A sportsbook is a place where people can make bets on sporting events. They are also known as betting houses, and they are regulated in the US. Many of them are based in Nevada, but they are now available throughout the country. Some even offer a mobile app. The best sportsbook will have competitive odds and good customer service. They will also keep detailed records of each player’s wagering history. This is tracked when the player logs in to a mobile app or swipes their card at a betting window.
The way that a sportsbook makes money is by setting a handicap that almost guarantees a return on each bet. The profit is then divvied up between losing bettors and winning bettors, with the bookie getting a cut of the action. A common bet is a total (Over/Under) bet, where the sportsbook wants the combined score to be higher than the proposed number. If the adjusted total is a tie, it is called a push and most sportsbooks will refund these bets. However, a few will count them as losses.
The first step in selecting a sportsbook is to research them online. Checking user reviews can be helpful, but it is important to read them with a grain of salt. What one person may find positive about a sportsbook could be viewed as negative by another. Also, check out which sports they cover. Some sportsbooks focus on major leagues, while others cater to a broader range of customers.