Sports Betting for Beginners: Everything You Need to Know

Sports Betting for Beginners: Everything You Need to Know

Sports betting seems to be all the rage these days. In Canada and North America, the laws around this form of entertainment have been shifting, and bettors in both countries are now legally partaking. As it becomes more popular and new bettors participate, the industry is set to only grow from here. However, not everyone is a seasoned gambler with experience in betting. Many are beginners that are interested in learning and getting started. 

There’s much to learn if you are a beginner that is looking to dip your toes into betting for the first time. For starters, you need to find an operator. There are big legacy operators, like Bodog Sports, that are available to Canadians. There are also new betting sites constantly making a splash. Once you sign up with an operator, there’s still much to do. Below, we’ll break down some of the important things you need to know before you make your first bet.


One big mistake that many bettors make when they start to gamble is that they don’t take the time to familiarize themselves with the odds. Odds show bettors the projected probability of something occurring and how much a bettor can make by betting on that line. 

There are three kinds of odd: American, decimal, and fractional. The most commonly used odds by Canadian bettors are American. American odds are in the form of +/-. They show bettors how much profit they’d make if they spent $100 or how much they’d need to spend to make $100. For example, if something is +200, bettors would earn $200 and their $100 stake back if the bets hit. If something is -200, bettors would need to bet $200 to earn a $100 profit.


Markets are the outcomes that bettors are placing bets on to either happen or not happen. To put it simply, different markets cover different aspects of a game that bettors are betting on. There are more markets than one could name, but there are a few markets more notable than others.

MoneyLine is a market that is based on which team will win the game. If you bet a team on the MoneyLine, you’ve picked them to win outright. Futures are long-term bets on things like MVPs or Championships. Spreads are bet on the projected score differential in favor of one team. Totals are bets on a line that projects the combined total amount of points scored by two teams in a game.


Naturally, safety is the first thing that comes to most bettors’ minds. Safety is a massively important consideration because bettors have to input payment and personal information. If a website isn’t safe or is a scam, bettors could be put in an extremely dire situation.

While this might sound scary, there are ways of checking if a sportsbook is safe and secure. You can find their licensing at the bottom of the page and see their cybersecurity certifications. Most gambling operators are modern, tech-oriented businesses that have excellent cybersecurity and certifications from trusted regulators. Some of the biggest regulators that Canadians can expect to see a license from in sports betting sites is iGaming Ontario, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, and the Malta Gaming Authority.


Another important consideration for bettors is the features that a sportsbook will provide. Every operator has different features and finding one that has the features you would want is incredibly important. Features are the different ways of enjoying a sportsbook that they provide.

There are many different kinds of features out there, and every sportsbook will have different ones available. Live streaming is a feature where bettors can watch live sporting events from the sportsbook’s website. Another important feature is the bet builder. This allows bettors to create customized multiple bets from the same game and even combine those bets with bets from other games. Lastly, live betting is an extremely common feature that allows bettors to place bets on games that are already underway.

Getting Started

Before you use a sportsbook, you will have to undergo the sign-up and deposit processes. This will require you to create a login and then bank with the operator. As we’ve mentioned, always check the security of a sportsbook before doing this.

Signing up and depositing will require bettors to visit the website and click the sign-up tab. They’ll have to input personal information like their address and contact details. They’ll then have to deposit. Be careful to only deposit an amount you’d be comfortable losing. From there, bettors select a payment method and input their banking details. The money should hit their account right after. After that, you’re good to begin your betting journey!

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