Soccer is one of the most popular sports in South Africa, so it stands to reason that it will be one of the top sports to bet on in the country as well.
A truly global sport, there are almost always matches being played somewhere on the planet, with tournaments and leagues around the world among those that South Africans can bet on.
Domestic football is big in South Africa too and the top online bookmakers in the country usually have a solid range of markets to pick from for games involving teams such as Kaizer Chiefs.
Although soccer betting in South Africa is very popular, many sports fans in the country may not yet have tried it for themselves and are therefore unsure about how to get up and running. To help those people, we have put together our complete guide to soccer betting in South Africa.
Betting on sport has been around for a long, long time. And with soccer being one of the oldest sports in the world, people have been gambling on the outcome of games for over 100 years.
Like in other sports, soccer betting essentially boils down to people trying to predict the outcome of what will happen out there on the pitch. Pre-match betting is still the most common type of soccer betting but increasingly live in-play betting is getting more popular in South Africa too.
Soccer is a very fast-moving sport, which helps to make it particularly exciting to bet on. It is particularly unpredictable as well, with shock results relatively common. Even if a team is much better on paper, with more high-quality players, there is no guarantee that they will win a game.
In South Africa, online sports betting is now legal, which means people do not have to worry about any legal issues when they place a wager on the big game of the day. Plenty of soccer betting bookmakers are available, with South Africans able to make the most of welcome bonuses when they sign up for an account. Free bets and deposit bonuses are now commonly up for grabs, with betting sites in competition with each other to sign up new users.
Creating an account is a short, simple process even though South Africans also need to provide some verification documents - known as FICA - in order to get started with soccer betting. They will then have a wide choice of online payments to pick from, like a wire transfer, debit cards, e-wallets or even cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin to make their first deposit into an account.
Once funds have been added to a South African betting site, soccer fans just need to decide what they want to bet on. Some people use soccer betting tips to help them to make a selection.
Once they have made up their minds, they set the stake and confirm the bet, just like in other sports. Many top South African online bookmakers also have a cash-out option, which gives their customers a chance to lock in some guaranteed profit before the game is even over.
Sports fans looking for soccer betting sites in South Africa to join have a lot of choice and it can be difficult to decide which one to sign up with an account at - so here are the best to consider.
Well-known to soccer fans in South Africa due to sponsoring Premier League side West Ham, Betway has a Data Free offering that means players on mobile devices can save all their data.
This online bookmaker also has a Four To Score predictions game as well as various soccer betting promotions such as refunding up to 20x the stake of accumulator bets if one leg loses.
Betway SA is licensed and regulated by the Western Cape Gambling and Racing Board and it has a top range of live in-play soccer betting markets, as well as pre-match wagers too, for its users.
Arguably the best known South African online bookmaker is Hollywoodbets, which has betting shops around the country and sponsors a pair of top racecourses.
While horse racing is considered the main sport at Hollywoodbets, soccer is not left behind with users of this site able to win up to 10x their stake back in the event of one leg of an accumulator bet letting them down.
Various leagues played in Africa are available to bet on at Hollywoodbets, along with all the top global competitions such as the European Championship and the Champions League as well.
A top array of betting markets is one of the reasons why Bet.co.za is regarded among the best soccer betting sites in South Africa. For example, high-profile games in big global competitions typically have around 200 different bets to pick from, with a strong selection for in-play wagers.
At Bet.co.za, there are bet boosts that push its soccer betting odds up. Bonuses include those users who make a first goalscorer bet being given 50% of their stake back as a free bet if the bet loses but the player scores anytime.
Soccer is one of the main sports to bet on at World Sports Betting, which has an R50 free bet welcome bonus up for grabs to tempt South African sports fans into signing up for an account. Like at Bet.co.za, World Sports Betting has enhanced odds for sports like football, which ensures users can get some excellent value from their soccer betting wagers on this site.
A massive range of games are covered for in-play soccer betting at WSB, with live stats available to help players to decide what they are going to bet on during a game.
Over 100 live in-play betting options for soccer games in competitions like the Kenya Premier League will attract many sports fans to join Supabets. This South African sports betting site also has markets for women's football in SA, which is not always easy to find at rival operators.
The Supabets mobile site is also one of the best in the business. SA soccer fans who plan to place wagers on the big game while out and about might therefore opt to join Supabets.
A R50 sign up offer, similar to the World Sports Betting welcome bonus, is available here too.
Part of gambling giant Sun International, the SunBet online sports betting site is a great choice for South African soccer fans due to its gigantic range of markets.
While rival operators often have around 200 bets to pick from, big games at SunBet have more than 500 different options including which player will get an assist and even which player will hit the post or the crossbar.
Soccer promotions offered here include a form of acca insurance bonus that sees SunBet customers given their entire stake back if just one leg of a multiple with 10 legs or more loses.
Soccer fans who also like to play live casino games will find Gbets to be a solid choice of site to join. Indeed, Gbets says that it currently pays out over R300 million in winnings every month.
Like at SunBet, big games at Gbets have over 500 different soccer betting markets offered. However, this figure drops a lot for lower-profile competitions around the world.
Along with soccer, those who join Gbets can also bet on esports and virtual sports, so the range of gambling products here is perhaps wider than at any other South African sports betting site.
Last on our list of the best soccer betting sites in South Africa is SportingBet, which like Betway operates in a number of countries around the world. A 100% bonus is offered for the first deposit soccer fans make after signing up for an account on the site.
SportingBet SA users can also benefit from features such as building their own bet, as well as auto cash out and an option that allows them to quickly share a wager with friends and family. SportingBet promotions include an acca insurance deal that offers a refund if one leg loses.
After deciding which online bookmaker to join, South African sports fans might be tempted to read up on some soccer betting tips and strategy before starting to place wagers. The good news is that there are lots of soccer betting tips out there, but on the flip side it is difficult to know which advice and predictions are going to be the most accurate and are worth following. Some soccer betting tips do keep track of how their experts are performing, so keep an eye on these.
Some people swear by a soccer betting strategy and this can be useful for a lot of betting site customers. For example, it can pay off to specialise in a certain league or competition. This makes it easier to keep track of things like the latest injury news, which will affect the odds of each game, while lower-profile matches often have much better value odds available too. With so much football played around the world, it is virtually impossible to be an expert on all of it. As a result, some South Africans may benefit from sticking to the teams and leagues they know.
Others find that placing most of their wagers in a certain type of market is their route to potential profits from bets. Both teams to score is a market that some people trust in their soccer betting strategies, but others can work too. One potential soccer betting strategy that can help people to win big is to back a correct score, then cash out if that score happens at any point in the game. For example, backing a team to win 1-0 might enable people to lock in a guaranteed profit once they score the opening goal of the game, even if there is a lot of time still on the clock.
Using soccer betting promotions is a good idea for South African sports fans. Those yet to join a sports betting site will probably be able to get a free bet or a deposit bonus in exchange for signing up for an account. This can offer a chance to win real cash with no risk involved. Free bets are also commonly given out by operators as a way to reward the loyalty of their customers, which of course also encourages them to come back to the site again and again.
Typical soccer betting promotions include acca insurance, which is in place at many SA online bookmakers and gives players back their stake - or a portion of it - if they place a multiple bet that is let down from winning by a single leg. Hedging may also be possible in these situations.
In soccer betting, hedging is a term used to describe covering all of the available options. Obviously, this is not profitable pre-match as the bookmaker will retain a margin when they are calculating the odds that they make available. However, for multiple bets like accumulators, hedging can come into play when some of the early legs land. Players may be able to cover all of the bases for the remaining games to make sure they get a positive return from their stake.
Other golden rules of online gambling are the same for soccer as they are for other sports. It is a good idea to set a budget for soccer bets. This should never be more money than a player can afford to lose if all their wagers do not come off. Many of the top South African online betting sites have great responsible gambling policies now, with features such as deposit limits widely available. It is always well worth making the most of these deposit limits at sports betting sites due to the fact that sticking to a budget helps to keep a person's gambling under close control.
It is not uncommon for a big game in a competition like the English Premier League or the Champions League to have hundreds of different markets on sports betting sites.
However, here are some of the most common soccer betting markets - and what they mean:
1x2 (full-time result): A simple one to start off, 1x2 is the match odds market. 1 refers to the home team, 2 to the away team, and the x is the draw. Backers have to predict the final result.
Accumulators: Very popular with soccer and around the world, accumulators are cherished as they offer a chance to win life-changing money from relatively small stakes. Backers combine a number of bets into the same wager in order to bump up the odds by a lot.
Draw no bet: This bet does exactly what the name suggests. Backers pick a team to win and, if the final result of the game is a draw, their stake will be returned back into their betting account.
Double chance: Again, this bet is what bettors would expect. Double chance bets give players two opportunities to win. An example of a double chance bet would be backing the result to be either a draw or a win for the away team. It is particularly useful when backing the underdog.
Correct score: Predicting the correct score in soccer betting is famously difficult, but that does not stop a lot of fans of the game from trying. The correct score bet is only valid for the first 90 minutes, in the event of a match in a cup competition going to either extra time or penalties.
Halftime/fulltime: Similar to 1x2 bets, the extra facet of halftime/fulltime bets is that backers have to guess the result at both the break and the final whistle. For example, fans might want to bet on the away side to be in front at halftime but for the home team to turn it around by the end.
Halftime/fulltime correct score: This is the same as the above betting market, but the backer has to pick the score for the break and the end of the game, not just the result.
Goalscorers (first, last, and anytime): Very popular for soccer betting, goal scorer markets can provide a lot of value. It is possible to bet on who scores the first goal in the game, or the last goal, or even just betting on a player to score at any time in the game. Additionally, a lot of the top betting sites offer similar markets such as to score and win the game.
Both teams to score: This bet is handy for games where goals are expected. As long as both teams in the game can find the net, then the BTTS bet will be a winning wager.
Result/both teams to score: A useful combination bet, backers pick the result of the match as well as betting that each side will be on target during the game as well.
Over/under goals: Goals markets are a very popular choice, with over/under the main choice. It is usually the case that over/under 2.5 goals is the default. This means if there are three or more goals in the game, over 2.5 wins, and if there are two or less, then under 2.5 goals wins. This bet works the same whether the number is 2.5 or 0.5, 1.5, 3,5, 4.5 and so on.
Win to nil: If a backer thinks a team will win a game and keep a clean sheet, then the win to nil market on sportsbooks is going to be the right selection for them to make.
European handicap: Handicaps are increasingly popular for soccer betting. Essentially, the handicap means teams have goals either added to or taken away from the number of goals they actually score in the game. For example, if Chelsea are -1 against Tottenham, they need to win by two clear goals or more for the bet to be a winner. Handicaps work in the other direction too. If a fan bets on Tottenham +2, then the bet wins even if Spurs actually lose the game by a single goal. Handicaps can provide a lot of value in matches where there is a strong favourite to win the game, with their odds to win very short as a result. European handicap markets are sometimes shown as EH for short on sports betting sites.
Asian lines: Asian lines are another type of handicap. They are named as such as they originated in Asia, but these markets can now be found at sportsbooks all over the world, including in Ireland. The difference between European and Asian handicaps is that in Asian lines, the number can be a fraction, whereas it is always a full number on the European handicap. Chelsea -1.5 on the Asian handicap would be the equivalent to Chelsea -1 as an EH bet. The half goal means that the draw is eliminated from the potential outcome of the bet, whereas in EH the draw can result in a push and the stake being returned to the player as a result. The Asian and European handicaps are effectively a form of spread betting, but with sport. Asian lines can be used on various markets, including total goals scored, as well as for which team will win.
Specials: Among the ways that the top betting sites try to beat their competition in the industry is through the use of special bets. These can be a variety of markets, including request-a-bet wagers where customers can effectively build their own accumulators. Enhanced odds and price boosts are some of the other special bets that are widely available at SA bookmakers. There might also be special soccer markets offered at times, for example offering the chance to bet on which manager will be the next to be sacked in the English Premier League. Many online bookmakers also allow bets on soccer transfers nowadays, with wagers taken on which club a particular player will sign for before the end of the transfer window.
Soccer betting in South Africa works in a similar way to many other sports, with sites's users essentially having to try to predict what will happen during the course of a game, whether that is the correct score, which team will win or which players will be booked. Pre-match and also live in-play betting are both available, with accumulators among the top types of soccer bets in SA.
South Africa is now home to a large number of soccer betting sites and each of them has their own pros and cons, but some of them stand out as being the best soccer bookmakers in SA. Betway, Hollywoodbets, Bet.co.za and World Sports Betting are widely regarded among the country's leading soccer betting sites, along with Supabets, SunBet, Gbets and SportingBet.
Soccer betting has a lot of jargon that can be confusing for newcomers to gambling.
Over and under could be among the terms that are hard to understand, but they are really quite simple. They usually relate to goal markets that are popular choices at soccer betting sites.
For example, over 2.5 goals means at least three goals must be scored for the bet to win. Under 2.5 goals means that as long as fewer than three goals are scored, it is a winning wager.
Virtual soccer betting can be a great option at sports betting markets when there is no live action available, or if the games that are ongoing simply do not appeal.
In virtual soccer betting, customers at soccer betting sites place wagers on the outcome of computer-simulated sports and events. Other virtual sports like horse racing are offered too. Virtual soccer matches are played around the clock, so there is always something to bet on.