What Does “36u” Mean in Betting Odds?

When placing a wager on a sporting event, you’ll often see the term “36u” or “3.6” followed by the name of the event, such as “36u Texas Hold’em,” “3.6u Roulette,” or “3.6u Blackjack.” What does this mysterious notation mean? And more importantly, does it mean anything?

The following paragraphs explore the meaning of this notation and whether it impacts your ability to win at the table.

What Does “36u” Mean in Betting Odds?

To begin with, let’s break down what exactly “36u” means. The 36 stands for the number of points you’ll win if you bet on the underdog in a neutral site match. As for the u, it stands for the utility of using that number in betting odds. That is, is it more useful to figure out the winning odds for a neutral site match between the Yankees and the Mariners or the Red Sox and the Athletics? Put another way, is it more helpful to use the 36u notation for betting on the New York Knicks or the Los Angeles Lakers?

This is an age-old question in sports betting, and the answer is always somewhat complicated. While there are certainly situations where betting on the favorites is the correct wager, usually the best strategy in most sportsbooks is to bet on the underdogs. And the reason for that is simple: the favorites almost always win. So if you’re going to lose anyway, why not bet on the underdogs? That way you’ll have some fun while you’re at it!

Is It Better To Bet On The Underdog?

To begin with, let’s look at the general concept of betting on the underdogs. If you’ve ever been to a circus, you might have seen people putting money on the backs of animals to see which ones will run faster—the lion or the dog? That is essentially how wagering works in sports. Generally, when you bet on the underdog, you’re putting your money on the side of the smaller, weaker team. But, as we’ve established, the favorites almost always win, so you can’t lose. That means you’re essentially just giving the favorite player or team a free pass to win the game. And that’s generally a good thing!

Why Does It Take So Long To Bet On Games?

This question has two parts. The first part is, why does it take so long to wager on a game? The answer to that is simple. When you wager on a game, you’re usually placing a bet at the last minute. So the casino knows you’ve placed a bet, but the game doesn’t end until the clock hits zero. Therefore, if you want to wager on a game, you have to wait until the last minute to make your move.

Why is it hard to wager on a game when the odds are still available? The answer to that is also simple. Generally, the better the odds, the more appealing the wager. So unless you want to simply place a losing bet, it’s best to wait until the odds have improved.

Do Underdogs Always Win?

In general, underdogs win more often than not, but that’s not completely true. Sometimes they lose, too. Despite the long odds, sometimes the favorite wins. That’s just how sports work. When that happens, it’s usually because:

  • The underdog has an unexpected advantage, such as running against the wind or an injury to the favorite,
  • The underdog is a better all-around team than the favorite, or
  • The match is being played at a neutral site.

In any event, it’s usually a good idea to back the underdog. But as we established earlier, the favorites almost always win, so you can’t lose.”

Is It Better To Use Betting Lines Or Point Spreads For NFL And College Football?

When it comes to betting on the NFL, it’s usually best to use the moneyline because the point spread is usually more useful for college football and basketball. Why? Simple. Most people familiar with football are more familiar with the point spread, which is how professional gamblers measure and compute the spread. So if you’re new to football betting, start out with the moneyline.

As for which team to root for, that’s really a matter of personal preference. There is no wrong answer. Just remember: with any event, there are always alternatives. If you’re having trouble choosing, use this basic rule of thumb: if you like the sound of one team’s name more than the other, root for that team. For example, you might like the sound of the Seahawks (hint: it rhymes with “bucks”) more than you like the sound of the Broncos (no “s’” sound at all). In most cases, the Broncos are the better all-around team and thus, you should root for them, but if you happen to like the name of the other team, go with that team. In either case, you’ll want to keep your wagering preferences in mind, so you don’t end up at the wrong table at the wrong time. 

With both the NFL and the NCAA, you’ll often times see oddsmakers list the favorite in the title, followed by the opposing team’s name in small print below. That’s because the favorite team will nearly always cover the spread in most cases. Why? For the same reason the underdogs win so often in sports: the favorite wants to cover the spread to avoid getting embarrassed on the field. In that sense, you can think of the favorite as the house, and the point spread as the vigorish (or juice) that the house collects on each wager.

Do Handicaps Help At All?

Many people will tell you to never use a handicap in your wagering, but that’s not entirely true. As a general rule, handicaps can be useful if you’re unsure of the outcome of a game. That’s because if you had bet $100 on the Indianapolis Colts and they win by 3 points, you’d have to pay $130. But if the Colts win by 11 points, you’d only be out $100.

However, just because the handicaps are useful in certain situations doesn’t mean you have to use them. You have to answer the questions: Will the handicap affect the final result? And if so, how much?]

Usually, when people tell you to avoid using handicaps in your wagering, they’re talking about using them in NFL and NCAA games. That’s because in most cases, the handicaps do not affect the final result. They just put more pressure on the underdog to cover the spread, which, as we established above, the underdogs almost always do. And that’s why you see the oddsmakers list the favorite team’s name in the title and the opposing team’s name in small print below.

For example, take the 2014 NFL playoffs. Through the first three weeks, the handicaps had Oakland Raiders as a 7-point home favorite against Seattle. But in the final week of the playoffs, Oakland won by 20 points, so in that case, the handicap proved useful in timing your wager on the Raiders—they were as good as advertised! However, if you had bet on the Seahawks early on, you would have lost your money. That’s because 20 points easily cleared the spread.

What About Parlay Cards?

Another interesting fact about NFL and NCAA football betting is that both sportsbooks will sometimes offer “parlay cards.” That’s because when a gambler bets $100 on the Indianapolis Colts and wins, the sportsbook can offer him another chance at winning $200 by betting on another game. But just because they offer that card, it doesn’t mean you have to take them up on it. You have to decide if you want to play the parlay card or not. And if you do, you have to decide how much you’re willing to wager. The key is to keep in mind that the odds are generally better at the smaller, regional casinos, and thus, it’s usually a better idea to play it safe and avoid the temptation.

On the subject of risk versus reward, as with any form of gambling, the key is to find a balance between the two. If you feel like the risk is a little higher than the reward, or vice versa, then it’s probably a good idea to skip that game or lay off a little bit. Just because the odds are in your favor at the moment does not mean you necessarily have to take the wager. It simply means you’re safer and more likely to win if you do.