Betting on sports in a casino sportsbook isn’t the same as betting with an illegal bookie or online sportsbook. Placing a wager with a ticket writer inside of a casino can be intimidating for new sports bettors. The big board with betting options may be confusing for someone who hasn’t seen anything like it before. Some gamblers avoid the sportsbook simply because of the pressure from other people. In addition, wagering isn’t the same for all sports and, depending on the sportsbook operator, the Las Vegas odds are different in many casinos.
Individual games have can have point spreads, moneylines, totals, various propositions, and even more wagering options during the games themselves. There are futures bets for championships and individual events. Sportsbook operators in Nevada are offering more opportunities to wager in a sportsbook every day which can add to the confusion. There’s a lot of information to take in when contemplating a sports bet.
Mobile sports wagering might actually be an easier way to wager on sports for gamblers who have bet with the best online sportsbooks before visiting a land-based casino. We’ll discuss how to bet in person at a Nevada sportsbook and how to bet online using a mobile device (phone or tablet). All bettors should know the basics before placing a wager in a Nevada sportsbook.
Choose the sport and pick a wager
Not all sports bets are the same. Most wagers for football and basketball are made using a point spread. Baseball and hockey use a moneyline and also offer run or puck lines, respectively. Other events might offer straight odds for a winning wager. Here are the basic ways to wager on games, matches and events for each major sport.
- Football: Point spread
- Basketball: Point spread
- Baseball: Moneyline
- Hockey: Moneyline
- Soccer: Moneyline
- Fighting (MMA and Boxing): Moneyline
- Golf: Odds
- Auto Racing: Odds
- Tennis: Moneyline
- Olympics: Odds
Point totals and alternatives are available for most moneyline and point spread sports. These aren’t the only ways to wager on each sport but this is the starting point for most sports bettors.
Choose the type of wager
Once a bettor chooses the sport they want to wager on, they will need to choose how they want to bet. In addition to the basic wager types, a variety of wagering options could be available for each event.
- Point spread – Choosing the favorite to win by more points than the point spread or underdog to lose by fewer points than the point spread.
- Moneyline – Simply pick the winner of a game or event.
- Totals – Choosing that the total points scored will be over or under for the defined period or game.
- Propositions – A wager made that something will or won’t happen during a game or event. This could be individual players or teams.
- Futures – This is a wager on an event to happen in the future. The occasion can be in the near future or at the end of a season.
Placing the wager
It’s time to place the wager once the bettor knows which event they want to bet. Ticket writers in a Las Vegas sportsbook can usually understand any terminology they’re given. However, it makes their life easier when a bettor uses the basic information for the bet(s) they’d like to place.
- The rotation number that coincides with the team or athlete for the wager. This is the 3 or 4 digit number to the left of each event.
- Amount of the wager.
- Listen when the bet is read back to make sure it’s correct.
- Double check the printed ticket to make sure that’s correct.
For example, “I’d like #123 (team name) for $100.” The ticket writer will read back the wager to make sure they have the information correct. Once approved they’ll print the ticket and the bettor will exchange money for the ticket. Always double check the ticket – even if there’s a line – to make sure the wager is exactly what was asked for.
Getting paid for a wager
Point Spreads – Most point spread wagers pay -110. This means that for every $110 wagered, the bettor will be paid $100. Some games will move to -120 before the point spread changes. This requires a $120 wager to win $100.
Moneyline – The favorite for this game or match will be noted by the minus (-200) sign and the underdog by a plus (+200) sign. For example, the Yankees are -200 favorites against the Red Sox who are +190. In this example, the bettor will wager $200 on the Yankees to win $100. Likewise, the bettor may wager $100 on the underdog Red Sox to win $190.
Futures – These will be noted by a moneyline (+600) or straight odds (6-1). These numbers pay the same thing but may be confusing to someone new to a casino sportsbook.
When a bettor is paid they receive the amount of the winning bet plus the original wager. Using the example above, the bettor will receive $300 if they placed winning $200 bet on Yankees beat the Red Sox. The ticket pays $100 and the bettor receives the original bet amount of $200 back.
Where to bet in Nevada
All sportsbooks in Nevada are created differently. The space devoted to a sportsbook in Nevada casinos depends on the size and customers of the individual property. By nature, one would think that a larger casino would have a large sportsbook. That’s not always the case as sports betting is less of a focus for certain casinos in Nevada.
Finding a sportsbook that meets personal preferences is important when choosing where to bet. Some gamblers prefer quick access to restaurants while others prefer the best viewing screens. Some gamblers want to watch the games on the best TV screens while others just want a place to bet and grab a drink. Reading different sportsbook reviews will help casino guests find the most comfortable viewing experience.
Serious sports bettors always look for the best Las Vegas odds when choosing a sportsbook. Not all Las Vegas sportsbooks offer the same betting odds. Some sportsbook operators are known for having the best Las Vegas odds while others are noted for having odds that are less favorable.
There was a day when shopping for the best Las Vegas odds was easy. The city was small and it was easy to walk from casino to casino to find the best odds. That changed as casinos grew and different sportsbook operators became more spread out around Las Vegas. The internet has made finding the best Las Vegas odds easy once again. Plenty of websites offer live odds and bettors can now wager on sports anywhere in Nevada with a mobile sports wagering app.
Mobile sports wagering
Mobile sports wagering has taken Nevada by storm ever since being introduced. Sports bettors can wager on any games available from a sportsbook operator anywhere in the state. The convenience of betting on sports from anywhere means that someone on vacation can place a bet on a game from a pool or nightclub. Meanwhile, Nevada residents can place wagers from their house.
Sports bettors no longer have to stand in line waiting to place a bet. Mobile sports wagering is so popular that some sportsbook operators see more wagers placed via mobile sports wagering app than in the land-based casinos.
Wagering on sports with a mobile app is intuitive and may be less intimidating for a new sports bettor since bets are not made with other people around. Even though different sportsbooks may have their own software placing a wager with apps is easy and similar to the best online sportsbooks.
Sports wagering apps in Nevada must be set up at a land-based casino initially. Some sportsbook operators use software that will allow users to fund and withdraw from an account without returning to the sportsbook. The Las Vegas odds are the same on the app as they are in the physical casino.
Why you should bet on sports in Nevada
It’s possible to wager illegally with a bookie and online with an offshore sportsbook but nothing is better or safer than betting on sports in Nevada. Casinos and sportsbook operators in Nevada are billion dollar companies in a highly regulated industry. The Nevada Gaming Control Board might have the most strict gaming regulations in the country. Unlike an illegal bookie or sketchy offshore sportsbook the money used to place wagers in Nevada should be considered safe.