Sports Betting vs Other Forms of Gambling
Sports betting is a VERY popular form of gambling for a variety of reasons. There are other forms of gambling that are equally as popular though for a whole set of different reasons. So before you start betting on sports, you might want to ask yourself whether it’s the right form of gambling for you. If you’re sure that it is, then go right ahead and get started. But if you’re not so sure, then please take the time to read this article. We’re going to help you decide either way.
Below we look at how sports betting compares to casino gambling, poker, bingo and playing the lottery. We cover four key areas – ease of getting started, variety and choice, potential for making money and entertainment value. Will sports betting come out on top? Or is there a better option for you? Let’s find out.
Ease of Getting Started
It’s easy to start betting on sports. There’s not actually a lot of background knowledge you need to know before you can start placing wagers. An understanding of the basics is all that’s required, and they’re all pretty straightforward.
Eventually there will be a great deal of information that you’ll want to familiarize yourself with, especially if you plan on trying to make money. To start with, though, just a little knowledge will go a long way.
Is it as easy to get started with the other forms of gambling?
Getting started with casino gambling is also straightforward. The hardest part is choosing which game(s) to play. There’s a wide selection of games to choose from, and some games are better than others. While there are some more complicated games, there are also plenty of games that are very simple and easy to learn. Here are some examples.
- Casino War
These games are all great for beginners, and widely available at both land-based and online casinos. You may want to learn how to play other games eventually, but you can have a lot of fun with just the ones listed here.
Getting started with poker can be a little more difficult, depending on which type of poker you want to play. If you’re shooting for something simple, then we suggest Texas Hold’em. After you decide on the type of poker you’ll be playing, you also have to decide which format will be best. You can play tournaments or cash games, for example, and limit or no limit.
The next step will be to learn the relevant rules. It’s crucial that you’re familiar with how the betting works and what the hand rankings are, among other things. None of these are especially complicated, but there’s definitely more to learn than with other forms of gambling.
Pretty much everyone knows how to play bingo. It’s a popular game all over the world, and one of the simplest forms of gambling there is. There are a few different types of bingo, but they all follow the exact same principle.
There are hardly any rules to bingo at all. All you have to do is mark off numbers on a game card or ticket, and you win if you’re the first to mark a specific pattern. That’s literally all there is to it, so getting started with bingo is about as easy as it gets.
Do we really need to explain how lottery games work, or how simple they are? We can almost guarantee that you already know, since this is the most popular type of gambling out there. There are lotteries in virtually every country in the world, and they’re all extremely easy to play. You buy a ticket, and hope your numbers get drawn. That’s it. Gambling just doesn’t get any more straightforward.
Variety & Choice
There was a time when your options for betting on sports were limited. You could bet on most of the major sports, and the mainstream leagues and competitions, but that was it. There wasn’t much choice in terms of the different wagers you could place either.
It’s VERY different nowadays. The majority of bookmakers and betting sites offer markets on most, if not all, professional sports. Not to mention, they also cover most leagues, competitions and events too. Want to bet on a soccer game in some obscure Eastern European league? No problem. Want to bet on a South American volleyball game? That won’t be an issue either. In short, you can bet on pretty much anything you want to.
The amount of wagers you have to choose from has also significantly increased! Just take a look at the screenshot below to be convinced of that.
There are so many available wagers for this game that they don’t all fit on the screen. 115 in total, and this is for ONE single soccer game. You’ll find a similar number of options for many other sports too. Then there’s live betting, where you can place wagers on events AFTER they’ve started. This is a very exciting way to bet on sports, and it presents even more betting options.
All in all, it’s fair to say that sports betting offers an enormous amount of variety and choice. Let’s see how the other forms of gambling stack up in this area.
We already mentioned how there are lots of different casino games. Most land based venues offer a wide variety of games, and things are taken to a whole new level online.
Take one of our favorite online casinos for example: Betway. They offer an astonishing selection of over FIVE HUNDRED games, and they regularly add new ones too. Not only is there a nice selection of diverse slot games, but they also have all the classics, like blackjack and roulette to name a couple. This is what you can expect from almost any online casino, so we doubt you’ll ever run out of new games to try.
Texas Hold’em is easily the most popular type of poker, but there are several other types too. Here’s a list of the ones you’ll find at most online poker sites.
- Omaha High
- Omaha Hi-Lo
- Seven Card Stud
- Five Card Draw
Most types of poker can be played in either cash game format or tournament with either a fixed limit betting structure or a no limit betting structure. Other betting structures are available for some types too.
Overall, poker doesn’t offer quite the same variety and choice that sports betting and casino gambling do. Many online poker sites regularly introduce innovative ways to play the game though, so there’s always something new to try.
There are four main types of bingo. These are as follows.
- 30 ball bingo
- 75 ball bingo
- 80 ball bingo
- 90 ball bingo
While it does seem like there are quite a few different options to choose from here, realize there isn’t really much difference between each type. They all work in pretty much the same way, with just some slight rule adjustments. So we don’t consider bingo to be that great in terms of the variety of choice it offers.
We should mention that most online bingo sites do try their best to keep their games as interesting as possible. They offer unique themes and other twists to keep players engaged. Ultimately, though, bingo is bingo. The games are always based on the same basic rules.
There are lots of different lotteries around the world. For example, in the United States alone there are over 40 different state lottery games. There are also a couple of national lotteries: Mega Millions and Powerball.
These lotteries all work in the same way though. There are some slight differences, such as how many numbers you need to match to win, but none of them fundamentally change how the game is played.
Potential for Making Money
The potential for making money from sports betting is almost unlimited. It’s not easy to win often enough to make an overall profit, but it’s definitely possible. If you’re prepared to learn about all the strategy involved, and willing to put in plenty of time and effort, there’s no reason why you can’t make good money.
Can you make money from other forms of gambling too? Let’s take a look.
Most casino players win at some point. You’d have to be extremely unlucky to lose ALL the time. Your chances of making an overall profit are very slim though, because of the house edge. The odds are always in the casino’s favor, and simple probability reveals that you will most likely lose in the long run.
There are only four things you can do to stand any chance of being a profitable casino player. These are as follows.
- Get ahead and then quit
- Win a big jackpot
- Learn to count cards
There are several ways you can cheat in casinos. We don’t recommend any of them. Not only is there a very slim chance that they’d actually work, but you’ll also more than likely get caught. So our advice is not to go down this route. It won’t end well.
The best approach would be to quit while you’re ahead, but you’ll need to rely on luck to get ahead in the first place. And then you’ll need a lot of discipline to never play a casino game again in your life. It’s safe to say you can’t really bank on making your fortune this way.
If you won a big jackpot, then you would definitely make a fortune. You’d need to rely on luck again though, as nothing you can do will significantly improve your chances of winning a casino jackpot. You just need to be in the right place at the right time, like this woman who won over $10 million on a slot machine.
If you want to have some real control over your chances of winning, the final option on our list is the best one. Learn how to count cards and you can actually put the odds in your favor. Want to know more about this? Check out our blackjack guide for more information.
There’s no house edge in poker. This is because you’re not playing against the house. You’re playing against other players and, although there’s an element of luck involved in poker, it’s usually the better players who win when all is said and done. So if you can learn how to play better than your opponents, you can certainly make money from poker.
Bingo games are games of pure chance. There’s no skill involved at all, and whether you win or lose comes entirely down to luck. Similar to the house edge in casino games, the house takes a cut from every single bingo game that’s played. So although you might win every now and again, you’ll inevitably lose money overall. Unless you win a big jackpot game of course, some of which offer prizes of a million dollars or more.
We’d like to bring a few things to your attention. The lottery is purely a game of chance, the odds are firmly stacked against you, and last but not least, you’re actually more likely to get struck by lightning than win the lottery.
Nonetheless, the size of the prize is perhaps worth the risk. Most lottery games cost just a couple of dollars to play, and some of the biggest lottery winners have won over half a billion dollars. Now that’s not a bad return on investment.
Everyone who gambles WANTS to win money if they can. That’s kind of the point of gambling in the first place. But winning money is not THE most important thing for everyone. There are lots of people who gamble purely for the entertainment. As long as they’re having fun, they’re okay with losing.
Betting on sports is one form of gambling that’s easily enjoyable, even if you don’t win. Why? For starters, it makes watching sports even more exciting than usual. Plus you have the chance to put your sports knowledge to the test as you try to predict what’s going to happen. So there’s no doubt that sports betting scores highly in terms of entertainment value.
What about the alternatives though?
Casino gambling is incredibly popular, and not just because of the chance of winning money. Most people who play casino games KNOW that it’s probably going to cost them money, but that doesn’t stop them from playing. Why? Because they have a great time regardless of whether they win or lose. Casino games are a LOT of fun, it’s that simple.
Just ask some of the 40 million plus people who visit Las Vegas each year. Or anyone else who enjoys visiting any of the many casino venues around the world. Or anyone who plays at online casinos. We’re pretty sure they’d all say the same thing; the thrills and excitement that casino games have to offer are hard to beat.
Poker can be entertaining on a few different levels. For example, some people really enjoy the social aspect of it. They like sitting down at a table with others, and playing a friendly game of cards while chatting and having fun. These are the kind of players that rarely, if ever, play online.
Other people enjoy the challenge poker presents. They like trying out new moves at the table, and learning new strategies away from it. Improving their game is their main goal. Then there are those who enjoy the competitive nature of poker. Their goal is to beat their opponents and prove they have the superior skill set.
There are even people who approach poker in the same way they would any other casino game. They don’t worry too much about strategy, or playing the “right” way. They just wait until they have good cards and then try to get as much money in the pot as they can. The love of the game and the buzz they get from winning a few hands is what keeps them interested.
Bingo is entertaining in a very different way to some other forms of gambling. It’s mindless entertainment really. You don’t have to think too much about what you’re doing, or make any important decisions. You just have to choose which game(s) to play, and buy your tickets or game cards. Then you simply mark off the relevant numbers as they’re drawn.
This may not seem very appealing, but don’t be too quick to judge. Bingo isn’t for everyone; some people will find it to be quite boring. Others could spend hours on end playing this game and be perfectly content. They appreciate the fact that they don’t have to make tough decisions or think hard about what to do. They enjoy bingo precisely BECAUSE it’s easy entertainment. And there’s a lot to be said for that.
Playing the lottery offers a limited amount of entertainment value, simply because there’s not much involved. Picking your numbers doesn’t take very long, and then you’ve just got to wait for the draw. But with that being said, the small amount of entertainment that it does offer can be pretty intense.
Watching a live lottery draw and waiting for the numbers to come out is exhilarating. Even though the odds are firmly stacked against you, knowing there’s a chance you could win a life changing amount of money in the next few minutes really gets the blood pumping.
Is sports betting “better” than the other forms of gambling we’ve discussed here? It’s impossible to say really. There are plenty of good reasons to bet on sports, but there are plenty of good reasons to try the other forms of gambling too. They all have their own pros and cons.
We will say this though. If you’re gambling with the sole intention of making money, we firmly believe that sports betting is the best option. Poker is worth considering too, but sports betting has the edge in our view. There’s a little less luck involved, and a better overall chance of success.
If you’re gambling for the fun of it, then pick any form of gambling that interests you. Why not try them all? You’ll never know what you might like until you try it. Just make sure that you ALWAYS stick to a budget, and only gamble with money you can afford tolose.