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Spread Betting

With sports betting as with everything else in life, it's important to set yourself a goal. If you don't have a goal with your betting, it may get out of hand. You may start betting every day, you may start betting harder to make up for earlier losses, you suddenly place impulsive bets, and the whole thing can become rather unpleasant. Therefore, take a few moments thinking over the following:

What is spread betting?
betting has become very popular in recent years, due to the possible massive returns on low investments.  But it's also possible to lose very large amounts indeed!

pread betting is the most exciting method of betting, but it's not for novices. You should be aware of the risks with spread betting, and be sure you understand the rules. 


n spread betting, you do not know exactly how much you will win/lose before the event has finished. Your return will vary with every goal scored, every booking, every corner, etc.  It's not like fixed odds betting. Spread betting is much more "dangerous", and as a result, more exciting.

In spread betting, you will win a lot more than in fixed odds betting, if you predict better than the bookmaker. However, you will stand to lose quite a lot, if you fail to predict better than the bookmaker.  Due to the nature of spread betting, one bad bet can make huge inroads into your bankroll.

Spread betting is a high-risk form of betting. Only play with money you can afford to lose. Companies who offer spreads will normally ask for a deposit, but beware that your potential loss can exceed that deposit. 

In our opinion, spread betting is not for the ordinary punter; we recommend it only to professional gamblers who are fully aware of the risks that go with it. Spread betting is a dangerous form of betting.  However, if you want to win big, fast, and are willing and able to absorb the losses, then spreads is the most exciting form of betting available!

Fixed Odds vs Spread Betting 
Fixed odds betting is "fixed", meaning you will always know before you place the bet what the possible outcome is. You will know how much you may win, and how much you can lose.

Spread betting is different. You may lose a lot, or win a lot, depending on how accurate you are with your predictions. 

The bookmaker will offer a spread, within a range of values (normally 0-100). 
The bookmaker will perhaps offer a spread of 40-60. This is known as the bookmakers opening prediction. You must then decide whether to bet higher or lower than the bookmaker's predictions. If you bet higher than the bookie's prediction, you think that the result will be higher than the bookie thinks, and when you bet lower, you think the outcome will be lower than the bookie expects.

If you are right, you will win, but only with an amount which is determined by the correctness of your bet (i.e the difference between the actual outcome and the bookie prediction).

If you are wrong, you will lose, but by a multiple of your stake and the divergence between your prediction and the actual outcome.

Example 2
The possible outcome for a bet could be 0-90 (also called "the range"

The bookmaker quotes an "opening spread of 40-50". In other words, the bookie thinks the outcome will be between 40 and 50.

The punter has now got 2 options: 

1 Higher than 50 (known as "Buy at 50")
You will win if the outcome exceeds 50 (ie 50-90 or more)

2 Lower than 40 (known as "Sell at 40")
You will win if the outcome is lower than 40 (ie 0-40)

Important: You can't make any bets other than the two listed above. You can't place a bet, saying "Higher than 35", or "Lower than 50".  

You place your bets staking for instance €10 per point. When the bets are placed you sit back and wait for the outcome.
In this example, let’s say that the outcome was 70.

Winning bet
If you bet "Higher than 50" you win, and the amount you have won is found by the difference in points between outcome and bet, ie. 70-50 = 20. You have won by 10 points, and multiplied with your stake of €10, your return gives €10 x 20 = €200

Losing bet
If you bet "Lower than 40" you lose, and the amount you have lost is found by the difference in points between outcome and bet, ie. 70-40 = 30. You have lost by 30 points, and multiplied with your stake of €10, your now owe the bookie €10 x 30 = €300!!!  (Now do you see what we mean? Spread betting is a dangerous game!!)

No win situation
If the outcome is between the spread quoted by the bookie (in this case 40-50), then "nobody" wins. Actually the bookmaker wins, due to his profit margin. If you had bet on "Higher than 50", and the result was 45, then the bookie will win the difference multiplied with your stake.

Example 3
You bet "Higher than 50". Result is 45. Bookmaker wins (50-45) *€10 = €50!!

If you bet on "Lower than 40", in a 40-50 spread, and the result was 45, you would also lose €10*5 points = €50. 

This is of course the bookmakers’ profit margin
The smaller the spread, the smaller profit margin for the bookie. 

Placing the bets
Previously we've stated that spread bets are not placed the same way as fixed odds bets. 

With fixed odds betting, you always know how much you may win, and how much you may lose. No "hidden surprises". Money are placed in front of the bet.

Spread bets are different. Different methods of staking are used. Spread bets are placed typically in € per unit (or any other currency per unit). But the point is that you don't actually place the stake before the event takes place, as in fixed odds betting. Due to the high risk of spread betting, your stake is the maximum possible loss (related to your bet).

Depending on the type of account you have, there are 2 methods used for this: 

Credit Account - funds are already deposited to an account. Wins/losses are paid/withdrawn from the account. There are no money paid when the bet is placed, but there must be sufficient funds available in the account to cover a potential loss. Check the rules, because they might vary from bookie to bookie.

Debit Accounts - here debit cards are used, such as Mastercard or Delta. Upon placing bets, the maximum possible loss is debited from the card. Depending on the result of the event, funds are credited back to the card. Of course this form of staking are used in bets where there is a defined win/loss cut-off, (ie a defined range, for instance 0-100). A maximum loss can then be calculated before the bet is placed. 
Be sure to check rules carefully on this point as well, as they may vary with different bookmakers.

Debit Account Example:  If you place a bet "Higher than 60" (buy at 60), the maximum loss you can experience is 60 points (difference between 60 and 0). A stake of €10 per unit requires that €10*60 = €600 is debited from your card before the bet. Let's assume the outcome of the bet is "50". You will then lose (60-50) points * €10 = €100. €500 will be re-credited your card (remember that €600 was originally debited)

Types of spreads
Soccer spreads are very popular. These are the most common types of spread betting:


Time of first goal

Time of first booking

Total goals

Goal Margin

Value range




-unlimited  to  + unlimited

Typical spread

38-42 minutes

28-32 minutes 

1.7-2.3 (varies greatly)

0.0 - 0.5 home team (but varies a lot, of course)


You predict there will be a goal before the 38th minute. Then bet at    "Lower than 38", at for instance €2 per minute

You think that there will be 2 or more goals in a game where the bookie offers the spread 1.7-2.3. Then you bet on "Higher than 2.3 at for instance €3/ tenth

You think that there will be 2 or more goals in a game where the bookie offers the spread 1.7-2.3. Then you bet on "Higher than 2.3 at for instance €3/ tenth

The bookie believes the home team will win by a narrow margin, thus presenting the spread 0.0-0.5. You predict the home team will win by at least 1 goal, thus you bet on "Higher than 0.5" with a stake of, lets say €5 per tenth


First goal scored in the 21st minute

First yellow card in the 44th minute

2-1 to the away team. (3 goals)

Your team wins 4-1. (3 goal margin)

Your return

(38-21)* €2
= €
34 win

(44-32) x €3
 = €36 loss

(30-23) x €3 = €21 win
(if it ended a 1-1 draw, you would lose (23-20)x€3 = €9)

(30-5) x €5 = €125 win
Lets assume your team lost by 2 goals. Result becomes:
(-20-5) x €5
 = - €125 loss

As you can see, you pay a heavy prize if you are wrong in your predictions. If you are correct, you are rewarded well, but it's equally expensive for you wallet if you are wrong...

Other spreads  

Other typical spread offers are listed below:

Total Bookings: The bookmaker awards a number of points for a yellow card (normally 10) and a red card (normally 25). Add together the points of all the cards in a match (for instance, 3 yellows and 1 red gives a total of 55 points). The bookmaker quotes a spread based on this total. You decide whether to bet higher or lower.

Total Corners: How many corners will there be in a match? This is of course more like bingo, but can be very exciting and amusing when watching a match in front of the TV with your friends

There are lots of other spread-betting offers. Generally a spread can be offered for everything that can be measured!!!

Spread betting is a very exciting form of betting. Your return will vary with virtually every kick of the ball. This makes spread betting ideal for televised games. Nowadays most bookmakers accept spreads on the most popular leagues.  In-match betting has also become popular in recent years. With in-match betting you can place bets during the match, with the advantages and disadvantages that may follow.

Spread betting is the form of betting which best repays your skills, but also the method which will rob you if you are not up to standards. Be ware of that, and remember to read the rules carefully.

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