The Secret to Bookie Odds

Have you ever wondered how bookies stay in business? Some people get a hot tip and believe they are on the top of the world when the win, yet bookies don’t seem too brokenhearted about it. Why is that?

Bookies always come out on top. Otherwise, they would not have a sustainable business model. How does making odds work? Do bookmakers just make up numbers as they go along, predicting who will win and then setting up odds so that you bet on the underdog? There is some truth to that, but not entirely. The system is set up so that bookmakers will make a profit regardless of your wager, even when you get a bet365 bonus code.

Real Odds

In our article about the casinos making money, we made an example of a coin toss. A similar principle is applied here. The first thing s bookie does is some extensive research. If this is a match between two rivals, and one team has won most of the matches, you can be sure that you will not earn a lot of money by betting on that team, which is the favorite.

It all starts with bookies determining the true odds of a sports event. They do this in a similar fashion bettors plan for an informed wager: they look at statistics, changes, injuries, expert opinions and whether the team in question plays home or away. They calculate what is known as ‘fair book’.

Bookie Odds

Let’s go back to the coin toss analogy and example from the other article. Unlike casinos, bookies don’t have the same foot traffic. Games of chance are incomparably quicker than sporting events, as well. While the casinos integrate themselves into your winnings, bookies bring the odds to a fictional margin.

This new margin ensures that the bookmaker always receives more money than invested, regardless of the outcome. This fictional margin is known as overround or vig.


Odds compilers are similar to data scientists. They take in the statistics and other relevant data and follow the changes so that they could notify the bookmaker about the new situation which results in new odds. With the speed the world moves, a lot of odd compiling is done by machines.

How Do I Choose?

Well, this is something all bookies do – that’s where the profit lies. Your best course of action would be to find a bookie with a relatively realistic margin, which you can calculate from the odds given to you. The rule of thumb is: the lower the margin, the better.

That being said, it is not very likely that you will find a low margin for obscure matches. If the sporting event is not closely followed, it means not many people will bet on it and, in turn, bookies could lose some money.

On the other and, if you are just looking to have a little fun, who cares about the odds? As a rational person, you already know that placing a wager is a form of entertainment and not a sustainable income strategy. Math has made sure of that.