How to bet on the world cup

As the World Cup moves into its third week of the five-week festivities, the betting activities are cranking up even higher. You don't have to be a professional gambler to have some online Vegas games betting fun by placing some wagers on the games. Here's a short summary of everything that you need to know to join the World Cup frenzy and -- hopefully -- make a few dollars along the way. 

The World Cup

The FIFA World Cup involves a football competition that brings senior men's national teams from around the world into a five-week long contest to determine which team is the world's best. The championship runs every 4 years that starts with a qualification phase and moves on to quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final match between the two top teams that have survived all of the previous rivalries.

The qualification phase starts 3 years before the actual World Cup Finals. Dozens of teams from around the world vie to be included in the tournament phase which involves the top 32 teams that play against each other. As the matches move forward, teams are eliminated and the excitement builds to see which 2 teams will make it to the final.

The World Cup has been heavily dominated by Brazil which is the only team that has played in every tournament since the competition began in 1930 and, overall, has won five times. Germany and Italy have won four times each and other winners have included England, France, Spain, Argentina and Uruguay.  

World Cup 2018

Iceland and Panama are making their first appearance at the 2018 World Cup which is being held in numerous locations throughout Russia including the Mordovia Arena in Saransk where the opening competition was held and the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow where the final tournament will take place.

Based on previous World Cup audiences, it's estimated that one-ninth of the world's population will watch at least one game of the series, with many viewers watching more. If you're a fan, you might want to know how you can become more involved with a small or hefty wager. Here are some of the things to keep in mind if you're going to make a bet.


The odds displayed on the World Cup differ slightly from odds on other games. There are different types of odds including


  • Fractional odds -- The traditional way of showing odds which involves showing the total to be paid out for a successful bet in relation to the stake. So, for instance, if you bet $1 at 5/1 odds you'd receive $6 –- your original $1 stake plus your $5 payout. It's important to read the odds correctly since if you bet $1 at 1/5 odds you'd receive $1.20 –- 20 cents plus your $1 stake. So make sure that you're betting exactly what you want to bet!
  • American Odds – "Moneyline" or American odds involves positive or negative figures that designate the amount of money that the better wins on their stake. If the figure quoted is shown with a + sign it shows the amount of money that you would win on a $100 stake and if the figure is shown with a – symbol it designates the amount of money that you would need to stake in order to win $100. For instance, 5/1 (decimal 6) would display as +500. That means that if you bet $1 on +500 you'd receive $6. On a 1/5 (decimal 1.2) you'd see -500, so with a $1 bet on -500 you'd get $1.20 back.
  • Decimal Odds –- Decimal odds show an outcome that's equivalent to one plus the decimal value of the fractional odds. 1/5 would be Decimal 1.2 so betting $1 on Decimal 1.2 would return $1.20. Alternately, 5/1  would be Decimal 6 and wagering $1 on Decimal 6 would return $6. 

Types of Bets

Make sure that you know what the terms of the bet you are placing involve. The outcome may be different than your expectation if you don't fully understand the type of bet. 

Bet types include:

  • Win Bets – The most simple bet. You bet on one of the 2 teams to win and you get a payout according to the odds on the game.
  • Multiple Bet is a wager in which you make several predictions – all must occur for you to win. A multiple bet in the World Cup might include a prediction on a win plus a prediction on the scoring success of specific players. 

Prop Bets

Prop Bets involve bets that don't fall into other categories – they are wagers on points scored within a specific group, total goals scored in a match, best finish by continent, total number of red cards issued, etc. There are all kinds of interesting, unusual, and exotic Prop Bets you can try your luck at. And that is part of the fun and excitement of FIFA World Cup betting.

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