How Bookies Make Money

We’ve been asked many times, tell us how bookies make money. Bookies, who are also known as bookmakers, create the odds for a sportsbook. Bookies facilitate gambling on the sportsbook. The art of bookmaking allows bookies to always win if they operate correctly.

If you’ve ever heard the phrase that “the house always wins,” you probably know that it’s very true. Bookies have a unique formula to claim a guaranteed profit.


Here are the ways that bookies make money.

The ‘Vig’

The vigorish is the main way that bookies put the odds in their favor on every sporting event. The vig is the margin that bookies put into the odds to help them make a profit. The vig is a way to incentivize bettors to wager one side of a bet.

If half of bettors take option A and half take option B, the bookie will usually win money. Bookies do this through their odds. A bookie may incentivize a bettor to wager an underdog by giving generous odds.

Some people will take this option because of the incentive even though their pick isn’t favored. Others will not, so the bookie will typically turn a profit.

The vig is important, and if it is utilized properly, the house always wins if the financial figures are balanced.

Related Link > Where to Find Free Picks

How Bookies Make Money – Balancing the Book

A bookie’s goal is to split bettors down the middle on a wager through the vigorish. This still doesn’t guarantee that the house is going to win money. The book needs to be financially balanced as well. The use of a quality pay per head service will do all of this for you.

There needs to be an even number of bettors on each side of the wager. However, the money on each side of a wager needs to be balanced proportionally based on the odds.

There isn’t a way to guarantee a balanced book. However, bookmakers use the vig to hopefully eliminate an unbalanced book. If bookies have too many unbalanced wagers, they won’t be in business for a very long time.

It’s rare to have a completely balanced book because of the magnitude of sports betting. Bookies try to be within a certain margin for all events. Having sharp and accurate lines will always help how bookies make money.

Changing the Odds

If you’re familiar with sports betting, you know that odds frequently change leading up to a contest. This is a strategy by bookies to entice people to wager a different side of the bet. This is done to balance the book.

When odds are changing, it means that the book is out of balance. This is detrimental for bookies, so they’ll change the odds to guarantee a victory on their end. Sometimes bookies will try to create an unbalanced book, but this is rare.

If a bookie is confident in a specific outcome, they may create an unbalanced book to claim a larger profit. This is risky and could be harmful to a book if the unexpected occurs.

Driving Traffic to the Sportsbook

Bookies make money when they have more people playing on their sportsbook. It’s much easier to balance a book when you have a lot of people betting. More bettors on a sportsbook equates to more money for bookies.

Making sure you have a large betting board, giving plenty options for your players. For example, anyone that’s betting March Madness in 2021 will need tons of options. This day and age, simple moneylines, spreads and totals don’t cut it, you need props, futures and other exotic type wagers.

Bookies do this in a variety of ways. The main method that bookies use to drive traffic is by offering bonuses. This keeps players betting even when bonus money runs out.