# Sports Betting Tips – If Bets and Reverse Teasers

An “if” bet is exactly what it sounds like. You bet on Team A and IF it wins then you place an equal amount on Team B. A parlay with two games going off at different times is a type of “if” bet in which you bet on the first team, and if it wins you bet double on the second team. With a true “if” bet, instead of betting double on the second team, you bet an equal amount on the second team.

You can avoid two calls to the bookmaker and lock in the current line on a later game by telling your bookmaker you want to make an “if” bet. “If” bets can also be made on two games kicking off at the same time. The bookmaker will wait until the first game is over. If the first game wins, he will put an equal amount on the second game even though it has already been played.

Although an “if” bet is actually two straight bets at normal vig, you cannot decide later that you no longer want the second bet. Once you make an “if” bet, the second bet cannot be canceled, even if the second game has not gone off yet. If the first game wins, you will have action on the second game. For that reason, there is less control over an “if” bet than over two straight bets. When the two games you bet overlap in time, however, the only way to bet one only if another wins is by placing an “if” bet. Of course, when two games overlap in time, cancellation of the second เธเธเธเธตเนเนเธเธตเธขเธงเธเธฃเธเธเธธเธเธเนเธฒเธขเนเธเนเธเธข game bet is not an issue. It should be noted, that when the two games start at different times, most books will not allow you to fill in the second game later. You must designate both teams when you make the bet.

You can make an “if” bet by saying to the bookmaker, “I want to make an ‘if’ bet,” and then, “Give me Team A IF Team B for 100.” Giving your bookmaker that instruction would be the same as betting \$110 to win 100 on Team A, and then, only if Team A wins, betting another \$110 to win on Team B.

If the first team in the “if” bet loses, there is no bet on the second team. No matter whether the second team wins of loses, your total loss on the “if” bet would be 110 when you lose on the first team. If the first team wins, however, you would have a bet of 110 to win going on the second team. In that case, if the second team loses, your total loss would be just the \$10 of vig on the split of the two teams. If both games win, you would win 100 on Team A and 100 on Team B, for a total win of 200. Thus, the maximum loss on an “if” would be \$110, and the maximum win would be. This is balanced by the disadvantage of losing the full \$110, instead of just 10 of vig, every time the teams split with the first team in the bet losing.

As you can see, it matters a great deal which game you put first in an “if” bet. If you put the loser first in a split, then you lose your full bet. If you split but the loser is the second team in the bet, then you only lose the vig.

Bettors soon discovered that the way to avoid the uncertainty caused by the order of wins and losses is to make two “if” bets putting each team first. Instead of betting 110 on ” Team A if Team B,” you would bet just 55 on ” Team A if Team B.” and then make a second “if” bet reversing the order of the teams for another 55. The second bet would put Team B first and Team A second. This type of double bet, reversing the order of the same two teams, is called an “if/reverse” or sometimes just a “reverse.”

A “reverse” is two separate “if” bets:

Team A if Team B for 55 to win 50; and

Team B if Team A 55 to win 50.

You don’t need to state both bets. You merely tell the clerk you want to bet a “reverse,” the two teams, and the amount.

If both teams win, the result would be the same as if you played a single “if” bet for 100. You win 50 on Team A in the first “if bet, and then 50 on Team B, for a total win of \$100. In the second “if” bet, you win \$50 on Team B, and then 50 on Team A, for a total win of \$100. The two “if” bets together result in a total win of 200 when both teams win.

If both teams lose, the result would also be the same as if you played a single “if” bet for 100. Team A’s loss would cost you 55 in the first “if” combination, and nothing would go onto Team B. In the second combination, Team B’s loss would cost you 55 and nothing would go on Team A. You would lose 55 on each of the bets for a total maximum loss of 110 whenever both teams lose.

The difference occurs when the teams split. Instead of losing 110 when the first team loses and the second wins, and 10 when the first team wins but the second loses, in the reverse, you will lose 60 on a split no matter which team wins and which loses. It works out this way. If Team A loses you will lose 55 on the first combination and have nothing going on the winning Team B. In the second combination, you will win 50 on Team B, and have action on Team A for a \$55 loss, resulting in a net loss on the second combination of 5 vigs. The loss of 55 on the first “if” bet and \$5 on the second “if” bet gives you a combined loss of \$60 on the “reverse.” When Team B loses, you will lose the \$5 vig on the first combination and the 55 on the second combination for the same \$60 on the split..

We have accomplished this smaller loss of 60 instead of 110 when the first team loses with no decrease in the win when both teams win. In both the single 110 “if” bet and the two reversed “if” bets for 55, the win is 200 when both teams cover the spread. The bookmakers would never put themselves at that sort of disadvantage, however. The gain of 50, whenever Team A loses, is fully offset whenever Team B is the loser. Thus, the “reverse” doesn’t actually save us any money, but it does have the advantage of making the risk more predictable, and avoiding the worry as to which team to put first in the “if” bet.

(What follows is an advanced discussion of betting techniques. If charts and explanations give you a headache, skip them and simply write down the rules. I’ll summarize the rules in an easy-to-copy list in my next article.)

## As with parlays, the general rule regarding “if” bets is:

Don’t, if you can win more than 52.5% or more of your games. If you cannot consistently achieve a winning percentage, however, making “if” bets whenever you bet two teams will save you money.

For the winning bettor, the “if” bet adds an element of luck to your betting equation that doesn’t belong there. If two games are worth betting on, then they should both be bet. Betting on one should not be made dependent on whether or not you win another. On the other hand, for the bettor who has a negative expectation, the “if” bet will prevent him from betting on the second team whenever the first team loses. By preventing some bets, the “if” bet saves the negative expectation bettor some vig.