I) How to Place a Bet:In order to place a bet one quite simply walks over to a betting window and gives the teller the rotation number and amount to be wagered and, in return, receives a betting ticket. A rotation number is the number that corresponds to the team the bettor wants to bet on.

example: 110 New York Yankees

The 110 is the rotation number for the New York Yankees. So if the bettor wants to bet $100 on the Yankees he walks over to the window and announces “a hundred bucks on 110.” This works for any and all types of bets (which will be discussed later). So if a bettor wants to parlay three teams he just says “I want 110, 115 and 122 parlayed for 20 dollars.” The rotation numbers are in use to facilitate ease of operation for the tellers. It is much simpler to type in “110” than “New York Yankees”. Every team that can be bet on will have an associated rotation number.

II) Types of Bets

Straight Bets with Pointspread:

Football and Basketball are most popular sports with the gambling community, and the most common type of bet is the straight bet involving a pointspread. A typical football game will be listed as:

109 Kansas City Chiefs 38
110 Denver Broncos 5

This means that the Denver Broncos are favored by 5 points and the total of the game is 38 points. If a bettor wishes to bet Denver he must lay 5 points or, in other words, Denver must win the game by six points (if Denver wins by 5 this is a tie, or push,and the bettor gets his money back). If the bettor wants to play Kansas City he gets to add five points to the Chiefs final score. When betting on either team the gambler must lay $11 to win $10, so if $55 is wagered the bettor will win $50 and get his original $55 back (for a grand total of $105).

A bettor can also wager on the total score of the game rather than the pointspread winner. In the above example the total is listed as 38. This means that if the sum of Denver and Kansas City’s scores exceed 38 the game is an “over”. If the final scores total 37 or less the game is “under”. If a bettor wants to bet the over or under he must again lay 11-10. If the two scores add up to 38 the total is a push and all over/under bets are refunded.

Basketball bets work exactly the same way. Consider the example:

121 Ohio State 142
122 Marquette 8

This means that Marquette is an 8 point favorite and the total of the game is 142. The wagering for this game is just like the Denver-Kansas City game above.

Note: Sometimes half points are used in both spreads and totals, this just eliminates ties.


Moneylines are used primarily in baseball and hockey betting where pointspreads are not feasible. On the betting board a baseball game might look like this:

105 Boston Red Sox Martinez -190 Ov -115
106 Seattle Mariners Smith +160 7 Un -105

If a bettor wishes to play Boston he must lay $190 to win $100, conversely if he plays Seattle he wins $160 for every $100 he wagers. The total here is 7 runs, if a bet on the over is placed $115 must be bet to win $100, while an under bettor has to lay $105 to win $100. So in summary, a minus sign ( – ) preceding a number signifies that that amount must be wagered to win $100 and a plus sign ( + ) in front of a number gets a gambler that much for every $100 bet. Thus:

– XXX means $ XXX to win $ 100.
+ YYY means $ 100 to win $ YYY.

Note: A player can “list“ a pitcher on a baseball bet which means he will take Boston at -190 if and only if Martinez is the starting pitcher. If Martinez breaks his foot warming up and doesn’t go, our bettor gets his money back. A player can also list both pitchers so that if either Martinez OR Smith doesn’t start his money is refunded. The reasoning for this is self evident.

Hockey wagering works in the same manner. So:

901 Colorado Rockies +150 Ov -110
902 Dallas Stars -170 5 Un -110

The Stars are a -170 favorite ($170 to win $100) and the Rockies are the dogs at +150 ($100 to win $150). The over and under are both $110 to win $100. Again, if the goal total is 5 all monies are returned. Boxing matches are bet the same way as hockey and baseball games with rounds facilitating the total. Sometimes casinos will put up Moneylines for football and basketball games as well as the usual point spread lines.

More examples:


875 Joe Nobody +800 will go 4 rounds Yes +400
876 Mike Tyson -1200 No -600


109 Kansas City Chiefs 38 +150
110 Denver Broncos 5 – 170

Remember, in ALL moneyline bets, even football and basketball, who won is the only factor which determines the betting winner. So if Denver wins by 3 the Broncos lose their point spread bet, but win their moneyline bet.

Run Lines

Run lines are just a different way to bet on baseball games. The following example should be illustrative.

161 Chicago Cubs Wood -123 Ov -110 -1.5 +125
162 Florida Marlins Yutz +113 8 Un -110 +1.5 -145

Here we have the Cubs, with Wood pitching, as the favorite at -123 with a total of 8 runs. But what are the numbers at the right? They are the run lines. Run lines are a combination of pointspreads and moneylines. If a bettor chooses to play Chicago on the run line he lays 1.5 runs and gets a payout of +125 ($100 to win $125). Similarly if the player bets Florida he gets 1.5 runs and receives a payout of -145 ($145 to win $100). The astute reader will see that a run line bet is a tradeoff . If a bettor thinks a favorite can win by 2 or more runs he gets a more lucrative payout, but his team has to win by 2 or more runs; a 6-5 win ruins his bet. On the other hand, the underdog bettor has a 1.5 run cushion but his payout is reduced. For him, a 6-5 loss is really a win (at a lesser price).


A parlay is not a different type of bet in and of itself , it is merely a combination of two or more of the above types of bets in which all have to win for the parlay to pay. For example, a bettor could put three single straight bets on one parlay ticket or two straight bets and a moneyline bet or any combination thereof up to and including 7 teams (or totals). The more teams one puts on a parlay ticket the less likely that ticket will win, but the payout is considerably higher. Below is a list of parlay payouts assuming all bets are “11 to win 10” straight bets.

2 Teams 13-5
3 Teams 6-1
4 Teams 11-1
5 Teams 22-1
6 Teams 44-1
7 Teams 90-1
So if a bettor took say, Denver -5, DEN/KC over 38, and Marquette -8 on a parlay for $10, and all three covered (won) that bettor would receive $60 plus his original $10. Some casinos may use different payouts but their odds are in the same neighborhood as those listed above.

If a player includes moneyline bets on a parlay the payout could vary depending on the types of moneylines wagered, obviously a parlay heavily laden with big favorites would pay less that a parlay of longshots. To compute the odds on a moneyline parlay use the parlay calculator.

If any one of the teams on a parlay ticket tie (push) the ticket and subsequent payout are reduced by one. So if one team on a five-team parlay ties, the ticket is now a four team parlay. Most casinos will only allow a maximum payoff of 200-1 in parlays involving moneyline bets.


A teaser is a type of parlay that allows a player a greater chance of covering the spread by adding points to the players side. Only football and basketball games can be bet using teasers. Football teasers come in the 6 point , 6 ½ point and 7 point varieties, while hoops teasers are 4, 4 ½ and 5 points. These points are added to the bettors’ teams. For example, if Denver were at -5 a six point teaser would put the Broncos at +1, a 6 ½ point teaser would have them at +1.5 etc. Basketball teasers work the same way. Below is a chart that gives typical odds for football and basketball teasers.

Football Basketball

6 6 1/2 7 4 4 1/2 5
10-12 10-13 10-14 2 Teams 10-12 10-13 10-14
8.5-5 7.5-5 7-5 3 Teams 8.5-5 7.5-5 7-5
3-1 5-2 2-1 4 Teams 3-1 5-2 2-1
9-2 4-1 7-2 5 Teams 9-2 4-1 7-2
7-1 6-1 5-1 6 Teams 7-1 6-1 5-1
10-1 9-1 8-1 7 Teams 10-1 9-1 8-1

As with parlays a tie on a teaser ticket reduces the payout by one (a six team teaser would become a five team teaser, a three team teaser would become a two team teaser etc). If there is a tie on a two team teaser the ticket is voided and the bettor gets his money back even if the other team on the teaser is a loser. Most casinos forbid two team NFL teasers. Additionally, some casinos offer a ten point teaser for three teams only. In these teasers the bettor must lay 7-5 and all ties lose.

FInal Note

In all the above types of wagers the betting line printed on the betting slip is the line to be evaluated as to whether the bet wins or loses. In other words, if a bettor takes the Broncos at -5 and then the line moves to the Broncos at -6, our bettor still has the Broncos at -5. This applies even if the game is taken off the board which means the casinos will no longer take any bets on the Bronco game. Games can get taken off the board for a myriad of reasons such as the playing status of several key players due to injury or the possible impending suspensions of same or a severely inclement weather condition – twelve feet of snow predicted for gameday. The decision as to whether a game is to be taken off board is at the pleasure of ranking sportsbook personel.

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