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The world of gambling, casino games, and live betting has always been an innovative, fast-paced industry where players can hit it rich or lose a fortune. With the advent of the internet, online casino options, betting sites, offshore sportsbooks, and legal online sports betting naturally extended to a broader range of players. Not only did traditional gambling games become much more accessible to players, but so did online sportsbooks, also known as a race and sports book (or sometimes just referred to as book).

Online Sportsbook Basics

Online sportsbooks are online betting sites where players can place wagers on various sporting competitions and major sports leagues, including live betting options, such as college sports, golf, basketball, ice hockey, soccer, college football, professional football, greyhound racing, mixed martial arts, horse racing, and boxing. Players no longer need to travel to Las Vegas to get the best odds. With the advent of online betting sites and popular online sportsbooks, the sports betting industry has shifted. When a player places a bet on what team or competitor the player thinks will be a winning bet, the player can expect to receive his or her winnings after the event finishes, or when played long enough to become official. To the extent there is no winner for some reason, then the sportsbook will return each player’s bet. However, this is rare and dependent on individual sportsbook rules (regarding what is and is not considered official).

Analyzing Relevant Factors

When a player is trying to decide what sportsbook to use, there are a number of factors that should be considered besides figuring out the most popular online sportsbooks. The purpose of this article is to familiarize new sportsbook players with what he or she should look for before placing a bet with a sportsbook. Below is a non-exhaustive list of some factors players should consider. Although many sports betting sites include betting tips and reviews the best online sports betting options, the below should provide our readers with a strong foundation to understand how to evaluate the best online sportsbooks.

Betting Odds - Fractional Odds, Decimal Odds, and American Odds

A player will first need to become familiar with the different types of sports odds that the sportsbook is offering. For example, a player must know the difference between fractional (British) odds, decimal (European) odds, and American (moneyline) odds. Although these three options are basically only a different way to present the same thing and hold no difference regarding the payout that is available to a player, players must understand what they are reviewing and what sportsbook is offering the highest profits to players. In other words, the chance/percentage probability of an event (win or lose) can be displayed and presented in any of the following three ways.

Regardless of how an online sportsbook decides to present the odds, players should review a number of different online sportsbooks to determine what odds are best for the player. To conduct this process fully, a player needs to understand the three types of ways that an online sportsbook can present betting odds for each event.

Fractional Odds: Betting in England and Ireland

Fractional odds are very popular in Ireland and England sports betting and are typically written with a slash (/) or a hyphen (-). For example, if the odds were “ten-to-one,” then it would be displayed under the fractional odds method as 10/1 or 10-1. Players should know that fractional odds are the most preferred odds method across the globe and are unsurprisingly used by many of the world’s largest sportsbooks. Continuing with the 10-1 example, this would mean that a player would win $10 against every $1 the player wagered, in addition to receiving the player’s dollar back (in other words, the amount the player originally wager. Said another way, this is the ratio of the player’s profit obtained from the player’s initial wager – so the player will receive his or her $1 wager in addition to the $10 profit.

Let’s try a more complicated, but also more realistic, example of how a player can calculate his or her total payout when reviewing the fractional odds. Indeed, knowing your competitive odds is key to identifying the best sportsbooks. Using the above example, we know that the calculation for the total payout of a winning bet can be calculated by using the following formula: Total Payout = (Wager X [fractional odd fraction]) + Wager. Using numbers makes this equation fairly simple. For example, let us assume that a number of online sportsbooks are listing the fractional odds for futures betting on whether your favorite sports team or archrival will win the championship. Your favorite team’s fractional odds are 10/12, and your team’s archrival’s fractional odds are only 8/1. This means that a player will win only $10 against every $12 wagered on your favorite team to win the championship. On the other hand, players betting for your archrival to win will receive $8 against each $1 that player bet.

Using the Total Payout calculation will provide a player with what type of profit they can expect from placing a wager on either team. For your favorite team, if your team won the championship, the profit on a $100 bet would be $83.33 ([$100 x (10/12]) and after receiving back the initial wager of $100, the total payout would be $183.33. But players who bet that your archrival would win, and the archrival won, players would receive a higher profit of $800 ([$100 x (8/1)]) and of course receive their initial $100 wager, therefore receiving a total payout of $900.

Decimal Odds: Betting in Continental Europe

In Australia, Canada, New Zeeland, and continental Europe, the decimal odds system is the most popular way to display betting odds. This is also much simpler to understand and implement because it is very easy to understand who is favored to win. The decimal odds number represents what a player will win with every $1 the player wagers. The decimal odds number also represents the total payout, rather than the profit. Thus, a player’s wager is already included in the decimal odds number and therefore there is no need to add back in the player’s wager like we did above in the fractional odds total payout calculator.

The calculation for determining the total payout under the decimal odds is very simple, and only requires a player to multiply his or her stake by the decimal odds number. Using another example to demonstrate this point, let us assume that team A and team B are in the football finals. Team A has a decimal odds to win of 4.50 and team B has a decimal odds to win of 1.8. Each of these decimals just represents the amount that a player can win for each $1 wager.

If a player wagered $100, then the player can receive a total payout of $450 if team A wins and only $180 if team B wins. Remember that this amount also reflects the initial wager being received by the player, so to calculate profit the player will need to subtract $100 (i.e., the initial stake) from the total payout. A player should also remember that when the total payout is higher, which will be reflected by a higher decimal number, this means that it is less probable, and therefore risker, that the certain party will win (in this example, team A).

American Odds: Betting in America

As the name suggests, the American odds are most popular in the United States. For American odds, the team/person that is favored to win is accompanied by a minus (-) sign, indicating the amount a player will need to stake to win $100. On the other hand, if a team/person is not favored to win, then the odds are accompanied by a positive plus (+) sign, indicating the amount a player will win for every $100 wagered.

A player will obviously also get his or her initial wager back if their team wins, in addition to the winnings/profits. And as can be expected, the odds for the favorite and the projected loser will widen as the probability of winning for the favorite increases.

For example, there are two teams playing against each other and a player wants to bet on the outcome of the game. Using the American odds system, team X has a +600 money line and team Y has a -800 money line. This means that the online bookmaker has placed a much lower probability on team X winning the game – if a player bets $100 and team X won, then the player would win a profit of $600 plus the initial $100 wager, meaning that the total winnings would be $700. And if a player decided to bet on the favorite (team Y), then a player will need to bet $800 in order to receive a $100 profit – thus, a player that bet $800 for team Y to win would receive a $100 profit and their initial $800 wager for a total payout of $900.

Reviewing A Sportsbook's Reputation

We at Sportstypist do our homework carefully and will only list the best and most trustable bookies out there. An online sportsbook’s reputation is one of the most important things that a player should focus on. For many people, betting online or just logging into online sports betting sites can be overwhelming. The advent of sports betting apps and mobile sports betting has compounded the problem. A player should review how long the online sportsbook has been in business and confirm how the online sportsbook keeps the player’s financial and personal information secure. No player should assume a betting site is a common website among sports bettors or that the betting site is considered one of best online sportsbooks.

Sportsbook's Reviews for Others

Along with the length of time that an online sportsbook has existed, a player should also take time to analyze reviews from other players to figure out what he or she can expect from using the sportsbook. Top sports betting sites and other top online betting sites should have strong sportsbook reviews and offer great sportsbook bonuses. Players should try to find reviews that explain a player's online betting experience and look for tangible examples for what players look for among the best betting sites.

Sportsbook's Legal Status

Being licensed and regulated is also very important. Legal sports betting when placing a bet online is crucial, regardless of whether you are playing a casino game, deposit money with an online sportsbook or offshore sportsbook, conducting Florida sports betting, or are betting on a game during the NFL season. A player should review each online sportsbooks' license information and determine what jurisdiction the online sportsbook is based in. A player will want to confirm that the jurisdiction has a strong precedent for protecting consumers that play at online sportsbooks and protecting consumer information. There are a large number of online betting sites that players can review to determine what sportsbooks are most reliable. And most countries have a list of websites that are allowed. For example, a list of licensed sportsbooks in Latvia.

Comparing Different Sites

Closely related to evaluating the trustworthiness of a site before conducting online sports betting, players need to evaluate different betting options. For example, players may only think they want to know what the best online betting sites are, and confirm that all are legal online sportsbooks. However, players should also consider offshore betting sites, learning what others believe are the best sportsbook, and if sportsbook apps on your phone are right for you. Casting a wide net in your initial review is key to success.

Types of Bets

Along with determining the sports betting odds and trustworthiness of an online sportsbook, a player should review each online sports betting site to see what types of online bets he or she can make on the available sports betting sites. A risk free bet as a welcome bonus for new players could be an important option for you to decide to start betting via online gambling. Other sportsbooks online are considered one of the best sports betting sites if the online sportsbook offers prop bets.

In addition, the player should also learn whether he or she can play live/in-play bets, meaning that the player can place bets on sports events while they are actually taking place. For example, a player can bet on what football player will make the second goal. With respect to the types of bets a player can make, there are a number of different options. For example, the online sportsbook should offer money lines, point spreads, over/under, and parlays. Each type of bet is briefly summarized below.

Moneylines

This may be the simplest kind of bet. A player has the option to choose which team will win and a player’s profits will depend on the money line (discussed above). There is also something called a situational moneyline bet, which is when there is no clear favorite regarding what team might win. For example, the + and – may both be around 100.

Point Spreads

Point spreads are a way for an online sportsbook to make a matchup between a very good team and a very bad team more balanced by giving or taking away points from each team. The favorite to win the game is designated by a minus sign while the underdog is designated with a plus sign. If a point spread was 4.5, this means that the team that is favored to win will need to win by five or more points in order for the player to win the bet.

Over/Under

Also known as a totals bet, a player is betting on the combined score for both teams, which is set by the online sportsbook before the game starts. In other words, the player will determine whether the total number of points scored by both teams will be under or over the amount that the online sportsbook selected.

Parlays

One of the most popular forms of betting, this is when a player can bet on two or more point spreads, over/unders, or moneyline bets and receive a higher payout if all of the player’s picks one. In other words, if even one bet in the player’s parlay losses, then the entire parlay bet loses. Players should remember that the parlay can mix sporting events and can include different types of bets.

Welcome Bonus Offers

Players should consider the different types of bonuses that each sportsbook offers. In short, when players make winning bets, they should want the ability to make even more money. Most betting sites provide their players with a welcome bonus, which is a bonus granted to a player once they sign up. A welcome bonus can include free bets offers. Free bets, as a part of a welcome bonus, are offered by top online sportsbooks to reward new players for signing up with their site. Free bets can either be implemented by the sportsbook crediting a player's account or simply giving players the ability to place bets for free. But players should take heed, a welcome bonus normally expires after a certain period of time.

Reload Bonus Offers

For continuing players, a top online sportsbook will offer players reload bonuses. Reload bonuses are just what they sound like -- a sportsbook will match a portion of the player's deposits after its first deposit up to a certain dollar or percentage amount. Players should understand that a reload bonus is unlike a welcome bonus because a reload bonus can be obtained for each deposit, while a welcome bonus is a one-time offer.

Conclusion

To fully analyze what online sportsbook is right for a player, a player should first narrow down his or her choices based on the reliability and reviews of the sportsbook. From then, a player will need to review the betting odds and types of bets being offered by the online sportsbook. It is quite likely that a player will decide to bet using two or more online sportsbooks. However, before betting, a player should become familiar with the sportsbook’s betting odds and types of bets.