How to Bet on Volleyball

Top Tips

What You Need to Know

  1. Volleyball may be one of the least obvious sports to bet on, but it can be a good sport for making money on, mainly because, with a little research, you can know more than the bookies
  2. The best way to bet on volleyball is to go online. 
  3. The easiest and most popular bet on volleyball is the Money Line bet. Here you just predict which team you think will win a match outright
  4. You can also bet on the number of sets a team will win or which side will win the first set. Remember, matches are best of 5 sets
  5. To make the odds more attractive, consider making use of Handicap bets, where the bookies give the underdogs a headstart
  6. Prop bets such as which team will score the first point and whether the total points figure will be odd or even can be fun but are nearly always a complete gamble
  7. Remember that betting on any kind of sport, including volleyball, can become addictive, so always bet responsible

Betting on Volleyball

Volleyball may not be the most obvious sport to bet on, but that's part of the attraction: If you do your research and read up on the form of teams and individual players, you could get to know more than the bookmakers and be able to use your knowledge to spot overly-generous odds or steer clear of duds.

But before you put any money down, you need to know what you're doing. Here's a quick guide to what you need to know to get started betting on volleyball:

Where to Bet

The best way to bet on volleyball is to go online. Here you'll find the biggest variety of betting markets, and not just for Olympics volleyball. It's a good idea to sign up with several online bookies as this way you can compared the odds on offer and go for the bet which will make you the most money. Check out our guide to the best betting sites ( of the moment and open an account today to take advantage of some fantastic moneyback offers.

Understanding the Odds

There's no point putting down a bet if you don't understand what the odds are. The odds (also known as the price) indicate how likely the bookmakers think an event is to happen, whether it's a country winning the Gold at the summer Olympics or a player scoring the next point. The odds also determine how much you will win if your prediction is correct. On most sports betting sites, the odds will be expressed as fractions. Or they could be expressed as decimal points or even in the American style. In all cases, however, you should be able to change the settings to suit you. Here's what each of these mean:

1) Fractional Odds

On the majority of UK sports betting sites you will find that the default setting for displaying the odds will be as fractions. Odds displayed this way show you how much you will win on a bet compared to how much you put on. Quite simply, The first number of the fraction indicates how much you will win if you place the amount of money shown in the second number of the fraction.

So, if the odds for Team A winning a specific match are 3/1, this means if you bet £1, you will receive £3 in winnings (and you will get your original stake back on top of this).

This works on a ratio basis. So, if you place £10 at odds of 3/1, you will receive £30 in winnings. Or, if you place £5 at odds of 8/1, your winnings will be £40, plus your initial stake.

Sometimes you will find that the second number of the fraction is larger than the first. This is what's known as an 'odds on' bet and shows that the bookies believe that the chances of a particular prediction (such as Brazil beating Canada) coming true are greater than 50/50. The principle remains the same, however: the first number of the fraction indicates how much you will win if you place the amount of money shown in the second number of the fraction.

For example, if you put £2 down on odds of 1/2, your winnings will be £1. And again, this works on a ratio basis. So, if you put down £60 at the same odds, you will win £30, plus your initial stake.

2) Decimal Odds

Given most people are used to seeing odds displayed as fractions, getting your head around decimal odds may seem daunting. But, don't worry, this system is equally straightforward once you've got the hang of it.

The way it works is that you just need to multiply your stake by the decimal shown and this is how much you will receive in winnings, including your returned stake.

So, if you put £1 down on odds of 3.00, you will win £3.00, including your initial stake, if your prediction comes true. And again, this works on a ratio basis. So, if you put down £15 at the same odds of 3.00, you will win £45, including your original stake.

Popular Types of Bet

Compared to some sports, the number and variety of bets usually offered for volleyball is quite limited. Despite this, however, some bets are so simple and easy to make that they are almost always offered by the bookies and very popular with gamblers. Here are some of the most popular types of volleyball bet:

1) Money Line/Match Winner

By far the most popular type of bet placed on a volleyball match is what is known as a Money Line bet. In fact, apart from for Olympics or FIVB World Championships matches, this will be the only type of bet that most bookmakers will offer.

So, what is a Money Line bet? Quite simply, here you are putting money on the team you think will win the match. It doesn't matter if they scrape to a narrow victory or completely destroy their opponents, so long as they win, you win your bet.

Let's take as an example the qualifiers for the Women's European Championships. Below we can see the odds offered for two games taking place on the same day. As you can see, the first match between Latvia and Ukraine looks very one-sided, so we will choose not to waste money betting on that. Instead, let's imagine we wanted to bet on Switzerland versus Poland.

As you can see, the Money Line bet has Poland as the firm favourites, with odds of 1/20. This means for every £20 you bet, you will win an extra £1 if Poland win the match. Switzerland, meanwhile, are the underdog at 15/2. Even if the term Money Line is unfamiliar to you, this works in exactly the same way as betting on a football or rugby match: simply pick which team you think will win and then back them at the odds being offered.

If the idea of the Money Line confuses you, in some cases the online bookmaker will display the same bet in the Match Winner format, a format more familiar to British sports fans. Here we can see the same bet, with the exact same odds, but with a different name:

Again, with a Money Line or Match Winner bet, you simply need to back the right team. It doesn't matter how much they win by, so long as they do win, your bet will pay out.

2) Spread/Handicap Betting

In volleyball, as with in many sports, match-ups may often be uneven. That is, one team might be a clear favourite while their opponents are the definite underdog. This usually means the odds offered for Money Line bets are very unattractive: generally speaking, you will have to gamble lots to win a small return, or else risk wasting money on a long shot.

To even things up, and to make betting on a match more attractive, bookies may often offer what is known as either a Spread or a Handicap. Here they will give the underdogs a head-start or the favourites a handicap, with the odds adjusted accordingly.

To illustrate this, let's go back to the main menu of betting options for the Women's European Championships. Here we can see the odds offered for the Money Line on the right. To the left are the odds offered on the Spread.

In this instance, the bookie is offering odds for a spread of +2.5 and -2.5. What does this mean? Well, as before, Switzerland are the big underdogs. So here they have been given a virtual lead of +2.5 sets. This will be added to their final score. If they lose the match by 2 sets or less, this virtual headstart will make them the winners, so if you back them at 6/5 and they only narrowly lose, you will still win your bet. If, however, they lose by 3 or more sets, you will still lose your bet.

Similarly, here Poland are given a handicap of -2.5, meaning they will start the game behind. If you bet on them at 8/13, you will only win if they manage to overcome this handicap, that is by winning by 3 sets or more.

Again, given that the term Spread is not commonly used in UK and European sports, most bookmakers will also refer to this as a handicap. Below  have the exact same bet but with a different term:

In most cases, you should be able to bet on different Spreads or Handicaps. You could, for example, bet on Switzerland to lose by fewer than 2 sets or for Poland to win by more than just 1. The odds you will be offered will vary according to how likely the bookie thinks each scenario is.

3) Set Betting

Volleyball matches all the best of 5 sets. This means a match will be played over 3, 4 or 5 sets, with the first team to win 3 the overall victor.

Betting on sets is very popular and very straightforward. One common bet is to put money on the team you think will win the first set. In most cases, the match favourites will win the opening set, but your background research may suggest that a certain team tends to start slow but finishes strong.

Here we can see the odds offered on the First Set Winner for the match between Switzerland and Poland. Unsurprisingly, Poland are the favourites to win the first set, but the odds are definitely more attractive than those offered for the Money Line bet.

You may also want to bet on which team will win the second or third sets, and it's also common to bet on the overall winning margin. That is, will a team win by 3 sets to 0, 3-1 or even 3-2?

4) Prop Bets

Also known as novelty or even 'exotic' bets, Props give you the chance to put money on a number on a huge range of things either happening or not happening in a single baseball match, not all of which will directly affect the end result of the game. Some of the Prop Bets you may seen offered by bookies include:

  • The number of points an individual player will score. Usually this will be a straightforward Over/Under bet
  • Which team will score first: This is essentially a 50/50 gamble
  • Will the total number of points scored by both teams be an odd or even number?
  • The length, in minutes, a match will last. Again, this will usually be an Over/Under bet

5) Futures Markets

As the name suggests, rather than betting on the outcome of a single match, here you are betting on a future event, usually the overall winner of an upcoming competition or tournament. The most popular Futures market is, of course, betting on the winners of Olympics volleyball, though this only takes place once every 4 years. Otherwise, you could put money on the team you think will win the Volleyball World Cup, the FIVB World Championships, the World Grand Prix or the World League men's competition.

Hints and Tips for Betting on Volleyball

Like for all other sports, there is no such thing as a guaranteed win when you're betting on volleyball. Upsets do happen, even if teams can sometimes seem massively mismatched. That said, there are some things you should bear in mind if you are serious about trying to make money from betting on volleyball:

  • You should always do your homework. Most bookies don't pay volleyball much attention, so you should take advantage of this. Study the form of teams and use this information to try and spot attractive odds
  • Be wary of just going for Money Line bets. They may be easier to understand, but the odds are often very unattractive. Go instead for savvy Handicap bets
  • Open several online betting accounts and compare the odds being offered by each firm. Why go for odds of 10/1 when you can get 15/1?

A Note About Responsible Betting

Like other types of sports betting, gambling on volleyball can become addictive. You should always bet responsibly and never gamble with any money you can't afford to lose. If you feel your gambling is getting out of control, seek professional help.

Important Information on Gambling

You must be 18+ to gamble

Every new gambling account offer has "Terms & Conditions" that will apply - make sure you read these before opening an account.

See for help and advice on problem gambling.

Please gamble responsibly.


Further Sports Betting Reading

If you want to make money from sports betting but don't know where to begin, we have a number of guides, as well as some great YouTube video tutorials, to help you get started:

Further Volleyball Betting Reading


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