What Is Official Betting?

Official betting is the process of placing a wager on a specific outcome of a sporting event and being paid out if that outcome occurs. There are a variety of betting types, and it’s important to understand the terminology before you place your first bet. For example, when placing a bet on the winner of a game, that’s called a moneyline bet. When you place a bet on the team to win by a certain amount, that’s called a point spread. And when you combine two or more outcomes into one bet, that’s a parlay.

Legal sports betting has now launched in 24 states plus Washington, DC. But the list of available sportsbooks is growing and competition is fierce. That’s why it’s essential to take the time to investigate each site. User reviews are a good starting point, but don’t take them as gospel. What someone else thinks of a sportsbook might not be what you want, or what you’re looking for.

In addition to comparing prices, bonuses and promotions, you should also look at the sportsbook’s range of betting markets. While all sites will offer the major sports, some will have more niche markets like rugby union and cricket. And some will have different betting options, such as totalizators (sometimes referred to as flexible-rate bets) which adjust the odds in real-time based on the share of the total exchange each outcome has received taking into account the bookmaker’s return rate.