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Football Betting Strategies and Markets, and Finding a Good Bookmaker

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Football betting can be very involved. If you don’t know the game of football, you may struggle to understand the nuances of the markets and strategies involved. If you’re keen to bet on your favourite team, though, you’ve got to start somewhere, right?

Let us talk football then. Even if you’re already a football fundi, getting a foundation on the best ways to start betting on it won’t hurt. 

We will touch on how to choose the best bookmaker to suit the strategies and markets that tickle your betting fancies. Bookmakers, like those appearing on , allow you the chance to apply your betting strategies with the range of markets they offer. 

Before we look at the bookies, though, we will provide some insight into some popular football betting strategies and markets. Knowing about these will help when choosing a bookmaker that best suits your betting style.

Football Betting Strategies

What is a strategy in football betting? Simply put, it’s a method of betting that, if implemented well, can help increase your likelihood of winning. There are many strategies in football betting, with some more well-known than others. In fact, many football punters come up with their own by adapting established ones. We will focus on a few of the better-known ones in this article, though.

1-3-2-6 system

With 1-3-2-6, choose your betting unit and set the amount you can afford to lose in a session. Your betting unit should be between two and five per cent of this figure. With a £5 betting unit, for example, this will be your opening bet’s value. Winning means you up your next bet to £15, three times your betting unit. 

Winning that bet means your third one will be £10, twice your betting unit. Another win takes your next wager to £30 – six times your betting unit. If you win again, you’ll start all over with a £5 stake again. Should you lose at any stage, though, you start with your initial £5 betting unit again. 

Rigidly sticking to the 1-3-2-6 format is the best way to effectively use the system.

Live game betting

As opposed to pre-game wagering, live game football betting brings an added thrill to the process. Preferably use your mobile app to place bets while watching the game on an official stream or on your television. In this way, you can view the action as your bookmaker sees it, not a few seconds behind. 

One or two seconds can make a big difference when betting live.

Odds on live betting fluctuate more, so it’s important to be “on the ball” with your odds analysis and bet value calculations. Watching a live match is beneficial – you can see any shifts in a team’s momentum as they happen. 

Live game betting is not easy when you start, so if you’re new to football betting, bed in with some pre-game bets first. It is easier to familiarise yourself with different strategies and markets without the live pressure. With experience, it becomes second nature to calculate a bet’s value fast enough to take advantage live.

Early cashout

An early cashout strategy is available for both individual and accumulator wagers. It’s not available on all common markets, though. Your betting selection and the state of a match define your profit or whether you redeem part of your initial stake using an early cashout.

You can use the strategy directly after placing a pre-match or live bet. Payouts depend on the in-game events at the time of cashing out. Your team may hold a slender lead in a match but is under constant pressure from the opposition. In this case, an early cashout strategy could benefit you if you cash out before the opposition equalises or goes on to win. 

If things aren’t going your team’s way, you could also cash out early to save some of your deposit.

League specialist

Sometimes the best strategy is to focus on what you know. Instead of betting on several different football leagues, concentrate on a specific one only. You may also choose to focus on a less popular league to get longer odds, but make sure you can access those matches while building your knowledge.

Media coverage is essential to football betting. Due to this, it’s likely better to choose a league like the English Premier League or another of the top five European leagues. The other four leagues in the Big Five are the German Bundesliga, Spain’s La Liga, Serie A in Italy, and France’s Ligue 1. The Dutch and Portuguese leagues are other media-friendly options.

Football Betting Markets

Betting markets are what football betting revolves around. It’s usual practice for punters to choose accumulators of four or more bets across several markets to get the best odds. Here are some of the most popular markets:

Final result

There is no simpler way of betting on a football match than by predicting its final result. There are only three possible results – win, loss or draw. You’ll bet on one of those three, using your knowledge and intuition to choose.


With “Both Teams to Score”, the end-of-match result does not matter. You select “yes” or “no” to choose whether both teams find the net. If you select “yes” and both do, you win your bet, even if the final result is a draw. 

BTTS & final result

This is a combination of the previous two markets, with the only difference to a straight BTTS bet being that the final result does count. 


HT/FT stands for half-time/full-time. If you predict a draw or the match leader at half-time and also the full-time result, you will win your bet. Another individual market exists for the half-time score alone.

Scoring in both halves

After placing this bet, if the team you are backing scores a goal in each half, you’ll win your wager.

Final score

If you feel confident, try betting on the exact final score of a match. This market offers better odds than predicting a final result, because it’s more difficult to predict.

Individual player markets

Markets are also available for predicting individual player performances. You can even predict their lack of discipline in a match. Some of these are:

  • Anytime goalscorer (AGS): Bet on a player to score at any time during a match.
  • First goalscorer (FGS): Wager on which player will score first during a match.
  • Player cards: Back a player to receive either a yellow or red card during a match.

Betting on individual players may offer better odds than betting on teams, depending on the players and teams concerned.

Other markets

Bookmakers offer markets for no score draws, the number of corners, the total cards, winning margins and many more. Check with your bookmaker to see which markets they offer odds on.

Football players (Image: pixabay.com)

Choosing the Best Bookmaker

We’ve mentioned several football betting markets and strategies but there are many more. These are what make involvement in football betting so exciting and intriguing.

Some bookmakers offer better odds than others do, depending on the market involved. It will pay you to investigate your different bookmaker options. Choose one according to the strategy and betting style you plan to incorporate.