How to reduce the bookmakers` margins

The betting margin is the main advantage of bookmakers over the players. In the article ‘What are bookmakers margins and probabilities’ we have already explained using the coin-toss betting how you can lose your money even if you guessed more than half of the outcomes. The reason is very simple – the margins reduce the value of your bet and that’s why you’ll always be at a disadvantage with a bookmaker. It is absolutely clear that the lower the margins, the higher your winnings. This means that in the long run the margin rate can be a key aspect that identifies whether you are a profitable player or not. At first glance when you need to decide what type of bet to place it may seem that there is no substantial difference between @1.98 and @1.90. Let’s say you bet ₤10 and no doubt that ₤0.80 is hardly very important to you. This is true, but only if we talk about a single winning stake. However, you bet on a regular basis and do not always win, so only the profit made in the long run matters! Yes, ₤0.8 does not matter to you here and now, however, after a year of betting it is this tiny amount that will make you a profitable player! Is it hard for you to believe? Below we will prove this by calculations, but looking ahead, you will be interested to know that in the long run the profit of two players, one of which placing bets at 1.98 and the other at 1.90, will differ twice and this is not a joke!

How Do Betting Margins Impact Your Profits?

First of all you must know the following terms: Win Rate Return or Hit Rate (the percentage of winning bets) and Yield (the ratio of profits to the total amount of bets). For instance, you have placed 100 bets on ₤10; 60 bets have won and you get ₤150 profit. So your Hit Rate is 60% (60 / 100) and your Yield is 15 % (₤150 / 100 x ₤10). It is just a math and a calculation speaks louder than a thousand words! So take a look on a simple calculation and see how betting margins impact your profits. It is truth universally acknowledged that a successful punter is a person who has 55% Hit Rate at ~2.00 odds. Let’s see how to change the profitability of a punter depending on a bookmaker’s commission.

We mentioned above that a bettor placing bets at 1.98 will have twice the amount of profit in comparison with a bettor placing bets at 1.90. The table above can confirms this fact! Let us consider a real-life example. Suppose you have placed 500 bets on ₤20 and your turnover is ₤10000. If you bet with a bookmaker who takes commission of 2% then your Yield is 7.8% and the profit would be ₤10 000 x 7.8% = ₤780. If you made a bet with a bookmaker who has a larger commission, for example equal to 6%, then your Yield is 3.4% and the profit would be ₤10 000 x 3.4% = ₤340. You can see a huge gap between the winnings even on such small stakes.

How to reduce the bookmakers` margins?

We face a difficult task, it is necessary to get the betting margins as low as practically possible. How to achieve it? Unfortunately, in practice a simple and logical choice of a bookmaker with the lowest margins won’t bring the desired result. The thing is that margin is an average value and it does not necessarily have direct relevance to a certain outcome. For example, one bookmaker runs low margins for football, but high on ice hockey. Another bookmaker offers high odds on favourites, but low odds on underdogs or vice versa. You can find a bookmaker with high odds on the main markets, but low on the other markets. Taking into account the fact that you make bets of all types none of them can fully satisfy you.

Only by having multiple bookmakers you can reduce the bookmakers` margins!

So the only way to reduce bookmakers` margins to the minimum is to have several betting accounts so you can choose the highest odds for a certain outcome. If you ever place bets at as high as possible odds than the average betting margins in your stakes will tend to the lowest rate which will bring you a huge additional income in the long run. Let us take an example of real football betting lines, assuming that you have accounts at five different bookies.

As you can see the average margin is 5.6% and none of the bookmakers set this index above 5%. Having the ability to play with multiple bookmaker accounts you can always choose the highest odds and in this case you will have ‘alternative betting lines’, which will be as follows:

Finally let’s calculate how effective will be to place bets on five different bookmakers. As it was mentioned above when the Hit Rate equals to 55%, you will have Yield 3.90% with a bookmaker that runs a margin of 5.6% but your Yield will be 8.35% if you will place bets at five different accounts. Suppose you have placed 1000 stakes on ₤20 in this case your profit will be:

Having single bookmaker: 1000 stakes x ₤20 x 3.90% = ₤780

Having multiple bookmakers: 1000 stakes x ₤20 x 8.35% = ₤1 670

By placing bets on the same outcomes and having the same Hit Rate you would earn ₤890 more (+114% of winnings) if you have accounts with several bookmakers! We can recommend the list of bookmakers you can always place bets at the best odds.

Reducing the bookmakers` margins is the first step to become a successful punter! But that’s not all, in order to make money on a regular basis you have to be able to find value bets and be able to calculate an Expected Value. Read our article ‘How to calculate an expected value’.

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