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This form of betting was started in Asia. Backdoor Cover — This is a popular term for a team that covers a point spread late in a game. The team with the late cover may or may not affect the actual result of the game, just the wager.
Banker — A banker is a European wager similar to a round robin bet in the US. Beard — This is a person who places a wager for another person who wishes to remain unknown. Betting Exchange — A betting platform where people wager against one another instead of betting against a sportsbook.
The exchange operator takes a small percentage of winning wagers. This is often seen as the most efficient market for sports betting. Betting Unit — A betting unit is the amount of a typical wager. Bettors may have different sized bankrolls and a unit is a way to share how much was bet without giving away a specific dollar amount. Bonus — Sportsbooks offer a financial bonus to customers for a variety of reasons.
A signup bonus is the most popular way to incentivize bettors to use a certain sportsbook. Chalk — A term for the team that is the favorite in an event. This team or player is usually a big favorite. The chalk is the expected winner by a large margin. Circle Game — A game is circled by a sportsbook because betting limits are lower than usual.
Closing Line — This is simply where the point spread is when the game begins. Closing Line Value — This term is used by bettors to measure the value of the line they wagered before the line that was the last available before a game begins. Consensus — The general agreement about something. In sports betting consensus could be the most popular teams bet or line available for a game.
Contrarian — Betting against the trends of the mainstream popular opinions. Bettors usually place contrarian wagers when there is value on the opposite opinion. Dead Heat — Another way to say that there is a tie in a finishing position. Sportsbooks have different rules on how to pay in the event of a tie or dead heat in an event. Decimal Odds — This is a different way to present odds than Americans are used to. The math is easier to figure out for most bettors than US moneyline odds.
Decimal odds are derived from a simple calculation of the amount bet x odds. For example, Vegas Golden Knights vs. The difference of 10 dime line is the traditional profit margin for sportsbooks. Double Chance — This is a European sports betting term mostly used for soccer betting. A double chance wager allows the bettor two opportunities to win a bet. For example, a result in soccer can be a win, loss, or tie. A double chance bettor may combine two of the three results instead of just one.
This gives the bettor twice the chance to win the wager. Double Pop — A European way of saying that a bettor will bet twice the normal amount. In the US this is known more often as doubling up. Early Cash Out — A way for bettors to settle a wager for a certain dollar amount before the event is over. This is a way to lock in a profit at a smaller value than the wager would ultimately pay. Even Money — A wager that pays the same as was risked. Exacta — Choosing horses to finish first and second in a race.
This is sometimes, but rarely, offered for other competitive sports. Exotic Wager — These are non-traditional sports bets. This kind of wager is often listed as a prop bet in a sportsbook. Expected Value — This is a calculation used by a bettor to determine whether a wager should win or lose over time. Positive expected value EV bets over time is a good way to become a winning sports bettor.
Exposure — The amount of money a sportsbook potentially could lose for a specific event. For example, sportsbooks might have a lot of exposure money at risk on one team winning a championship versus another. First Half — A derivative bet that can be placed on a sport that has two halves. Football and basketball are the most popular sports to place a first half wager.
Fixed Odds — These are the odds that most sports bettors will experience. Horse bettors might experience a change in odds from parimutuel betting. Flat Betting — Simply put, this is a betting system where all wagers are the same. The wager is usually a percentage of bankroll but could also be a fixed dollar amount. Fractional Odds — Another kind of odds used mainly in Britain and Ireland.
Some sportsbooks may offer derivative versions for home, away, or periods of games during the day. Some sportsbooks may offer a similar bet for runs in Major League Baseball. Handicapper — A person who analyzes sports events to predict the winning team or player. Handle — The amount of money a sportsbook or sportsbooks take from wagers.
This could be broken down by sport, region, casinos, and more. Hedge — Hedging is a strategy used by sports bettors to either reduce the risk of or to guarantee a profit from a wager. Home Field — This the field court, rink, etc. Hook — Another way to say half of a point. For example, a team may be a 3. Joint Favorite — When there are two favorites for an event. This is mostly used in England. Kelly Criterion — A popular bankroll management strategy for a bettor who seeks to limit losses while maximizing the amount won.
Layoff — When a bookmaker reduces the risk of losing wagers by placing a bet with a different sportsbook s. This typically happens when there is lopsided wagering on one side of a game and the sportsbook or a bookie want to alleviate potential losses. Listed Pitcher — This is a baseball bet that is active only if the pitcher listed as the starter throws the first pitch of a game.
This is also known as In Play wagering. Lock — Another way of saying that a team or player will be an easy winner. Margin — This is a wager where a bettor selects a team to win or lose by a specific number of points regardless of the point spread. Learn all the basics to sports betting on this page along with a few advanced methods. Betting on auto racing has exploded in popularity in Vegas in recent years, and its appeal continues to grow. The structure of betting on auto racing is similar to that of golf.
The most basic wager involves picking the winner of a race. Typically a sportsbook will list 20 or more individual drivers along with a field all others option, at various odds. Auto racing matchup propositions also are available, in which two drivers are paired against each other in a head-to-head wager, with a betting line on each driver set by the oddsmaker.
The driver with the better finish in the race wins the matchup. Both drivers must start for action. For example, a matchup may pit Dale Jarrett minus against Bobby Labonte plus To bet on baseball, tell the ticket writer the bet number of the team you wish to bet and the amount you wish to wager.
If your team wins the game, you win. The payout varies according to the odds posted. Baseball odds are shown using a "Money Line. A "minus" - preceding the number indicates the team is a favorite. On Today's Line we use a different format, the idea is the same.
You will not find the odds for the Underdog. The Underdog's odds are based on what the casino has for its line. Most use a "Dime Line" or something close to that. Here are two more examples of a dime line and a cent line. See whether you can tell them apart. You can arrive at the underdog's price by looking at the favorite's line.
Dime lines are slowly disappearing as sports books look to make a larger profit during what is traditionally the slowest betting season. Several books still offer dime lines. Money lines change constantly. The listed money line the time you make your bet may be different from the money line when the game starts. The listed line on your ticket is your official odds, unless starting pitcher is changed. This is explained later. You may wager that the total score of the game will be more or less than the number listed.
It makes no difference which team wins. Simply add the final scores of each team. If either doesn't happen, the bet is refunded. A favorite must win by 2 runs or more, or the underdog must either: a Win the game. The payout varies according to the money line odds assigned to each outcome.
Note: Same rules apply to run line bets as totals. Baseball parlays are figured out by calculating the payout for the first game, based on the money line, then applying that amount to the next game, and so-forth. If a game is postponed for any reason, the parlay reduces by one team.
The bet is treated as if the postponed game were never included in the parlay. Simply ask the betting attendant at your favorite sports book what your payout would be before placing the bet. When making a baseball bet, you are betting team vs. You have the option to specify that either or both listed pitchers must start the game.
Since baseball odds are determined on starting pitchers, any late pitching changes often force an adjustment in the odds. This will increase or decrease the payout on a winning ticket. However, if you list starting pitchers, and your pitcher doesn't start, then the bet is refunded. To bet on basketball, tell the ticket writer the bet number of the team you wish to bet, with the point spread, and the amount you wish to wager. The Point Spread: When betting on basketball, the team you bet on must "cover the spread.
The point spread is always placed to the immediate right of the team that is favored. In this example, if you bet the Bulls, the Bulls must win by 4 points for you to win your bet. If you bet the Lakers, any of the following will declare you a winner. If the Bulls win by exactly 3 points then the wager is declared a push and all money is refunded.
Point spreads change constantly. The listed point spread the time you make your bet may be different from the point spread when the game starts. The point spread that is listed on your ticket is your official spread. It makes no difference which team covers the spread. Simply add the final score of each team. You may combine several teams into one wager. Odds and the number of teams vary from casino to casino. The following are approximate odds:. Any game that results in a push reduces the parlay one team.
A two-team parlay would become a straight bet. This increases the probability of winning your bet but decreases the odds of the parlay. Odds and the number of points available to "tease" vary from casino to casino.
To bet on boxing, tell the ticket writer the bet number of the boxer you wish to bet and the amount you wish to wager. Boxing odds are shown using a "Money Line. A "minus" - preceding the number indicates a favorite. Tyson is favored to win the bout. Boxing matches often feature money line proposition wagers on knockouts, draws, rounds and the duration of the fight.
Odds vary on each fight. To bet on football, tell the ticket writer the bet number of the team you wish to bet, with the point spread and the amount you wish to wager. The point spread: When betting on football, the team you bet on must "cover the spread. If you bet the Dolphins, the Dolphins must win by 7 points for you to win your bet.
If you bet the Jets, any of the following will declare you a winner. The listed point spread at the time you make your bet may be different from the point spread when the game starts. In some cases, bettors have the option to discard the point spread and bet on which team will win. This is called betting on the "Money Line". Sports books offer a number of different cards, each one having different rules. Rules for parlay cards are placed on the back of each card.
Read them carefully before wagering. The cards are simple to fill out. Simply darken the boxes, or circles, that apply to the teams you wish to parlay. Then darken the amount you want to bet. Sportsbooks offer bettors the opportunity to wager on the outcome of a season -- for example, which team will win the Super Bowl or the Stanley Cup or the American League East pennant. This is known as "futures book" or "future book" betting.
As an illustration, let's look at Super Bowl futures. For example, the Ravens may be , the Redskins , the Cardinals , etc. It does not matter whether your team covers the point spread in the Super Bowl. For the purposes of future book betting, the team has to win only the Super Bowl. When you make a futures bet, your odds are "locked in. Futures betting also is offered on the major events in horse racing, such as the Kentucky Derby and Breeders' Cup.
In horse racing futures, if your horse does not start the race due to injury or any other reason, you lose the bet -- there are no refunds. On the other hand, the odds on your horse racing futures bet also are "locked in," regardless of the horse's odds on race day. Some sportsbooks offer futures betting on unusual propositions, such as which major league baseball player will hit the most home runs in the regular season. Note that in this type of wager, all bets are action regardless of injuries or other unforeseen events.
This type of wager is typically found on pro football and major league baseball, and sometimes on pro basketball. If the Yankees go on to win 94 or more games, the "over" is a winner.
People said to be "chalk" bettors typically bet the favorite. Consensus pick: Derived from data accumulated from a variety of sportsbooks in PickCenter. The pick, and its percentage, provides insight as to what side the public is taking in a game. Cover: The betting result on a point-spread wager.
For a favorite to cover, it has to win by more than the spread; an underdog covers by winning outright or losing by less than the spread. Edge: An advantage. Sports bettors might feel they have an edge on a book if they think its lines aren't accurate. Exotic: Any wager other than a straight bet or parlay; can also be called a "prop" or "proposition wager.
Favorite : The expected straight-up winner in a game or event. Depending on the sport, the favorite will lay either odds or points. For example, in a football game, if a team is a 2. Fixed : A participant in a particular game who alters the result of that game or match to a completely or partially predetermined result.
The participant did not play honestly or fairly because of an undue outside influence. Futures bet : A long-term wager that typically relates to a team's season-long success. Common futures bets include betting a team to win a championship at the outset of a season, or betting whether the team will win or lose more games than a set line at the start of the season.
Halftime bet : A bet made after the first half ended and before the second half begins football and basketball primarily. Handle : The amount of money taken by a book on an event or the total amount of money wagered.
Hedging : Betting the opposing side of your original bet, to either ensure some profit or minimize potential loss. This is typically done with futures bets, but can also be done on individual games with halftime bets or in-game wagering. Hook : A half-point. In-game wagering : A service offered by books in which bettors can place multiple bets in real time, as the game is occurring. Juice : The commission the bookie or bookmaker takes. Standard is 10 percent.
Layoff: Money bet by a sportsbook with another sportsbook or bookmaker to reduce that book's liability. Limit : The maximum bet taken by a book. Middle : When a line moves, a bettor can try to "middle" a wager and win both sides with minimal risk.
Suppose a bettor bets one team as a 2. She can then bet the opposite team at 3. She would then win both sides of the bet. Money line noun , money-line modifier : A bet in which your team only needs to win. The point spread is replaced by odds. Oddsmaker also linemaker : The person who sets the odds. Some people use it synonymous with "bookmaker" and often the same person will perform the role at a given book, but it can be separate if the oddsmaker is just setting the lines for the people who will eventually book the bets.
Off the board : When a book or bookie has taken a bet down and is no longer accepting action or wagers on the game. This can happen if there is a late injury or some uncertainty regarding who will be participating. Also used in prop bets. Parlay : A wager in which multiple teams are bet, either against the spread or on the money line. The more teams you bet, the greater the odds.
Pick 'em : A game with no favorite or underdog. The point spread is zero, and the winner of the game is also the spread winner. Point spread or just "spread" : The number of points by which the supposed better team is favored over the underdog. Proposition or prop bet : A special or exotic wager that's not normally on the betting board, such as which team will score first or how many yards a player will gain.
Sometimes called a "game within a game. Push : When a result lands on the betting number and all wagers are refunded. For example, a 3-point favorite wins by exactly three points. Square : A casual gambler. Someone who typically isn't using sophisticated reasoning to make a wager. Steam : When a line is moving unusually fast. It can be a result of a group or syndicate of bettors all getting their bets in at the same time. It can also occur when a respected handicapper gives a bet his followers all jump on, or based on people reacting to news such as an injury or weather conditions.
Straight up : The expected outright winner of the money line in an event or game, not contingent on the point spread. Teaser : Betting multiple teams and adjusting the point spread in all the games in the bettor's favor. Essentially, the point spread is a handicap given by the bookmakers to bring teams to an equal footing, in that it generates interest in both teams from bettors.
If you placed a bet on Team A, the team would have to win the game by eight or more points. Betting on Team B would win you your bet if the team wins the game, OR if it loses by less than six points. Instead, the bet depends on whether the combined amount is over or under a predetermined number set by the bookmaker.
All you have to do is decide whether the combined scores will total over that mark, or under it. Again, there are three main formats:. What does this mean? All you have to do is multiply your wager by the odds to find out your potential winnings. Fractional odds are one of the oldest forms of odds in sports gambling and are more popular in the UK market. Basically fractional odds show you how much you are set to win relative to how much you put in. There are a few reasons.