What are they lacking? I’ll bet they haven’t looked at the difference between betting handle and betting capital. Handle refers to the amount of betting that online sportsbooks bet on a single match, sport, or throughout the year. Capital is what you stand to make when you win your bet.
The question is: where do they see the difference? To get a straight answer, you have to divide both lines up into “betting juice” and “reward value”. The second half is referred to as vigorish or thirst. If you’re on the losing side, you’re going to need more vigorish than if you’re on the winning side.
Most bookmakers will have a special formula for computing juice or thirst. But there are also some out there that use a different calculation method altogether. This means that most of them don’t publish their formula. You may not know it but the bookmakers all have the same goal: profit. If you’re an online bookmaker, you want to maximize your profit.
So what happens when you’re looking at the performance of bookmakers? They always want you to bet more. That’s why they set the handle so low. Even if you’re getting a lot of “juice”, you still won’t make much. If you had to pay a higher handle, though, you could make a lot more.
Now let’s go over the formula used by the losing sides. The basic idea is that they take a percentage of your bet before the vigorish calculation and distribute it among your losing sides. If you bet aggressively, you’ll get a high proportion of your bets returned to you as juice. On the other hand, if you bet cautiously, you’ll end up with a lower proportion of your bets making it back to you as a loss.
If your sportsbook has an automatic parlay machine you could have one set to dispense the juice to you as soon as the bet has been placed. Or perhaps your parlays are a little off from your vigorish calculations. In that case, the losing side would get the juice first and the winning side would get it last. I can’t give away all the fun stuff here, but I’ll tell you that some sportsbooks have integrated “auto-parlays” which means you don’t even have to touch the buttons!
Some bookmakers will also have a limit as to how much you can spend on betting lines. You need to be aware of this because you need to stay within your limits. If you overspend your limit you’ll immediately suffer a loss. That’s why it’s important to know your total handle (the amount of your total bets minus your wagering income) before you go to a sportsbook. You should never allow a bookmaker to pressure you into betting more than your handle allows.
One last point I want to make about margins is that many bookmakers will offer a service called vigorish. Vigorish is simply the amount the bookmaker would be willing to let you pay out if you were to lose. You should know this as your “exchange rate”. It’s best to get your vigorish from a bookmaker that has a good track record of making these kinds of trades, and not from a bookmaker that just started recently. I’m still learning, so my advice is for you to do your research and select a place that you feel comfortable with and has a good track record of making winning bets.
What about the losing side? The losing side pays the vigorish if you’re unsuccessful at betting on the lines. For this reason you need to ensure you’re aware of how much you’re going to be paying when you’re above your vigorish. In most cases the losing side pays the least in terms of line charges. On the other hand, the winning sides vigorish is often far greater.
The final sports betting handle I want to talk about is your down line. The down line tracks your success (or lack of success) at each particular bet you make. For example, if you made three bets on favorite football teams and you lost all three of them, you’re on your way to losing your entire down the line for the year. While I’m sure there are people who make money this way, the odds are stacked heavily against you. You should only consider taking on this level of sports betting if you have a deep enough pocketbook and a steady enough supply of clients.
As you can see from this short discussion, the betting handle is very important to sports gambling. There are several levels of vigorish and you shouldn’t attempt to go beyond the vig level unless you have deep enough pockets and/or clients. If you don’t, you’ll be risking your entire account in a relatively short period of time before seeing any profit. This is why reduced vig sportsbooks and reduced-point spreads are so popular. You’ll be able to win more wagers while making less money overall.