After a long night out with your squad in Vegas and when your hangover is in full effect, the last thing you want is to sit outside in the glaring sun, walk around shopping or pouring money into a slot machine — that doesn’t leave too many options aside from laying around your hotel room all day ordering room service (this is a totally acceptable option, by the way).
However, there’s another great way to spend a lazy day — the Sportsbook. It’s dark, low key, and there are endless free Bloody Marys. Perf. Alternatively, it’s an awesome way to spend an evening even if you aren’t feeling like literal trash from last night. There are several reasons to go, and you can look like a BA at the sportsbook without too much effort.
The Free Drinks
As I mentioned, the drinks are free in Vegas sportsbooks (obviously, you still tip your waitress. duh.), but just like on the gaming floor in the casino, you only get to imbibe for free if you’re placing bets. It’s a good value compared to the rest of the casino because you don’t have to wager as much to get as many drinks. You can bet the minimum on a football game and enjoy the freebies for the entire time. Chances are you won’t be able to pull that off that kind of value even playing penny slots, where the waitresses don’t show up often enough. When the waitress comes around, just show her your betting ticket and you’re good to go.
You Get to Watch Sports With Real Fans
If you’re the girl who suffers through Sunday football games with your boyfriend, then a sportsbook probably doesn’t sound that appealing. However, even people who aren’t huge sports fans can enjoy watching a game while surrounded by people who are really into what’s going on (and they care even more than normal since they have money on the game). It’s a blast when the atmosphere is buzzing with competition and excitement. Still not convinced? Remember what I said about free Bloody Mary’s? You’ll have a good time regardless.
You’re Automatically a Bad Bitch
In general, there aren’t many women hanging around sportsbooks. If you go with a group of your girls, you’ll probably stand out. If you’re single and looking for a little flirting while on vacation, this is perfect.
If you aren’t looking for that, you don’t have to avoid it. Since there generally aren’t tons of women in sportsbooks, it’s not like men come there to hunt for prey. Basically, you have a decent chance of finding someone to flirt with who isn’t a bro in a neon muscle tank shouting over the latest Avicii track by the pool. Actually… there are a lot of bros, they’re just all wearing jerseys or creeping at the club… but the sportsbook guys are generally there to watch the game. So, enjoy your free G&T’s and chill with your besties.
Impress the Shit Out of People
Ok, so to pull this one off you either already know what you’re talking about, or you can read the rest of this article and you’ll be able to seem like you know what you’re talking about. Relatively few people understand Vegas odds (guys or girls), so being able to put money on something with confidence in a sportsbook makes you pretty BA.
Understanding Vegas ‘Moneyline’ Odds
Looking at the board in a sportsbook can be V intimidating, but it’s actually pretty basic.
For betting on things like a UFC fight or anything where points aren’t involved, you’ll see something like a fighter’s name followed by either “+” and a number or “-” and a number. For example, the odds on the famous Holm/Rousey fight in Brisbane were Holm +450 and Rousey -716. These are the “moneyline” odds.
The fighter with the negative number is the favorite; the fighter with the positive number is the underdog. These numbers are based on a bet of $100, and here’s what they mean: If you bet $100 on Holm, you’ll win $450. On the flipside, you have to bet $716 on Rousey in order to win $100. In short, for the favorite you have to bet whatever the set number is to win $100, and for the underdog you will win whatever the set number is if you bet $100.
You don’t actually have to bet $100 or $716; the ratio stays the same for lower bets. Check with the staff at the desk to find out what the minimum bet is, which can be as low as $2.
If you’re betting on a football or basketball team — any game where points are scored — the plus and minus numbers next to the teams show the point spread. These numbers show which team is favored to win or lose and by how much. As an example, let’s use the 2016 Super Bowl:
The +5 next to Denver is the number of points the sportsbook thinks they will lose by. Carolina has -5, which means they think that Carolina will win by 5 points or more.
In this scenario, if we were to place a bet on Denver, they could actually lose the game and we would still win the bet. If they lose the game by 4 points or less (or win the game altogether), we would win our bet. If Denver loses by 5 points or more, we’d lose our bet.
If we bet on Carolina to win and they only won by 4 points or less, we would lose. To win on a Carolina bet, they’d need to beat the spread, meaning they’d win by at least 5 points.
In short, the spread numbers dictate how many points the team we bet on has to win or lose by. If Carolina wins by 20 points, we would win the bet since they won by more than 5 points — pretty basic when we break it down like this.
Even these games have moneyline odds, which are usually -110, meaning that you’d need to bet $110 to win $100.
Betting on the Ponies
Horse betting is unique from other kinds of sports betting. In a nutshell, you can bet on a horse to win, you can bet that a horse will place (meaning first or second place), or you can bet on a horse to show, which is coming in first, second or third.
There are a few other straightforward bets and some more “exotic bets.” These are slightly more complicated to understand, but check out the Art of Manliness for a clear, in-depth explanation.
The sportsbook is a great option for sports fans and girls looking for a more lowkey scene in Vegas — and some of the best to try are the at the Bellagio, Caesars Palace and Aria.