In the coming weeks, literally billions of dollars will be bet on the World Cup in Qatar, in virtually every country where it is legal (and in many where, strictly speaking, it is against the law).
According to FIFA, US $155 billion was bet on the last World Cup in Russia, a figure that is likely to be exceeded this time.
For example, although not thought of as a hotbed of soccer, American bookmakers are expecting to take in US 1.8 billion with more than 20 million US citizens likely to place some sort of wager during the duration of the tournament.
For those looking to bet on the World Cup for the first time, there is no shortage of opportunities.
Whilst the traditional method is still to use a high street bookmaker, that has largely been superseded by online sports betting, which can be done from the comfort of somebody’s home without leaving their armchair, or on the move using a smartphone and a mobile app which is free to download.
There are many sports bookmakers online, but not all are as reputable as others. That is why its is best to read online reviews from other customers or a respected review site like Trustpilot before making a decision.
It is very easy to be seduced by the many attractive promotional offers and bonuses that some sites offer whilst remaining blind to some of the more important factors.
For example, how generous are the odds offered and what types of bets do they offer?
What payments methods do they offer and, equally important withdrawal methods? And, in the event that somebody is successful. How long do they have to wait for their money?
And last, but by certainly not least when it comes to any online site, what security protection do they have in place to safeguard customer data? The elite sites now offer SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encryption, which is the same as is used by the major banks.
Before deciding to bet on the World Cup, it is also worth researching the various types of common bet that are available. These typically include either bets on the outcome of an individual match or World Cup winner, Golden Ball winner, top goalscorer and winner of each group.
And then there are more exotic options like Over and Under betting or a wager on the number of red and yellow cards that will be issued in Qatar.
Before betting on football, it is always recommended that some research should be done first on the teams and players involved in order to improve the chances of an individual bet succeeding.
Above all, though, remember that betting on the World Cup should be fun and should not be taken too seriously.
The odds of any sporting bet succeeding are less than 50% because the bookmaker always has a house edge (they are profit making enterprises after all), and the higher the odds offered the greater the risk. That means that nobody should ever bet more than they can afford at one time, and, if they find the losses are piling up, they should have the moral courage to just stop.
Founder and editor of Footiecentral. A voracious reader who loves reading anything and everything related to the history of football. He’s an ardent supporter of Manchester United and rarely misses a match.