What Does the Negative Mean in Betting?

When we hear the word ‘bet’ mentioned, we likely think of sports betting or wagering. While there is a lot of pleasure that can be gotten from simply participating in a sporting event, there is also a lot of uncertainty that comes along with such activities. You may walk away from the game victorious, or you may leave the game feeling that you lost. Either way, the financial ramifications of sports betting can be significant. That is why if you are looking for a way to minimize the financial risk associated with betting, then you should consider looking into formalized betting or legalized sports betting. Here are the basics of what a negative means in sports betting and how it can be applied to help you reduce your risks.

No Win, No Fee

This may be the most important thing to consider if you are a first-time or a casual sports bettor. When you make an ‘action’, as it is commonly known in the betting world, you are agreeing to pay the house or bookmaker a percentage of your earnings for the bet. This is done regardless of whether you win or lose the bet. The bottom line is that if you lose, then you are accountable to pay the house even if the game ended in a tie.

There is no reason to risk your hard-earned money on a game that you know is going to end in a tie. For instance, if you bet on the Super Bowl with the idea that there will be a lot of action and thus you can make some easy money, but the game ends in a tie, you still have to pay the bookmaker because there was no “win” in the first place. In a nutshell, no win, no fee simply means that your risk is completely mitigated by eliminating any possibility of receiving a refund even if the game ends in a tie. The bookmaker will not give you a penny if the game is a draw. This is why it is usually not a good idea to bet on games that you know are going to end in a draw. As the name would suggest, a “draw” is when the total amount of money wagered on a game is equal to or greater than the guaranteed amount that will be awarded to the winner. Essentially, this is a “push” in the direction of your bet. When this happens, the house will not honor your “win” and instead will give you the amount that you wagered (or part of it) back in the form of a refund.

Expected Value

In mathematical terms, expected value is the expected amount of money that you will win or lose on a given wager. You can also think of it as the “value” of the wager. Using this notation, the expected value of a bet on a game is going to be either positive or negative depending on whether you are going to win or lose the wager. A positive expected value indicates that the bet will be a profitable wager for you; a negative expected value indicates that the bet will be a loss. If you are uncertain as to whether or not a given wager will be a profitable or a loss, then you should avoid making that wager because you are putting yourself in a potentially risky situation. This risk can be further exacerbated by the variability of the odds that are offered by the bookmaker. For example, if you are considering a wager on the Super Bowl but the odds are very in favor of the home team, then that would indicate that there is a lot of uncertainty as to whether or not you are going to win the bet.

Expected value can be a very useful tool for assessing the profitability of a bet. If you are looking for a way to minimize your losses, then you should probably avoid bets with a negative expected value. That is not to say, however, that you should never bet on a game with a negative expected value. Some people believe that there is a strategy to “pick” games with negative expected value so that you can minimize your losses. While there is some validity to this theory, it is still very risky to bet on games with negative expected value. Some people have gotten burned by this strategy and have sworn off betting altogether because of the risk. What is important for you to remember is that there is no surefire way to ensure that you are going to win when you place a bet, so you should use your best judgment when deciding whether or not to make a wager. This is especially important if you are going to bet on a game that you have not seen played before. For instance, if you are in London for the Cricket World Cup and you decide to bet on a game that is played on an outdoor pitch, then you should probably avoid that bet because you have no idea what the weather is going to be like in England in June. You might end up ruining your whole trip by getting sick with an English “bug”.

Bookmaker Edge

The edge, as it pertains to betting, is the advantage that the bookmaker has over the customer when it comes to placing bets. Bookmakers usually get this edge from taking a certain percentage of the bets that they receive. It is well-deserved because without it, the house would have no reason to continue operating. The edge can be anywhere from 0.5% to 5% in either direction. This means that there is a considerable amount of variability when it comes to the edge. If you are considering placing a wager and have not looked into the odds or the bookmaker’s edge, then this is something to consider because the variability of these factors can make or break your whole strategy. The edge is something that you will have to live with when betting because it is not practical to calculate the exact amount of your earnings and losses due to fluctuations in odds and edge. However, you should be aware of this fluctuation and make the right move if you feel that it is unfavorable.


If you are new to the world of betting, then it can be helpful to familiarize yourself with some of the terminology that is used. This may assist you in your endeavors to become a successful bettor. Below is a short list of some of the terms that you may come across: