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How to Choose a Sportsbook
STEP-BY-STEP Q & A ON CHOOSING SPORTSBOOKS
1) "Do I need more than one sportsbook?"
Technically the answer is no, but practically the answer is "Yes, absolutely!".
The primary advantage to having several sportsbooks (or "books" or "outs" as they're called) is that you will often get different lines on a football game to play into. Over the long run the extra work you undertake to maintain several accounts can turn you from being a loser into being a winner, or adding to your net winnings. Let's compare shopping for odds with shopping for a new car.
When the line comes out in the paper early in the week, you look the lines over, just as if you're thinking about a new car. So you like the Packers at -3, just like you decide you want to buy a midnight blue V-6 coupe. If you were buying the car, you wouldn't just go to one dealership and say "Gimme a midnight blue V-6 coupe" – you'd shop around at different dealerships, maybe even at different companies to get your best deal.
So when you're buying the Packers, just because the newspaper says they're -3 doesn't mean that'll be the number of points you'll lay. If you have enough outs you're bound to find one offering the Packers -2.5 or even -2. (You'll also find some spots quoting you -3.5 or -4.) Why not take them at the most favorable line you can? If the game winds up as a Packers win by 3, you'll sure be glad you did.
2) Do I want a local bookie?"
Most local guys move lines either more slowly or more drastically than do shops in Nevada, the Caribbean, or overseas. So, in comparison to other places, you'll get "different" lines. Since you're going to play the "best" line for you, the more differences, the merrier.
Local guys are just a phone call or a trip to a nearby spot away. (When I lived in the USA there was a good bookie set up in a bar down the street, and the bar was called "The Office". So every Sunday an hour before game time I'd just leave the house and say "Back by kickoff, hon–I just have to go do something quick at The Office.")
Local guys usually extend some measure of credit, settling up weekly or every two weeks, or something like that.
So, if your guy gets busted the Friday before the Super Bowl (every bookie I know from Nova Scotia to New England to the Midwest who's been in business five years has been cuffed at least once), he doesn't have a big wad of your dough on him. In fact, he'll even be out of jail by Tuesday to make your regular settle-up meeting...
3) "What about Nevada and Offshore?"
Unless you're physically in Nevada it's illegal to place a bet there, and the casinos actually have to at least half-try to enforce this to keep their license. Since the mega-casinos make far more from slots and table games than they do by booking sports, they don't want to risk the wrath of the gaming authorities by helping people get around the law. Even calling your uncle in Vegas and getting him to wander down to a shop and put down $100 on the Giants for you is technically illegal. Unless you're in Nevada, my opinion is don't bother trying to bet there. It's just not worth it.
Offshore, friends, is a different story. Countless operations exist from Antigua to Australia that will let you call a toll-free number to place a bet, or bet over the Internet. The quality shops in this growing universe are the perfect complement to your local outs. Check out the Cream of the Crop Here
4) "Um, ‘Quality' outs? There are bad ones?"
Well, the bad news is there are probably a lot more places out there that don't deserve your business than ones that do. Some people are crooks; others mean well but are inexperienced and go bankrupt. There are real cowboys out there, some with white hats, some with black, some too stupid to figure out how to wear a hat. Play it safe and find yourself a reputable book from our list.
Make a list of the things most important to you and compare the candidates. Do you want a place with low minimums? Do you need a place that can accept and refund money using bank wires? Do you just play football, or do you bet other sports as well? (If you play bases, you'll want a place with 10-cent baseball lines and maybe overnight lines. If you want to play soccer, the quality of lines varies wildly.) Is it important that you can be able to place bets 24 hours a day? If you're going to be depositing and pulling funds out frequently, what spots give you the best deals on money transfers?
5) How do I make a Deposit?
New deposit methods come up from time to time as well as the tried and true methods that have been used for years. Among the most common deposit methods available at most books today are:
Pre Paid Cards
Western Union Or MoneyGram.
As well as many different E-Wallets, depending on where in the world you are located.