Sports betting has probably existed for as long as sports have, a matter of centuries. But sports betting is rapidly developing and changing into a popular hobby for sports fans over the years, as the internet allows you to bet on a game without having to travel to the stadium. Online sportsbooks are everywhere — but ensure that you’re only using legit betting sites when depositing and withdrawing your money online.
There are many who start sports betting as a casual hobby and slowly get into it professionally over the years. And while sports betting is a sure-fire way to turn a boring game into an exhilarating one, there’s also a lot of statistics involved as betters try to understand and predict wins intelligently.
Either way, whether you’re in it for a casual Friday evening hobby, or a serious effort to make money off your premonitions — it’s relatively easy to get into sports betting! This article briefly details the absolute essentials to help you get started.
Understanding Sports Betting
Having a basic understanding of the components of sports betting can ensure that you always know what you’re getting yourself into. It can seem confusing at first, but it’s simpler than you think! That’s why sports betting is so popular: anyone with basic math skills can get a grip on it.
- Select: The first step is to select your team and the outcome. There will be different kinds of bets available, but at the core of it you need to choose a team and the outcome of the game that you are expecting.
- Stake: The stake refers to how much money you put down. If you’re choosing to bet $10 on a game, that’s how much your stake is. It is entirely up to you how much stake you want to have. Higher stakes mean higher rewards but also the risk of losing it all, while a lower stake would have a modest win but also be a comfortable loss.
- Odds: You must have heard ‘the odds are in your favor’ or something along those lines. Odds simply refer to the likelihood or chance of something happening. Most bets in sportsbooks are not paid simply according to your stake. For example, if there is a match going to happen between a powerful team and an obvious underdog team, everyone will want to bet on the powerful team winning. Sportsbooks know this and don’t want to just hand out cash to everyone who had half a brain to place the right bet.
That’s why there are odds. The odds determine how much money you will get if you win.
If your bet was extremely likely to happen, you’ll be paid less, and if it was very unlikely, then you’ll be paid much more.
Odds are written in either a Fractional or a Money line. Look at this example:
Money Line: +200
This means that the sportsbook predicts that you’ll probably win this bet only once for every two times that you lose. So clearly, the odds are 2 to 1 and not in your favor. Since you have an unlikely chance to win, your rewards are higher for when you actually do.
So if your stake was $100, you’ll win $200 every time you win.
Similarly, if the odds are in your favor, you’ll be paid less when you do win.
How to Place Bets
Now that you’ve understood how placing bets work, how do we go about doing the actual thing? Betting on online sportsbooks is arguably even easier than doing it in person, at a casino, or on a phone call. There are hundreds of sports betting websites so make sure that you are only using legit betting sites.
You simply have to open an account and deposit some funds. Don’t go crazy with your deposit if you’re just starting out, deposit the total value of 5 potential stakes. Most betting sites will have a large list of competitive sporting events for you to bet on. There are also always bonuses and rewards that incentivize betting with that sportsbook.
Take some time to check out a few sites before you narrow down on one. Sometimes a certain betting site will have much better odds and money lines than the others, so choose wisely!
It’s generally good advice to not take your losses so seriously. Try to think of sports betting as an add-on to your sports watching experience, and never bet more than you can afford to lose. There’s nothing like losing a large amount of money to leave a bad taste in the mouth and dissuade you from ever betting again. Playing it safe can go a long way when you think of small wins cumulatively.