Sports betting can be a fun and profitable venture. You should be able to enjoy many positive experiences as long as you bet in moderation and under control.
Knowing how sports betting works starts with understanding the fact that sports betting is illegal in most of the United States. In fact, it is only really legal in Nevada, although a lot of people bet online as this is still a gray area when it comes to the law.
You should check your state or provincial laws first before deciding how and if you get involved. Some states prohibit it, others are actively trying to regulate it
Once you decide that this is for you, you need to identify the type of player you will be. There are four categories.
- Professional. It is a fulltime job, requiring tons of research, tons of reading, tons of discipline.
- Sports Investor. Applies the same discipline and mathematical study as a stock broker would in managing his portfolio. Done properly and astutely and usually with advice of the #1 type of bettor above, you can make it happen.
- Recreational Bettor. You are watching the game on TV, having a few bucks on one side or the other keeps things interesting and actually heightens your enjoyment. This is fun money, your recreational spending money.
The different betting systems can vary and sports books have their own language. If you want to learn how sports betting works, you need to learn who sets the line, how often you need to win to break even, and how the odds are determined.
The sportsbook is the place that takes the bets. It is also referred to simply as the “book.” a person who takes a bet is either a “bookmaker” or a “bookie.”
The “handle” is the amount of money that is wagered on the bets.
The “handicap” is also something that you will be hearing a lot of. When it comes to betting on sports, the handicap is points given to a team in order to level the playing field.
The “juice” is the money that the bookmaker takes in as a profit.
The “money line” is used in sports that do not ordinarily have high scores, like baseball or soccer.
In a “parlay”, a bettor makes a combination bet. Rather than making 5 different bets on 5 games, the bettor will simply make a single parlay bet.
the “spread” is used in sports where you can expect high scores, such as basketball and football. The point spread gives a team a few points’ advantage.