Sports Betting Dictionary
21.08.2023, 06:48
20.05.2024, 16:28

Vigorish in Sports Betting: Unpacking the Bookmaker's Edge

Vigorish, often colloquially referred to as "vig" or "juice", is a term every bettor encounters. Acting as the lifeblood of sportsbooks, it represents the built-in edge that keeps these establishments profitable. While it may seem like just another number, understanding vigorish is vital for anyone stepping into sports betting.

In its simplest form, vigorish is the commission a sportsbook takes for facilitating a bet. It's how they earn money. When you hear odds like -110, the extra 10 signifies the book's vigour. To win $100, a bettor must wager $110, with the extra $10 going to the sportsbook regardless of the bet's outcome.

Term Origin

The etymology of 'vigorish' traces back to the Yiddish word 'vigorish', meaning 'winnings'. Over time, this term found its way into the gambling vocabulary, particularly in America, and evolved into 'vigorish', with 'vig' as a common abbreviation.

Similar Terms

  • Juice: A synonym for vigorish. It's an informal term used to describe the commission a sportsbook takes.
  • Overround: Predominantly a British term, overround describes the bookmaker's profit margin incorporated into the odds.
  • Cut: A straightforward term, 'cut' refers to the sportsbook's bet share.

Examples of Use

  • "With both teams priced at -110, the sportsbook's vigorish is quite evident."
  • "Always account for the vig when calculating your potential returns."
  • "To maximise profits, seasoned bettors often look for opportunities where the vigorish is relatively low."

To conclude, while vigorish ensures sportsbooks remain operational, understanding it equips bettors to make informed decisions, optimising the betting experience and profitability.


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