The perils of wagering with a small-time bookie

I read online that some lucky guy just hit a 23-team parlay and turned his $100 wager into 25 grand.  Must be nice.

I’ve got a few buddies that are just as hot lately when it comes to wagering.  One friend has reached near unprecedented swami status by winning our local bar pick ‘em pool (40+ participants) two out of the last three weeks.  Another friend had the stones to bet $800 on a three-teamer that hit this past weekend.

It is this final wager that I’d like to talk about.

My friend, let’s call him Skittles, likes to place a healthy wager on football every so often.  He’s got the bankroll to do so.  He’s not the most knowledgeable sports fan in the world but by no means is he a dummy.  As you can see by the parlay he just hit, he obviously knows what he’s doing.

But this was his first wager placed with a new, small-time bookie, meaning a) he didn’t make as much as he could have and b) he’s having a hard time getting paid.

First of all, for you beginners out there, let’s discuss what a parlay is.  A parlay is where you take two, or three, or four or however many games you feel like betting on and string them together into one single bet.  By doing so, you dramatically increase your payout but you must also hit every single one of those wagers, otherwise you lose your money.  For example, let’s say you bet the Giants, Jets, Dolphins and Patriots all to cover their respective point spreads.  If only three of those four teams cover, you lose your wager.  They all must hit.

The standard payouts for parlays are such.  Two-teamers pay 2.6 to 1.  Three-teamers pay 6 to 1.  Four-teamers pay 10 to 1.   Anything more than that and you’re really spreading yourself thin, although on the occasional trip to Vegas, it’s always fun to drop a few bucks on a monster parlay or round-robin, just to see what happens because when they hit, they hit big.

Let’s get back to Skittles.  His first mistake was misunderstanding the comeback on his wager, thinking he was going to get paid out more than he did.  When placing a wager, whether it’s at a sportsbook, card table or wherever, it’s always important to know what you’re risking as well as your potential reward.  Parlays are a smart way to wager, primarily because you’re not paying the juice on a single bet but it’s crucial to know what to expect back if your bet hits.  Skittles’ bookie only paid five-to-one on that three-team parlay, essentially shorting him the $800 he would have won had he placed that bet through a more legitimate source.

I’ve never really placed a wager with a small-time bookie.  If I bet on sports, it’s either through a Las Vegas connection, against a friend or on one of my online gambling links.  The neighborhood bookie is generally limited on the kind of bets he can take whereas in Vegas you can bet on just about anything.  For example, small-time bookies generally won’t recognize fat money lines and if they do, they’re not as high as you can get at a sportsbook.  And they definitely won’t let you parlay moneylines, which is the way I like to bet.  Bookies understand that’s the way gamblers make a killing; if even one of those bets hit, they can take a bath.

Lastly, know your bookie’s wagering limits.  That’s what happened with Skittles.   His bookie allegedly caps wagers at $500 but thought he had a sucker in Skittles and took his $800 three-teamer.  Turns out he was the sucker and is now out four grand.  Bankrupting your local bookie is never a good idea, no matter how rewarding it might seem.

When placing wagers, it is important to know the rules of the game, whether you’re betting small bucks or big, at a casino, online or through a buddy.

And as always, never bet what you can’t afford to lose.

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19 Replies to “The perils of wagering with a small-time bookie”

  1. Pingback: The perils of wagering with a small-time bookie - BallHyped Blog Network, Betting | BallHyped Sports Blogs

  2. Incroyable! I don’t think Vegas would take a 23 teamer ATS or even a teaser, a hit would turn their lights out. Dear winner, you are *not* invited to our pickem!

  3. I know there isn’t sure thing in the world of wagering . And I tend to stay away from the guys with known associations to the “Mob” or East European connections . Vegas is cool , and that’s it for me .

    Doug Martin is likely to have a better career than Cadillac Williams (Cad’s stats) , we hope ! This kid is on a roll don’t you think ?

    I’m readily impressed with the start that the Magic have gotten off to , but it’s still early days yet .

    So Jonesy (Jerry) got locked out of the Cowboys’ locker room , as the coaching staff harangued the players for that woefully inept performance against the Falcons . What was Jerry going to do ? Defecate even more than his team had done on the field of play against the Falcons ?

    Something old, something new, something borrowed though not necessarily blue ….

  4. Yes, Yaz, and just to clarify for those of you who don’t know, the reason the comeback for the guy who hit that 23-teamer was so low what because he wagered moneyline favorites.

    A 23-teamer laying the points in each, well, that would have paid, as Yaz suggested, Incroyably!

  5. Al…

    Isn’t is safe to say Doug Martin has ALREADY had a better career than Cadillac Williams?

    I mean, I don’t ever remember Williams doing what Martin has done the past few games.

    He’s quickly becoming a local fan favorite, not to mention giving Bucs fans reason to believe. I mean, people are already comparing him to Barry Sanders. As you very well know, that’s not bad company to keep even if those comparisons are way premature.

    And you know how I love to see Jerry Jones wince. I say give THAT guy his own reality TV show particularly when the Cowboys are losing.

  6. Gambling is illegal at Bushwood, sir…

    But podcasts aren’t. We’ve had a couple faint discussions about this, but shoot me an e-mail if you would like to get this thing started again..

    Gambling would make a great topic for discussion.

  7. I gamble very little, prefering to limit my vices to the big three; wine, women, and song.The women part comes only from lusting in my heart, afterall my wife might read this.

  8. Chris

    Jones does already have his own reality show . It’s called the Dallas Cowboys . It’s televised in the local market and nationally in Sundays . And it seems to have the nation and fans in the local market transfixed for one reason or another . You should realize by now, that for sixteen weeks each season there’s a celebrity guest on Jerry’s show . Sometimes, he loves the results , especially when the content favors the team . Other times , he will lambast the coaching staff and players when the show and rating are poor . And you seem to forget that $1.2 billion studio built to house the show .

    Well , Martin is playing in the NFL , whereas , Cadillac Williams’ last season was spent with the woefully inept Rams , in 2011. Say no more !

    I’ve no problem with fans or analysts making comparison with certain players . Let’s be real however , but until Martin reels of eight or 9 consecutive 1000 yard seasons, we should not get ahead of ourselves . I believe that Sanders was able to do reel off that feat , as if he were in his sleep ? Need we discuss this any further ? LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

    Last night’s game , gives me even further reason to believe , that Andy Reid is not long for the Eagles , as their head coach ! Come on now , this wasn’t solely about the players and another poor performance . The coaching staff is simply bereft of ideas and creativity , especially defensive coordinator Todd Bowles .

    Vick had another one of those games , and it’s likely to be the nail in the coffin , in terms of his long-term future with the franchise . Team owner Jeff Lurie has to now realize, it’s time to cut both Reid and Vick loose .

    Philadelphia Eagles’ news

    I can tell you this Chris , when Vick’s own brother , Marcus , is calling for him to be demoted and traded , then you know there’s something profoundly wrong . Nothing like some sibling rivalry . LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

    Michael Vick’s brother vents about Philadelphia Eagles

    Dropped this MLB piece

    Sports can be such a barbaric business ….. In baseball there are still lessons to be learned …

    Tophatal ………….

  9. Al…

    It all starts one season at a time and this one is a good one. Doug Martin is currently third in the league in rushing behind Adrian Peterson and Marshawn Lynch… and he doesn’t even get all the carries on this team, although it probably won’t be long before he does.

    I hate to say it but I think I agree with you on Reid, man. He just doesn’t look like he has it anymore, or at least he needs a break, a year off, something. He looks pretty beaten down, his team sucks and his answers are becoming as trite as ever. It just might be time for a change.

  10. Anything that gives the Bucs some added national exposure has to be good for the franchise . I mean bear in mind if they can’t even sell out the Ray J using Freeman as the “so called franchise player” , then they now have to take a new route .

    Martin has been outplaying every single Bucs player on the roster and that is a fact .

    Vick was one of the primary reasons behind Monday night’s loss . But Reid must now bear the brunt of the team’s woes .

    Considering Andy Reid’s resume` and the things he’s a achieved , he is a lock for Canton . It’s now time for him to walk away with class and dignity . He should follow suit in a similar vein to Tony Dungy , for which no one would fault the Eagles’ coach. The longer he now remains , with the team swooning so badly , the more the backlash will be against the coach and the now beleaguered quarterback .

    Tophatal ………..

  11. Al…

    And yet we sit and wait to see if the Bucs can sell out Sunday’s home game against the Chargers.

    Sad state of affairs if they don’t, considering they are officially the hottest team in the NFL.

    Re: the Eagles, Lurie has some tough decisions to make. I have a feeling neither of those guys will make the cut.

  12. If the Bucs can’t sell out for Sunday , well it comes down to the lazy half-##sed fair weather fans within the locale .

    With regard to the Eagles , Reid has been blinkered , in not categorically stating that Vick hasn’t been a liability . And that now can be used to discredit the guy.

    I’m rockin’ listening to Jeezy and Jigga ,

    Tophatal ……………

  13. One of my bucket list items (now that I am closer to kicking the bucket someday) is to go out to Vegas during March Madness with a lion’s share of my savings…sit down in front of a giant wall of monitors…and start firing bets off to experience the rush of playing the odds in a big, what-the-hell way. I learned early on in life (college years) that part about only betting what you can afford to lose, which has always kept me in check ever since. Duquesne laying a few points at St. Francis (PA) 26 years ago…what could POSSIBLY go wrong? It did. Lesson learned. Been “saving up” for that trip/adventure since.

  14. Al…

    I haven’t heard from my sources either way about the Bucs game. I’m assuming if they had sold out already, he would have told me.

    I know it’s Philly but the Eagles can sell out home games and they absolutely suck.

  15. SA…

    I haven’t been for March Madness either.

    When I used to go, it was generally early on in the football season where oddsmakers really hadn’t nailed down the lines yet.

    I found some good value there.

  16. Al…

    After last year, the Pacers looked like they could become at least second-tier contenders. They gave the Heat all they wanted til the Heat woke up.

    Grainger is an unquestionable all-star and his absence is going to seriously hurt this team.

    I guess we’ll find out what they’re made of and whether anyone else is able to step up while he’s gone.

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