Gambling on sporting events and gambling on casino games are two unique practices and hold many different rules and regulations, but the two activities certainly share similarities.
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What are the similarities between sports betting and casino gambling?
All sporting events we punt on have set odds which have been established by the specific bookmaker you are betting with. Depending on the sport, those odds can be ‘fixed’ when you bet (once you place the bet, your odds remain the same), or punters can practice ‘parimutuel betting’; a system in which all bets on a certain outcome are placed together in a pool, and the odds are calculated on the quantities of bets received for that outcome. In Australia, this is called the Tote (totalisator).
In Tote betting (typically associated with thoroughbred, greyhound and harness racing), the sports bookie displays the approximate odds it believes the punter will receive for the specific event the punter is betting on. Those odds are subject to change, as more money is placed on the different outcomes of the event, and the official odds are not known until the event has resulted.
When betting on casino games, all games played against the house will have ‘fixed’ odds, but such odds are typically expressed slightly differently to how sports bookmakers in Australia express their odds.
For example, in sports betting in Australia, bookmakers express their odds like so:
- Team A is paying $1.40 to win the football match (favourite).
- Team B is paying $2.95 to win the football match (underdog).
- A draw is paying $34.
So for each $1 amount you place on Team B to win, you will receive 2.95 times that amount if successful. Place $10 on Team B to win, and if it does, get paid out $29.95.
In a casino game, such as roulette, winning a straight-up bet (placing a bet on a single number and winning), pays 35:1. So for each $1 amount you place on that outcome, you will receive 35 times that amount if successful. Place $10 on the number 23 and if it hits, get paid out $350.
So while the fixed odds are expressed slightly differently in sport and casino gambling, the concept remains similar. However, sport events allow for fluctuations in betting markets (for example, Team A might be paying $2.95 when you placed your bet, but two days later be paying $2.80 – your odds remain $2.95), while casino game odds are set in stone.
Typically in sport, punters have some prior knowledge of what factors might impact the result of the event, and those factors play a part in helping the punter decide who or what to wager on. Whether wagering on a player to win a tennis tournament, a football team to win a certain match or the correct score in a soccer game, punters will usually have done some prior research or at least know a bit about the event taking place in order to come to an informed decision.
Here, sports betting is similar to casino gambling in that many casino games, such as blackjack, poker and video poker require skill and nous on the player’s part in order to make the best choices which will assist in successfully winning their bet. Correct strategy is required in all the above three games in order to boost odds of success, while knowledge about a specific sports team, player, history, weather and other influencing factors is paramount to working out who or what you should wager on.
With hundreds of betting markets now available within any given sport (check out popular sports betting site Bet365 for an example), punters also have the option to wager on events which hold legitimate 50/50 odds, and where skill or prior knowledge will play no role in helping to decide which outcome will be successful. For example, punters can wager on who will win the coin toss in a cricket match or whether the total points in a game of rugby will be odd or even, with odds typically around $1.90 for both possible outcomes.
Here, sports betting is similar to casino gambling in that many other casino games, such as roulette, baccarat, sic bo and craps, also have betting options which are completely left up to chance, require no skill, and offer wagers with odds very near 50 per cent.
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So whether you prefer skill-based gambling or luck-based wagering, sports and casino games allow for both forms of betting, and the excitement and entertainment factor remains steadfast in both playing real money casino games and betting on your favourite sporing event, and watching it unfold.
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