Sports Betting Q&A
Frequently asked questions about sports betting
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What is a bookie in sports betting?

A bookie is someone who facilitates gambling by setting odds, accepting and placing bets, and then paying out the winnings. It's short for the term bookmaker.

A bookie was a slang term more often used when online sports betting wasn't readily available. Bookies were more popular prior to the internet explosion because they could take bets in person or over the phone, often illegally. Nowadays, a bookmaker is usually part of a sportsbook or casino. 

Bookmakers don't bet themselves, as they make money from charging a vigorish, or a transaction fee. The biggest role for bookmakers is to set the odds, often using calculations from a variety of sources, in order to receive equal money on both sides of a bet. 

For example, if the bookie opens a spread at Patriots -10 against the Jets and 80% of the money is going to the Patriots, the bookie will likely push the number higher until there is closer to an equal amount of bets on both sides. 

While that may never be possible, it's best for the bookie to get equal money on each side because that leads to a higher probability of them winning money. If the money is balanced and there is 50% of bets on each side, the bookie earns the transaction fees and comes out positive. If the spread moved up to -14 in the above situation and 70% of people were still betting the Patriots and they won by 20 points, the bookie would lose money.

Bookmakers can work on their own, but they are often part of a casino. In places like Las Vegas where there are numerous sportsbooks in a small vicinity, bookmakers will often get odds from the same source or base their odds off another location. Now that betting is legal across the country following the repeal of PASPA in 2018, the difference in odds and lines will only grow across states.

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More Questions To Read
What are some current trends in sports betting?
Betting trends usually refer to what the public is doing. You have two choices, to follow the public or fade the public.
Who benefits from sports betting?
Sports betting not only benefits each state, but it also gives fans another way to enjoy games.
What is a sports betting model?
A sports betting model is a system that can identify unbiased picks to determine the probability for all outcomes in a certain game.
What is a sports betting exchange?
A sports betting exchange allows bettors to bet against each other instead of through a bookmaker.
What are some tips for managing your bankroll when betting on sports?
The most important tip when betting on sports is to limit each bet to be between one and five percent of your bankroll.
Can sports betting be a career?
Yes. Sports betting can be a career if you make it your full-time job and put in the hours.
Can sports betting make you rich?
Sports betting is unlikely to make you rich unless you turn it into a full-time job and become one of the best bettors in the world.
Is sports betting a waste of money?
Sports betting is not a waste of money if you define your goals before making your first wager.
Can sports betting be profitable?
Sports betting can be profitable, but the majority of bettors lose money, which is why sportsbooks exist.
What some simple tips for betting on sports?
A simple tip for betting on sports is to remember that only a small percentage of bettors are profitable in the long run.
What are some good sports betting tips for beginners?
A tip for beginners may be that turning a profit in sports betting is difficult and because you "know sports" doesn't mean you'll be successful.
How do you win at sports betting?
To win at sports betting, one has to put time into studying and researching various aspects of a matchup.
Why should sports betting be legal?
Sports betting should be legal because not only is it another way for fans to enjoy action, but it's also a boost to the economy.
Is sports betting rigged?
Sports betting is not rigged, but it is against your favor because of the vig.
What is the tax rate on sports betting winnings?
When PASPA was overturned in 2018, states began legalizing sports betting and introducing different taxes on revenue.
How do sports betting payouts work?
Sports betting payouts depend on which type of odds are being used.
What are some popular sports betting books?
BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel and PointsBet are some of the more popular sportsbooks where sports betting is legal.
Which sports betting site is best?
BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel and PointsBet are some of the more popular online sportsbooks where betting is legal.
What is a hedge in sports betting?
A hedge is a method to reduce risk and secure winnings for a specified bet.
What is the spread in sports betting?
The spread, also referred to as the line, is used to even the odds between two unevenly matched teams.
How do sports betting spreads work?
Sports betting spreads, also referred to as lines, are used to even the odds between two unevenly matched teams.
What does hook mean in sports betting?
The hook means a half-point in sports betting.
What is arbitrage in sports betting?
Arbitrage in sports betting is when someone places bets on all possible outcomes of an event at odds that guarantee profit.
Can you arbitrage sports betting?
Arbitrage sports betting is legal, though it's frowned upon by bookmakers.
How are sports betting odds calculated?
Sports betting odds are calculated with the main goal for sportsbooks being to receive equal money on both sides of a bet.