How Do I Place a Sports Bet In Las Vegas?
If you've never set foot in an actual sportsbook before, the chances of getting overwhelmed when you actually do are very high. I highly recommend going to the sportsbooks for your very first time on a day when it's not Super Bowl weekend, or March Madness or the Kentucky Derby, or any other massive sporting event that the entire world is watching. Hiding behind your computer and making an online wager is easy and free of any sort of intimidation factor. Stepping into a Las Vegas casino for the first time and trying to get in some action is a whole other ball game.
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In an actual Las Vegas sportsbook, there is a lot of commotion. It reaches a level where you can't even hear the person next to you or even the voice inside of your head. The odds and lines are displayed on a massive digital board for everyone to see - which is something you're not used to as an online bettor. When a novice sports bettor looks at the massive digital signage, they will see a bunch of numbers, both positive and negative, some two digits, some three digits, and they will often time be left confused.
While it may seem like a "kid in a candy store" to some bettors who just thrive off the hustle and bustle atmosphere, the average bettor - or the bigger bettor - will tend to avoid these scenarios at all costs.
There are certain unwritten rules amongst sportsbook patrons that are just left unsaid, but you damn well better follow them. One wrong step or one extra second stuttering at the betting window will earn you the glare of the more seasoned bettors. So, with that said, let's take a look at what you need to know about placing a wager in a Las Vegas Casino.
What is the Rotation Number?
As I mentioned, when you walk into the sportsbook, you'll notice the massive digital signage with every single game on it. It'll list both teams, the line, the odds and time. Most people would think the correct way to place a bet is to go to the betting window and tell the clerk the team you want and how much you want to wager on them. That is wrong, and it'll annoy everyone around you.
Perhaps the most important piece of information you should know is the rotation number of the team you want to bet. Rotations numbers are to the left of the team name on the board and are unique to the team/sport. They are like a barcode, essentially.
Instead of going to the betting window and saying "I'll take $100 on the Chiefs -4.5 please," you need to say "$100 on 321". The clerk will punch in the rotation number, and the computers will spit out a ticket with the team associated with rotation number 321, which in this case is the Kansas City Chiefs.
What Happens if There is An Error on My Ticket?
I can't stress this part enough - check your ticket for accuracy before you step away from the betting window. Human error is a part of life. And while they may be very rare amongst betting tickets, it does happen from time to time. A wrong rotation number or a slip of a finger from the clerk and you'll be cheering for the wrong team the entire time.
The minute you step away from the window, the ticket becomes official, and there is very little you can do about changing it. Take the extra second to look over the ticket to make sure it's the right team you want to bet on the right line you thought you were getting and the exact amount you wanted to bet.
Where Do I Collect My Winnings?
So, you've won your first wager at a sportsbook with a ticket in hand. Now what? Well, this part should be the fun and easiest part of your day. Simply go back to the betting window and hand the clerk your ticket and they will give you your winnings. I highly recommend not doing this a minute or two before a big game starts unless you plan on rolling those winnings onto your next bet. Taking up too much time at the betting window and preventing the person behind you from getting in a last-minute bet is as much your fault as it is theirs for leaving it to the last minute. Be courteous of others.
Do All Sportsbooks Offer the Same Lines?
Yes and no.
While all casinos are generally operated in the same manner, the sportsbooks are and the people setting the lines are free to set the line as they see fit. A game between the Cowboys and Packers could be listed at -3.5 (-110) at one sportsbook, while 100 yards down the road at a different casino, it could be listed at -2.5 (-125). You have to do your research and shop around for the best lines in order to help you successfully win your bet or lose less money.
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