A sportsbook is a place where a gambler, live or online, can wager on various sports competitions, including football, golf, basketball, baseball, horse racing, boxing, mixed martial arts and others.
Sports betting is when you place a bet on a sporting event and win a set amount of money if the team or player you bet on wins. If the team or player you bet on doesn’t win, you lose your bet. You can place a wide range of different bets and find many different places to bet and ways to make the bets.
Placing bets on sports is a way for some bettors to make money. Only a few people are able to make money in the long run betting on sports, but millions of people from various countries like in Singapore bet on events every year.
Sports betting in Singapore has been growing constantly through numerous sportsbooks catering to several sports.
Different sports have different systems for oddsmaking and betting. There are even different systems for the same sport, depending on what kind of game the bettor wants to play. But to understand any of these systems, you first have to understand the related jargon which is as follows:
Action — Simply the betting activity. Phrases such as “I want in on the action” or “Show me where the action is” come from this term. Since betting on sports is illegal in many places, you can’t always look up your local bookie in the phone book.
Handicap — In sports betting, “to handicap” is to give one team a points advantage in order to level the betting field.
Handle — The handle is the total amount of money wagered on bets. Super Bowl betting generates the biggest handle of the year for most bookies.
Sportsbook — An establishment that takes bets, also known as a book. An individual who takes bets is a bookie.
Juice — This is the percentage of all bets taken by the bookie as profit. The juice is also known as the vig or short for vigorish. Sometimes bookies take a straight percentage of the handle, but more often the vig is figured into the odds.
The spread — The point spread is used in high-scoring sports like football or basketball. It is basically a handicap used to make all games competitive in the eyes of bettors. The spread gives one team an advantage of a few points. Standard notation for the point spread shows the favoured team first, followed by a negative number (the actual spread). The home team is shown in capital letters. So if Buffalo was playing against Green Bay in Green Bay, and they were favoured to win by seven points, it would look like this:
If someone bets on Buffalo to win, Buffalo would actually have to win by more than seven points for the bet to pay off. It’s as if Green Bay were given a seven-point lead at the start of the game.
The money line — In sports like baseball, scoring isn’t high enough to use a point spread. The money line is used instead.
Pick’em — Sometimes money line games will be listed as “pick’’ or “pick’em.’’ This means that the teams are considered equal, and the line on both teams is -1.10. Betting on either team requires $1.10 per $1 in potential winnings.
Pools, cards, and parlays – A parlay is just a combination bet. Instead of making five separate bets on five different games, the bettor places a single parlay bet, hoping he or she can predict the outcome of all five games. If any one of the games is a loser, the entire parlay is a loser. The payout is better for parlays, because the odds of successfully picking multiple winners are much tougher to beat.
How Sportsbooks Make Money
The vig or charge taken on bets, as by a bookie or gambling establishment, is the main way sportsbooks make a profit. It’s the fee you pay when placing bets.
The fee is built into money line bets and is represented by the difference in the lines. If the favourite is listed at -200 and the underdog is listed at +180 the difference between what you can win and have to wager creates an area of profit for the book.
The most common form of vig is when you bet on point spreads. You usually need to risk more than you can win in these situations.
Common vig numbers are betting 110 to win 100 and betting 105 to win 100.
When the sportsbooks accept the same amount of bets on each side of a contest they lock in a profit.
How It Works
The book takes $11,000 to win $10,000 on team A and $11,000 to win $10,000 on team B. If team A wins the book gives the winners back their 11,000 and 10,000 from the losers. This leaves a profit of 1,000 for the book. The same thing happens if team B wins.
Sportsbooks rarely receive the exact same amount on each side of a contest, but over the course of hundreds or thousands of games or matches they lock in a profit as long as they post good lines.
The books also adjust the line when they get too much bet on one side of a game. They move the line to encourage more bettors to place wagers on the side they have a lower amount of money bet on. When they move the line this way it also discourages more bets on the side they have more money wagered on.
Where to Place Bets
The main places you can place bets are in a land based sportsbook or at online betting sites. The other options are using a bookie or placing bets with other people you know.
Land based sportsbooks are available in many parts of the world. But sports betting is illegal in many areas as well. Some places the book is in a casino and in others the book is a standalone business.
Online books are available anywhere you can access the internet, but they’re also illegal in some parts of the world. Even where sports betting is clearly illegal most people can find an online business willing to take their bets.
You should always learn about the sports betting laws where you live before placing sports bets.