Top 3 Ways to Bet on Sports and Other Events

There are different ways to make bets with other people. Basically there are three types, which may or may not be legal where you live. These are:

- person-to-person betting - sportsbook betting - betting exchange

- Person-to-person betting is the simplest of all. You and someone you know make opposite wagers on the outcome of an event, say the weather. The betting is usually one-to-one, meaning you both wager the same amount of money and whoever wins gets the other's money. This is called "fair betting" but it isn't really fair if the "true odds" of the wager are unequal. To use the weather example, if it has been raining every morning lately, and the forecast is bleak, the chances are higher that it will rain again the next morning. So the punter who bets that it won't rain "deserves" a higher return for their bet.

Next time a punter friend talks you into betting on an underdog, ask for better odds for you. Say, double or triple their stake depending on what you two feel are the true odds.

- Sportsbook betting is different. Let's say, you want to win $250 for a $100 wager on an underdog boxer. But your punter buddy is unwilling to match your bet (meaning, they don't want to risk $250 just to win your $100). You can then go to the local sportsbooks (or online) and see if they offer betting rates that match what you like. In an American sportsbook, you may see odds like Favorite -$290 vs. Underdog + $210. The odds there weren't made by an ordinary punter like you, but the sportsbook who also charges a commission. If you like the odds, you place your bet and hope to win.

- Betting exchanges have changed the way punters gamble on sports. A betting exchange is really person-to-person betting, but it is done online through a betting exchange host who charges a fee for the service. The advantage here is that there is no need for a middleman or broker, namely the sportsbook. There is no need for one because you can just go online and wager against anyone willing to match your bet. No bookie sets the odds; the punters all do it themselves.

Sportsbooks or bookmakers complain that since betting exchanges make "laying" or betting a selection to lose possible, it makes sports more liable to "match fixing." Not every jock can promise their horse will win, yet a jockey can easily make a horse lose. In fairness to the betting exchanges, measures are taken against such activities. It should also be noted that match fixing happens with or without betting exchanges, anyway.

No matter who or where you go to to make your bets, make sure you understand the terms first. You must understand the payment methods, payout terms and also conditions for validating the wagers. Many factors can affect a sports match which can nullify bets, for instance, bad weather and technical problems. So before you back that player to win, be sure you know what you're ding.