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What are Squares in Sports Betting?

The choices one makes in placing money for a certain team in a sports event often define what kind of a bettor he is.

Published on 08 Apr 2022

The choices one makes in placing money for a certain team in a sports event often define what kind of a bettor he is. There are no physical stereotypes on what kind of a bettor is, so the only way to spot what level a punter is described by observers in the industry – even on those who bet online – can only be gauged on what patterns or trends (if any) he or she is using.

If a newcomer in any sports team is often called a rookie, or “rook,” and fresh drivers as novices, upcoming punters are called “squares.” A square is an inexperienced player who is incapable of thinking outside the box in placing his or her bet.

For punters who are looking at their sports betting career on a long-term basis they begin their journey as novice bettors, or squares, before evolving into sharp bettors sportsbooks will eventually look up to.


One glaring sign of spotting a square is if the bettors place their money on a certain team due to sentiment, knowing that their bet is the home team that they believe can win the game.

The Orlando Magic are hosting the Phoenix Suns in a regular-season NBA matchup, for example, and square bettors place their money on Orlando just because of its home court advantage in the match. Even if the positions were changed and the Magic are the dominant team, the squares hardly consider what the other team has to offer before making their decision.

The novice punter disregards the fact that Phoenix is leading the Western Conference in particular and the entire league in general and is coming into the matchup with a five-game winning streak. This series of trends lures newcomer bettors to take the bait, and before they know it, they stand to lose a lot of funds in their bankroll in just a few days.


Like coaches, seasoned bettors, or sharps, usually employ a system or a scheme that they have mastered through years of playing experience, and their vast knowledge of trends and numbers has earned them the respect of sportsbooks in the long run.

Unlike sharps, square bettors bet for fun without thinking clearly of the consequences of one or a series of losses on wasted bets. They place their money on a whim and hope luck goes their way and earn some easy bucks.

Squares commit the usual mistake of guessing which team to bet for, whereas sharps make their decisions on their bets based on numbers, trends, and data they have studied and researched for a period of time.


If bookmakers have their way, they are hoping all novice bettors remain as squares, and for good reason. Every wrong or a lost bet by square bettors leads to more profits earned by these bookies.

Squares simply lack the discipline to control their funds; they place their money without a betting pattern, and if they win on the first bet, they are most likely tempted to double their next bet even if the odds against them seem daunting.

The impulsive habits of these novice bettors empower sportsbooks more, as bookies will no longer feel fear or discomfort about what these squares do. The thinking of squares that betting comfortably in a recreational market like sports betting often spells doom for their bare pockets and bankrolls.


The problem with most square bettors is this misguided notion that they have nothing to lose. This trait can be useful to underdog teams in a do-or-die match against a top-seeded team, but not to punters who stand to lose a lot of money due to their no-care attitude.

Since they are just starting off in their sports betting journey, squares are not conscious of protecting their reputation or any record for that matter. This is unacceptable for sharps, who are often tactical and efficient in making their moves to sustain the stature they have protected and developed through many years.

True, not all square bettors can reach the sharp bettor status even after several years of experience. But the average bettor should at least have that self-respect to develop their betting habits and employ a system that works for them to sustain a long-term sports betting career.

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