When talking about betting, people often think about money. However, betting is about much more than money. The World Sport Bookmaker’s Association (WSB) defines betting as ‘a wager or an agreement to wager on an outcome of a sporting, political or cultural event’. Essentially, it is a contractual agreement between the gamblers where both sides agree to a certain outcome. The definition includes ‘cultural events’ such as the World Cup or the Olympics. You can view sporting events as a form of cultural activity, so it is included in the WSB’s definition as well. It can also include political events, where you’ll often find famous people placing wagers on elections. Regardless of the subject matter, when two parties agree to a wager, it is considered as betting. Naturally, this can be both good and bad – in some cases, it might just mean someone is passionate about a particular team or player. In other cases, it could be that someone is simply trying to avoid losing money. This article will attempt to tell you more about the different meanings of the numbers in betting. Here is the lowdown on what each number means:
The line associated with this range in betting is usually ‘even money’. Generally, this means the two sides – or, in other cases, the bookmaker – will need to come up with an even amount to place the bet. This is a great place to deposit money with a bookmaker, as you are essentially safe from losing money, since you can only make money by making winning bets or by getting returns on your existing wagers. This is also a popular choice among new gamblers who are looking to place lower stakes on their initial bets. Some online gambling operators like bet365 even go so far as to list 0–2.5 as a ‘no deposit’ bonus’. This means you don’t need to contribute any of your own funds to make a deposit – the site will do the financial lifting, allowing you to get straight into the game.
2.5 to 5
The second half of this range is often referred to as ‘value’ or ‘middle ground’ betting. As the name would suggest, these are the kinds of bets where the payout for each successful bet is in the middle of the value range. The typical bet in this area is 2.5–5 on a score or mark – e.g. Does the home team score more than five goals in the next match? These matches are often known as ‘soft’ or ‘meaningful’ games. There is nothing soft or meaningful about a FIFA World Cup final, but the term is sometimes used to describe matches that have lower stakes than usual but are still competitive. Matches contained in the World Cup are typically high-stakes affairs, with the overall winner walking away with a cool million or more!
When someone places a bet in the middle ground, it is usually because they want to increase their chances of winning while limiting the amount of risk they take on. For example, if you believe that the score will be more likely to be drawn than otherwise, you might decide to play at 5–1 on the over/under. The two sides on the other hand, might decide that betting at 5–1 on the under is too much risk given their lack of confidence in guessing the score accurately. In other cases, a bookmaker may choose to set the line at shorter odds than usual, given the competitive nature of the sport or event.
This is the other end of the betting spectrum, where each successful bet is greater than the previous one. These are the kinds of bets where the payout for each successful bet is more than the original stake. Naturally, the opposite is also true – if you lose, you will lose more money than you put in! Over 5 is also referred to as ‘futbol’ or soccer betting in some countries – particularly in Spain and Germany. Matches with an over in them are also referred to as ‘hard’ or ‘stump’ games. This is because, historically, people would bet on the final outcome of a hardball game (a.k.a. baseball), and the same terminology has been extended to sports like tennis or golf as well.
When someone bets over, it is usually because they want to maximize their earnings or minimize the amount of money they risk. For example, if you’re convinced that the score of a certain game will be 0–0, you might decide to play at 8–1 on the under or over. The two sides will then essentially have a 50–50 chance of winning (or losing) money based on this particular bet. Similarly, if you are playing against the house in craps, it is always a good idea to go all the way to the opposite end of the betting spectrum and bet over, because the house edges become significantly smaller the further you go in that direction. The riskier the bet, the larger the potential payback – particularly in blackjack, where you can lose more money very quickly indeed!
One last thing about these two ends of the betting spectrum – if you are playing against the casino, it is generally a bad idea to go all the way to the opposite end and bet over, as the house edges become significantly larger the further you go in that direction. This is why it is usually a good idea to stay in the middle ground when playing against the casino – it evens out the odds a bit!
Now that you know what each number in betting means, it’s time for you to go out there and make some smart wagers based on what you now know! And, as a newcomer to the exciting world of betting, don’t forget about us – we’re waiting to hear from you so we can help get you started on the right foot!