Sports Betting 101

The act of placing a stake on an event or outcome that involves chance. The action of betting differs from gambling, which relies on luck alone, because bettors can make educated choices and understand the risks involved in their wagers.

Betting has been around for thousands of years. People have been risking money, possessions and time for the sake of a reward for as long as they’ve had six-sided dice. Generally, betting is considered more responsible than gambling because you’re not throwing your entire bankroll on one bet.

Depending on the game or event you’re betting on, there are many different types of bets. Some are table games, while others require more personal skill such as bowling, skeet ball, pool and some video games. There are also non-casino games such as bingo and lotteries, and casino games like poker and baccarat.

A totals bet (also known as over/under betting) is a type of bet that predicts the number of points, goals or runs scored in a game. The lines are set by the sportsbook and can be over or under a specified amount. The over/under also extends to proposition bets such as how many strikeouts a pitcher will have or how many yards a running back will gain in a single game.

When it comes to sports betting, it’s important to understand that it’s a marathon, not a sprint. A good rule of thumb is to bet only 1% to 2% of your total bankroll on each game. If you start with a bankroll of $1,000, that means risking $10 or $20 per bet. This helps minimize the risk of losing your entire bankroll on one bet and gives you enough room for the bad days that will inevitably happen.