Kal’s Sports Book – a betting glossary

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Kalamere
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Kal’s Sports Book – a betting glossary

Post by Kalamere » Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:00 pm

In playing Kal as a part time bookie, I get the occasional question as to how this or that works exactly or what a given term actually means. As an attempt to further contribute to the delinquency of the player base, I want to provide a few examples, term explanations and a couple play notes.

Let’s start with the 3 main bet types that I use: Point Spreads, Odds and Over/Under.

Point Spreads:
The spread, or line, is how many points the favorite will win by. If one contestant is easily favored over another, say Xanth vs. Me in a DoM duel (I think I have 1 or 2 DoM duels in my lifetime), I can’t just say pick the winner. If I do, then everyone picks Xanth and, more than likely, everyone wins. So, instead, we add the point spread and say Xanth gives me 2.75 points. On DZ this would denoted as follows:
  • Xanth -2.75 over Kal
  • Kal +2.75 vs Xanth
What it actually means is that to win a bet on Xanth, he would need to cover the spread and win the duel by more than 2.75 (I try to use impossible point values so as to avoid push bets). A bet on me, however, wouldn’t mean that I have to win. It just means that I won’t lose by more than the spread. So, if Xanth wins the duel 5 – 2.5, that’s a 2.5 point difference which is less than the spread and therefore those who bet on me win, while those who bet on Xanth can cheer that he won.. but lose their money. The spread makes the choice a little more difficult. Xanth is surely going to win, but will he absolutely crush me like that? This is what you’re betting on (or against).

Point spreads are generally used in one on one competitions where score is kept. Football, baseball, hockey, etc. Score is obviously important, so you wouldn’t see a point spread on something like a boxing match, generally speaking. Also not good for events with multiple choices, like racing.

Odds:
Rather than using a spread, another way to entice people to bet on an underdog is to give the underdog(s) better odds, or larger payouts, than you give to bets on the favorite. In a race between the tortoise and the hare (forgetting for the moment that you know how the story goes) the hare is the obvious favorite, so maybe you offer something like a 1 dollar bet wins you 5 cents. On the other hand, the tortoise is a huge underdog, so get something more like 1 dollar bet wins you 100 dollars in return. There are several different ways to denote this kind of a bet, but the way it gets listed at the DZ Casino would be like this:
……………...… Payout : Wager
Hare to win:……….... 1 : 20
Tortoise to win:…... 100 : 1

Odds are kind of a pain in the ass for the novice bookie, so I don’t do them all that often. It takes someone better at math, or at least with more experience than I, to get the odds to a point where players can’t work them and be assured of winning. They are very common in the betting world of course, but I’m not a real bookie and I tend to make this stuff up on the fly, so it is rarely mathematically sound.

Over/Under:
This is the easiest concept to grasp, though I haven’t put an over/under bet out there in a while. Basically you get a number and you bet whether the actual number will be over or under it. Take a football game as the example and I set the over/under at 35 for total combined points. If you believe one or both teams are offensive powerhouses then you might bet on the over, meaning that if their combined score is greater than 35 you win the bet. Naturally the under is the opposite. Like point spreads, these bets will generally pay back the same amount that you put in. So a bet of $10 wins you $10.

Teasers:
I’m going to put this one up, even though I’ve never offered a teaser bet and am not entirely sure how we would code it into the site, but lots of bookies offer them and it could be fun if I ever figure out how. Usually teasers work with point spread bets and you have to have several competitions happening the same day because it also requires that you bet on 2+ events. Madness would be a great example for this actually. In the case of a teaser, the bookie gives you a few extra points to add (or subtract) from the point spreads. For example, say the teaser bonus is 1 point and requires you bet 2 events. You take Xanth -2 over Mephisto as one and the underdog Devon +2.5 vs. Rakeesh as the other. Since this is a teaser, the line shifts by 1 point, but you have to win both to win the bet. So if Xanth wins 5-2 (you would win that normally) and Rakeesh wins 5-2 (you would lose that normally) you actually win the bet, because the teaser bonus made it so Devon only needed to score 1.5 points in order to cover.

Still with me?

Ok, let’s move on to some basic terms:

Hook: Partial point added to the spread (usually half). As mentioned above, I tend to use hooks to avoid push potential.

Pick ‘em: Means there’s really no favorite in a given matchup so there is also no line or point spread, just pick the winner.

Push: Means there is no winner on the wager. Think blackjack. You and the dealer both end up with 17, so nobody wins and you just get your chips back. Sometimes, depending on the bookie, you do have to pay the vig on a push.

Vig: aka juice, aka dirty money: A bit of extra money that goes to the house (the bookie) on a loss or sometimes a push. We don’t have this in play on DZ or anywhere else at this point, though I make no promises for the future. The vig is ually 5% or 10% of the value you bet and, if you lose, you owe what you bet + the vig to the house, whereas if you win you only make the value of the bet. Eg: $100 bet with 5% vig. Win means you get $100. Loss means you pay $105. It covers bookie expenses =)

And a couple RoH / RDI specific things for betting with Kal and/or DZ.

I get Kal involved in 3 types of coin exchanges

Forum coins (silver nobles or crowns)
I use these only for the Madness Bracket Pools. I’ve toyed with the idea of working them into a new casino format, but if we ever do so it will be long in the future.

DZ Casino coins:
Jake set up the DZ Casino and it has a totally separate coin system. We occasionally put lines in the casino for major events and invite everyone to come place bets. The coins are made up and I’m not sure if he has any kind of limit on them (but please be reasonable). The site tracks your wins and losses to the database, so you can see your lifetime winnings (or losses) for whatever you’ve bet on there.

Chat Room bets:
These are strictly RP coins unless we’ve already got something posted on the DZ Casino (which we’ll always post a notice to the RoH forums about before hand). Lacking that, I’m just playing Kal the bookie and the coin is the strictly imaginary purse / wallet our characters have with them at the event. (Lots of confusion about this one last night and I will try to make things more clear going forward, sorry about that.)

If you have questions or comments, please feel free to post a reply.
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