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How Gambling Works

Slipky

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I have recently come to an understanding that many roleplayers are obviously not familiar with how American bet formats work, so I decided to write a guide on that, too.

Moneyline odds: How to calculate?

American odds (aka Moneyline odds or US odds) are popular in the United States. The odds for favorites are accompanied by a minus (-) sign, indicating the amount you need to stake to win $100. Meanwhile, the odds for underdogs are accompanied by a positive (+) sign, indicating the amount won for every $100 staked. In both cases, you get your initial wager back, in addition to the amount won. The difference between the odds for the favorite and the underdog widens as the probability of winning for the favorite increases.

Let's get an example:
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The odds on Aarhus, or a draw is +243. Meaning, for every $100 you'll put down, you'll get $243 more.
The odds on Copenhagen is +122, meaning - for every $100 you'll put down, you'll get $122 more.
If the odds on Copenhagen were -122, it means you'll have to invest $122 to get a $100 profit.




What is over/under betting?

A sports betting OVER/UNDER is a bet where you have to correctly predict the combined score of both teams. You have to pick if the total score will be lower or higher than the number set by oddsmakers – the people at betting sites who set the lines and odds. For example, let’s take a Philadelphia Eagles vs Dallas Cowboys game with the total set at 48.5 points. As a bettor, you would select the OVER if you believe the game’s final combined score will be 49 points or more. You would select the UNDER if you believe it will be 48 points or less.
At the sportsbook, the odds would be laid out like this:

48.5 OVER -110
48.5 UNDER +105​

If you bet $50 on the OVER and the combined score was 56, you would get a payout of $95.45 – your original $50 comes back along with your $45.45 win. Conversely, if the game ended 27-20, that would be a pooled score of 47 points, meaning the game went UNDER. That same $50 bet on the winning UNDER would get you $102.50 – your first $50 plus your winnings of $52.50.




General Gambling Glossary
  • Across the Board – Wagering on a horse to Win, Place or Show.
  • Action – Generic term for the amount of bets placed on a game or sporting event. Also refers to a baseball wager with no pitchers listed.
  • ATS (Against the Spread) – A term used to indicate the betting result of an event that takes the point spread into account and can sometimes refer to a team’s record against the spread.
  • Bad Beat – A loss that appeared to be a win or near lock before taking a turn for the worse and eventually losing.
  • Beard – Somebody who places bets for you but conceals their identity.
  • Bettor – Someone who bets on sports.
  • Book – Short for “sportsbook,” a book is an establishment that accepts wagers on sports and other events.
  • Bookmaker/Bookie – A group or individual that takes bets on sports or other events.
  • Buck – A $100 wager or “buck” bet. Can also be referred to as a “Benjamin.”
  • Buy Points – The ability a bettor has to pay for a half-point or more off the spread offered by the bookmaker/bookie.
  • Chalk – The favored team or athlete, also known as the favorite.
  • Circled Game – A game in which there are lower limits due to injuries, weather or other factors.
  • Cover – The act of winning by enough to beat the point spread set by bookmakers, in which case you have “covered the spread.”
  • Dime – A $1,000 wager or “dime” bet.
  • Dime Line – A betting line in which the “juice” or “vig” is 10 percent.
  • Dog – A shortened version of underdog, the team or person expected to lose.
  • Dollar – Similar to a “buck” bet or $100 wager.
  • Edge – The perceived advantage a sports bettor has before wagering.
  • Even Money – A bet without “juice” or “vig” associated with it (i.e. bet $100 to win $100).
  • Favorite – The team or individual expected to win a sporting event based on the point spread or moneyline.
  • Futures – A bet on a sporting event taking place well into the future, such as wagering on a team to win the championship during the regular season or even preseason.
  • Handicapping – Researching sports and specifically statistics/trends to try to pick winning bets. People who handicap sports are known as “handicappers.”
  • Hedging – Betting on the opposite side of a current wager to minimize losses or guarantee a small profit. It can also be referred to as “middling.”
  • Hook – A half-point on a point spread.
  • Juice – Commission that the sportsbook earns on bets wagered. Also known as “vig.”
  • Laying the Points – Betting the favorite by giving up points against the spread or ATS.
  • Limit – The highest amount of money a sportsbook will take on a single bet.
  • Lines – Another word used for odds to describe a point spread or moneyline.
  • Linemaker – Someone who sets the original or opening line on a sporting event, also known as an “oddsmaker.”
  • Listed Pitchers – The pitchers in a baseball bet that must start for action. If one or both of the pitchers do not start, the bet is void or cancelled.
  • Lock – A supposed easy winner or large favorite.
  • Long Shot – A team or athlete considered unlikely to win or a large underdog based on odds set by bookmakers.
  • Moneyline – A wager selecting a team or athlete to win straight up without a point spread involved.
  • Nickel – A $500 wager or “nickel” bet.
  • Nickel Line – A betting line in which the “juice” or “vig” is five percent.
  • No Action – A wager that is cancelled with money refunded back to the bettor.
  • Off the Board – A game bettors cannot currently wager on due to certain circumstances.
  • OVER – When the number of final combined points/goals/runs scored by two teams finishes above the total posted by a sportsbook.
  • OVER/UNDER – A bet on whether the combined points/goals/runs scored by two teams will go OVER or UNDER a number specified by the sportsbook (also called the “total”).
  • Parlay – A bet in which multiple sporting events are selected, each of which must win in order for the bet to be successful.
  • Pick’em – A game in which there is no favorite or underdog and the side simply needs to win straight up without a point spread.
  • Point Spread – A set number of points determined by the oddsmaker that the favorite gives or the underdog takes as a handicap to make the game more even to wager on.
  • Proxy – Similar to a “beard,” somebody who places bets for you but doesn’t conceal their identity.
  • Puckline – A point spread of -1.5 or +1.5 in a hockey game with additional moneyline values for the favorite and underdog, respectively.
  • Prop Bet – An exotic wager on a game or sporting event beyond the side and total.
  • Push – When a game ends with no winner or loser from a betting perspective, landing right on the number based on the point spread or total.
  • Runline – A point spread of -1.5 or +1.5 in a baseball game with additional moneyline values for the favorite and underdog, respectively.
  • Sharp – A “smart” bettor who seemingly knows more about wagering strategies.
  • Side – The team (favorite or underdog) a bettor wagers on to win and cover ATS.
  • Spread – Short for “point spread.”
  • Straight Bet – A single wager on just one team or athlete.
  • Square – A “novice” bettor who is generally characterized as the “public.”
  • Steam – A rapid change in the betting line due to heavy wagering or betting.
  • Taking the Points – Betting the underdog by receiving the points against the spread or ATS.
  • Teaser – Like a parlay, but the point spreads are adjusted more to favor the bettor, giving less on a favorite or taking more on an underdog in exchange for a lower payout.
  • Total – The final combined points/goals/runs scored by two teams in a sporting event.
  • UNDER – When the number of combined points/goals/runs scored by two teams finishes below the total posted by a sportsbook.
  • Underdog – The team or individual expected to lose a sporting event based on the point spread or moneyline.
  • Vigorish – Another word for bookmakers’ commission or “juice” aka “vig” for short.
  • Wager – The act of placing a bet on a sporting event.
 
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