Sports Betting 101 – What to Expect From an Online Sportsbook


A sportsbook is a business that accepts bets on sports events. They make their money by collecting a commission on all wagers placed, known as the vigorish. They also have the ability to offer a wide range of betting options and rewards to their customers.

Unlike retail betting, online sportsbook sites offer a much more convenient and practical way to place your bets. The sites are able to keep up with the latest events, notify you of any important changes and update your bets in real time, as well as provide access to banking methods such as major credit cards.

Online sportsbooks are typically available on desktop computers, mobile devices and through dedicated apps released by the brands themselves. These apps often provide mobile-specific bonuses and promos.

The best sportsbooks will have a variety of different types of bets, and some will even have wagering options that extend beyond the sport in question. It’s a good idea to check out what each site offers before choosing one, as this will help you choose the right betting option for you.

Bets on the Total, Points or Over/Under – This type of bet is based on a simple calculation. A sportsbook will post a total for each game or event, and you can bet on whether it’s higher or lower than the total. A bet on the Over/Under will pay out if the two teams combine for more (Over) or fewer (Under) runs, goals and points than the total posted by the sportsbook.

Same-Game Parlays – This bet is a favorite among sports gamblers because it’s risky and can produce huge payouts. However, sportsbooks can’t be trusted to properly price these bets, so you should always read the fine print before placing your bets.

Lines and Odds – Most online sportsbooks offer a variety of lines, and you should check them before placing your bets to ensure they’re offering the best value for your money. A good tip is to shop around between multiple books, since the lines can differ based on the clients that each book serves.

Props – There are hundreds of props offered at U.S. sportsbooks, making it easier to create a solid betting strategy. Understanding how each prop is priced, and using statistical models to determine the odds, can give you an advantage over the sportsbook’s pricing.

Bonuses & Promotions – A sportsbook’s bonuses can be an excellent incentive to join and play. They can include free bets, betting insurance, boosted odds, profit boosts and other special incentives. These can be a great way to increase your bankroll and boost your winnings.

Customer Support – The customer service team at an online sportsbook should be able to answer your questions about any bets you’ve placed, and help you with any problems you may have. Some sportsbooks are very helpful and offer live chat services, while others have 24/7 support.

Getting Started With Betting – If you’re new to sports betting, the best place to start is with a free practice account. Most online sportsbooks will allow you to do this before you deposit any money, and most will have step-by-step instructions on how to get started.