# Betting Margins

Sports betting margins show the odds difference between the price offered for a punter’s bet by the bookmaker and the actual probability of the game outcome. There are formulas to calculate the bookmaker's margin that are used for professional bettors in search of value bets.

The betting margins are key when deciding which online bookmaker to use. They reveal how much money the given site makes when someone places a bet. Hence, the operators that offer lower margins usually provide punters with better odds.

## What are Betting Margins?

Betting margins are the differences between the actual probability of a given outcome and the odds that the given bookmaker offers. In other words, this is similar to a “fee” that the given operator charges you when you want to place a bet. The idea of those things is to allow the bookmaker to have the edge over punters, no matter the outcome.

Unsurprisingly, people need to know more about the betting margin before choosing a given iGaming operator. This information will allow them to select a more suitable operator and have access to better odds.

## How to Calculate Betting Margins

To calculate betting margins, players must follow a couple of steps, depending on the market. Although they are easy, inexperienced punters may have difficulties, so we’ve listed them below.

### Margin Calculation on a Two-Way Market

Learning more about the margin in betting requires you to use a specific formula. For the Two-Way options, which are popular among sports like cricket and tennis, you have to use the following calculations:

(1/the odds in decimal) x 100 + (1/the odds in decimal) x 100 = Betting Margin

Here is an example of a fictional tennis match between Rafael Nadal (1.5) and Nick Kyrgious (2.3). Using the formula above, we do the following:

(1/1.5)*100 + (1/2.3)*100 = 66.6 + 43.4 = 110 = 10% betting margin

### Margin Calculation on a Three-Way Market

Learning more about the betting margin in a three-way market requires you to use a similar formula to the one mentioned above. However, you also have to add the possibility of a draw to the equation, so here is how it works:

(1/the odds for home) x 100 + (1/odds for draw) x 100 + (1/odds for away) x 100 = Betting margin

Although people can use the three-way betting markets on multiple sports, football is the most popular one. So, here is an example of a random event between Real Madrid and Barcelona (2.2 home), (3.5 X), (2.8 away):

(1/2.2) x 100 + (1/3.5) x 100 + (1/2.8) x 100 = 45.4 + 28.5 + 35.7 = 109.6 = 9.6% margin in betting.

### Margins and Exchange Commissions

Although many punters use standard betting options, some players are more interested in betting exchanges. Unsurprisingly, those places use a slightly different formula because they also have to add their commission. As a result, you have to use the following equation:

1 + ((1 – (the commission/100)) x (the odds – 1)) = you get the exchange odds, assuming you are aware of the commission

Once you learn about the odds, you have to use one of the formulas mentioned above, depending on the event. For example, let’s say you use an exchange to punt on a tennis match between Grigor Dimitrov (4.2) and Stefanos Tsitsipas (1.3), and the exchange’s commission is 2%:

1 + ((1 – (2/100)) * (4.2 – 1)) = 4.14 for Dimitrov

1 + ((1 – (2/100)) * (1.3 – 1)) = 1.29 for Tsitsipas

Now that we know this info, we use the following:

(1/4.14) * 100 + (1/1.29) * 100 = 24.15 + 77.52 = 101.67 = 1.67% margin

### Using a Betting Margin Calculator

If you want to know more about the margins before you start betting but don’t want to use any formulas, there is another solution. Nowadays, you can access a margin calculator that will do all the maths for you. Add the needed values and check your margins in seconds.

## What is a Margin Bet?

A margin bet is when you wager on the correct winner in a given match and the winning margin. The bookmaker determines the latter because it breaks the number of different outcomes by creating a points margin.

Usually, people have access to two types of margins:

• Broad points rage
• Narrow points range

For example, let’s say you want to bet on a basketball match between the Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics. The latter is the favourite, which is why bookies allow users to place a margin bet by choosing several other variations, depending on the potential points difference.

You can bet that Boston Celtics will win by having a 3-6 points advantage, a 7-9 points lead, and more. Some bookies even allow you to wager on a 20+ margin, which means there will be at least a 20+ points difference between the two teams. Unsurprisingly, this affects the odds.

## Betting Margin Tips for Beginners

After revealing some of the more important details about the betting margins, it’s time to share a few tips that will help you. The first one is related to choosing a bookmaker that is worth it.

What we’ve seen from our experience is that the margin levels depend entirely on the bookie itself. Therefore, it’s a good idea to check each brand’s margins before creating an account and registering with them.

If you decide to do that, you must remember that the margins will be different, depending on the sport and event. Judging from our experience, most bookies provide lower margins for some of the events and/or selections that are not that popular.

Knowing more details about the betting margins is important, but it is not the only thing you need to be aware of. We also recommend checking the markets, odds, bonuses, and everything else that’s important to you before picking a given brand.

Once you learn how betting margins work, you will find a difference between different sports. We have analyzed some of the most popular alternatives, so here’s what you should know.

### Soccer

Soccer is the most popular sport in online betting, but this also means that there are loads of leagues and matches to choose from. People who choose the more popular alternatives can expect low margins, whereas some less-trendy matches may have higher ones.

### American Football

Normally, the margins for this sport are high, except for countries where people choose it over others. We have used such bookies and found that the margins can be around 3%.

### Tennis

If you choose to bet on tennis, you can expect margins of 2-3% for the big events and 4% and up for others. We have also noticed that the margins can be different, depending on the person playing.

Basketball is one of the sports that people wager on, no matter where they are from. What we found interesting is that the sport offers both high and low margins, and it depends entirely on what you wager on. Punting on the NBA, for example, means the margins will be around 2, 2.5%, whereas wagering on some of the local leagues could result in margins of 7% and up.

### Ice Hockey

This sport usually has low margins, which is one of the reasons why more and more people want to use it.

### eSports

The situation with the margins in eSports is interesting and usually depends on the bookmaker you are using. The brands that specialize in them will offer low margins and good odds, but it also depends on the game. Some eSports titles, such as CS2, are way more popular than others, which means they will offer better options.

## FAQ

### What is a Fair Market?

A fair market is when the bookmaker offers lower margins so that players can win more if they predict their bets.

### What is Considered a High Margin?

Usually, some people consider 20% to be a high margin, but this is not true for everyone. Some bettors think that 10% is also a high margin.

### What is a Tri Bet?

Tri Bet is a specific market that allows you to wager on three options. Depending on the event, you can find things like “Team 1” to win by 20 points, “Team 2” to win by 20 points, and “either side to win by 19 points or less than that”.

Author
Veselin IgnatovVeselin's primary job is to create unique content, such as reviews and analyses of different bookmakers and other topics from the iGaming industry.
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