Sports betting one of the few forms of gambling where skill can largely outweigh the benefits of luck. For this reason sports betting has become one of the most popular forms of gambling in the United States and around the world. Add in the passion many people have for their favorite sports and it’s easy to see why just Americans gambled 12.3 billion dollars in 2014 on horse race betting alone. Add in all the other sports that can be bet on and it’s easy to see that sports betting is a favorite past-time for many people around the world.
Betting On Your Favorite Sports Team
Each year people gamble billions of dollars on sports teams. These bets can be between friends (which is often illegal), through office pools (again often illegal), and through legally established online and brick-and-mortar gambling houses. The exact terms of the bet have to be examined on a case-by-case basis but there are some basic principles that are followed, especially for legal gambling houses.
Sports teams are not all created equally. Often, the likely winner of a game is known before the game is even played. Let’s consider the University of Alabama Crimson Tide football team, one of college football’s most dominant teams. And let’s assume that they are playing against the University of Toledo Rockets football team, which hails from a much smaller and less established school. The Crimson Tide would almost certainly win. Should the Toledo Rockets pull off an upset it would be a major event, likely garnering national headlines.
Most people thus wouldn’t bet on the Toledo Rockets to win in a straight-up match. The odds would be extremely slim. Instead, bets makers set an over/under score which dictates that the Alabama Crimson Tide must win by a certain score in order for gamblers supporting the Crimson Tide to collect their money. So let’s say the Crimson Tide are given a score of (-14). This means they must beat the Rockets by more than 14 points in order to “beat the odds.”
Betting On Horse Races
If you’re not into team sports but still want to enjoy the thrill of sports betting, a day at the races is just the thing for you. Gambling on horse races counts among the oldest and most prestigious forms of gambling and is enjoyed across the United States, Middle East, Australia, and Europe. Certain horse races, such as the Kentucky Derby, rank among the most iconic sporting events in the world.
There are numerous ways to gamble on horse racing. The most common form is “win” bet in which the gambler simply bets on the winner of the race. Just like sports teams, however, not all horses are created equal. Because of this horses are assigned odds based on how likely they are to win. For example, a heavily favored horse might be given the odds of 1 to 9, meaning that for every 2 dollars bet, the winner will take home 2.10 dollars. A heavily unfavored horse, however, might be given odds 50 to 1, meaning that the winner will collect 102 dollars for every two dollar s/he bets. Most horse race tracks place a two dollar minimum on a “win” bet.
There are numerous other types of bets, such as “Trifecta Box” in which you must correctly guess which three horses will finish in first, second, and third (in any order). If you want to learn more about horse betting you should visit your local race track and learn about all the different forms of gambling.