Sports Betting Frequently Asked Questions
What is Sports Betting?
Sports betting is the act of wagering on a particular outcome in sport. The choice in respect to bet types, and actual sports to bet on, is seemingly endless. You’ll be able to bet on American football, soccer, tennis, hockey, horse racing, greyhound racing, golf, boxing, basketball, baseball, and more. Name a sport and you can almost be guaranteed that there’s a sports betting company that will allow you to make a wager on it.
You can find sports books online and in casinos. On top of this in some countries you’ll also be able to make bets with individual bookies, and also at stand-alone sports betting facilities.
Sports betting could be a great option for you if you want to watch a sport and add that extra layer of excitement to the game. It’s also a good bet option to get a few hours of entertainment without risking much of that hard earned cash. So if you’re in a casino, it can give you a great break from table action for a few hours while you enjoy the game.
Wagering on sports has been around for as long as sports have been played. Although unfortunately sometimes corruption can arise in particular sporting industries, for the most part, authorities are excellent at separating the two industries. Unfortunately, due to this sports betting may not be legal in your country or state, so be sure to check out regulations in this respect before you start placing bets.
How Do I Place a Bet on Sports?
First, you’ll need to decide which sportsbook you want to bet through. You can find many options online, and sports books are also readily available in casinos. Some countries also have standalone sports betting companies which have shopfronts in major cities.
If you do go with the online option make sure online gaming is legal in the state or country where you are, and at least do a little bit of research about the company you want to go with. Most online companies are now very reputable; however, unfortunately, there are still a few shady ones out there. Thankfully, there are many good ones also, so a little bit of research into this is always a good idea.
Once you have decided which company you’ll place a bet through, you need to determine which sport you want to bet on, and on what outcome in that sport. Many bets are available across hundreds of sports, so you won’t be short on choice. You can bet on your favorite team or an individual in a sporting event that spans across many days, like golf. Each sport will have a variety of different bet types, which are covered in the relevant frequently asked question below.
After this, you simply approach the betting counter, or create an online betting slip, and pay how much you wish to bet. You’ll receive either a physical or virtual betting slip which contains all the information about the bet you have placed, plus the payout you’ll receive if it’s a fixed odds bet. Now you can sit back, relax, and tune into the game or sport you’ve bet on to see if you’ll be a winner. If you’ve never bet on sports before then the thrill you’ll get while watching is truly amazing, and you’ll never have experienced a game like it before; we can guarantee that.
If you’re lucky enough to be a winner you’ll be paid out automatically if you made the bet online. If you’re playing through a physical sports book you simply take your ticket back to the counter to collect your winnings.
It’s that simple and really is a great way to enhance watching sports. Considering there are sports games taking place every minute of every day across the world, you can bet almost non-stop, which is convenient.
How are Sports Betting Odds Represented and What Do They Mean?
Odds in sports betting are always represented in a to one basis. That means you’ll see a dollar value which will be returned to you, on top of the money you wager. So if you need to bet $10 to win $10, then if you win and cash in your ticket you’ll get $20 back.
It does sound a little bit confusing, but once you start wagering it will become much clearer. Depending on where you’re betting from, the way odds are represented can differ slightly. In the United States, odds are always shown in this one to one basis, however, they will be represented differently from location to location and also in relation to the bet type you’re making. In Australia, odds are always represented as a dollar value return you’ll get for each dollar that is placed on the bet. It’s similar to this in the UK and other European countries.
Never fear if the odds aren’t making sense to you. If you’re betting online it will always be represented clearly in respect to how much of a return you’ll get on a certain bet before it’s confirmed and you’ve paid anything. If you’re in a live sportsbook then you can always ask the person at the betting counter to give you some advice. They should also have a printout that explains how each bet works and how the odds are represented in that location.
Just remember, sports books want it to be as easy as possible for you to make a bet. So you should never be intimidated walking into one and asking some questions. This is the same for online sports books customer service because they’re there to help you in placing your bet and having fun.
What Different Kinds of Bets Can I Make on Sports?
You won’t be short on choice when it comes to bet types in sports. There are literally thousands of different combinations of bets that you can make on all sorts of outcomes. We’ll discuss some of the most common ones here, to give you some types to start with.
The money line is the easiest bet to make in sports. This is a bet simply placed on the winner of the game. As the companies that run sports books need to make money, they manipulate the payout odds in a game based on who is the favorite to win and who is the underdog. Basically, you’ll win more money back if you bet on the underdog and they end up winning, compared to the amount you’ll win if you bet on the favorite and they win. In the United States, the money line bet odds are represented as payout rate if you were to wager $100.
So a favorite might be listed as being -200, this means you need to bet $200 to win $100 back, of course, you win your wager back too. An underdog in this same game may be listed as +300, meaning if you bet $100 on them you’ll win $300 back.
In Australia and the UK, and some other countries, a money line bet will be represented in comparison to just $1. So if the favorite is paying $1.50, then you’ll win 50c if you wager $1 on them, plus the $1 back. While the underdog is paying $4, meaning you’ll win $4 on a $1 bet.
The money line is the easiest bet to make, however, it isn’t the most common. The most common is the line bet, otherwise known as the points spread. In this bet, each team will be given a head start in points, essentially a handicap if they’re the underdog, and alternatively a disadvantage with points if they’re the favorite.
So if the line were +6.5 and -6.5 in a game of American football, then the favorite must win by 7 or more points for you to win your bet. If the favorite wins by less than 7 points, a bet on the underdog will win no matter what, even in the event they lose the game by up to 6 points. This bet option is by far the most popular and it will even up payout rates so that you can lay a similar amount on either the winner or loser and receive a very similar payout rate. The payout is represented the same as a money line for the point spread bet.
You commonly have to bet 110 to win 100 on these types of wagers. This is usually clearly stated somewhere, but if you don’t see it listed ask before you place your bets.
Next is the under or over bet, which is also sometimes referred to as a total bet. This is a simple bet which wagers on the total score in a game combined. So you take the score from both teams and combine them. You will find that there will usually be a particular value selected where you can go over or under this to try and win. Some sports books also allow different totals to be selected which will again alter the odds and relevant payout. On top of this, depending on the sport, the total bet can be a measure of just one player, like a golfer’s end result.
Parlay bets are another hugely popular bet type when it comes to sports. These are sometimes known as multi-bets. In a parlay, you bet on a series of outcomes in different or the same sports, in chronological order. You place a bet on the first outcome, then if you win that the winnings are rolled into the next outcome, and so on.
If you’re betting on three or four heavy favorites in your parlay, then you can achieve a much better total win then if you just bet on them individually. Some of the most fun you can have in sports betting is by laying a weekend full of parlay bets across multiple sports. If you get lucky and get five or six outcomes correct in a parlay, you’re looking at a very big pay day.
After these three main bets, there are many more that you can bet on in sports. You can do proposition bets, referred to as prop bets for short, such as the first scorer in a game, or the first score type. You can also bet on margins in games, you can bet on the scores at the end of the quarter, period, or half, depending on the game you’re watching, and much more.
Obviously, sports betting can also incorporate horse racing betting although this is a little bit different. In horse racing betting you can wager on top two finishes, top three, place bets, or each way bets, quinellas, trifectas, box trifectas, and quaddies. You can make almost as many different types of bets on horses, or dogs for that matter, as you can on other popular sporting events.
One thing to make sure you look into is the different payout odds that different companies have for particular sports. It’s always a good idea to do some research into this so you’re maximizing your winnings. Some places will always offer better odds and some will always have lousy odds, so make sure you spend a little bit of time doing research before you commit to one sports book in particular.
Can I Bet on Sports Online?
Yes, you can bet on sports online. Although whether you should or not really depends on laws in the jurisdiction that you live in. So make sure you look into this first to avoid any unnecessary run-ins with law enforcement. You’ll find a large number of online sports books available to you no matter where you are, though, so once again, there are plenty of choices when it comes to making your bets online.
The key advantage of betting online is you can do it from anywhere that’s convenient to you at that point in time, provided you have a device and internet connection. Many online sports books offer mobile compatible websites and apps to make it even easier to bet on the go, or even from your seat at the game in question.
On top of this, odds and payouts online are generally much more generous when compared to physical sports books. This is because of the relatively low overheads that online companies have when compared to physical ones.
Many online casinos will have a sports book section and there are also standalone sports bet companies. You’ll be able to find generous sign-up bonuses and promotions at most of these Online Casino Sportsbooks, which won’t be matched at casinos or live sports books. So make sure you take advantage of these to push your dollars further and to give yourself the best chance of a big win.
Is Sports Betting the same as One-Day Fantasy Games?
The debate has been raging recently, particularly in the United States, about whether daily fantasy games are actually gambling. The rise of daily fantasy sports matches that of online poker in the early 2000s. It’s hugely popular now with thousands, if not millions, of people playing around the world.
In daily fantasy games, you select players from a particular sport that are playing that day based on their value and how well they’ve been performing. Each player will have a dollar value and you’ll have a cap on how much you can spend on putting together your fantasy team.
You then pay an entry fee into certain competitions to battle it out against other players to see who scores the highest number of points based on their team of players’ performance in their game that day. The highest scorer, or scorers depending on the prizes for that relevant league, will be paid out with a cash prize. This prize can often be thousands of dollars and every now and then it can be in the millions of dollars.
As you can see, it’s a bit of a gray area when it comes to whether or not it’s gambling. So it isn’t really sports betting, more a kind of a poker-type game against other people. It’s a lot of fun though and can certainly go that extra mile in making sports more fun to watch.
Some online sports books are now beginning to offer similar types of fantasy games associated with sports, on top of the standard sports bet options that are outlined earlier in this frequently asked questions page.
Should I Start Making Bets on Sports?
Ultimately this is up to you. If you like sports and gaming, then sports betting could be an awesome option for you. It can add that extra element of excitement to your favorite game and also make otherwise boring games pretty darn entertaining. You have plenty of choices when it comes to sports betting with hundreds of sports, bet types, and sports books to choose from. You can go online and take care of your bets there, or visit a sports book at a casino.
If you’re in Las Vegas or any other casino in any town, then you could break up other gaming sessions with some sports betting. More time will pass with the same level of entertainment, all while you wager a lot less. So it can really be lots of fun to make sports bet in a casino environment.
Online sports books offer amazing incentives and promotions when it comes to sports betting to push your dollars even further, which is always a good thing. So be sure to check out all the promotional offers that online sports books offer before you place your bet.
The technicalities of sports betting are quite simple once you learn the basics of how odds are represented in your country, city, or casino. After this, it’s all the same with thousands of bet types to choose from to keep every moment of the game interesting and exciting.