Welcome to the Ultimate Betting Guide for South African punters! We created this all-in-one virtual handbook to help you learn all the basics of Sports Betting, Lucky Numbers, Betgames as well as some of the casino games on offer. With this comprehensive guide, our aim is to introduce you to the most popular forms of betting, where to play, and how you can get started today!
Table of Contents
History of Legal Sports Betting in South Africa
Legal sports betting in South Africa is relatively new due to restrictions that were in place for many years before democracy. Under the National Gambling Act of 2004, provisions were made for gambling activities with a new set of norms and standards introduced. The National Gambling Board became responsible for the supervision and regulation of the gambling industry.
Nine gambling boards in South Africa have already licensed over 32 websites where South Africans can gamble legally. Any operator with a license granted by the gambling board of that province are legally permitted to allow South Africans to play on their site. It is estimated that the online sports betting industry in our country is now worth around R800 million!
Sports Betting in South Africa
Sports Betting in South Africa is huge, the last few years have seen the industry grow to the point where there are over 30 bookmakers to choose from in South Africa! In this section we are going to look at the why more punters are betting online, how to open a sports betting account and everything else you need to get started.
We’ve also covered most of the best bookmakers in South Africa in our review section, in case you’d like to find out more about a certain betting site. Every bookmaker has it’s pro’s and con’s and we’ve done our best to find the best and worst bookmakers in SA. We only recommend bookmakers who are licensed in South Africa so punters can bet with peace of mind.
Betting Shop vs Online Betting
It wasn’t too long ago that a trip to the tote was the only way you could get down a sports bet in South Africa. Brick and mortar bookmakers are still very popular among punters and maintain a big share of the sports betting market. But with more and more operators now licensed online, placing bets on a computer or smartphone has become increasingly popular among punters.
Data Free Sports Betting Sites
Another factor to consider when starting to bet online is if you want to do so data free or not. There are various Data Free Betting Sites in South Africa where you can bet without using a cent of data. However you won’t be able to play certain casino games or live stream matches on a data free site, which is no problem for sports fans. Currently you can enjoy betting data free at Betway, Gbets, World Sports Betting and Supabets.
How to Open a Sports Betting Account
The process for opening a sports betting account is fairly similar across most websites and requires you to follow these simple steps;
Step 1 – Enter the web address for the bookmaker into your browser. If you don’t know the address you can always just Google the name and find it from there. Alternatively you can see our list of betting sites and find one you like there.
Step 2 – On the site’s homepage, look near the top right of your screen and click the button that says something like “Join now!”, “Register” or “Open an account”.
Step 3 – Fill in your personal details such as full name, address and telephone number. Choose a username and password you won’t easily forget! We recommend using a secure password, to ensure your account is safe.
Step 4 – Check your inbox for an email asking you to confirm your account. Some bookmakers may send you an sms confirming successful registration
Step 5 – With your account confirmed, you can now log in and make your first deposit.
How to Deposit Money into Your Account
Depositing money into your sports betting account is pretty easy. Your payment options will depend on the site, but should include debit and credit cards at the very least. The best sites also allow you to deposit via EFT from affiliated banks, from a web wallet, or with a voucher.
1Voucher is a widely used and accepted method of payment, and we recommend it to punters who are looking to make voucher deposits.
Step 1 – Visit the homepage of your favourite sports betting site
Step 2 – Log in to your account with your username and password
Step 3 – Click the “Deposit” button (often at the top right of your screen)
Step 4 – Choose your deposit method and the amount
How to FICA Your Account
Before you can withdraw any money from your sports betting account, you’re required by law to provide the operator with a copy of your green South African ID book (or Smart ID card) as well as a utility bill (water/electricity account or bank statement). This is generally known as FICA.
Some bookmakers do make an exception, allowing punters to withdraw up to R3000 without the need for documents, however this is the exception rather than the rule. So it’s best to plan on sending the required documents in anyway, as you don’t want to have any troubles with your withdrawals!
The utility bill must not be older than 3 months and should include your full name and current physical address. Some bookies offer a convenient service where you can photograph the required documents on your smartphone and send them over Whatsapp. You can read our full FICA guide should you want to know more.
How to Get a Fica Bonus/Welcome Free Bet
Many sports betting sites offer a FICA bonus or a welcome free bet of between R10 – R100 once your personal documents have been verified. This money is added to your account balance as a thank you for taking the time and effort to comply with the process.
To claim your FICA bonus for verifying your account, carefully follow all the instructions, otherwise you might miss out! These offers are restricted to new customers and usually require a small deposit if you’d like to withdraw the winnings.
You can find out about all the different welcome free bet offers available on our Fica bonus page.
Placing your first Sports bet
You’ve now opened a sports betting account and know how to deposit in order to start placing bets. The next step in the sports betting journey is to place your first bet. In order to do this you need to understand the basics of what you can bet on and how to place a bet, all of which we cover below.
Which Sports Can I Bet on?
South African sports books have a wide variety of sports you can bet on, which includes horse racing, soccer, rugby, cricket, golf as well as American sports like NFL, baseball, basketball, ice hockey and many more. Some bookmakers will offer sports that others won’t but all bookmakers will at a minimum offer Soccer betting.
What is a Sport Betting Market?
Betting markets are the different types of outcomes you can bet on for any sports event. Bookies offer anything between 3 and 300 betting markets on a match. The betting market you choose will depend on which outcome you want to predict. For example, a soccer match will have different markets for the match result, total number of goals scored, actual goal scorers, and many more.
Here are some popular betting markets across a range of sports including soccer, rugby and cricket;
Match Result – This is the most common betting market of all. Select the team or player you think will win the match. In sports where a draw is possible, you can also bet on this result.
Point Spread – A point spread is used in sports betting to “level the playing field” between two unevenly matched teams. The bookmaker chooses a number of points that can either be added or subtracted to the final score depending on which team is the favourite to win.
Over/Under – Predict whether there will be more or less total goals, points, runs or tries than the given number in any match. To win your bet, the match must finish with over/under your chosen number.
Outright – Outright Betting is a long-term bet which involves choosing the winner of a tournament or series rather than just a single match. For instance, you might take an outright bet on the winner of Wimbledon, the Ashes or the Rugby World Cup.
How to Place a Sports Bet
Once you have a basic knowledge of markets and what they mean it’s time to get down to business and place your first sports bet. Make sure you have a cash or bonus balance in order to place your bet. Most bookmakers in South Africa offer a minimum bet of R1, which is what we recommend starting with until you are more confident. The below guide will assist you in placing your first bet;
Step 1 – Log in to Your Account
Visit the betting site’s homepage and log in to your account with your username and password
Step 2 – Find Your Match
Look at the menu of sports available (usually on the left hand side of your screen) and click the sport you want to bet on. If required, select your event/league/tournament from the drop-down menu and then click on the specific match you want.
Step 3 – Add Your Bet
On the first screen there might be just a few betting markets such as Match Winner and not much else. If you’re looking for something specific, click on the event for more betting markets. To add your bet, click on the odds to send that selection to your bet slip. If you want to add more, keep adding bets this way until you’re done.
Step 4 – Place Your Bet
Go to the bet slip (usually on the right hand side of your screen) and enter the amount you want to bet under “Stake”. Once you’ve entered your stake you can now see how much you stand to win. If you’re happy with the bet/s you’ve selected, then click the “Submit” or “Place Bet” button. Your stake is always returned along with any winning bets.
How to Withdraw Funds from Your Account
You’ve had a good start to your betting and you account balance is looking healthy, you’ll likely want to withdraw your money at this point. Before you can get money out, your sports betting account must first be successfully verified. See above ‘How to FICA Your Account’.
There are 4 common withdrawal options that you can use to cash out. The most common is the EFT, where the bookmaker pays the money directly into your bank account. The other options are ABSA Cashsend, FNB eWallet and Standard Bank money send. If you choose to withdraw the bookmaker will send you an SMS with a code that you can use to cash out at an ATM.
Step 1 – Visit the site’s homepage and log in to your account with your username and password
Step 2 – Click the “My Account” or “Profile” button (often at the top right of your screen)
Step 3 – Click “Withdraw” and select the amount of money you wish to take out (withdrawals are processed to the same account you used to deposit and usually take 2-3 business days)
There are several other withdrawal methods available at selected bookmakers, so be sure to check what options you have, to find one that works best for you.
What Do Odds Mean in Sports Betting?
Before you bet money on sports, it’s helpful to know how odds work. Betting odds tell you how likely an event (sports result) is to happen and how much money you will win if your bet is successful. Odds are shown as either fractions or decimals but they mean exactly the same.
9/1 can be calculated as 1 / (9 + 1) = 0.10 – 10% chance your bet will win
4/1 can be calculated as 1 / (4 + 1) = 0.20 – 20% chance your bet will win
1/1 can be calculated as 1 / (1 + 1) = 0.50 – 50% chance your bet will win
1/4 can be calculated as 4 / (4 + 1) = 0.80 – 80% chance your bet will win
The easiest way to think about it is as follows: 4/1 means for every R1 you bet, you will win R4. You always get your stake back on winning bets (shown as “+1” above), so your total return would be R5.
Some South African bookmakers use a different odds display that the others. Hollywoodbets for example use an odds display of 0.5, which would be the same as 1.5 at Sportingbet or Betway. Additionally all bookmakers in South Africa will return your stake on winning bets, it would be illegal of them not to do so!
What are the Different Types of Sports Bets?
Single Bets – These bets involve just one selection, and you win if you guess the result correctly. For winning bets, you’re paid out as soon as the outcome of your chosen match is made official.
Multibets (also called multiples, accumulators or parlays) – These combine 2 or more selections (usually from different events) into one bet for a bigger payout. For multibets, every selection must win. If any results don’t go your way, the bet loses and your money is gone.
System Bets – For these bets, not all of your selections have to win to get paid out. The amount returned depends on how many results go your way. System bets require a higher minimum stake than single or multibets, and at least two selections must win to get paid out.
Pre-Match vs In-Play Sports Betting
Pre-match betting is just what it sounds like–placing bets before the start of a sports event, and was the only form of betting available until the late 1990s. The first bookies to offer in-play betting took bets over the telephone while a sports event was already underway, which has now evolved today to be even more popular than pre-match betting with the growth of the Internet.
In-play betting brings a completely different dynamic with the odds constantly changing as the match progresses. In-play betting gives you the chance to double up on bets you’ve already placed pre-match or to bet on the other side if things aren’t going your way.
Betting Promotions and Specials
Promotions and specials allow you to take advantage of enhanced odds, player specials and other kinds of unique betting markets that aren’t always available. Some examples might be “Get your stake back up to R100 when one leg of your 5-leg (or more) soccer accumulator loses”, or “Chelsea to win and Giroud to score at enhanced odds of 7/1”.
Most bookmakers will run weekly specials as well as fixed specials. There are so many different specials it would take all day to read through them! For convenience sake we’ve listed some of the best current sports betting promotions that punters should look to take advantage of. The best specials to look out for are always the Free Bet or Deposit Bonus specials, which usually come around during major sporting events.
Mobile betting takes the convenience of placing bets online to the next level, allowing you to back your team or player from your smartphone anywhere, anytime. Some of our favourite sports betting operators have mobile-friendly websites, while others have mobile apps you can download to make your betting experience all the more convenient.
Mobile betting apps usually have the same functionality as sports betting websites except they are specially designed for mobile use. If you aren’t yet betting on your smartphone, you need to try it–just imagine all the time and money you could save not having to travel to your local Internet cafe or bookie!
Many bookmakers are also offering Data free betting on their sites, Betway for example allow you to access their site and make deposits and bets all without using any mobile data. Perfect for punters on a budget.
Sports Betting Apps
Betting Apps are a popular tool for many sports bettors as they allow you quick access to your betting account from your mobile or tablet. There are several South African bookmakers that offer a mobile app to download, either from the Play store or via an APK. We’ve listed all the best sports betting apps for your convenience. The installation process is very simple and you’ll be betting from an app in no time.
Betting features like Cash Out and Edit my Bet are very popular as they give punters more control over their bets than ever. There are several bookmakers that offer cash out, while other bookies might offer features like same match bet builder or partial cash out. These features are becoming more widespread and we recommend using a bookmaker that offers any of these features.
Where Can I Get Results For Sports Matches?
Once you’ve got your bets down, you might be wondering where to find results for all the games. While it’s not always possible to watch the game at your local bookie, in a bar with your friends or at home on TV, you can always find match results online, even while the games are still ongoing.
Flashscore is our favourite sports results website with past and live results for soccer, rugby, cricket, horse racing and more. On Sportingbet, you can watch live games on video as long as there’s money in your account and you’ve been active in the last 24 hours. World Sports Betting also have a great live streaming feature where you can watch and bet on selected matches.
Most bookmakers also have a results section that you can use, but these aren’t very user friendly which is why we prefer to use results sites.
Casino Games and Slots
Over the course of 2020 and 2021 most major South African betting sites added legal casino and slots games to their offering. Players can now enjoy playing a variety of casino games, ranging from roulette, blackjack to the exciting live studio games from Evolution. There’s a massive selection of games on offer and we recommend a read through our casino games guide for more details.
On the slots front you can enjoy playing Spina Zonke games at Hollywoodbets, Pragmatic and YGG Drasil games at Supabets and more. There are over 200 unique slots games to choose from, all legal and licensed in South Africa.
Betgames are fast becoming one of South Africa’s favourite online games. Created by Betgames.Tv and initially branded as Betgames Africa, the games have since been offered by bookmakers under the Betgames label. Most popular South African bookies will offer the games, and we’ll be explaining how these work;
What are BetGames?
BetGames are a fun and exciting way to play online that combine traditional fixed odds betting with lottery and casino-style games. BetGames has become incredibly popular in South Africa because of how easy it is to play on your smartphone.
Live BetGames draws happen every 3-5 minutes, so unlike the South African National Lottery, you never have to wait long to win again. These lucky draws are also streamed online, bringing a fun and entertaining aspect to all the action!
What Kinds of BetGames Can I Play?
Betgames include a variety of draws such as Lucky 5, Lucky 6, Lucky 7 as well as Wheel of Fortune, Dreamcatcher and Dice. Also try your hand at casino games which include Poker, Roulette, Baccarat, and many more! Imagine having all the fun games you can play in a casino right in the palm of your hand… well that’s possible with BetGames!
Where to play Betgames?
- On Sportingbet, you can play Lucky 5, Lucky 6 and Lucky 7, plus Dreamcatcher, Wheel of Fortune, Roulette and more. Register today and claim your 100% first deposit match bonus up to R2000.
- On Betway, you can play Lucky 5, Lucky 6, Lucky 7, plus Dice, Poker, Baccarat, Wheel of Fortune and more. Register today and claim your R25 free bet (no deposit required).
- On Hollywoodbets, you can play Lucky 5, Lucky 6, Lucky 7, plus Speedy 7, Wheel of Fortune, Dice, War of Bets and more. Register today and claim your R25 sign up bonus.
- On Gbets, you can play Lucky 5, Lucky 6, Lucky 7, plus War of Bets, Poker, Baccarat, Lucky Wheel, Dice Duel and more. Register today and claim your 100% first deposit match bonus up to R1000.
- On World Sports Betting, you can play Lucky 5, Lucky 6, Lucky 7, Dice and more. Register today and claim your first deposit bonus up to R10 000 when using the voucher code BSB001.
Lucky Numbers betting is similar to playing the lottery except you have many more chances to win. With Lucky Numbers, you have more options available than picking all the winning numbers. You can also bet on 1, 2, 3 or 4 different numbers to be drawn, high or low numbers, single digit numbers, the colour of the ball, and much more.
Some popular Lucky Numbers games you can play are the South African Lotto, UK49s, Spanish Daily (with or without a boost), Euro Millions and Euro Jackpot. With several draws taking place daily there is always a bet to be had, and some of the odds on offer for the balls are very good. This Lucky Numbers betting guide will help you understand exactly how to place and win your next bet.
How to Play Lucky Numbers
Learning how to play lucky numbers is quick and easy once you’ve mastered a few basics. There are many different betting options available to you when playing Lucky Numbers. The simplest bet you can make is to predict one number (between 1 and 52) that will be drawn in the lottery of your choice.
You will win 5x your stake if your number is drawn. It doesn’t matter how many other players also choose your number, you always win the same amount of money! Lucky number payouts are usually as follows;
- Predict two numbers (between 1 and 52): Win 52x your stake if both your numbers are drawn
- Predict three numbers (between 1 and 52): Win 400x your stake if all your numbers are drawn
- Predict four numbers (between 1 and 52): Win 3000x your stake if all your numbers are drawn
*Above winnings are based on the South African Lotto and vary depending on which draw you bet on.
Betting on the Bonus Ball
Some bookmakers offer betting on the bonus ball and we’re going to look at some of the bets you can place;
- Betting on the bonus is when you predict number of bonus ball: You stand to win 47x your stake if your number is drawn, making it a very popular market with punters.
- Predict High (26-52) or Low (1-24) bonus ball: Win 2x your stake if you guess correctly
(Number 25 is in the middle and counts as a loss).
- Predict single-digit bonus ball: Win 4x your stake if the bonus ball is numbers 1-9.
Where to bet on lucky numbers?
Many bookies today have Lucky Numbers betting to complement their sports offering. We’ve provided a list of operators with the most comprehensive range of lucky numbers betting options available.
Betway South Africa
With more than 160+ local and international Lucky Numbers games, Betway is one of the undisputed leaders in Lucky Numbers betting in South Africa. Interesting bets you can make include the Draw Sum market which allows betting on the total number when all the balls are added together, as well as whether that total number will be odd or even. Read more about Betway’s Lucky Numbers here.
Playbet are another industry leader in Lucky Numbers betting. They offer everything from the South African Lotto to daily and weekly draws in the US, Europe and Asia. The site has an easy-to-use interface with a handy countdown clock ticking down until the next draw.
Dream Guides for Lucky Numbers
Many South African punters use a dream guide to help convert their dreams into numbers, which they will then play online. We’ve got a popular lucky numbers dream guide with hundreds of numbers to help you find what to play from your dreams, give it a read if you’d like to know more about how the guides work.
Live Games and Casino Games
Casino games, known in South Africa as Live Games, have seen a huge rise in popularity as these games have been legalized for South Africa. There are only a handful of games that we can enjoy at the moment but fortunately the ones we do have are some of the best on offer.
Dream Catcher is a lucky wheel style live game where players need to predict where the wheel is going to stop. There are several multipliers that can increase your winnings and betting starts from as little as R1 at some bookmakers.
The Monopoly Live game is similiar to Dream Catcher but with a bonus game that can pay out much bigger multipliers, leading to some eye watering payouts. The game is incredibly popular overseas and there are several Youtube videos of players hitting big wins.
Online roulette is now legal in South Africa and several bookmakers are offering it. There are 5 different roulette games currently available, Resorts Atlantic City, Casino Malta, Hippodrome, Grand Casino and Dragonara. There’s also the wildly popular lightning roulette, where random numbers on the wheel get massive boosts. All of these are live streamed directly from the casino and they are a blast to play on mobile. We have several Betting Guides for online roulette should you want to read more.
More Live Games
There are several other live games that we didn’t list above, these include Lightning Dice, Deal or No Deal and a few others. Betway have a wide selection of live games and we recommend having a look at what they have to offer. For more information, see our Betway Live Games post.
Sportstake and Soccer Pool Betting
Sportstake 8 and Sportstake 13 are popular soccer betting pools available from the National Lottery and TAB. These games are quite different from your traditional online betting, and punters can play them both online and at certain stores. There is even a game called Soccer 15, where you need to pick 15 winners from 30 fixtures, a tough ask but the prize pools are usually very high.
We post weekly Sportstake 13 tips, Sportstake 8 Tips as well as tips for Soccer 10 and other pools. If you are looking to give pool betting a try its worth having a read through our guides if you are looking for the latest fixtures or results.
Get started today!
We hope you found our all-in-one Ultimate Betting Guide a useful resource to help you get started! We’re always here to answer any of your questions about betting and would love to hear any feedback you have. Hit us up in the comments section below and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.