Sportsbook, also known as sports betting, has its own niche among online gamblers. Unlike casino games, like slots, bingo, and poker, there’s often very little carryover between those who place wagers. It’s a very popular gaming option throughout most of the world, though it’s just starting to catch on in the US. History of Sportsbook Sports betting may well have been around for as long as man has been. Roman emperors were known to place wagers on chariot races and at similar events ... A History of Gambling - from the Colosseum to the dotCom Despite the fact that it’s not one of the top betting choices in the US, most sources indicate that sportsbook got a modern start in America. As far back as the 1700s, settlers were placing wagers on cockfights, horse races, and fights. Throughout the 1800s and 1900s, horseracing especially thrived and bookmakers began auctioning off individual bets on horses. Even when gambling was outlawed, people still visited their bookies in secret, and organized crime got into the game. Around the same time, baseball became a favorite national pastime, as well as college football, and pool cards were also used in certain parts of the country. In the 1950s, tax legislation was passed and bookmakers began operating out in the open, often opening small storefronts called turf clubs. Eventually, land-based casinos caught on to the idea and they began adding sports betting venues as well. When Internet casinos caught on in the mid-to-late 1990s, sportsbook moved online too. Sports betting in the UK shares a similar background. It’s estimated that by the early 1800s there were over 400 bet shops in just London. All forms of gambling were made illegal in 1853, but just as in the US, the wagers continued anyway, until the ban was lifted about 100 years later. Naturally, as soon as it was legal again, shops opened their doors and a period of industry growth ensued. By 2000, it was estimated that at least 8500 bookmakers were on high street and online sportsbook was starting to grow in popularity too. Modern Sportsbook When sports betting first emerged, gamblers might wind up wagering large sums of money for the potential of a small reward. However, as it has become legal in more places, and can be openly done, this has changed. Modern sportsbook can be a flurry of odds a money lines and all sorts of bets can be placed. They range from just a few bucks by any average person, to millions of dollars by CEOs. Although no longer managed by bookies and organized crime rings, there are still talks of rigged games, set up to give someone a payout on a bet. Overall, the industry nets hundreds of billions of dollars yearly. Most often bets are placed on the total outcome of an event, though they can also cover individual portions of a game or players. Terms to Know Sports betting has a language all its own. Although there are literally hundreds of terms one may come across, a few of the most common ones are listed below. Point Spread- The amount of points a team is anticipated to win by. Money Line- An alternate to the point spread, based on who is most likely to win, rather than points. Bookmaker- The entity that takes bets. Can also be used interchangeably with bookie or sportsbook. Line- Can be used interchangeably with “odds.” First-Half Line- A bet placed that only covers the first half of a game. Halftime Line- A bet placed that covers the second half of a game. Runline- A baseball spread. Favorite- The likely winner. Underdog- The likely loser. Beard- A person who places a wager on behalf of an anonymous better. Before You Bet There are a few things to keep in mind before you place your first bet online. First of all, not all bookmakers accept players from around the world. Even those who do may not pay out to certain countries. For this reason it’s important to only place bets with well-known and established bookmakers. Sports betting regulations may vary from other gambling regulations within any given jurisdiction, so take care to ensure you’re not breaking any local laws before you bet. Legislation is continually changing, so double check that you have the most up-to-date information. Sportsbook is not for the faint of heart. Money can be made or lost in an instant. Although there’s always an element of chance, those who do best with sports betting know the game they’re betting on very well and base their decisions on experience and knowledge. Those who make the bookmaker happiest are the gamblers who routinely choose the most popular player or team to bet on, because they’re sure to make the most money off of them. If you decide you want to give sports betting a try, do your homework first.