Sports Betting Q&A
Frequently asked questions about sports betting

How does sports betting work in Vegas?

Last Updated: Apr 30, 2020
Fact Checked By: Adam Zdroik

Vegas remains the go-to place for sports betting even as states continue to legalize wagering throughout the country.

That said, Vegas (and Nevada) is a little different than what most other states provide because they've been offering sports betting for decades.

If you're looking to bet right away, it makes sense to venture to the sportsbook where you're staying. If there isn't one, there are a wide range of options in downtown Las Vegas and on the strip. Either way, there is likely a sportsbook within walking distance of where you're staying.


When betting in person, the most important thing to keep in mind, other than to carry cash, is the rotation number, which is often listed next to a certain bet on an odds board. To make it easier for the tellers, each bet has a rotation number they type in. For example, a game on an odds board may look like this:

350 Saints-6-180
351 Falcons52+160

In this case, the rotation numbers are 350 and 351.

If you want to bet $100 on the Saints, you would say, "$100 on 350, Saints -6." For the Falcons, it would be, "$100 on 351, Falcons +6." For the over/under it would be, "$100 on 350, over 52." For over/unders, you can use either rotation number. For moneyline bets, it's the same thing, "$100 on 350, Saints moneyline." In this case, you'd be betting $100 on -180 odds, which would payout about $150.


While Las Vegas is the hub for sports betting, you cannot bet online until you sign up in person at a casino. Most sportsbooks have their own app, but you'll need to set up an account in person and get a players club card in the process.


In case the betting teller misheard you and put in the wrong bet, it's vital to double check your betting slip after receiving it. While it's not likely your bet is wrong, you don't want to be cheering for a certain side and when you go back to the ticket window find out the bet you wanted isn't the one you have money on.


Collecting money from a winning bet online is automatic, but if you bet in person, you can easily get your winnings from the sportsbook where the bet was made. All you have to do is go to the betting window and they'll give you your winnings.


A lot of people like free things and free drinks are a thing, but you'll need to bet a certain amount to receive drink tickets and it varies from casino to casino. It's rare to get drink tickets on just $50 of wagering, though there are places that may give you an initial drink ticket to keep you betting at that location.


Not all sportsbooks are the same and it's not just how they look. While a lot of sportsbooks get their odds from the same place in Vegas, there are a lot of different options. For example, you may see the Saints moneyline at -180 at one sportsbook and -150 at another. The same goes for spread bets as in you could find Saints -6 at -110 at one place and -120 at another. 

Shopping odds is rarely something that can be fruitful for a non-professional bettor, but for those betting large sums of money, it can make a difference. Of course, if you're in Vegas to bet for fun on the weekend, there's no point to researching sportsbooks where you can get -110 odds as opposed to -120.

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