How to Calculate Betting Margins?

Bet Experts
September 2, 2021
Betting Margins

This article will explain how to calculate which odds at the betting sites are worth playing and how betting margins work.

Nowadays, when there are many online bookmakers, it is important to choose those sportsbooks that offer the lowest possible margin and thus behave fairly towards their customers. Why are margins important, how do betting odds work, and is it essential to choose the best possible odds? Of course, it is for several reasons. You need every available advantage you can get over bookmakers to make money from betting in the long run.

In this article, we will try to explain how sports betting odds work, how to calculate which odds in a bookmaker are worth playing, how margins work and why they are just as crucial for any serious sports bettor.

What is the Margin?

Simply put, the margin is the percentage advantage that the bookmaker has over the bettor. For that reason, when choosing your favorite sportsbook, it is essential to select an operator where the margins are lower, and the odds are higher.

Margin is extremely important when choosing the best betting site to register. Many players do not pay attention to it but focus more on bonuses and promotions and the number of betting markets offered by the operator. Although these are extremely important segments, knowing about betting odds and margins should be at the top of the checklist if you want to make money on betting.

[single_affiliate title=”20bet” size=”big”]

Here is an example:

In an ideal world, the odds for a tennis match between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal would be 2.00 – 2.00. Under these odds, neither the bookmaker nor the bettor would have an advantage, but there would be a 50% chance on each side. In betting jargon, this is called 100% market because this is a zero margin bet, which would be the best possible odds to play anyway.

Unfortunately, sportsbooks do not work this way. Every bookmaker has a margin, bigger or smaller, but it is simply the price that must be paid to play in a bookmaker, and that is how bookmakers make a profit. Because of that, it is essential to know how margins are calculated, and in that way, bookmakers will know whether some odds are worth taking.

Of course, there are also automatic odds calculators, which can be found online; some of them are free, while others are paid. We think that free calculators are good enough and that there is no need to pay for services for this service.

How to Calculate the Margin?

Margin calculation is a relatively simple mathematical equation.

(1 / odds of Federer) * 100 + (1 / odds of Nadal) * 100 = margin of the bookmaker

In our previous example, it was relatively easy to calculate a zero (0) margin, but this is not the case in real life. Usually, even the best bookmakers with the lowest margins are not even close to zero margins, but the industry standard is 5%.

For example, by randomly choosing a tennis match between two players (A and B) on the schedule today, we realized that two very respectable bookmakers have quite different margins.

The 22Bet bookmaker offers odds of 1.80 for the victory of player A, while it offers the odds of 1.90 for the victory of player B. If we use the formula for the margin, we will see that the margin here is a massive 8.13%. In the exact match, 1Xbet offers a odds of 1.87 for player 1 to win, while odds of 1.98 for player B to win. The margin at this bookmaker is 4.00%.

So, it is much more profitable in the long run to bet on tennis at 1Xbet, because they have twice lower margins than other bookmakers.

For this reason, it is necessary to constantly calculate margins, know how to calculate the odds, and play in bookmakers that offer the lowest margins on the market to increase your chances of long-term profit from sports betting.

[single_affiliate title=”bwin” size=”big”]

Level of Odds and Margins

The logical question is how large a margin is acceptable and what is the range of margins in online sports betting.

The most respectable and best bookmakers have lower margins, and they move in some sports even up to 2%, which is really great. On the other hand, you can find bookmakers on the market whose margin is astronomical and goes up to 10%. But even that is much better than local bookmakers, whose margin on most sports is even over 15%. That is why it is much better to have sports betting accounts in online bookmakers than in local ones.

As we have already mentioned, the type of sport determines the height of the margin, and the lowest margins are in American sports, while the highest margins are in basketball, volleyball, and handball. It is similar to online casino games, as every game has a different margin.


What is important to know is that before you start betting on sports, learn and see where bookmakers make a profit and how they function comprehensively. Margins and odds are one of the ways that bookmakers make a constant profit in the long run.

When you know how to calculate the odds that are fair compared to the odds offered by the bookmaker, you will be at an advantage over many other bookmakers. Knowledge is power; use it to win this complex game called sports betting.


  • Where to find quality footy accumulator?

    Finding the perfect site with free or paid betting predictions isn't an easy job. We at Bet Experts are trying to give our readers a complete package. Here you can find daily free predictions, footy accumulators, plus reviews of many tipsters and services that offer their betting picks to the customers. Don't worry, our predictions are free, and you don't need to register or download anything.

  • Is there quality betting offers to players from UK?

    Yes, there are many quality betting offers for all players. If you don't have time to search for quality bonuses, promotions, and other betting offers, we have a solution for you. Read our special section about betting bonuses, and find out which betting sites give the best betting offers to the players from the UK! Also, you can find out which betting sites are the best.

  • Which are best betting sites for UK players?

    There are many quality betting sites that accept players from the UK, but we at Bet Experts try to find the absolute best operators, which give excellent betting offers to their players. Also, we are trying to show you how to pick the perfect betting site, and what to look for when you search for a new betting account.

  • Where can I bet on football games?

    There are a number of betting sites UK on the Internet where you can bet on football and other sports. What is essential to know is how to choose the best sportsbook. Not every brand is equally good, and not all bookmakers are similarly fair to their players. See the list of the best bookmakers on our website and choose your favorite.

  • Which betting site offers a free bet?

    In the UK, a large number of quality online bookmakers offer their customers a free bet as part of a welcome bonus package. In our opinion, the best bookmakers in the UK are, without a doubt, William Hill, Bet 365, Unibet, Bet at Home, and TonyBet.

Author Bet Experts

Leave a comment