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A Beginner’s Guide to Futsal Betting

Futsal is a game created in Uruguay in 1930 by Juan Carlos Ceriani, a teacher who wanted to provide his students with an indoor alternative to football. The game quickly grew in popularity across South America and then the rest of the world. Today, futsal is enjoyed by a huge amount of people thanks to the speed, dynamism, and skill the sport requires. Furthermore, it also brings fans a huge number of betting opportunities.  

If you are new to betting on futsal then you have arrived in the right place, In this guide will take you through all you need to know, including the basics of the sport, the different bet types, and how to do your betting research.  

An Introduction to Futsal  

As mentioned, futsal was created as an indoor alternative to football. The name of the sport is an abbreviation of the phrase Futebol de Salao (Portuguese) or Futbol Sala (Spanish), which means football in a large room.  

The game is played on a hard court with lines showing the boundaries and it uses a ball that is a little smaller than a regular football. The rules are very similar to that of football, but there are some important differences and these can be key when betting on the sport.  

It is a five-a-side game, including the goalkeeper, which is played on courts the same size as those used for basketball. In UEFA competitions, the squads consist of 14 players, meaning that there are five starters and nine substitutes. Substitutions are unlimited and they can be made at any time as long as a player does not go on before another player has come off.  

The match is made up of two twenty minute halves. If a game ends in a draw, then two five-minute periods of extra time are played followed by a penalty shootout if the game is still tied. During regular time, coaches are able to call a 60-second timeout, but there are no time outs in extra time.  

In regards to free kicks and penalties, the sport is much like football. However, if a team commits five fouls in a half, then for every subsequent foul the opponents receive a free shot at goal from the second penalty mark (which is ten metres out). If the foul is closer to the goal, then the shot can be taken from where it occurred.  

As in football, a player will be sent off for two yellow cards. The team must then play one man short for two minutes, unless they concede in that time, in which case they can return to full strength immediately. However, the player that was sent off cannot return to the pitch.  

Rather than using a throw-in, kick-ins are used. In the case of kick-ins, free-kicks, goal clearances and corner kicks, the player in possession of the ball has four seconds to restart play. If play isn’t started in that time, then an indirect free-kick is awarded to the opposing team.  

These are the basic rules that you need to understand to start betting on futsal. There are a number of additional rules, and you are sure to become more familiar with them as you watch the sport. 

In terms of games that you can bet on, there are plenty of opportunities with leagues across the world. There are also a number of major events, which always attract a great deal of betting action, such as the Futsal World Cup, the Futsal Confederations Cup, the UEFA Futsal Champions League and the CONCACAF Futsal Championship. 

Futsal Betting Markets 

As with football, there are a huge number of betting markets available for every futsal match. In order to make the most of them and build the best possible strategy, it is important that you understand exactly what each betting market is offering. Here is a quick rundown of the most popular of them.  

Match Winner 

This is the most popular market in pretty much every sport. Just as the name suggests, it is a bet on which of the teams will win the match. You simply pick a team and if they win the match then you win the bet. You can also bet on the game ending in a draw after regular time. 

Handicap Betting 

Handicap betting is something many people avoid because it looks complicated. However, the principle is actually very simple. The idea of handicap betting is to provide punters with more attractive odds when backing the favourites to win. Often in the Match Winner markets, the favourite’s odds are so short that fans have to place huge bets to be in with the chance of a big win.  

With handicap betting, the favourites are given a handicap that they need to overcome. This is expressed as a number of goals. That means that if Team A is the favourite, then they may be given a handicap of -1 while Team B would be given +1. This means that if you back Team A, then you win the bet if they are still the winners of the match when one goal has been subtracted from their total. If you back Team B, then you win the bet as long as they win after a goal has been added to their total.  

Over/Under Bets 

This is a category of bet that is often applied to many different aspect of the sport. The most common is Total Goals. You are then betting on the total number of goals you think there will be in a match. This means that it is the number of goals scored by both teams. The market may offer something like Over/Under 7.5, so if you think there will be 7 or fewer goals you bet under and if you think there will be 8 or more you bet over. You will find many variants of this market, such as Total Goals in 1st/2nd half, or total goals Team A/B, and so on. It is an easy principle to understand and can provide some excellent betting opportunities.  


This is a bet similar to the match winner, but you need to predict the overall winner and which team will be winning at half time. For example, you could bet on ‘Draw-Win’ for the home team, meaning that if they were drawing at half time and then won the match, you win the bet.  

Correct Score 

This is a bet on what you think the final score of the match will be. You will be presented with a number of options and then simply need to pick the one that you want to back.  


These are betting markets that relate to a league or tournament as a whole. For example, you can bet on who will win a league or a tournament. You may be able to bet which player will score the most goals over the course of a season/competition, the most fouls, and so on. The markets will vary depending on the event that you are interested in, and it is always worth giving them a careful look.  


In-play betting, or live betting, is a way to make watching futsal even more exciting. It gives you the chance to bet on the action as it is taking place. The odds are updated as the match progresses to reflect the action and this can present some excellent betting opportunities. You may also find some enjoyable betting markets such as the next player/team to score, the next to foul, and so on. As such, it is worth keeping a very close eye on the markets.  

What to Consider When Betting on Futsal  

You need to do careful research before placing bets on any sport. Some of this research is very obvious. You can look at the teams’ recent results, their head-to-head history, and see if there are any players absent from the squad due to injury or suspension. You should also consider a team’s recent schedule, if they have travelled a lot then they may be tired and this could affect their performance.  

Beyond the obvious, there are some things that specific to futsal that are worth bearing in mind. For instance, in a futsal team the goalkeeper is extremely important. It is arguably the hardest position to play with keepers under constant threat and having to make numerous saves in each game. Therefore, if a team has a particularly impressive goalkeeper or if it is missing its goalkeeper for some reason, then this should influence the bets that you place.  

Furthermore, always look carefully at a team’s substitution options. Futsal allows for unlimited substitutes, which means that they are an extremely important part of the team and there is a good chance that they will be used.  

In general, it is important to remember that futsal is a very fast-paced sport, which means that upsets happen a lot of the time. The games are relatively short, so if the underdog manages to get ahead, then they do not have to hang onto that lead for very long. If you can spot an underdog with the potential to win, then you may find some very attractive odds.  

There is no such thing as a guaranteed bet, but if you do your research carefully, take the time to watch the teams, check for team news, and study the odds and betting markets, then you should be well on your way to placing winning futsal bets.  

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