What are the most popular events to bet on?

So you're new to betting, you know all the basics about the types of bet you can have and how to place a bet, but what should you actually bet on? Well that's up to you, but here are the most popular events that will provide endless fun during your betting experience...

  • Bet on these popular events across many sports

  • Dates for some of the biggest events in sporting calendar

  • Links to all tips and previews on betting.betfair.com

Horse Racing

The Grand National

When is it? Usually the first or second Saturday in April.

Undoubtedly the one sporting event that we all associate with betting is the Grand National. Every year in April, millions of once-a-year punters will flock to their local betting shop to place a bet on the Aintree spectacle.

It is estimated that around 13 million UK adults place a bet on the Grand National each year, and that the race itself is watched globally by around 600 million people.

Its appeal is that you don't have to know anything about betting, the horses that participate, the trainers and jockeys, you just make a selection, put your bet on, and sit down and watch the Grand National with family and friends on a Saturday afternoon.

But you can make money by betting on the Grand National and horse racing in general. Learn how to read form, arm yourself with knowledge and stats, get to know what ground your favourite horses prefer, and before long your casual no-hoper bets will hopefully turn into winning ones.

*Check out the Grand National section on betting.betfair for insight, previews and tips nearer to the event.

Cheltenham Festival

When is it? Usually the second week in March.

Another hugely popular horse racing event to bet on is the four-day Cheltenham Festival.

For many punters, and especially National Hunt racing fans, the Cheltenham Festival is the highlight of the whole year. It brings together the best of the British and Irish horses for a series of championship, graded and handicaps races to determine who is the best of the best.

Its appeal is that it lasts for four days and each day has a number of hugely competitive races with wide open betting markets. So unlike betting on the Grand National, you can pick and choose which race to bet on and enjoy hours of fun in doing so.

*Check out the Cheltenham Festival section on betting.betfair for insight, previews and tips nearer to the event.

Royal Ascot

When is it? Usually the third week in June.

Completing our trio of huge horse racing events to bet on is the fantastic Royal Ascot meeting that takes place in June.

Similar to the Cheltenham Festival, the five-day Royal Ascot meeting is the pinnacle of Flat racing and pits together not only the best thoroughbreds from Britain and Ireland, from all around the world including Europe, Australia, Japan and the USA.


Its appeal is not just the five days of high-quality racing that includes many Group races and some of the richest Handicaps in the world, but in most years the meeting is run in glorious sunshine.

So what better way to relax than to be sat in the sun holding an ice cold drink while having a bet on the horses. And of course, there's always the option to bet on the Betfair app from the comfort of your home if it does decide to chuck it down with rain!

*Check out the Royal Ascot section on betting.betfair for insight, previews and tips nearer to the event.


The Premier League

When is it? The Premier League runs from August through to May with 38 different rounds of fixtures (380 games in total) taking place on almost a weekly basis.

For UK punters, the Premier League is the best league in the world, and you can bet on it on almost a weekly, sometimes daily, basis during the season.

It contains some of the very best teams, the greatest players and some of the most charismatic managers in the world of football. And it also has arguably the most controversial VAR usage just to add to your excitement (and sometimes annoyance).

The Premier League consists of 20 teams, each playing each other home and away meaning there are 38 rounds of fixtures in total. These are mostly played on weekends, but there are a few midweek rounds of fixtures and there's possibly nothing more exciting than the Premier League during the festive season.

While some of the biggest leagues around the world pack up for Christmas, the Premier League ramps up, with fixtures every day for approximately two weeks.

You can bet on almost anything you want, including outright markets like Winners, Top 4 Finish, Relegation and Top Goalscorer throughout the season, as well as the individual matches themselves which carry a plethora of betting opportunities.

It's entirely up to you how you bet and what you bet on, the biggest appeal of the Premier League is the Premier League itself.

You can watch four or five matches live every round of fixtures, watch some of the greatest and most exciting football matches you're ever likely to see, and best of all, if you know your footy you can even profit from your enjoyment.

*Check out the Premier League section on betting.betfair for insight, previews and tips throughout the season.

World Cup & European Championships

When is it? Both tournaments are every four years meaning one of the tournaments is staged every two years during the summer off-season.

The World Cup and Euro Championships bring together the best nations, and therefore the best players in the world of football.

Betting on them works in exactly the same way as the Premier League in that you can bet on outright markets from the start of the tournament to its conclusion, and that you can bet on individual matches throughout the tournament.


The appeal of a World Cup or Euro Championship is that the tournaments are much shorter - typically just over four weeks - than a regular league season, and that every single game is broadcast live on free-to-air TV like the BBC or ITV.

It helps also that these major football tournaments are staged during the summer - the exception being the 2022 Qatar World Cup - so if you're an avid football fan who enjoys a bet, then being able to bet on and watch top class international football during June and July is the perfect way to enjoy your summer.

*Check out the Euro 2024 section on betting.betfair for insight, previews and tips nearer the tournament.


The Ashes

When is it? Biennial. During the summer (first Test starting in June) when held in England and during the winter (first Test starting in November) when held in Australia.

For many people, the biggest event in cricket is the Ashes Series, played every other year between England and Australia.

Played over five Tests and a number of months, its appeal is that there are many betting markets to bet on including Series betting where you can bet on who will triumph, the correct score in Tests, and top batter and bowler during the Series.

You can also bet on each individual Test match including player markets, number of runs, method of next wicket etc, and you can even bet on what day or session a Test match will end.

Another factor as to why the Ashes is so popular to bet on is that it's a nice relaxing sport to watch, and it gives you the opportunity to assess what's going on at a nice pace, meaning you can use your knowledge and your opinion to bet In-Play.

Cricket is a very popular sport to bet on with other tournaments like the Indian Premier League, Cricket World Cups in various formats, ODIs, T20s, all of which can trade huge amounts of money on the Betfair Exchange.

*Check out the Cricket section on betting.betfair for insight, previews and tips throughout the year.


PGA Tour & DP World Tour

When is it? Tournaments are held weekly for approximately 50 weeks of the years. The four Majors take place from April through to July.

Golf is one of those sports that can be labelled a bit sleepy in that, if you're not an avid fan, then watching people hit a small white ball for hours upon end can be a bit boring.

But more than any other sport, golf comes to life when you have a bet on it. The excitement and enjoyment you can get from having a bet on a golfer who gets into contention during the final round is incredible. Suddenly those 300-yard drives become pivotal, those 20-feet putts are crucial, and you can feel the tension running through your body.

Betting on golf can be very exciting and its appeal is that the rewards can be huge. Almost every tournament has 150 or more players taking part and even backing a much-fancied golfer means getting odds around 25/126.00 and sometimes bigger. There's no odds-on favourites in this game!

There are many markets to choose from too, including Winner, Top 10 Finish, First Round Leader, 3-Ball Betting, and you can even wager on whether there'll be a Hole in One during the tournament.

Tournament on the PGA Tour and DP World Tour run on a weekly basis with only a short break taking part around the Christmas period, so if you become a big fan of golf betting then you'll probably be seeing your favourite players more than you see your own friends!

*Check out the PGA Tour section and DP World Tour section on betting.betfair for insight, previews and tips throughout the year.

The Masters, USPGA Championship, US Open & Open Championship

When is it? The four Majors commence around the middle of April with the US Masters, followed by the US PGA Championship in May, the US Open in June and finally the Open Championship in July.

As already highlighted, betting on golf tournament can be hugely rewarding and exciting, but it feels even better when one of those tournaments is one of the four Majors.

For many, the US Masters at Augusta in April is the biggest golf tournament of the year, mainly because it's played at the same picturesque venue each year.

The US Open and Open Championship (also referred to as the British Open) are played on a rota of links courses (a golf course built adjacent to a coastline) meaning wind and bad weather can often have a huge factor in the outcome, while the US PGA Championship is regularly played on one of America's toughest layouts.

All four have their own appeal, but to golf fans who enjoy a wager then betting on a Major tournament is a must. The variety of betting markets is immense, and each-way betting terms have gotten better year-after-year, meaning you can now back a player each-way and get paid out if they finish in the top 12!

But golf, especially a Major tournament because of the superb and extensive TV coverage, is arguably one of the best sports for In-Play betting.

You can assess the state of play in between rounds, and even during rounds using your knowledge of where people are on the course, what holes they have left to play, and how the weather is likely to play a part.

*Check out the Golf section on betting.betfair for insight, previews and tips on the Major tournaments from April through to July.

The Ryder Cup

When is it? Biennial. Around the middle of September every two years.

The Ryder Cup differs from a regular golf tournament in that it is a team event, and it is regarded by many as the third biggest sporting event in the world behind the Summer Olympics and FIFA World Cup.

Team Europe take on Team USA over three thrilling days of golf played in three different formats (Foursomes, Fourballs and Singles).


The main market to bet on is a simple Match Odds market where you can back Europe, USA or the Tie, but beyond that you can bet on the Correct Score (28 points are played for in total), who will score the most points for each team and who will be the top overall points scorer.

During each day you can bet on individual matches too, or include two or more bets in an acca, and the appeal of the Ryder Cup is simply the atmosphere, the tension and the excitement it brings. Having a bet on it just hightens all of those aspects.

*Check out the Ryder Cup section on betting.betfair for insight, previews and tips nearer to the event.



When is it? Usually the first two weeks in July.

For Tennis fans, the four Grand Slams - Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open - are the biggest betting tournaments of the year, though Wimbledon at the All England Club is undoubtedly the most popular.

It's appeal is that it is played during British Summer Time hours and matches are played from mid-morning until darkness on every day of the tournament until it reaches the latter stages. In addition, you can watch it on free-to-air TV on the BBC.

Before and during Wimbledon there are a plethora of betting markets to suit your knowledge and skillset, including outright markets and individual matches, and because of the volatility a tennis match can produce, In-Play betting is extremely popular for those who can assess how a game is going.

*Check out the Wimbledon section on betting.betfair for insight, previews and tips nearer to the event.

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Prices quoted in copy are correct at time of publication but liable to change.

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