The more that I try to explain the little that I know, the more I understand…and yet also understand how much more there is to understand, and how little I know. I learned this from my good buddy who turned me on to sports betting. He’s an attorney helping people injured in truck accidents, but knows a lot about the terminology used in betting on games. I must say that as a lawyer for truck accidents in TX he really knows the jargon and taught me a lot about something that is really fun and clearly a distraction from the misery he’s constantly exposed to in his legal work. But back to my point – the more I understand, the more I realize how little I understand, and there’s absolutely no getting around it. I can’t even explain that sentence. But I can help you come to grips with all of the bizarre jargon that is used in the online sportsbetting world. I’ve done okay on ‘point spread’ and ‘odds’ but some of the hardest parts are yet to come.
- market: you’ll hear this used in the overall sense, like “the sports betting market in the UK is growing every year”, and you’ll also hear “betting markets” used to describe the fairly recent practice (begun, I believe, by Betfair) of allowing players to wager with each other rather than simply with the sports book itself.
- bookmaker: sports or race book, bookie, et cetera, means the central person or business which sets the odds and then takes bets from others. An online sportsbook may also offer casino games such as online slots. The bookmaker is under pressure to offer the most fair and competitive terms possible, drawing a profit from commission rather than any wins or losses by the bettors. Speaking of which:
- juice: surprise, this is what they call the commission (when they’re not calling it a commission…or a “vig” or “vigorish“, or sometimes an “over-round“). Bookmakers generally post odds that are slightly higher or lower than the ‘true’ or ‘natural’ odds of the event, and take the difference in profit. The more fair and competitive the bookmaker, the smaller the juice (generally). Many online sportsbooks will offer ‘reduced juice‘ odds, which may be a great idea or may be hiding bigger costs somewhere else…
If you’re sick to death of all of this sports betting talk, a quick trip to an online casino USA or elsewhere should put you right.
- over/under: also called spread bets, these can be distinguished from point spread bets because you are betting that the total score of the game will be over or under a specified points total, regardless of the amount that either team will contribute to that total. Many UK books also give you the option of “buying” each additional point, obviously increasing the risk and reward the further you go from the expected odds.
* * Update * *
Last week I laid out a 10 game parlay. I do this once in a while not expecting much of it. I almost always lose. Before last week I could say that I always lose but last week something happened to change that. I put $5 bucks down & during the last game which was Monday night football, I was so nervous. When my team finally won at the last minute, I went crazy.