All posts by phnseo

Major Line Moves

betting oddsA major line move is as sudden, drastic and uniform line movement across the entire sports betting marketplace.

This is often the result of a sudden overload of money placed at multiple sportsbooks and, in most cases, occurs due to betting groups, betting syndicates and a few key players with the resources to “get down heavily” at multiple locations, all at once.

Since the advent of sports betting, the holy grail in sports betting strategies has been to beat the move.

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This strategy had its ups and downs for years. Blindly following every move caused a lot of players to go broke. Wiseguys knowingly bet on the wrong side just to obtain a more favorable number when they finally “bought back” on the other side.

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Some of biggest names in sports betting (The Billy Walters’ of the world) do exactly that. By betting $50K on the home team, they’d force an overreaction in the market. Once this occurred, they’d then bet $150K on the side they wanted, usually getting a 1.5-point to 2-point move in their favor.

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Beginner’s Guide to Horse Racing – Part II

RacebookHorseracing has a rhythm, intensity and language like no other sport. We hope this guide will help you navigate through the sometimes confusing world of horseracing and become confident enough to bet and win at the races.

Don’t forget to check the Beginner’s Guide to Horse Racing – Part I. Check WagerWeb and find the best online betting site.

Straight Bets

With straight bets, you are betting on one horse to do a specific thing – Win, Place, or Show. Straight bets require a minimum risk of $2 on track, or you can bet as little as $1 through a betting outlet such as Pinnacle. Below are the types of straight bets as well as a brief description of each. Go to our betting strategy page for a more complete description of each type of bet.

Win – You win if your horse finishes 1st.

Place – You win if your horse finishes 1st or 2nd.

Show – You win if your horse finishes 1st, 2nd, or 3rd.

Exotic Wagering

Some people like to be a little more daring in their betting. Exotic bets offer a chance to turn a small amount of money into a much larger amount of money.

Exacta – You win if you select the 1st and 2nd place horses in a race in the “exact” order.

Trifecta – You win if you select the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place horses in a race in the correct order of finish.

Superfecta – You win if you select the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place horses in a race in the correct order of finish.

Daily Double – Daily Doubles require that you pick the winner of two consecutive races before the running of the first race in the sequence of races. Daily Doubles are usually offered on the first and last two races of each racing card.

Pick 3 – You win if you select the winner of three consecutive races. The bet must be placed prior to the running of the first race in the sequence.

Pick 4 – You win if you select the winner of four consecutive races. The bets must be placed prior to the running of the first race of the Pick 4 sequence.

Head-to-Head – Some tracks offer a head-to-head (H2H) wager. The H2H wager is a race within a race. You pick one of the two designated horses in the race. If your horse finishes in front of the other horse, you win. Please note that your horse does not have to win, place, or show. It just needs to beat the other horse.

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The Tote Board

When you are at the track you will notice a large board with flashing lights located in the infield. This is the Totalisator, or Tote Board. The tote board lists the current win odds for each horse, the total dollars bet on each horse to win, place and show, and a wealth of other information. Some of the other information displayed on the tote board includes:

  • Race number
  • Minutes to post
  • Time of day
  • Post time
  • Track condition
  • Pool totals
  • Results
  • Will pays for exotic bets
  • Fractional times of the race just run

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Betting Against the Public

online betting Betting Against the Public is one of the most popular and simplest methods used . The logic is simple: always bet against the public. Whichever team the public is loading up on, simply bet the other team.

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There is a reason why sportsbooks are in business. We’ve gone to extraordinary lengths to conclusively prove that the Betting Against the Public betting strategy will produce a positive return on investment.

How can simply Betting Against the Public produce a profitable result?

The answer is based on psychology. The public loves to bet favorites and “overs”. It’s human nature to root for winners and scoring. The media, which over-hypes winning teams that score a lot of points, further inflates this human tendency. Sportsbooks understand this and shade their lines accordingly. Sportsbooks do not look to balance their books. They look to exploit sports bettors’ tendencies by shading favorites and overs.

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With the difference in long-term winning and losing measured by 1-3%, continually getting an extra 0.5 to 1.0 point every time you bet an underdog or under will increase your win percentage by 1-3%. This is a measurable fact!

Every new season we update the betting percentage data and tally our earnings from betting against the public. We also reveal the latest optimal betting percentage threshold when betting against the public. Is it 65% or maybe 70%? Every sport is different so check back at the beginning of every season for an updated report.

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Beginner’s Guide to Horse Racing – Part I

<> on September 12, 2009 in Melbourne, Australia.Horseracing has a rhythm, intensity and language like no other sport. We hope this guide will help you navigate through the sometimes confusing world of horseracing and become confident enough to bet and win at the races.

If you are heading to the track for the first time you will need a program and a racing form. These are available for purchase at the track. If you plan to play the races from home, you will want to purchase an online racing form from one of the excellent data providers. The Official Daily Program contains important information about the day’s races including the horses, their morning line odds, the jockey that will ride the horse, race distances and much, much more. Programs are usually available near the track’s entrance.

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Once you have arrived at the racetrack, you will need to find seating. At most, if not all, tracks you will have to pay extra for entry into the clubhouse or for reserved seating. Some tracks also have box seats available. After you have settled on your seating, and have taken the time to review the track program and/or racing form, you will want to check out the horses.

The Paddock

The best place to look at horses is the Paddock. The paddock is where the horses get saddled prior to the race. After the horses are saddled, they are walked around a ring. This is where you can observe how “your” horse looks. Examine the horse to verify that it is alert yet relaxed, loose and light on its feet, not sweating excessively, has a shiny coat and generally looks ready to run.

Betting

If you have studied the racing form and looked at the horse, it is time to place a bet. One note about betting: Unlike other forms of gambling, you are not playing against the house when you bet on the horse races. Horse betting is actually a competition with the people around you. This is why it is possible to win at the races! When you are competing against other people – the public – it is wise to invest the time necessary to beat them.

Playing against the other horse betting gamblers as with horse racing is referred to as pari-mutuel wagering. The money that is wagered is pooled, with a separate pool being kept for each type of wager. If you win your bet you get part of the pool. How much depends on how many other people win with you. The good thing is that somebody always wins.

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What to Say at the Window

There is a basic protocol to follow when you go to the betting window to place a bet. Here is what to say at the betting window:

Track: Tell the clerk what track you are betting on. “Hollywood Park, race 3.”

Amount: Tell the clerk the amount that you are betting. “Five dollars.”

Type: Tell the clerk the type of bet you are making. “Win.”

Number: Tell the clerk the number(s) of the horse you are betting. “Number 5.”

Now put it all together. “Hollywood Park, race 3, five dollars to win on number 5.” That’s all there is to it!

You can bet on any race being run at the track at any time before it is run. Tracks also simulcast races from other tracks. That is why it is important to specify the track where you wish to place your bet.

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Sports Betting Strategies

online betting siteThe following concepts represent some of the most lucrative historical betting trends and are the same tools used by sharp bettors to turn consistent profits.

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Betting Against the Public

Betting Against the Public is one of the most popular and simplest methods used by Sports Insights to maximize value in the sports betting marketplace.

Reverse-Line Movement

We’ll show how analyzing betting trends data and line movement can help you identify which games the sharp money (wagers placed by sharps, wiseguys or betting syndicates) is taking.

Major Line Moves

Our major line move analysis explains how to interpret line moves across the sports betting marketplace in order to find value.

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Shading Sports Betting Lines

This article explains how sportsbooks shade their lines to exploit human tendencies and how you can take advantage by using our Betting Against the Public strategy.

Shopping for the Best Line

Shopping for the best possible number is an easy way to improve your winning percentage over the course of an entire season.

The Importance of Units Won

Understanding the importance of units won vs. winning percentage will help you evaluate the true worth of any sports betting system.

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Betting Horses to Show

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When you bet to show your horse must finish first, second or third in order for you to cash a ticket.

The problem with show betting is that while your risk is reduced (you cash a ticket if your horses finishes anywhere in the top three positions), the payoffs are often very small when compared to win or place betting. This is because the show pool (all money wagered to show on a race minus the track takeout) must be divided equally and paid out to the holders of show tickets on the first three finishers in a race.

Additionally, the payoffs on show bets are dependant on which horses finish in the top three positions. If the favorites run out of the top three positions the show payoffs will normally be higher than if the favorites finish in the first three positions.

There are a few situations however, when show betting can be either justified or just plain fun.

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The first situation occurs when a race includes one short-priced favorite and ALL other runners in the race are longshots. In this scenario the favorite will sometimes pay as much to place and show as it does to win.

The second situation in which show betting can offer a good payoff is when you really like a horse to win and you think the favorite or favorites can finish out of the money. In this case you have reduced your risk by betting to show while also having the opportunity for a decent payoff. In this scenario, betting your selection across the board (win, place and show) might also be a reasonable option.

One of the most popular low risk show wagering strategies (and the most fun), is to play a show parlay. Starting with whatever amount you are comfortable with, you play a horse to show. If your horse finishes in the first three, you take all the winnings and bet them back on the next race to show. You’d be surprised how quickly this can add up to a substantial amount.

For example:

In the first race of your parlay you bet a horse to show and it finishes in the top three and returns $3 for a $2 show bet. If you had wagered $10 to show, you would now have $15.

In the second race you bet your $15 to show and your horse finishes in the first three, returning $2.80 for a $2 show wager, and increasing your bankroll to $21 (7.5 * 2.80). You have now doubled your original $10 stake.

In the third race you bet your $21 to show and your horse finishes in the first three and returns $3.60 to show. You now have $37.80 (10.5 * $3.60).

In the fourth race you bet $37 to show and your horse again finishes in the first three. You’re on a roll! This time your horse pays $3 to show for a $2 wager and you have increased your original $10 to $55.50 (18.5 * $3). If you keep going it won’t be long before you have increased your initial stake of $10 to over $100.

The best way to play a show parlay is to set a reasonable goal of how much you want to win and to keep betting the show parlay until you get there. You then start over. If you don’t make it to your goal on the first try, you have only lost $10.

Show parlays are affordable, fun and can be lucrative. They give you action on every race at a very low cost and the closer you get to your monetary goal, the more the tension and excitement builds.

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How to Play Blackjack

Casino Betting Blackjack is played with one or more standard 52-card decks, with each denomination assigned a point value. The cards 2 through 10 are worth their face value. Kings, queens, and jacks are each worth 10, and aces may be used as either 1 or 11. The object for the player is to draw cards totaling closer to 21, without going over, than the dealer’s cards.

The best total of all is a two-card 21, or a blackjack. Blackjack pays 3-2–that is, a two-card 21 on a $5 bet will win $7.50 instead of the usual $5 even-money payoff on other winning hands. However, if the dealer also has a two-card 21, the hand pushes, or ties, and you just get your original bet back. But if the dealer goes on to draw 21 in three or more cards, your blackjack is still a winner with its 3-2 payoff.

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The game is usually played at an arc-shaped table with places for up to seven players on the outside and for the dealer on the inside. At one corner of the table is a rectangular placard that tells the minimum and maximum bets at that table, as well as giving variations in common rules. For example, the sign might say, “BLACKJACK. $5 to $2,000. Split any pair three times. Double on any two cards.” That means the minimum bet at this table is $5 and the maximum is $2,000. Pairs may be split according to the rules described below, and if more matching cards are dealt, the pairs may be split up to three times for a total of four hands. The player may double the original bet (double down) and receive just one more card on any two-card total.

Most games today use four, six, or eight decks. After being shuffled, the cards are placed in a receptacle called a shoe, from which the dealer can slide out one card at a time. Single- or double-deck games, most common in Nevada, but also popular in Mississippi and some other markets, may be dealt from the dealer’s hand.

Play begins when you place a bet by stacking a chip or chips in the betting square on the table directly in front of you. After all bets have been placed, each player and the dealer are given two cards. In a shoe game, all player cards are dealt faceup, and the players are not permitted to touch their cards. In a single- or double-deck game dealt from the hand, cards are dealt facedown and players may pick them up with one hand. Either way, one of the dealer’s cards is turned faceup so the players can see it.

Once the cards have been dealt, players decide in turn how to play out their hands. After all players have finished, the dealer plays according to set rules: The dealer must draw more cards to any total of 16 or less and must stand on any total of 17 or more. In some casinos, the dealer will also draw to “soft” 17 — a 17 including an ace or aces that could also be counted as a 7. The most common soft 17 is ace-6, but several other totals, such as ace-3-3 or ace-4-2, on up to ace-ace-ace-ace-ace-ace-ace in a multiple deck game, are soft 17s.

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Hit: If you hit, you take another card or cards in hopes of getting closer to 21. If the player’s total exceeds 21 after hitting, the player is said to “bust” and loses the bet. In shoe games, the player signals a hit by pointing to his cards or scratching or waving toward himself. In facedown games, the player signals a hit by scratching the table with the cards. Verbal calls to hit are not accepted — signals are used for the benefit of the security cameras above the table, so a taped record is on hand to settle any potential disputes.

Stand: If you stand, you elect to draw no more cards in hopes that the current total will beat the dealer. Signal a stand by holding a flattened palm over your cards in a faceup game or by sliding your cards under your bet in a facedown game.

Double down: You may elect to double your original bet and receive only one more card regardless of its denomination. Some casinos restrict doubling down to hands in which your first two cards total 10 or 11. Others allow you to double on any two cards. Double down by taking a chip or chips equal to the amount of your original bet and placing them next to your bet. In a facedown game, at this point you also need to turn your original two cards faceup.

Split: If your first two cards are of the same denomination, you may elect to make a second bet equal to your first and split the pair, using each card as the first card in a separate hand. For example, if you are dealt two 8s, you may slide a second bet equal to the first to your betting box. The dealer will separate the 8s, then put a second card on the first 8. You play that hand out in normal fashion until you either stand or bust; then the dealer puts a second card on the second 8, and you play that hand out.

Insurance: If the dealer’s faceup card is an ace, you may take “insurance,” which essentially is a bet that the dealer has a 10-value card down to complete a blackjack. Insurance, which may be taken for half the original bet, pays 2-1 if the dealer has blackjack. The net effect is that if you win the insurance bet and lose the hand, you come out even. For example, the player has 18 with a $10 bet down. The dealer has an ace up. The player takes a $5 insurance bet. If the dealer has blackjack, the player loses the $10 bet on the hand but wins $10 with the 2-1 payoff on the $5 insurance bet.

Many dealers will advise players to take insurance if the player has a blackjack. This can be done by simply calling out, “Even money” — because if the dealer does have blackjack, the player gets a payoff equal to the player’s bet instead of the 3-2 normally paid on blackjack.

These are the steps involved: Player bets $10 and draws a blackjack. Dealer has an ace up. Player makes a $5 insurance bet. Dealer has blackjack. The player’s blackjack ties the dealer’s, so no money changes hands on the original bet. But the $5 insurance bet wins $10 on the 2-1 payoff — the same as if the original $10 bet had won an even-money payoff.

As it happens, dealers who suggest this play are giving bad advice. Insurance would be an even bet if the dealer showing an ace completed a blackjack one-third (33.3 percent) of the time. But only 30.8 percent of cards have 10-values. Taking insurance is a bad percentage play, no matter what the player total, unless the player is a card counter who knows that an unusually large concentration of 10-value cards remains to be played.

Variations

Not all blackjack games are created equal. Some variations in the rules are good for the player, and some are bad. The shifts in the house edge may look small, but they make large differences in a game in which the total house edge is less than 1 percent against a basic strategy player. Here are some common variations and their effect on the house advantage:

Double downs after splitting pairs permitted: A very good rule for the player, it cuts the house advantage by .13 percent. In areas where several casinos are within reasonable distance, the player should choose games in which doubling after splits is allowed.

Resplitting of aces permitted: At most casinos, the player who splits aces receives only one more card on each ace. But if the player receives another ace, some casinos allow the resulting pair to be resplit. This option cuts the house edge by .03 percent. It is rare to find a game that goes even further by allowing the player to draw more than one card to a split ace, an option that cuts the house edge by .14 percent.

Early surrender: When the dealer’s faceup card is an ace, the dealer checks to see if the down-card is a 10 to complete a blackjack before proceeding with play. If the house allows the player to surrender half the original bet instead of playing the hand before the dealer checks for blackjack, that is early surrender. A great rule for the player, and one that is rarely found, early surrender cuts the house edge by .624 percent. Surrender can easily be misused by beginners who haven’t mastered basic strategy.

Late surrender: Found more often than early surrender, but still not commonplace, late surrender allows the player to give up half the bet rather than playing the hand after the dealer checks for blackjack. This decreases the house edge by .07 percent in a multiple-deck game, .02 percent in a single-deck game.

Double-downs limited to hard 11 and hard 10: Some casinos do not allow the player to double on totals of less than 10 or on soft hands. The net is a .28-percent increase in the house edge.

Dealer hits soft 17: If, instead of standing on all 17s, the dealer hits hands including an ace or aces that can be totaled as either 7 or 17, the house edge is increased by .2 percent.

Blackjack pays 6-5: Common on single-deck games on the Las Vegas Strip, this game is a bankroll breaker for players. For example, a two-card 21 pays only $6 for a $5 bet instead of the usual $7.50, which adds 1.4 percent edge to the house–more than the usual house edge against the basic strategy of seasoned players in nearly all games with the normal 3-2 return.

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Winning at Sports Betting

sports betting site

Here there are the tips for Winning at Sports Betting

Line Shopping and Steam Chasing

Line shopping is an easy way to gain an edge. This method involves looking for sharp, trusted lines (usually from well respected, liquid books) and then finding other sites that are slow to update their lines. This can happen a lot in the last hour before game time. One book may list a team at -3 and then all of the sudden the line starts dropping, first to 2.5 and then all the way down to 2 and finally 1.5. However, while the line is at -2.5 at one book, another may still have -3. This would provide a great opportunity to take the underdog and “chase the steam.”

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Tailing a Respected Capper

Sometimes, you will find a handicapper who sells or gives away picks who has a solid track record. There are a few reputable sites that offer picks for sale that you can use to profit. Being early is key here, as this can be where the “steam” mentioned above often originates. If a big time syndicate is pounding a line into shape, you want to be in as early as possible, before books catch on and adjust.

Bonus Chasing

Bonuses are in shorter supply than in years past, but there are still good values to be found here. Sportsbooks often offer a “first time deposit” bonus or a reload bonus for players who are depositing. This can be a goldmine when played correctly. It is good to always try and max out the bonus while it is available. So if a book offers a reload bonus of 20% up to a $2000 deposit, it is in your best interest to deposit the full amount and take advantage of the $400 bonus. Signing up for a new book just to get the bonus is often a good play as well. Hunt online for books, talk to your friends, and search forums to find the best bonuses available. Be especially aware of special bonuses during busy times such as the NFL Playoffs or big soccer betting events such as the World Cup, Euros or even the Champions League finals, since books will be highly competitive and vying for your action.

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Do It Yourself

You can also “do it yourself” and become a handicapper. However, most, if not all, information that you come up with (widely available information) is already priced into the lines. So, it doesn’t do you much good to look up the weather forecast or the coaches’ records on primetime games or other stats such as rushing yards or goals scored. The bookies, and other smart handicappers, have already pored over all this information and it has been accounted for. But if you are a computer whiz, or good with numbers, you may be able to develop a computer program to crunch tons of numbers in order to come up with an edge. A tip here: the smaller the market, the less attention paid to it, by bookies and other gamblers. So you may have a better shot at finding an edge in a smaller sport or market such as certain props.

Become the Bookie/Bet on an Exchange

Exchange betting is becoming more and more popular nowadays, with the advent of the internet and online books over a decade ago. This can allow you to effectively “become the bookie” and offer other gamblers odds on a certain outcome. Even when taking into account the house commission, this can still prove very profitable.

Let’s look at an example now.

Respected sportsbook A has a MLB baseball game listed as

Team A -130
Team B +110

You are browsing your favorite exchange and see the best available offer at

Team A -145
Team B +100

You decide to put in an offer and put up $105 to win $100 and pick Team B to win. Now the exchange will update to show

Team A -145
Team B +105

Someone decides to take your offer and bets the full $100 to win $105. Even taking into account the house’s cut (2% of all winning bets), you are still in good shape and better off than taking this bet at the well respected Book A.

Getting Paid

Of course, if you win at sports betting, it is no good unless you ultimately get paid. Make sure you bet with highly respected books for the most part, but don’t be afraid to take a shot at a smaller, up and coming book. Read up online about the book and find out what others are saying. Try the live chat and see what withdrawal options they have. Maybe start off with a small deposit and then withdraw after a few weeks and see how they treat you. If you are getting endless emails and vague answers, it might be best to avoid this book. Initiating a cashout during peak times (NCAA March Madness, Super Bowl, World Cup) might be a good idea, since the books will probably be flush with cash and able to pay to keep the business going.

Things to Avoid

Probably the most important aspect of winning at sports betting is knowing what to avoid. There is a myriad of things to avoid when betting sports. For example, try to avoid paying -110 when -105 is easily available somewhere else. Don’t bet more than normal because you’re stuck for the day/week/month/year. Don’t bet more because the game is on TV. Take any picks with a grain of salt. Most picks, especially picks that are given away, are worth their weight in gold, so 0. Occasionally you’ll find someone worth following, but chances are they are just trying to sucker you in to purchase future “locks” with the promise of a free half-season if they happen to lose.

Avoid betting on your hometown team if it becomes a big deal if you lose. What I mean is that it’s fine to bet on your hometown team, but not if a loss will cause you to automatically bet bigger and bigger on later games that day. Some fans become so emotionally invested that it is best to just watch the game and avoid making a bet. Another solid reason to avoid this is because most local bookies will bump the lines to account for heavy action on the hometown team, giving you a worse value.

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Casino Games Online

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Whether this is your first time playing casino games online or not, get ready to jump into the action. We’ve got all the online slots, 3D slots, video poker, blackjack, table games and specialty games you want to play so be sure to find out what our fully-loaded online casino has to offer, make your choice and raise your game.

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BETTING GLOSSARY

Action: A live bet or bets. (“They got a lot of action on that game.” “I have action on this game.”)

Arbitrage: Betting the same event at separate sports books in order to lock in a profit by taking advantage of different betting lines.

Bad beat: A very tough, often emotional, betting loss that is characterized by rotten luck.

Bankroll: Total capital available for betting sports.

Beard: A person who is betting someone else’s money for that other person; a messenger.

Board: A presentation of all the games and events available for betting in a sports book. (If wagers are being taken on a game, the game is “on the board,” otherwise it is “off the board.”)

Bookmaker (or bookie): A person who accepts bets.

Buck: See “dollar.”

Buyback: The money that comes in on the underdog after a favorite is bet heavily enough to move the line.

Chalk: A favorite, usually a heavy favorite.

Chalk eaters: Bettors who like to bet big favorites (often a derogatory term).

Circled game: A game in which the sports book has reduced its betting limits, usually because of weather or the uncertain status of injured players.

Cover: Winning against the point spread. (A 10-point underdog that loses 20-14 has covered, or “covered the spread.”)

Dime: $1,000. (A “five-dime” bet is a $5,000 bet.)

Dime line: A betting line with a 10-cent straddle, often used in baseball. (With a dime line, if the favorite is minus 120, the underdog is plus 110.)

Dog: See “underdog.”

Dollar: $100. (If a sports book has a $500 maximum on a particular type of bet, you could say it’s a “five-dollar limit.”)

Exposure: The degree of risk that a sports book will lose money on a given game, result or proposition. (If a book is “highly exposed” on the Cubs in World Series futures betting, it will lose a lot of money to bettors if the Cubs win the World Series.)

Fade: To take the opposite side of another bettor’s wager or to accept that bet yourself.

Favorite: A team (or player) that, according to the odds, is the stronger or strongest in a given match-up or is regarded as such by the betting public or is expected to win.

First-half betting: Wagers that involve the outcome of the first half of a game only.

Freeroll: A bet you can win or push but not lose.

Futures: A type of wager involving the outcome of a season or how a particular team or player will perform over the course of a season.

Halftime betting: Wagers, based on betting lines posted at halftime, which involve the outcome of the second half of a game only.

Handicap: To study and research sports in order to make predictions on the results of upcoming games and events.

Handle: The amount of money in wagers accepted. (“The handle was down this year on the Super Bowl.”)

Hedge: To make a bet that takes the opposite side of your original position, usually to reduce risk or lock in some profit.

Hook: A half-point in the betting spread. (“I lost by the hook.”)

House: The casino, sports book or bookmaker.

Layoff: A type of wager made by one bookmaker with another, often larger, bookmaker in order to balance action or reduce risk.

Limit: The maximum wager accepted by a sports book.

Line: The point spread or odds on a game or event.

Lock: A bet that cannot lose; a term that is often misused and abused by disreputable touts.

Long shot: Big underdog.

Match-up proposition: A betting option that pits two players against one another in a contest or event, often used in golf and auto racing wagering.

Middle: A situation in which you bet both sides in a game and win both bets, due to favorable line moves. (Example: Bet a football favorite at minus 2 ½, then bet the underdog at plus 3 ½ at another book or later in the week. If the favorite wins by exactly 3 points, both bets win.)

Money line: The odds on a team winning a game outright, regardless of the point spread.

Money management: Any strategy used by a bettor for making the most of his bankroll.

Nickel: $500.

Offshore: Designation for the organized sports betting industry outside of the United States.

Out: A place to get bets down, whether it’s a Nevada sports book, offshore book or illegal bookmaker. (“It’s good to have a lot of outs.”)

Overlay: A situation in which the odds are favorable to the sharp bettor.

Parlay: A bet in which two or more events must happen in order to win; if any one of them does not happen, the wager loses.

Pay by mail: How sports books usually pay off winning tickets to tourists who make a bet while visiting Nevada, then return to their home state before they have a chance to cash them.

Pick ’em: An even match-up, a game with no clear favorite.

Player: A sports bettor.

Pleaser: A specialized form of a parlay that improves the point spread (for the book) but pays off at improved odds.

Point spread: The number of points added to or subtracted from a team’s actual score for betting purposes.

Power rating: A numerical representation of a team’s strength for betting purposes.

Proposition (or prop): An unusual or offbeat betting opportunity.

Public: Average, unsophisticated or casual bettors as a whole; or, used to describe money bet by the public (“a lot of public money came in on the Cowboys”); see “square.”

Puck line: In hockey, a betting structure that dictates the favorite must win by a set number of goals, and/or adds a set number of goals to the underdog’s actual score.

Push: A bet in which the money wagered is refunded; a tie.

Rotation: The official list of all the games on the betting board, presented in a specific order.

Round robin: A specialized form of a parlay that uses every combination of a set of teams in a wager. For example, there would be six two-team parlays within a four-team round robin.

Rundown: A reading of all the games and betting lines on a particular day.

Scalp: A form of a middle in which you bet both sides in a game, taking advantage of line movements to secure a profit.

Sharp: Savvy, highly informed; or, used to describe the money bet by sharp players (“a lot of sharp money came in on the Eagles”).

Side: A variation of a middle in which you win one bet and push the other; also, a particular team in a match-up. (“Which side do you like?”)

Sports book: The part of the casino that accepts bets on athletic contests.

Square: An unsophisticated or casual bettor, the opposite of a wise guy; see “public.”

Steam: One-sided action.

Straight: A single bet, usually laying 110 to win 100.

Takeback: On a money line, the price of the underdog. (In baseball, if the favorite is minus 120, the “takeback” on the underdog is often plus 110.)

Teaser: A specialized form of a parlay that improves the point spread (for the bettor) but pays off at reduced odds.

Totals: A type of wager that involves whether a score or result will go over or under a posted number.

Tourist: A typical visitor to Las Vegas, almost always used as another way to say “square.”

Tout: A person who sells his predictions to bettors (often derogatory).

20-cent line: A betting line with a 20-cent straddle, standard in football and basketball. (With a 20-cent line, if the favorite is minus 120, the underdog is even money.)

Underdog: A team (or player) that, according to the odds, is the weaker or among the weakest in a given match-up, or is regarded as such by the betting public, or is expected to lose.

Vigorish (or vig): The commission charged by the bookmaker.

Wise guy: A sharp, successful, established professional sports bettor. (In terms of Las Vegas sports betting, this has nothing to do with Tony Soprano, Henry Hill & Co.)

Wood: The price of a heavy favorite. (If you bet the Red Sox as a minus 240 favorite, you “lay the wood” with the Red Sox.)

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How to Calculate Betting Odds and Payoffs

betting oddsThe most basic information there are the win odds quoted on each horse. Those don’t tell you what the horse will pay, but the amount of profit you will get and the amount you have to bet to get it. 6-5 means you will get $6 profit for every $5 wagered. 20-1means you get $20 profit for every $1 wagered (i.e. bet $2 and get $42 back).

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Since most tracks have a $2 minimum bet, below is a handy chart look up the payoff for a $2 bet at various odds. Remember, your actual payoff may differ from this chart as the odds on the toteboard are rounded off, so 2-1 odds on the toteboard may actually be 1.9-1 or 2.2-1. Payoffs use the actual odds and are rounded down to the nearest nickle or dime depending on the rules at that track. This rounding is called breakage which can be a complex topic for beginners.

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If you want to calculate the exact win odds on a horse, you will need to use a couple of other figures from the toteboard: total win pool and amount bet on that horse. The total pool is all the money bet on all the horses to win, but it is NOT the amount that will actually be paid out to the holders of winning tickets. Before the track pays off the winners they deduct the “take” which is generally between 14%-20% and is different for every state.

This money goes to pay state and local taxes, purse money for the horsemen, expenses at the track, and the track’s profit. To calculate the exact odds on your horse, just subtract the take from the total pool then subtract the amount bet on your horse to give you the amount of cash to be paid out. Divide that figure by the amount bet on your horse to get the exact odds. This figure will always be rounded off to the nearest dime (usually) or nickle as mentioned above before the payoffs are calculated.

Here is a simple example of win odds calculation:

Total pool: $900
Amount bet on horse #1: $300
Take amount: 15%
$900 – 15% = $765
$765 – $300 = $465
$465 / $300 = $1.55

Round this off to $1.50 for breakage and you get odds of 1.5-1 or 3-2 as it would normally be written which yields a payoff of $5.00 on a $2.00 wager.

Pay-offs for $2 win bets:

ODDS PAYS ODDS PAYS ODDS PAYS
1-5 $2.40 8-5 $5.20 6-1 $14.00
2-5 $2.80 9-5 $5.60 7-1 $16.00
1-2 $3.00 2-1 $6.00 8-1 $18.00
3-5 $3.20 5-2 $7.00 9-1 $20.00
4-5 $3.60 3-1 $8.00 10-1 $22.00
1-1 $4.00 7-2 $9.00 15-1 $32.00
6-5 $4.40 4-1 $10.00 20-1 $42.00
7-5 $4.80 9-2 $11.00 30-1 $62.00
3-2 $5.00 5-1 $12.00 50-1 $102.00

 

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