Explaining the Different Kinds of Bets...
Bookmakers offer numerous bet types to cater for the variety of interests of its players. These range from the simple “bet to win” single bet, all the way to live betting and “buying and selling points”. This article explains the different bet types.
Singles Bets, including 1x2s, Totals and Sides
Single bets are the simplest and most common type of bet. Players bet on a single outcome of a match β such as Chelsea to win β and win money if the result they choose occurs. Single bets generally fall into three categories, which we discuss in more detail here. For a quick refresher, however, those categories are:
1x2s (or Money lines in the US) β The odds that one team will beat another, or that the match will end in a draw. E.g. Chelsea is 1.580 to beat QPR.
Totals (or Over/Under) β A bet on whether an outcome, such as the number of goals, is above or below a set number. For example, you might place a bet on 1.998 that three or fewer (under) goals will be scored in a game, and 1.998 that more than three goals will be scored.
Handicaps (or Point Spread) β Betting on the handicap occurs when one team is favoured over their opponents. To counter the perceived bias in ability, bookmakers offer a handicap of points or goals to level the playing field. These points are then added to the game’s final score, and the winner is the team that wins with these additions.
There are three main types of handicap bet (also known as Asian Handicaps) β Single Handicap, Two Handicaps and Total Handicaps β these are explained in more detail here.
Proposition (Props)/Special Bets
A proposition bet is simply a bet on something other than a game spread or total β and these are generally considered some of the easiest for a player to beat. These range from everything from who will win the US Election to who will win X-Factor.
When you see the line on an NFL game, it is the result of at least a dozen separate odds makers whose collective opinion is merged to form the market. When you bet on a proposition, it’s typically your opinion versus one bookmaker. If you know more than that one bookmaker, you are going to get the best of it.
Future and ante-post bets are bets on a team’s chance of winning the championship at the start of a particular season. Who will win the Super Bowl, World Series, Stanley Cup, World Cup, English Premier League are all future bets.
The odds on a team will change as the season progresses, but you get the odds that were in effect at the time you placed your bet. All odds offered are to win only unless otherwise noted.
Accumulators, Parlays and Multi-Ways
An accumulator (also known as a parlay or multi-way) is a combination of two or more picks on one or more games. You must correctly predict all of your selections to win your parlay. The more games you select in your parlay, the higher the odds increase and the bigger the potential win if all of your selections are correct.
A teaser is like a parlay, but you can adjust the point spread in your favor to increase your chances of winning. You can choose to add points to the underdog or subtract them from the favourite to increase your chances.
The odds change according to the number of points the spread is moved in your favor, however, and the number of teams combined to form the teaser. The more games you select in your teaser, the higher the odds increase and the bigger the potential win if all of your selections are correct.
Buying & Selling Points β Customize Your Bet
For many sports, including basketball, tennis and American Football, players can customize their bet by “buying” or “selling” points on the Handicap or Total, which changes the odds offered.