What’s the Difference Between Side and Money When Betting?

When you’re deciding on which sport to place a wager on, there are a few terms you need to understand. We’ll go over the most common ones in this article, so you know what they mean before you put in money at the bookie.


When you bet on sports, you’re actually placing a wager on one team versus another. For example, if you think the New York Jets will beat the Buffalo Bills this year’s football season, you could put down a side wager of $100 on NYJ -175 to win +125 or bet $100 on the over under (O.U.) of 43 points, as long as the total price is less than $500. You’ll also need to decide how you want to handle the event if your pick loses (e.g., refund, place another bet, or continue to play).

There are a few variations to this classic wager, as well. For instance, if you’re taking the over under, you can increase your side wager to $250 or $500 to get the same effect. You can also add another event, such as a playoff game, to the mix as well.


When gambling on sports, you’re not actually betting on one team versus another; you’re betting on the overall outcome of the game. For example, you could bet $100 on the New York Jets to win the Super Bowl this year. In order to do this, you’ll first need to ensure that you have enough money to cover your side wager in case your team wins. If you don’t, you could end up with a huge financial loss.

Another difference between betting on sports and other games is how your money is handled. When you bet on a team, the money you put down at the bookie is considered “principal” (also known as “full stakes”). For instance, if you put down $200 on the New York Jets and they win, you’ll win $200 (your original $200 plus the $100 you bet on the under).

However, if you bet $200 on the under, the bookie will return your money, as he has to give you something in return (plus a small commission). This is why it’s referred to as a “half-stake” wager. For the same amount of money (in this case, $200), you could place a $400 bet on the over under (O.U.) of 143 points or a $600 baseball bet (a part of which you can’t lose).


If you have $100 and you want to bet it on the Jets, you have three options: You can put down a “flat” (non-variable) bet of $100, you can put down a “metabolized” (variable) bet of $75, or you can put down a “lay” bet (also known as an “exotic wager”).

A lay bet is when a bookie takes your money and promises to give you something in return (i.e., if your team wins, he’ll give you the full $100 in winnings plus something else – typically, this is either $5 or $10 in free games or discounts on future bets).

The advantage of placing a lay bet is that, if your team wins, you’ll get your money back (plus the something else the bookie has to offer). This makes a lay bet less risky than a flat or metabolized bet.

Full House

If you want to make sure you have the best possible chance of winning, you should back your favorite team thoroughly. To do this, you can make a “full house” (four-team) wager, which is where you’ll find the most popular wagers on sports. For example, you can bet $100 on the New York Jets, $100 on the Pittsburgh Steelers, $100 on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and $100 on the Seattle Seahawks. If all four teams win, you’ll win $500, plus you’ll also get to choose four additional teams to watch that year (the 2016 Preakness, the 2016 Derby, the 2016 Belmont Stakes, and the 2016 World Series).

If the New York Jets win the Super Bowl, the Pittsburgh Steelers will win the next two years’ NFL championships, and the Seahawks will win the next two consecutive NFL championships, you’ll end up with a massive financial gain of $3,000 (plus the four additional game choices).

This example shows how backing your favorite team thoroughly can dramatically change the odds in your favor. However, it also means that you’ll need to follow closely the results of the games your teams are involved in, as well as those of the other teams you’ve chosen to back. If you don’t, you could end up with a significant financial loss.


Bettors are individuals who lay bets against the general public. If you’re a bettor, you’re basically placing wagers against the odds. For example, you could bet $20 on the New York Jets to win the Super Bowl this year and collect $40 (assuming they win – your original $20 bet plus the $20 win).

However, if you bet $40 on the under, you’ll lose your $40 and the bookie will keep it. You also have the option of walking away with nothing, as the bookie has to give you something in return if your team wins. This can be pretty lucrative if your team is a winner, but it’s definitely risky (as you are essentially gambling with strangers).

In most cases, bettors are matched with computer programs that allow them to lay bets quickly and efficiently. If you’re looking for a way to make money fast and easy, you can’t miss out on the opportunity to be a bettor.

House Edge

The “house edge” is the difference between the amount of money you risk at the bookie and the amount of money you make. For instance, if you risk $100 at a bookie and your team wins, you’ll win $100. However, the house edge is often hidden from view, so it can be hard to accurately figure it out. For instance, if you bet $100 on the New York Jets and they win, the house edge is usually 4%.

However, if you bet $100 on the under, the house edge is usually 36%. This is due to the different ways sportsbooks (i.e., the places where you can place bets) are paid out. If you look at the last example, you’ll see that the house edge is 36% for that specific combination of teams because the money you risked was less than the amount you won (you lost $36 in that case, but you won $100 from the bet on the under).


If you’re into sports betting and want to get the most from your wagers, you should learn to place them correctly (i.e., using the proper terminology and following a few simple rules). There are several different ways to place bets, and we’ll go over the most common ones below.


When you stake a wager, you’re essentially laying down a percentage of the total wager. For instance, if you bet $100 on the under and your team wins, you’ll win $100 ($100 staked on the under). If you bet $500 on the over and your team wins, you’ll win $500 plus $100 in stakes (your original $500 plus an additional $100 staked on the over).

This percentage can vary from 10% to 70% or more, but it’s usually around 20%. If you’re looking to maximize your winnings, you should stake your wagers as much as possible.


A laydown wager is when you put down a certain amount (i.e., the “lay” of the bet) and follow it up with another bet of the same amount (i.e., the “full lay” of the bet). For example, if you want to stake $100 on the Seahawks and they win, you have two options: You can lay $100 down and win $200 or you can lay another $100 down and win $300 (assuming your team wins).

The advantage of a laydown wager is that it’s extremely easy to place – you simply have to put down the first part of the bet (the “lay”) and then follow it up with the second part of the bet (the “full lay”). This can be extremely beneficial if you’re looking to place multiple bets quickly.