Let me say right off the bat that sports betting is not for everyone. It’s only better if it’s better for you.
If you’re curious about sports betting, then I think it has a lot to offer. Like everything else, betting on sports has its strengths and weaknesses.
But if it has advantages, it’s reasonable to ask, advantages over what? Well, I have personally concluded that there are numerous advantages over casino games.
For someone who has never bet on sports, the advantages are not always obvious. So, keep reading if you’d like to learn more.
1 – There Are a Lot of Ways to Bet on Sports
From the office pool to a friendly bet with your neighbor, sports betting is ubiquitous in our culture. You don’t see people making roulette wheels out of trash can lids, but you’ve probably made a bet over how far you or a friend can throw a rock.
My point is that sports betting begins early in life even if it doesn’t involve money. Kids make wagers on foot races, bicycle stunts, playing marbles, and hundreds of other impromptu games and competitions.
By the time you’re of a certain age and ready to bet on US sports with real money, you’ve probably already made a few bets. You may not know the ins and outs of the lingo, but there are online glossaries for sports betting to help you come up to speed.
Real money sports betting can be done in person at a bookmaker venue, on your smartphone via an app, or online from your home computer.
And you have a choice of using a bookmaker or being your own bookie by setting up an account with a sports betting exchange.
I have a friend who informally bets on sports through email, although I’ve never tried it myself.
2 – There Are so Many Sports Available
Most people bet on baseball, basketball, football, soccer, and a few other sports.
But if you can find a sport somewhere in the world you’ve never heard of, there’s a good chance someone is betting on it.
If you’re not into one kind of sport, there’s always another. If your favorite sportsbook doesn’t offer bets on a game or sport you like, you can use a betting exchange to make your own prop bets. You can basically be your own bookie!
There are two standard variations on roulette and a few customizations like Sands Roulette. And there are only a few dozen variations on blackjack. While there are thousands of slot machine games, most them only require pressing the spin button, and there’s usually no strategy involved.
If you just want variety, sports betting gives you a lot of flexibility, from betting on who wins to point spreads to prop bets about who breaks a sweat first.
3 – Sports Betting Enhances Your Excitement
You can watch many sporting events for free and millions of people do that every weekend. Rooting for your favorite team at a friendly gathering is a lot of fun.
But when you want more than just to cheer on the team, when you want a little skin in the game, sports betting allows you to put something on the line.
If you’re already playing slots, blackjack, or poker, making another bet on top of your bet doesn’t enhance the suspense very much. If the house can get more money from you by allowing you to make extra bets on your bets, they will.
Sports betting is more pure, as long as you keep it that way. You have unlimited choices about what to wager on and how often you do that.
4 – You Don’t Have to Wager Money
Money is the most common medium used for betting. You might argue that converting cash to cryptocurrency to gamble online feels less like betting with money.
That’s the beauty of sports betting. While I hope you don’t, you could bet your house on a point spread if someone were willing to take that bet.
It’s only a movie, but in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, two characters make a wager on the outcome of a race. They don’t stake any money. People have been making bets like this since the first two apes fought over a piece of fruit.
Free movie tickets, clothing, cars, jewelry, dinners, and millions of other things of value are wagered on sports every year.
Sure, the bookies want money. They’re not interested in hot dogs and concert tickets. But if anyone is willing to take your bet, it’s game on! Try playing the slot machines that way.
5 – Sports Betting Wagers Scale More Easily
If you can find someone willing to take your action, there is no table limit in sports betting. Think about it. Most casinos limit you to $1,000 per spin in roulette unless you’ve been invited into the high rollers’ lounge.
If you want to make a $2,000 bet on a championship game, it’s not hard to find someone willing to take that action.
Sportsbooks set limits but, in my experience, they set higher limits on at least a few sports than for their table games. If you’ve got the money and the desire to risk that much, you can put more money up on sports betting.
Keeping it casual and low budget is fine. You don’t have to spend your entire gambling bankroll on one wager. Sports betting just gives you more leeway than table games and slot machine games.
6 – You Make Your Own Decisions
The odds don’t change whether you’re playing roulette or blackjack. If you want to know how to bet in roulette, there’s a betting guide for that. If you want to know how to bet in blackjack, there’s a strategy chart for you.
Bookmakers look for an edge, too, but they’re taking commissions on the wagers. You can bet blindly, or you can weigh a lot of independent variables in your decision.
When you’re betting on sports, there’s no probability table to follow. Every game is different. Every athlete or team is different.
If you’re using a betting exchange, you can offer whatever odds you want within reason. While there’s no guarantee anyone takes your offer, you can make it. That’s like offering your friends some action while watching a game at home.
7 – You Wager to Your Skill Level
Although skill-based slot machine games are still rare in the US, they require eye-hand coordination. If you’re not very good when playing first person video games, you probably won’t be very good at skill-based slots.
Real money blackjack and poker do require skill, but they don’t appeal to everyone. Changes in casino rules have discouraged some blackjack players and a lot of people don’t like the intensity of poker games.
Betting on sports can be as intuitive as pushing spin on a slot machine game or as analytical as tracking an asteroid heading toward Earth. The challenge is as great or as simple as you want it to be.
Since you’re not in the game directly, you don’t need to be a master of strategy. And while there may be a psychological factor to making bets with friends and co-workers, the sportsbook acts as a go-between for bettors on both sides of the action.
It’s hard to find a downside to this type of wagering unless you insist on looking at it in the most complex way possible. You take on as little risk and complexity as you can handle. You can scale up as you get more experience under your belt.
Sports betting helps us feel more engaged in the games we bet on. You feel like the outcome matters more because you’ve staked something on it.
There’s a risk of becoming too emotionally involved in the games. If that happens, you should step back. There’s no reason to allow the pleasure you get from betting on sports to evolve into unhappy, frustrating experiences.
Keep betting as long as it remains fun and doesn’t hurt you financially. A final advantage to sports betting is that you need to wait between games and for games to play out.
Sure, you can take out a lot of wagers throughout the week, but for most people, it’s just casual entertainment and that’s really what makes it fun.