TUCoPS :: Scams :: gamble_s.txt

Rec.Gambling Sports Betting FAQ:

Archive-name: gambling-faq/sports
URL: http://www.conjelco.com/faq/sports.html

Frequently Asked Questions about Sports Betting

This is the Sports Betting section of the rec.gambling Frequently Asked
Questions (FAQ) list.

Most of the information in the FAQ was taken from the Art Manteris book
"Superbookie". Published by Contemporary Books Inc. Copyright 1991.

Changes or additions to this section of the FAQ should be submitted to:

Page last modified: 2-5-95

Table of Contents

Section S: Sports Betting
S1 Where can I bet legally on Sports?
S2 What sports can I bet on?
S3 What is "the spread"?
S4 Why do I have to bet $11 to win $10?
S5 What are all of the different types of bets?
S6 Can I make a million dollars with one bet?
S7 Who makes the odds?
S8 Do I have to be over 21 to bet on sports?
S9 What is the minimum bet that must be reported to the IRS?
S10 Are there any good books or articles on sports gambling topics?


Q:S1 Where can I bet legally on Sports?

You can bet leaglly on Sports in the United States only at a licensed
Nevada Sports Book and in the Oregon State Lottery. If you try hard enough
you can probably find an illegal bookie in your home town, but frequently
their odds are worse than those can get in Nevada. In most cases, you are
not allowed to phone in wagers to a Nevada Sports Book across state lines,
but there are exceptions. (What they are, I'm not sure. Anyone else know?)

Q:S2 What sports can I bet on?

You can bet on any sport the Sports Book you are wagering with covers. At
most books, this includes professional and college football and basketball,
professional baseball, professional hockey, and horse and dog racing. Every
now and then Sports Books will offer proposition bets (see below) on events
like professional golf tournaments and the Indy 500 and the like, but not
on a regular basis for other events in those sports.

Q:S3 What is "the spread"?

The spread is a point advantage given to a weaker team that is expected to
lose by X number of points. This is the odds makers way of making even bets
possible for a Sports Book. Usually if you bet against the spread you make
an 11-10 bet. This means that you win $10 if you bet $11 for a total of $21
if your team covers the spread.

A team covers the spread if it wins the game with the score modified by the
spread. If Dallas and Washington are playing and the spread is (Dallas -7),
then Dallas has to win by at least 8 points to cover. Half-point spreads
are also possible.

Q:S4 Why do I have to bet $11 to win $10?

This is one of the many ways the Sports book makes it's money. In an ideal
situation, the same amount of money will be bet on both sides of the line
and the Sports Book will take it's 10% from the losing side. If $55000
($50000 and an addition $5000 to make the bets) was bet on Washington and
$55000 bet on Dallas, no matter who wins the game the SB will make $5000.
In case of a tie, all money is refunded. This is a rather simplified
version as the spread moves when one side becomes more heavily bet on.

Q:S5 What are all of the different types of bets?

Proposition bet

A prop bet is a bet the SB offers at odds and conditions of it's choosing.
Prop bets can be exotic bets like which team will score the most
touchdowns, which team will shoot the most three pointers, which running
back will rush for the most yards, etc. Most prop bets are offered at 11-10
odds, but some of the exotics will be offered at better or worse odds,
depending on the bet.

Money Line Bets

A money line bet is a bet on the straight up total of an event or the odds
for a straight up prop bet. There are two totals given for either side on a
money line bet. A negative and a plus side.

                        Dallas          -170
                        Washington      +150

What this means is that for every $17 you bet on Dallas, you win $10 if
they win. For every $10 you bet on Washington, you win $15 if they win.
This is the way SB's make money off games by not giving points.

Spread Bets

These are the standard bets to make. Basically a proposition bet at 11-10
odds where the conditions are you give or take points on the team you are
betting on hoping that the modified total of your teams score beats the
other teams straight score. Bets on the spread are often know as straight
bets because they pay even money (minus the 10% vig).

                        Tampa Bay       +19 1/2
                        Miami           -19 1/2

This means that if you bet on Miami, Miami needs to score at least 20 more
points than Tampa to cover. If you bet on Tampa, the score must be at least
within 19 for you to win. The bottom team is almost always the home team.

Over/Under Bets

These are also 11-10 bets on what the total of the game will be. If the
total posted on a game is 39 1/2 points, then you can wager that the total
score of both teams added together will be either over or under the posted
total. Betting the over is known as "betting on the ball", betting under is
known as "betting on the clock".

                        Chicago         -5 1/2  +130    1:00 pm
                        Atlanta         +5 1/2  -150    42 1/2

This gives the money line, the point spread, and the total for the game. It
also tells you that Atlanta is the home team, and the game starts at 1:00
pm. As far as I know, this is the standard posting at mosts Books.


A parlay bet is betting on the outcome of two or more events, and getting
higher odds than betting on the outcome of both events. The drawback is
that the odds aren't right and that you must win all of the events to win
the parlay.

                # of plays      Standard Odds   True Odds
                ----------      -------------   ---------
                2 plays             13-5           3-1
                3 plays             6-1            7-1
                4 plays             10-1           15-1
                5 plays             20-1           31-1
                6 plays             40-1           63-1
                7 plays             80-1           127-1

The more events parlayed the worse the odds shift in the casinos advantage.
The advantage for the player for parlays lies in the fact that he can bet
more on the same game (spread and over/under) and he can bet more on two
teams who are playing at the same time.

In order to be competitive, some casinos offer ties-win parlay cards. This
greatly helps the player. The Las Vegas Hilton SB is one of these.


A teaser bet is a bet where you can move the spread by a set amount, but
have to pay to do it. You must bet at least two teams like a parlay and win
both. You can move the spread by on all the games by the set amount.

                              Football Teasers

        # of teams      6 pts           6 1/2 pts       7 pts
        ----------      -----           ---------       -----
        2 teams         11-10           5-6             5-7
        3 teams         8-5             3-2             6-5
        4 teams         5-2             2-1             9-5
        5 teams         4-1             7-2             3-1
        6 teams         6-1             5-1             4-1

                             Basketball Teasers

        # of teams      4 pts           4 1/2 pts       5 pts
        ----------      -----           ---------       -----
        2 teams         11-10           5-6             5-7
        3 teams         8-5             3-2             6-5
        4 teams         5-2             2-1             9-5
        5 teams         4-1             7-2             3-1
        6 teams         6-1             5-1             9-2

Buying a half point

You can shift the spread a half point in your favor by laying 6-5 odds
instead of the standard 11-10. This is called buying a half point. You
usaully want to stay away from this bet except on three point spreads on
football games. This is also know as "buying the hook".

Q:S6 Can I make a million dollars with one bet?

Sure. Either bet $550,000 straight up, or go to Little Ceaser's which
offers a $2,000,000 payoff on a $5 parlay card if you can pick 20 out of

Q:S7 Who makes the odds?
A:S7 (Philip Galanter)

Las Vegas Sports Consultants Inc., establishes the odds for about 75% of
the licensed Sports Books in Nevada, as well as for the Oregon State
Lottery. It is run by Michael 'Roxy' Roxborough. He also operates as a
consultant on gaming stratigies, management, marketing, and personnel. Most
illegeal books in and out of Nevada draw their odds from what is posted at
the various casinos. Transmitting gambling information across state lines
for the purpose of placing or taking bets is illegal. News items about
point spreads and the like can be reported for informational and
entertainment purposes only.

Q:S8 Do I have to be over 21 to bet on sports?


Q:S9 What is the minimum bet that must be reported to the IRS?

Well all gambling wins and losses are supposed to be reported to the IRS at
the end of the year, but if you bet more than $10,000 at once, you must
fill out some IRS paperwork at the ticket counter. All money won must be
reported to the IRS.

Q:S10 Are there any good books or articles on sports gambling topics?
A:S9 (Philip Galanter)

Here are some sports gambling related books I've found to be useful, in
suggested reading order for beginners. The obscure ones I've purchased from
the Gamblers Book Club, although I don't know if they are still in print. I
tend to like writers that are objective and more interested in your winning
than being a fan.

Orkin, Mike. "Can You Win?", W.H.Freeman and Co., 1991. IBSN 0-7167-2155-4

     Presents a general overview of gambling presenting the real odds
     of various games. It only assumes a high school level of
     mathematics understanding. The 32 page section on sports betting
     doubles as a guide to the various betting options available, and
     there is also a 16 page section on horserace betting. A brief
     treatment on Kelly betting as applied to sports gambling is

     An overview concentrating on the question posed by the title, the
     author concludes the sports section with the observation:

     "If you're going to gamble, which games should you play? I
     recommend sports betting. There are two reasons for this: 1 -
     Unlike in roulette, craps, and keno, it's impossible to prove
     that you can't win in the long run. 2 - When you win, it's
     because you're smart, and when you lose, it's because somebody

Sugar, Bert Randolph. "The Caesars Palace Sports Book of Betting", St.
Martin's Press, 1992. IBSN 0-312-05058-5 (paper)

     The author is a well known sports writer and Las Vegas insider. A
     good popular introduction to sports betting with equal amounts of
     information on betting terms, options, odds, and the like,
     various considerations for each major sport; advice on
     handicapping based on matchups, streaks, injuries and stat.s;
     history and color; and money management.

Manteris, Art, (with Rick Talley). "SuperBookie - Inside Las Vegas Sports
Gambling", Contemporary Books, 1991. IBSN 0-8092-4430-6 (cloth)
0-8092-3845-4 (paper)

     A good second book to read, after perhaps the Sugar or Orkin
     books as an introduction, Manteris shares his observations as the
     Director of the Hilton Race and Sports Organization...aka the
     SuperBook. Interesting stories about the early days, why the
     house doesn't always win, how point spreads are set and moved as
     a practical matter, how the house calculates its take, scams, mob
     involvement (now mostly not) and more.

Peter Asch and Richard E. Quandt. "Racetrack Betting - The Professors'
Guide to Strategies", Praeger Publishers, 1986. IBSN 0-275-94103-5 (paper)

     Written by 2 academics from Rutgers and Princeton, this book
     seems to be a trustworthy analysis of betting at the horseraces.
     Included is an overview and analysis of popular strategies,
     subjective and objective analysis of available information and
     statistics, utility functions as applied to the public and
     wagering behavior (important given the paramutual basis of the
     odds), and the bottom line on some complex systems by the
     authors, Ziemba, and Quandt which seem to actually work.

Bob Carrol, Pete Palmer, and John Thorn. "The Hidden Game of Football",
Warner Books, 1988. IBSN 0-446-39091-7 (paper)

     While addressing sports betting only in passing, this book
     concentrates on innovative methods for detailed sports statistics
     analysis leading to accurate predictions. "Scientific"
     handicappers will find this book very stimulating.

Miller, Colonel J.R. "How Professional Gamblers Beat the Pro Football
Pointspread - a step by step textbook guide", Flying M Group, 1993. IBSN
0-9636500-0-9 (spiral bound)

     This is a self published specialty book available from Gamblers
     Book Club or by mail order. While the quality of most spiral
     bound gambling editions are suspect, this book is reasonably
     good. It provides a detailed analysis of how a serious gambler
     factors in pointspreads, power ratings, injuries, motivations,
     weather, and statistics to win over the long haul. The section on
     money management should be taken with a grain of salt, as it
     proposes flat betting as almost optimal, a modified plateau
     system as even better, and the "Kelly system" as a formula for
     disaster, in a rather unqualified way.

Michael Roxborough and Mike Rhoden. "Race and Sports Book Management - a
guide for the legal bookmaker", (publisher not noted) 1991. IBSN
0-31-53873-6 (spiral bound)

     Written by "Roxy" Roxborough, the provider of the spread and
     other services to most major sports books in Nevada via his Las
     Vegas Sports Consultants Inc. This book covers in moderate detail
     the mechanics of running a legal sports book, including setting
     and moving the spread, various economic measures such as the
     handle and practical hold percentage, overlays, parlays, limits,
     the law and regulations.

Pascual, M. "Bankroll Control - the mathematics of money management",
(publisher not noted) 1987. No IBSN noted.

     While poorly published (xeroxed, white-out corrections, hand
     written corrections and page numbers) this odd and perhaps
     difficult to find spiral book is a treasure trove of practical
     analysis applying Kelly betting to sports and racing gambling.
     Theory is light and presented with (hand drawn) graphs where
     possible. The book presents a numerical recipe approach to even
     complicated betting scenarios such as simultaneous games,
     simultaneous single and multiple parlay plays, win-show-place
     betting, and more. Also included are some useful tables
     (variables include % of wins, number of teams, variations to
     include parlays or not) showing optimal bets, risk and
     expectancy. Also included are some program listings in BASIC for
     (now mostly obsolete) hand calculaters that may be useful as

     The cosmetics do not, however, inspire trust. It would be nice if
     a r.g math ween would review it.


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