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Sports Bet

Ah, the joys and sorrows of the sports bet. There are never any absolute guarantees with a sports bet, which makes it challenging and fraught with upsets.

Even though it is quite popular and many have had a flutter, sports bets are not always well understood. In some countries they are even illegal. In others, notably here in the U.K., sports bets are seen as a harmless bit of fun and entertainment that may occasionally yield a return.

To enjoy sports, it is not necessary to bet of course. However, knowing the odds, or chances that your team or favourite will win can lead to the latter scenario coming up.

Most sports bets are placed with a bookmaker, commonly called a bookie, or through a betting exchange. This formalises the relationship, documents the odds, and facilitates the payout. The bet represents a wager on your prediction of how the match, race or tournament will end. In some cases sports bets are placed on specific individual performers, to win, place, score, or not score.

The mechanics of betting is simple. You bet a set amount of money for a given outcome. The bookmaker keeps track of the predicted odds, which gives the 1/3, 2/1 and so on odds for your bet. Most bets pay out at a multiple of the odds.

Some of the popular sports bets are the straight up or moneyline bet (win/lose), a point spread bet (win/lose by a certain amount), and totals (combined scores). Others that you may hear of are over/unders, lay bets, and parlays. These group and counter bets are for the more serious sports investor. However, all viewers can of course, learn!

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