Betting on sports is practically an accepted Irish custom rather than being thought of as a dubious activity but it must be said that gambling has come a long way in recent years; gone are the days of the darkened windows and smoke filled rooms of the male dominated betting shops where all was about the horses and the dogs. Today there are still betting shops of course but for the most part they are bright airy places with attractive window displays and in decent weather even the door is open to welcome you but it is online gambling that has really opened up sports gambling in a big way. Horse racing and Greyhounds are still big business and there are meetings nearly every day somewhere in Ireland or the UK and often several meetings per day.
Online bookmakers will also happily give you as much information as possible about form and past performance of dogs and horses and even list the tips from the various newspaper tipsters but just as a thought, would the tipsters still be tipsters if they were right all the time? If you are registered with one of the better bookmakers you can get a live feed to your computer to watch the race thereby being independent from television broadcasts or the high street bookmakers own live feeds. The real advantage of online gambling however is the range of sports on which you can place a wager and indeed the ways in which that bet can be placed. Football is one of the most common gambling mediums but it is not simply a question of picking 8 draws or 4 away wins any more, now you can bet on the final score, the half time score, when the goals will be scored, who will score them and so it goes on and of course the very latest offered by several of the bookmakers is in play betting which means that even after the match has started you can still place a bet which can sometimes be a better option but more of that in our detailed football section.
Rugby Union is also part of Irelands history at least since a certain Webb Ellis picked the ball up in a soccer game and here again the 6 nations tournament each year provides a wonderful gambling opportunity for those with a bit of knowledge of the game. Even if you consider the result to be a foregone conclusion you can still place bets on the winning margin or you give the underdog a head start of a few points, online sports gambling has all this at your fingertips and both the Irish and British games are available.
Something more sedate would be golf where tournaments last several days giving the opportunity for the odds to change on a regular basis and with the American and European circuits moving to warmer climates in the winter there are tournaments nearly every week all year round and plenty of good Irish players to follow on both tours.
Even more sedate and mostly in the winter is snooker where several televised tournaments let you follow the excitement and pick your winner. You can bet per match or on the tournament winner but obviously the odds on the winner reduce as the tournament progresses as there are fewer players . Tennis is not a sport followed by many Irish people probably due to the lack of any top players but don’t let that stop you, there is plenty of action all over the world with the top male and female players fighting it out most weeks in one tournament or another; some of the odds at tennis seem a little extreme especially in the early rounds where favourites are drawn against outsiders but strange things happen in tennis and you might consider 16 or 20 to one on a two horse race where there can be no draw not bad odds for anyone; even injury can put somebody out of the tournament, not that we would wish that on anyone.
We also have a special section for the gambling Irish public which we call GAA sports; most people will associate GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) with the games of Gaelic Football and of course Hurling but actually the GAA covers other sports such as Rounders, Camogie and Handball.
Popular in the winter months mainly due to television coverage is American Football which culminates in Superbowl. How the various teams get to the Superbowl from the divisions is a mystery to a lot of people but we do try to explain it on our American Football page. As with Rugby there are plenty of gambling opportunities especially in such high scoring games and you can bet on individual matches, conference winners and superbowl winners.
Another sport often overlooked as a gambling medium is boxing and again Irish interest is quite high. Bookmakers usually have a clear favourite for matches but as there are so many bouts at so many weights and locations around the world there can be some good opportunities and even if the result is in your opinion not in doubt you can probably get better odds by forecasting the round in which the fight will finish.
Another sport not that popular in Ireland is cricket which in gambling terms has had some bad publicity mainly due to alleged fixing of spot betting but there are still plenty of gambling opportunities for match winners and individual players scores.
Last but not least we feature Motor Racing which most people will correctly associate with Formula 1. As we see on a regular basis in the sport there might be a clear favourite and there are some tracks where a pole position virtually guarantees a win but nothing is certain as even the best cars break down and accidents will happen due to driver error or mechanical failure. On many occasions a car can be put out of a race because somebody else made an error and this makes gambling an interesting proposition.
Whatever your chosen sport, online gambling is the way forward, choose one or more of our recommended bookmakers and see if you know just that little bit of information that makes the difference.