:
Writing a sports bet
Sports bets are even easier to write, because you don’t need to include information like the location and time of the match or event.
All you have to do is write your wager, so if you think Chelsea will see off West Brom, write Chelsea to beat West Brom accompanied by the odds in a “C” and your stake.
Once the slip is all filled in, all you have to do is hand it in at the counter, give in your stake money, keep your receipt and cross your fingers.
Online or offline gambling?
So now you’re wise on how to make a bet at the local bookies, you’ll be wondering why you should go to the effort at all when the process of placing bets online might be more simple. Well, there are pros and cons to both online and offline betting.
Offline betting, however, can bring an added sense of excitement with the atmosphere of the racetrack or the immediacy of placing a bet at the bookies.
Something else to bear in mind is that the bookies are often very helpful and willing to help out newcomers. They can even tell you what to write on your slip if you’re still not sure, but they’re not allowed to write it for you.
Finding a local bookie
If you’ve decided to go for offline betting, you won’t get far unless you know how to find an actual bookmakers shop.
Going online can help with this too because most operators have a built-in Find tool somewhere on the site to help you locate your nearest shop.
Once you’ve got your head around the betting slip and which operator to go with, there are a few simple tips worth bearing in mind when it comes to placing your bets:
- Always bet on value bets, where the likelihood of success is greater than the profitability of the bet itself;
- Shop around by checking out your operator’s odds on an odds comparison site;
- Avoid getting into the mentality of chasing losses;
- If you’re in it for the long run, set up a betting fund in a separate account for better budgeting.