Let’s Talk About Bookies

Vintage bookie: Taxman targets professional punters' winnings - AUTHOR UNKNOWN 1920s Vintage bookie: Taxman targets professional punters' winnings - AUTHOR UNKNOWN 1920s

0. K. The line maker comes out with his figures, puts them out for the heavy weights to make their play, adjusts the spread and shoots out the lines to the local books. In a barrel of apples there are tasty and rotten; in a beauty contest there are pretty and plain; in life there are…

…ups and downs; in decisions there are good and bad.

The last can also apply to bookies. Some are good, some ain’t. These guys get their lines from Vegas and plop behind a phone. You call in on a Sunday and say, “This is Mo from Kokomo. Give me the lines.” He does down the whole list just like the teams are set in order in Vegas, beginning with the early games in the east.

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The order is exactly the same for every house in the country to make it easy to write down the lines and the over/under on each game. These “good” bookies operate out of a house, an office, ship or motel and keep their customers aware of their changing phone numbers, staying one step ahead of the law.

“Good” online bookies have been around for years, keep a lot of customers because they are right there when you win with your money. To them it’s a business.

A “good” bookie will give you lines on every type sporting event, over/under on everything and accepts teasers, parlays, round robins the whole works.

A “bad” bookie is a hit and miss operation. You might find this guy taking action in a bar or being a “runner” who will get your bet down. He takes your money when you lose but try to find him when you win.

I use the term “good” and “bad” simply to make a comparison. Bookies take action on sporting events throughout the country and it’s against the law, except in Nevada. Anywhere else, sports betting are illegal.

I am not condoning the putting in jail of bookies because in my humble opinion they provide a service to their callers. They don’t call you telling you to bet.

The laws of our land are made by the geniuses you vote for and send to Washington to make laws that prohibit you from doing what you want to do in gambling and sending to jail the guys who provide you the service you want.

If you have a beef with that, write to your guy in Washington.

In Nevada it’s all legal, so make your bets there. If you operate with a bookie make sure he’s legitimate, i.e. pays his bills. There are offices that run a good ship.

In Vegas there used to be sportsbooks that wrote all the action. Now most of the casinos have their own sportsbook.

You may get different lines with your local man who has to adjust the national line to coincide with his action.

Take that Miami/Houston game, which put the Oilers as a 3 point favorite. Your guy was writing a lot of Miami money, far exceeding the play on Houston. He could drop the line to Houston 2 or 2 1/2 to stir interest on the favorite, but he can’t go too far or stand the chance of being middle. We’ll get to that later.

Just don’t get tied up with some weasel that’s not around on pay day.

If you’re really serious about sports betting and online bookies, get to Las Vegas where it’s legal. You can find plenty of variations of lines plus the hedging possibilities that you should do to have a chance at cutting losses. Or you can always try out best internet bookies for Americans.

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