What Is PointsBetting? Unique Wager Type Explained

If sportsbooks exist in your cultural orbit, chances are you’ve heard of PointsBetting. The unique wager type is available only at PointsBet, and it’s built right into the sportsbook’s welcome bonus. 

But what exactly is PointsBetting and how does it work? Here’s a primer if you’re interested in trying it out. 

PointsBetting Bonus: $1,000 PointsBetting Wager

When you sign up for PointsBet as a new user, you can get up to $1,000 in second-chance bet credits. 

Sports bettors can Click to Claim to use our promo code for five-second chance bet credits worth as much as $1,000.

Click to Claim $1,000 in second chance bet credits with our promo code

PointsBetting Explained

When you’re PointsBetting, you’re wagering on the outcome of a game, just as you would in a normal sports bet. However, the big difference is in how the result impacts your payout or loss. 

The more “correct” your pick is, the more you can win. But the opposite is also true. If you’re wrong, the degree to which you’re wrong increases your loss.

Confused yet? Don’t worry, it takes a minute to get acclimated because PointsBetting is so volatile. It’s high-risk, high reward, so it’s crucial to understand exactly how it works.

Here’s an example, including a few possible outcomes. 

PointsBetting Example: Celtics vs. Heat Total

For example, PointsBet lists the Celtics-Heat Game 1 PointsBetting “over” line at 206 (the total on a straight bet is 204). Let’s assume you believe the game will be an offense-heavy match and the teams will combine for a higher score. 

The degree to which you are correct would multiply your winnings. However, if the under hits, you’ll lose money based on how many points the over misses by. The multiplier coincides with the difference between the initial line and the eventual outcome. 

For example, if the Celtics and Heat combine for a total of 210 points, the “over” hits by 4 points, and you would win 4x your bet. However, if the teams combined for a score of 200, you would love by 6 points, thus losing 6x your bet. 

Here’s a table with a few possible outcomes to lay it out clearly:

Celtics @ Heat PointsBetting: Over 206$10 PointsBetting Result
Heat 108-Celtics 100: Total 208Win $20
Celtics 108-Heat 106: Total 214Win $80
Celtics 106-Heat 100: Total 206Push: no win or loss (you get your bet back)
Heat 100-Celtics 99: Total 199Lose $70

As you can see, there’s a lot of win potential, but losses can cost you a hefty sum if you’re wrong. 

Remember, if you’re a new PointsBet user, you can get your first PointsBetting wager risk-free, which is helpful if you’re trying to get the hang of it. 

Now let’s look at a point spread wager and how that could shake out.

PointsBetting Example: Golden State Warriors -6

Point spreads work similarly to totals when you’re PointsBetting. If a team covers and then some, you’ll win a multiple of your bet. If a team fails to cover, the degree of their failure determines your total loss. 

The Golden State Warriors are set at -6 against the Dallas Mavericks in Game 1 (the straight bet point spread is -5). Here’s how a few results would pan out with a $10 PointsBetting wager. 

Golden State Warriors (-6) Vs. Dallas Mavericks PointsBetting$10 PointsBetting Result
Warriors 110-Mavericks 100 (GSW cover by 4 points)Win $40
Warriors 100-Mavericks 94Push: no win or loss (you get your bet back)
Warriors 116-Mavericks 100Win $100
Warriors 100-Mavericks 102Lose $80
Warriors 102-Mavericks 100Lose $40

In the examples above, it helps to first apply the point spread to the final score, then calculate the loss or win from there. 

In the top example, the Warriors won by a full 10 points. The spread was -6, making the margin of the bet’s victory 4 points, thus the 4x win on your $10 bet. 

Losses work the same way, of course. In the final example, the Warriors won but didn’t cover. They failed to cover by 4 points, meaning you log a 4x loss in that scenario. 

PointsBetting: What You Need To Know

Hopefully, the examples above give you a solid overview of PointsBetting and how it works. Beyond the mechanics of the bets, there are a few other key items to keep in mind.

Betting Lines Are Adjusted In PointsBetting

As in the above examples, PointsBet moves the line against the customer in PointsBetting. This increases the sportsbook’s edge.

Stop Loss Adjuster

When you’re placing a PointsBetting wager, you can set the “Stop Loss Adjuster” meter to a specific threshold, preventing you from losing more than you’re comfortable with. Most bets allow you to set the threshold between 10x and 50x. If you want to keep your bet to a maximum win or loss of 10x, you can drag the meter all the way to the left. You can set it anywhere in between those ends of the spectrum as well, stopping at 25x, for example. 

If you want to risk a bit but avoid a major loss, this is a great way to temper your PointsBetting wagers. 

Balance Withholding

PointsBet withholds a percentage of your potential win or loss when you place a PointsBetting bet. For example, when I place a $10 wager on the Warriors point spread from the example above with a stop loss adjuster of 20x, PointsBet withholds $200 as collateral in case the bet loses. 

For this reason, PointsBetting is best suited to lower wagers if you’re a casual bettor. You have to have a hefty amount of funds in your account to even palace a PointsBetting wager of $10 or higher. 

If I were to place the same wager with only $1 on the line, PointsBet would withhold $20. 

Other Bet Types Available

Point spreads and totals are the most common lines available for PointsBetting. But if you’re into props, those are available in droves as well. The Warriors game from the example above features lines for Stephen Curry and Luka Doncic’s total points (combined or individual), player rebounds, and much more. If you want some juicy bets outside the norm, PointsBetting may offer exactly what you’re looking for. 

About the Author
Cole Rush

Cole Rush

Writer and Contributor
Cole Rush is an industry writer and contributor at Gaming Today. He is a Chicago-based writer in the gambling and media spaces. His work has been showcased in various gaming industry magazines and online columns. Rush also covers pop culture and books for Reactor Mag (formerly Tor.com) and TheQuillToLive.com, a sci-fi and fantasy book review site. He has more than eight years of experience writing about gambling and entertainment.

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