Explanation of the Various Bet Types

These are only the major types, please consult your Sportsbook for the types of bets they offer.

Straight Bets

Straight bets are placed where a team and the point spread are chosen.

Example Of A Straight Bet:

The easiest method to explain it is using an example:

  • Team A: -5 (Favourite)
  • Team B: +5 (Underdog)

If you place a straight wager on Team A at –5 then Team A must win by 6 or more points for you to win the wager.

If you place a straight bet on Team B at +5, they cannot lose by more than 4 points for you to win the wager.

In the event of the game landing on 5 points, the game is a push, resulting in "no action".

Another example of a straight bet is called an Over/Under Wager (also called Totals wager).

Example Of An Over/Under Wager:

Again the easiest way to explain is via example:

  • Team A vs.Team B - Total: 25

If you bet on UNDER, the combined score of both Team A and Team B must fall under the value that was bet on, for this example being 25, for you win the bet.

The same goes for the OVER bet, if the combined score of Team A and Team B is over the wagered value (again, for this example being 25), you win the bet.

If the combined score is equal to the wagered value (i.e. 25), the bet is a "push" resulting in "no action".

If & Reverse Bets

An IF bet is a way of linking to bets, almost like parlay. The big difference is it is not an all or nothing bet. It works on the principal that "if" the first bet wins, then the second bet must must come into effect. If the first bet loses, the second bet will not be placed.

What is confusing about this bet, is that the second bet's game could have started before the first bet's game. The starting times of the games are irrelevant.

The REVERSE bet is the same as the IF bet, except that it works the IF bet in reverse order as well. The easiest way to explain is by example.


The Bet:

  • 2 team reverse for $100
  • Team A: -3
  • Team B: 38

This is equivalent to having the following bets:

  • 2 team IF bet
  • Team A -3 risking $110 to win $210 If win, tie, cancel
  • Team B 38 risking $110 to win $210
  • 2 team if bet
  • Team B 38 risking $110 to win $210 If win, tie, cancel
  • Team A -3 risking $110 to win $210

On the first IF bet you are risking $110 to win $310 and so on the second if wager.

Therefore, with a Reverse bet you are risking a maximum of $220 to win a maximum of $620.

Thus, the possible scenarios are:

  • Team A win and Team B win: In this situation you will win the maximum possible. In this case a total of $400 plus the $220 risked for a total of $620.
  • Team A win and Team B lose: In this case on the first if bet (Team A if to the Team B) you win the top straight bet and lose the second one. For a total loss of $10. On the second if (Team B if to the Team A) you lose the first straight, having no action on the second one. For the second if there is a loss of $110. This gives a net loss of $120 for this situation.
  • Team B win and Team A lose: This follows the same result as the last example.
  • Both teams lose: This would make for this example the worst-case scenario and you would lose the $220.

This type of bet is always "Full Action"

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Parlays (or Accumulators)

This bet is where between 2 and 8 teams are chosen to win. If any of the chosen teams are cancelled or ties with their opponents, the parlay is reduced. For example, if 6 teams where chosen and one team is cancelled and another two tie, the bet is reduced to 3. If any of the teams lose, the bet is lost.

Usual Parlay Odds

  • 2 Teams Pay 13/5
  • 3 Teams Pay 6/1
  • 4 Teams Pay 12/1
  • 5 Teams Pay 25/1
  • 6 Teams Pay 40/1
  • 7 Teams Pay 60/1
  • 8 Teams Pay 100/1
  • 9 Teams Pay 200/1
  • 10 Teams Pay 400/1

If only two teams remain in the parlay bet, it becomes a straight bet.

Teaser Bets

A teaser bet is basically a combination of a straight bet and parlay. Only difference is you choose a certain teaser bet with a value attached (i.e. 6, 6½, 7) and at least two teams. The value you choose gives you that amount of leeway on the straight bet.


Let's say you bet a two-team 6 point teaser, taking Team A over Team B and Team C over Team D. Let's say Team A are -7.5 point favorites and Team C are +3.5 point underdogs. With the 6 point teaser you can improve the line 6 points in your favor. This implies that Team A is then at -1.5 and Team C at +9.5 against Team D.

Once the games are played, the bets works like a normal point spread bet (straight bet), except that the extra points are added in to determine the winner. In the above example, if Team A won by 2 or more points AND Team C lost by less than 9 points, you would be a winner.

For more excitement and a higher winning percentage while betting, make sure you try out live betting next time you bet. Betting live online has taken the betting scene by storm and many bookmakers today are showing live sporting events with bet in play capabilites.

Action Points

With the Action Points bet you are basically saying that the team will win or lose by more than the point spread. The easiest way to explain is by an example:


Let's say Team A is -3 favorites over Team B. You do a $10 Action Point wager for Team A to win. For every point more than 3 that Team A wins by, you win $10. Let's say, Team A wins by 10 points, you would win $70. But, if Team A lose by, say 4 points, you'd be out $77 (the 3 point spread plus the 4 that Team A lost by, gives you a 7 point total). This is based on a 100/110 scenario.

With this bet you can specify the maximum number of points you are betting on. Most sportsbooks usually have a minimum of 7 and maximum of 100 points.

Often with Action Points bets, the bookie or sportsbook provider would require that you have a big enough bankroll to cover an absolute loss on the bet (this means if you bet 20 points at $10, you should have at least $220 on your bankroll).

Round Robin

A Round Robin bet works the same as two-team parlays. With a round robin bet between 3 and 6 teams are chosen. The bet is then all possible combinations of a two team parlay. The amount of two team parlays can be calculated using the formula - (Number of Teams) x ((Number of Teams - 1)/2)

For example, if a five team round robin bet is made, there are 5x((5-1)/2) two team parlay bets made, in other words 10 two team parlay bets.

The risk in a round robin bet is calculated by multiplying the number of parlay bets by the amount that is bet for each two team parlay. The maximum win is where you multiply the profit by the number of parlays

Buying Points

This works in conjunction with straight bets, but you can adjust the point spread by "buying" points.

Let's say Team A is given +4.5, but you like them at +5, you can then buy the half point. The bet you place is the $12 instead of $11 to win $10 (i.e. initial bet + $10)

The only exception on most sprotsbooks are around the number 3 (because the trend exists of game margins being three), where buying points are usually more expensive.

Half-Time Wager

This type of bet is exactly what is says, a bet that is placed on a half of a game.

First half bet: This is placed on the first half of the game and is completed at the end of the first half. It is made as a straight bet.

Second half bet: This bet is placed on the second half of the game. The score of the first half is ignored. If overtime is played, these points are also included. It is also made as a straight bet.

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Money Lines

With this bet you can wager on a team without using the spread. For this bet the sportsbook will have monetary values next to the teams.


  • Team A: +$240
  • Team B: -$280

Team B are the favorites and the value ($280) is the amount you will have to wager to win $100

Team A are the underdogs and the value ($240) is what you'll win if you placed a $100 bet.

Supremacy or Spread Betting

This is originally from European and Australian books and is there version of the Action Points bet.

The bookmaker would list the "spread" (not the traditional spread) as "TEAM A, 1-5".

The good news with type of bet is that winners get $10 for each point and losers only lose $10 per point and not the $11 as with other bets.

The bad news is that if Team A win by between 1 to 5 points, everybody loses!

Not a great type of bet if you consider in most football matches, the margin is 3 points!

Props (or Propositions)

This is usually any other "strange" bet.

For example: "Which quarterback will throw the longest pass?"

The odds are usually quoted in money line format for each possible outcome. Be careful with this type of bet, because they can easily put you in the red if the money line gives the bookmaker too much.