There are many different sports betting rules you can use to make a profit gambling on your favorite teams and events. Though many sports betting novices only think of betting on a team to win, there are a wide variety of bets available at most sportsbooks that deal with both team and individual performance. Each of these sports bets have their own set of parameters and rules, so it’s important to learn about them before you wager your hard-earned money on a sporting event. Here are five of the most popular sports bets and the betting rules that accompany them.


Moneyline bets are simple wagers that pick which team will win a game. Moneylines are set in the format of either minus or plus a number. When a moneyline is minus, it means that the team is favored to win by those odds. For instance, if the St. Louis Cardinals are -135 to win against the Pittsburgh Pirates that means that you would have to wager $135 on the Cardinals to win $100. However, if the Pittsburgh Pirates are at +135, that means they’re underdogs, and you’ll win significantly more money if you bet on them and they win. These rules often restrict the amount of money you can wager on individual bets, though moneylines typically offer higher overall maximum bets than parlay bets or prop bets.

Point Spread

Point spreads represent a figure set by Las Vegas oddsmakers that are intended to compel people to bet on the game. You can find point spread bets for any sport in which two teams score against each other, though they’re most applicable for basketball and football betting. For instance, if the Miami Heat is favored to win by seven points over the Indiana Pacers that means the Heat would have to win by at least eight points to “cover the spread.” The Pacers, meanwhile, could either win or lose by less than seven points to cover the underdog bet. Like with moneyline bets, most rules at sportsbooks will allow you place high maximum wagers on point spread bets.


Parlay bets are a popular form of betting, though many experts steer clear of them because of their higher risk factor. Parlay bets work by combining multiple wagers into one overall bet, meaning every individual aspect of the parlay needs to happen in order for a gambler to win the bet. The more bets you add to a parlay, the more money you could potentially win, but the risk is also extremely high. Most experts recommend steering clear of parlay bets that incorporate over three factors, and many gamblers don’t do them at all. The rules also often prevent bettors from wagering too much money on these bets.


Teaser bets function much like parlay bets, except they allow bettors to reduce the total point spreads for each of the individual components of the bet. For instance, in football, if you combine three teams into a teaser, you can “buy” certain odds, reducing the spreads by two, four, and even eight points. Of course, by doing so, you’re reducing the total amount of money you can win on the bet. Because teasers can significantly reduce point spreads, sports betting rules also prevent you from betting too heavily on these bets, frequently topping out at a maximum bet of only $500.


Futures bets function just like they sound: they look ahead to the future of teams or individual players and ask bettors to make a prediction. This can mean total team win totals, individual player awards like the MVP, or whether or not a team will make the playoffs. These are considered “proposition bets,” or “prop” bets. Many gamblers place these bets before the regular season begins so that they have a strong rooting interest throughout the course of the season and not just week to week.

Though oddsmakers offer a virtually limitless amount of bets you can place on your favorite teams, there are certain sports betting rules governing how much money you can place on them and how many bets you can combine. Parlay bets, teaser bets and prop bets all limit the maximum amount of money you can bet, and they also set the amount of either teams you can add to the parlay or the point spreads you can tease down. Still, savvy gamblers can take advantage of this wide array of available bets and play within the rules to make money betting on their favored match ups.