Formula One has been around since 1950, meaning there have been 74 seasons, including the current one. Whether you’ve followed the sport for ages or became a fan only recently, you might consider placing a bet or two to support your favourite driver or show friends how much of an expert you are. However, you might not know where to start if you’ve never wagered on sports. To help you out, here is a helpful guide that will help you get to grips with betting on F1.
Get familiar with the odds
For starters, regardless of what sport you want to bet on, it’s a good idea to learn a bit more about odds and how they work. Odds are the chances that an operator gives a particular team, player, driver, or athlete to win or meet specific criteria. With that in mind, you should know that there are three different ways how odds can be written. They all represent the same thing but are expressed differently.
- Fractional odds: These are also known as British odds; fractional odds are the most popular in the UK and Ireland. They are written with a slash or hyphen. So, you might see the odds of Lewis Hamilton winning presented as 9/1 or 9-1, aka nine-to-one. That means if the 2020 champion wins and you bet one dollar, euro, pound, or any other currency you want to bet with, you will get nine more and your initial investment back. If you see a 13/5 odd, you get £13 for every £5 you wager.
- Decimal odds: Known as European, digital, and continental odds, there are typically used in continental Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Many people see decimal odds as easier to understand as you don’t need to add back your stake. The number doesn’t just represent the profit but the total payout instead. For instance, the odds of Charles Leclerc winning in Saudi Arabia on March 19 are 11.00. If he happens to win and you bet €10, you can win €110 (€10 x 11.00). You multiply your bet by the odds.
- Money line odds: Finally, American odds are called the money line. As you can tell by their name, they are popular in the United States. These odds are accompanied by a plus (+) and minus (-) sign. When there is a minus, it indicates how much you need to bet to win $100, while a plus indicated the amount you could win for every $100 you put on the stake. Let’s see an example. The odds of Verstappen winning might be -140, meaning you must put $140 on the line to win another $100. On the other hand, the odds for Alonso are +1400, meaning that by risking $100, you stand to win $1400 in case the Aston Martin driver finishes first.
Understand different types of bets in F1
Now that you are more familiar with how odds work, you should learn more about the different types of bets that are typically available in F1.
- To-win bets: This is very simple. You will place a bet on who you think will win the race. You can bet on both the driver and the constructor.
- Podium finish bets: These bets are similar to to-win bets, but you have higher chances of winning. You need to bet on someone who will finish on the podium first, second, or third.
- Pole position bets: As you will also probably follow the qualifying portion of a race weekend, you might as well try betting on who will be on the pole before the race.
- Fastest lap bets: It’s also possible to bet on who you think will have the race’s fastest lap.
- Driver matchup bets: When you opt for this kind of bet, you pick two drivers and bet on the one you think will end the race in a better position. Nothing else in the race matters, only how these two will perform.
- Proposition bets: The fastest lap is a type of proposition bet. Other ones don’t involve skill, like betting on how many cautions there will be. Moreover, you can also bet on which driver will switch to which team in the future.
Future bets: Finally, you can try a future bet. Predicting where a certain driver or team will finish the season would be best, meaning there are long-term bets.
Learn more about F1 rules, teams, and drivers
Being new to F1 might mean that you’re starting with zero knowledge. With that in mind, you can learn a little more about the recent rule changes, the teams of the grid, and the drivers that are racing for them.
A few rules were introduced in 2023. For one, the car’s floor has to be slightly higher than in previous seasons. Then, the “revised qualifying format” also appears this year during two unannounced weekends. Teams must use hard tires in the first session, medium ones in the second, and soft ones in the third. If this approach is seen as successful, it could become permanent. Moreover, there will be six sprint races instead of three. They will occur in Azerbaijan, Austria, Belgium, Qatar, Austin, and Brazil.
Current F1 teams and drivers
Judging by the season’s first race, Red Bull is still the team to beat, with Verstappen in the lead. While Ferrari replaced its team principal, it remains to be seen whether they will avoid the fumbles they made last year and finally allow Leclerc to shine fully. Mercedes seems to be struggling still, while Aston Martin and Fernando Alonso had a surprisingly good race. On the other hand, McLaren was bottom of the pack. Keeping up with the news and watching a few more races is a good idea if you’re not yet familiar with everyone and unsure about the form of certain teams.
Look into the operators and the bonuses they offer
In order to start making bets, you need to find a good operator. Whether you decide to do so in a betting shop or online, it’s vital to opt for top F1 betting sites & bookies. Here are a few tips that you should follow when picking a bookmaker.
Make sure they are licensed
First and foremost, you need someone with a license. Depending on where you are located, some local authorities might be in charge of issuing licenses to operators. Look into the regulations and see who has the stamp of approval. If the sector is not regulated in your country and there are no local authorities, look for some international ones. For instance, the Malta Gaming Authority and the UK Gambling Commission are just some that issue licenses to bookmakers that operate all over the globe.
Check out the bets they offer
The next step should be making sure they offer plenty of bets. A great variety means you will not get bored easily, and you can experiment occasionally. Furthermore, if they have other sports available, and they probably will, you might get into something else as well and have fun even during the seemingly never-ending summer break or a boring Tuesday.
See what bonuses you can expect
If you opt for the online approach, you’ll be glad to hear that you can expect many bonuses typically not offered in brick-and-mortar betting shops. For example, when you sign up and make your first deposit, you can expect a welcome bonus that will multiply the money you’ve put into your account. Depending on the provider, that might happen for the first few deposits. This means that you will get some free money that you can use to make more bets. You can also expect no-deposit bonuses, reload bonuses, cashback bonuses, loyalty rewards, and seasonal promotions.
Read about the available payment methods
Something else you want to pay attention to is the available payment methods. Open the payment options page of the website and see what is accepted. Most bookmakers will accept debit and credit cards like Visa and MasterCard. You should be able to use these for deposits and withdrawals but check the terms and conditions first. Then, many providers also allow users to rely on e-wallets, with the most popular being PayPal, Skrill, and Neteller. Although a bit rare, you might also be able to find a sportsbook that allows cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
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