Types of Bets Explained: From Moneylines to Accumulators

There are many different types of bets with varying degrees of complexity and risk involved. Knowing how to handle simple moneyline bets and having the ability to combine several wagers into one super ticket can help you beat the bookies.

In this article, we’ll cover the most common types of bets and walk you through a few examples to help you understand how they work before you head to a sportsbook.

There Is More Than One Way to Win

types of bets

Different types of sports bets are tailored to different types of bettors. For example, some people prefer to place a single bet on a single game, while others want to spread their bets across multiple games.

Furthermore, different betting options offer different levels of risk and reward. A parlay bet on multiple games carries more risk than a moneyline bet on a single game. However, parlay bets also offer bigger payouts.

Finally, different types of sports betting fuel excitement. For example, handicap betting can inject an unprecedented dose of excitement by adding the possibility of a life-changing payday. In short, the different types of sports bets exist to accommodate individual preferences and enhance the overall gambling experience.

Familiarizing yourself with different bet types at your disposal before heading to online sportsbooks is paramount in order to maximize your potential for profit.

Most Common Betting Types

Some bet types are more popular than others. In the following section, we’ll introduce you to the most common bet types that you are likely to encounter.

Win Bets and Moneyline Bets

A win bet, also known as a moneyline bet in the US, is the most common type of bet in sports gambling and one of the most common types of Super Bowl bets. With a moneyline bet, you are simply picking the team or player that you think will win a particular game.

For example, let’s say you want to bet on the outcome of the Super Bowl. If you place a win bet on the New England Patriots in their match against the Philadelphia Eagles and the Patriots win, you win your bet. If the Eagles win, you lose the bet.

Bookmakers usually offer these types of bets on all major sports, including soccer, basketball, baseball, hockey, tennis, and even golf.

Moneyline bets are perfect for new players who want to stick to the basics while placing wagers with potentially high payouts, especially when it comes to sensational derbies between bitter rivals. This is arguably the most popular betting option among recreational players.

Totals and Over/Under Bets

Often referred to as a total in the U.S., this type of wager is also known as an over/under bet in other parts of the world. This is a bet on whether a number for a specific statistic will be higher or lower than a sportsbook predicts. This, too, is one of the simpler options in betting.

For example, if you’re betting on the total number of points that you expect to be scored in the Super Bowl match between the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles, you would place an over/under bet.

Let’s say the bookmakers set a total of 52.5 points. You’ll bet on whether the final score will be over or below this number. Remember, you’re not predicting the actual score, you’re simply wagering on whether there will be more or fewer points scored in the game. If the final score is a total of 53 points scored and you bet that the score will be higher, you win. The level of simplicity makes this one of the best types of sports bets for beginners.

Over/under bets are also offered on all major sports, such as football, basketball, baseball, and hockey. And even though you can make these types of sportsbook bets on a variety of statistics during the game, the most promising option is often the total points scored.

Point Spread and Handicap Bets

Point spread bets, also known as handicap betting in Europe and Asia, are sports wagers on the margin of victory. The bookmakers decide which team is the favorite and which one is the underdog. Then, they assign the total number of points or goals that they believe the favorite will win by.

If the favorite is assigned -7.5 points and you bet on the favorite to win, that team needs to emerge triumphant by more than seven points for the bet to payout. If you bet on the underdog that gets + 7.5 points, that team either needs to win outright or lose by less than seven points for the bet to payout.

The best way to explain these types of bets in sports is with an actual example. Let’s say that you want to bet on the outcome of a football match between our favorite pairing, the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles.

Assume the bookmakers set a point spread of 7.5 points in favor of the Patriots. If you think the Eagles can win the game outright or lose by less than 7 points, you should bet on the Eagles.

Point spread bets are usually available with all major sports, including football, basketball, and baseball.

Each-Way Bets

When it comes to different types of sports bets, there are a few other bets to choose from. One of those is an each-way wager, which consists of two sports wagers with equal cost – a bet on your selection to win a sports event and a place bet on your selection to finish the competition in prespecified places. Since an each-way wager consists of two sports bets, you’ll deposit a double stake, one for the win and one for the place bet.

For example, let’s say that you want to bet on a particular horse winning the Kentucky Derby. Of course, there are many different types of bets you can make at the race track, but in this case, you’ll pick a winner and make a place bet for your horse to finish in the top three.

The bookmakers set different odds for the win and place parts of an each-way bet. If a horse doesn’t finish in the top three, you’ll lose both parts of this sports wager. This type of bet is popular in horse and greyhound racing. Experienced bettors are generally more comfortable with each-way sports bets due to their complexity.

Outright or Futures Bets

An outright or futures bet is one of the most popular bets involving the selection of winners of tournaments and leagues that are yet to be played.

For example, you can place a bet on who will win the World Series before the season gets underway or try and predict the number of yards a quarterback will throw during an upcoming season.

But unlike other types of sports gambling, this option is generally considered much more of a long shot. Picking a winner before a competition gets underway means that bettors don’t have a great deal of information to base their predictions on.

Proposition Bets

Proposition bets, or specials, don’t involve picking winners and losers and aren’t linked to the final outcome of a sporting event. You can place a prop bet on game props or player props.

For example, you can place a bet on a particular player being the first to score in a basketball game or the number of yards a quarterback will throw during a season. You can also place other prop bets, such as which team will be the first to score 30 points. In other words, you can place prop bets on literally everything making this one of the more fun ways to gamble.

These bets are popular among experienced sports bettors as it enables them to control the money they wager more efficiently. When it comes to bankroll management for proposition bets, it’s always important to remember that you’re playing with your hard-earned money. As such, punters avoid using this wager in college sports due to the many unpredictable variables when compared to other types of betting.

Accumulators and Parlays

An accumulator or parlay bet is a single bet that links together two or more individual wagers. The final outcome depends on all of the wagers listed on your betting slip, which means you only win this multiple bet if all your individual picks are accurate.

The benefit of this sports bet is that it gives you the chance to win a large sum of money from a small stake. However, the downside is that if one of your wagers doesn’t win, then you’ll lose the entire accumulator bet.

For example, let’s say you’re exploring different types of football betting and you choose to place an accumulator bet on three different football matches. All three need to win for the bet to payout. If one of the matches doesn’t finish in your favor, then you’ll lose the entire parlay qualifying bet.

Teasers and Pleasers Bets

If accumulators are not challenging enough for you, they have a few advanced counterparts. A teaser bet is a wager that allows the bettor to adjust the point spread in their favor on multiple games. It’s connected to multiple bets with a payout similar to single regular bets.

Unlike the different types of bets explained above, the teaser wager is designed to make it harder for sports bettors to win. With this sports bet, you’re actually setting the point spread to be out of favor. But pleasers have more generous payouts.

Let’s say that you want to place a four-team teaser bet on the NFL. In this case, you would be able to adjust the point spread by six points in your favor on all four teams.

So, if the point spreads were originally Patriots -3, Eagles +2, Browns +7, and Raiders -5, with your teaser bet, they would become Patriots +3, Eagles +8, Browns +13, and Raiders +1. With this style of wager, you have a much better chance of winning your bet with the adjusted point spreads.

Teasers are in high demand in states where sports wagering is legal. On the other hand, pleasers are not as commonly used since they give the sportsbook an advantage.

If Bets and Reverse Bets

If bets combine two or more wagers where the outcome of the previous bet determines whether you can place a subsequent bet. If your first bet wins, then the second one is placed, and so on. If your first bet loses, you lose your stake, and the rest of the bet is canceled, making this one of the more complex types of bets.

For example, if you want to place an if bet on two different football matches, you need to place a bet on the first match, and if that bet wins, you receive a payout equal to your original stake deducted. Then this winning amount is placed on the second game, and so on. If the first bet loses, then the second bet wouldn’t be placed.

Reverse bets are very similar to if bets, except that you reduce the risk of losing the whole wager, making it one of the more fun types of bets. Reverse bets enable you to make your if bet with reverse action. However, due to the level of complexity, few bettors choose to place these bets.

Permutation Betting

Permutation sports betting involves placing a series of wagers on multiple selections in many different combinations. It can be used in all types of online bet and offers you the opportunity to score a payout even if one of the selections loses.

When placing bets on sports, permutation is usually used in horse racing bets and football, as these events generally have a large number of potential outcomes. The downside of this type of bet is that it’s usually very expensive, as you need to place a lot of different wagers.

Live Betting

Live betting, or in-play betting, allows you to place bets on sporting events while they are taking place.

Live betting is available with the most popular sports such as football, basketball, tennis, and cricket. The most popular type of live bet is the moneyline bet, as it’s straightforward. Other types of live bets include the totals bet, point spreads, and props. All of these are great ​​types of baseball bets but can also offer lucrative returns in other sports.


There are many different bet types that you can place on sporting events. The type of bet you choose to place will depend on the sport you’re betting on, as well as your own personal preferences.

There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing which type of bet to place, but understanding the different bet types will improve your chances of picking winners.


What are the most common bets?

The most common bets you’ll encounter both at online sports betting sites and land-based venues are win bets or moneyline bets, totals or over/under bets, point spread or handicap bets, and each-way bets.

What are 4 bets called?

A four-way bet is a type of bet that involves four different selections. The four selections could be four different teams, players, or any other combination.

What are all the types of sports bets?

The different bet types include win bets or moneyline bets, totals or over/under bets, point spread or handicap bets, each-way bets, outright or futures bets, proposition bets, accumulators, and parlay bets. Other types of bets are teasers and pleasers bets, if bets and reverse bets, and permutation betting.