What is a ‘Bet’?
A bet is the word used to describe an amount of money placed on the outcome of an unpredictable event, such as a sports match or political elections. A bet is also often referred to by its more formal name of a “wager”. The term “betting” can also refer to someone staking an item of value – rather than money – on an event, in the hopes of winning. Most bets will be placed through a legitimate bookmaker or “bookies”, or at a casino although there are still some illegal betting games found in certain places. Online betting exchanges are becoming increasingly popular and most of the big brand high street betting agencies now have their own online sites.
Gambling has been around in one form or another for centuries and is thought to originate from China and Europe. The act of placing a bet or “betting” on the outcome of an event dates back even further, with dog fight bets being one example of early betting games.
The most common type of bet in the present day is “fixed-odds betting”. This is a form of wagering against the odds offered by a bookmaker, individual or on a bet exchange and is most often used for sports betting, such as placing a bet on football or horse racing.
Those placing a bet or a wager will usually find out instantly whether or not they have won, although there are several instances where long-term bets can take place. For example, someone might choose to bet on the outcome of an entire sports season – rather than just one match – or they might choose to place a bet on the overall winner of a TV game show series, rather than just place a wager on who will be eliminated each week.