Betting on sports is the process of predicting sports results and placing a bet on the outcome. The amount of sports betting varies by culture, with most of the sports bets being placed on football, American football, basketball, baseball, hockey, track cycling, auto racing, mixed martial arts, and boxing at both the professional and amateur levels. Betting on sports can also extend to non-athletic events, such as contests on reality tv shows and political elections, as well as non-human contests such as horse racing, dog racing, and the illegal business of dog fighting.
Wagers are placed either legally, through a sportsbook / bookmaker, or illegally funneled through privately run enterprises. Legislation varies depending on your geographical location, so we recommend verifying the rules for your country or state.
The term "book' is in reference to the ledgers used by wage brokers to track bets, payouts, and debts. In the USA, sports betting is available in several states such as Las Vegas, NV or on betting cruises through help yourself kiosks. Legal online bookies are operated with licensing from a gambling body within one or several jurisdictions. They accept wagers "up front", which means the gambler must pay the sportsbook before placing the bet.
Illegal entities also tend to operate online and offshore to avoid various gambling laws (like the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 in the United States of America). Due to the business of that nature, they can operate in any location but only require money from losing gamblers, and they do not require the wagered currency up front, which creates the possibility of debt to the bookie from the punter. This causes a number of other criminal activities, thus advancing their illegality.
Gambling on sports has resulted in a various number of sports scandals, influencing the integrity of sporting events through multiple acts such as point shaving (players affecting the score by missing shots), spot-fixing (a player action is fixed), bad calls from officials at key moments, and overall match fixing (the overall result of the event is fixed). Examples include the 1919 World Series Black Sox scandal, the accused (and later admitted to) illegal betting of ex Major League Baseball athlete Pete Rose, and former National Basketball Association ref Tim Donaghy.
Moneyline: This type of sports bets does not consist of a spread or handicap, and requires the team that is picked to win the game outright. The team that is favored pays lower odds than does the underdog, therefore, it acts basically as an incentive to take the underdog for a higher payout. Sometimes a gambler may pair this kind of bet on the team that is favored to rise the payout of a parlay.
Spread/Line: Betting on the spread are bets that are made against the spread. The spread also known as the line, is a number designated by the sportsbooks or bookmakers which handicaps one team and favors the other when 2 teams play against each other and one is apparently as being more likely to win the game. The team that is favored "takes" or subtracts points from the final score and the underdog "gives" or adds points.
An example of this
can be seen in the following bet. In the sport of basketball (NBA), if the Chicago Bulls are projected to beat the Orlando Magic by 4 points. The line will read: Chicago -4, Orlando +4. In order to decide who wins the bet against the spread, the line is either added or subtracted from a team's total number of points scored.
In the example above, if the gambler chose Chicago, he would subtract 4 points from Chicago's final score and compare that to Orlando's final score. If taking Orlando, he will add 4 points to Orlando's final score.
For this person to win their bet, Chicago would have to win the game by 5 points or more and if they took Orlando, they would have to win outright or lose by less than 4 points.
If the final manipulated score comes out to a tie, the wager is considered a push or 'wash'. Betting on the spread is the most common type of gambling in American sportsbooks.
Total (Over/Under): These wagers are bets placed based on the total score of both teams when they are added together. For example, if a baseball game (MLB) has a total of 11.5, an over bettor will want the combined total scores of both teams to be higher than 11.5, and if the bettor took the under, they would want the total combined scores from both teams to be less than 11.5. If the total scores of both teams is the same as the proposed over/under total, the bet is a push.
Proposition: Bets placed on a very particular outcome of a game not in relation to the final score, usually these bets are made on statistics. Examples are projecting the number of goals a star player will score in a soccer match, wagering whether a football player will rush for a certain number of yards in a NFL game, or betting that a MLB baseball player on one team will get more hits than a baseball player on the opposing team.
Parlays: A parlay consists of multiple wagers that rewards successful gamblers with a larger payout only if all bets chosen in the parlay win. A parlay involves a minimum of 2 bets but can be as many as the sportsbook will allow.
The payout of the parlay is decided by the combined likelihood of all wagers made in that particular parlay. A parlay of higher risk wagers (more underdogs) will payout more than a parlay of more likely bets (more favorites).
Teasers: A teaser is a parlay that gives the punter an advantage at a lower, but still positive, payout if successful.
The gambler selects the sport or sports, number of games, and number of points given.
If the bettor takes 2 basketball games at +6.5 it will adjust the individual bets at that rate. So, a bet on a 3-point underdog at +3 will become a bet at +9.5 points, and for favorites, it will change a 3-point favorite at -3 to +3.5 points.
Although the rules to win their bet are the same as a parlay, they are paid out a smaller amount than a regular parlay due to the greater odds of winning.
If Bets: An if bet includes at least 2 straight bets combined together by an if clause which decides the wager process. If the bettor's first pick complies with the condition (clause), then the second pick will have action, if the second pick complies with the condition, then the third pick will have action and so on.
Run Line, Puck Line, or Goal Line bets: These are wagers offered as other options to moneyline bets in baseball, hockey, or soccer, respectively. These wagers feature a fixed point spread that adjusts payouts based on the handicap between both teams. The greater the underdog, the higher a winning bet on the underdog will pay out.
Future Bets: While all sports bets are by definition on future games, wagers listed as "futures" generally have a long-term horizon measured in weeks or months.
a wager that a certain college basketball team will win the NCAA Tournament for the upcoming season would be considered a future bet. It must be made before the college basketball regular season starts, and winning bets will not pay out until the conclusion of the National Championship game in March or April although many of the losing wagers will be determined well before then and can be closed out by the sportsbook. Odds for such a wager generally are written in a ratio of units paid to units wagered. The team wagered upon might be 50-1 to win the NCAA March Madness Tournament, which means that the wager will pay 50 times the amount bet if that team does win.
In general, most bookmakers will want this type of wager due to the low probability to win, and also the longer period of time in which the sportsbook holds the gambler's money while the bet is pending.
A bookmaker may choose to buy in-play future bets at a price less than the actual payout before a championship is determined if the potential payout has a very high probability of happening as this would be damaging to the bookmaker due to the amount of money that may be lost.
Head-to-Head: In these wagers the gambler projects the competitor's results against each other and not on the overall outcome of the event. An example of this can be seen in horse racing where you wager on two or three horses and their placement among the others. Sometimes you can also bet a tie, in which one or both horses either have the same time, drop out, or get disqualified.
Totalizators: In totalizators (sometimes referred to as flexible-rate wagers) the odds are changing in real-time determined by the share of total exchange each of the possible results have received considering the return rate of the sportsbook offering the bet. For instance, if the sportsbook return percentage is 90%, 90% of the amount placed on the winning outcome will be given back to gamblers and 10% goes to the sportsbook. Generally, the more money placed on a certain outcome, the smaller the odds on that result become. This is similar to parimutuel betting in horse racing and dog racing.
Half Bets: A half or halftime wager applies only to the score of the first half or the second half. This wager can be made on both the spread (line) or over/under. This can also be applied to a particular quarter in American football or professional basketball, a fewer number of innings in baseball, or a particular period in hockey.
In-Play Betting: This is a relatively new option offered by most online bookmakers and allows punters to make new wagers while a game is in progress. In-play wagering first began towards the end of the 90's when some sportsbooks would accept bets over the phone while a sporting event was already in progress, and it has now evolved into a popular online service offering in various countries. The introduction of in-play gambling has allowed sportsbooks to increase the number of markets available to bet on during sporting events, and bettors are able to make wagers based on many different types of in-game activity during the contests.
in football matches it is now possible to bet on in-play markets including the outcome of the match, the halftime score, the number of goals scored in the first or second half of the match, the number of yellow or red cards during the game, and the names of the players that score goals in the game. The availability of a particular sport and in-play markets differs from sportsbook to sportsbook.
In-play betting on sports has structural aspects that have changed the mechanics of betting for sports gamblers, as they are now able to make a higher number of bets during a single sporting event as opposed to a single wager on who is going to win the game. One of the most important variances between being able to make an in-play sports bet opposed to a bet made prior to the game is that the nature of the market has been turned what was previously a discontinuous form of betting into a continuous one. The gambling study reporting has suggested that in-play sports gambling may offer a higher risk to problem bettors because it enables the option for high speed continuous gambling and requires rapid and impulsive decisions without any time for reflection.
Cash Out. Cash Out allows one to take profit early if your bet is coming in, or allowing one to get some of your stake back if your wager is going against you before the final result of the event. These offers are made available in real time on your current wagers based on live market pricing. Whenever you want to Cash Out you basically hit the yellow button. Cash out is offered on singles and multiples, on a wide variety of sports, including American football, tennis, horse racing, basketball, and many others. You can Cash Out of wagers pre-play, in-play, and between legs.
Edit My Acca. This option allows bettors to remove selections from their accumulator after the wager has been made and in some cases after the selected game has started. The betting slip is then altered to feature the changed selections and a new potential return amount. This can be done online or through a mobile device.
Edit My Bet. The edit bet option can be used by bettors to unsettle straight accumulators before events have started or while they are in-play. The feature can also be utilized to swap single bets for new wagers, and the gambler is given a new bet selection valued at the sportsbook's cash out price to reflect live market/game odds for the original wager.
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