What is 'Exposure'?
In betting, and particularly in sports betting
, 'exposure' is used to describe the amount of money a bookmaker could lose on any particular game.It might also describe the amount a bettor
could lose during that game, although this is a less common form of usage. Bookmakers need to limit their exposure during any game or match - in other words, they need to keep the amount they could lose as low as possible. This means balancing the number of bets taken and encouraging bets on both sides. A gambler may also limit their own exposure by placing several bets and 'moving the line'. This is a more risky strategy, but it usually has a greater payoff.
'Exposure' is important in gambling because it describes the amount of money a bookmaker
or bettor could lose on any game and it drives betting strategies on both sides of the table. Bettors who want to limit their exposure can place several strategic bets and if their luck comes in those bets will complement each other and prevent losses. However, getting it wrong is likely to lead to a greater loss than a standard bet
. For bookmakers, understanding exposure is the key to making money and being successful in the trade.A bookmaker might be 'overexposed' if they take too many bets without setting a balancing line, so they need to take enough bets for each outcome to balance the books when the game is over. Exposure appears most frequently in sports betting, but it might be heard occasionally by casino staff and players too. In a casino game, exposure refers to the spread of bets on the table, and the risk faced by the player or dealer when those bets are played out. Again, exposure can be limited with a betting strategy such as a wide spread.