You may have heard the expression “backs against the wall” when speaking to a betting shop employee or a bookmaker. This is because when placing a bet, the odds usually appear in the form of a long column with various symbols (such as black and white checkered flags) along the left-hand side, and the prices are typically listed vertically along the top of the column. When viewing this from the side, the symbols and the prices appear to be arranged in an arch, with the wall behind forming the back of the arch – hence the expression “backs against the wall”.
Now, if you’re reading this in an e-mail, you might wonder what all the fuss is about because there’s no practical use in memorizing odds and prices – or at least, none that you’ll ever need in your life. That’s because recently, a betting regulation came into effect that requires the odds and prices to be displayed in a more “natural” manner. As a result, the standard way of displaying odds and prices now includes pictures designed to help people memorize them more easily. Here’s a brief guide to what these pictures mean.
Black And White
In sports betting, black represents the home team and white is the away team. When you place a bet on the outcome of a sporting event, the odds will be given for both teams, thus making it a “split” bet. As an example, let’s say you’re backing Leicester City in the English Premier League – one of the most competitive leagues in the world, with the most passionate fan base – and you want to place a bet on them to win a certain game. You’ll see that in this case, City are the ones with the “black” image and the white image is against them, because in most cases, the home team will have the advantage in these types of bets.
Similarly, in American football, if you want to bet on the outcome of a game, the odds will be given for both teams. However, in the case of the home team, the image is usually white and the away team is black. The exception to this rule is when the home team is playing against itself, in which case, the away team will have the advantage, as there’s no difference between playing against yourself and playing against the team you support.
In a nutshell, an arrow represents the winner of an event with some money riding on the outcome. For example, if you’ve got a million dollars on the line and you shoot an arrow at a certain time, it will land on one of three things: Either the person you’re shooting at will hit a target that is tied to a million-dollar prize, the arrow will hit a target that is worth some amount of the million dollars, or the arrow will just fall to the floor. In the first two cases, you win the money; in the third case, you don’t lose anything.
Tying in with the previous point, if the betting website you’re using doesn’t take kindly to people cheating at sports events, then they’ll remove all the wins and losses that were caused by fraudulent activities. Therefore, if you’re ever accused of manipulating the results of a game, ensuring that all your wins are removed from the system will help your case a lot – at least, until the police arrive to arrest you.
An anchor is a symbol that serves as a placeholder for something else. When you click on an anchor in a web page, you’ll see a small preview of the content that’s behind it. For example, if you have a news blog and you want to include a link to a certain piece of content, you could use an anchor to do so. When a reader clicks on the link, they’ll be taken to the exact part of the content they were aiming for.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, an anchor with nothing attached to it is sometimes called a “burying” anchor. When you bury an anchor, you’re essentially throwing away any value it had. As an example, say you have a hypergeometric button that enables people to donate money to a certain charity. If you use an anchor with no value, you could conceivably click on the button to raise money for charity – however, you have no way of knowing if anyone actually clicked the button or simply parked on your page.
Sometimes, instead of displaying the odds and prices in a straightforward manner, bookmakers and betting shops will use a symbol called an “X” to represent them. The odds and prices will then be displayed to the right of the X, with the left-hand side serving as a sort of warning. Here’s an example:
Pete then places a $10 wager on the Patriots to win the game. Now, if you look at the odds above the X, you’ll see that they’re a bit steep – in fact, they’re the same as the odds for Boston University to win the entire series, which is an impossible feat. This is because sportsbooks don’t want folks trying to manipulate the results of a game. On the other side of the X, you’ll see that the sportsbooks are offering a pretty good deal, considering the absurdity of the previous odds.
This is why when you see an X, you usually want to look at the odds on the left to determine whether or not you should bet on the event at all – or, at least, not according to the initial odds that were listed on the right.
In the world of sports betting, numbers can either be favorable or unfavorable, depending on whether you’re betting on the outcome of a game or on the total amount of points that will be scored by the teams involved. For example, if you’re backing the underdogs in a college football game and want to make sure you bet on something that’s more likely to come in, you may want to avoid using numbers – at least, not initially. The risk of getting caught doing this is that sometimes, the bookmakers and betting websites will ask you to verify the number you’re using before allowing you to make a bet. Doing this is risky, as it could lead to the exposure of your identity. Moreover, if the number is something that you generate using a random number generator, then it might not be as much of a random number as the website lead you to believe – especially if you use the same generator to generate multiple numbers.
A diamond is a classic example of a placeholer. When you hover over a diamond, you’ll see a small description of its value – for example, “The famous DeBeers diamond has a value of up to four million dollars and can be identified by its seven unique diamonds, which are arrayed in a circle around a brilliant-cut centre diamond.” Basically, a diamond is a piece of jewellery that you buy in order to show people that you’re rich – or, at least, that you’re a wealthy enough sponsor that you can purchase a diamond of this caliber. Since diamonds don’t have an objective value, but are instead a display of wealth, if you want to place a bet on the outcome of an event involving a diamond, you’ll have to decide on how much you’re willing to wager on it.
In the world of sports betting, the line between the different categories of placeholders can be blurry. For example, numbers can represent a team, a scoring line, or the amount of money that will be bet on an event. As a result, knowing the difference between all of these can be a little tricky – especially since, in most cases, the odds and prices will be combined into a single column, making it hard to tell where one ends and another begins. Hopefully, this post will have helped you understand the significance of the various pictures used in sports betting – if you feel that there’s something missing, please feel free to leave a comment below!