Sports betting has been around since horse races and baseball were first popular. While big sporting upsets happen regularly, if you’re careful with your money and do your research, you can make a profit from placing a few well thought out bets. Before you start, it’s important to open a dedicated bank account for sports betting that is only used for this purpose. Then, you’ll be able to keep track of your winnings and losses without getting too emotionally involved.
The first step to sports betting success is to learn the different bet types and how they work. This includes understanding the difference between straight bets, totals, and over/unders. A straight bet is a single wager on the outcome of a specific game or event. Totals bets, on the other hand, are based on the combined number of points, goals, wins, rebounds, birdies, or aces (depending on the sport). Bettors choose whether they think a particular total will finish over or under the amount posted by oddsmakers.
Another popular strategy is Dutching, which involves placing multiple bets to create an equal profit or loss on all results. This is often used to clear, claim or trigger free bets and bonuses but can also be a great general sports betting strategy. The key to this strategy is knowing when to use it, which will depend on the bet you’re making and how favourable the lines are. Pro bettors understand this and are always looking for the slightest edge over the books.