Sports betting has been around for as long as there’s been sports. Even back in the days of the Romans, they bet on gladiator games. Sports are exciting events, and betting on them makes them even more so. It’s no surprise that the 2017 online gambling market was worth nearly $46 billion, and it’s expected to be valued at over $94 billion in 2024.
If sports or online betting are something that interest you, you might want to know how to get started with betting or how to improve your odds. There are many different ways you can go about getting into sports betting: online casinos, fantasy football, or betting on horses at a race track. Here is our ultimate sports betting guide to get you started:
How To Place a Sports Bet
The first thing you need to know is how to actually place a sports bet. This all depends on the method you’re using and the type of sport you’re betting on, of course. There are telephone betting services, bricks-and-mortar bookmaking shops, casino sportsbooks, and online bookmakers. If you’re betting online, this is actually the easiest method.
Thus, if you’re a beginner and have no idea what to do, this might be the best place to start. Sports betting websites are easy to use: all you usually have to do is create an account with them, deposit some funds, and then just click to place bets. Betting in person or over the phone is a bit more complicated, but the basic process is that you simply tell the person what you want to bet on, how much you want to bet, and have the means to pay the necessary amount.
Get to Know the Lingo
There are many sports betting terms that you will need to learn if you’re serious about getting into sports betting. Here are some sports betting terms for you to familiarize yourself with (if you don’t already know them):
Action is simply the action you’re taking when betting. If you place a bet on a certain team, for example, you’re said to have action on the team.
- Bankroll and Bankroll Management
Your bankroll is how much money you’re going to put into your gambling fund. If you have a sportsbook, for example, it’s how much money you choose to deposit there. Bankroll management is one of the most important things with regards to gambling. You should never put more into gambling that you can afford, and you should never place bets that are too big. Managing your money and betting with discernment is key to maintaining an overall profit when betting over an extended period of time.
Betting on a favorite is also known as chalk. If you avoid high risk gambling, you might opt to bet favorites most of the time. If this is the case, you become known as a chalk player.
- Futures Bet
If you bet on an event that is happening in the future, it’s known as a future’s bet. For example, if you bet on a particular team winning the Superbowl months before it’s even started, you’re placing a futures bet.
- Point Spread Betting
This is the most popular form of sports betting. It’s when you place a bet that depends on the amount of points a certain team wins or loses by. If a team is favored by -3 points, they have to win by more than 3 points for you to make money on your bet. If they win by three, neither side wins. If a team is favored by +3 points, on the other hand, they must lose by less than three in order for you to win your bet.
- Prop Betting
Prop betting is when you place a bet that a very specific thing will happen. You’re basically betting on the particular outcome that is more often than not on an individual player. For example, you might bet that a soccer player scores one or more goals, so if they don’t score any you will not win your bet.
- Money Line Betting
If you’re new to the world of sports or online betting, money line betting is the type of bet you should start with. This is the easiest method of placing a bet. It means you simply pick which side you will win and bet accordingly. It’s all about the win or lose with this type of betting; no specifics are involved.
The word ‘sharp’ is used to describe a savvy and highly experienced bettor who studies their sport of choice to the extent where they are able to turn a steady profit when placing sports bets.
Conversely, a square is someone who seems to place bets randomly and with little or no thought or knowledge involved. Everyone new to gambling is also known as a square, because it can also mean a novice bettor. It’s essentially someone who doesn’t really know what they’re doing. Everyone in the world of sports and online betting hopes to transform from a square to a sharp.
Now that you know some of the useful terms of the gambling world, it’s appropriate to talk about another: parlays. Parlays are a method of betting where you need two things to happen in order to win. You combine two bets into one wager, and both have to occur in order for you to make a profit.
Avoid parlays at all costs, especially when you’re a beginner. It’s difficult enough to achieve one win, so don’t think you’ll get super lucky. Some gamblers are attracted to parlays because they offer a bigger payout than even both wins put together, but if only one occurs you lose money.
Understand the Odds
The odds are the most important thing when it comes to gambling, but you should remember that odds only reflect perception of what will likely happen. Studying odds and becoming really good at the mathematics side of gambling will certainly benefit your overall win ratio. Thus, anyone who wants to get into sports betting long term should invest the time and money into understanding the odds.
If you’re getting into sports or online betting simply because you’re bored and want a hobby, don’t. Whatever sport you choose to bet on, you should be passionate about it. When you’re passionate about something, you tend to be more knowledgeable about it.
For example, you’re more likely to know more about football if you’ve loved it since you were a kid than if you just recently learned the basic rules. Gambling is always a risk, but it’s much more so when you have no inside knowledge pertaining to the sport you’re choosing to gamble on.
No matter how smart you are, gambling is based on risk, so you’re never going to win all the time. However, these tips will help you increase your odds of winning so that you win money more often. Sure, gambling is a hobby, and it should be fun, but you will soon become frustrated if you lose all the time. Therefore, use these tips to help you become a better gambler and turn an overall profit as you become more and more experienced.