There are several types of bets that you can place on online bookmaker. Some bookmakers or sportsbooks offer more varieties and combinations of bets than the rest. Listed below are the most common types of bets that can be placed in sportsbooks.

  • Single or Straight Bet
  • Point Spread
  • Buying Point
  • Moneyline
  • Over/Under
  • Parlay Bets
  • Teaser
  • If Bets
  • Open Wager
  • Future
  • Prop Bets

The main objective of sports bettors is to beat and get ahead of the odds compilers or oddsmakers and rack up more wins than losses. In addition to this, sports betting should make the games where you place your bets on more interesting and exciting.

Betting is done through Bookmakers (in the UK) or Sportsbooks (in the US). These are entities that receive bets on a wide range of sporting events like basketball, baseball, football, soccer, hockey, and snooker. You can place your bets by going to a sportsbook, in person, or online. You can also place your wagers on your favorite sporting event and teams over the phone with most sportsbooks and bookmakers.

You have to remember that sportsbooks or bookmakers are not the same as oddsmakers. Sportsbooks and bookmakers simply accept wagers of sports bettors, while oddsmakers are the sport betting experts that set the betting odds.

A sports bettor needs to state what they are betting and this is done by making a choice and stating the amount and the type of bet that they are making. Your selection is obviously influenced by the prevailing betting odds. Thus, you need to carefully examine the range of available odds before you finally make your decision.

Sportsbooks offer several types of bets and the most common are listed below.

What are the different types of bets?

Single or Straight Bet

Straight bets or single bets are the types of betting wagers on a particular sporting event or game which carries a game total, point spread, run line, puck line or money line. In a straight bet, you have to win the game by way of pushing or by covering the point spread. This type of bet depends on the available odds of the sportsbook.

Lakers: +6 ½ (-110)
Thunders: -6 ½ (-110)

Pistons +6 ½ (-110)
Spurs – 6½ (-110)

In this example, a bet that is placed on the Lakers means that you are wagering that the team will lose the game by a point difference that is not more than 6 points or that they will win the game against the Thunders. On the other hand, a bet that is placed on the Thunders means that you are wagering that the team will win with a point difference that is more than 7 points. In this example, a push is not available, and in order to win $100 on either Lakers or Thunders, you have to place a bet of $110.

Point Spread

This is the type of bet that allows you to bet on the winning team from two selections that have been made equal by assigning points to the one considered as the underdog between the 2 selections. The point spread refers to the number that is allocated and is denoted with a “-“ sign for the favorite team and a “+” sign for the underdog. Under this type of bet, the favorite team must not only win over the underdog. It must also win by a point difference that is more than the point spread. Otherwise, you will lose your bet even if the favorite team that you have placed your bet on wins.

On the other hand, when you place your bet on the underdog, should it get beaten by the favorite team, the difference should not be more than the point spread in order for you to win the bet. If it loses by exactly the point spread, then it is considered a tie or a push, and you get back the bet that you have placed on the underdog. In order to eliminate a tie, the oddsmakers would sometimes include a half point on the point spread, and since the scores are in whole numbers, then there will always be a bet that will be declared the outright winner.

Buying Point

Buying points give sports bettors the option to move the point-spread for totals or sides in their favor when making bets on a basketball or football game. When a bet is made on the favorite, this type of bet allows the sports bettor to take off half a point, a full point or 1½ points. On the other hand, when a bet is made on the underdog, the sports bettors is allowed to buy points in order to add half a point, a full point or 1½ points.


This type of bet establishes the odds for the teams, but it is inversely proportional to a point spread. Moneyline is indicated with the use of a + sign for the underdog and a – sign for the favorite. Moneyline is the type of bet which is based on a 100-dollar parameter. Generally, a sports bettor stands to win less if a bet is placed on the favorite and a lesser risk of winning more when a bet is made on the underdog.


This is the type of bet that is made not on a particular team, but on the sum total of points or scores of both teams. Under the Over/Under, you are basically betting that the combined scores are either under or over the number that is indicated.

Heat – OV 180½ (110)
Knicks – UN 180½ (110)

In this example, a wager on OV means that the sports bettor is wagering that the combined scores of the Heat and Knicks will sum up to 180 or more. On the other hand, a wager of the UN means that the sports bettor is wagering that the combined scores of the Heat and Knicks will sum up to 180 or less.

Parlay Bets

Parlay bet is the type of bet wagers that consists of 2 or more competing teams that have payouts that are much larger than straight bets. In order for the sports bettor to win a parlay bet, all the teams must win or cover the point. Parlay may involve various sports, total, moneylines and point-spreads. The payout in parlay bets depends entirely on the number of teams that are included in the wager. Suffice to say, you need to look for sportsbooks that offer the highest payout for parlay bets.

If a tie, the payout and the number of teams covered by the parlay bet are lowered. If a team ties in a 4-team parlay, then it will be reduced to a 3-team parlay, and if a team ties in a 2-team parlay, the wager will revert back to a straight bet. Games that are canceled and postponed games are declared a tie for all purposes of wagering.


Just like a parlay, the teaser is a wagering bet on two or more picks. And the main difference between these two bets is that the spreads are adjusted in favor of the sport bettors in a teaser, but the payout for such bet is lesser than the payout in a parlay.

As with parlay bets, the picks in teaser bets must be correct in order to win. In the event that you get a tie or a push on a 3-team teaser or more, the wager will be reduced to the next lower level. Thus, a 6-team teaser that has a push will be reduced to a 5-team teaser.

If Bets

This type of bet allows sports bettors to select 2 picks as well as sides or totals, which can actually be treated as 2 straight bets on the basis of certain conditions. You first need to win so that you can have an action on the second bet. The If Bet gives the sports bettor the option of tapping the winnings from the initial bet for the second wager.

Open Wager

This type of bet allows sports bettors to play parlay bets or teaser bets and go for either of these 2 bets at different times.


The future bet is the type of bet that bettors make when they wager that a particular result or event occurs in the future, specifically those events that are expected to happen beyond the weekend or even after the current season. Futures have some similarities to prop bets, but would largely require the sports bettor to wager much earlier on the specific event that will occur in the future.

An example of a future bet is ”Who will win the super bowl?”

Prop Bets

Proposition bet or prop bet is the wager by the sports bettors on certain events or conditions defined by the sportsbooks. It is a very explicit bet on specific events or results and is extremely popular in big games such as the NFL games.

An example of a future bet is ”Which player will score first?”

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