While it’s taken a while to get here, the internet has made many daily tasks more convenient than ever for millions of Americans.
Almost every part of American life has been changed by the internet’s growing popularity. One of the activities most affected by the convenience of using the internet is online shopping. In 2016, 209.6 million people in the US bought things online.
Brick and mortar stores have struggled to keep up with the market trend of consumers’ shopping habits shifting from in-person to online. Stores like JCPenney and Macy’s have floundered, and are threatened with being annihilated entirely by behemoth online retailers like Amazon.
Like shopping, gambling is another American market that has begun to shift online. While in-person sportsbooks are still thriving, unlike their retailer counterparts, gambling is expanding online at a blistering pace.
It’s simpler than ever to place bets online and consumers around the country are taking advantage of it. Now you can use your smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer for every step of the wagering process.
You can deposit money, bet, view odds, and even view games in real-time on some smartphone apps. Online gambling can provide all the glamour and excitement of in-person gambling without the need to go to a brick and mortar sportsbook. Some people even go through the hassle of traveling across state lines to bet on sports in person.
The following 6 steps can help you transition from having no experience at betting on baseball online, to making your first online baseball bet.
1 – Know the Law
The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act limited legal sports betting to Nevada, Oregon, Delaware, and Montana. These states had pre-existing lotteries and sports betting frameworks so they were grandfathered in and allowed to continue offering betting when the 1992 law passed.
In May 2018, the Supreme Court ruled that the federal ban on sports betting was a violation of state’s rights and many states began preparing legislation to legalize sports betting.
In addition to giving states control over in-person sports betting, this law also gave states control over the legality of online betting.
States with Legal Online Betting
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
However, some of these states have restrictions on the online betting process.
Nevada will track your phone to make sure you’re physically in the state before you can make a mobile, online bet.
Bettors in Nevada must also make an account in person at a casino, verify their identity, and make a minimum cash deposit between $50-$100 before betting online.
Mississippi requires bettors to be within the casino to place an online sports bet, which kind of defeats the purpose of placing an online bet in the first place.
Additionally, you must be of the state’s legal betting age and within state boundaries in all states.
2 – Choose an Online Betting Site or App
Once you’ve determined that you’re in a state that allows online betting, your next move should be to find a site or app where you can place some bets.
You can do this in a couple of different ways.
If you’re on a computer, it’s easy enough to google sites, do some research, and find a site that works for you. Check to see if the site has an internet sports betting operator’s license to ensure that you can legally place bets there.
If you’re on a smartphone or tablet, you can use GooglePlay for Android or the App Store for iOS.
App shopping centers are a tremendous resource because you can filter by average customer review to discover a widely-used app. You can also read comments to ensure the app is trustworthy, operates legally, and has an easily usable interface.
An effective user interface is vital, so check the site or app before you sign up to see if you’re comfortable navigating it.
You’ll be better prepared to place bets if the interface is easy to use. Making bets can be stressful and the last thing you want is to get stuck with a clunky interface when you’re trying to put a bet in right before a ballgame.
Some sites or apps will have the option of live betting, which could be the determining factor. The luxury of getting to place live bets in real-time is a great perk.
If you’re watching a game and feel like the starting pitcher’s mechanics are breaking down in the second inning, live betting is a great way to increase your chances of winning.
Many sites or online gambling apps will also offer promotions for new bettors to encourage members to sign up. You can take advantage of these promotions by signing up for multiple sites.
Examples of new service promotions include $125 of risk-free bets and exclusive bonuses on certain deposit betting options. Exclusions will apply though. There’s no such thing as a free lunch and many of these bonuses come with strings attached, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find value in some of them.
Lastly, you’ll want to compare odds across different betting services. Some services offer longer odds and smaller payouts. Pick 1 ball game and compare the odds given across multiple books.
You may find a site or app that gives you much more favorable odds, giving you a shot at a bigger payout with the same stake.
3 – Sign up to Bet
Once you’ve found a website or app you’re comfortable with, you can sign up to bet.
The first part of the signup process you’ll complete is creating an account. Different books may require different account information, but you should expect to enter your name, date of birth, phone number, email, zip code, and preferred currency.
A payment method will also be necessary. Different sportsbooks accept different methods of deposits but some examples of accepted forms of payments are checking account, debit/credit card, or PayPal.
4 – Learn How the Website or App Works
Next, it would be beneficial to just explore the website or app and get a feel for its features.
One consideration is the clarity of the user interface. Make sure the service feels logical and you understand how to make bets, view odds, and withdraw and deposit money. If the website or app is clunky or has a lot of flashy ads, it may be a waste of your time.
A responsive interface is also critical. How many times have you tried to load an image on a website, and been greeted with a big gray box? Websites freezing or loading improperly is one of the most frustrating things about using the internet.
A responsive interface will make your online gambling experience much more pleasant. You’ll know which section of the site or app you’re on, know what the purpose of each page is, and you won’t be left with questions over what bets you’ve made or what the odds of your bets are.
Efficiency is another important consideration. If the website or app doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do or takes a long time to do a simple task, you’ll be left in the dust.
You don’t want to end up with a metaphorical winning ticket in your hand on a bet you didn’t get the chance to make because the website wouldn’t load correctly.
5 – Make Bets
Now we’re getting to the good stuff. The meat and potatoes of online gambling are the actual bets themselves. Looking at and comparing odds, seeing how much you can win, and predicting which team will win are all the biggest thrills of gambling.
Different sites or apps will offer different bet types, so in addition to all the research listed above for a sportsbook, you should also research to see if they even offer the type of baseball bet you want.
Moneyline bets are one of the most common bet types. The book will give you the teams and odds, and you’ll bet on which team you think will win.
Many bettors prefer to bet on the underdog because the payouts are bigger but it’s more important to look at the stats and histories of the 2 teams.
If you know what a spread is, you know what run line bets are already. Like spreads, run line bets add in the fact that the winning team must win by a certain amount of runs for a bet on them to payout.
6 – Withdraw Money
Lastly, once you’ve had your fun making some bets, make sure you know how to withdraw your winnings from the site or app. You’ll be able to withdraw money using one of the same payment methods listed above for depositing money.
Sportsbooks will have to verify your identity and documentation before you can place a withdrawal request. Some sportsbooks may lock your account and only allow a certain amount of money to be withdrawn at a time.
You may be able to only withdraw $200 even though you have $500 in your account if you haven’t cleared a bonus rollover yet.
Do you have any questions about how to bet on baseball online? Let us know in the comments.