<![CDATA[SPOOKYBETS.COM - Articles]]>Tue, 12 Mar 2024 23:22:35 -0400Weebly<![CDATA[How to Sports Bet With Bitcoin]]>Mon, 11 Sep 2023 17:12:39 GMThttp://spookybets.com/articles/how-to-sports-bet-with-bitcoin
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​Cryptocurrency and gambling have been intertwined for at least a decade. What started with a handful of online casinos and sportsbooks has mushroomed to hundreds, if not thousands. Yet, all these years later, many gamblers are still unfamiliar with how crypto works. This article intends not to make you a crypto expert but to explain how gamblers use cryptocurrency in simple terms. 

What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a digital currency created in approximately 2009 by an anonymous developer (or developers). The core technology that powers Bitcoin is known as "blockchain." The simplest way to understand blockchain is to imagine a shared spreadsheet of wallet addresses. When you send Bitcoin or other forms of cryptocurrency from your wallet to another, a transaction is noted on that spreadsheet for the whole world to see. Your balance on the spreadsheet is updated accordingly.

The wallet addresses themselves are not tied to your identity. When bad guys with bad intentions use Bitcoin, they are tracked down through the centralized exchanges they use to convert cryptocurrency to dollars. These are the on and off-ramps for the world of digital currency. The exchange rate is constantly moving, and you have likely seen the large swings Bitcoin has had. In 2012, a single Bitcoin cost $13.50 U.S. Dollars. Today, in 2023, as of the writing of this article, a whole Bitcoin costs over $25,000. 

One common misconception about Bitcoin is that it is used in whole numbers. It is not. You can buy, send, or receive fractional amounts. Bitcoin is divisible up to 100 million times its small unit. This unit is known as a Satoshi. One Satoshi would be expressed as 0.00000001 BTC.

While Bitcoin is notorious for its use by international criminals, Bitcoin in itself is one hundred percent legitimate. It started with digital hobbyists at inception and has now been adopted by some small countries like El Salvador. Major companies and financial institutions now carry Bitcoin as an asset on their balance sheets. Skepticism about Bitcoin not being worth anything has faded away to being considered a major international currency. Instead of being created by a particular government like the U.S. Dollar, it is instead backed by "miners" who solve complex equations to make transactions on the network run. Their reward is Bitcoin itself. 

Understanding Crypto for Sports Betting and Casino Gambling

You don't need expert knowledge of crypto to gamble with it. We have already discussed the basics of Bitcoin, and we can say that many cryptocurrencies came into existence after Bitcoin. 

Ethereum and Litecoin are other major cryptocurrencies used by sportsbooks. Like Bitcoin, their value in other currencies is constantly fluctuating. The crypto world devised a solution known as "stablecoins" for people who want digital storage value pegged to a particular currency. Tether (USDT) and USD Coin (USDC) are examples. These coins are pegged to the U.S. Dollar on a 1:1 basis. Even these coins experience some volatility, and there have been brief times when they have become unpegged. In lay terms, sometimes USDT and USDC have been worth less than $1 due to market fluctuations. Many sportsbooks accept these stablecoins in addition to traditional cryptocurrencies. 

Gamblers who use cryptocurrency for their wagering do so by buying it on an exchange. Two significant exchanges in the United States currently are Coinbase and Gemini. Customers open accounts much as they would a bank account. On the exchange, they can swap their U.S. dollars for Bitcoin or the cryptocurrency of their choice. Likewise, you can change one type of cryptocurrency for a different kind. In addition to exchanging cryptocurrency, you can send and receive it from your exchange-hosted wallet. 

Why Private Wallets Are Important

An important note about an exchange is that you don't own the wallet there. Like depositing money into a bank, you are ceding control to the financial institution you entrusted your funds with. You might hear the phrase "not your keys, not your wallet" from hardcore crypto enthusiasts. This common saying refers to the cryptographic keywords associated with individual wallets. When you create a Bitcoin or Ethereum wallet, you'll be given a series of words known as a "seed phrase." Anyone with this seed phrase can recreate the wallet and access its funds. 

In order to use cryptocurrency, odds are you'll need an exchange account to buy it. Alternatives include purchasing it from another person who can send it to you directly, using a Bitcoin ATM, or mining (which is complicated and you likely won't be doing). However, having a private wallet to self-custody your funds is in your best interest. 

In a significant case of irony, given their symbiotic relationship, sportsbooks and exchanges do not get along. Cryptocurrency exchanges have liability concerns about people receiving deposits from wallet addresses known to be associated with gambling. There have been many cases of customers being banned from exchanges for sending or receiving transactions related to casinos or sportsbooks. Likewise, some sportsbooks may have issues withdrawing funds to an exchange-hosted wallet. 

To avoid these problems, gamblers would be best served by creating a private wallet as an intermediary. 

How to Create a Private Wallet

There are hundreds of types of wallets for thousands of types of cryptocurrency. For this article, I will only point you in two directions. 

Option 1:  Find a wallet you like on the Bitcoin site https://bitcoin.org/en/choose-your-wallet?step=5

Option 2: My recommendation and the best security option is a hardware wallet known as a Trezor. This is a physical hardware device that acts as a wallet. Assuming you adequately protect the device and restoration seed phrase, this is your safest option. The only downside is that it's most easily used on a computer rather than a phone. However, there is a way to use it with an Android phone, and there are instructions for that later in the article. They're also developing an Apple IOS app that may be released by the time you're reading this article.


You can buy a Trezor on Amazon HERE

​The cheapest option is the Trezor Model One, which is just $69 today. This basic option is more than sufficient for your purposes. No need to spend a couple hundred bucks on their more advanced wallet.

Once you purchase and receive your Trezor Model One, you can follow the steps in this video to set it up:

​Once your wallet is set up, you should send Bitcoin you purchase on an exchange to your Trezor, and then from there, you can send Bitcoin to your sportsbook. This video demonstrates using the Trezor Suite software on your computer: 

If you want to send/receive funds on your Trezor via your Android device then this link for instructions: https://trezor.io/learn/a/trezor-on-android


Pulling it All Together

We have covered a lot, so let me summarize the steps to using Bitcoin to bet with: 
  1. Buy a Trezor hardware wallet and set it up
  2. Get an exchange account with Coinbase or Gemini
  3. Fund your exchange account and buy Bitcoin
  4. Send your Bitcoin from the exchange to your Trezor wallet 
  5. Deposit Bitcoin to your sportsbook account
  6. When withdrawing, have the sportsbook send your funds to your Trezor. 
  7. If you want to swap for dollars, send Bitcoin from your Trezor wallet to your exchange. 

It's worth noting that you have other options than exchanging Bitcoin. Bitcoin can now be used to pay for goods and services. 

Bitrefill, for instance, allows you to buy all sorts of gift cards using your Bitcoin, and you make these purchases directly from your private wallet without exchanging for cash. They have services you already use, such as Amazon, Doordash, Uber, and Instacard. You literally could live off of Bitcoin by buying gift cards.

Likewise, you could fund a Bitcoin ATM account from your private wallet and get physical cash. Bitcoin Depot has a search function to see where nearby ATMs are.  

Closing Thoughts

Be sure to bookmark this article because I'll likely update it in the future, discussing specific sportsbooks. There are a variety of sportsbooks, including ones that operate purely on cryptocurrency rather than giving you a dollar amount balance. Most commonly, though, when you send $100 worth of Bitcoin to a sportsbook, your sportsbook balance is updated to be $100. Bitcoin price fluctuations do not matter to you at that point. Holding funds in your private wallet subjects you to market volatility. How this works out for you depends on whether Bitcoin's price is going up or down. 

I encourage everyone to hold on to at least some Bitcoin without converting or spending it because it has continued to trend up since its inception. Having it in a private wallet is very powerful for your freedom. You are your own bank at that point. 

Likewise, we didn't get into other types of cryptocurrency. If your purpose is to gamble, Bitcoin is the most widely accepted cryptocurrency in the world. If you're interested in holding stablecoins, you must learn about the world of Ethereum. If anyone is interested in an article about that, let me know in the comments, and I'll write one.

Thanks for reading. Make sure you're following me on X (aka Twitter) @spooky47crypto


Disclaimer:  This article doesn't constitute legal or financial advice. Always consult proper legal and financial advisors in your jurisdiction. 
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<![CDATA[Sports Gambling Odds Explained]]>Fri, 01 Sep 2023 00:57:01 GMThttp://spookybets.com/articles/sports-gambling-odds-explained

Welcome back, sports betting enthusiasts. Today's topic is a cornerstone of sports gambling—understanding odds. Whether you're a seasoned pro or a newcomer, mastering the concept of odds is essential for long-term success. Let's dive in.

The Core Types of Odds: Moneyline, Spread, & Over/Under

Moneyline Odds

In Moneyline betting, you're picking the winner of a game. For example, if the Chicago Bears are at +250 and you bet $100, you'll win $250 on top of your original bet. Conversely, if you're betting on a favorite like the Kansas City Chiefs at -150, a $100 bet would net you a $50 profit plus your original $100 back.

Spread Betting and the Concept of Juice

Spread betting involves a margin set by the sportsbook to level the playing field. For instance, if the New England Patriots are -7 against the New York Jets, the Patriots need to win by more than 7 points for you to win your bet. Conversely, if you bet on the Jets at +7, they can lose by up to 6 points, and you'll still win your bet.

Spread bets and totals usually come with what's known as "juice" or "vig," which is essentially the commission that sportsbooks take for placing the bet. Standard juice is often -110, meaning you'd need to bet $110 to win $100.

Over/Under Betting

Over/Under bets focus on the total points scored by both teams. For example, if the Over/Under for a Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles game is set at 47.5, you can bet on whether the total points scored will be over or under that number. Like spread bets, Over/Under bets also typically come with juice.

The Nuances: Prop Bets and Futures

Prop Bets

Prop bets allow you to wager on specific events within a game, such as Tom Brady throwing over or under 2.5 touchdowns. These bets can be entertaining but often come with higher house edges.

Futures

Futures are long-term bets, like wagering on the Green Bay Packers to win the Super Bowl at the start of the season. The odds can be lucrative but remember, a lot can happen during a season.

Shopping for Odds: Don't Settle

Odds can vary between sportsbooks. For example, one book might offer the San Francisco 49ers at -6.5 while another offers them at -7. That half-point can be the difference between a win and a push, so always shop around.

Bankroll Management: The Spooky Strategy

Effective bankroll management is key. Decide on your unit size and stick to it. If your unit size is $50, don't suddenly bet $200 just because you're feeling lucky. Consistency and discipline are your best allies. You can check out my article, "Can Sports Gambling Be Profitable?" for more information on bankroll structure.

Final Thoughts

Understanding the intricacies of sports gambling odds is essential for anyone serious about making profitable bets. From Moneylines to Futures, each type of bet has its own set of challenges and opportunities. With this knowledge in your arsenal, you're well-equipped to make informed betting decisions.

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter @Spooky47Crypto.

If you're interested in joining an exclusive Discord sports betting community that I'm involved with then check out it out HERE

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<![CDATA[Can Sports Gambling Be Profitable?]]>Wed, 30 Aug 2023 20:46:04 GMThttp://spookybets.com/articles/can-sports-gambling-be-profitable
One of the questions I hear from both novice and somewhat experienced gamblers ask is, "Can sports betting be profitable?"


The smart ones ask that question anyway. 


More often, I find that bettors fall into two extremes. The first is the jaded bettor. They'll stay stuff like: 


"Sports are rigged. Vegas fixes all these games."
"The house always wins!"
"I'm done betting. It's such a waste of money." 


These are examples of cope. They are coping with the fact that they make bad gambling decisions. 


In the case of the third example, if you have a gambling problem, you should absolutely stop gambling. This article is not about problem gamblers, though. This article is about the difference between profitable and unprofitable gamblers. If you continue reading, I assume you're smart enough not to gamble with your rent or grocery money.


The second group of bettors is the overly optimistic. You may know these clowns from Twitter, TikTok, and Instagram. The guys who claim they always win. The guys that ever use the term "Lock." Signs you're talking to overly optimistic bettors include:


  1. They rarely, if ever, note their unit size. 
  2. They mention units but routinely say they are betting over five units on a single play.
  3. They "martingale" or double down after losses. 


These guys are worse than the first group because they keep going until they destroy an entire bankroll. They disappear for a month and then return doing the same stuff that didn't work last time. 


To answer the original question, yes, sports gambling can be profitable. It has less to do with your picks than how you play them. In the rest of this article, I will explain how you can improve your chances of being a profitable sports gambler. The advice I give you comes from 20 years of personal experience and a plethora of mistakes I made at the beginning of my sports betting journey. 


Step 1: Establishing Your Bankroll & Unit Size


Perhaps you already have one, but let's review how this should be structured. Your bankroll is the total amount of money you have to gamble with. This pot of money is separate from your monthly expenses, savings, and investment accounts. Pretend this money belongs to someone you care about and you are managing it for them. 


Your unit size is 1% or 2% of that bankroll. This is where people get into trouble. 


"Yo Spooky, I only have $1000, so that's like $10 or $20 man." 


Yeah, so what? Don't like that starting spot? Go get more money from something other than gambling. It's the same as if you want to go on vacation somewhere or buy something that isn't essential. You save up your money, and then you buy what you want. 


Tough love guys. If you can't follow that first step, your long-term chances of being profitable are nil. 


Step 2: Deploying Your Bankroll


You have your bankroll. You have your units. Now what? 


Determine what sportsbook you are going to use. For me, I use many. My bankroll is spread across multiple books. To illustrate what I mean, let's imagine someone with a $4000 bankroll. Their unit size would be $40 to $80. If they are betting on four different sports books, each account should have roughly $1000, and their bets on each service will be $10 or $20. 


Why am I spreading action? Simple. If you are profitable over the long term, you will likely get limited or banned. It sucks, but that is the truth. Robinhood will not bar you for making too much money trading, but sportsbooks will. That's just how it is. 


This advice is for people with bankrolls significant enough to spread around. Stick to one sportsbook if you're starting with $500 to $1000. Once you grow that, open another account and fund it. Keep repeating that until you max the amount of sportsbook accounts you can reasonably manage. 


Finally, we must cap how much of our bankroll is out at any given time. For me, that amount is 10-15%, at most 20%. For the math-challenged, that means 10 to 20 units if you're playing with 1% units. If playing with 2% units, then that works out to 5 to 10 units. 


Even the best gamblers have bad days. Following those rules keeps you from losing everything in a day or a weekend. 


Step 3: Make Smart Bets


It goes without saying you have to win bets to make money. 


If you are betting on stuff you know nothing about, then stop it. Stop it right now. The only exception to this rule is when you are tailing handicappers you trust. If you join the VIP Discord Chat Server I handicap combat sports in, and you know nothing about UFC, follow the plays as I put them out—unit for unit. Don't get cute with different parlays or switching things up. The guys who don't make money with me over time are the ones who couldn't simply follow the plays as given. 


There are plenty of sports I don't know much about and, therefore, don't have an edge like I do in MMA: golf, tennis, soccer, table tennis, and many others. I bet on those sports when I get reliable information from people who have proven themselves over time. 


That applies when you're in a betting community working with other handicappers. Let's say you have no interest in other people's picks. You want to make picks on your own. If this describes you, you must pick your sports and stick to them. There is no way you will keep up on all the facets of the autumn sports season when NCAAF, NFL, NHL, NBA, and MLB Playoffs are all going simultaneously. Are you watching them? Sure. Do you have a betting edge on all of them? Probably not. 


This leads me to another important point. Be humble. Recognize when you don't have the depth of knowledge to have any gambling edge. If betting is purely entertainment, then bet on whatever you like. If you're trying to be profitable, be honest with yourself about what sports you know best. 


Let's assume that sport is NFL for you. Stick to NFL. Spend your Tuesday and Wednesday nights preparing for Thursday, Sunday, and Monday. Don't be the guy betting KBO on Tuesday because he NEEDS to be on something. Unless you get the plays from someone reliable, you might as well set your money on fire. 


Step 4: Parlay with Caution


Most professionals I know have made a religion out of hating parlays. Call me a radical; I disagree. Just don't abuse them. 


Your bread and butter. The fuel that powers the engine that is your bankroll is straight bets. If you are deploying ten units on a betting day, then parlays should only consume one or two units. The other eight units should be riding on straight plays. 


I'll illustrate with this example. Imagine this scenario where eight units were placed on straight bets and two units were wagered on parlays. The parlays lose, but you won the straight bets. You would finish the day up +3.48 units of profit. You could also lose three out of those eight single team wagers but still finish the day up +0.48 units.
That doesn't sound sexy, but consider how your betting has been going. Are you the guy who bets exclusively on parlays, loses all of them, and is down ten units at the end of the day? If I showed up like Doc Brown in a time machine after the games and said I could go back in time to change your bets so that you would be up +0.48 units instead of down ten, what would you say? 


You'd probably say you prefer I make you rich, but whatever, you get the point I'm trying to make here. 


Use parlays, but use them wisely and sparingly. I often use them in the UFC and boxing because the lines are heavily juiced with big favorites. I have a good idea of who will win the fight, but I can't decide on a method to bring the odds down and turn to parlays to turn a profit. 


One last thought on parlays: the lotto parlay. 


I love them. They're like a drug. The odds of hitting are low. If you like playing these, budget for them. If you would be comfortable buying $20 worth of scratch-offs at the gas station, take $20 and make four lotto parlays instead. Your odds are better in sports than in the lottery. Doing a few small ones gets it out of your system. If you hit, be smart with the money and grow your bankroll with the lucky win. LOTTO PARLAYS ARE NOT YOUR STRATEGY FOR BEING A PROFITABLE SPORTS GAMBLER. It's for fun. That's it. 


STEP 5: Track Your Results


Tracking is boring but essential. Come up with a system that requires the least effort to maintain. I like Excel spreadsheets, so that's what I use. For tracking the UFC results I deliver for the VIP Discord, I note my unit profit or loss for the entire card. Separately I save screenshots of the plays I gave members and then I have another spreadsheet that delves into the fighters I picked (but not the bets I made on them). 


That system works for me and what I do. You may want to screenshot your tickets as you put them in and sort through them later. It could be as simple as just noting your balance at the beginning of the weekend and how many units you're up or down when it's over. 


Many guys will tell you that you have to painstakingly track each pick, the date, the unit, etc. It's good advice, but common sense tells me people are inherently lazy and undisciplined. That includes me. Figure out a system of tracking you can stick to. An imperfect plan is better than no plan. I find ChatGPT helpful for this stuff, too. Maybe I'll write an article about that at some point. 


STEP 6: Set a Goal


Your goal is not profitability. It should be a precise number of units you are trying to hit. A target keeps you motivated. There should be a time constraint as well. You could have weekly, monthly, seasonal, or yearly goals. 


Need to know what your goal should be? Then, set it for +100 units for the year. That works out to eight units a month or two units a week. If you're playing with 1% units, then that means doubling your account in a year. 


"But Spooky, I only have $1000 man. That means I'd only have $2000 after a year." 


Again, so what? You're not capped at 100 units, by the way. If you hit 100 units of profit, set a new goal. At that point, you likely want to change your unit size to reflect the new size of the bankroll. 


Let me show it to you another way. You start with a $1000 account. You annually reset your unit size to reflect the actual percentage of the account. 


Year 1: $1,000
Year 2: $2,000
Year 3: $4,000
Year 4: $8,000
Year 5: $16,000


That could happen. At $16,000, your unit size at 1% is now $160. If you've been consistently doing eight units of profit a month, you're making $1,280 monthly profit at that level. If you started with a $10,000 account, add a 0 to each of those numbers I gave you. 


Closing Thoughts


That's the playbook. It's pretty simple. You can have losing weeks. Even losing months. What you can't do is bust your bankroll. You can't give back a whole month of profits because, one NFL Sunday, you decide to play nothing but parlays. If you spread your ten units over ten different bets, it is almost impossible to lose all ten units. You would still win at least two or three of those plays by accident. 


Thinking about the last few weeks of UFC for me, I'll show you how this style plays out. 


7/22/2023: +9.09 Units
7/29/2023: +29.92 Units (went 10-0 on my picks... rare outlier, obviously)
8/6/2023: -4.42 Units
8/12/2023: -0.44 Units
8/19/2023: +9.4 Units
8/26/2023: +6.86 Units


So over the last six weeks, I had two losing weeks. The key is that I limited my losses (and those of our VIP Discord members who were tailing). 


Overall, that adds up to +50.4 units of profit. However, we have that crazy outlier in there. Can't expect that type of weekend very often, so let's remove that. We'll pretend that week doesn't exist. In this new universe, Thanos snapped his fingers and there were only five weeks. Three of those weeks were winners, and two were losers. I still come out ahead by +20.48 units. 


I'm not telling you this, so you join the Discord. We would love to have you, but you don't need to join us to do this. If you have a talent in a particular sport, like I do in MMA, you can do this too. You have to follow the steps I laid out, though. Bookmark this article. Read it a couple more times if you have to. 


If you want to be a profitable sports bettor, you have to treat this as the serious business it is. 


Good luck, and thanks for reading. ​Make sure you're following me on Twitter @Spooky47Crypto
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