how do bookies set odds

How do bookies set odds? Understanding this process gives you an edge!

Last Updated on December 21, 2020

Successful bookmaking is about building margins into odds and balancing the book so no matter who wins the bookie makes a profit. As you punter you should understand the odds setting process because it doesn’t matter if you pick winners most of the time, it only matters if you pick the right odds. But how do bookies set odds?

How do bookies set odds?

Determining probabilities

The first step in setting odds is finding the probability of the outcomes. Bookies do this based on past statistics, most recent form of the teams and players and most recent news. This is part art part science and is a process you should get used to.

how do bookies set odds

Bookies have different formulas for this and that’s ok. Like i said: part art part science! If you start doing this process yourself you will create your own formula and find what works for you.

Converting probabilities to odds

The next step is converting probabilities to odds. The process is quite simple and the formula depends on what types of odds you are using. In the UK the most popular is the fractional system, in the rest of Europe the decimal system and in the US the american or moneyline system. It’s all the same data viewed in a different perspective.

If you have trouble with this process you can use any odds converter tool.

Back to our subject, once the probabilities are determined we can convert them into odds.

Setting the profit margin

Some bookies call it juice, margin or vig. It doesn’t matter. The process means that to the determined odds in the previous step, they take a slice as their profit. And this lowers the odds they offer to the customers.

Having an edge over the bookies

Now it’s your turn to make your own odds.

Follow the process as if you were the bookie and set your own odds. If the bookie offers you greater odds than you expected then you found yourself an opportunity. That’s called value betting!

The secret to successful betting lies in finding value and you are a lot more likely to find them in the smaller leagues.

Now that you know how bookies set odds, start doing this process in your local smaller leagues and you’ll have a lot of fun and will start increasing your profits.

Happy betting!