Volleyball betting guide

Volleyball is a hugely popular sport across the world, with men, women and children playing both competitively and for fun.

But the rules of volleyball can be quite different depending on which version you are playing.

The two main versions of volleyball are indoor and beach. And learning the rules of volleyball will help you understand the best way to bet on volleyball in the future!

Here at Unibet we’ve created a volleyball betting guide to take you through the best markets associated with the game. You will learn the top bets in volleyball, how to bet on live volleyball and some of the other intricacies involved in this magnificent sport.

You’ll then be able to master volleyball betting with all the knowledge you’ll ever need at your fingertips!


Rules of volleyball

The main aim of volleyball is to score points by forcing the opposing team into a mistake, or winning a point off your own successful play. All forms of volleyball involve two teams and a central net, which the teams must hit the ball over. Teams stand at opposite sides of the net. Players can only use their arms to hit the ball, which is not allowed to bounce on the ground.

Matches are played out across a number of sets, with each set determined by a number of points. In indoor volleyball, the first team to 25 points (with a two-point margin) wins the set. In beach volleyball, this is to 21 points. The other major difference is that indoor volleyball is a team sport of six players on each side of the net, while beach volleyball comprises of teams of just two players.

You can win a point in volleyball via any of the following:

  • Ball bounces in opposition court
  • Opposition fail to hit the ball back over the net
  • Opposition hit the ball out of bounds
  • Opposition hit the ball more than three times before hitting over the net
  • Opposition player touches the net during play
  • Opposition server’s foot crosses the boundary line when serving
  • Opposite player catches the ball

How to bet on volleyball

There are very few differences between indoor volleyball and beach volleyball when it comes to betting. Therefore, this guide will give an overview of the central markets in both versions of the sport.

Here are some of the most popular markets punters play on when betting on volleyball.

Match bet 

This is simply a bet on which team you think will win the match. To place a match bet first you should head to the Unibet sportsbook and find the volleyball competition you want to bet on. Then find the game to follow. You will see the ‘home’ team on the left, and the ‘away’ team on the right. There are no draws in volleyball so you can only bet on home (1) or away (2). Simply click on the odds and enter the stake you wish to bet on, then click ‘Place bet’. If the team you backs wins the match, you win your bet!

Handicap betting

You can also bet on a handicap within the match bet, in order to make the game more interesting. The handicap is used in sports betting to even up the odds on a one-sided game. For example, if Germany W are heavy favourites to beat Switzerland W, the match bet odds might be so low that they are not worth betting on. So, we create a handicap where a team will need to win with an imaginary deficit. You could bet on Germany W to win with a -2.5 handicap. That means they need to win the game 3-0 on sets for your bet to win! Likewise, you could bet on Switzerland W to win with a +1.5 handicap. So long as they don’t lose 3-0 then you win your bet.

Total points

You can also bet on total points in both indoor volleyball and beach volleyball. This is where you predict how many points will be scored over the duration of the game. It is worth remembering that in indoor volleyball matches run to five sets, while they only run to three sets in beach volleyball. So, if you’re betting on an indoor match the minimum number of points scored will be 75. This will only happen if one team wins 25-0 25-0 25-0, which is very unlikely.

Indoor volleyball matches will usually witness around 136 points. So keep this in mind when you’re betting. You can bet over a total number of points scored, or under a total number of points scored.

  • For example, you could bet on Russia v Belarus witnessing +134.5 points. If 135 points or more are scored, you win the bet.

Correct score

This is a more refined match bet. Here, you bet on the correct score from the volleyball match in terms of sets. In indoor volleyball, the scores will be anywhere from 3-0 to 3-2, home or away. In beach volleyball, the scores will be from 2-0 to 2-1, home or away. Sometimes there isn’t a strict home or away team, but the teams will be allocated to either the 1 or the 2 section of the bet.

Set betting

You can also bet on which team will win individual sets in volleyball. This is a great bet if you’re not sure who will win the game, but have a firm idea of who might take a Set 1 lead. Meanwhile, you can bet on the total points scored in a particular set. Usually you will bet over or under 41.5 points scored in an indoor volleyball match.

Tournament bets

Unibet provides tournament bets of the biggest competitions in the volleyball world. These are long-term markets, where you bet on the eventual winner of the tournament in question. At the Olympics, you can also bet on if a team will win a medal (rather than simply winning gold) as well as predicting when teams might crash out.

Many volleyball tournaments have an initial group stage before then leading onto a knockout stage. It means you can also often bet on which team you think will win a group, instead of winning the entire tournament. This is a great way to play the volleyball betting odds if you think a team will succeed in the groups but not win the overall title.

Where to follow volleyball

Indoor volleyball is a massive sport and there are men’s and women’s tournaments taking place all over the world each year. The biggest volleyball tournament is the FIVB World Championship. There is a men’s event and a women’s event, with the tournaments taking place every four years. Italy dominated the men’s tournament in the 1990s, while Brazil won three tournaments in the 2000s. Russia, China and the United States are the big players in the women’s indoor volleyball game.

There is also a men’s and women’s World Cup, which takes place every four years. This is not as major as the World Championship but remains an integral component of international volleyball.

But the most attention in volleyball comes during the Olympic Games. Indoor volleyball hosts a men’s and a women’s tournament at the Olympics. Brazil, Russia and the USA have dominated the Olympic scene and could well do into the future.

As for beach volleyball, this is also a popular sport across the world. The Beach Volleyball World Championships take place every two years, with the men’s and women’s tournaments running at the same time, in the same place.

But the Olympics is where beach volleyball gets most of its worldwide fame. Many countries will show entire tournaments of beach volleyball at the Olympics. The sport has only been on the Olympic schedule since 1996 but has grown in popularity ever since. There is just one men’s and one women’s event, with two players on each team. Nations are able to send more than one team to the Games.

America is the most successful country for men’s beach volleyball at the Olympics and won the first ever gold in the event back in 1996. America have also dominated the women’s Olympics volleyball scene, although the ’96 Games saw two Brazilian teams match up in the final. The most common score in the Olympics women’s beach volleyball final is 2-0.

Bet on volleyball with Unibet

Now you know a bit more about how volleyball is played, it’s time to check out the Unibet sportsbook and bet on volleyball today! There are tournaments taking place all over the world, with many domestic leagues also proving popular among sports betting fans.

Beach volleyball is of course a seasonal game and many of the biggest tournaments take place during the summer months. But indoor volleyball can be staged all year round, so keep an eye on the big events happening soon!