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Ok, so you’ve been playing sports betting for God knows when, and now some of your buddies call you a pro. And each time you pick your phone to stake on some of the games happening at the weekend, your friends would gather around you to see which teams you were backing so that they might follow suit and bet on the same teams. That’s just how much they trust your betting skills! 

That’s super cool! Perhaps you should launch your own betting tutorial channel on YouTube or start a blog about betting. You never know, you just might create another stream of income from that.

But wait a minute, those odds you find on all your bookies’ websites, how do you think they work? I mean, how do you think a given bookie chooses what amount of odds is appropriate for a match?

If you’re anything like I was back in the day, then I’m pretty sure you would have no answer to that. Because guess what? Most punters don’t even concern themselves with whether a bookie has an advantage over them or not. As such, they never bother to find out how the odds they stake on relate to the bookmaker’s chances of making money.

Everybody just seems to think, “let me work on my strategies, pick some games, stake my money, and cash out.”

Well, that’s super cool too. But if you want to go a bit further in your understanding of sports betting and want to have an even greater chance of winning, then you need to understand how the betting odds, as well as the bookies’ margins, work.

What is the betting odds’ margin?

To understand what the betting odds’ margin is, let’s take a quick look at a simple analogy. Suppose you and your friend decide to bet on a coin toss, and you go with the head, while he opts for the tail. To bet, you guys decided to stake $10 each, meaning that if the head of the shows you’ll be $10 richer and if the tail of the coin shows, you’ll lose $10.

In this type of betting, neither of you holds any advantage because neither of you is seeking to make a profit from the betting process, that is, earn a percentage from the staked money. The betting odds, in this case, is outright 0.5. And as such, this type of betting is called “100% market or 100% book,” which gives no advantage to the party betting or the party accepting the bet. Therefore, a 100% book or market is a market with zero margins.

If, however, you were placing a bet on a coin toss with someone seeking to make a profit off of the bet (such as a bookie), the market percentage would be greater than 100%, and the market would have a margin. The percentage by which the market shoots above 100% is the size of the margin the bookie holds over you, so quite simply the price the bookie charges for offering you a betting service.

While you might want to think this is none of your concern – after all every business is set up to make a profit – you need to understand that the margin your bookie of choice is applying goes a long way to determine the value of the odds, and ultimately the potential betting profit. Because the higher the margin, the poorer the value for a bettor and the more the profit a bookie makes. 

How to calculate the betting odds margin

To calculate how far above 100% your bookie of choice has chosen to go for a match, you need to consider what the odds on all the possible outcomes are. But this might be a tasking task, especially if you’ve got multiple games to bet on. But to simplify things, you can use a betting odd calculator tool (go online to download the app). Most are quite easy to use, and you’ll just need to input the odds from a given bookie, and the calculator will tell you just how far above 100% your bookie of choice has chosen to go for that game. Remember, the higher this margin (that is, the percentage you find on the calculator), the poorer the value of any bet you’re placing on that match with that bookie.

Alternatively, you can calculate the margin yourself using the equation below. Lol, I know the sound of the word “equation” is already making you quake in your boots, but you need not fret. It’s just simple mathematics.

For a two-way betting market like tennis 

Two-way means there are two directions the game can go, which is a Win for A, and a Loss for B and vice versa. Football is an example of a three-way market, with three possibilities, which are win, loss, draw.

That said, the margin for a two-way market is calculated as:

{(1/Decimal odds option A) x 100 + (1/Decimal odds option B) x 100}%

Let’s take an example to illustrate this. Let’s say in a tennis match between Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, the odds displayed on a reputable betting site like  are:

Novak Djokovic: 1.926

Andy Murray: 2.020

Then we will have

(1/1.926) x 100 + (1/2.020) x 100 = 51.92 + 49.51 = 101.43% market

In this market, the bookie has a margin of 1.43%

If you find a bookie that offers you this, then you can consider yourself lucky. Because most bookies often go in the way of 1.5% margin and above. But, of course, ibet44id is one of the few bookies with friendly margins