Sports Betting – Learn the Different Types of Wagers

The first step in betting is learning the different types of wagers. There is a big learning curve, and many newcomers to sports betting get overwhelmed. But if you take the time to learn how the various betting formats work, you can increase your chances of winning big.

Straight bets are individual wagers on the outcome of a game or event. You can win more than the amount you bet, depending on the odds. The odds, also known as money lines, show you how much you can win if your team wins and how much you need to bet to win $100. The odds can be displayed in American, decimal and fractional formats. The odds for a team that isn’t favored to win have a plus sign, while the odds for a favored team have a minus sign.

A parlay is a combination of two or more bets that offers a larger payout if all the bets win. The payouts can vary based on the number of teams included and the prices of their tickets. You can even bet on multiple games at once, which is called dutching.

Most bettors, handicappers and experts measure their success in units. If someone says they won $30,000 this month, that’s probably not a good thing. If they use a unit system, such as the Kelly formula, they’ll have a better idea of how much to risk on each bet. They’ll be able to guard themselves against a bad streak and make more bets when they are winning.