Understanding the Bookmaker’s Role

We like to see bookmakers as the enemy, always waiting to trip us when we least expect it. However, is that really the most accurate description of the bookmaker? Not at all. You will need to understand how the bookie really works before you get too far into sports betting.

Bookmakers used to be known as turf accountants. What they really do is take money on a wide variety of different outcomes for a big event (like a horse race or a big football match). The turf accountant’s goal is then to balance the book so that a profit is made no matter what the outcome of the actual event is. They will attempt to give you odds that are less than the real chances of an event taking place.

This makes their books over-round — the odds add up to more than 100%.


Bookmakers use odds to their advantage. If you have an event that has a 50/50 outcome, you’re not going to get 100% of the money. You might have 4/5 odds, which would give you a 90 GBP payout on a 100 GBP bet. This means that the bookie just pocketed 10 GBP from you. Now imagine if these numbers were scaled out, as plenty of people play the big games. You could find plenty of action and plenty of bookmakers getting a piece of the action.

Yet we do need bookmakers to manage all of those bets. We think that what the bookie takes out is more than fair to give us a safe place to handle all of the action. Online bookmakers take this to the next level. It becomes a social thing, something that can easily be used to connect us. Why would you skip out on that, if you didn’t have to? Why not check it out for yourself as soon as you can?

After all, it goes without saying that not all bookmakers are going to offer you the same odds. If you want to know where you should play, check out sportsbook reviews from real players. They’re going to let you know where the fast action is and the support lives, so that you can make the best decision possible. Go from there, and see where that takes you.