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What is the Vig | Commission Explained

the-vigThere are about ten different ways to describe vigorish and twice as many to define it: English bookies prefer to cut the word down to “vig”. American bookies use “juice”, “under-juice”, “cut” or “take” as well. The French and Greek use the word “gagnotte”. In bookie slang there are about five different words, including the “shark’s loan”! The origin of the word “vigorish” comes from Russia, where players use this term to define “winnings”. Despite its many names, the Vig comes down to one thing: It is the amount a bookie charges on every placed bet.

What is the VIG

Betting on politicsAlthough the term is widely used in betting discussions, very few players know how to accurately calculate the vig of each betting site. Regardless, the expression “this bookie has a high vig” is often used when comparing bookmakers.

Bookies use the vig to secure a certain profit on any event, regardless of the outcome. Οnline bookmakers don’t really care which side will end up winning, but instead try to balance the total amount of bets, in order to secure a small commission. This is why, a betting company will usually change the odds and the line. The calculation of the vig is the first step any bookmaker takes before adjusting their odds.

There’s no standard amount of vig, given that it depends on the bookmaker’s total expenditures and different types of markets. A fairly common commission on Asian bookies is about 2%-5%, while international betting companies set an average vig at about 10% on every event. 1XBET and Marathonbet are two of the bookies that have the lowest vig in the market.

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Calculation

There’s a really simple way of calculating the vig. For a two outcome event, the vigorish percentage is:

V=100& (1-(p*q)/(p+q))

where the p and q are the decimal payouts for each outcome. This should not be confused with the percentage a punter pays due to the commission. No consistent definition of the percentage of the vigorish can be made without first defining the gambler's behavior under vigorished odds and assuming a win-percentage for the gambler.

Example

A Full Time result bet is offered under the following odds:

Home win: 1,70

Draw: 3,55

Away Win: 5,85

According to the above formula the vig is calculated as follows: {1.1 / [(1 / 1.70) + (1 / 3.55) + (1 / 5.85)]} * 100% = 4%
The 4% percentage is the bookmaker’s guaranteed profit for the set. In other words, in order to win €100, you have to bet €104, as shown on the following calculations: 1: 100 / 1,70 = 58.8 €, X: 100 / 28.1 €, 2: 100 / 5.85 = 17.1€.

The same formula applies on two or more outcome events. You just have to add more fractions to find the commission.

Importance of the vig in betting

The rule is simple: The higher the vig is, the fewer your profits will be. This is often ignored by punters who occasionally get lured by high odds on risky markets. The rates and yields play a major role when you try to accomplish long-term gains and should always be taken into account before placing a bet.

Odds changing: Trying to get a steady vig

Oodds for betting onlineBetting odds UK ElectionsBookmakers have different ways of adjusting odds, especially after they have started to receive the first bets. Some of them will immediatly start adjusting the odds depending on how much money is bet on every outcome. They will consequently  lower the odds on the specific outcome to make it less attractive (or even deterrent) to players and will instead raise odds on the other outcomes, in order to balance the total amount of bets.

Calculating the vig and monitoring odds adjustments of specific bookmakers can provide some profitable opportunities to an observant gambler. Do note however, that you have to be extremely careful and well informed before you bet on those higher odds, given that a change may have occurred due to the absence of a team's best footballer.

However, an opportunity can arise when a betting company offers value odds. If for example a bookie starts offering better odds on an "away win or draw", in order to guarantee their commission, a punter can bet on these two outcomes and claim these improved odds, or even cover an initial "home win" bet.

How to deal with the vig

The most important thing to remember in order to avoid an excessive vig is to bet on as few games as possible. It is far preferable that you place single bets, given that when you punt on multiple events, you not only multiply your potential profits, but the vig as well. The fewer, the better.

It is also crucial to carefully monitor any odds changes that may result from excessive wagering on a certain outcome. Don’t forget that, besides the software bookies use to calculate the odds, the final adjustment is made by a human being, and wherever a man is involved a mistake can always happen.

If you are observant you must have noticed that betting companies sometimes offer different odds among each other. This is mainly due to the competition between the bookies. A bookmaker who wishes to get a larger share on the total bets, might start to offer his odds before any other betting firm. This can lead to hasty calculations, as not every parameter has been properly assessed, which in turn can result to a profit for a well informed bettor.

Sheer competition between companies has lead to the introduction of the “0% commission” matches. On these promotional bets, bookmakers offer odds devoid of any vig, which in a way means that they are placing a bet against the player. There are two reasons for this move: To claim a better place, on various betting odds comparison websites and to attract potential punters who will place odds in other matches besides the one on offer.

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