Online Gambling

Betting Basics

While the concept of betting on sports is simple enough, those new to online betting can often get confused by the sheer number of wagering options and the accompanying terminology that comes with professional bookmakers. Those that have already wagered with a local betting parlor (or in Vegas) should have a quick time making the adjustment, but for the rest of us (or for a recap), here's an overview as to how to get started making sports bets online.

The Basics of Betting:

We'll assume you're already familiar with the basic premise of a bet - you wager a certain amount of money on a predicted outcome (such as a sports team winning against another sports team), and win your original bet back plus a profit if you're correct on that prediction. The amount of profit you win is based on the odds of the bet placed, and an incorrect prediction loses the original wager.

This type of simple bet is called a "straight bet" or a "win bet", and is the most common type of wager placed by sports bettors both online and off.

Different Types of Bets:

Win Bets (also known as straight bets or match odds):
As mentioned above, this is a common type of bet which is very straight forward - a bettor wagers a set amount that a team, player, horse, etc will win an event, be it a game, race, etc.
Sportsbooks will make set odds available for this bet before the wager is placed, which may be adjusted for further bets later, but are set once your bet has been placed. The bet objective is simple; if the team, player, horse, etc you wagered on wins - you win your bet and are paid according to the odds you received when the bet was placed.

Making a win bet is fairly straight forward; for one-on-one sporting events a betting form online would typically have three options - "Home" - a bet that the home team in the match will win, "Away" - a bet that the visiting team will win the match, and "Draw" - a bet that the teams will have a tie outcome.

More often than not, betting slips/forms will have the home team listed first, the away team listed secondly and the draw option last (third). To wager, choose your side (or a tie), select how much you wish to bet (your 'stake'), then confirm your bet.

Place Bets:
Place bets are sometimes offered in other sports, but are generally reserved for racing events - be it horses, dogs, cars or people. With a place bet you are wagering that your chosen horse, dog, runner, etc will not necessarily come in first - but will come in either first, second or third place (sometimes 'placing' will extend to more positions). Unlike a win bet - the bet pays off the same regardless provided the horse, dog, car, comes in one of the designated 'places' - again usually first, second or third.

Most betting slips/foms will allow a bettor to wager on either Win (see above) or Place; each with their own respective odds. As a third option - there is also normally something called an 'Each-Way' bet, which essentially combines the two bets into one.

Each-Way Bets:
As these bets essentially combine both a win bet and a 'place' bet, they are again usually reserved to racing sports - though with some exceptions. An each-way bet basically places half your wager on a horse, dog, car, person to win - with the other half of the bet wagered on that horse, dog, car or person to place. That means you'll win half of your wager at 'win' odds if they place first, as well as the other half at place odds. Should they place but not win, you'll win on the place half of your bet but lose the 'win' half. If they don't place at all your entire bet will be lost.

Odds for each-way bets are sometimes shown separately from win bets, but if so are normally references as a fraction relative to the win bet. For example, an each way bet may be referenced as:

EW: 1/4 places 1,2,3

Which would mean the each-way bet paid 1/4th the win bet if the wagered horse/dog/runner placed, in addition to the win bet at full odds. The EW bet odds will vary according to the respective win odds of other competing bets and the number of placements that pay.

Lay Bets:
A lay bet is basically the opposite of a win bet, it's a wager that a particular team, horse, dog, etc will not win. Lay bets are not that common at most sportbooks online, as the sportsbook essentialy 'takes' the lay bets with each win bet - however the increasingly popular betting exchanges available take bets on either side to pair those wagering, which make lay bets more prevailant.

A wager on a lay bet pays off if the team/player/horse/dog etc loses the bet - normally paying off in direct proportion to the win bet placed.

Correct Score Bets:
Unlike bets placed on a specific outcome to win - score bets are based solely on the final score of a paticular game. Correct score bets are usually reserved for bets in which that outcome is theoretically predictable - such as football (soccer) games - though they may theoretically be offered on any game.

An example of a correct score bet may be 2-1 for a particular team over another (team A scores 2 - team B scores 1). Correct score bets only pay off when the scores are an exact-match, and usually pay off fairly well due to the difficulty of predicting such a specific outcome.

Half-Time Bets:
Half time bets are those that predict the second half of a game only - and as such the the odds/lines are normally only introduced after the first half is over.