Sports Betting Guide – Understanding Juice and Chalk

Posted: July 29, 2022, 2:42 a.m.

Last update: June 30, 2022, 12:17 p.m.

Have you ever heard someone mention the word “juice” and the first thing that comes to mind is apple or orange? What about “chalk?” If your first thought was a blackboard at school with your teacher writing the names of presidents on it, don’t worry if you were close, but not quite there.

You’re not out of the loop if you don’t understand yet, because it can be hard to keep up in the world of sports betting when people are talking.

Here’s a look at what exactly juice and chalk mean in the world of sports betting.

Understanding Juice

‘Juice’ in the betting world may also be known as ‘vig’. Whether the term juice or vig is used, it refers to the edge the house gets by taking your bet, and it’s also what keeps bettors from winning in the long run.

When you bet on a ‘point spread’ game you will notice that next to each team there is probably a -110. This indicates that it will cost you $110 to earn $100. So when both teams have a -110 next to them, the sportsbook wins $10 every time they take a bet on either side of a game.

The bottom line is that the -110 indicates that you have to pay a 10% fee regardless if you want one team or the other. This is why it has been stated that in the long run most bettors cannot become winners because on most games you pay a 10% fee and the bookie profits making it harder for the bettor to win overtime.

Understanding Chalk

Another common term in sports betting is “chalky” or “chalky”.

“Chalk” means someone is a big “favorite” in a game. The term comes from the days when sports betting was done on a blackboard. The ratings were written on the blackboard, like at school. The name is still used today, despite the computerization of ratings.

But in this case, the bookmakers were taking bets, and the favorites were being bet more often, and things were being cleared and updated and written. It was the favorites who made the most action, and who had all the “chalk” on the board.

Now that you’ve learned a few more terms, you can place “units” on games and start tracking your progress. Fortunately, no chalk is needed.

Responsibility for the bet

Once you have determined the “money line” and “point spread” and are ready to bet, you need to determine an amount that you are comfortable playing with. You’ve heard the saying to always gamble responsibly, which is no different here.

Always play within your means. So when determining how much to bet on a game, you should always have in mind (or in your account) an amount that you agree to if you lose. A “unit” compares your winning amounts with those of other bettors while removing money from the situation entirely. Let’s be honest; each sports bettor has a different bankroll than the person next to them, this way you can track your results without a dollar amount attached to it. So if you typically bet $100 per play, then $100 is a “unit” for you. If you bet $25 per play, then $25 is a “unit” for you.

This allows you to track your case without tracking dollar numbers. It’s fair to say that most casual sports bettors don’t set aside a certain amount and say they’ll bet with it. They usually bet when they want to, so it’s always good to choose a typical bet size and stick to it.