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What is Vigorish

What is Vigorish?
by Staff

Vigorish or "the vig" or "juice" is how casinos and sportsbooks make their money on sports bets. In essence, it's a commission that is placed on each bet made through them.

The amount equals the difference between what is risked and what is potentially won. If a bettor wins a bet, they don't have to pay the vig. If a bettor loses the bet, he pays the vig. Let's take a look at an example:

Let's say the Bears and Colts are playing. Joe Schmoe wants to lay $1100 to win $1000 on the Colts at -7. Let's say they lose, Joe has to pay the whole $1100 to the sportsbook. If he were to have won, he'd have collected the $1000 profit as well as his risked amount back.

In a perfect world, the bookie would have equal action on both sides of every game/point spread offered. This would create a situation in which 2 guys are opposite, laying $110 to win $100 each. One will lose, which means the bookie collects $110 from one of them and pays out $100 to the other, allowing himself to keep $10 for being the middleman. Not a bad business eh?

Bookies rarely get balanced action though, so they have to either gamble that their going to win long term which is what many do, or lay some action off at another sportsbook to bring their action closer to even, which lessens their risk should the one sided action happen to win.

Speaking of vigorish, some sportsbooks offered "reduced vig." To bet on games at -105 instead of -110, click the banner below!

Related: Reduced Juice Betting.

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