How Online Bookmaker Betting Works

Online bookmaker sites offer a variety of bet types, including point spreads, moneyline bets, and over/under (totals) bets. They also provide options for straight bets, parlay bets, teasers, pleasers, If Bets, and futures bets. Additionally, players can choose from player props, team props, and game props.

Online bookmakers often offer daily boosts or odds boosts, same-game parlays (SGPs), risk-free bets or No-Sweat bets, and welcome bonuses. Live betting pages are also available, allowing users to place bets on ongoing games. Some popular online bookmaker sites include DraftKings Sportsbook, BetOnline, and Sportsbet.

3 Main Bets at Sportsbook Sites

When you click on a particular game, most sportsbooks show three game lines associated with the game. These are point spreads, moneyline bets, and over/under bets. Often, they’ll be displayed in three columns with the words “Spread”, “Money Line”, and “Total” at the top of each column. Let’s go over each of these.

Point Spreads

Point spreads are a popular bet type in which the bettor wagers on a team to win by a certain number of points or to lose by less than a certain number of points. Spread betting helps a bettor wager on the underdog because they don’t have to win the game to be a bet winner.

For example, if the point spread for an NFL game is -3.5 in favor of the Kansas City Chiefs, a bet on the Chiefs would require them to win by at least 4 points for the bet to be a winner.

Moneyline Bets

Moneyline bets are simple wagers on which team will win a game. The odds for moneyline bets are represented by a positive or negative number, with the negative number indicating the favorite and the positive number indicating the underdog. Moneyline bets are for gamblers who want to pick the outright winner. They don’t have to deal with point spreads or goal differentials.

For example, if the moneyline for an NBA game is -150 for the Los Angeles Lakers and +130 for the Boston Celtics, a bet of $150 on the Lakers would win $100 if they win the game, while a bet of $100 on the Celtics would win $130 if they win the game.

Over/Under (Totals) Bets

Over/under bets, also known as total bets, are wagers on the total number of points scored in a game by both teams combined. The bettor can choose to bet that the actual total will be over or under the bookmaker’s predicted total.

For example, if the over/under for an MLB game is set at 8.5 runs, a bet on the over would require the teams to score a total of 9 runs or more for the bet to be a winner.

Types of Betting at Online Bookmakers

You can use each of the three broad types of bets on the next category of wagers. These deal with how many results you want to bet on at once — one single result or multiple results. A single bet is a straight bet, while bets on multiple factors come in a wide variety of forms.

Straight Bets

Straight bets are the simplest form of sports wagering, in which the bettor wagers on a single outcome of a game or event. This can include point spreads, moneyline bets, or over/under bets.

Parlay Bets

Parlay bets are a type of wager that combines multiple outcomes into a single bet, with the potential for a higher payout. However, all the individual bets in a parlay must be correct for the bet to be a winner. For example, a bettor could place a parlay bet on the point spread for three NFL games, with all three teams needing to cover the spread for the bet to be a winner.

Teaser Bets

Teaser bets are a type of parlay bet in which the bettor can adjust the point spread or total in their favor but at the cost of a lower potential payout. For example, a bettor could place a 6-point teaser bet on two NFL games, with the point spread for each game being adjusted by 6 points in their favor.

Pleaser Bets

Pleaser bets are the opposite of teaser bets, in which the point spread or total is adjusted in favor of the bookmaker, but with the potential for a higher payout if all the individual bets are correct.

If Bets

If bets are a type of wager that allows the bettor to place multiple bets on a single ticket, with the outcome of the first bet determining whether the second bet is placed, and so on. This can be a useful strategy for bettors who want to hedge their bets or take advantage of changing odds.

Futures Bets

Futures bets are wagers on the outcome of a future event, such as the winner of the Super Bowl, the World Series, the Stanley Cup Finals, the NBA Finals, or March Madness. These bets are typically placed before the start of the season and can offer high payouts if the bettor correctly predicts the outcome.

Not all futures bets involve who wins a league championship or a specific event. Futures bets often involve players winning league MVP awards, Rookie of the Year awards, or Comeback Player of the Year awards. Also, they might involve how many yards a quarterback throws in a season, how many home runs a batter hits, or how many points a player scores in a basketball season.

Proposition Bets: How Prop Bets Work

Prop bets, short for proposition bets, are wagers on specific outcomes within a game or event, such as the number of points a certain player will score or the total number of three-pointers made by both teams combined.

In-Game Prop Bets

Those more interested in sports betting should know about special prop bets. These can be made as pre-game or in-game bets, but often appear on the live betting page. Player props, team props, and game props can offer a fun and unique way to bet on sports. Here’s how each works.

Player Props

Player props might involve a baseball player hitting a home run, having more than 1.5 hits, or reaching more than 1.5 bases during a game. It might involve a pitcher having more than 5.5 strikeouts in a game, or whether Patrick Mahomes throws for more than 2.5 touchdowns in a game.

Team Props

Team props might involve how many yards the Kansas City Chiefs offense collects in a game. This might involve the number of team sacks a defense has in a game, or some other team-specific stat. Team prop bets are for bettors who want to bet on their team doing something positive in the game without betting on the opponent’s activity (and thus cheering for them).

Game Props

Game props are like team props, but with one major exception. While team props deal with one team in a matchup, game props deal with both teams (or both competitors). It might involve which team has the first score in a game, or it might involve the total number of yards, first downs, or touchdowns in a football game.

Novelty Prop Bets

Another form of a prop bet is the novelty prop bet. Instead of sports, these often involve entertainment, politics, or pop culture. You might wager on who wins an Academy Award or the Golden Globes, or you might bet on who wins the next season of Survivor or The Bachelor. Or you might bet on who wins the U.S. Presidential Election.

These can be quite bizarre. UK bookmakers place bets on whether UFOs will appear on Earth to greet the human race or whether proof of incontrovertible proof that Big Foot or the Loch Ness Monster appears. Or just as bizarrely, it might involve the British royal family.

Novelty bets sometimes involve sporting events. For instance, it’s common for people to bet on the Super Bowl Halftime Show or the length of the National Anthem before the Super Bowl. Some bettors also wager on the color of the Gatorade poured over the winning coach.

Live Betting

Live betting pages allow users to place bets on ongoing games, with the odds and point spreads constantly updating in real time. Sometimes called in-game betting, this can be a fun and exciting way to bet on sports. Bettors can take advantage of changing odds due to momentum shifts in the game, injuries, weather conditions, or trash time stats.

For example, during an NFL game, a bettor could place a live bet on the next team to score a touchdown, with the odds and point spread adjusting based on the current score and time remaining in the game.

Special Promotions at Bookmaker Sites

Most online gambling sites, including online sportsbooks, offer promotions. The most common of these are welcome bonuses, risk-free bets, same-game parlays, and odds boosts.

While many bonuses appear on the promotions page, that’s not where you’ll find every special offer. Instead, many appear next to the odds themselves on the pregame betting page and the live betting page. Many bets have the initials “SGP” to signify a special offer on same-game parlays.

These also appear in the top menu or the side menu on the betting page. Besides the various sports, you might see a link that says “Boosts” and “Same-Game Parlays.” Click on these to find special offers from the bookmaker.

Here’s an overview of what you might find:

Daily Boosts or Odds Boosts

Daily boosts or odds boosts are special promotions offered by online bookmakers that allow bettors to place wagers at enhanced odds, increasing the potential payout for a winning bet.

Same-Game Parlays (SGPs)

Called “single-game parlays” by some bookmakers, this is a parlay bet that involves multiple propositions in the same game. Same-game parlays are a type of bet that allows bettors to combine multiple outcomes from a single game into a single bet, with the potential for a higher payout.

For example, a bettor could place a same-game parlay bet on the point spread, the total, and the first player to score a touchdown in an NFL game. Note that some bookmakers create ready-made same-game parlays because some bettors get confused about the rules about combining certain straight bets in a parlay. These often are promotions with boosted odds.

Risk-Free Bets or No-Sweat Bets

Risk-free bets, also known as no-sweat bets, are a type of promotion offered by online bookmakers that allow bettors to place a bet without the risk of losing their initial stake. If the bet is a winner, the bettor receives the winnings as usual. If the bet is a loser, the bettor is refunded their initial stake.

Welcome Bonuses

Welcome bonuses are a type of promotion offered by online bookmakers to attract new customers. These bonuses can include free bets, deposit matches, or other incentives to encourage bettors to sign up and start wagering.