Understanding Sports Betting: How It Works, Taxes, Legal Apps, and Odds Explained

Sports betting has been around for centuries, and it’s no surprise that it remains a popular pastime for millions of people worldwide. Whether you’re a seasoned bettor or just starting, understanding the ins and outs of sports betting is crucial. In this article, we will explore the basics of sports betting and delve into the intricacies of how sports betting works, taxes, legal apps, and odds.

As a beginner, it can be overwhelming to navigate the world of sports betting. From the various types of bets to the odds formats, it can be daunting to know where to start. That’s why it’s essential to understand the basics before placing any bets. By the end of this article, you’ll have a solid grasp of how sports betting works, legal apps available in Texas, how taxes work, and the meaning behind sports betting odds. So, let’s dive in!

How Sports Betting Works

Understanding sports betting taxes can help you keep more of your winnings
Understanding sports betting taxes can help you keep more of your winnings

Sports betting can seem complex at first glance, but it’s relatively straightforward once you understand the basics. Here, we’ll take a closer look at the different types of bets, how to read odds, and common mistakes to avoid.

Explanation of the Basics of Sports Betting

At its core, sports betting involves placing a wager on the outcome of a sporting event. You can bet on a wide range of sports, including football, basketball, baseball, hockey, and more.

Different Types of Sports Bets

There are several types of sports bets, including:


A moneyline bet is the simplest type of sports bet. You’re simply betting on who will win the game.

Point Spread

A point spread bet is a bit more complicated. In this type of bet, you’re betting on whether a team will win by a certain number of points or not.


A totals bet, also known as an over/under, is a bet on the total number of points scored in a game.


A futures bet is a wager on an event that will take place in the future. For example, you can bet on who will win the Super Bowl before the season even starts.


A prop bet is a wager on a specific event or outcome within a game. For example, you can bet on which player will score the first touchdown in a football game.

How to Read Betting Odds and Understand the Implied Probability

Betting odds can be confusing, but they’re essential to know before placing a bet. Odds represent the likelihood of a particular outcome occurring. The odds will tell you how much you stand to win if your bet is successful.

Importance of Shopping for the Best Odds and Line Shopping

It’s crucial to shop for the best odds before placing a bet. Different sportsbooks will offer different odds, so it’s important to compare them to find the best value.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Betting on Sports

There are several common mistakes that bettors make, including betting with their heart instead of their head, chasing losses, and failing to manage their bankroll. By avoiding these mistakes, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a successful sports bettor.

How Sports Betting Taxes Work

Sports betting can make watching games more exciting
Sports betting can make watching games more exciting

If you’re new to sports betting, you might not be aware that it is subject to taxes and fees. It’s essential to understand the tax implications before placing any bets to avoid any surprises come tax season.

Explanation of the Taxes and Fees Associated with Sports Betting

In general, sports betting winnings are subject to federal income tax, and depending on where you reside, state and local taxes as well. Additionally, sportsbooks are required to pay taxes and fees to the state they operate in. It’s important to keep in mind that taxes and fees can vary depending on the state, and some states have lower tax rates than others.

How Winnings and Losses are Reported to the IRS

Sportsbooks are required to report winnings of $600 or more to the IRS, and bettors are required to report all gambling income, regardless of the amount. If you’re a regular bettor, it’s best to keep track of all your winnings and losses to make tax reporting easier.

State-Specific Tax Laws and Regulations

Each state has its tax laws and regulations, and it’s essential to familiarize yourself with them before placing any bets. For instance, some states have higher tax rates than others, which can significantly impact your winnings.

Tips for Minimizing Tax Liabilities When Betting on Sports

One way to minimize tax liabilities is to offset your winnings with losses. For instance, if you win $1,000 on a sports bet but lose $800 on another, you only have to pay taxes on the $200 net profit. Additionally, keeping accurate records of all your betting activities can help you maximize deductions and minimize tax liabilities.

Legal Sports Betting Apps in Texas

Texas, one of the most populous states in America, has always been a hub for sports enthusiasts. However, until recently, sports betting was illegal in Texas. In 2018, the Supreme Court lifted the ban on sports betting, allowing states to legalize it as they see fit. As of now, sports betting is still illegal in Texas, but there are hopes that it will be legalized in the near future.

Overview of the Current Legal Landscape of Sports Betting in Texas

Currently, there are no legal sports betting apps in Texas. However, there are several bills in the works to legalize sports betting in the state. In May 2021, Texas lawmakers passed a bill allowing the state’s two largest Native American tribes to offer sports betting and casino gambling. The bill would also allow up to six more licenses for online sports betting.

List of Legal Sports Betting Apps in Texas

As of now, there are no legal sports betting apps in Texas. However, once sports betting is legalized in the state, several sportsbooks are expected to apply for licenses to operate. Some of the most popular sportsbooks in the U.S. include DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, and PointsBet.

Features and Benefits of Each Legal Sports Betting App

Each sports betting app comes with its own unique features and benefits. For example, DraftKings offers daily fantasy sports and a wide variety of sports betting options. FanDuel, on the other hand, has a user-friendly interface and offers a risk-free bet for new users. BetMGM offers a wide range of promotions and bonuses, and PointsBet is known for its innovative PointsBetting system.

Tips for Choosing the Right Sports Betting App for Your Needs

When choosing a sports betting app, it’s important to consider your individual needs and preferences. Some things to consider include the types of bets offered, the user interface, the promotions and bonuses, and the customer service. It’s also essential to choose a licensed and regulated sportsbook to ensure the safety and security of your funds.

What Do Sports Betting Odds Mean?

If you’re new to sports betting, understanding odds can be confusing. Odds represent the probability of an event occurring and are used to calculate potential winnings. In this section, we’ll explain how sports betting odds work and the different types of odds formats.

How Sports Betting Odds Work

Sports betting odds are used to determine the payout of a winning bet. The odds are set by oddsmakers, who use various factors to determine the probability of an event occurring. The odds are presented in different formats, depending on your location or the betting site you’re using.

Different Types of Odds Formats

There are three main types of odds formats: American, decimal, and fractional. American odds are used predominantly in the US, decimal odds are used mostly in Europe, and fractional odds are used mainly in the UK. Understanding these odds formats is crucial to calculate potential winnings accurately.

How to Calculate Potential Winnings Based on the Odds

Calculating potential winnings based on odds is relatively straightforward. To calculate your winnings, simply multiply your stake by the odds. For example, if you bet $10 on a team with odds of +200, your potential winnings would be $30 ($10 x 2).

Understanding the Implied Probability of the Odds

The implied probability of the odds is the likelihood of an event occurring based on the odds. To calculate the implied probability, divide 1 by the odds and multiply by 100. For example, if the odds of a team winning are +200, the implied probability is 33.33% (1/2 x 100).

Understanding sports betting odds is crucial to make informed betting decisions. By knowing how odds work and the different types of odds formats, you can calculate potential winnings accurately and understand the implied probability of the odds.


In conclusion, sports betting can be a thrilling and entertaining activity, but it’s crucial to understand the basics before placing any bets. We’ve covered the essential aspects of sports betting, including how it works, legal sports betting apps in Texas, how taxes work, and the meaning behind sports betting odds. Applying this knowledge can help you make informed decisions and increase your chances of success when betting on sports.

Remember to always gamble responsibly and never bet more than you can afford to lose. Use the principles of E-A-T (Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness) when choosing a sportsbook or app to ensure it’s reputable and safe to use. Lastly, don’t be afraid to seek help if you think you may have a gambling problem.

Now that you have a solid understanding of sports betting, it’s time to put that knowledge to the test and enjoy the excitement of betting on your favorite sports. Good luck and have fun!