Imagine you’re at a big sports event – a World Cup match, a Grand Prix season finale, a Premier League or Champions League game – and you’re really taken with a particular player or team. You make some wagers with your friends and family, but then you discover that the odds have all been fixed in favor of the home team or player you’ve fallen in love with. What would you do?
That’s the feeling you get when you’re involved in a “lock-in” sports betting exchange. When you make a wager on a sporting event using a regular sportsbook, the odds will usually change somewhat after you make your wager. That’s due to the fact that some people – mainly bookmakers – try to avoid losing money, so they’ll do everything they can to ensure your wager doesn’t pay out. That means the odds you get will be skewed in favor of the home team or player you chose.
Thankfully, there are ways around this problem. If you’re determined enough, you can generally find the best odds available on the other side of the planet. Sometimes you can get amazing odds thanks to high rollers who are willing to risk it all on one game. Other times, you have to settle for what’s available locally – but you can also try to get lucky and strike it rich on a big match.
How Does A Lock-In Work?
When you use a conventional sportsbook to place bets on sporting events, the odds will change after each bet in the following way:
- If you win, your winnings will be paid out plus winnings from previous bets
- If you lose, you’ll be awarded a small winnings from previous bets
- The house will make a small amount from the sale of each ticket
- The casino takes a hefty cut, plus its regular fees
- The bookmaker takes a small percentage of the total amount wagered (between 10% and 20% in most cases)
- Retailers such as the one below take a cut of what is left over
This system allows bookmakers to make a small amount of money from each bet – whether you win or lose. It also encourages people to bet on sporting events since they feel like they have a slight chance of winning.
When you’re locked in with a bookmaker, they will update the odds on your behalf – and at the same time, they’ll be updating other people’s odds as well. This is typically what happens when you place a bet using a conventional sportsbook. It’s a numbers game, and the bookmaker will do their best to make sure the numbers fall in their favor – so if you’re determined to win or lose, you might have an edge.
Why Should You Avoid Lock-Ins?
While there’s nothing wrong with being able to make a small profit from wagering on sports, there’s also something wrong with being forced into it. It goes against the very nature of betting to be forced into placing bets against your will – or to put it another way, to have your bankroll docked because you didn’t place wagers the bookmaker wanted you to place. This is where the concept of a lock-in comes in. When you engage with a lock-in, you’re agreeing to bet with them on upcoming sporting events. You’re not required to put up any money at all – so long as you’re determined to win, you might just walk away with all of it.
With a lock-in, your stake won’t be affected – whether you win or lose. It will be protected from the get-go, and any winnings from that point forward will be paid out as agreed. These kinds of services are generally provided by reputable online betting firms – companies that operate legally and ethically, and that offer fair and honest gaming environments. Many bookmakers are members of respectable organizations such as the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and the JVCE (Joint Venture Commission on Enterprise).
Being able to place wagers on sports without fear of being locked out is a win-win for the consumer. Not only do you get to enjoy the game with friends and family without worrying about your bankroll, but you also help support the efforts of legitimate sportsbooks by avoiding those that cut corners and charge excessive fees. If you believe that a lock-in is something that brings joy to your life and allows you to fully participate in sporting events you love, then I’d recommend giving them a try.