Archive for January, 2007

Some basic strategies for sports betting

Monday, January 15th, 2007

Have you ever wondered why some gamblers or bettors seem to have luck always on their sides? They always seem to know who to bet on and almost always cash in on their wagers. The reason behind their unbelievable good fortune relies partially on luck, but more on their ability to “read” probabilities. They win because, like the teams they bet on, these gamblers know how to strategize.

How do you strategize in a game of luck? Quite simple really … read the news. First thing you should find out is if the team you want to bet on is playing a road game or a home game. A road game is one that is played in a location outside of the team’s base of operations. If the game is on the road, what are the chances that your team would win against the competitors, knowing that the other team will have what is called a “home court advantage”? No, this does not mean referees playing favorites, but the team would be more comfortable and confident playing in their element, enjoying the cheers and support of the home crowd.

Next thing you should check would be the streaks, either winning or losing, of the team you want to bet on. How many consecutive games have they lost or won in the series? Do you think that due to the constant wins, the players have peaked and are likely to lose the next due to exhaustion or over confidence? Or maybe, due to their losing streak, the team is hungrier for a win and will do anything to claw their way out of the cellar? Aside from the game streak, check also how they fared against this team in the past. Have they always been losing or winning when faced with these opponents. These are factors you need to consider.

Also, look at the lineup or check the health of the player. How many of the players are in tip top condition and how many are injured or are just coming out of an injury? Are all the key players in good shape? Believe it or not, these also matter.

Finally, check the odds. Odd-makers make a living out of “predicting” the chances of a team against another. If you want to make sure money, bet on the one that is highly favored to win. If you are a risk taker and want to collect a larger winning, then take a chance on the underdog as payouts for underdogs are usually more substantial.

The basics of sports betting

Monday, January 15th, 2007

If you want to start betting on sports, it is not enough that you fork over your money to a bookie and tell him who to place the money on. To ensure that you don’t get ripped off and that you would be able to properly explain the nuances of your newfound passion to your friends.

Naturally, you should first have an affinity with sports. You should be familiar with the teams, the games, how these are scored, who the players are, when the games are scheduled, and other details such as handicaps, odds and spreads. You can only be good at sports betting if you are familiar with these.

If you already have a firm grasp of sporting concepts and you know who to bet on, you can then look for a place to bet. Gambling is illegal in the United States, except in Las Vegas so if you are based in the United States, you may have to forego your new interest or find a bookie in Las Vegas. There are underground bookies in the US but dealing with them is not recommended. If you live in Europe, you should not have a problem because in most European countries, gambling is legal and there are many licensed sportsbooks (places licensed to take bets) you can go to. If you can’t find a bookie you feel comfortable with, you can always place bets via the internet.

It goes without saying that you should be able to read and understand all the figures that you will encounter while placing bets. The basic figures you should know are the odds, which are used to calculate the payout of any sports wager; and the handicap, which may be used to identify trends.

There are three kinds of odds formats used in sports betting: American, Decimal and Fractional. American odds use a base system of 100 listed either as positive or negative integers; Decimal Odds (more commonly known as European odds) show the figures in decimal format; and fractional odds are used in the UK and, as the name implies, show the odds in fractions.

In American odds, the amount denoted by a negative sign show you how much you should bet to win 100, those with positive signs show how much you will win if you bet a hundred. To get the possible payout using European Odds, simply multiply the odds by a hundred and subtract a hundred from the ensuing product. As for fractional odds, multiply the numerator by a hundred and divide the product by the denominator to get the payout.

These are the basic concepts you should be familiar with, at least at the beginning. As you become more adept with sports betting you will be able to understand other more complex themes, such as parlays and teasers. By then, you would be able to discern whether or not placing bets on these would be worth the gamble.

How to make money betting on sports

Monday, January 15th, 2007

Many people are getting involved in sports betting, not just for the thrill of winning but naturally, for the money you can stand to earn. However, like any gambling activity, before you can make money, you must first shell out money.

There are two ways by which you can earn money by betting on sports. The first would be by betting and the other is by receiving bets (as a bookie). As a bettor, you make money by winning. When your prediction turns out to be correct, depending on the odds, you get the bets of all the others who wagered against you.

Basically, as a bettor, you can bet on the outcome of sporting events two ways: by placing straight-up or money line bets, or through point spread wagers. Money line bets are used on games, whether team events or individual matches, which rely on scores to determine its winners. Point spread wagers, on the other hand, rely not on individual scores but on whether the outcome falls above or below a particular spread (or index). Apart from standard straight up and point spread wagers, there are variations such as proposition bets, parlays, goal-line bets and future wagers.

If you don’t want to make bets you can work as a bookmaker. Many think that bookies simply act as middlemen and hardly earn anything at all, but in reality, bookmakers also stand to earn money. They do this not by collecting wins but through commissions which are called as “vigorish” or vigs. The winner gets his winnings, the loser loses his bet and a portion of which goes to the bookmaker as his vig.

Vigorish (or juice) is basically the service fee of the bookmaker. It originates from the Russian word “vyigrysh” which means winnings and bookies earn this irregardless of the outcome of the competition. This ensures that the bookmaker remains impartial in the result of the game. Vigorish also minimizes the risk shouldered by the bookmaker.

For the uninitiated in the ins and outs of sports betting, it would be advisable if you stayed within the confines of simple betting first. Bet first with your friends and gradually move on up – increasing stakes – only when you fully comprehend all the nuances of this activity. In addition, do not attempt to go into this activity as a bookmaker if you do not have enough experience in handling bets or have adequate knowledge of the game or the business. If you do so, you may end up losing more than what you should have gained.

How can you get involved in sports betting?

Monday, January 15th, 2007

If you want to try your hand at sports betting, there are many ways you can get yourself involved in this activity. The simplest way of going into bets is to challenge on or a few of your friends on predicting the outcome of any sporting event all of you enjoy and follow. You can, for example, place wagers on an NFL game while you and your buddies are watching the match on the tube at home or in a bar while having a few drinks with the big loser shouldering the tab of the winners.

If you want to be close to the action, you can watch the sport and place bets on the authorized representatives on site. Usually, you can place bets with on-site book makers or bookies on horse races and dog chases. If the sport that interests you does not allow placement of onsite bets (basketball, for example), you can still wager on the outcome by placing bets with an off-site book maker or a bookie. In some US States (particularly the casinos in Las Vegas) and most European countries, there are several legitimate bookies you can approach for placement of bets. In places where sports betting is considered illegal, gamblers may place bets with illicit bookies. Although this is not recommended, many still practice this form of underground gambling.

If you do not have the time, nor the inclination to look for and place bets with bookies (legitimate or otherwise); you can always indulge in your sports betting passion by logging onto the internet and going on the World Wide Web.

The Internet is teeming with online betting sites where anyone (ideally, above 18 years of age) can place wagers on any individual or team of any sporting event. You may need to register first before you can place bets on the team or individual of your choice, but that is a precaution these internet sites need to have to protect their interests as well. The legality of internet wagering, particularly in the United States, is unclear. As such, many online sports betting sites, usually based outside of the country, do not accept wagers from residents of the United States because of several unresolved legal issues.

Whichever option you chose doesn’t matter and will depend primarily on your preference. What is important is that you should only bet a reasonable amount – one that you can afford to “lose”.

What exactly is sports betting?

Monday, January 15th, 2007

No matter what you do, no matter where you go, for as long as there are at least two people trying to outdo each other in a battle of skills, wits or strength – be it in a foot race or hand-to-hand combat; you can be sure that some spectators – who will always play favorites, will bet anything and everything that his pet player will – against whatever odds, eventually win the tournament. This form of gambling activity, which many associations are desperately trying to eliminate, is termed as sports betting.

Sports betting, in its simplest form, involve placing bets or wagers on the predicted outcome of sporting events. Basically, you place money on who you think will win and if your choice does win, you get what others bet on your team’s opponent. However, when other aspects of the game such as handicaps, odds and other components are factored in, the act of sports betting becomes slightly more complicated yet increasingly more interesting and addicting.

Though betting on the outcome of sports may have existed even during ancient times, it is believed, that sports betting, as it is known today, had its humble beginnings at the turn of the century. Baseball may have been the very first professional sport that was subjected to sports betting when it rose in popularity sometime during the 1800’s. Betting on baseball started through the use of baseball ‘pool cards’ where bettors can place wagers for as low as 10 cents. Between the 19th and 20th century, members of the high society would flock to horse races and, just for fun, place bets on the racers. After the American Civil War, attending horse races no longer became the exclusive past-time of the upper crust, as many individuals from other socio-economic classes developed an interest in the sport. The 1920’s was considered by many as the Golden Era of sports, and this era not only ushered in a renewed interest on sports in general: from collegiate basketball and football to professional events such as boxing, basketball and the like, this period also exhibited a marked increase in sports betting, which may have been triggered by the Great Depression. At this point, the act of sports betting no longer was the leisure activity of the rich; it also became popular amongst those who saw gambling as their chance to escape the clutches of poverty.

Since then, the activity grown by leaps and bounds and is now one of the most lucrative industries today. Many governments and professional associations strive to put an end to this form of gambling but, fortunately or unfortunately, as long as there are games to be played, there will always be bets to be made.