Punters love weighing the odds, but beginners may sometimes find the different types of bets in sports betting confusing. The experts at Slotegrator have prepared an overview of the most popular kinds of wagers, and a simple explanation of how these bets are placed.

Article summary

  1. Understanding odds
  2. Win Bet / Moneyline
  3. Point Spreads / Handicaps
  4. Total bets / Over-Unders
  5. Prop Bets / Specials
  6. Outrights / Futures
  7. Parlays / Accumulators
  8. Other Types of Bets
  9. Conclusion

Understanding odds

Before diving into the different types of wagers, it is important to understand the various kinds of betting odds and how they are calculated.

  1. Fractional odds

Fractional odds are usually used in the U.K. and Ireland. They are usually displayed as 9/1, 8/3, 4/1, etc.

  • If you bet £1 at 9/1, you will win £9 + get £1 back;
  • If you bet £3 at 8/3, you will win £8 + get £3 back;
  • If you bet £10 at 1/10, you will win £1 + get £10 back.

Formula:

1/1 = A/B
((Bet/B) x A) + Bet

When the first number is bigger, it is used for underdogs: 5/1.

When the first number is smaller, it is used for favorites: 1/5.

  1. Decimal odds

Decimal odds are mainly used in Europe, Australia, Canada, and most of the rest of the world. They are written using a decimal point, such as 1.80, 2.23, or 6.0.

Formula

(Odds x Bet) - Bet
  • If you bet £10 at 6.0, you will win £50 + get £10 back, for a total of £60;
  • If you bet £10 at 1.25, you will win £2.50 + get £10 back, for a total of £12.50.

To calculate the final winnings, including the original bet, it is easiest to use the formula (Odds x Bet).

Smaller numbers are used for favorites, and bigger numbers are used for underdogs.

  1. Moneyline odds

Moneyline odds are used primarily in the USA. They are usually presented as +600, -300, etc.

Positive odds are used for underdogs, while negative odds are used for favorites.

Formula

Positive odds indicate how much money will be won on a $100 bet.
Negative odds indicate how much money must be bet to win $100.
  • If you bet $100 at +800, you will win $800 + get $100 back.
  • If you bet $160 at -160, you will win $100 + get $160 back.

If punters want to bet a sum of money other than $100, they calculate the profit they would win for every $1 they bet.

Formula

Profit for $1 = Odd/100
Profit for Bet = Profit for $1 x Bet
  • If the odds are +155, for every $1 punters wager, they will win $1.55 (155/100). For example, if the bet is $30, the overall profit is $46.5 ($1.55 x $30).

Win Bet / Moneyline

The easiest type of bet to understand is probably the Win Bet, or Moneyline. Both of these terms refer to the same type of bet - “Win Bet” is used all over the world, and “Moneyline” is used in the US. Punters can also hear the term “straight bet” used for Moneyline. However, in the US, a straight bet refers to point spreads, which will be discussed below as well.

When placing Moneyline bets, punters only choose one player or team that they predict will win the match.

Example 1

Here is an example of how punters can place a bet when there is a match between two teams and betting companies offer decimal odds.

Team A Team B
2.80 3.00

If punters place $100 on Team A, they will get $280 including the original bet, and if they place the same amount on Team B, they will get $300. The second option is less likely to happen, according to the betting company, so the winning amount will be bigger.

Example 2

Punters can also come across this betting offer, where they have the option to predict either a winner or a draw.

Team A Draw Team B
2.80 3.50 3.00

According to the odds in the table, the match is less likely to result in a draw, and Team A is a favorite, while Team B is an underdog.

Point Spreads / Handicaps

Point spreads and handicaps are the same types of bet: the term “handicap” is used in the United Kingdom and Europe, while “point spreads” are more popular in North America.

Punters do not choose the potential winning team. Instead, they choose the participant who is likely to “cover the spread” created by betting companies. The bookmaker also determines the total number of points the team will win by, and punters decide if the number is too high or too low.

Example 1

Team A Team B
+6 -6
-120 -120

The spread is 6 points. Team A is the underdog, as they have been given 6 points, while Team B is the favorite, as they have been deducted 6 points. The odds are -120 for both teams, making them equal favorites to cover the spread.

The possible outcomes are the following:

  • Punter bets on Team A, it wins or loses by less than 6 points, punter wins.
  • Punter bets on Team A, it loses by more than 6 points, punter loses.
  • Punter bets on Team A, it loses by exactly 6 points, punter gets the bet back.
  • Punter bets on Team B, it wins by more than 6 points, punter wins.
  • Punter bets on Team B, it loses the game or wins by less than 6 points, punter loses.
  • Punter bets on Team B, it wins by exactly 6 points, punter gets the bet back.

Example 2

Team A Team B
+6.5 -6.5
-110 -120

The spread has a half-point that eliminates the possibility of just getting a bet back, so punters can only win or lose.

Team A must lose by less than 7 points to cover the spread, and Team B must win by at least 7.

The odds are different in this case as well, which means that Team B is more likely to cover the spread than Team A.

Total bets / Over-Unders

Totals and Over-Unders refer to the same type of bet and are used interchangeably. The bookmaker decides the total number of points to be scored in a game. Punters bet on whether the actual total will be higher or lower than the number offered by the bookmaker.

Example 1

Over Under
12.5 12.5
-110 -110

The half-point is included to make the result clear. If punters back the Over, the match should end with at least 13 total points, while for the Under, the match should end with 12 or fewer points.

Prop Bets / Specials

Prop bets (proposition bets), or specials, are bets on specific aspects of a sports event. Usually, prop bets are not taken seriously, and most of the time they are made for fun. However, in some cases, analytical skills can help to predict the outcome.

Some examples of prop bets are:

  • Who will score the first goal;
  • The time of the first goal;
  • If there will be a penalty;
  • If the team that scored first will win the game.
  • Which player will score more points.

Outrights / Futures

Futures, or outrights, refer to bets on the winner of a specific match, league, or competition in advance, before the event starts.

Fractional odds allow punters and bookmakers to calculate implied probabilities.

Formula:

1/1 = A/B
Probability = B/(B+A) x 100
Teams Odds Probability
Team A 41/10 19.6%
Team B 15/7 31.8%
Team C 28/3 9.7%
Team D 5/1 16.7%

We can see that Team B is likely to win the league, according to the bookmaker. If punters think this team has even better chances of winning, they can bet accordingly.

Parlays / Accumulators

Parlays, or accumulators, are bets on more than one selection. For instance, punters can decide to back five teams to win their next games. These bets are hard to win, as every selection has to be right.

Payouts are calculated according to one of two methods:

  • Fixed payouts based on the number of selections made: x3 for 2 selections, x5 for 4 selections, etc, or:
  • The odds for each individual selection are multiplied.

Other Types of Bets

Progressive Parlays

Progressive parlays are a type of parlay that lowers the risk, as they allow punters to win even if one of their selections is wrong. Two things to keep in mind are that the payouts are significantly lower and these bets must include at least four selections.

Full Cover Bets

These are mainly popular in the United Kingdom and are used to back more than one selection. In contrast to accumulators, a full cover bet does not combine all selections in one bet, but allows punters to make a series of bets to cover all selections in all possible combinations.

For example, if punters choose two selections for a full cover bet, they:

  • Place a single bet on selection 1;
  • Place a single bet on selection 2;
  • Place an accumulator bet on selections 1 and 2.

If selection 1 is the only winner, punters will still win something despite losing their bet on selection 2 and the accumulator.

Full cover bets include:

  • Trixie - three selections;
  • Yankee - four selections;
  • Canadian or Super Yankee - five selections;
  • Heinz - six selections;
  • Super Heinz - seven selections;
  • Goliath - eight selections.

Full cover bets with singles include:

  • Patent - three selections;
  • Lucky 15 - four selections;
  • Lucky 31 - five selections;
  • Lucky 63 - six selections.

Conclusion

The list of possible bets punters can place is huge, as there are opportunities to bet on almost all possible aspects of sports events. In this article on Slotegrator Academy, we have looked at the most popular and basic types of bets punters usually come across in different betting companies and online sportsbooks.