How to bet on the FIFA World Cup

09 Jul 2021
Phil Lowe 09 Jul 2021
Share this article
Or copy link
  • New to World Cup betting?
  • Read our guide to betting on the FIFA World Cup!
FIFA World Cup
(Photo by Getty Images)

How to bet on the FIFA World Cup

The FIFA World Cup is the biggest competition in world football, with international teams from around the world competing with one another to get their hands on the most coveted prize in the game. 

The tournament is one of the most exciting times to be a football fan, with a month of non-stop action and games every day providing punters with the perfect chance to win some serious money. 

The universal interest in the tournament also means that bookmakers are also at the top of their game, offering excellent odds and various special offers throughout the tournament. 

When is the FIFA World Cup? 

The FIFA World Cup takes place once every four years, with 32 teams from around the world entering the competition. 

The competition typically takes place in the Summer months between June and July and lasts for four weeks. 

The opening stages of the tournament, also known as the group stages, last for two weeks and there are typically three games a day during this period. 

This number tends to decrease, first to two and then to one, as the tournament progresses into the latter stages. 

The final of the tournament typically takes place on a Sunday. 

Types of bets 

Football is one of the biggest markets for bookmakers these days and as a result, all the big companies are constantly refreshing their markets in an attempt to compete with one another. 

The following are the most common types of football bets:

Full-time result

This is the easiest type of football bet and simply involves choosing the full-time result of the game. 

There are three options available when it comes to making this type of bet- team A, team B or a draw. 

The typical home and away structure doesn’t exist in the World Cup due to the fact that the tournament is held in one country, so you will have to have a much bigger knowledge of the sport and the teams involved instead. 

It is also worth noting that due to the fact that the latter stages of the World Cup offer a tournament format, that full-time results often apply to the result at 90 minutes, and not after extra time or penalties. 


Accumulators have quickly established themselves as the most popular type of football bets. 

An accumulator, also known as an ‘acca’ is a bet where the customer chooses 4 or more selections on their slip and must get all of them right to pick up their winnings. 

One of the biggest reasons for the rise in popularity of accumulators in recent years is that they often offer a high reward for a very low risk. That being said,   can be incredibly cruel due to the fact that only one of your teams needs to lose for the bet to be lost, and there is nothing more heartbreaking than having one result let you down once eight results have already come in. 

Various types of accumulators have become popular in recent years, with bookmakers constantly scrambling to one-up each other in this market. Things like BTTS (both teams to score) and over/under accumulators are quickly rising in popularity. 

Due to the scheduling of the World Cup though, accumulators can often take several days to finish, so patience is often required. 

Top goalscorer

One of the most popular markets to bet on during the World Cup is the top goalscorer market. 

Given the incredible array of talent that is often on display at a World Cup, there are normally several serious candidates to take home the much coveted Golden Boot- the prize awarded to the player who scores the most goals in the tournament. 

This can also prove to be a fairly lucrative market depending on how the tournament plays out due to the fact that players can end up playing several more games than their rivals depending on how far their team gets in the tournament. 

Most bookmakers will also offer top goalscorer markets for the group stages of the tournament as well. 

Goalscorer markets

Another staple of the football betting market is the goalscorer bets. Most bookmakers will offer odds on the first and/or last goalscorer in any given game, while also providing odds on whether an individual player will score at any time during the match. 

Any bookmaker worth their salt with a selection of these bets available for every game in the tournament. 

These bets especially benefit those with a solid knowledge of goalscoring form and player’s previous records against specific countries. 

Tournament outrights

Perhaps the most common type of bet placed during any given World Cup is one on who will win the entire tournament. 

These markets tend to get narrower as the tournament gets closer and countries begin to name their squads for the tournament, but if you have an early feeling as to who will win the big prize, you can often very generous odds months or even years in advance of the tournament.

Handicap bets

As the name suggests, handicap betting is when one of the teams in the game is playing with a handicap. 

When one of the teams is such a clear favourite that they are almost not worth betting on, bookies will offer a handicap suggesting that one of the teams starts the game working, for example at a margin of -1, meaning that they would have to outscore their opponents by 2 goals to pick up the win. 

These are often very useful to place during the group stages of the World Cup tournament, where top sides will come up against much smaller sides and will likely pick up very comfortable victories. 

Special types of bets 

The World Cup is big business for bookmakers and as such, most of the major companies will be competing with one another to offer the best odds and offers. 

For every game during the tournament you will find various different proposition bets and as a general rule- the bigger the game, the more offers the bookmakers will have on. This means that during the latter stages of the tournament, when every game becomes a must-see, there is often a lot of offers to be exploited. 

These offers typically range from in-play odds boosts to enhanced accumulators and novelty proposition bets. 

Some bookmakers may also offer sign up bonuses during the tournament in order to attract new punters, so this could provide you with the chance to try out some new bookies and take advantage of these. 

Where to bet 

As its name might suggest, the World Cup is the biggest footballing event in the world, so you won’t have any difficulty finding a bookmaker offering odds on the tournament. 

Some bookmakers, however, will offer a lot more markets than others.

You can check out our reviews of various bookmakers and also how to take advantage of sign-up bonuses using the drop-down menus at the top of the page. 

FIFA World Cup betting strategy

The FIFA World Cup is one of the most exciting events in football and is also an excellent opportunity to make some extra cash betting on the football. 

Prior research is often essential when it comes to the World Cup, with the intensive nature of the tournament leaving little to no time for analysis. 

A knowledge of team’s forms, their qualifying campaigns, their player’s fitness and their previous records against other teams are all incredibly useful. 

Another factor that has often come to play in big international tournaments is team morale. The squad of players do not play with each other every week and dissent in the dressing room, especially at big tournaments, is not entirely uncommon and has derailed big teams at the tournament in the past. 

Top Sports Sites

Upcoming Events