As incredible as it may sound in this era of online sportsbook wagering, many people still love to go to a traditional brick and mortar casino to place their bets. This has nothing to do with the convenience of wagering from your desktop, laptop, tablet or, most convenient of all, on the go with your phone or mobile device. Instead, an in person bet has to do with the old school feel of walking into a sportsbook with all of its trappings. The multiple televisions with different games on each one, the betting window, ticket writers and the thrill of plunking down cold hard cash for a written ticket.
With the proliferation of increased sports wagering and the popularity of a Las Vegas vacation its inevitable that nearly every sports gambler is going to get down on a game in person. With that in mind let’s explore the basics of how best to bet on sports in person at a traditional brick and mortar sportsbook.
Arrive Early and Case the Joint
Although this can pertain to any in person sports betting experience there is nothing that can match the morning of a college football Saturday. It’s the closest thing an adult can experience that matches being a kid on Christmas. And this is best lived in person at a sportsbook. Many end up calling it a “Bucket List” encounter. The first morning of March Madness would be another such time.
A best practice is to arrive an hour or so before the first games begin, get your favorite beverage and take a seat. From there as you enjoy the buzz around you carefully study the sportsbook wagering board. You will see all of the odds and prices listed on every game. From there assess the bets you were already considering with those prices and formulate your plan.
Another key reason to arrive early is from the practical standpoint of avoiding mistakes or price fluctuation. Being rushed is an invitation to making costly errors, especially if you will be making multiple wagers or betting parlays and such.
At the same time, you will want to get your best bets in right away before the price changes as traffic increases closer to whenever your sport and game of choice begins.
Additionally, you will want to survey how many ticket writers are working for the sportsbook and how deep the lines will be.
Further, by arriving early, you can find the best viewing spots to watch all of the action. You can also locate delis, hot dog stands, bars, soft drink stands, and restrooms.
Time to Bet
Once you have assessed the betting lines and compared them to your list of candidates to play it is a good time to make your final list of plays and get in line to place your bets. Make sure to differentiate between point spread, moneyline, and over under wagers. If you play parlays have them organized and ready to call out to the ticket writer at the window. And take your play sheet with you. There is nothing wrong with reading from your list. This ensures that you will get the bets that you want and that the ticket writer will have an easy time getting all of your bets entered correctly.
On most side or total wagers there will be a number on the board next to that team name. For example, you may see the wagering board with a 503 Alabama -10, -500. This means that Alabama is team number 503 with a point spread of -10 and a money line of -500. You would tell the ticket writer “Team 503, -10 for $100.” If you don’t know the number that is okay as the folks at the betting window will likely be able to find it with ease. They will simply verify the bet with you before the ticket is written and final.
Finally, be sure to carefully verify all bets before handing over your money. Your ticket writer will show you a review of your bets with all details for you to confirm.
Never tear up a ticket until the result of the game is absolutely verified. Results can sometimes be overturned. Or a game that seems decided can change unexpectedly. If you had to leave the sportsbook early and are getting scores off the radio, TV crawl, or even the internet errors can be occasionally made and the wrong scores are given. Make sure the results of your bet are precisely verified.