Beginner's Guide to Sports Betting

Learn everything you need to get started placing bets; the key terms and details, access tools to help you make informed bets, and then get started on Yahoo Sportsbook!
sports betting
sportsbook logo

What is Sports Betting?

Bettors pick the result of a sports event. The potential winnings they stand to win are determined by the odds provided by the sportsbook.
Want to know if betting is legal in your state?
View Legalization Tracker

Getting Started with Yahoo Betting Guides!

Let's say you are watching the San Francisco 49ers against the Los Angeles Rams and want to place a bet on the game.
sample game
Next, let's walk through your different betting options:

Betting 101

Here are the options for types of bets you can place. Click each of the buttons below for explanations on the different bet types.
  • Moneylines
  • Parlays

How to Calculate Odds

The bet calculator allows you to input your stake & odds in American formats to quickly calculate the payout for your bets.

-100 or +100

Your total payout with the current odds and stake.






Implied Probability


Fractional / UK



Betting Tools

Use our tools to test out different bets and keep updated on state legalization.
  • Bet Calculator
  • Legalization Tracker

Start Betting

Get started placing bets now, and come back here for our betting calculators or a refresher on any of the terms.
Bet now
New users receive a 100% deposit match, up to $1000*
Bets and betting odds data are powered by BetMGM.*NEW USERS ONLY. MUST BE 21+. NJ, IN, WV, or CO ONLY. DEPOSIT MATCH PAID IN BONUS DOLLARS. VISIT BETMGM.COM/YAHOO FOR RESTRICTIONS ON BONUS DOLLARS AND FULL TERMS AND CONDITIONS. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem and wants help, call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ & WV), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN) or 1-800-522-4700 (CO).