Whether you’re a fan of sports or just want to have fun betting, there are many different ways to do it. The key is to be able to make smart decisions and avoid losing money. This guide will walk you through the basics of sports betting, including how much you should bet and when to quit.
The History of Sports Betting
There’s no question that sports betting has existed in one form or another since the ancient Greeks. But it wasn’t until the 19th century that it really took off, thanks to game-fixing scandals and the rise of horse racing.
Bettors can place bets on just about any sporting event, from baseball and football to basketball and soccer. In addition to standard wagers on teams and outcomes, there are also specialty bets and props.
A spread bet – This bet pays out differently than a straight bet, but it’s still a good way to increase your winnings. The spread, or the difference between the favorite and underdog, is usually set at a certain number of points. For example, the Dallas Cowboys are favored by 5.5 points against the Philadelphia Eagles.
The amount you bet depends on your bankroll and the unit size you choose. It’s best to bet 1-2% of your bankroll on a per-bet basis, as that helps keep variance from eating your money too quickly.
Tracking Your Bets
Keeping a close eye on your bets can help you avoid making bad bets and maximize your profits. It can also allow you to identify weak areas of your betting strategy and eliminate them before they cause you trouble.
Incorporate More Research into Your Bets
A common mistake made by novice bettors is to not do enough research before placing their bets. It’s important to learn as much as you can about the team and players involved in a matchup, whether it’s baseball or football. This additional research will likely lead to a better understanding of the game and improve your chances of making a profit.
Use a Sportsbook that Has Approval in Your State
The best place to bet on sports in the United States is at an online or mobile-friendly sportsbook that has been approved for operations by the state in which you live. These operators have put a lot of effort into gaining approval and are committed to serving the needs of their US customers.
You can also try a bookmaker that doesn’t have an office in your state or region, but that offers a large selection of sports and games to choose from. Most bookmakers will offer an app that you can download on your phone or tablet, so you can place bets anytime and anywhere.
Be Wary of Handicappers
A huge part of sports betting is avoiding scams and picking the right bets. This means avoiding handicappers who promise easy money or who give you guarantees about their picks. Instead, look for respected and successful bettors who have a proven record of success.