Betting Basics 2020: All You Need to get Started

There are many different systems for odds making, betting, and profit calculation in sports betting. Having a good example of the betting basics is a good way to ensure that you’re on the right track when placing your next wager. The sports betting industry is a large one with over 11 states providing fully licensed sports betting at casinos, racetracks and legal online/mobile wagering as well in the US. Many people consider sports betting to be the easiest form of gambling anyone can get started with. However, it is important to have a firm understanding of the different forms of sports betting and odds gambling in order to avoid common mistakes and win more than you lose.

Some quick betting basics you should know
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  • Betting odds are made differently in various sports

  • Many consider sports betting to be the easiest form of gambling

  • No other form of gambling is as popular as online sports betting

  • Betting the odds is akin to predicting how likely an event is to end

  • There are several different types of wagers placeable

Betting Basics: Guidelines and Techniques

Are you interested in online gambling, but are not sure about how to get started? Or don’t you understand how some things work? Then this article is perfect for you. Many consider sports betting to be the easiest form of gambling to get started with. However, the many different sports from football to basketball, horse racing, and tennis all have different odds creation systems. In most cases, there are even different betting options for the same sport.

It all depends on the kind of game you choose to play and the type of bet you want to place. Learning the betting basics is a good way to ensure that you are on the right track when placing your next bet. The first step is understanding the concept of sports betting and what to expect when placing wagers.

The concept of sports betting

In sports betting, the primary goal is to anticipate the results of sports matches and wager money on a particular outcome that you think will happen in the end. One very common way to bet on football matches is to simply bet on the eventual winner of the game. Players win money when they get the winner right or lose if they are wrong, making this the simplest of sports betting markets. The ‘hard’ part is choosing the right sporting event and betting type to wager on since there are so many betting systems out there today.

Therefore, a simple football match can present several different types of bets including the 2 Way Bet, 3 Way Moneyline, Accumulator Bet, and Asian Handicap among others. Knowing how these different systems work and understanding their jargon will give you a better chance at achieving long-term success.

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What are the betting odds?

No two teams are alike and certain there are teams that will always be favorites in some clashes. To ensure that the bets remain relatively level for both teams, bookmakers assign betting odds based on several factors including player injuries and past/historical performance. These odds also determine how much a bettor will receive relative to their wagers if their prediction comes true. You can think of betting odds as the chances of a particular outcome being correct.

What is fixed odds betting?

Fixed odds betting is the kind of sports betting where a player places a wager on a sporting event before it starts, with certain odds in place. It is termed “fixed odds” because both parties (the bookmaker and bettor) agree to the odds when the wager is placed. All payouts are made based on the predetermined betting odds, irrespective of whether they’re subsequently altered or not.

What is in-play betting (aka live betting)?

In-play/live betting is based on the same fundamental principles as the traditional fixed odds betting. The big difference is that in-play betting occurs during the match itself, with the odds adjusted to the current situation on the playing field. This system is quickly becoming incredibly popular with bettors worldwide.

Types of sport betting

As we have said earlier, there are several different types of wagers that can be placed on each sporting event. This allows bettors to gamble on pretty much any sporting event they want, and pretty much any game, event, league, or competition they fancy. However, only three types of sports bets are commonly used and most people who bet on sports will place one the following wagers:

Point spread (aka spread betting)

In the  Point Spread betting, handicaps are awarded to ensure that all games remain competitive in the eyes of bettors. Sportsbook this by giving the stronger team (called the favorite) a point or goal deficit and awarding the weaker team (called the underdog) advantage of a few points or goals. This betting system is quite popular and is most commonly used in high-scoring sports like football and basketball. In this example of a soccer match between Man United and Tottenham, the odds could look as follows:

  • Man Utd: -2.5
  • tottenham Hotspur: +2.5

This kind of spread betting means that Manchester would have to win by more than 2 goals for you to win that bet. In that case, the payout would probably be quite high, considering that the two teams are evenly matched. On the other hand, in games where there is a heavy favorite, spread betting makes things and odds more even.

Money lines

Moneyline bet is the most simple form of sports betting, where by a player bets on the final outcome of the game. The final winning margin does not matter, as long as you get it right as to which team is going to win the game. Here is an example of the betting odds for a moneyline bet:

  • White Sox (favorite): -180
  • Astros (underdog): +175

Placing $180 on the White Sox will win you $100 in this case while placing $100 will net you a $175 profit on the Astros.


Totals market is another example of a fairly simple betting market that anyone can understand. In this market, you bet on the total final number of points, in any sport in question. For instance, a line in soccer may be 2.5 goals and you will bet on whether fewer or more goals than that line will be scored in the game.

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Finding the right online betting site

You are now ready to start betting, but there is still the matter of which site to choose to place your wagers with. It is extremely important to choose sites that are trustworthy and well regulated, which is why we always recommend playing only with licensed US bookies. AmericaGambles is here to help you in every way possible and we only promote those bookmakers who have earned the trust of their players through transparent dealings.

Our extensive Sports Betting Comparison offers an insight into the entire American sports betting market, with a list of every legal and licensed American bookmaker out there. Check it out today to find the best place to bet on sports and choose one of the numerous betting sites, all of which offer the betting markets listed here and plenty more.

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New Hampshire
New Jersey
West Virginia
Sports: 17+
Live Betting:
Min. Odds: -200
Sports: 16+
Live Betting:
Min. Odds: -190
Sports: 15+
Live Betting:
Min. Odds: N/A
Sports: 12+
Live Betting:
Min. Odds: N/A
Sports: 20+
Live Betting:
Min. Odds: N/A

A good way to get Rolling!

If you are going to start betting on sports, a good grasp of the very basics can be crucial. Many people consider sports betting to be the easiest form of gambling anyone can get started with. However, we recommend that you have a firm understanding of the different forms of sports betting and odds gambling in order to make sure you don't make the same old mistakes and turn the profits you make way up.
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