Vigorish, a term used in professional gambling, is also known as the vig, juice, under-juice, the cut, or the take. Vigorish is the amount that is charged by a bookie, or bookmaker, whenever a bettor decides to make a bet one something. While a bettor can choose to make bets without help, using a bookmaker is often advised, as they are far more knowledgeable about the market and the odds than the average gambler. In turn, the gambler pays the bookie a certain amount of money as commission for their service.
The commission is usually paid to the bookie once the betting event is over and the outcomes have been revealed. Whether the bettor loses or wins the bet, the bookmaker still receives the agreed commission. Bookmakers are known to adjust the odds and lines to ensure the bettor has a better chance of making a win, as this means more business in the future. The term of vigorish originates from Russian word vyigrysh, which means winnings.
An Example of Vigorish
As an example, there are two bettors that both decide to bet against each other on a sports team. Each bettor contributes $100 to a pot, making a total of $200. The bet is set at even odds, meaning that there’s a 50% chance for either of them to win the full amount of the pot. The winner of the bet will receive the full $200, while the loser of the bet receives nothing, and has made a loss.
On the other hand, if the bettors decide to use a bookmaker, each will have to contribute $110, assuming the bet they’re making is also at even odds. The extra $20 is added as potential commission for the bookmaker, although he will only walk away with $10. With the $220 in the pot, one of the bettors wins and the other loses. The bettor that wins receives $210 as winnings, the loser receives no winnings, and the booker maker keeps the extra $10 as the commission for his service. This means that no matter which better wins or loses, the bookmaker will receive full commission. Although the amount is usually quite small, it’s always guaranteed, as the money put up for bet will always have an extra amount for the bookmaker, whether the bet is successful or not.
It can be seen in two opposing ways. Either it’s the loser of the bet that is paying the bookie’s commission from their contributions, or the winner, instead of receiving double his bet in returns, is paying a certain percentage.
Vigorish Outside of Sports Betting
Bookmakers are not only confined to the world of sports betting, and there are many popular casino games that can come with a vigorish levy. These can include baccarat, backgammon, poker, and even slots machines. In the case of slots, a certain percentage of whatever is made or lost is transferred back into the house, although these percentages are usually extremely low. Every type of casino game has its own form of betting and subsequently, its own bookmakers and associated vigorish.