Illegal Sports Gambling Is Big Business! Will It Finally Become Legal? Supreme Court to Decide

No matter what sports season we’re in, you probably have a favorite sport you relish following. Maybe March madness college basketball, the NFL, baseball, hockey, golf, or soccer. Perhaps you would like to make a little bet, but many sports fans in the United States are leery of the legitimacy and legality of internet gambling. If you live in the United States, your legal sports betting options at brick and mortar casinos are limited to Nevada, and to some degree at Delaware racetracks.

The Supreme Court has heard arguments on a New Jersey challenge which would permit sports gambling at its casinos and racetracks. If the court rules in favor of New Jersey, Gaming experts predict that most states will jump on the bandwagon to legalization, in order to fill state coffers with tax revenue.

If you’re unfamiliar with the particulars of how to bet on sports, the following describes how it all works:

Sports Betting Jargon

Before we get into the specifics, here’s a little jargon explanation to help you understand the process:

Action – A term for all the betting activity that happens during an event.
Handle – The total amount of money wagered on events.
Spread – Giving one of the two teams points to even out the betting action.
Sports Books – Establishments that take bets on sporting events.
Juice – A percentage of the win taken from a bettor that won an even money bet. Sometimes called the vig, which is short for vigorish.

Types of Bets

There are many different types of bets. By far, football draws the most action with the biggest handle. The Super Bowl alone draws over $100 million in legal betting activity, and over three billion (that’s billion with a B!) illegal wagers. Now you see why states want a piece of the action.

Even Money Bets – Players betting on only one team to beat another. The sports book takes the juice/vig from the winning payout amount. A common vig is $11 for $10. (Bettor wages $11, wins $10.) House keeps $1. Most bets will have a point spread (line). If the player is picking the underdog, S/he will take points. If the bettor is picking the favorite, S/he is laying (giving) points.
Parlay Bets – Betting on multiple (two or more) teams to win. Here’s a scenario on a point spread ticket. Let’s assume that on event #1, Tampa Bay is playing at Green Bay with GB favored to win by at least 3 points. In event #2, Buffalo is playing at Miami and BUF is expected to win by at least 7 points. Your game ticket would look something like this:

Event Visitor Vs Home

1. TB GB. -3

2 BUF. -7 MIA

This means that if you bet on GB they must win by more than 3 points. A bet on BUF would require them to win by more than 7 points. By choosing the favorites you are laying (giving) points. If you were to put your money on GB and MIA, you would be taking (receiving) the points.

One way to eliminate confusion is to jot down a spread score before the games start. for example on this ticket:

The score before the game starts is:

TB 3 GB 0
MIA 7 BUF 0

When the games are over just give the points to the underdogs. In most jurisdictions, ties lose for the player. In other jurisdictions the prize payout for one tie is reduced to the next lowest payout factor. A common play in casinos is a four team pick for 10X the bet.Bet $10, win $100, but you can wager from two to twelve games. The more games you play, the higher the winning payouts.

Over/Under – One scenario is betting that the final score ill be over or under a certain number a preset number.
Prop Bets – A proposition bet is where you predict the outcome of a preset number of props on a single ticket. Example: Total field goals over/under 4. Total interceptions over/under 3. Total sacks over/under 2. Total receiving yards, total yards, and the list goes on and on.

Free Bet Blackjack – The Casino Table Game Where the Dealer Actually Gives You Free Bets

The rules for Free Bet Blackjack are played like the traditional version except for the two variations listed below. The casino uses six decks of cards, the dealer hits soft seventeen, (hand containing an ace +6) a player blackjack pays 3/2, re-split certain pairs up to four hands, and double after splitting is allowed. Here are the two variations:

Variation One

Double Down Rule – A player may double down on hard totals (hands with no ace) of 11, 10, or 9 only. Doubling on other hands is permitted however by doing so the player will not receive the free bet wager offered by the casino.

After a player makes the allowable double down wager, the house then gives the player a free double wager by matching the player’s original bet with a free bet button. If the dealer wins the player only loses his or her original wager. If the hand is a push, the player keeps the original wager only. If the player wins, he or she keeps the original wager plus winnings equal to double that wager.

Variation Two

Pair Splitting – A player may split any pair except 4′s or 10′s up to four times. The player receives one free split wager each time, where the player’s split cards are divided into two one card hands. The player’s original wager is placed on the first card and the second card receives the free bet button. Doubling after splitting is allowed. If the player so chooses to double after the split he or she will also receive a free double wager. For the winning hands, each free bet button is replaced with real chips. For a player loss or push, the house takes back the free bet button(s).

You may wonder why all this generosity? Instead of the dealer busting with a total of 22, where the house would pay winnings to all remaining hands, 22 becomes a push. Therefore, all remaining player hands also push.

Optional Side Wager

Push 22 Side Bet – This is an optional wager where a player may bet that the dealer will push with a total of 22. If the player wins, ascending payouts are made depending on the cards. Here is the pay table:

Suited Dealer 22 – Pays 50 to 1

Same Color 22 – Pays 20 to 1

Any other 22 – Pays 8 to 1

The house edge for Free Bet Blackjack is about 1.0% without placing a Push 22 side wager, but jumps to almost 6% if the option is made.

Strategy for this game is simple. Besides exercising basic strategy, take advantage of every opportunity to free split and free double.