Toronto Mike

Finding the common ground between sports betting and casino games

Two of the most  prominent pillars supporting the world of gambling are sports betting and  casino games. Both of them have, in unique ways, fueled the industry for  centuries—a phenomenon that won't be slowing down anytime soon. But how exactly  do these pillars stand in relation to each other? Is there overlap between sports  betting andonline casino games?

The answer to that question naturally holds  a great deal of importance for gambling service providers and promoters, who  benefit from increased interest in their industry, but also for gamblers  themselves. A bettor who is drawn to the gambling pastime by slots might never  think to extend that intrigue to sports, even though he or she would probably  end up loving it for many of the same reasons as the slots (and no, not just  because they're spelled almost identically). Let's take a look at why that is,  and why the rationale applies to pretty much all comparisons between sports  betting and casino games.

It's  all about bringing down the house

Whether you're going all in on a blackjack  hand or betting big on the Green Bay Packers, your opponent is always the house  (the casino/gambling service). Even though the force that people root against  in a sports bet is the opposing team, the house is still the entity that  bettors are actually trying to best.

Not only are gamblers trying to overcome  the house, they're trying to do so from a point of disadvantage. In both sports  betting and casino games, the house has transparently tilted the odds in its  own favour. Casino games do this naturally because of their inherent structure—no  bet in roulette has better odds than those of the house, blackjack players are  disadvantaged by having to play before the dealer, etc.—but sports bets are tailored  on a case by case basis in order to best serve the house. Spreads and payout  margins are meticulously adjusted so that even when a lot of people bet  correctly against the house, the consequences it faces are minimal, and bailed  out by the successes it is having with other bets.

When bettors adopt a 'bringing down the  house' mentality, it frames sports betting and casino games as two sides of the  same coin. The end goal is the same, but the paths that gamblers take to get  there require different strategies to navigate. Speaking of which...

Bettors  get to develop their own thresholds and strategies

What do going for a flush with four common  suited—but low—cards off of the flop, and making an in-game bet against a  struggling Golden State Warriors team have in common?

For starters, they both allow for a high  likelihood of getting burned (the odds are against that common suit showing up  again, just as they are for the Warriors struggling for an entire game). But  beyond the situation-specific risks, they both represent a type of bet that  requires a certain level of comfort on the part of the bettor. Some people are  happy to chase that semi-elusive flush when they've seen enough signs on the  table indicating it could happen, just as some would be eager to bet on a  Warriors team down by 10 or more entering the fourth quarter. Others would back  off of those bets entirely.

Part of the appeal of both sports betting  and casino games is that bettors get to write their own 'code.' They can assess  the risks involved and set thresholds for themselves. They can strategize and identify opportunities to wager a bit more when the time seems right to strike. It's like betting on golf matches. Though  different types of knowledge are required to make educated bets in the sports  and casino spheres, the underlying process of applying it is the same.

Even  the losers get lucky sometimes

First, shout out to the late,  great Tom Petty for giving us the immortal line, "Even loooosers get  lucky sometimes." Just one of his many gems.

It also serves as a sort of proverb for the  gambling world. At the end of the day, gambling is a pastime that allows for  all kinds of wacky results to occur. No matter how much preparation bettors do,  or how much research they put in, there are times where they're simply going to  get burned. The Maple Leafs can typically play like world beaters at home,  coming off of rest, but can still get upset there once in a while by a lowly  opponent. The turn and the river can validate a foolish poker player with the  unlikeliest of great hands.

That's just the nature of gambling. It's  not always about merit. Nobody will give bettors an 'A' for the thought they've  put in ahead of time. All that matters is what happens in that moment. Which is  why a total novice can show up to a casino and bet recklessly or make an  ill-advised sports bet and still walk away a champion. How's that for overlap?

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