Sports betting is a popular pastime in the UK, with millions of people placing bets on their favourite teams and sports every year. Do you want to join in on the fun? If so, here’s our comprehensive guide to sports betting in the UK, including popular sports to bet on, the types of bets, tax implications, and more. This is your one-stop guide for everything you need to know before you place your first bet.

So, first of all, what are some of the most popular sports to bet on in the UK?

It’ll come as no surprise that football (soccer), also called footie, is the most popular sport to bet on in the UK, with millions of people placing bets weekly. You can bet on anything when it comes to footie, from the English Premier League to the lower divisions as well as international competitions. You can even choose from a variety of different types of bets, including match outcomes and corners.

Another super popular sport to bet on in the UK is horse racing. Dressing up to go to the races is an event in and of itself, but part of the fun is betting on the horses. In fact, the UK hosts some of the best horse racing events in the world, and you can bet on race outcomes with bookies as well an online betting sites.

Besides footie and horse racing, other popular sports to bet on in the UK are:

  • Tennis
  • Cricket
  • Darts
  • Rugby Union
  • Golf
  • Boxing

While the above sports do not garner the same level of popularity and passion as football and horse racing, these sports can be just as fun and exciting to bet on.


When sports betting, you’ll notice there are many types of bets you can make. But what are they, and what do they mean?

Here are the main types of bets you can make:

  • Money line: The simplest kind of bet where you are betting on a specific team to win.
  • Spread: Betting on whether a team will win by a certain margin or not, with odds adjusted to level the playing field.
  • Totals (Over/Under): Betting on the total combined score of both teams to go over or under a particular number.
  • Parlay: Combine multiple bets into a single bet for a higher possible payout, but every single bet or parlay must win.
  • Teaser: Similar to a parlay bet in that you combine multiple bets, but it is only for spreads, thus a lower payout but less risk.
  • Prop bet: You don’t bet on the outcome of the match; you instead bet on stuff like individual player stats and/or performance or which team will score first, first team to score 10 points, etc.
  • Futures: Betting on events or outcomes that will occur in the future, such as winning a championship or season-long performances and wins.
  • Live betting: A wager placed after the game has already started, with odds and options updating in real-time.


Of course, simply knowing what sports you can bet on and the types of bets you can make can only get you so far. You need to know how to find good value bets to have a chance at winning some cash.

But first of all, what is a value bet? A value bet is when you believe that the odds of a bet are greater than the odds offered by the sportsbook.

As you may be able to guess, research is absolutely crucial. Keep up with the newest headlines if you want to know what’s happening in the betting sector. Use whatever team and player data you have available to help you make your value calculations. Compare this information with the opposing team to determine which team is stronger. 

You can also compare odds and pricing from various bookies to increase your chances of discovering excellent value bets.


In the UK, individuals do not have to pay any taxes on their gambling winnings. And since the HMRC does not make a distinction between casual or professional players, if gambling is your only source of income, you are still not subject to taxation! This is why a lot of gamblers from overseas are drawn to the UK

However, with that said, although individuals do not need to pay taxes, gambling businesses do. The taxes are at 15% for all gambling income for these businesses.


A lot of gambling nowadays takes place online, as it is much more convenient. But it’s important to choose the right online bookmaker.

When choosing an online sports betting service in the UK, it is essential to do your research. Start by looking for reviews from customers who have used the service. It will give you a good indication of how reputable and secure the service is. Additionally, ensure the website is licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission.

And while not necessary, it might be worth checking what payment methods the website accepts, as this will determine how easy it is to deposit funds into your account. After all, the whole point of online betting sites is convenience!

Finally, look for promotions like a free bet or deposit bonus the website offers. How can you say no to a fun deal like that?

Mia Kim