Spread betting is ever-increasing in popularity, although it’s still hard to understand for most.
Casual punters tend to opt for a simple bet with fixed odds, and only one or two possible outcomes, although many will have asked themselves, “what is spread betting?”.
So, what exactly is spread betting?
Well, basically, spread betting is where a punter will bet on the movement of a market instead of a fixed outcome.
In fixed odds betting, you select an outcome and place a stake on it. If that outcome occurs, you win, and you lose if it doesn’t. You know how much you’ve staked, and how much you will win if your bet is successful.
With spread betting, you place a stake on a spread of bets and how much you win, or lose, is determined by how far over or under the spread the eventual outcome is. This gives several different outcomes for the bet, and different amount of winnings or losses depending on how right or wrong you are.
The bookmaker will set a spread for a certain market in a match. Then, the punter will buy, if they think the outcome will be higher than the spread, or sell if they think it will be lower.
If they buy, and the outcome is higher than the spread, they will win their stake for each number higher. However, if the outcome was lower, they would need to pay their stake for each number lower.
Here’s an example
The bookmaker sets a spread of 12 for number of corners in a match. You, the punter, decide to bet £10 to buy the spread. So, you think the total number of corners in the match will be more than 12.
If the total number of corners is more than 12, you would win. How much you win is determined on how many more than 12 there are.
So, if the match finished with 16 corners that’s four more than the spread. You would win your stake x 4. £10 x 4 = £40
If the game finished with exactly 12 corners, you neither win or lose.
But, if there were only 7 corners you would lose and it would cost you 5 times your stake because the outcome was 5 less than the spread. £10 x 5 = £50.
Why Choose Spread Betting Over Fixed Odds?
We are not here to tell you to stop betting on fixed odds markets and instead use spread betting, we are just here to give you all the information available for you to make an informed decision.
The main positive of spread betting is that you can win a lot of money by using your knowledge of the game.
If a match is being played between two teams who score lots of goals, but have a poor defence, and the spread is set at 3 goals, you can buy the spread for say £20 and you would win that amount for every goal over 3.
By betting on Over 3 Goals using fixed betting with a £20 stake, at odds of say 3/1, you would win £60 profit whether there’s 4 goals or 9 goals.
With spread betting, if the game ended in a thrilling 5-4 victory for the home team it would be 6 more goals than the spread. This means the punter would win £20 x 6 = £120.
That is double the profit of what you would receive in the fixed odds market. Obviously, you could bet on Over 7 or 8 goals in fixed odds, but would lose if there were only 5. With a spread bet, you would still win £40.
What Markets Are Available to Spread Bet On?
Most bookmakers available spread betting markets vary.
The majority will offer markets such as total goals, total corners, total throw-ins, total booking points (using 10 for a yellow card and 25 for a red), and overall winning margin.
Some will offer varied markets which give an opportunity to gamble on outcomes which you cannot find in fixed odds betting.
An example of one of these markets is total of goal scorer’s shirt numbers.
This means that every time a goal is scored, the number of the player who scored it goes towards a total.
Let’s say a match ends 2-2, with the home team goals being scored by numbers 8 and 11 whilst the away team scorers were numbers 3 and 9. This is 8 + 11 + 3 + 9 = 31.
If the spread for this market was set at 28, the final outcome was 31 which is 3 higher than the spread.
A punter who staked £15 to sell the spread, so lower than 28, would have lost by 3. So, their total stake would be £15 x 3 = £45. However, if they chose to buy the spread for the same stake, they would win £45.