If you're the kind of guy who likes action on sporting events, whether it be fantasy football or friendly wagers with your buddies, sooner or later your addictive personality is going to get the best of you. You're going to want (or let's face it, need) to get a bookie.
Any man right now can easily find online betting sites like Bovada, Sportsbook, BetOnline and BetUS, input his credit card info and start playing. But with sports betting legal in only a few select areas of the country (mainly Nevada), and the online betting world kind of being a hassle, having your own bookmaker allows you to have instant access to action and the potential to make (or lose) a lot of money fast. So how can you make it happen? Follow these steps and you'll have a bookie in no time.
Step 1: Head to a sports bar.
The first move you have to make to get a bookie is to network. And the best way to network is to go to a place where other people are betting on sports. Heading to a sports bar on a busy Sunday of NFL action is your safest way to do this. There are other options like off-track betting parlors, but, let's face it, the people who hang out there don't have the greatest reputations (and might break your thumbs just for fun).
Step 2 - Find the guy paying way too much attention to a meaningless game.
Now that you're watching sports with a large gathering of men, the odds are good that several of these men are gambling on the games. The best way to find one for certain is to look for the guy who is either watching an unpopular match-up (e.g. Browns vs. Jaguars) or is overreacting to a seemingly unimportant play. For example, you notice a guy wearing an Ohio State shirt erupt in anger after OSU beats Gonzaga in basketball. Why is he pissed? Well, although his team won, Gonzaga hit a meaningless three-pointer at the buzzer, and the Buckeyes didn't cover the spread. It is almost a guarantee that this guy has a bookie.
Step 3 - Make friends with that guy.
Now that you have pinpointed your possible connection to a bookie, it's time to socialize. If there is one thing sports bettors enjoy more than betting on the games, it's talking about it afterward. This guy who just lost his OSU bet is going to want to vent, and you can be his new friend who will listen. The convo usually goes like this:
You: Did you have some money on that game?
Him: Yeah, I had Ohio State -7. It was a good bet, though. If that motherf---er on Gonzaga doesn't hit that garbage three, I woulda won. F--- me.
You: That sucks. Sorry. man.
Him: Oh, well. That's how it goes.
Then this guy will most likely go into countless more stories about all the bad beats he has had, but also all the shrewd bets he has made recently. This is your guy. You should have a beer and keep chatting with him.
Step 4 - Talk sports-betting shop and inquire.
Now that you have found a friend in the sports-betting world, it's time to take the next step: Find the source.
The best way to find out who this guy makes his bets with is to continue talking shop. Let him know you also enjoy betting, and ask for tips. Sports bettors also love to offer advice. He may tell you certain trends that always win for him, or give general advice about certain sports and teams. For example, don't bet on the New York Giants when they're a huge home favorite (my own personal lesson learned).
Either way, once he knows you're interested and you're cool, he's going to tell you about his "guy." This "guy" is his bookie, and he is about to get you hooked up with him, so you can become the awesome (or degenerate) sports gambler that he is. Plus, your new friend will probably get some sort of sports betting bonus for his referral.
One way to skip this process: If you're local watering hole shows sports, make friends with one of the bartenders. After you've come in enough for him to know you're not a cop, ask him if he knows anyone who can take some wagers for you. If one frequents his bar, he'll know.
Step 5 - Meet with potential bookie.
Yes, the guy pictured here is what all bookmakers look like. I don't know why, but it's true. Regardless, this is the guy who is going to enable you to make all the sports bets you want.
Typically, he will just ask you a few simple questions about what type of sports you like to watch, how much you are planning on playing, and how he can get ahold of you if there are financial matters to take care of. He will set you up with an online account where you can check the lines and place your bets, but also let you know you can call him to place a bet, if desired. (Note: the online account your bookie gives you is different than sites like Bovada, because you will never pay or receive money online with this account. That must be done in person. It is simply a way for you to place bets with your bookie.)
Finally, you and your new bookie will agree on daily/weekly limits on how much you can bet. This is usually a bookmaker system of checks and balances, but it's always negotiable.
Step 6 - Start playing.
Now that you have a sports betting "guy" of your own, you can start placing bets. You will be so excited about your new avenue of gambling that you will probably place the max amount of bets for the max amount of money on the first weekend's games. Hopefully you will have some beginner's luck and win big. Either way, it will lead to the final step.
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Step 7 - Settle up.
When you had the meeting with your bookie, he would have told you that there is a certain amount for which he will need to settle up with you. Typically, this amount is a few hundred dollars or so. Let's say $500 for this example.
So, let's say after your first week of placing bets you are up $550. Your bookie will call you and arrange to meet you somewhere to pay you. However, if you have reached the point where you owe $500, your bookie will call you even faster and tell you he needs to collect. At that point, you'd better be able to pay. If the thought of this scares the shit out of you, maybe you shouldn't get a bookie. But if the thought of the thrill of winning outweighs the potential agony of defeat, then we suggest putting your paycheck against the Giants at home. (Trust us.)
After you have settled up once, for better or worse, you officially have a bookie. Congrats. And good luck.