If you’ve ever been approached with the line, “I’ve got a proposition for you,” then you understand something about how exciting and yet dangerous prop betting can be.
Anytime someone starts a sentence with, “I’ve got a proposition for you,” it’s kind of like a sentence that begins with, “Watch this.” You have to be aware that what comes next could be disastrous and there is a distinct chance that somebody’s about to get kicked in the balls.
That’s why the key to proper prop betting is to either get the odds in your favor or else just make the bet for the fun of it and don’t care if you lose.
Many Names for and Forms of Prop Betting
Prop bets are also called propositional bets, props, exotics, side bets, or dumb ideas. Often prop bets are not even related to sports or gambling per se.
Speaking of dumb ideas unrelated to sports, those are frequently the most legendary kinds of prop betting. For example, take the time that arguably the best poker player of all time, Johnny Moss, was offered a 15-1 prop bet to try to fight an enormous bar room brawler who boasted a 100-0 record of pummeling people who opposed him in bar room brawls.
A betting man, Moss went up behind the guy, sucker punched him in the head, and next thing you know, Moss is in the hospital for two weeks with numerous broken bones. Nevertheless, even from his hospital bed, Moss averred that 15-1 was too good to pass up.
This gets to the heart of why prop betting thrives: it’s the gambler’s gamble. It’s all about the adrenaline rush, about taking the chance, about being on the golf course and betting your buddy that you can shotgun three beers in a row and still hit the green from here.
Sportsbook and Casino Prop Betting
Sportsbooks and casinos are well aware that when people are betting props, they are in the mood to gamble. As you might expect, the house is always ready to accommodate this urge.
Therefore, if you are looking to actually win money by prop betting, you should take a look at the mathematical odds that are being offered on any particular bet before you bet, because you will often find that such odds are extremely distorted in favor of the house.
The casino game of craps, for instance, offers many prop bets. You can bet that the dice will come out Hard Six, Snake Eyes, Any Seven, and many others. The payout odds for all of these bets are far, far less than the real odds of the dice coming out as you wish them to.
In essence, the casino charges a premium for how cool and fun and exotic prop betting can be.
Many gamblers are willing to pay that premium and surely there is a time and place for everything, but please avoid “needing” to hit bets where the odds are stacked against you.
Whenever you’re making a prop bet, it’s a solid policy to make sure you’re having fun and count that fun as your reward, any actual monetary winnings are gravy on top.