Margin in bookmaker - what is it and how to calculate it?


Today we will talk about bookmaker's margin - a very important element of betting, which players rarely think seriously about when making predictions. What is it all about, why is it important, how bookmakers make money. Calculation formulas and illustrative examples are all in our today's material.

What is bookmaker margin?

Margin is an operating commission that absolutely all bookmakers charge for their services. Moreover, they do it extremely imperceptibly - the commission is not charged by any additional payment, but is already included in the odds of the bookmaker's office.

Only a small part of bettors know or think about the existence of margin and the degree of its importance in betting. And it’s in vain - the margin can vary significantly between bookmakers. Sometimes its level becomes the very trait that determines whether a player is positive or negative.

What does the bookmaker's margin affect?

First of all - on the coefficients, which are set by bookmakers, and as a result - on the level of payments. Which, in turn, directly affects the profitability of the bettor's game.

Consider the odds for one match at two different bookmakers:

Obviously, the first bookmaker has odds for all three outcomes higher than the second bookmaker offers. What does this mean from a practical point of view? That by placing bets on the line of the first office, players will receive a large payout when betting on any outcome. Both specific and in general at a distance.

This difference was formed precisely because of the bookmaker's margin. The higher it is, the worse the odds in the bookmaker. Accordingly, in the first bookmaker, the margin should be lower. But how to calculate it? Read on.

How to calculate the bookmaker's margin?

The easiest way is to use the bookmaker's special margin calculator. But you can apply the following formula:

(100 / coefficient 1 + 100 / coefficient 2 + 100 / coefficient N) - 100 = bookmaker's margin

If there are two outcomes in the market (for example, the total is more and the total is less), then we divide the hundred by two coefficients, add the results and subtract the hundred. If there are three or more outcomes, then we divide a hundred by each market coefficient, add the results and subtract a hundred.

Basically, we calculate the probability of each outcome, add them, and subtract 100 percent. The difference is the margin.

Let's calculate the bookmaker's margin for outcomes using the formula:

(100 / odds 2.75 + 100 / odds 2.99 + 100 / odds 3.06) - 100 = (probability 36.36 + probability 33.44 + probability 32.68) - 100 = 102.48 - 100 = 2.48%. This is the approximate margin of the office. In fact, this formula has a small error, but for a rough estimate it is more than suitable.

If you want to calculate the exact figure, then the formula will have to be complicated. At the beginning, we do everything the same way, divide one hundred by each market coefficient and add the results. Then, we divide one hundred by the resulting number, and subtract the result from one and multiply by one hundred.

In our example, we got the number 102.48. We perform additional actions:

  1. 100 / 102,48 = 0,9758
  2. 1 – 0,9758 = 0,0242
  3. 0,0242 х 100 = 2,42

2.42% - this is the true margin of the bookmaker in the example considered. According to the simplified version, we got 2.48%, which is not much different and much easier in calculations.

To consolidate, let's calculate the margin on the outcomes from our first example, where we considered the odds.

(100 / 2,71 + 100 / 3,04 + 100 / 3,09) – 100 = (36,9 + 32,89 + 32,36) – 100 = 102,15 – 100 = 2,15% – margin offices on the outcomes of the confrontation.

(100 / 2,65 + 100 / 3 + 100 / 2,95) – 100 = (37,74 + 33,33 + 33,9) – 100 = 104,97 – 100 = 4,97% – office margin for the outcomes are much higher, that's why all the odds are worse.

What is a good margin?

The margin depends on the sport, the popularity of the tournament and the outcome in the list. The best margin is found on the main line bets of major tournaments in the most popular sports. Sometimes you can even find a zero share commission there. And the less important a sport, a tournament or an outcome, the higher the margin will be.

Bookmakers put the biggest commission in smallmarkets - bets on match statistics and the like. There is also a very high level of margin in combined outcomes, for example, bets "1 half + match" or "outcome + total". There is a margin of 20% and even higher.

Good margin:

Betting on:TOP tournaments, main lineSecondary tournaments, additional list
Live4-6%до 10%

Why margin matters?

In addition to the obvious answer that you can get a large payout from each bet, there is another explanation. With regular distance play, the margin is the percentage that the bookmakers take on each winning bet. Players lose - the bookmaker gets everything, the players win - the bookmaker pays, but removes the commission.

And this percentage can vary from 0% to 15% and even higher, depending on the sport, the popularity of the event and the outcome. Agree, there is a difference, give 0%, 2% or 15% from each won bet.

Especially the margin is critical for those who like to play express. In this type of bet, the margin is multiplied with the number of outcomes in the coupon and sometimes can reach cosmic proportions. So, in a coupon of ten outcomes and an average margin of 5%, the total margin of the express will be 50%! This is how much commission bookmakers will deduct from your winnings at a distance.