Avoid the Vig
What is Vig?
- the percentage deducted from a gambler's winnings by the organizers of a game.
- vig, juice, rake, cut, take
Vigorish is the price the sportsbook charges the bettor for placing a wager. It is basically a gambling tax. The standard vig is -110, which means you have to lay $11 to win $10. Because of this, you can win half of your games and still come out a loser.
Novice gamblers fail to recognize the importance and impact of the vigorish. The vig on a particular play should correspond with the outcome percentage. When taking account of the vig, If there isn't a 50% chance a play pays, the bettor should pass the game. Bettors should analyze each game to determine if there is a positive expected value.
When betting sides, it is very easy to determine the value of the vig and its potential impact. Traditionally, -110 is the standard vig on a side bet, meaning you need to win 11 out of 21 or 52.38%, to break even. However, sometimes sportsbooks will add additional vig before moving off a number. This will force the bettor to win at a higher percentage in order to be profitable.
When betting straight up, the vig is baked into the number. In order to determine the amount of vig, the bettor needs to calculate the straddle (the difference in vig between the favorite and the underdog). A majority of the time, there should be a 20 cent straddle. However, with future plays or odds that move frequently, there may be a considerably larger straddle.
One Sided Bets
Occasionally, sportsbooks will post yes/no bets, but only offer one side of the play. This makes it extremely difficult or even impossible to truly determine the vigorish. Bettors should be very hesitant betting these types of plays.
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