What Is a Cover in Betting?

In betting, a cover is an amount of wagering money, either placed or raised by one player, designed to ensure that another player’s hand is not declared before the covering player obtains some outcome. The matching funds are typically placed at the same time and are returned if the bet is settled in the player’s favor.

The amount of the cover is determined by the rules of the game and is intended to make winning less likely for the opposing player. For example, a bookmaker will usually require a $60,000 (Australian) bet to be covered by a $10,000 (Australian) wagering bankroll. The bookmaker expects to earn $60,000 in handling that particular wager. In general, larger covers are preferred over smaller ones, as the latter are more easily avoided by the bookmaker.

Covered bets are usually laid in pairs. In these pairs, each player makes a bet on an outcome and the other player covers the bet. When one player wins, that player has the right to decide whether or not to pay his opponent the amount of the cover. If the loser decides to collect the amount of the cover, the winner is still obligated to pay the bookmaker. In most cases, the bookmaker will collect the remaining amount from the winner.

The Importance of Cover in Betting

While a bettor may sometimes be motivated to place a bet just for the fun of it, covers are usually placed for a variety of reasons. The most common reason for utilizing covers is to limit the potential exposure to loss. If a player is confident that he can lose a certain amount of money on a given wager, he will usually seek to have another player cover the bet for him. This reduces the risk of loss and makes winning more likely. In an ideal situation, the bookmaker earns money on each bet he makes and collects from each bet he covers. Thus, he makes money regardless of whether or not the bet is won.

However, in an actual situation, the bookmaker will lose a portion of the bets he covers. This is due to the variation in people’s betting patterns and the fact that certain bets are more likely to be suspicious to the bookmaker than others. For example, an even bet on the Super Bowl is typically not considered a high-risk bet, while an exacta (multiple-race bet) on the Kentucky Derby is often viewed as a higher-risk wager.

Some players may consider having someone else cover their bets to be cheating, but this is usually not the case. In general, books will ask players to cover for them if there is even the slightest suspicion that the bet may be rigged. In this scenario, the bookmaker will view the bet as a cheat and may report the player to the authorities for further action.

Types of Covers Used in Betting

There are two key types of covers that are utilized in betting: win and place. A win cover will be placed on a winning bet and a place cover will be placed on a wager where the player hopes to both win and cover the spread (or goal line) of betting odds. In most cases, win and place covers are identical in size and are designed to offer the same level of protection for the bettor.

A common misconception about covers is that win and place covers are used in racetracks and casinos, where there is continuous betting throughout the year. In fact, covers are used more frequently in sportsbooks, as there is less betting action in the off-season. In general, win and place covers can be used in all types of betting and at all times throughout the year.

Use of Covers in Sports Betting

In sports betting, win and place covers are generally referred to as off-season and in-season covers, respectively. The terms off-season and in-season are used to reference the lessened betting activity in the unlikely event that someone discovers your wagering patterns and closes out all of your covered bets before the start of the new season. In most sportsbooks, the majority of the betting activity takes place during the season months, especially the spring season. Thus, it is not uncommon for football teams and major-league baseball teams to have their seasons obscured by the lack of public attention during the off-season. This results in an increased risk of losing one’s license, as well as a higher probability of being flagged by the authorities for further action.

One Final Note About Covers

Covers are an essential tool for any bettor to have in his arsenal, as they make winning more likely. However, they can also place the bettor at a greater risk of losing money, as the bookmaker will always be able to report the player to the authorities for further action. Thus, it is important that the bettor is aware of this risk and acts responsibly when placing bets with covered implications. In most situations, this means using adequate protection measures, such as parlay and system betting (using multiple accounts to limit the exposure to risk).