If you
ask the average person (and even some intermediate punters)
how do the bookmakers work, the most common answer to this
question will be  from loosing bets. And at first look this
makes quite a bit of sense  the bookies make money when the
bettors lose their wagers. And while this is somewhat true,
this is not how the bookmakers make their profit.
In
actuality, the bookmakers' goal is not to have their
customers lose their bets, but to match one punter against
the other, then take a fee for it. Let' look at some real
life examples to help you understand how the bookmakers
work. While the bookies employ professionals to help them
with the betting odds, the goal of the bookie is to have an
equal amount of people betting on each side of the bet and
the amount of money lost by one group should be equal or
higher than the amount won by the other. For example, let's
say that you are given a deck of cards and have to bet on
whether the fist card will be Red or Black. Statistically,
50% of the time the card will be Red and the other 50% 
Black. Using decimal odds, this would be represented by 2.00
odds on red and black and this type of fixed odds will be
called "100% market". If the bookies made money from people
losing their bets, they will simply post odds 2.00 on both
Red and Black and hope for the best. The bookmakers,
however, don't remain profitable by simply gambling with
their money, that's the customers' job :) In the case above,
the bookie will offer odds which are slightly below the
statistical odds, for example the payout on Red would be
1.81. By "pocketing" this small percentage from thousands of
bettors, the bookmakers make money.
It's even
easier to see how this works in real life by using an
example from the NFL betting world. Both American and UK
bookmakers will offer odds on the over/under, where both
sides, over and under, pay out on the same betting odds.
usually 10/11. As you can see, the statistical odds should
be 11/11 (i.e. 1/1), but the bookmaker is offering 10/11 and
if if they manage to match both sides with equal amount of
bets  they collect a "vig" or "juice", in other words they
take this small discrepancy between the statistical and
betting odds as a fee for bookmaking. Now, this said, if
they have more losers than winners 0 that's just great for
the bookies, but this is not how they primarily make money.
If you want to see the percentages for any bet, we recommend
trying out the
Pinnacle Sports betting calculator.
There you can input the odds offered and it will calculate
the market percentages for you.
So what
of one side of the bet gets more wagers than the other? Then
the odds change. This is why one can often see the lines
move, especially as the sporting event in question nears
start. Sometimes this could be due to unexpected news, but
most of the time the odds change as a result of punters
betting more heavily on one side of the bet than the other.
The bookmakers will then try to level off this difference in
wagers by offering better odds to the other side of the bet.
You can learn more about the betting odds by following the
link below.
