Vigorish, often abbreviated as “vig” and also known as “juice,” is a term used in gambling, particularly in sports betting, to describe the commission or fee charged by a bookmaker or a casino for their services. This fee is the primary way bookmakers and casinos ensure a profit on the betting or gaming they offer, regardless of the outcome of the event.

  1. Sports Betting: In the context of sports betting, vigorish is the difference between what is wagered and what is paid out to winners. It’s often built into the odds offered by bookmakers. For example, in a typical bet on a point spread, you might need to bet $110 to win $100, with the extra $10 representing the vigorish.
  2. Casino Games: In casino games, vigorish can refer to the built-in advantage the casino has on each game. For example, in roulette, the presence of the zero and double zero gives the house an edge, which is a form of vigorish.
  3. Role in Betting Markets: The vigorish ensures that the bookmaker or casino will make a profit in the long run. It’s a critical component of the gambling industry, as it offsets the risk taken by offering betting services.
  4. Calculating Vigorish: In sports betting, the vigorish can be calculated by analyzing the odds. For instance, if two equally matched teams have odds of -110 (bet $110 to win $100), the vigorish can be determined by calculating the implied probabilities of these odds and the difference from 100%.
  5. Impact on Bettors: For bettors, the vigorish represents the cost of placing a bet. It’s a factor that bettors need to consider, as it affects the break-even point and the long-term profitability of their betting strategy.
  6. Comparison Shopping: Savvy bettors often compare the vigorish charged by different bookmakers. Lower vigorish means better odds and more potential profit for the bettor.
  7. No-Vig Lines: Some sportsbooks offer promotional “no-vig” lines, where the odds are adjusted to remove the bookmaker’s commission. These promotions are often used to attract new customers or to provide value to existing ones.
  8. Transparency: Reputable bookmakers and casinos are generally transparent about their vigorish, with clear information provided on odds and payouts. Understanding the vigorish is important for informed gambling and effective bankroll management.