As legal sports betting has exploded in the United States, millions of new bettors are entering the industry. Many have never placed a wager before, and are navigating an unfamiliar world of terminology and jargon. We’ve put together a beginner-level guide that breaks down the 12 essential things every new sports bettor needs to know before making their first bet.
The first thing a new sports bettor must understand is that it’s impossible to win all of your bets. Losing bets are a natural part of the sports betting business and should be accepted with grace. Chasing losses in an attempt to get your money back is the quickest way to burn through your bankroll.
Another key aspect of the game is knowing how odds work. Odds are not fixed and are often adjusted based on public perception and a team’s current form. For example, if the Chiefs are running riot in the play-offs, you’ll see the odds for them to win the Super Bowl getting shorter and shorter. This is a well-known phenomenon that is exploited by tipster sites. The most profitable tipsters will rise to the top of a highscore list until they hit a few thousand bets and the law of large numbers slowly wipes out their profits.
The most important thing a new bettor must remember is to always bet with their head and not their heart. Betting with your gut instinct can be risky because it can lead to bets based on emotion, locker room gossip, or player transfers. Always do your research before placing a bet and remember that the best place to bet is at a sportsbook with a solid reputation for customer service.