Head-to-head bets give bettors the choice between two participants in a sporting event. In the case of something like a boxing match, it could be between the only two people involved. In other events such as auto racing or golf, you could be choosing between two competitors out of a larger field. As a general rule, understanding the winner of a head-to-head bet is straightforward – whichever person has the best result wins the bet. It makes no difference where the person you wager on in a head-to-head bet finishes, just as long as they finish higher than the person they were matched-up against for purposes of the wager.
Head-to-head bets are popular with many fans because of their simplicity. In many cases of sporting events with larger fields (such as golf or racing), sportsbooks will not let you choose any two competitors to select from; instead, you’ll be presented with a series of potential head-to-head bets to choose from. These could be randomly selected participants with equal chances to win or competitors otherwise linked, such as Formula One teammates. Sportsbooks typically limit head-to-head wagers to players of comparable abilities, so that one entry is not a prohibitive favorite.
Head-to-head bets have weighted payouts based on which competitor is the favorite or underdog. Some bets also allow you to choose a tie as a result (such as a draw in boxing, or a joint finish for the same spot in golf). In most cases, head-to-head bets are voided if one competitor withdraws from an event after the bet has been made but before it starts (such as an injury during a practice round in a golf major). Sportsbooks do have different rules regarding late scratches or withdraws, so be sure to check the rules before placing your wager.