Sports Betting Strategy: What is a Sports Bookie?

What do you know about the role of a sports bookie? Learn about placing bets along with sports betting strategy here in this rundown.

Every year, bettors place about $165 billion in wagers on sporting events, and over the next three years, that number is expected to grow by another $106 billion. Sports betting is enormously popular, and the market has skyrocketed since the practice was decriminalized in 2018. Thanks to this growth, bookies now stand to make a lot of money off these wagers.

You may have heard of bookies before, but what is their role in the sports betting world? Read on to learn more about sports bookies and how they use sports betting strategies to balance their books and turn a healthy profit.

What Is a Sports Bookie?

The term “bookie” is short for “bookmaker” and refers to a person who manages gambling, particularly on sporting events. A bookie handles setting odds, taking bets, and handing out money to people who won their bets. Bookies can work independently or as part of a larger firm.

A bookie’s primary job is to keep the books balanced, meaning that there are about an even number of people winning and losing money on bets. They primarily do this by setting odds, meaning that people who bet on scenarios that are more likely to win make less money on the bet, and vice versa. In some cases, bookies may also loan money to bettors.

How Bookies Make Money

Most of the time, bookies don’t make money by betting on sporting events themselves. Instead, they charge a fee for placing the bet called the vigorish, or “vig” for short. This fee is usually somewhere around 5 to 10 percent, and most bettors consider this a reasonable fee for the entertainment they receive.

In some cases, bookies may be able to avoid charging their bettors an extra vig if they balance their books precisely enough. In these cases, the bookie is able to balance the books such that there’s enough extra profits for them to make the profit they need. However, bookies usually can’t adjust the books too much to give themselves an overly high profit.

How Bookmaking Has Changed

Although the role of the bookie hasn’t changed much since sports betting began, the practice of bookmaking has changed a lot in recent years. The advent of the Internet Age gave bookies a much wider field of customers and events than they’d ever had before. It also brought new ways for bettors to wager and for bookies to collect and distribute money.

Bookie software has made it easier for bookies to keep their odds up to date and set appropriate betting limits. This software can monitor bets and estimate winnings and losses for bookies. Bettors can also now place bets with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, in addition to more traditional forms of currency.

How Do Odds Work?

Since bookies make their living by setting odds, how do those odds work? Odds making is a complex process that involves advanced statistical models and teams of statisticians. Money lines and point spreads are both important factors in calculating odds, and most bookies get their odds from professionals.

In general, odds serve to confirm which team a bookie already believes is going to win the game. The odds can fluctuate all the way up to the start of the event itself as different factors change. The bookie will need to keep adjusting the books up until that start time in order to ensure they don’t lose money on the bets.

Is It Legal to Be a Bookie?

In many cases, when people hear the word “bookie,” they associate it with illegal gambling. And it is true that until a few years ago, sports gambling was illegal throughout the United States. Anyone working as a sports bookie in the country was doing so outside of the law.

However, in 2018, the Supreme Court ruled that sports betting legality could be decided on a state-by-state basis. As of this writing, thirty-three states have legalized the practice, making bookies a legitimate profession. However, in the seventeen remaining states, sports gambling is still illegal, as is bookmaking.

How Much Do Bookies Make?

If you’re considering working as a bookie, one of the first questions you may want to ask is how much bookies make. Of course, there isn’t one solid income level for bookies; income varies a lot based on how much a bookie works, how well they balance their books, how high the bets they’re taking are, and so on. How much each individual bookie makes also depends on if they’re working with a book owner or on their own.

Bookies who have 100 players or more can bring in as much as $100,000 a week, or about $5 million a year. That being said, most bookies aren’t pulling down that kind of money. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most bookies make somewhere around $27,000 a year, which is still a very solid side hustle.

Start a Sportsbook

Learn More About Sports Betting Strategy

Bookies use a lot of advanced sports betting strategy to ensure that their books come out with a roughly even number of wins and losses. A bookie is responsible for taking bets, managing odds, and paying out winnings, as well as managing their vig to ensure they make a profit. While most bookies make around $27,000 a year, some can make up to $5 million a year if they’re successful enough.

If you’d like to learn more about sports betting strategy, check out the rest of our site at Ace Per Head. We offer comprehensive pay-per-head services as low as $10 per head. Create a package with us today and get one week free every month for the rest of your life.