Soccer Over/Unders

With over 3.5 billion fans worldwide, soccer is the most popular sport in the world. If you want to learn to bet on soccer, you came to the right place. First off, one of the most important aspects about soccer betting is that the best sportsbooks will display odds in decimal odds format (1.20, 3.40, etc.), instead of whole numbers used in American Odds (+140, -220, etc.) and fractional odds mostly seen in racetracks and racebooks (1/3, 2/4, etc.). Decimal odds are primarily used in Europe and sometimes Canada, while American Odds are used in the US.

A lot of online sportsbooks use decimal odds when it comes to soccer since a considerable number of bets will be placed on popular European leagues and competitions using European betting principles (such as: English Premier League, UEFA Cup, Champions League, etc.), and as such, throughout all of our soccer articles and points, we will mostly use decimal odds to explain the different types of soccer betting.

One of the easiest ways of making wagers on this popular sport is over/under betting. This form of betting is based on the total number of goals scored by the two teams playing against each other. In over/under betting you are simply betting if the total scores of the two teams will be higher or lower than a the sportsbook’s estimated number. Similarly to baseball (see our previous Online Baseball Over/Under Betting article), soccer does not have many goals in a game. Most games will have about 2 goals, so 2.5 over/under is the most widely used odds that you will see throughout many online sportsbooks.

Let us say Manchester United is playing against Chelsea in the English Premier League. The over/under odds are listed as:

2.5 goals
Over (1.2)
Under (1.4)

In this case you are betting that the total score in this game will be over or under 2 goals. That is, if the score is 1-0, then the total goals scored is 1 and the ‘Under’ bet wins. If the total score is 2-2, then the total goals scored are 4 and the ‘Over’ bet wins.

The Use of 0.5 in Over/Unders

The 0.5 is used to make sure that the results need to be either 2 or lower for the ‘under’ bet to win, or higher than 2 for the ‘over’ bet to win. The 0.5 is used to avoid a “push” happening, where a sportsbook would have to return the bets to the bettors. However, sometimes the 0.5 is dropped and the odds are adjusted, so be prepared for that as well.

Strategies and Tips for Soccer Over/Under Bets

One of the enticing things about soccer over/under betting is the ability to place live bets. Live betting is when you can bet on the outcome of the game after it has already started. For example, Chelsea is playing Manchester United, its 10 minutes in and Chelsea has just scored a goal. The over/under prediction is 2.5 for the game and it is (2.1) for the ‘over’ and (2.5) for the ‘under’ bet respectively. It is early in the game and you can see that Chelsea is pressing to score more goals and that Man U is playing aggressively as well for a comeback. Thus, there are more chances that there will be more than 2 goals. However, the pay back will also be much less, going down as much as (1.1) for the ‘over’ and (1.5) for the ‘under’.

Strategy/Aggressiveness of Teams

Within the over/under betting tips is the one where you have to consider how aggressive or defensive the teams are playing the match. For example, if both of the teams are known for their aggressive goal-scoring strategies then it is likely that the score will be high. If they are known for being defensive, then it is likely that the score will be low. Sportsbooks consider these factors, as well as the players within the team, are the forward strong (like Messi) or not so much? The best solution is to always pay attention to the teams, their players and strategies to be in the loop so you can make your winning soccer over/under wagers.

5 things you shouldn’t do when playing poker

Most people who play poker online have different playing styles and have different opinions on specific poker tips. They may not agree on everything, but there are a few universal things that most people agree should not be done when playing poker online. They are the following…

Don’t Play Recklessly

If you want to play recklessly, go to one of the online poker sites that offer free poker accounts and play there. But, if you are serious and are playing for real money, make smart decisions and be disciplined. This is applied to all kind of games about money from online bingo to betting on horses.
Don’t Make The Same Mistakes Over and Over Again When you make a mistake, don’t dwell on it, but remember what you did wrong. The key to becoming a better online poker player is not avoiding mistakes, it is to make mistakes only once and learn from them.

Don’t Be A Calling Station

Calling when you know you are beat is a mistake many poker players make. Just because it is cheap to stay in the hand, that doesn’t mean you should. All the small bets you lose add up in the long run and can make quite a difference in your profit at the end of the day.

Don’t Rush Your Decisions

You have a time limit for a reason. Work through important poker decisions methodically and don’t rush. If you take your time and survey all the relevant information, you will make a better decision.

Don’t Play Poor Cards

Playing poor poker hands is one of the most common mistakes that people who play poker online make. If it is not a pair or two face cards, throw it away. There are odd times when you should play other cards to keep your opponents on their toes, but more often than not, you should stick to premium hands.

Next time you are playing in online poker tournaments at your favorite poker room, check and make sure you are not making the mistakes listed above. It is very easy to get caught up in the moment when you are playing in an important poker event and make a bad decision, but if you can identify these and eliminate them, your Omaha hi and Texas Hold’em poker games will improve drastically!

Poker For Beginners


Poker is one of the most popular games that have widely been accepted by all the casinos of the world. Its growing popularity can be judged from the fact that daily millions of people play poker. The word poker itself is searched over 1 million times a day. Due to its enormous demand poker has been made available on the Internet. Yes! This is true. You can even play poker online. But still I have found a lot of people are scared of this game because they think it is a game of chance and they will loose their money. But that’s not true. If you believe me then poker, rather than a probabilistic game, is a strategy game which involves presence of mind and ability to make right decision. I bet if you have the right attitude, skills of this game and can stay calm then no one can beat you in this game. I know many people who make a living by just playing poker. Poker is a game of strategy that can easily be learned and applied. Knowing the right strategy, necessary skills and a little awareness about when to play and when not, you will be seeing stack of chips at your side. It is a game and so you must realize that you can not win every time. You may have bad hands and so you must know when to pull out. The best part of this game is that you can learn all these.

Like any other game, poker is a game of skill and you should be a master of these in order to excel in this game.

Basic rules – Texas Hold’em

Many of you may be familiar with the cards game called Poker, which is known by different names. One such amazing new version is played in Texas Holdem, which is the most popular one. After the initial blinds & antes (see explaination below) have been placed, each player gets 2 personal blind cards which cannot be seen till the final showdown.

Anticipation, accompanied with experience comes into play during the first round of betting called FLOP where 3 community cards are turned over. The TURN and the RIVER card, 4th and 5th in succession are exposed turn by turn after each round of Betting.

When its time for showdown, each player uses his intelligence to make the best possible 5 card combination using personal and community cards.

Every player gets a chance to deal once in a round. Preferably, everyone likes to use his blinds but antes are always there at your disposal.

Here’s a rank of which hands are the best:Full list of poker hands

Explanation of the term blinds:

Forced bets, only required of two players rather than all players at the table. In holdem there are two kinds of blinds:

1. Small Blind, The smaller of two forced bets. Usually 1/2 the minimum opening bet.

2. Big Blind, The larger of two forced bets. Usually equal to the minimum opening bet.

Seven Card Stud – Another variation of Poker

The most common variant of poker played online and in casino’s is Five Card Stud or Texas Hold’em. However, Seven Card Stud is another popular variation of the game of Poker. It is just as good and interesting a game to play, but possibly is less popular because of the difference in the way the cards are dealt and the number of betting rounds that take place making it a slightly longer game to play.

It’s important to remember that no matter which variant of poker you play certain things always remain the same. The object of the game is always to try and win the money placed into the pot, and the order that hands score in also always stays the same, so even if you are playing a variant that you’ve never played before, you will always be safe in this basic knowledge, and can concentrate on where the games vary instead.

As I mentioned before the cards for Seven Card Stud are dealt differently to those for Five Card Stud. The two games begin the same way with the dealer dealing two cards face down to each player, and then an initial betting round is played. At this point the game deviates from Five Card Stud however as no community cards are dealt. Instead each player is then dealt Five more individual cards one per round with a betting round between each deal. So cards 1 and 2 have been dealt together as the hole cards face down. Then cards 3, 4, 5 and 6 are dealt one face up to each player one per round. After the betting that follows card 6 being dealt, the final cards are dealt again one to each player, but this time face down again. The final betting round then takes place, and then comes the showdown. As with most poker variants, players are betting on the best five card hand that they can make.

With a total of six rounds of betting per game, the play does take longer for each game, and some people do find this a bit more frustrating as it creates a slower game. However for some people this added betting and the fact that the seventh card is face down instead of face up means that they find it more interesting and challenging to play, and usually it means that there is more money in the pot at the end of the game as well which many people find an improvement.

Obviously with seven cards being dealt per person rather than two per person plus five central cards less people can participate in any single game. For some people this is a good thing, for others less so. Really it’s just a matter of taste as both games can be fast or slow moving and the potential to win is still very variable. If you want more information please use this Beginners Poker Guide, it is a fine guide where you can learn plenty about poker.

More poker variations:

– Stud Poker Variations

– How to play Omaha Poker

Strategy tips and other facts you must know!

Now before you waste any of your money in poker I personally advise you to do the following:

– Just search a little about poker and gain some experience. Otherwise you will end up losing a huge amount of money.

– You have to possess some poker skills before you start play casino games like poker live in the casinos or online. There are many tutorial softwares available or you can play friendly to improve your skill. The motive is to gain some hand on experience in the game before actually risking your money.

– Once you believe you have the required knowledge and skill you can play poker and win money. I suggest playing in established and trusted Internet poker rooms. Take advantage of the poker bonuses and marketing codes.

– Also make sure to sign up through a reliable company to receive your rakeback each month.

– Lastly I would say addiction of poker is detrimental and so do not get addicted to this game. It is very common to have poker addictions and you will realize after it has affected you aversely.

Where to play?

If you keep all these points in mind there is absolutely no reason why you can’t play poker. All you need now is a credit card. I will suggest few sites such as Titan Poker, Pokerstars and Skypoker – Online Poker (all these are trusted Casinos). I have seen many people reluctant to try gambling poker because they doubt at the security of poker websites. But I ensure those people that there are various websites that are not dubious and all your money is at the safe the hands.

The highest cash games online can be found at Full Tilt Poker. The high stake tables here are every rail birds dream and they flock in thousands to see the spectacular poker action were hundreds of thousands of dollars can change hands in a single pot. When it comes to live Tournaments, WSOP is the biggest. The big poker boom took place as Chris Moneymaker won the WSOP Main Event in 2003 after qualifying from an online poker tournament.

With the right strategy and tips from the seasoned poker players, one can be a master in this game. If you are a beginner learning the skills of game may require some time but once you grasp the fundamentals of poker you will turn out to be a real master. I have tried to put some of my experiences that can be beneficial for you, especially if you are a beginner. Not only does the skill come into how you play the poker game, its also how you get the most out of online gambling casinos. When you register and deposit with an instant play casino make sure you get the best poker bonus code available. Look for the best deals as they change all the time. Nowadays you can play on your mobile also, see Canadian mobile casino games for alternatives. Games that are available are the same easy to play and well designed games as those that are available at the online casino.

Tip 1: Playing more is NOT winning more

I have seen most of the beginners try to play every hand. They just want to be the part of action even when they are having a bad hand. This is probably one of the biggest mistakes. Always remember playing more doesn’t ensure winning more. Patenice in poker is probably the hardest thing to master. You should learn when to quit otherwise you will see yourself running out of money.

Tip 2: Strike hard when you know you are going to win

Everyone in the game of poker has his share of good and bad hands. The real winners of the game make sure that they win with huge margins while lose smaller than average pots. If you have a good hand during the play then plan your bets to win as many of your opponents chips as you can. This is your time and you realize this. Try to make as much money as you can by playing cautiously. On the contrary playing the game with vulnerable hand is not viable and so do your best to loose the least.

Tip 3: Bluffing is not science

Bluffing is an integral part of poker. It is more of an art. But you should be cautious while bluffing. Bluffing is when a player with a weak hand forces another player with a stronger hand to fold. Bluffing is a real fun. But it can be harmful if you do not know how to bluff. You need to understand bluffing works in certain situations and against certain people. There is NO rule that one must bluff. So use it if you are very sure and confident about it. Don’t bluff just to bluff. At the same time do not miss any profitable bluffing opportunity.

Tip 4: Don’t stay in a hand just because the pot has some of your chips

Another very common mistake that most beginners tend to make is that they do not pull out after putting money in the pot. Well they think if they have already put so much money in the pot that they have to stay now. But this is not the way. If you know that you cannot win then staying in the game would merely aggravate your losses. Throwing more and more money in the pot does not mean that you will win. In fact you will loose the big way. If you are very much sure that you are beaten then folding straightway is the best option. Try not to loose your money when you have a weak hand.

Tip 5: Don’t play poker when you are sad.

Poker is certainly not an escape route to your depression. Many people believe that after a game of poker their mood will change. But this is not so. I would say you should not play poker when you are in a bad mood. Poker is a strategy game that has lot to do with presence of mind. Playing poker half-heartedly or emotionally will only ruin your pocket. So do not play poker when you know you are not at your best. There is a more chance that fellow players will take advantage of it and eventually you will get more depressed at the end of the day.

Tip 6: Read your opponents

One of the best things that you can do to make profit is to watch your opponents, even when you’re not playing. If you get familiar with the game of your opponent you can take advantage of it when needed, especially when you are bluffing.

For example if you know that one of your opponents always raises in a certain position and another one folds to every re-raise, you can use this information to play against them. Once you know that player X always folds to a re-raise on a river, that’s when you can bluff and steal a pot.

Reading the game of your opponent is a crucial part of poker and if you are good at it then you can outshine others. Knowing how your opponent play is great piece of information and can change your destiny if you use it properly.

Tip 7: Play according to your opponents

You should be flexible enough while playing poker. Just try to read the game of your opponents and accordingly adapt your game. If you see that your opponents are playing tight then raise more, and if they are in a habit of making call frequently then avoid bluffing but raise larger amounts with a solid hand. Conversely if your opponent is too loose then you need flat call more often, think through the changes to your play that will take maximum advantage of their style.

Tip 8: Do not play same kind of a game

Just as you are trying hard to read your opponent’s game- your opponent is thinking the same way- your opponent is trying the same thing on you. So do not play the same type of game. Instead vary your game to such an extent that it becomes really hard for your opponent to read your game. This can be one by reacting in different ways with same type of hand, varying the time you need to think or changing your bet sizes, etc. In this way your opponent will never be able to predict your game and many a times he is likely to misread your hand, leading to greater profits for you. This will also help you when you are bluffing.

Tip 9: Don’t be a fish amongst the sharks.

Lastly I would say play the right game depending on your bankroll and skill. Don’t over estimate yourself. If you are winning at $2/4 at a consistent rate does not mean that you will win at $5/10. Play according to your skill level. Try to be the best at the table. After all you are playing poker to make money and when you are making piles at a lower level game, why move? One of the reasons you shouldn’t jump at high level at once is that if you win huge amount at high level you loose it all there. Secondly as the level of poker increases, so does the stakes and hence the average skill level of your opponents. So prepare yourself to the fullest before you play high stakes poker game. In the beginning, sign up for no deposit bonuses so you can try out the game for free.

Tip 10: Learn from Mistakes

A successful man is one who learns from his mistakes. So just analyze your game when it is over. Look for those hands where you played well and see if there is any other better way to play in such a situation. Also reach out those situations when you failed and find out the reason of your failure. The time spent in self analysis will improve your game and you will be earning more in the future poker games.

Last but not the least; you must realize that poker is game. One has to win and others have to loose. Over the time you will found yourself on both sides. SO make sure you don’t have any enemies while leaving the room no matter whether you won or lost. Overall, don’t insult other players when you’re up or moan when you’re down – just keep your emotions to yourself. After all, it’s just a game.

Play Poker for Free?

If you are going to play poker games in either tournaments or cash games, then you need to know what you are doing first. It only takes a little while each day to learn poker and you can play that hour for free, and then you can start making some real money. The beauty of online poker is that like other online gambling it is far more convenient and offers the same chance of winning. Free poker is quite different then for example free bingo, as poker is a game of skill you can actually win money without making any bet! Freerolls does work for this purpose, tournaments with free entries.

But remember, what the free poker games won’t teach you is that aggression is the name of the game. Many players get caught up in wanting to just check and call their way until the river. When you play this kind of poker, you are going to be both throwing away chips when you don’t have the best hand and failing to maximize your value when you do have the best hand. One principle that you need to have a firm understanding of is that if your cards are good enough to be calling, then you need to be thinking about a raise.

Playing on a mobile device

The UK mobile online casino has become increasingly popular in recent years. This popularity is due both to the increasing sophistication of the casino games that are offered as well as the improvements in technology that have resulted in more advanced mobile devices with larger screens and touch screen functions. Playing on a mobile device is also big in many other countries.

Myths and Facts about Slot machines

Myth: Slot machines are programmed to go through a cycle of payoffs. Although the cycle can span thousands of spins, once it reaches the end the outcomes will repeat themselves in exactly the same order as the last cycle.

Fact: This is not true at all. Every spin is random and independent of all past spins.

Myth: Slot machines are programmed to pay off a particular percentage of money bet. Thus, after a jackpot is hit the machine will tighten up to get back in balance. On the other hand, when a jackpot has not been hit for a long time it is overdue and more likely to hit.

Fact: As just mentioned, each spin is independent of all past spins. That means that for a given machine game, the odds are always the same. It makes no difference when the last jackpot was hit or how much the game paid out in the last hour, day, week, or any period of time.

Myth: Machines pay more if a player card is not used.

Fact: The mechanism that determines the outcome of each play does not consider whether a card is used or not. The odds are the same with or without one.

Myth: Using a player card enables the casino to report my winnings to the IRS.

Fact: That makes no difference. If you win $1,200 or more they will report it either way. If you have a net losing year, which you probably will, at least the casino will have evidence of it. Such annual win/loss statements may be used as evidence to declare offsetting loses to jackpot wins.

Myth: The slot department can tighten my game with the press of a button remotely. Thus, you better be nice to the staff and tip them well, or they will use a remote control to have the machine take you down in a hurry.

Fact: There is now some truth to the Myth that the odds of a machine can be changed remotely. Such “server-based slots” are still experimental and in a minority. Even with server-based slots, there are regulations in place to protect the player from the perceived abuses that could accompany them. For example, in Nevada a machine can not be altered remotely unless it has been idle for at least four minutes. Even then, the game will display a notice that it is being serviced during such changes. (source) Meanwhile, for the vast majority of slots, somebody would physically need to open the machine and change a computer chip, known as an EPROM chip, to make any changes.

Myth: The machines by the doors and heavy traffic flow areas tend to be loose while those hidden in quiet corners tend to be tight.

Fact: I’ve studied the relationship between slot placement and return and found no correlation. Every slot director I’ve asked about this laughs it off as just another player Myth.

Myth: Slots tend to be looser during slow hours on slow days of the week. However, when the casino is busy they tighten them up.

Fact: Nobody would take the trouble to do this, even if he could. The Fact of the matter is the casinos are trying to find a good balance between winning some money while letting the player leave happy. That is best achieved by slots loose enough to give the player a sufficiently long “time on device,” as they call it in the industry, with a reasonable chance of winning so he will return to the same casino next time. If the slots are too tight, the players will sense it and be unlikely to return.

The kind of place you’re likely to find tight slots are those with a captive audience, like the Las Vegas airport. So, if the slot manager feels that 92% is the right return for a penny game, for example, he is likely to set every penny game all that way, and keep them that way for years.

Slot Machines


When it comes to gambling, the easier a game is to understand the worse the odds usually are. This is certainly the case with slot machines. Playing them is as easy as pressing a button. However, between the high house edge and fast rate of play, there is no quicker way to lose your money in a casino.

How They Work

Whether you’re playing a 3-reel single-line game or a 5-reel 25-line game, the outcome of every bet is ultimately determined by random numbers. The game will choose one random number for each reel, map that number onto a position on the reel, stop the reel in the appointed place, and score whatever the outcome is. In other words, the outcome is predestined the moment you press the button; the rest is just for show. There are no hot and cold cycles; your odds are the same for every spin on a given machine.

Slot machines are just about the only game in the casino where the odds are not quantifiable. In other words, the player doesn’t know how the game was designed, so it is difficult to look at an actual game to use as an example. So, to help explain how they work, I created the Atkins Diet slot machine (link). It is a simple, five-reel game with a free spin bonus round, much like IGT’s Cleopatra game.

For information on how it works and all the odds, please visit my Atkins Diet par sheet.

For a more complicated example, featuring sticky wilds in the bonus, please try my Vamos a Las Vegas slot machine.

For information on how it works and all the odds, please visit my Vamos a Las Vegas par sheet (PDF).


The following table shows the casino win for Clark County Nevada (where Las Vegas is) for all slots for calendar year 2012. They define “slot” as any electronic game, including video poker and video keno. I’ve found video keno to be about equally as tight as reeled slots, but video poker has a much higher return. So, the return for reeled slots should be higher than these figures.

Most players play penny video slots. Based on past research, I find the house edge on those to usually be set from 6% to 15%. In general, the nicer the casino, the tighter the slots.

Reading and Understanding Point Spreads

Emily loves sports – college football, NFL, and NBA. She knows a lot of people have a blast betting sports and wants to join the fun. But Emily is unsure of how to get started with sports gambling. In the newspapers and on the Internet she always sees “point spreads” (sometimes called “lines”) on the games but isn’t exactly sure what the numbers mean.

Understanding point spreads is a key first step to learning about sports betting. Emily’s not alone in needing the basics of point spreads explained, so let’s all learn how to read point spreads together. Then we’ll be on our way to enjoying the fun of sports betting.

What Is the Point Spread?

In any football or basketball game (the main sports that use point spreads) there are two teams playing against each other.

Those teams, though, are rarely exactly evenly matched – meaning that typically one team has a better chance than the other to win the game. If bettors were allowed to bet on who was simply going to win the game, smart ones would obviously bet on the better team (likely winning more than 50% of the time in the process).

If winning were that easy the Las Vegas and offshore sportsbooks would stop taking any bets! This is where the point spread comes in: the basic function of the point spread is to balance the likelihood of each team “winning” by adjusting the final score by the point spread. After this adjustment is made you get the Against The Spread result (ATS result for short).

Let’s look at Super Bowl XXXIX, New England Patriots vs. Philadelphia Eagles. Most people believed the defending champ Patriots to be the better team – so if betting were simply based upon which team would win the game, an uneven majority of people would have wagered on New England . But, by using the point spread, the bookmakers adjusted the terms of the bet, evening the proposition so about half the people believed the Pats to be the smart bet, while the other half considered Philly to be the smart bet.

How to Read the Point Spread

New England Patriots -7 vs. Philadelphia Eagles

The better team, called the Favorite, is expected to win the game and must “give” or “lay” points to the weaker team. The favorite is listed with a minus sign and the number of points they are favored by (e.g., New England -7)

In the case of our example, New England must not only win the game, but they must win by more than 7 points for Pats bettors to have a winning ATS result. An Eagles bettor wins his bet either if:

Philly wins the actual game by any amount of points
Philly loses the game by less than 7 points.

There was also the possibility that the final score could land exactly on the spread number (for example, the Pats winning 28-21 when -7), which is called a “push” or “no action” and a refund is then issued to bettors of both teams.

The same game with the same point spread can be considered from the weaker team’s perspective: The Underdog (Philly in the case of our example) is not expected to win the game and thus receives or “gets” points given by the stronger team. When a game is stated from the underdog’s perspective the team is listed with a plus sign and the number of points they are underdogs by:

Philadelphia Eagles +7 vs. New England Patriots

Keep in mind that Philadelphia +7 and New England -7 is the same point spread on the same game, simply stated differently. The first is from the underdog’s perspective; the later is from the favorite’s.
For Those Who Like to Consider Things Mathematically

Not a must, but for some a mathematical approach is insightful. You can determine the ATS winner by either:

Subtracting the point spread from the favorite’s score (thus the minus sign before the number) and then compare to the underdog’s score
Adding the point spread to the underdog’s score (thus the plus sign before the number) and then compare to the favorite’s score

Who Really “Won” the Super Bowl?

Let’s look at the actual result of Super Bowl XXXIX: New England 24 Philadelphia 21

The favorite, New England , won the game but not by more than the point spread they were favored by (7), so the ATS result was a LOSS for Pats bettors.

Looking at it from the underdog’s perspective, Philly did not win the game, but they lost by less than the point spread (7), so the ATS result was a WIN for Eagle bettors.

Mathematically considered, 24 for the favorite Pats minus 7 equals 17, which is less than the 20 the Eagles scored, so the underdog Eagles win the ATS result (or you could figure 20 plus 7 equals 27 for the Eagles, which is more than 24 for the Pats).

Emily’s boyfriend understood the point spread and wagered $100 on the Eagles at +7. The Eagles may not have gotten a Super Bowl ring, but since they won the ATS result Emily’s boyfriend cashed his bet – giving him money to take her out to a nice dinner.

And now hopefully you understand how to read point spreads, putting you one step closer to joining the fun of sports betting.

Parlay Betting Odds Explained

When we explain betting odds, how to make a parlay wager is always one of the things we talk about first because it is such a popular way to bet on a variety of games. For just a few dollars, someone could conceivably win as much as a million dollars or more. Of course, this is an extremely rare situation but using a parlay to build the payouts on several bets you’re feeling good about is a common + profitable practice.

We’re sure you’re ready to learn more about the parlay wager and the best online sportsbooks that allow users to make wagers using the parlay. Here’s a tip: stick to the sports betting sites that have friendly parlay rules which allow you to jump across different sports + parlay wagers within the same game! Now, let’s get on with the show…

What Is A Parlay Wager?

A parlay is a single wager placed down that links two or more outcomes together. The wager can only be won by all of the outcomes winning. A single loss, and the bet is lost. If the parlay is pushed at any point in the bet, then the bet is reduced down to that outcome with the wager odds shifting accordingly. In other words, if you have an 8 team parlay and one of those picks is a push, you essentially are left with a 7 team parlay.

Why Bet On Parlays

A parlay is enticing to bettors because of the high return on investment should the bet be won. The payouts for a parlay can be very high, and thus very rewarding. The more teams you take in a parlay, the greater the return and it is completely possible to win thousands of dollars with a $1 parlay if all your picks are correct.

Example Of How A Parlay Bet Works

Let’s say that you placed a three-team parlay on the Falcons, Cowboys, and Packers covering their respective point spreads in their match ups. Typically, a three team parlay will pay out at 6/1. If all three of these teams cover the point spread, then the bet would be won. For every $100 wagered on this parlay, a $600 profit is made.

More About How Parlays Work In Sports Betting

As the parlays increase, so too does the margin of profit and payouts. But the more games linked together on the parlay, the more difficult the bet becomes to win. Parlays usually can go up to as many as 15 games. It’s also important to know that parlays are not made for you as a bettor on the sportsbook. You have the power to fill out your own parlay slip for the games that you want to place a wager on.

Betting a parlay does not have to be on the point spread however. There are money line parlays that can be made. But on the money line, which is a wager on a game without a point spread, the payouts can be a lot different. If a bettor takes the favorite on the money line for every parlay, the payout won’t be the near the amount than if one or more underdogs had been selected.

Different Formats Of Betting Odds

How To Read American Betting Odds

American odds have become incredibly commonplace, despite the fact that they are not as easy to read as other formats. As an example, American Odds read like this:

Odds To Win Super Bowl:

Team A: -150
Team B: +200
Team C: +600
Team D: +1000

With American odds, the number represented is how much you have to bet to win $100. If the number is preceded with a “+” sign, then you would risk less than $100 to win a wager worth $100. And, the opposite is true when the number is preceded with a “-” where the bettor would have to risk more than $100 just to win $100 of the wager.

In the example above, you can see that Team A has the lowest number of the group and are considered to be the favorite to win this bet. If you wagered on Team A to win the Super Bowl and they end up winning, you are going to need to risk more than $100 to win $100 as indicated by the “-” symbol preceding the payouts. In this particular example, a bettor would need to wager $150 to win $100.

On the opposite side of that, the other 3 teams in contention all pay better than 1 to 1 odds (risk less than $100 to win $100). Team B is at +200: risk $50 to win $100. Team C is at +600: risk $16.67 to win $100. Team D is at +1000: risk $10 to win $100.

These can be a little bit confusing but if you just pay attention to the + or – symbol then you should not have any issues. And, with a little bit of manipulation, you can see how these odds will pay if the wager ends up being a winner and that is what we’re all here for… to win.

How To Read Fractional Odds

Fractional betting odds are the easiest to understand. Just about every single sportsbook that caters to Americans has the option available for fractional odds. And, while they may seem daunting at first, you don’t really need to understand complex fractions in order to utilize these odds. Lets look at an example:

Odds To Win Fight:

Fighter A: 4/7
Fighter B: 3/2

In order to best understand these lines, you first need to look at the ratio to 1. In the example above, 4/7 odds is less than 1 and the opposite can be said for the other side as 3/2 is more than 1. Once you have determined this, you can figure out the favorite.

To figure out which side is favored, you simply need to figure out which is the lower number. In this case, Fighter A is at 4/7 odds which is less than 1 and Fighter B is at 3/2 odds which is more than 1. Fighter A’s wager is the clear favorite as it is the lower number.

So, how do you figure out what these pay? Again, we refer back to 4/7 being less than 1, and 3/2 being more than 1.

Anytime fractional odds are displayed at a value of less than 1, the bettor must risk more than they intend to win if the wager is a winner. And, the opposite can be said for if a fractional value is more than 1… that bet will pay more than what is risked.

As we said before, 4/7 odds are less than 1 so in this case, the bettor must risk $7 to win $4 from the wager. Then, 3/2 are more than 1 so when risking $2, the bettor will win $3 off the wager. As you can see, the payouts are in the fractional odds, you just need to know which way they go based on if they represent a value greater than or less than one.

Understanding Betting Odds That Use Decimals

Decimal odds are slightly more confusing than most other types of odds. In fact, we prefer not to use them when we bet but that is just our preference. Regardless, we are going to give you a little insight into these lines, as we want to give you insight about all of the common types of odds available.

If you look into these odds, you will definitely come out a little bit confused unless you are from Europe where these odds are commonly used than American or Fractional odds. The multiplication game is not as straight forward with decimal odds. Let’s take a look at another example:

Odds To Be Next President:

Candidate A: 1.50
Candidate B: 2.45

When looking at decimal based odds, the same thing applies to them as all the other forms of odds when trying to determine the favorite… which ever is the lowest number is favored. In the example above, the favored candidate is Candidate A at 1.50 however Candidate B is only a little bit behind at 2.45

Figuring out the payouts is where decimal odds can get tricky, but you’ll soon learn a little trick that will make these very easy to understand.

The best way to start off look at these odds are to consider them to be monetary amounts based on what you will win if you wager $1 or one euro, one pound, etc… which includes the original wager. Be sure to keep that in mind when looking at the other odds types.

If Candidate A wins the election, every $1 wagered will win $.50 plus the original $1 wagered which equals $1.50 or 1.50 odds.

Candidate B: every $1 wagered earns $1.45 which equals $2.45 or 2.45 odds.

Now That You Know How To Read Sports Betting Odds

Now that you understand how to read odds, you will then want to see how they are adapted to the different betting lines. With the straight wagers and exotic wagers alike, you will find that these odds are worked into the lines. After you figure out how to read the odds, you will then have to figure out the different types of bets that you can find through most sports betting sites. The different types of bets use odds somewhat differently, but in the end it is all fairly similar.

We have also done a special section that explains how to read betting odds for each different sport. The reason for this is that some sports have betting odds available that others do not. For instance you can not really compare the Nascar or PGA odds with NFL, and vise versa.

How to Bet Basketball

Of the four major sports, basketball is one of the easiest to bet on. Along with football, basketball use the point spread for wagering on sides (teams), as well as an over/under number. If you know how to bet on football, you already pretty much know how to bet on basketball.

The most common method of betting basketball involves the point spread, which is a handicap the sportsbooks impose on one team to make both teams equal in terms of betting. For a more detailed explanation of the point spread see Introduction to Point Spreads.

With the point spread, the team expected to win will be called the favorite, while the team expected to lose will be called the underdog. The team expected to win gives, or lays, points to the team expected to lose for betting purposes.

If the Celtics are playing the Knicks, most bettors would bet on the Celtics to win the game. But say the point spread will make the Celtics a 10-point favorite. What this means is that the Celtics have to win by 11 or more points for its bettors to win their bet, while those betting on the Knicks would win their wagers if the Knicks won the game or lost by nine points or less. If the Celtics win by exactly 10 points, the bet is a push, or a tie, and no money changes hands.

When betting against the point spread, bettors are asked to lay 11-to-10 odds, which means that they risk $11 to win $10. This is how the bookies and sportsbooks make their money. If I bet $11 on the Celtics and you bet $11 on the Knicks, the bookie collects $22 between us, but only returns $21 to the winner. The extra dollar is essentially the bookie’s fee for accepting our wagers.


The second most popular method of wagering on basketball is in betting totals, also known as over/unders. For a more detailed explanation of totals see Introduction to Totals.

Essentially, a total is the predicted combined score of the two teams playing. A number will be posted and bettors have the option of wagering more than the predicted total points will be scored (over), or less than the predicted total points will be scored (under).

In our hypothetical game between the Knicks and the Celtics, the over/under number might be 188. Bettors wagering on the over would win their bets if the total combined score was 189 or greater, while bettors wagering on the under would win their bets if the combined total score was 187 or fewer points. Again, if the combined score is exactly 188 points, the bet is considered a push, or a tie, and no money changes hands.

Just as with the point spread, bettors are asked to lay 11-to-10 odds and risk $11 to win $10 on each over/under wager.

Money Line Wagers

While betting against the point spread or on totals make up the vast majority of basketball wagers, bettors also have several other betting options available to them. One is the money line wager, which is a bet on the winner of the game without the point spread. But because some teams are given a better than 50-percent chance of winning, money line wagers are made using odds, so that if you bet on the team expected to win you will be asked to risk considerably more than you stand to win. More about money line betting can be found at Introduction to Money Lines.

The money line odds on a game will look something like:

Boston Celtics -300
New York Knicks +240

What this means is that bettors taking the Celtics are asked to put up $30 to win $10, while those believing the Knicks will win are asked to risk $10 to win $24.

All sports betting was done with money lines at one point, but with too many people betting on the obvious favorites all of the time, the point spread was introduced and sports betting hasn’t been the same since.

Parlays and Teasers

The other types of wagers involving basketball come in the form of parlays and teasers, which are sometimes called exotic bets. In parlays and teasers bettors must correctly predict the winners of two or more games. On parlays, bettors have the option of betting against the point spread or using the money line, while teasers are made using the point spread and players can adjust the point spread in their favor.

The one catch about parlays and teasers is that all of your teams must win or the entire bet is a loss. Even if you correctly pick five out of six games, a parlay or teaser wager is still a loss.

Both wagers are described in more detail at How to Bet Parlays and How to Bet Teasers.
Betting basketball isn’t difficult and it typically ranks second in terms of betting dollars behind football. Many fans find that dealing with the point spread, or with totals, easier than using the money line.

Sports Betting – Understanding Point Spreads

When it comes to betting on football and basketball, a bettor must have a solid understanding of the point spread if they hope to have a profitable season.

The point spread is a handicap placed on one team, for betting purposes only, and it is designed to give both teams in any game an equal chance at winning in the eyes of sports bettors.

How the Point Spread Works

When two teams meet on the playing field or on the basketball court, one team is typically better than the other. If all sports gamblers had to do was to pick the winning team in a game, everybody would simply wager on the best team and collect their money.

Using an example from Week 2 of the 2007 NFL season, the Atlanta Falcons were visiting the Jacksonville Jaguars. There was little doubt Jacksonville was the better of the two teams and if all one had to do was to pick the winning team, nearly every bettor would have taken the Jaguars.

What the sportsbooks and bookies did, however, was to create a point spread, to make both teams equally attractive in the eyes of bettors.

In this case, Jacksonville was installed as a 10 point favorite, which is commonly written as Jacksonville -10. Atlanta, the underdog, is commonly written as Atlanta +10.

If you bet the favorite, Jacksonville, the Jaguars have to win by 11 points or more in order for you to win your bet. Remember, the Jaguars are favored by 10 points, so we subtract 10 points from their final score for betting purposes. If Jacksonville were to win 24-13, Jaguar bettors would win their wager. If the Jaguars were to win 23-14, Jacksonville bettors would lose because they did not win by more than 10 points.

If you bet the underdog, the Atlanta Falcons, you win your bet if the Falcons win the game or if they lose by 9 points or less. Because the Falcons are the underdogs, we add 10 points to their final score for betting purposes.

If the Jaguars were to win the game by exactly 10 points, 24-14, it would be a tie or a push and all wagers are refunded to bettors.

Jacksonville did defeat Atlanta as expected, but the Jaguars failed to cover the point spread when they won by a score of 13-7.

Money Lines Versus Point Spreads

In the case of football and basketball, not only will you see a point spread, you will usually be given the option to also wager on the game with the money line in which all you have to do is pick the winner of the contest. There is one drawback, however, and that is if you want to bet on the team expected to win, you can find yourself risking much more than you stand to win.

Deciding when to bet using the point spread and when to use the money line is just one of the decisions bettors have to make on an ongoing basis. There are no rules etched in stone when to use the point spread and when to bet with the money line, but an excellent article looking at this problem when betting the NBA can be found here at the Top Betting Reviews website.