The Basics of Sports Betting

 

Photo Courtesy: RODNAE Productions

Sports betting is one of the most popular gambling activities requiring bettors to predict results and place wagers on the outcomes. If those predictions are accurate, the bettor wins money. Most bets are placed on popular sports like American football, hockey, basketball, baseball, auto racing, and boxing. But the vast majority of sportsbooks also cover everything from greyhound and horse racing to elections and TV show contests.     

There are plenty of things to bet on with any game. You don’t need to be an expert on all of them to make a bet, but you should know the basics if you want to make money. That’s why we put together a basic guide to get you started. 

What is fixed-odds betting?

Although there are several forms of betting, most of the bets placed use the fixed-odds system. This means that you’re betting on odds offered by the bookies, which don’t change. Many bettors prefer this system because the odds are set before the event gets underway, and there aren’t any fluctuations when it comes to the payout. 

The betting process typically consists of the following five components: 

  • Parties to the bet
  • Types of bets
  • Odds
  • Stake
  • Payout 

Parties to the Bet

A sports wager is an agreement between two parties. The party that correctly predicts the outcome of the event wins money. In our guide, the bettor (such as yourself) is one party, and a bookmaker or bookie (the betting shop or platform) is another.

Types of bets

There are several types of bets that can be broken down into two major categories: singles and multiples. Singles are the more popular option and include point spreads and totals, which are ideal for beginners and an excellent way to find great value. Meanwhile, multiples include more than one selection at once.  

Odds

Bookies offer odds that are based on numerous factors that affect the chances of a particular outcome unfolding. The odds tell us the implied probability of an event taking place and determine just how much a bettor can win on a bet. If the chances of a selection being correct are low, the odds are usually higher and vice versa.

Stake

This refers to the amount of money being placed on a wager. The most important thing to remember in betting is that you should never wager more money than you can afford to lose. So choose carefully and be patient when building your bankroll.  

Payout

The payout is the total amount of money that a bookmaker must pay a bettor on a winning wager. It includes both the original stake and the profits. With singles bets, the higher the odds, the bigger the payouts. Meanwhile, you can boost your winnings with accumulator bets by sticking to small stakes, strategizing, and doing your research.

How to Bet With a Bookie

Once you’ve decided what sports you wish to bet and you’ve explored the different types of bets and odds, placing a bet is a relatively straightforward process. You can either make your bet at a physical location or check out the vast selection of online betting venues. The bookies’ primary role is to offer bets at certain odds and collect money from those who lose while paying out the winners. 

What Are Your Sports Betting Objectives

There are several types of bettors. Some do it for fun, while others make a living from it.  The recreational bettors are typically in it for the thrill of victory, the love of sports, and of course, making a few extra bucks. If they win, it’s often little more than an added advantage to an entertaining activity. 

The other guys are more serious about the whole thing. They spend a lot of time doing their research and analyzing in search of the perfect bet. After all, you can’t make much cash from betting if you plan on following your gut the entire time. That’s why it’s important to define your objectives early on in your betting journey. It’s also important to remember that betting can be addictive. If you ever feel like you’re losing control over your betting habits, it’s time to stop.