In this article, we will cover the organization of the tournament as well as the different types of bets you can make. Some players actually find it easier to predict the outcomes of the first few rounds in the competition because these games are usually between the top teams and the underdogs.
The Extra Preliminary Rounds of the competition start around August each year, and the First Round Proper starts about three months later. While some UK bookmakers feature the preliminary rounds, many players don’t start betting on the competition until the First Round Proper begins. As one of the top football tournaments in England, top bookmakers often offer enhanced odds for some of the games. Besides that, they can offer free bets on major games leading to the final match of the event. As a UK player, you don’t want to miss these offers as they can help you win more money.
The FA Cup competition is open to all English clubs up to Level 10 of the National League Division. This includes clubs in the English Premier League, Championship, League One, League Two, National League and several others. While there is no fixed number of teams that start the competition, in some cases, the number can be over 700. There are 6 preliminary or qualification rounds that are played before the First Round Proper. In these rounds, teams from level 3 to 10 of the English Football Pyramid will play against each other, and 32 of them will qualify for the First Round Proper.
Forty-eight teams from League One and League Two are then added to the First Proper Round to make a total of 80 teams. These teams play against each other and the winning 40 teams advance to the Second Round Proper. Winners of this round move to the Third Round Proper, where they are joined by teams in the Premier League and Championship. It is at this point that most punters start betting on the competition because of the introduction of the big teams. Additionally, many online bookmakers add several special prop bet types which players can place in the Third Round Proper.
The Third Round Proper is made up of 64 teams; 20 winners from the Second Round Proper, 20 Premier League teams, and 24 Championship teams. A raffle is held, where these teams are pitted against each other, and the 32 winners will progress to the Fourth Round Proper of the competition. In this round, the 32 winning teams will also play each other and the 16 winners advance to the Fifth Round Proper. The remaining rounds of the tournament follow the same pattern until there are only two teams left to play the final. Whichever team wins the final is the winner of the competition.
The FA Cup is played in a knockout format, where a team that loses a match gets eliminated from the competition. During the Extra Preliminary Rounds to the Quarter-finals of the tournament, if the result of two teams playing against each other ends as a draw, they will be required to play a rematch to determine who advances to the next round. If the rematch also ends in a draw after the regulation 90 minutes, 30 minutes of extra time is played. If there is no winner after the extra round as well, the winner is decided by a penalty shootout.
Note that there are no rematches from the semi-finals onwards in the tournament. If the result of two teams in the semi-finals is a draw, the extra-time and penalty follow instantly. The raffle held to determine which teams are to face each other is conducted at Wembley Stadium, which is also the ground for the final match of the competition. No teams are seeded during the raffle. Although not a popular bet for many, a few UK betting sites allow players to bet on the outcome of the raffle. Here you can bet which team will be pitted against another team.
In this section, we will explain the different types of bets that are offered when it comes to FA Cup Betting. Most bookmakers allow players to place a regular Win-Draw-Win (three-way) bet on the matches played during the competition. Several players love betting this outcome, especially if it is a match between one of the big teams in the Premier League and a weaker team in the lower divisions. Besides the Win-Draw-Win bet, there are also several prop bets that you can place. Prop bets are referred to as bets that have nothing to do with the outcome of a match.