The popularity of betting websites means that there are numerous ways in which players can wager on sporting events. However, not all forms of betting are created equal and it’s important to understand the differences between options so that you can choose the right one for your needs.
Fixed Odds vs. Even Money Bet
If you’re new to betting, it’s important to know that there are two kinds of wagers: fixed odds and even money bets. A fixed odds bet determines the outcome of a particular event (e.g., the scoring differential in an NBA game), whereas an even money bet is simply a wager where the payout is the same regardless of the outcome (e.g., a college football game). Although the two have several similarities, there is one crucial difference: with fixed odds bets, the house always wins.
The reason for this is that the sportsbooks take on large amounts of risk when setting the line for these types of bets due to the fact that they have to predict the outcome of an event (i.e., they have to risk losing money). For this reason, most sportsbooks offer some sort of advantage to people who place these types of wagers – either through higher odds, or by taking the other side of the bet. For instance, if you bet $100 on the Denver Broncos and they win by 10 points, you would win $10 based on the 10:1 odds for the Broncos in this case. The downside is that if the game ends in a tie, you would lose your $100 bet. This is why most sportsbooks will never accept a sports bet where the outcome is a draw (i.e., where the scores are tied at the end of the game).
Short-Odd vs. Long-Odd Betting
Another significant difference between types of bets is the length of the odds. Long-odds betting refers to a situation where the sportsbook offers long odds (i.e., greater than 1.8) for a given event and short odds (i.e., less than 1.8) for the opposite or “complement” event. For instance, if the line for a given event is 3 favorites to 1 underdog, this is referred to as long-odds betting because there is an “odds” (or payout) disparity of 3 to 1 (i.e., the underdog will win $300 vs. the favorite securing a $100 win).
Using Home State vs. Out of State Betting
Home state wagering is a type of wagering where you are allowed to place a bet from the residence state you claim as your own. For example, if you are a Pennsylvania resident and you visit New York for a professional baseball game, you can legally bet on that game only if that is where you are living at the time (e.g., you cannot travel to another state and back again to place bets on that game; it has to be a continuous trip). This is not to say that you can’t do business online and make wagers from your home state, but you have to keep in mind that the law may not always protect you.
An out-of-state bet is one where you can place a bet from a state other than the one in which you are residing at the time. The legality of out-of-state wagering varies by state and type of bet, but generally speaking you can place bets from anywhere you like as long as you do so legally (e.g., if you are located outside of New York and you want to bet on a baseball game there, you can do so as long as you adhere to the rules set forth by the state of New York). The advantages of online home state wagering are that you can access lines from anywhere, at any time, and on any device (e.g., smartphone, tablet, or computer).
Another important difference between types of bets is whether or not they are “handicapped”. When placing a handicapped bet you are basically stating that you believe that the outcome of a particular event will be affected by a factor that is out of the control of the participants on the field (e.g., the weather, lack of a particular player, or the team being warmed up at the time of the bet). The legality of handicapped betting varies by jurisdiction, but as a general rule, if you are truly handicapped and cannot control the external factors that may impact the outcome of a game, you can legally wager on it (e.g., if the handicap is medical in nature and you are medically cleared to play, you can legally wager on sporting events).
Live Music vs. All-Music Betting
Live music betting is where you stake cash on whether or not a band will perform live, as opposed to simply recording a live performance and releasing it to the public later on (this is called “all-music” betting). Generally speaking, this is a low-risk wagering option for those who like to bet on live events. For instance, if you are at a bar and the band onstage is one that you like, you can make a wager on whether or not they will play another song (if they do, you win – if they don’t, you lose). The downside to this type of wagering is that the bar or venue may not allow you to make wagers, or they may refuse to accept credit cards as a means of payment (if so, you may have to resort to cash or a prepaid credit card).
To put it simply, not all forms of betting are created equal and you have to remember to take the time to familiarize yourself with all of the options available to you before making your next wager. By doing this, you will find that the decision is much easier and much more pleasant, especially when considering all of the alternatives – and that is what matters in life in the end.