Betting on sport is a way of life practiced by people all over the world. In some places, gambling on sports is even more integrated into the culture than in others. It is a way of life that has transcended borders and racial divides. There is even a phrase in some places to describe the person who excels in this area, ‘the bookmaker’s best friend’.
While gambling on sports has long been accepted by society at large, how exactly does one go about betting on skinning? What are the rules and regulations? Who sets the odds?
The short answer is ‘everyone’. One of the key components of sports gambling is that, ultimately, it is decided by the participants themselves. However, the industry has standardized many of the procedures and terms that participants need to remember when placing bets. These standards are usually set by the bookmakers themselves and must be followed blindly by all participants. The following will go over some of the key terms and procedures that one should know when placing bets on skinning.
Before we begin, it is important to define some of the terminology that will be used throughout this article. The word ‘bettor’ is used to refer to the person placing the bet. The term ‘bettish’ is used when referring to the action of betting or wagering. A ‘bettor’ might place a bet on a tennis match, for example, while a ‘bettish’ might place a wager on the Super Bowl. Additionally, a ‘sportsbook’ is a bookmaker that specializes in sporting events. A ‘money line’ is the most basic form of wager, where the stake is placed on the winning team. In the case of a tie, the bettor will lose their money. ‘Point spread’ is when one team is given multiple points for an outcome and the other is given zero points. For example, if the San Francisco 49ers win the Super Bowl by a score of 28-24, the point spread will be four points (28-24). The person with the money on the winning team can choose to either waive the point spread and take the ‘over’ (if the score is above the predetermined point spread amount) or have the point spread applied (if the score is below the spread amount). The act of applying the point spread is known as ‘taking the point spread’. Lastly, a ‘lay bet’ is a wager where the bettor does not want to reveal their choice at the end of the game. Rather, they leave it up to the bookmaker to apply the point spread to the game as it ends. This is usually done by either settling on the point spread or letting it ride depending on whether the team won or lost by the point spread.
When one decides to bet on sport, the first thing that comes to mind is the odds, right? After all, one of the key terms used in any sportsbook is ‘odds’. Odds determine the probability of an event occurring. For example, if a bookmaker sets the odds of a certain tennis player winning a certain tournament at 10-1, this means that the player has a 90% chance of winning the tournament. The odds are also the main factor behind why some people prefer to wager on tennis while others prefer to bet on the Super Bowl. In the case of the Super Bowl, the probability of one team winning over another is usually around 70-75%. So even though the Buffalo Bills typically underperform against the spread, it is a safe bet that they will cover the spread in most cases.
Lay betting is when a bettor doesn’t want to reveal their choice at the end of a game. This is usually because they do not want to show their hand (especially if they are getting an advantage by not revealing their choice). Lay betting was first brought to America from England with the intention of reducing sharp practices by bookmakers. Bookmakers would ask people to make lay bets as a way to prove their honesty. In some places, lay betting is also known as ‘inside information’ betting because it is often based on information that the bookmaker has access to. In the case of tennis, for example, an early bird might get the chance to watch the tennis matches before the general public does. This gives them the advantage of knowing the results before the others. Because they have this information before others, they are sometimes given the title of ‘informant’ by the bookmakers. After all, it is in the bookmaker’s best interest to keep their ‘informants’ happy. This form of wagering is often considered less important and less attractive to sports bettors because, ultimately, it depends on the bookmaker’s good graces whether or not the bettor will win their bet. In many cases, people will simply settle for the fact that they cannot beat the bookmaker. So instead of fighting for a small advantage, they will either let the point spread ride or accept a small loss. In some places, such as Australia and the United Kingdom, laying a wager on sports is illegal because it is considered to be fixing. The last thing that any bookmaker wants is to have their operations called into question. Luckily, laying a bet on sports is not illegal in most places and, as a result, it allows bookmakers to remain relatively unbiased (at least in theory). Being able to look at both teams as objectively as possible is what keeps the trust of their customers.
There is another type of wagering that is gaining popularity recently called ‘fixed matches’. This form of wagering allows bettors to place a wager on the outcome of a specific sporting event without needing to watch the match live. In many cases, the bettor will get the chance to choose the outcome of the game before others even know that they have made the bet. This is usually done through a system of random numbers. The idea behind fixed matches is that nobody, other than the participants, has a vested interest in the outcome of a game. This makes it more trustworthy and less likely to be fixed, at least from the bookmakers’ perspective. Letting individuals choose the outcome of games has proven quite popular because it reduces the chances of sharp practices. In many cases, the only thing that the bettor needs to do is place the bet and then sit back and relax while the results come in. This is one of the reasons why many people are shifting towards alternative sports books that can get them the fixed matches that they want. Some of these books even allow for selections to be made ahead of time by the bettor, which is something that the traditional books do not offer (at least not in a standardized form).
One of the primary concerns when placing a wager is whether or not they will pay out. After all, you are putting money on the line and you want to know that you are going to get your money back, at least in part. In the case of gambling on sports, this is usually not a concern because all casinos and bookmakers are required to have a full payout offered. If they do not, then they are not considered legitimate businesses and their licenses could be revoked. In most cases, when someone places a bet on a sporting event, that bet will be settled (at least in part) within one day. If it is not settled within one day, then the bettor will be contacted and hopefully, they will get their money back (in theory, at least). Once the match is settled, the result and payout for the bet will be posted on the website, usually within one day of the event. In the case of a baseball game that is not played over the course of a day, the result will be posted at the end of that same day. In case you are wondering, the word ‘payout’ is used to indicate the amount of money, property, or wealth that one person or entity receives from another, usually in return for doing or stating something.
Prices are always a key consideration for those who are betting. Not only does one want to make sure that they are getting their money’s worth, but they also want to know how much something is worth so that they do not overpay or underpay. When it comes to sports betting, prices are usually expressed in terms of the odds that the bookmaker is offering. For example, if the Chicago Cubs are playing the San Francisco Giants and the Cubs are a -140 favourite (meaning that they have a 140-1 chance of winning the game), then the cost of placing a wager on the game, at that particular moment in time, will be 20 times the odds (since one dollar costs 20 cents in terms of the odds). It is extremely important to check the prices before committing to a wager. This way, one will know what to expect and whether or not the bookmaker is acting in good faith.